Shall we dance?

So Donnie and I have been taking a ballroom dance class now for a few weeks. We had a couple of weeks off because our instructor is in a show and had two straight weeks of rehearsal. Getting back in the swing of things is a bit hard, and tonight we learned a pretty hard dance: the samba. It was a lot of fun, but there are some quick and complicated basic steps. AND a lot of hip action.
We've also learned a bit of the watlz, salsa, and swing. I think my favorite is the swing, but I did like the samba quite a bit tonight.
I think next week we're going to do more of the samba!

SOAPed Up Oct. 7th

S = Scripture
Jeremiah 31
23 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people of Judah and its towns will again say, ‘The LORD bless you, O righteous home, O holy mountain!’24 Townspeople and farmers and shepherds alike will live together in peace and happiness.25 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”26 At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet.27 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will greatly increase the human population and the number of animals here in Israel and Judah.28 In the past I deliberately uprooted and tore down this nation. I overthrew it, destroyed it, and brought disaster upon it. But in the future I will just as deliberately plant it and build it up. I, the LORD, have spoken!29 “The people will no longer quote this proverb:
‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’
30 All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker.31 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD.33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

O = Observations
  • God gives rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing. This statement comes after he talks about very different kinds of people living together in harmony.
  • God did some harsh things intentionally: uprooting, tearing down, destroying, and bringing disaster.
  • The last few verses are really complex and yet they seem so simple. It talked about how God will write his instructions on the hearts of his people and that they will not have to teach others his ways because everyone will already know him. They will be forgiven and he will never remember their sins. (This seems to be about Jesus.)

A = Application

It seems like the beginning of this passage is missing something. There are some effects: uprooting, destroying, etc., but I don't see a cause. Maybe I need to read the passage before, but this makes it seem like God is upset with his people for some reason. Then when you get down to the second half, he offers a new kind of relationship. One that extends forgiveness, no matter what.

I am a pretty justice minded person. I don't offer mercy very readily. When I don't think rules are being followed, I usually get upset. If something doesn't seem fair, or if there is a lack of consideration, I am ready to jump in and try to rescue or protect or defend. I usually want the person to acknowledge what they did. I wonder if this is how God was reacting in the old way? I think the new way is something that I need help to do daily. Forgiving is really hard. I am a huge grudge holder. If I feel hurt, I really want to be understood in that hurt. I want acknowledgement when someone is doing wrong. I want them to take responsibility. What I really need to learn is how to take my hands off of other people's necks and extend grace and mercy.

P = Prayer

Father, help me to be merciful... To the drivers getting on the highway in the morning who cut other people off. To my husband when he is trying to tell me how he feels and I get defensive. To my students who sometimes forget procedures or their homework. To myself when I am not perfect and I think I should be. To my family who makes mistakes sometimes, too. I want to be gracious and forgiving like Jesus.


Soaped up on October 6th

S=Scripture... The part where we read God's word.
Exodus 3
7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.* Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,* the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name,my name to remember for all generations.
16 “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you.17 I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”‘18 “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD, our God.’19 “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him.*20 So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go.21 And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.22 Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”

O=Observation... The part where we write what we noticed in the reading.

  • God hears his people and tells Moses the specific problems that they are facing.
  • Moses talks back to God, protesting, and God still stays in conversation with him.
  • God is named lots of ways in this passage: the Lord, our God; I Am; the God of the Hebrews, and the God of your ancestors
  • God speaks directly to Moses
  • He makes promises to Moses, too
  • He knows what the reaction of the people will be, both Pharaoh and the Israelites
  • He causes good things to happen to his people: "I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you."

A=Application... The part where we think about what the passage is telling us, what God might be trying to say through his word to us.

Right now, I'm not too sure about this part. The application is sometimes hard. I think maybe I can understand that God knows the specific problems that I am facing. I have been angry with God before and I've thrown quite a bit of yelling his way. Lately I haven't felt like yelling. I've more felt like staying unengaged. That is totally lukewarm and probably really dissatisfying to God. Maybe I should yell some more. I don't think that it is disrespectful. Some people have the perspective that it is wrong to be angry at God. I don't think anger is wrong... I think some of the things people do toward others when they are angry is unhealthy. But, being angry with questions and confusion... That has to be okay. If not, how would we begin to grieve and heal? Sometimes I just want to understand why there is so much loss in life. The Israelites had it way tougher than me. They were worked to death. I'm just struggling with my purpose...

P=Prayer... The part where we pray.

Tonight, as I sit here trying to engage, God, I want to acknowledge your goodness. I want to thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for the amazing gifts that you've given to me. I have all of my needs met. I have a caring and loving husband and family. I also want to understand my purpose. I know that I may never figure it out, but I want to trust that you have a plan for my life. I don't want to speak in cliche. I just need to figure out how to let go of some things and to try to follow your leading. Help me to do that as you helped Moses to all those years ago.



I'm just gonna be honest here. Besides the somewhat regular nightly reading of the bible with my husband before bed, I haven't spent a lot of time feeding my soul. I really like worshipping through music, but I don't spend a lot of time reading the bible. I haven't been getting "SOAPed up" like we talk about in church all the time. The word malnourished was brought to my attention the other day. I think I am starving myself spiritually in this way.
I'm a pretty undisciplined person in some ways. This is one of them. Anyone want to discuss some SOAP passages?
I'm going to try to post some here...

Conflicts all around

So the other night as I was working at my computer, I heard a heated argument between two guys in the hallway. They were arguing about their job responsibilities and throwing threats and insults around. Since I am such a tough looking person (NOT) I thought that maybe I should go out and let them know that someone was in earshot... and that maybe they should calm down before things got carried away. Even though I suggested this, they kept it up. I thought they might actually throw a punch! But after a minute, I think they realized that they really should stop before things got out of hand. Let me tell you, egos were involved.
When I got back in my room, my phone rang... Another coworker down the hall had heard everything that was going on. She asked if we should call our boss. I said that I had been thinking about it. SO... I did.
Am I a rat? What if kids had been around? What if something had happened and someone did get hurt? They're both adults, but don't I have the responsibility to help people see that there are other ways besides abusing each other words or fists? My husband thinks I am crazy sometimes for getting involved. Maybe I am...