Thursday, February 26, 2009
'february' was the month of 'prayer and fasting' (and feasting...hehe) at church. because we have been doing a study on true heart-community...umm ya, amazing!...the pastors decided to make it a dual focus. prayer...and...community. so we've been having a variety of get-togethers and prayer meetings.
it's been powerful, purposeful...and a total blast.
you know what else is happening??
people are coming to church...and entering each others lives...on purpose and with purpose...bringing themselves and whatever god is sharing with them whenever we can be together.
sweet, sweet things i've been noticing...
- hearts for worship and praise
- gifts of god's word for others
- joy that sends "critical" sailing
- empathy for circumstances
- hope that triumphs over fear
i'm just in awe...and i keep praying that it can keep going.
oh my gosh...i seriously have to eeeeeeek out a sliver of patience...and that eeeeeeeking produces about all i can muster.
i don't know if there's a medication or a particular "calm thyself" routine...or how about something that produces the miracle of removing the cloud of dirt that always seems to follow linus (charlie brown). if there is, i certainly would like to know about it.
'cause right about now...my mind is shrieking with 'nails on the chalkboard'...grrrr!
"i am a hollow reed...i am a hollow reed..."
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
very helpful. but also very easy to forget...especially when we'd like to think that our story is THE story in any given situation.
well, i had an interesting interaction today...good in the long-term probably...but it reminded me of the need to always be open to the bigger picture...and to the humility of using a wider lens than our own jaded view of people and circumstances.
unfortunately, i'm not sure that we are that good at doing this. especially if we prefer to be the center of our own kingdom...pretty much impossible to live in the wide open spaces of grace for each other when the throne seats one.
so, i guess it has me thinking...to be disciplined about respecting other perspectives...and to be vigilant at removing my own identity from the inability of others to do so.
Monday, February 23, 2009
oh that america could step out of independence and into community so that people in trouble could have support and not "last resorts".
Sunday, February 22, 2009
because i live on pennies, i can't always just up and repair things. so, rachel and i have been living for a while now without a dryer because it keeps breaking. a lot of my clothes have to be hand-dried because of my height, but the things that needed drying were a pill. we had to get creative with spreading our need around so we wouldn't be burdensome.
well, this past week was 'spiritual emphasis week' at school. all the secondary kids had mini-teachings during the week with a retreat at the end. our topic was how we can live christian lives that are actually marked by belief in our powerful god as opposed to the unbelief that characterizes the faith of many. we can actually step into god's greater kingdom and walk with his authority.
i started to feel a bit of inconsistency in myself as we taught the kids about all this. i can trust god with a lot of things...heart things, needs of others...but i haven't really invited him into my daily needs because i figure that i just need to tough things out and work them out on my own.
after this week, though, i thought i could live differently.
so, after much talk about how foolish we'd look...but that it didn't really matter...rachel and i went into the laundry room and laid hands on our broken dryer. we asked god to heal it.
to be honest, we didn't really think it would happen. the thing has been burnt out forever...but what did we have to lose?
at least, we'd ask.
well, we prayed...and then we decided to give it a try.
it flippin' came on!!!!
we walked out of the laundry room in complete silence, went into the living room and just stared at each other. then we burst out laughing...shocked and then shocked that we were shocked.
so, here i type with the sound of my running dryer in the background. what a reminder of god's power...and how much i sense that he's with me...even if it conks out again someday...my perspective has been so profoundly altered...
Friday, February 20, 2009
how i made it into my third decade without seeing one is a total mystery, but without a doubt it was amazing!
i'm not sure what the reference meant exactly, but apparently i resembled some type of 'berliner' in some sort of 'wind storm' when i put my uber-cool glasses on. hmm...perhaps i'll have to do some further questioning. :)
commencing research into the "how's" of 3D...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
ever have moments where the future is completely filled with the haze of question marks? so many that being fearful doesn't even make sense because it's just too cloudy to even project in a positive or negative direction.
well...i've got something on my horizon that just absolutely has me thinking..."heh?"
it'll be interesting to see how it plays out...who will ask what questions to actually get a comprehensive picture...what players will stand where...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
this is why i'm not against war in some cases...when good people do nothing, evil only advances territory...and eventually ends up on the doorsteps of the good. it's also a movie about the survival of the human heart...facing suffering...never giving up.
it's a very graphic movie...but very true and horrifically sad.
Monday, February 16, 2009
enter the keyboard. they like to punch in various code options and then hammer away. organ, pan flute, bird sounds, choirs...hahaha...it's a trip.
then there's the bread machine. two of us add all the ingredients while the younger one parades back and forth between my legs. apparently my inseam is the right height for her...hehe. OH! i almost forgot. my niece asked me what the "sand" was as we were adding the ingredients. well, the "sand" was yeast, so i proceeded to explain that they are tiny living things that eat the sugars and then let off some gas...makes the bread rise. she looked at me a little disturbed, "you mean they are farting in my bread?". i guess the point was made. :)
there must also be the time for making weird faces. this one was for any kind of "open mouth" pic. the younger niece was a little embarrassed by our behavior. hehe...
after that came the dancing, youtube clips of singers, coloring in stencils...
and after they went home...a nap...for me.
but i have to say...i LOVE them so much! what a blast...and privilege. :)
AND I'M FREAKING LOVING IT!
i can't for the life of me figure out why we haven't done more of this, because it's so wonderful! and, i think it's also so much a piece of god's heart for us as we walk through life together. it just feels soooo real and right.
so i'm hoping that something really wonderful begins to happen in this season...that in fun fellowship and prayer, our hearts will be more drawn to god and each other. i'd so love for the christian faith to step out of the cultural striving for independence and efficiency that actually robs of us life together.
'cause i'd seriously do this a ton more often.
you know what i've been thinking about though? we don't really have a good handle on hurt and loss and grief. when tough things happen...or even when challenges arise...we immediately assume that it's god out to get us..."why didn't he...?" it's like we assume life in this place really should be all cakes and roses...and are left completely shocked when the valleys show up on the path. i see it in the younger generation a ton but also have encountered the question myself along the road.
sometimes things just happen...sometimes we lose...sometimes we hurt...sometimes there just are consequences to things we do or don't do...sometimes there's fallout from what others choose.
and it doesn't have to mean more than just that...that sometimes we lose...that sometimes we hurt.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
well, i've decided to view some of those again...and blog about them too. hehe. they aren't in any particular order of top fav's...just ones that seriously altered my life.
so here's the first...'the color purple'. it's definitely a "real" movie...so for those that can't stand movies with tough stuff or language, you probably want to give it a miss. but my goodness, these women who are allowed to come alive after years of oppression...so moving...so restoring.
cellie...the girl that woke up.
shug...the girl that came home.
the full circle...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
and the core of it all has always been and always will be god's heart. his longing for intimacy. his passion for people.
people who dive into god's heart through surrender and real relationship will express...just naturally from him...his heart for ourselves and each other...well, those people can walk through anything TOGETHER.
it's not consistent at all with this american culture of independence and "me, me, me"...which so infiltrates christianity, by the way. no, god's heart...and the freedom, intimacy, and adventure that flow out of it...is a much better fit for people on the path to true, wonderful humanity. those wanting more than the lesser existence of the flesh.
i have to say that one of the reasons that the series has been such a blessing is that i've really begun to develop a heart for the "together" life, but i haven't been able to really find a place where it could actually happen...except that i've started to feel it at church lately. many generations, many experiences, many opinions...but a heart for god and a connectedness in a desire to worship him.
i think it's what some of my other group involvements have been missing to be honest. or at least have lacked a consistancy in it. a commitment flowing out of god's heart...a people wanting to live in the outflow of his heart...no matter what it means. there have been moments, to be sure...and i've been on the receiving end of that commitment. but other times, we've sunk into the lesser things...making it about self...which then spirals off into the crap-ville of soap boxes, sides, and survival.
so i'm not sure what i'm asking for...i guess for god to make me a part of real community some how...or more and more of it. hmm...
Monday, February 9, 2009
i love when it gets "melty" on the roads and then slush tracks appear on the streets. the reason why i love it so much is that i love moving my car right in line with slush piles...and then obliterating them with my tires.
IT'S SO MUCH FUN!
i'm guessing my car looks pretty awful...but oh well. everything has it's consequences...hehe.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
It is simply diabolical, despicable, downright evil that the heart should be so misunderstood, maligned, feared, and dismissed. But there is our clue again. The war we are in would explain so great a loss. This is the last thing the Enemy wants you to know. His plan from the beginning was to assault the heart, just as the Wicked Witch did to the Tin Woodman. Make them so busy, they ignore the heart. Wound them so deeply, they don’t want a heart. Twist their theology, so they despise the heart. Take away their courage. Destroy their creativity. Make intimacy with God impossible for them.
Of course your heart would be the object of a great and fierce battle. It is your most precious possession. Without your heart you cannot have God. Without your heart you cannot have love. Without your heart you cannot have faith. Without your heart you cannot find the work you were meant to do. In other words, without your heart you cannot have life. The question is, Did Jesus keep his promise? What has he done for our hearts?
The answer will astound you.
(Waking the Dead , 51–52)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
for starters, i'm convinced more than ever that jesus is the greatest love affair there can be...and should be, as it unlocks a whole new life of love and adventure!
on sunday, one of the topics was about how god asks that we take communion together because his heart is that we remember what he did (and do that together in community)...remembering how significant the death of christ was for us. but as we talked about it, i felt in my heart like god was saying that the death was significant to him too...not in the "horrible and painful ordeal" way, although that certainly was true. it was a "my heart was set on that moment too...a special moment that i'd been hoping for since the beginning...because it meant we could return to what was meant to be...us together." we make it so much about sin sometimes that we forget that the true lover of our hearts died for us...knowingly...so that the true romance could be found.
it's like his last breath was the great exhale...the "finally" for all of the hopes of heaven.
i don't know...it was just a sense that the specialness of communion was more than factual sin payment...it's the intimate embrace.
it just makes me feel all the more the words that rose said in the end of 'titanic'..."he saved me...in every way a person can be saved".
his death, life and love sank deeper in this gal. makes me want to burst out crying sometimes...makes me want to jump up on my chair in worship. amazing!
i'm starting to think so...
so, no more jerking around...no more riding the rollercoaster...no more in then out.