Friday, January 30, 2009

A Spirit of Selfishness

What does it mean to sacrifice? Is it merely setting aside what we want to do? Is it just giving up on our desires, time, energy, wants, etc? We give and we give and we give. Often, I find myself saying, “Ok God. I’m giving and sacrificing, and serving—where’s my return? Where’s my reward?”
And that’s where the real problem lies. We give and “sacrifice” and we are looking for something in return. We expect something back for all we’ve given up.
I think that true sacrifice is service where nothing is expected in return. We give because Christ gave. It means giving of our time and energies, and foregoing our own desires for the service of others without expecting something back. Jesus came to serve. He sacrificed and looked for nothing. When we truly sacrifice, we will gain all.
I’m reminded of something our pastor said in a sermon not too long ago: we are not saved to a spirit of selfishness. That statement always comes back to me as a powerful reminder of who I am called to be – a servant in Christ’s Kingdom.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


You know that drawer in your house, or that spot on the counter or table or that basket on the desk or by the stairs that always seems to have anything and everything (or just about) in it? It keeps getting added to, occasionally gets organized for about 2 minutes and then is back to holding a bunch of stuff, important, not so important, odds and ends, stuff nobody knows what to do with, wants to claim, stuff nobody know anything about.
I've discovered, that’s kind of like me: the catch-all drawer.
Somehow I know where just about everything is; know who’s in charge of what; either has the right stuff for people or can point them in the right direction; have lots of different things thrown at me at once; occasionally gets organized – at least it’s organized to me; sometimes I confuse people; sometimes I don’t; I multi-task.
Some people call it the junk drawer. They are misinformed.
That junk drawer? It’s a whole ‘nuther ball of wax...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy 2009!

I know it's a week past, but the Year 2009 is still very young. I hope your Christmas and New Year's celebrations were joyful. Our family had a busy month of December and we had a wonderful time visiting with our family that came to visit us.
Gramma came down from Ohio and Bethany, Alex, and Jordan were all here for about 20
days. Oh, and Baby Barendregt #2 came along...yes, I'm going to be an Auntie again in August! :-)

2008 was a good year, but I am very thankful to see it behind me. God taught me much this past year and I am so thankful for His faithfulness and love shown to me through the trials and also the good times. His mercy endures forever! One way God demonstrated His love was helping me complete all my classes required for my General AA degree at Clark College. I'm so thankful to be done and know it was not my hand that got me to the end.

I like to make resolutions every year, or at least set myself goals to measure by the end of the year. Sadly, those don't always get kept, or I go astray for a while on some of them. I decided to share most of this years goals with you. (All 4 of you) ;-) Maybe if I post them somewhere where somebody other than myself will see them, it will help me be more accountable. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing, bug me, pester, scold, encourage, etc. Accountability is a good thing!

2009 Goals

~ Bible: daily reading
~ Health: go to the gym 4x a week (I have the membership, I need to USE it!)
~ Service: seek out opportunities at church, missions, other volunteer opportunities/groups
~ Reading: the stack of theology, biographies, and history on my floor and bookshelves (I'll post the reading list later)
~ Finances: stick to budget plan; buy new car by 2010 or earlier.

I'm sure there is more that I should resolve to do this year, but I don't think all goals have to be set at the beginning of the year. Life happens and God is in control.