Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Humility AND self-esteem??

(This is a re-post from Lily of the Valley. It was published at the beginning of this year.)

Reading in E. M. Bounds works on prayer (again!) I read about prayer and humility. His definition of humility is “to have a low estimate of ones self…” He includes some great little poems about humility:

“Never let the world break in,
Fix a mighty gulf between;
Keep me humble and unknown,
Prized and loved by God alone.”

“Let the world their virtue boast,
Their works of righteousness;
I, a wretch undone and lost,
Am freely saved by grace;
Other title I disclaim,
This, only this, is all my plea,
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.

“O that now I might decrease!
O that all I am might cease!
Let me into nothing fall!
Let my Lord be all in all.”

Aren’t these wonderful?!? This is how I want to be. Sadly, I find I fall quite short.

Thinking about this, I was sitting at the table doing… something, and I heard Zig Ziglar talking to Papa. (Okay, so it was a recording!) Anyway, he was talking about self-esteem. And I, being ever so intellectual, was thinking, How can you possibly be both humble and esteem yourself well?
And being the wise and curious person that I am, :) I asked my dear and VERY wise Papa just that. (Well, I didn’t say those exact words…)

Well, being the wonderful Papa that he is, he shut off Mr. Ziglar (sorry Zig!), and explained to me that we should realize that God made us, and that he created us in His image. Therefore, to look down on ourselves would be to look down on one of His creations. So to a Christian, Self-esteem is really God-esteem. The only reason we are worth anything is because God created us and loved us and saved us. Without Him, we are utterly, completely worthless, helpless, and unsaved.

So I think you can figure out how that works out. We are humble because we realize that we are worthless and can’t save ourselves, and deserve the wrath of God. But we esteem the work that God has done in creating and saving and loving us.

Hopefully that made some sense! Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Lately I have been thinking about how awesome prayer is.

Think about it:

Prayer is talking directly to God. God who is the Creator of all things, the Saviour of the world, an awesome and powerful and majestic and enormous God. He is the eternal, unchanging, omniscient God. Who suffered and died and rose again again for us. Who is perfect, holy and just.
And the One who, in spite of our complaining, forgetting, turning away, sinning, and sinning again, loves us SO much.

And this God wants to talk to us! He wants us minuscule, insignificant people with all of our sometimes ridiculous requests to share them with Him. How amazing is that?!? He actually enjoys listening to us ramble on about all these comparatively small things. And He responds! Not only does He let us talk to Him, but He wants us to talk to Him and then, on top of that, He responds! And then we sometimes complain that He didn't do what we wanted, how we wanted it! How can we be so foolish?

And then--this is what really bothers me about myself-- we have the audacity to start thinking about other things while talking to God! Really! We are talking to the All-powerful God of the universe... and we get distracted? How can we do that? If we were talking to a friend, we would hardly do that. But when we talk to God... it's different, somehow.

So my challenge to myself has been to do this:

Before I pray or at the beginning of my prayer, I think about the incredible privilege it is to come before our Great God and Father in heaven and imagine Him listening to me attentively. That helps me to appreciate the power of prayer and the value of prayer more and it also helps me to be more focused in my prayers.

Also, today and yesterday I have been using a list of things to pray about. That helps me to stay on track and also remember everything I would like to pray for. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Have We Done Today?

By Nixon Waterman

We shall do much in the years to come, But what have we done today? We shall give out gold in a princely sum, But what did we give today? We shall lift the heart and dry the tear, We shall plant a hope in the place of fear, We shall speak the words of love and cheer, But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the after while, But what have we done today?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile, But what have we brought today? We shall give to truth a grander birth, And to steadfast faith a deeper worth, We shall feed the hungering souls of earth, But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by, But what have we sown today? We shall build us mansions in the sky, But what have we built today? `Tis sweet in the idle dreams to bask; But here and now, do we our task? Yet, this is the thing our souls must ask, What have we done today?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life Q and A

Question 1: Is it true that all men seek happiness (even those who commit suicide?)
In my limited experiences, I find that it is true that all men seek happiness in some way. Some seek it in power, some in relationships, some in amusements, others in money, and the list goes on.

Is the pursuit of happiness inevitable?
It would seem so, especially if it is a God-given desire.

How do you think the Bible regards the pursuit of happiness? Cite scripture verses in your answer.

"To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 2:26

If we please God, He will give us happiness.

"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." Psalm

The righteous should be happy and joyful before God.

"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live." Ecclesiastes 3:12

Nothing better than to be happy and do good!

"Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Psalm 144:15 We should be happy simply because our God is the Lord!

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;" Proverbs 3:13

Gaining wisdom is part of being happy.

Question 2: When you hear the phrase the glory of God, what comes to mind?

I think of that phrase in two different ways.

One, I think of the universe and of nature, and how that displays the glory of God. The vastness and the incredible design of the universe make me realize how awesome God is. I see His glory in all of creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God;And the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Two, I think of "How can I bring glory to God?" What can I do that will show others the glory of God? How can He be glorified by my life? "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

What does the Bible mean by "the glory of God"?

I think it means the majesty, splendor and honor of God (Psalm 19:1). It also can mean the opinion, judgement, and view of God; a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31).

(I looked up the greek word for glory in those verses here: http://www.studylight.org/)

Question 3: How would you define or describe love?

Love is everything. (1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 22:37-40) If you do not have love, you are nothing. It is hard to grasp this concept-- especially as our culture has us thinking that love is some kind of feeling. It is perfectly clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that that is simply not so. Love is so much more that that. Love is actions--Showing you care. Hugging someone. Giving a sacrificial gift. Keeping quiet when you want to speak in anger. Forgiving someone yet again. And so on...

How does the world define or describe love?

As I said earlier, the world views love as a feeling. It is something that you can "fall into" and "fall out of". It is not the kind that never fails. Rather, it is the kind that is selfish- what can I gain from this relationship?