Butterfly Wings

Our Life in Posts and Pictures

To Serve This Present Age May 18, 2010

Filed under: Family,Personal Growth — anet smith @ 3:36 pm

These are notes that I took at a recent graduation where Dr. Jo Anne Lyon (General Superindent of The Wesleyan Church) was the speaker. I write them here – to keep a copy for myself. If I don’t write something down I easily forget! Case in point: Dr. Lyon credited the information for the “Megatrends” I reference. However, I didn’t write the source down, so, it’s not there!

Four Megatrends Changing the 21st Century

1. Reversal of Fortunes
2. Growth of Youth and Islam in Developing Nations
3. Urban Sprawl
4. Global Nuclear Threat

Is there anything that doesn’t change? Jesus! (Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.)

He:
Intentionally prayed and reflected
Poured himself out
Listened
Empowered His followers
Cared for the least of these

Dr. Lyon also encouraged the graduates to overcome evil with good, to do God’s will, and to shape the world for good in their vocation.

I especially have been considering the first part of the message about megatrends and what Jesus did. Sometimes when I think of the world my children are facing and will be facing, it is overwhelming! In my most recent Daybook, I wrote that I was praying for my children to be counter culture – Going against what our culture says and what Christians have accepted as normal is tough work!

We will only accomplish it as we follow Jesus’ example. I need to grow so much more in the area of intentional prayer and reflection. I can only empower my followers (my children) as I am following Christ. We are taking steps to intentionally disciple our children. We endevor to use teachable moments and answer questions that arise honestly and Scripturally. Although we have had devotions as a family, we struggle with consistancy. However, we will be beginning a study of Psalm 119 tonight.

In additon to the Bible, we will be using Stand, diving into God’s Words, a discovery of Psalm 119. Some of the books in this series were a little too advanced for the age of M & L (11 & 9), but I think this one will work out great! I am looking forward to knowing God more and understanding His word through this study. I am also thankful to hubby for picking up the book and initiating this in our home.

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Found! April 22, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Personal Growth — anet smith @ 3:02 pm

A few weeks ago when I finally cleaned out my closet, I realized most of my shorts and other summer things were missing. We had stayed with my sister before moving into our new home so I was convinced they were at her house. Every few days I’d call her and suggest another spot to look for them.

Around the same time, my hubby lost his wallet. It wasn’t in the normal spot he puts it at night and I was convinced that the previous night when he returned it to his pocket at the restauraunt that it had landed on the floor instead. The two of us searched and searched. He even called the restauraunt. I looked in the spots he had already looked, we tried to replay our steps, we looked in spots it couldn’t possibly be in. After a few desperate prayers, he found it – in a shelf in the closet.

My sister never found the clothes so my new hypothesis was that they were in the attic. So – today that’s were I checked. I knew I had to check the rubbermaid tubs, but there were so many (unlabeled or not labeled well – my fault) and many had other boxes stacked on them or in front of them. After some careful moving and rearranging – much like a puzzle – I opened a tub and there they were! Yea! No need for unnecessary shopping now.

I looked this Scripture up on Bible Gateway

The Parable of the Lost Coin – Luke 15
8″Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Hubby and I talked about it when we were looking for His wallet. It just so happens that my church started a sermon series on Luke 15 last week too. I am so thankful that I have been found. What role do I play in searching for others who are lost? Do I search as carefully and diligently as the shepherd with the lost sheep or the woman with the lost coin?

 

“Remember” This Easter April 3, 2010

Filed under: Easter,Personal,Personal Growth — anet smith @ 7:22 am

Yesterday I wrote about Patricia Polacco’s The Butterfly. On her website Polacco also states, “We need to keep telling these stories… hopefully we wont repeat our mistakes.“

It has been 65 years since World War II ended. It has only been 15 years since the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building. I found an article on a KOTV’s news website that talked about how the bombing has not been part of the objectives for Oklahoma history so it has not been taught or has been taught very little. How sad that we have allowed the victims to be forgotten. Recently, the objectives have been amended and the Oklahoma City bombing will be included in the 2010-2011 school year. May our students continue to be educated about the impact of violence. I pray they will take the lessons to heart.

My family has been to the memorial, but M & L were very young. We walked around the perimeter and looked at the memorial items in the fence. I’d like to go again this summer. I think they’ll understand more than I give them credit. The purpose of our visit won’t be to focus on the violence or to spoil the innocence of childhood. They know there are bad things that happen. I want them to understand that bad things happen because we live in a fallen world and that we have hope because of our Savior.

So, while it is important to keep telling these stories so we won’t repeat our mistakes, it’s also important to remember hope, remember what God has done.

Specifically, we celebrate Easter and we remember Christ and the empty tomb. In communion, we remember the night Christ was betrayed and the last meal He shared with His disciples. In the Old Testament, Joshua had the men of Israel set up memorial stones so they could tell their children what the Lord had done (Joshua 4:2-9). In our home we talk about where we were when we told our children we were moving from New Mexico to Texas and we remember how God took care of us – even telling our oldest son, M. the day of the week we would move. We remember other ways God has blessed us and we remember through pictures. Are there events your family remembers? Something you should remember? I hope you remember to the glory of our risen Lord!

 

Names of God January 2, 2010

Filed under: Personal,Personal Growth — anet smith @ 8:00 am

Every year I ask God to give me a Name of His that He will show Himself to me in the new year. I took some of my devotional time yesterday asking God about this year. Sometimes when I hear the Name it concerns me about what the year may bring. Last year it was “God of All Hope”. Even before the month of January last year was over I was able to share this and hope Scriptures with some friends who were going through a difficult time. God has been so faithful to them! He was to me too. Even though the year was kinda bumpy, God proved Himself faithful in being God of All Hope to me. Each year the Name is personal so what God tells me may be different than how He wants to show Himself to you. Do you want to know what the Name is for 2010? Stay tuned for that, but in the meantime, why don’t you ask God for one for your New Year?

 

The New Year Starting Off Right January 1, 2010

Filed under: Budget,Personal,Personal Growth — anet smith @ 10:19 pm

I got to sleep in this morning, but that’s not how the year started off right. When I got up, I walked in the office and Hubby was at his desk reading his Bible and journaling. I said, “It looks like you’re starting the year off right, I think I will too.” I sat at my desk and took out my New Testament that is arranged for readings each day throughout the year and The Message Solo. If you haven’t seen this devotional it’s awesome! It has Scripture from The Message translation and then suggestions for “Think, Pray, and Live”. It can be very deep, not fluffy and challenging.

The boys had already made it upstairs to play video games so I called them downstairs and talked to them about starting the year off right and suggested they start the new devotion books a close family friend had given them for Christmas. We talked about how to do them and that we’d get up a few minutes early each morning to read and start the day off right. This is a big stretch for me because I am not a morning devotions/time with God kind of person! I’m not a late night person either. Unfortunately, since I’m more “middle of the afternoon” my best time gets occupied with other things way too easy.

After watching some of the Rose Parade we started our New Year’s Day tradition of taking down the tree. We were also treated to a lunch at Rib Crib by my sister and with Dad.

Also, we started the new year off right in the house by getting it in order from Christmas and making some additions. I am by no stretch of the imagination a decorator so hubby and I did some shopping together at Kirklands and TJ Maxx. We made our very first purchase of wall art (after 14 1/2 years of marriage) and found things for our entry dormer. The TJ Maxx purchases were a wonderful find because we had only stopped there for a restroom break. If you need to do some inexpensive decorating, you should really try this place. The dried arrangement and vase on the right side of this picture only cost $15! Obviously the picture was taken from much lower so it looks better than the picture. There are some depth differences and the vase isn’t solid black, it has constrasting shades in it.

Thank you God for a wonderful start to the new year! It has been wonderful being at home with Hubby, M, & L!