Saturday, July 28, 2012

get on your feet..

..and do yourself (or me) a favor and dance a little. it's national dance day! make it happy.

note: my feelings wouldn't be at all hurt if you wanted to send us a little video of said dancing. (:

Friday, July 13, 2012

fruit of the spirit: self-control.

this week I thought I'd touch on something Chad and I have been learning a little bit about lately. it isn't directly self-control if you are putting a title to it, but I think if you look deep down it has a lot to do with practicing self-control.

basically it is about justice. and grace and forgiveness and what those should all look like according to the Word. he has been reading Culture of Honor, and I just started reading Grace & Forgiveness, and it's funny how complimentary the two are and how unplanned that was on our part. we are learning the difference between what Godly justice looks like and how the world sees justice now and how selfish and turned around we as a people have made it. so I just thought I would share a little part from the book I'm reading.

'We have to trust God to administer justice as He sees fit in His own time. We don't take the matter into our own hands. Instead, we must choose to remain in God's river of grace, remembering how big He is and how loving, kind, and patient He is with us when we fall..
There are many Christians walking around today who wonder to themselves, "Why does everything seem to go wrong in my life? Why is the devil always after me? Why does there seem to be a curse over my life?" They are trying to work out why there doesn't seem to be any protection over their life. In many cases this will be because they have made poor choices in their relationships with others and chosen to "bury" the hurt and bitterness of past offenses instead of forgiving and releasing these to God. By their choices they have made themselves vulnerable to attack. By withholding mercy from others and exercising unforgiveness they have stemmed the flow of God's blessing and protection over their lives, leaving them open to assault from demonic forces. Even if someone does the most terrible thing to you, you must never go back to the justice level. It must be grace, grace, grace. Leave the justice with God. Don't allow your heart to become hurt, bitter and unforgiving. Trust instead in his love, grace, and blessing toward you..
Forgiveness is not an option. If we withhold forgiveness from those who have hurt us, no matter how well justified we feel in doing so, we are creating a barrier that will prevent the grace of God flowing into our life.'

[the italicized parts were things that jumped out at me, they aren't actually like that in the book.]

I realize there are circumstances where something should be done to prevent further injury, whether it be physical or emotional, and the books touch on that. but what they are getting at is that it isn't our job. our job is to forgive and extend grace. because that is what God does, and always has done, for us. so knowing this, we have to trust He will stay true to that and try to give that same gift of grace to others. and that can be so hard when you are the one hurting.

so I tie that in with self-control because it is something we have to learn and practice is this justice-happy world. it does not benefit us to go on talking about our struggles and bash the ones that hurt us. extending grace takes a whole lot of unnecessary stress off of us (longer life!) and helps keep our hearts at peace.

{make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. see to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. hebrews 12:14-15}

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

welp, that's it, I guess. this series went so fast! when I really think about it, it has been a while, but this year seems like it is just flying by! I hope you have enjoyed learning along with me. if you missed some of the posts, you can find them all here. also, keep up with the rest of the bloggers in the coming days.

Monday, July 09, 2012

an update of sorts.

tip: if you're living in New Orleans and currently driving around with a cracked windshield and you haven't bought your brake tags, expect to get a ticket. also, expect to pay something like 300$ for said combination of violations. yeah..

question: what are brake tags and why don't they tell you to get them when you register your car in Louisiana for the first time? and why is it that we have become such a dishonest people that if we asked a police officer that question, he wouldn't believe that we didn't know about brake tags?

that being said, we are both officially Louisiana residents with Louisiana registered cars and Louisiana licenses. never did I think I'd be speaking those words. so there's that.

in other news. the sky has looked a lot like this for a bit every day. I'm kind of enjoying it. weird? maybe. but that's okay.

this is what we did on independence day..

I saw a flicker of a firework on the way to the theater and we heard the finale of a firework display over the movie at one point, ha. Chad was working on a music video all day so this was our night. a really fun movie though, if you were interested at all. at least we were together.. I couldn't say that last year. maybe next year we'll make some holiday celebration plans. I did wear a navy and white dress with a red bracelet to the supermarket earlier in the day, so I tried a little.

Chad joined the union last month and he has been working almost consistently since. joining the union means he has a higher rank on set and he is working his way to having insurance. hooray! we have never had insurance together so it will be nice. it also means we have to pay the union a lot of money though. but everything has been working out nicely (thank you, Jesus). I am so proud of him. such a hard worker.

have a great week. we'll be wrapping up the fruit of the spirit series in the next few days, so I'll talk at you again soon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

fruit of the spirit: gentleness.

gentle [jen-tl] -adjective
1. kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
2. not sever, rough, or violent; mild: a gentle wind; a gentle tap on the shoulder.
3. moderate: gentle heat.
4. gradual: a gentle slope.

this is one of my favorite things to read about. something stirs inside when I read Philippeans 4:5 or Colossians 3:12. and oh, 1 Peter 3:4. when I read about it I feel better about who I am and I rest in who God has made me to be. because gentleness is okay. and when He decided to mold me into Ali Taylor, he knew what (& why) he was doing. a friend told me once that when she read that verse in 1 Peter she thought of me. such a wonderful thing to say (& funny, I could say the same for her). I do hope my life speaks that. I hesitate even writing those things though, because I don't want it to sound like, 'look at me and how gentle I am'. and I realize also, that in some situations it can be a fault. maybe it means I'm too sensitive, but I can only hope that practicing gentleness will help me in the long run.

and there is no law against gentleness. or any of the fruits, really. we are told so in the next part of that verse in Galatians.

I read an article the other day that struck a little nerve. it's a sensitive subject so I choose to not go into lots of detail but one of the lines started like this.. 'We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people..'

calling for their death? what will that accomplish? that hurt my heart. whether I agree with a lifestyle different than my own that I see as truth or not. there is a better way to express your thoughts. a better way of dealing with certain situations. how is it okay to wish people dead?

gentleness can do what force always fails to do. if you have time to read that, I encourage you to. it has a lot to do with being a mom, but I felt like that could be applied to all areas of life.

read more from the series: