Sunday, February 21, 2010

Discipline for Lent, 2

During Lent I am going to read this at bedtime.


The Twenty Two Questions the members of John Wesley's Holy Club asked themselves each day in their private devotions.

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidently pass on to another what I was told in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?'

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Do I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

20. Is there anyone who I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what I am doing about it?

21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Discipline for Lent

For Lent I am reading Romans 12 in the morning. Here it is in the TNIV translation, but I printed it out in the nrsv, the message, and the new jerusalem translations as well.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.  For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"  says the Lord. On the contrary:  "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Anna's Cat House

Anna picked up a woodworking book for kids at the library last week. She began vacation saying she wanted to make something in it. She picked out a cat bed (actually called a small pooch bed in the book).

So yesterday we went to Home Depot and bought the wood, and they did most of the cuts for us.

Today we put it together. We are still thinking about painting it. And Sofia and I will make a couple cushions to put in it for our kitties.

I'm so proud of Anna, and so pleased that we could do this project together. 

Anna's Cat House

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Sunday's Palms Are Wednesday's Ashes"

These are the lyrics to a hymn that we sang at the Ash Wednesday service tonight.

(The first line remembers that traditionally the palm Sunday are kept until this time and burned to make the ashes.)

Sunday's palms are Wednesdays ashes as another Lent begins; 
thus we kneel before the Maker in contrition for our sins.
We have marred baptismal pledges, in rebellion gone astray; 
now returning, seek forgiveness; grant us pardon, God, this day!

We have failed to love our neighbors, their offences to forgive,
have not listened to their troubles, nor have cared just how they live.
we are jealous, proud, impatient, loving over-much our things;
may the yielding of our failings be our our Lenten offerings.

We are hasty to judge others, blind to proof of human need; 
and our lack of understanding demonstrates our inner greed;
we have wasted earths resources; want and suffering we've ignored;
come and cleanse us, then restore us; make new hearts within us Lord.

-Rae B. Whitney (1991)