Friday, March 23, 2007


I have been thinking about life a lot. Why is it that we don't really appreciate it until a crisis hits us? In the book entitled Tuesdays w/ Morrie, Mitch Albom has the opportunity to visit w/ Morrie for a period of time after Morrie has been diagnosed w/ ALS. It is a sad book because you already know the ending before even beginning the book. However, Mitch and Morrie spend that last part of Morrie's life speaking on important topics like: regrets, death, fear of aging, culture, how love goes on, marriage, feeling sorry for yourself and the world. Some of these topics are ones that we really don't like to address and thus never speak of them! However, some of these topics are important. We are all going to die, someday, maybe some day soon. We don't know. Shouldn't we be celebrating the life that we have been blessed with every minute of every day? We generally speak of death, when evangelizing, or speaking of eternal life. And this we must do as we are all called to be evangelists (see 1 Tim. 2: 3-5). But don't we owe it to God, our marvelous creator, to celebrate our life here on this earth that he created for us (see Psalm 104 and Psalm 139)?

Why do we get to the end of life and have regrets? That is a very sad thing indeed. "You don't want to squander your wonderful life, to waste your precious life among the hardhearted. Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you? Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?You don't want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones,Saying, "Oh, why didn't I do what they told me? Why did I reject a disciplined life? Why didn't I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven't one blessed thing to show for my life!"" (Prov. 5: 7-14 The Message). But if we spend our days celebrating our life and what God has given us here on earth, we should not have any regrets at the end of life! We can't be caught up with past sins. God isn't! If we have confessed our sins, they are gone- "Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered" (Psalm 32: 5,1 NIV). If we get stuck on old sins and thus have regrets, we are mocking our Saviour- the One who is an atonement, a reconciliation between God and man, for our sins (See Rom. 3:21-26).

Mitch and Morrie also talk about "the perfect day"- if you had only one day left to spend however you wanted, what would it be like? For me, a vast Thanksgiving dinner with my husband, children, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews present would constitute a perfect day. There would be a bounty of food, laughter, talk, games, and singing. That would be a perfect day! I'm thankful that I have experienced several almost perfect days- not quite perfect because everyone has not been present together because of the pride of believing they are better than another. Ah pride...that is quite another subject. Pride does us no good. It hampers us from celebrating our life here on earth. So, in a perfect day, there would be no pride- just fellowship one with another. I'm not sure if I will experience this "perfect day" here on earth. But one can certainly hope!

So, let us celebrate life! Let us have no regrets! Let us speak of those uncomfortable subjects- for we never know when we may be gone- and our loved ones will be left w/ the sadness of no longer being able to converse on life, culture, death, aging, marriage, ...

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Perfection: the quality or state of being perfect : as a : freedom from fault or defect : FLAWLESSNESS b : MATURITY c : the quality or state of being saintly (Merriam-Webster)

Why is there such a need for perfection? Perfection in my home. Perfection in my finances. Perfection in my weight. Perfection in my relationships. Perfection as a mother. Perfection in my dress. Perfection, perfection, in all aspects of my life.

According to Healthline, "perfectionism is socially encouraged by the modern emphasis on accuracy of information and evidence of success in life". How true this is! We judge others on the basis of how good they look, how neat their home is, how their children act, etc. Therefore, why shouldn't we judge ourselves the same way?

So, perfectionism is encouraged by society. That is evident. But could it be that even though encouraged by society, the pressure for perfectionism in mostly internal? Why can we not believe what Charlotte Elliott writes so eloquently:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Doesn't perfectionism fly in the face of God and say "I don't need your grace, I can look good and do good myself"? Aren't we pursuing righteousness by works just as Israel did?
The Apostle Paul write in Romans: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone"" (Rms. 9:31-32).

So, if our head knowledge knows perfectionism is encouraged by society, internally pressured, not coming to Christ 'just as I am' and righteousness by works, how can we get our heart to believe it? That is something I am still wrestling with.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


How do you know that you are being "called" into ministry? After going through several interviews for a ministry position, I've been told by several caring friends that I need to be sure I have been "called" into the position. But when I press further, most I ask can not give me a solid answer as to what a "calling" looks like.
According to Michael Anthony in Management Essentials for Christian Ministries, being called in God's service can include miraculous calls such as Abraham, Moses, and Gideon in the Old Testament. However, this is unusual. In the New Testament, when Jesus began selecting his disciples, he simply told Simon Peter and Andrew to "follow me" (Mt. 4). Some people experience a deep assurance, a firm inner conviction that God has spoken to them, calling them to the work of ministry. For most ministers, however, the sense of call is more ambiguous, more tentative (
It seems God most often chooses ministry leaders based on their inner heart condition. "Patriarchs such as Abraham Isaac, and Jacob were certainly called into a special relationship with God based on little more than the condition of their hearts and the sovereignty of God" (Anthony, p. 22). Look at King David. When God spoke to Samuel he was very clear that although men look at the "outward appearance" God is interested only at what is in the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
So what does this mean for me? Do I only need to be sure that my inner heart is right w/ God? What about skills? David certainly did not become a King over night. The twelve disciples went through three years of mentoring side by side with Jesus before becoming a "formidable ministry team" (Anthony, p. 23) . Look at the apostle Paul. He also went through three years of "orientation" before "his engagement in the gospel ministry" (Anthony, p. 23). Although Paul was a learned scholar of Judaism, "his Arabian sabbatical was designed to train him in the true meaning behind the prophecies" (Anthony, p. 23). See Galatians 1:17 and Acts 11:19-26.
So I need my inner heart to be right with God but I also need skills and training. That is why I am at Talbot, to learn the skills I need to minister more effectively to children. That takes care of the skills and training bit. But, what about my inner heart? I can only cry as the psalmist David did in Psalm 139-"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me...Search me, O God, and know my heart".

Reference notations:
Management Essentials for Christian Ministry Edited by Michael Anthony and James Estep
Biblical References from New International Version copyright by International Bible Society
The Fund for Theological Education website

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Rumination:1 : to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed : chew the cud 2 : to engage in contemplation (Merriam-Webster).

Why choose rumination as the title of my blog? Because someone else stole my first choice of musings! The idea of my blog is to engage in musing or contemplation of my everyday experiences especially as I engage my mind at seminary.

Seminary has certainly opened my mind to engage in deeper thinking than I would normally do on an everyday basis. I love it! I'm definitely my father's daughter. I love to learn . Keep it coming! I only wish that I could spend more time digesting all that I'm learning. It comes at me so fast that I can't hardly digest most of it.