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Humble Pie

Posted by Shelley on Aug 24, 2006 in bible study

I’ve noticed a trend in my life, like the past 34 years or so, that I keep having to learn the lesson of humility. So, I go where I go when I need to understand big words and concepts. The Bible and Merriam Webster. To be honest, the fact I started cringing at what the word really means gave me a huge breakthrough… I’m still eating humble pie so to speak.

After God used the book of Daniel to make his point to me today I sort of started feeling a little bit like King Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter 4, beginning in verse 28 is where my Bible sort of fell open today. Don’t you love it when He just turns the page for you? I can honestly say though, that before this happened, I began my day praying he’d give me an answer to what He was trying to teach me. I read beginning in verse 28 and realized the King basically was turned into an animal-like creature, eating grass while his hair turned into feathers an his fingernails became birds’ claws (v. 32). I turned the page and their it was written in my own handwriting, “Either humble ourselves or He can humble us.” Looks like the King received the latter.

Ouch. My toes are killing me! Here’s what the dictionary says: Main Entry: hu·mil·i·ty:
the quality or state of being humble. Great, that told me nothing. So I went to the word humble:

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin humilis low, humble, from humus earth; akin to Greek chthOn earth, chamai on the ground; 1 : not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive; 2 : reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission ; 3 a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : INSIGNIFICANT, UNPRETENTIOUS b : not costly or luxurious

Everything about that definition is the opposite of us humans. We aren’t born submissive, we don’t actively pursue being the low man on the totem pole and for Heaven’s sake we are all about costly and luxurious. At least most of us (ME included)! God has placed before me numerous lessons in humility. A baby sister (not just one but two!), lots of tryouts and auditions, job interviews, personality tests, four-legged animals, credit scores, doctors, friends, my own children… the list goes on and on. Just when I think, yes Lord I am humbling myself to be what I need to be, another lesson comes my way.

Out of my Bible it states the New Testament meaning is primarily a personal quality of dependence of God and respect for other people. It is a God-given virtue of holy living; humility comes not from self but from God. The result should be praise of God, not praise of (wo)man. I’m headed to the doctor for my son’s checkup right now, I think I’ll have him check out my toes too. Maybe just one more serving of humble pie and these toes won’t get stepped on so often.

 
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Romans 4

Posted by Shelley on Aug 22, 2006 in bible study

I was privileged this time last year to lead a women’s Bible Study which much to my happiness has decided to meet again beginning August 31st. The material is different this time around, but I know will be just as meaningful as last year. I say this because I truly believe in God’s perfect timing… last year’s study came during a test of faith and greater spiritual maturity than He had ever expected of me. Now, I am excited beyond measure to see the truths He will teach me through this group beginning next week. If you can, join us on Thursdays mornings, post a comment here and I will be in touch.

Our main mission in the fall of 2005 was to believe God. Not just in Him but believe Him. We were asked to read Romans 4 no less than 20 times. This is sometimes a hard passage to grasp hold of but 20 times into it you will probably start seeing what God wants to reveal to you. He said so much to me, but the most prudent part keeps coming up, long after I finished my required reading. Verses 20 and 21 read like this:

20 Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Another version states, And being convinced that what He had promised He was able to perform… what has God promised you? He promised Abraham as many descendants as there are stars, with a barren wife, no less. If you, Christian sister, have made a commitment to Jesus who lives in and through you then the answer is all about God, his son Jesus and bringing you as close as He can to the likeness of our Savior. This verse states God has the power to do what He has promised. I would like to say His promise to Shelley includes bon bons, a big IRS tax return check and a trip to Hawaii. But I know better than that. He has promised me He has the power to take a selfish creature and turn it into the likeness of Himself. He’s not into writing checks He can’t cash. The deal is I’ve got to be willing to let it happen.

Abraham’s story begins in the Old Testament and it reads nothing like my short existence on this earth. But I do know I have one thing in common with him and that is my God is the same God who made big promises and saw to it that He pushed Abraham into believing Him. I think he still does that, look around, what part of you life is barren or fruitless and he is simply making you uncomfortable enough to honestly believe Him? If you begin to tune in He will reveal it to you. Most folks would agree it gets pretty crazy as he tries to get your attention. But when you see that God has promised to grow you into something supernatural, beyond yourself you can break free.

 
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USS Shaw

Posted by Shelley on Aug 14, 2006 in Real Life Stories, kids

We had our last hurrah for the summer, a trip to the beach before meeting the new second grade teacher tomorrow. And yes, we are the kind of parents that drag our children to historical monuments and museums and our journey today led us to the USS Alabama in Mobile Bay. We’ve seen it before, as many of us born in bred in this great state have, but this was Melodi’s first trip. Mike made sure we went everywhere on that ship, I’m telling you it is BIG. We walked and climbed, sweated and toiled our way through that amazing battleship. I managed to kept my comments to a minimum, thinking about life during WWII. However, our Melodi gave a running commentary as usual… “can we leave now?” “how many guns are on this ship?” and of course, “were there any women on board?”

I managed to finish one of my summer reading projects on this trip, A Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. If you are at a loss as to how to even begin to understand God’s plan for you as a married woman I highly recommend this book (if you are unmarried, the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart by the same author can truly change your life)… So, my post you are about to read is the culmination of finishing this book, touring the USS Alabama or a combination of both. Did that make sense?

I walked through that big boat and realized the answer one of Melodi’s questions was, “no, there probably weren’t many women on this boat.” At least not ones that worked and fought the good fight while this ship was on active duty. But you know, they managed to survive without us women. They had a kitchen, a major laundry situation, and I know they had their share of motion sickness to clean up after. They ran a tight ship with at least 2500 enlisted men during active duty. And instead of it ending up on the bottom of the ocean I walked thru it today, marveling at the fact that the men took care of this thing. Every job, every joy, every tribulation was of mere men.

After realizing what Elizabeth George was trying to communicate to me and what I observed on this ship I realized I am more than equipped to do my job at home. It is exhausting, the aggravation I feel at times is more than overwhelming. But if 2500 men could keep tons of steel clean, functioning as a home off the bottom of the ocean floor certainly I can keep my house in order. I only have three people to cook for, buy for, clean up after and care for… they are my gifts from God, my first priority every day. As Elizabeth states in her book, God first, Mike second and my children third. Careers, friendships, volunteering and acts of service are to come after these first all important three. I honestly believe God honors women who can learn His priorities, practice them and teach them to others. This will help me run a tight ship.

I have to tell you that the laundry area on the battleship was exceptionally technologically advanced for the time period, stating that cleanliness and order in this department helped keep infection and disease to a minimum… not to mention there was a “brig” where folks wound up when they were out of order (yes, it was a jail and did not look like much fun). So, with a new laundry room and naughty steps (or chairs) it would seem that Admiral Shaw is ready to set sail into the new school year. This ship is setting sail and with supernatural strength will stay off the ocean floor.

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