Hello friends! Amy here. I wanted to share with you something I've learned a lot about over the past few months. Something the Lord keeps bringing to my mind over and over again. Something I'm horrible at, yet something I'm striving to master. It's a little thing called confession. What do I mean when I use that term? First, let me explain what I don't mean. I am not talking about anonymously telling a priest my wrongdoings in order to receive my punishment and relieve my guilt. I am also not talking about playing Truth or Dare with friends in order to shock them with stories of things I've done or make them laugh about things I've said. In fact, in this post, I'm not even going to talk about confessing my sins to my Savior, although that is certainly a most important aspect of confession. Tonight, I'm talking about the biblical command to "confess your sins to one another and pray for each other" found in James 5:16. But in addition to confessing sin, I'm talking about confessing weaknesses, struggles, and areas of strong temptation. In all honesty, confession in itself is one of my biggest weaknesses. I hate admitting that I've done something wrong. I hate being the first to say I'm sorry. I have a really hard time being vulnerable with people and letting them in on my weaknesses. Yet recently, I worked up the courage to admit a struggle in my life to a friend who was facing a similar problem. To my surprise (and horror), she replied, "I'm really glad you told me that. I was afraid to talk to you about stuff like this because you seem to have it all together." I was shocked to think that my guardedness had prevented us from drawing closer as sisters in Christ, and thankful that the Holy Spirit had moved me to be honest with her in that situation. And I certainly don't "have it all together." The Lord has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams, and has brought me closer and closer to Him since the day I first gave Him my life. Yet there are many things I need to change. Many worries I need to give over to Him. Many desires that pull me away from my Master. I wonder how many times my refusal to confess has driven people away from me. Yet even more than that, I wonder how many times it has driven me away from the One who yearns to be my closest Friend. You see, I left out the most beautiful part of James 5:16. The verse says "confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed." There is such freedom and encouragement in being accountable to one another, in giving up sins and strongholds we have long kept hidden, and in praying for forgiveness and strength to conquer those strongholds. I am praying that God will give me wisdom in knowing when, how, and to whom to confess my sins and struggles, and I would encourage each of you to do the same. After all, there is much healing to be had! God bless you, dear friends, as you seek to honor Him in all you do.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
We are the champions, my friends! That's right! The EFC Men's Softball team pulled it off to take the 2010 church league title! We are so excited!
After remaining undefeated throughout the season, a championship game was scheduled for Monday night. The playoffs were double elimination, so the opposing team would have had to beat our team twice in order to take the title.
To our horror, the opposing team won the first game and snatched our undefeated title. As the second game began, the tension was high, and nearly 75 fans were at the edge of their seats. Needless to say, the guys pushed through to the end and took the trophy. There was much cheering, and (of course) much ice cream after the game! A wonderful end to a wonderful season!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Our dad plays on our church softball team and has for many years. Their games are on Tuesday nights, and we used to go to the Dairy Queen after every game for a treat (players and fans!). However, our parents decided a couple years ago that was too much to spend every week. But we still had to have our ice cream. So they decided that we would just invite the team and fans over to our house after the games, and we would have our own Dairy Queen. We ask people to chip in a dollar per bowl to cover the cost of ice cream and toppings. This is a picture of our spread last night, minus a couple things we hadn't put out yet. I'll see if I can remember everything. Starting in the left corner, we had: Thin Mints, Whoppers, M & M's, Butterfinger, mom's homemade granola, pecans, coconut, peanuts, Oreos, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, brownies, bananas, butterscotch chips, almonds, strawberry-raspberry-rhubarb sauce, raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, chocolate malt powder, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, caramel sauce, butterscotch syrup, and I think I'm forgetting a couple things, but that about covers it! At first, I wasn't thrilled with skipping Dairy Queen, but now I think our selection is much better, and the thing I like most is the fellowship. When we would go to Dairy Queen, not as many players and fans would come, and people would pretty much just eat their ice cream and leave, and it wasn't very easy to visit with a lot of people there. At our house, most of the team and fans come, and people will often stay for 1 or 2 hours, and it is such a delight to visit with everyone. (***Note: our team is currently undefeated on the season. The championship game was supposed to be last night, but it got rained out, so Monday is the big night. Way to go guys!***)