OnlyGrace

The Wonder of Grace in Others November 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 7:15 PM
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Today at church Pastor Matt preached a message called “The Wonder of Grace in Others.” It was honestly one of the best messages I have heard in a good while. I was both encouraged and convicted-what a good combo!

Just some highlights, things that I learned, notes I took, and quotes from the outline.
The text used was Hebrews 10:19-25-
19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

His first point was that In light of the wonders of grace let us be diligent to encourage one another. Subpoint A-Consider the purpose of encouragement.
*Encouragement-To put courage into someone.
*NOT flattery! 1 Thessalonians 2:5
*”When you see differently, you interpret differently”
*Our perspective changes when the wonder of grace covers the lense in which we see Christians”
*Hebrews 1-10:19 were all about how great God is and it encourages with the truth of the gospel. It talks of how God is better than anything you could put your hope in. Hebrews 10:19-25 is when  the encouragement part comes. You can’t have the 2nd part without the first part. God’s greatness comes first, that is why we can encourage.
*”Christian encouragement is speaking the truth in love, with the aim of building Christians up in Christ-likeness as we wait for the day of judgement.”-Gordon Cheng 
*Encouragement is not optional for the Christian-It is a command from the Bible.
Subpoint of A: 1) Biblical encouragement is to help believers see what God has done and is doing in the life of a believer.
*Biblical has a clear goal and purpose.
* Encouragement doesn’t start with the person, it starts with God.
*”Right now God is working all around you and in your life. One of the greatest tragedies among God’s people is that while they have a deep longing to experience Him they are experiencing God day after day but do not know how to recognize Him.” -Henry Blackaby 
*For people see what God is doing, they must see what God has done.
*God’s work of grace is the foundation of encouragement.
* See grace in people. Identify specifics and encourage them!
*Correction is never the starting point of correction.
*If we don’t look at what God has done, then we will lack faith for change.
* God has done _________, God is doing ______. Have faith.
Subpoint A: 2) Biblical encouragement is to serve as a protection and a help against the decietfulness of sin.
*Tell them what they need to hear 🙂
Point 2: Consider the practice of encouragement.
Subpoint 1: Let us consider why we don’t encourage.
*Some possible reasons:
     -“What do I say?!”
     -Bitterness
     -“If I encourage them in ____, they may think I am encouraging them in ______ way, and that part of their life really still needs work!”
     – “I have already encouraged them”
     – “I don’t know how to say what I want to say”
     – “Other people have encouraged them”
     -Waiting for the right time/place
    – Too scared to just SAY it! 
Subpoint 2: Let us consider how we can encourage.
*Consider- Yes, you must actually put thought into how to encourage.
Subpoint A: Study God’s grace/that person
*How do I see God working in that person?
*Look for the fruit of the spirit and spiritual gifts
*Look for joy/peace in the midst of a trial
*Encourage people who are using theif gifts for Kingdom work
*Encourage to BUILD FAITH.
*Go from just thanking people to actually encouraging.
Subpoint B: Speak. Encouragement involves communication
*Ephesians 4:29
*Let people know when they are affefcting, impacting, and changing your life
*You can admire, esteem and look up to someone but never even encourae someone.
*Do I leave people encouraged or corrupted after talking to them?
*”Let us encourage . . . in meeting”-Encourage at church!
*Let us not be just hearers, but doers of the Word
*”Encourage, the end is near”
*Runners near the end of a race need cheering and support when they are near the finish line, not when they have finished the race. Encouragement after the race is important, but to finish the race, they need that encouragement while they race. It’s the same way with Christians.
*Poeple need encouragemnet now.

Okay, that was kind of a lot. If you don’t want to read that and you would rather listen to the message-or if you did read that and you want to listen to the message-follow this site: http://www.gracecommunity.org/index.php?pID=37 it says that pastor Don preached, but that must be a typo because I was there, it was Pastor Matt. You can also get the outline on the website also. 🙂

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My baby brother.

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 2:51 PM
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Last night Jesse, who’s 5, hung out with me. Jonathan, Jesse and I were home at first, then Jonathan went to a friends house. So that left only Jesse and me. I have never had so much fun babysitting. Since he and I are never home alone just us two, we had a blast. Jesse and I are 11 years apart-whoa, I honestly have never realized that until right now. Wow. Anyway, because we are so far apart, we don’t do a lot together. Every once in a while, Jesse will come into my room and talk about a movie he watched or he will kick a soccer ball in my room while I do my school. Usually I am busy, so I kinda pay attention, but I’m typically focused mostly on something else. But last night, I set all else aside, and just paid attention to him. I am so thankful that I did. 

First, I asked Jesse what he wanted to do. Well, he was in the middle of finishing some Disney Channel show, which had five minutes left, so I let him finish. After the show was over, we had dinner (leftovers from Thanksgiving :] ). When we finished eating, Charlie Brown Christmas was on TV, so we watched a little bit of that, until he got bored of course. We had a dessert of a half a donut and popcorn. Following dessert, we got the laptop out, went to http://www.youtube.com , and we sung and danced for a while. It was surprisingly fun. We sang “so what” by Pink and then we watched some videos by the Praise Warriors, his friends rap group. Dancing and singing was my highlight of the night.

He also told me about a friend he made while he was at Jonathan’s soccer game earlier. This made me laugh SO hard! He told me that they were both playing on the playground so Jesse told the kid his name, and the kid told Jesse his name. Well Jesse, who has terrible hearing, thought the kid said his name was “Homie.” When my mom asked Jesse his name, Jesse said “homie.” When Jesse went to the bathroom, my mom heard him say, “I’ll be right back, Homie!” How funny. Before leaving, my mom asked the kid his name. His name was “Tony.” Jesse cracks me up 🙂 When Jesse was telling me that story, I was laughing the whole time. 

When Jesse and I were tired out from, singing, dancing, and laughing, it was time to give him a bath. I gave him a quick bath, let him watch one more video on youtube, then set him up in my bed. When Will, who he shares a room with, isn’t home, Jesse is scared to sleep alone, so I let him sleep in my bed. When he fell asleep, I carried him into his own bed. 

That night was a lot of fun and I want to make more of an effort to hang out with him 1 on 1, though it is hard with 7 kids in the family, 5 living at home. Hopefully when I get my license, I can let him tag along sometimes so that we can just spend some more time together.  

Anyway, I love Jesse.

 

 

Another New Blogger! November 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 5:32 PM
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I always like to welcome new bloggers. I am so excited that two friends have joined this world recently! First, Steve Z, now JP! 

Head over to Jess’s blog-I have a link on the right. 

WELCOME, JESS! 

 

http://www.Jpreis1.wordpress.com) *She’s on the right 🙂

 

Family, Family, Family! November 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:30 PM
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I have two new cousins. . .Well, sorta. 

My cousin Amy is gonna be induced tonight! Her due date isn’t until the 6th of December, but this baby is HUGE, so she is going to deliver tonight. This will be Amy and Christopher’s first kid. Good luck, Amy! And congrats, Chris! 

My other cousin, Luke, got engaged today!!! Congrats, Luke! His fiancé’s name is Kristi. I have never met her, but I am sure that she is nice!

And Megan, Amy’s sister, also just had her second kid, Ethan James(?). So, while I am congratulating cousins, congrats Megan and Doug! 🙂  

I am excited about all the changes with my family and how it is growing so quickly! Can’t wait to see who’s engaged/having a kid next! 😀

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 1:35 PM
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Happy Thanksgiving. 

Have a great day and make sure to be thinking and thanking throughout the day.

 

I believe. November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 11:14 AM
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This song, I believe in love, by Barlowgirl, is one of my recent favorites.

How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I’m feeling doubt I’m losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night
-Love this part. First of all, I love that it says prayers “seem” unanswered. My prayers never go unanswered. Maybe the answer is no, but that does not mean that God did not answer me. Sometimes I am simply being stubborn and I refuse to listen for the answer because I am scared it will not be the answer I want. I love that they remind me that I can give up on even trying to believe and find that faith again, but that it would cost me everything. I love the last line of this verse. “I’ll speak to the dark night.” Growing up at the church I did, I have always been told to “speak to myself.” Speaking to the dark night is important for me. I have to speak to the darkness and trouble to tell myself, and the enemy, that I refuse to believe the lies that I am being fed. Not only speak against lies, but speak real truth to myself. Yes, speak, outloud, with words. I will choose to believe.

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
-I think that the comparisons that they have in the chorus are really good and oh so true. When the sun is either behind a cloud or has gone to bed for the night and the moon is what I see, I do not ever think that the sun is gone or that it has dissapeared. I simply cannot see it. When the sun is behind a cloud during the day even, it is not dark outside. I cannot always find the sun in the sky, but I cannot deny the fact that it is there because it is light out. It’s the same way with God. I cannot deny the fact that he is living and here because if I look around, it is proof that there IS a God. Whether or not I choose to believe the truth of God in that moment does not depend on if the truth remains. “I believe in God even when He is silent.” Amen. It may not be that He is silent, but that I am not listening. But either way, I choose to believe.
Though I can’t see my stories ending
That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end
It’s only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night
-It’s true, not one of us can say that we know how our life story will end. Although there are rough times in life, it doesn’t mean that it wont end. There is always always always a light at the end of the tunnel-even if you aren’t close enough to the end to even see that light yet. I love the 4th line of this verse. I am learning to trust the one who writes my days. Thinking about it, it does not make any sense that I would have to learn to trust Him. He knows what He is doing-He is in control of it all so worrying will not make a difference in my life. If I can even somewhat grasp and understand that He is writing my life story, trusting Him will be so much easier. Until then, I will choose to believe.
I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
No dark can consume Light
No death greater than this life
We are not forgotten
Hope is found when we say
Even when He is silent
-“No death greater that this life.” That’s a very profound truth.
“We are not forgotten.” Saying that to myself over and over is a powerful thing and a truth that I do not ever want to grow old. I will choose to believe the truth.

 

 

Okay, that’s all 🙂 Back to finishing my paper that is due at four and I’m almost done 😀

 

 

Thankfulness. . .Again :) November 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:28 PM
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So, I always have something to be thankful for, as do we all. 

This is a life update/thankfulness thing. 

Okay, last Wednesday I went to Essex community college to take the entrance exam for english. Because I am graduating early, I need to take two english classes in one years so I planned to take english with Mrs. Zubrowski and then take 1 semester at Essex comm college. Well, Wednesday, around 2pm, I walked into Essex. I expected to fill out a form, take the test, maybe sign up for a class, then leave. Well was I ever wrong! I went to the registration place, filled out two forms, then took that to records and registration. Filling out the forms in the first room was actually kind of fun because there were two girls in there. One of the girls was a little taller than me, she had short hair about my color. She was newer to the job, apparent by the fact that she kept asking the other girl what to do 🙂 The other girl was sitting at the computer doing her job. Well when I had filled out the forms and I was taking them back to the girl who was helping me, she was like “[co-workers name] says you remind her so much of me with your personality and everything.” It was funny because I had only been in there like 15 minutes but because I was dancing to the music that was playing as I walked back to the desk, I was told that I am like one of the girls. It was funny. Anyway, I was sent to records and registration and the person typed stuff into a computer, sent me to bursur to pay the $15 fee. My mom and I went to bursur, who told us that they saw no fee, and that I should go back to records and registration. Records and registration fixed the problem and sent me BACK to bursur. After paying the $15 fee at bursur (that was the application fee), I went upstairs and waited for about an hour to see an advisor. Finally my name was called and I went back into one of the little rooms. The lady looked at my forms and asked if I had taken the SAT’s yet. I informed her that I had not. She then asked if I had done orientation yet, a new requirement before taking the placement test. I told her again that I had not. She sent me to the computer room to take the orientation online. Basically I just clicked “next” about 5 times then took a little quiz asking me things like “what is the suggested amount of hours you should study per class hour?” If I got the answers wrong, they gave me a “hint”, the answer, then told me to take it again. I did this for all 6 sections, then printed out the paper that said that I had completed the orientation. This part was funny because I was in a room with about 50 computers and so when I clicked print, I looked around, trying to find the printers, but could not find them. Finally, I located the printer and walked over. Well, the printer prints stuff like at the top. Because the printed papers dont come out at the bottom like a normal printer, I was confused. I finally found out where the paper was printing to (after pressing “print” on my computer about 6 times!) and then a new problem came about. There are like 4 printers. Which printer did my paper print to?! I kinda looked around, feeling helpless and stupid. The girl at the computer next to the printer was printing nursing papers and I didn’t wanna go looking though her stuff to find my papers. Eventually I just looked through the papers anyway and I found mine. After locating my paper, I went back to the counselors room and I was sent back to a testing room to take the test. I took the reading comprehension and the writing part. There were 20 questions on each section and it was not timed. Well, I did fine on the first part, the writing. By the time I got to the reading comprehension section though, I was about to die. You see, I forgot my glasses. Yeah, I am stupid. I had been staring at a computer screen about 25-30 minutes now and my eyes were beginning to BURN! Since the test was not timed I took a minute or two to allow my eyes to recoup for the next section. The other people in the testing room probably thought I was really upset and crying or just plain crazy. Oh well. After finishing the test, I was so nervous. I waited while the computer calculated my score and what level I tested into. After what seemed like eternity, the page came up. I looked at the screen and it said ‘eng 101’ and ‘exempt from reading 051 and 052″ or something like that. I was so happy! It said “english: 116” and “Reading comprehension: 90” I had no idea what that score was out of-16 out of 300, 150, I had no idea. So I printed the page and then left the room. Walking out, the lady at the desk handed me what I had printed and congratulated me on passing. I went out to the waiting room and waited to meet with another advisor. By this time, it was about 5.30 and the place was not as crowded, so it only took about 30 minutes to get called back by an advisor this time.  This advisor was super nice and younger than the first advisor I had met with. She asked what term I was going to be taking classes. I told her spring of 09. My mom told her that she wanted to know about the winterms. The advisor lady said that the witerm would be a good idea for me. I explained that I am homeschooled so I can arrange my schedule so that I don’t have a lot of classes in January so I can work hard at this class. I told her I love english so I don’t mind being overloaded with it-to an extent. I also asked her with the 116 and 90 scores were out of. She told me that the highest possible score was 120. I was thrilled! I was happy not only because that was a good score with which I was content, but also because my older sister Emily had taken the test a few years ago and she scored perfectly-that was just my pride kicking in though-I didn’t want her to do a ton better than me 🙂  The advisor said that, because I had tested pretty well, she thought I should take the winterm. She informed me she was a little bit concerned only because this would be my first college class ever so it might be a bit of a shock and I might get a warped view of college, but that if I was up for the challenge, I should sign up for the class. She also told me that if I don’t like the class or it’s too much, I can pull out in the first two days or something. And if for some reason I don’t do well in the class, I can still sign up for the spring english after I take the english in the winter. My mom said she had to talk to one of my teachers and then she would decide what class I could take. The advisor said that is fine but that there are only 14 spots in the class and they fill up really quickly. After thanking the advisor, we finally went home. 

Fast forward to Sunday. I come home after being at a friends house on Thursday night, school friday, then having friends over friday night and spending the night at a friends again on Saturday night. I asked my mom if she had taken the form to Essex so I was all signed up. She informed me that she had not and I got a little paniced becuase I knew that there were not a lot of spots left. I checked online and I didn’t see the class. That meant the class had to be full. I began to get really angry and didn’t know what to do. I would either have to take the class in the evening, something I really did NOT want to do as I don’t do as well with school after 4 pm, I would have to go to Dundalk comm college to take the AM class, but that is 25 minutes further, or I would just have to wait and take the class in the spring. After talking with my parents we decided I would take the evening class, although they do not really like PEP (parallel enrollment students-getting HS and college credit) to take evening classes. Now we’re on Monday and I had been online checking the different options I had and making sure the PM class at Essex was still available. I also had to set up a student e-mail and username and all that fun stuff. In the afternoon my dad came with me and I drove over to Essex to sign up for the class. Unfortuneatly, new students cannot sign up online. I went to records and registration and got the same nice old lady that I got on Wednesday, not that she remembered me. I told her what I was signing up for, and after a little confusion since it said I was signed up for spring and I said I wanted winter, she said everything would be fine. I asked her if she could double check that the AM class was full, since that’s what I really wanted to get squeezed into. She checked on her computer and confirmed that it was full but told me that she was going to talk to her supervisor real quickly because they have two rooms on hold so that they can open more AM eng 101 classes for the winter, and she wanted to see if she could open one so I didn’t have to take the evening class. She came back rolling her eyes and shaking her head. I thought she was going to tell me he would not allow her to open the class. But, she informed me otherwise! She open the class just so I could get into it! I had the BIGGEST smile on my face   😀 So after registering for the AM class, I went to bursur to pay that fine (which isn’t bad at all since I am a PEP student and they give me half off!). They sent me to the bookstore so I could get my book for the class. The bookstore told me that I couldn’t get my book until the 8th though, so sometime in December I’ll have to check back to see if the book is in yet.

Anyway, I am super happy now because I will be taking the class for 2 hours and 40 minutes four times a week for one month. Jan 5-30 then I am done! The whole semester will be done in just 25 days 🙂 This means that feb-may will only consist of chem, eng (the one with Mrs Zubrowski), history, and maybe a little more Bible. That will be wonderful because this semester has been super stressful for me and it will be nice to have an easier school semester as I prepare for graduation, plans for next year, possible summer job, etc.

All that was just to say that I am thankful. When I found out that the class was full at first, I was angry and had a bad attitude. I was blessed to have the woman open that class for me. I did not deserve to have that and did not expect that blessing. I thank God for the nice woman at registration and for the break it seems that I will have next semester. 🙂 What a great time to be seeing all these blessings-Thanksgiving week 🙂 

 

 

Just FYI, I did not go back through this to edit grammar or spelling, sorry about that!