Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Self-Control

What a ride it has been looking into the Fruits of the Spirit these past few months. I have taken each fruit and really looked at what it means to me. Looking back, I can see where I have learned and where I have grown. I can also see where I am still falling short, but, with the help of God, I hope to be able to bear fruit the glorifies Him.

This last week, I am taking a look at the fruit -- self-control. Self-control, as according to dear Wikipedia, can be seen as the ability to control ones emotions and desires, is the capacity of efficient management to the future. In psychology it is sometimes called self-regulation. So, in other words, when we act out on our desires, when we act out on our emotions, we are not in self-control.

According to Proverbs, a lack of self control can be detrimental:
"A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls" (Proverbs 25:28)
To me, this is very powerful. Can you believe that when we are not in control of our emotions and desires we are defenseless, we are vulnerable to attack? What a great time for the enemy to enter and deflate who we are.

So what can we do?? How can we work to possess self-control?? How do we maintain our own city with strong walls??

First, we need to rely on God for His help in our self-control.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philipians 4:13)
Second, we need to learn to control our words and how we lash out at one another, we need to listen to one another before we overreact and judge, and we should be slow at becoming angry.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:19-20)
Third, we need to realize that we have a choice in how we react. We have a choice in our actions. God has promised He will never give us more than we can handle, and even when we think we have reached the point of no return, He will give us a way out...a way to regain self-control:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Remember self-control is a choice. We can choose to react in a way that is not glorifying to God by giving into temptation and sin, by using our words incorrectly. Or, we can glorify Him in all we say and do. The choice is yours, and with His help, I believe we can glorify Him and bare the Fruit of our Spirit.

Remember to check out what Carrie has to say about Self-Control. And, if you missed any of the other fruits, be sure to check them out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

101 in 1001 Update

I wish I could say I have accomplished many items on my list since the last time I updated you, but I haven't. What I have come to understand is there are unattainable goals on this list that I need to change. So, next week you will see that I have added and deleted some items. Others, like the getting in shape part, I am going to work hard to catch up on, rather than giving up. So, be sure to look for that next week.

Until then here's what I have been accomplishing:

13. Stay off the computer for at least one day each week (23/143) - Y'all I'm catching up on this. Thanks to some busy house cleaning days, and trips to the mountains, I am almost caught up to the 28 weeks this year we are at. It is my hope that by the end of the summer, I will be caught up. Now, if I could just get to working that darn TV watching!!

41. Plant a tree -- I completed this. Actually, Jeremy and I did. Back in the spring, our city was giving out free tree seedlings. We went and picked up our limit (3) and came back to plant them in pots. We weren't sure where we would want them so we just put them in pots for the time being. Well, this weekend, the time came around and we planted our two surviving seedlings. They are much bigger now, and oh so cute. When we planted them, I made sure to talk sweet to them and encourage them to grow into the big shade trees we know they can be. I know...I'm a bit of a nerd, but it never hurts, right??

88. Complete a puzzle a year (1/3) - Jeremy and I put together our United States License Plate puzzle. Be sure to check back to see what we are going to do with it. I think you might be impressed!!

Until next week, be sure to check out my FULL LIST complete with what I have accomplished and what I am lacking.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This weeks menu plan Monday is extra special. First, it is the start of the All You Grocery Challenge. I think it's going to be great fun to see how creative and frugal Jeremy and I can be so as to stay in our $50 a week budget. I'm really hoping this is going to be easy for us since our usual monthly budget for groceries is $175. The plan now, how creative and healthy can we be?? Second, it's the first real time that I have cooked since the food poisoning incident. We'll see how it goes!

Banana Nut Bread
Yogurt Smoothie
Biscuits, Bacon and Eggs
Waffles, Bacon and Eggs

Ham Sandwiches
Hot Dogs
Crackers and Soup
*lunches usually with fruit, chips and pudding

Buffalo Wild Wings
Chicken and Salmon
Dinner at Porter's
Date Night Out
Homemade Pizza
Church Dinner
*Dinners with some sort of potato, vegetable and bread

For more ideas on meal planning, check out Orgjunkie.com

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Gentleness

I grew up on the baseball fields. Not because I was in baseball, or softball, but because my brother was. My brother played baseball from the time I can remember, my dad always coached his teams, and my mom and I were always the best fans. I loved going to the practices and hanging out with the guys.

One skill they always worked on during practice was to have "soft hands". You see, they guys would get in two lines facing one another (much like you would if you were to play Red Rover) and they would toss eggs back and forth to one another. They would have to catch the eggs very gently as to not break it. They were learning how to have these "soft hands" when catching a baseball on the field so as not to drop the ball and to have better control.

I remember a scene in the movie "The Mighty Ducks" in which the kids did the same sort of drill. Instead of throwing and catching eggs, they used their hockey sticks to softly pass the eggs and catch them with their sticks.

When I think of gentleness, this is what first comes to my mind -- tossing and catching eggs. We are to be gentle with our words and our deeds. We are to treat one another like eggs. We are to have soft hands. We aren't to be harsh, we aren't to throw these "eggs" hard. We are to be welcoming with love to one another as we catch one another with soft hands.

How are you when you deal with others? Do you throw or catch one another hard where each others shell breaks, or do you use loving, soft hands?

Be sure to check out Carrie's blog as she talks about gentleness and be sure to check with us next week as we tackle the final fruit -- self-control.