Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seek Wise Counsel

"A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel"
Proverbs 1:5

I was featured on The Mandatory Mooch! It has been a LONG week getting ready for my kids to come and this was a wonderful surprise :)

I choose the verse for today on Sunday because I think it is incredibly important to seek wise counsel. With all the changes Avery and I are facing, we have truly had to hold ourselves accountable in stepping out and seeking wisdom from those we respect. At small group last night, we spent the whole time talking about the importance of seeking out Godly counsel.

It is so easy for me to put a pretty bow on my selfish desires and convince myself they are wise decisions. "Let's move to Houston for our future family. The school districts are great, it is safer than Dallas, and think about the free babysitting!" Putting lipstick on the pig is not enough to cover what is in my heart. When it came down to motive, it was for me and not my non-existant kids.

When left to ourselves, we study Scripture with a narrow mind and interpret it to fit into our thinking. We use phrases like "I feel led..." and "the Lord opened the door...". While these are not wrong thinking, we have to take it a step further as we make decisions. Taking decisions and difficulties before Godly counsel, we are able to get an outside view on our thinking. They can speak scripture over us, pray for us, and reveal areas that we are clinging to our selfishness and not our holiness.

We have to ask for the input of people we respect, and be ready to hear their input. This needs to extend past "Wednesday friends", and sharing life with other believers. Living in community and accountability fosters an environment that allows for intentional and deliberate seeking of wisdom.

Where we get counsel matters. A few years ago, I had an older friend who was struggling in her marriage. She was seeking counsel, but missed the wisdom aspect. She went from counselor to counselor until one advised her to walk the road of divorce. She felt peace of having counsel guiding her that direction, but it was neither wise nor biblically-based. Praise the Lord she was convicted and did not go through the big 'D'. It is so incredibly important that we pursue people who have proved their wisdom over years, not just someone who will give us a stamp of approval. If we are walking in Scripture, we will be able to decipher those that are pursuing righteousness and growing in wisdom.

Avery and I don't have this whole marriage thing figured out-we still have our bumps along the way-but implementing the advice of wise elders has been incredibly fruitful for us. The church was designed to be a body of Christ that supports and guides one another when life gets murky.

Disability Fact of the Day:

The nation's special education law is called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Every child should get a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). In order to be termed a "child with a disability", a student must fall under one or more of the 14 categories of disabilities AND that disability adversely affects their education. These include:
-Autism-a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance
-Deaf-blindness-simultaneous hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs
-Deafness-hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing information through hearing
-Developmental Delay- a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development (children birth to age 3)
-Emotional Disturbance-condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree: An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors, an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers, inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances, a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression, a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
-Hearing Impairment-impairment in hearing
-Intellectual Disability-significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing at the same time with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period
-Multiple Disabilities-simultaneous impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.)
-Orthopedic Impairment-severe orthopedic impairment caused from disease and other factors (cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures)
-Other Health Impairment-means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness
-Specific Learning Disability-disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations
-Speech or Language Impairment-means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment
-Traumatic Brain Injury-acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both
-Visual Impairment, including blindness-means an impairment in vision

Recipe of the Day:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies (Adapted from Bake! Bake! Bake!)


1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain / all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
2. Melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the peanut butter and brown sugar. Leave aside to cool for a minute.
3. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
4. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
5. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 – 25mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean


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