How do you make decisions? Recent conversations have revealed the usefulness of having litmus tests and standards for filtering decisions and priority-making.
It reminded me of an illustration Kendra Smiley shares in her books High-Wire Mom and Do Yourself a Favor, Love Your Spouse. I love sharing her idea and keeping it in mind when I'm trying to figure out what's best for my family. Marriage and parenting are hard and figuring out that magic "balance" seems nearly impossible. It's weird that this got especially challenging when I decided to leave full-time work and stay home with the kids more.
I think understanding priorities and decision making and what works and what doesn't is a life long process. But I know all of it has made way more sense since I've figured out the Truth of the Gospel. When I understood that I wasn't earning my salvation - that God wasn't keeping a record of my wrongs - my perspective totally changed. It was like the veil was removed. The Gospel - Jesus has fulfilled the law and died for my sins - gives me liberty to love and forgive and serve in ways that didn't make sense before. Life isn't about needing to cross all my t's and dot my i's anymore. Now it's about seeing how God is working in my marriage and parenting and friendships.
[caption id="attachment_1222" align="aligncenter" width="720"] What are you looking at to make decisions and set priorities?[/caption]
Because of this Matthew 6:21 doesn't make me squirmy anymore. My treasure is in Jesus.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
I keep running into things online about self-esteem and of course while one is in a funk, one's self-worth isn't real healthy... So I've been thinking about all this. Today's podcast is me sorting through how we measure ourselves and figuring out better ways to do it. I utilize the following resources:
Juli Slattery's article in Today's Christian Woman titled I Don't Believe in Self-Esteem
An excellent book for parents (or adults who need to grow up) called Raising Great Kids by Doctors Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Special thanks to Rev. Rich Shields whose notes on Law and Gospel will continue to be a useful resource in daily life as well as this ministry.
My bottom line on today's podcast is this:
I am putting my hope in the perfect, compassionate loving God, my faithful even to death Savior, who took care of all the fixing and rescuing when He died on the cross for me. The truth is that I am helpless and He is the Helper. I needed saved and He did the saving. And just in case I get ansy and think there is more I need to do, He said (right there on the cross!) IT IS FINISHED.
I live rescued, renewed, and remade because of Him and He will complete this good work in me. Because JESUS is the author and perfecter of my life. Not me.
I've been in and out of this lousy place for a while and it's gotten old. Today's podcast is about what my funk looks like, what solutions I've attempted or considered, and a few Scriptural things that have really helped. I've found myself clinging to a remembrance of my baptism at least once a day, and more when my self-esteem is completely in the pits.
Lots of resources referenced in this one, so here's the list:
I make reference to the last episode, so if this is your first time, here's an easy way to get to that.
Psalm 51 is a new fav of mine. I've been starting my day with it as a prayer and meditation. I quote the NASB version on the podcast, but I actually like the ESV better so that's the one I link to.
Luther's Morning Prayer - another good one for starting off the day. Check out the evening prayer while you're there.
Have mercy on me a sinner! also concerning the sign of the cross.
After I discuss how I've been clinging to my baptism, I talk about the intentions of my ministry. As I've tried to understand Lutheran theology, I've been pleasantly surprised at how satisfying it is. It really is accessible to those of us living in the real world who like to hold on to real things. God is one of those things and He makes His means of grace a real, physical thing for us too. This ties in nicely with baptism of course.
We end with the hymn God's Own Child I Gladly Say It, a recording I got here, from When Suffering Doesn't Stop (a blog by Megan Smith).
music - Spoke in the Wheel by Electric Tangerine Audio at http://audiojungle.net/user/ElectricTangerine
Vocal Introduction by Kena Clark
Intro/Outro Production by Bradley Hofbauer
First podcast of 2016! Woohoo!
Here's my stab at new year talk....
Referenced and Discussed:
My follow through problem - here's the blog post.
GotQuestions.org talks about a Christian perspective on weight loss and fitness. I'm not in love with their response, but there is some usefulness here.
Luke 15, parable of the lost sheep
Final thought, partially stolen from church liturgy this past Sunday -