Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What is your passion?

If I had to narrow down to one passion, it would have to be knowing and loving God. It would leave out too much of my life if I didn't mention my second greatest passion though. God's people. I know I am supposed to love ALL people but my passion is for God's people. I have a serious obsession with the Church. I don't mean the building, it is just a place to meet with the people, who are the Church.

The reason I say KNOWING God is because I don't think we can love someone well if we don't know them. And if we love them, that should inspire us to get to know them. One of my favorite things about God is there is always more to know about Him. An endless cycle of discovery and adoration. He will never get predictable and boring, if it truly Him we are interacting with.

I think part of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is also getting to know them.

With all this in mind, I was wondering at how some of my interactions with people seemed orchestrated by God, Himself, and I realized.... God is teaching me how to love! One moment at a time. One situation at a time. I don't know about you, but I have always had the desire to love and be loved but had no idea what to do with the desire. I always do too much or too little. Say the wrong thing, come across in a way I don't mean. Have bad days and only care about myself. I realized we all have to learn how to love. Truly love. Not the selfish, I-just-want-you-to-make-me-feel-good-about-myself-love, but the I-will-consider-your-needs-before-my-own, (because I know God will take care of my needs), kind of love. (Phil 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.)

So, now I am wondering if all God given passions start with the greatest commandment? A little different twist on loving God and people? If you had to narrow down to your greatest passion, what would it be?

God is in Control

When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It is the voice of a god, not of a man!" Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people's worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Acts 12:21-23

I don't read Acts very often. I don't know why, I find the early church fascinating. I am reading Acts to study them again, actually. I long for the adventure with God, the openness to His work, the purity of their love and fellowship. Well, maybe it wasn't all that pure, they were humans. It did seem deeper and more real, though.

Anyway, I had forgotten this story. Is it really that easy for us to worship another person? Not in a subtle "I didn't really realize I was living for you, instead of God way" but in a "I am so impressed by your glorious humanity, I am going to actually call you a god!" way. Would we do that now? SCAREY!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Confidence vs Arrogance

I am feeling weird this morning. Learning balance in life is really difficult. I spent so many years hating myself and not having to worry at all about appearing arrogant, now that I am starting to like who God made me to be and enjoy my life, I feel weird. Almost like I grew another arm and I am not sure what to do with it.

He showed me a while ago that I need to quit worrying about appearing arrogant and just be concerned with actually being arrogant. That helped for a long time, but the happier I get, the more I don't know how to act. One of my friends and I were talking about how it almost seems wrong to be happy. Not to appear happy, but to claim we are truly, deeply happy. Happy to be alive, happy to be God's, happy to have the life that He gave us.

I used to think I would have to be pretty close to perfect to be happy. I am not sure I have even acheived goodness yet (as in the fruit of the Spirit, goodness), I am just learning to trust that God will complete His work in me, that nothing is impossible for Him, and that makes me feel so hopeful and secure. And of course, two hours from now I could be all upset about something again, blech, like the mouthful of coffee grounds that my new, sub-par french press created. Deep, I know.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adventures in Prayer

The first time I started hankering for Starbucks, I was surprised where it led. I started thanking God. For all kinds of stuff that I usually take for granted. I never imagined that denial could lead so quickly to thankfulness. To feelings of quiet gratitude. It seems this is part of God changing my heart; from an anxious, frustrated heart to a thankful, quiet heart. It is unusual for me to recognize when transformation is taking place. I usually can't tell until it has been different for a while. Of course, this could be an forty year process, I don't always learn very fast.

All this to say, I guess I am not going to have any grand plans for my prayers, I will just take this prayer adventure one hankering at a time, and see where He leads me!

PS. Hot chocolate must be off limits too because the hot chocolate I had instead of coffee made me feel like I was going to throw up. And my daughter accidently broke my french press, so I am trying not to think that means anything. Other than I have to go out today and scour the town for a new one, of course. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Don't you hate it when you feel like writing but nothing to write about?

That's me at the moment.

Jason lost his overtime, so he will be home with me on Fridays. The kids will be at school. Whoo Hoo! Starts tomorrow.

Gabriel has two cavities. Guess he should start brushing his teeth twice a day. (Good mother moment!)

My daughter is getting sassy! I think it is funny. (As long as the tone of voice is ok) I probably shouldn't let her know that.

I love 12 year olds.

I hate puppies. Too strong, I will clarify; I hate potty-training puppies.

Our articles for the newsletter are due next week. Maybe you could pray for me so mine doesn't resemble this?

Last thing: I told one of my friends that I would refrain from buying any fancy coffees for three weeks with her. I am not sure what I want to pray for, while I am wanting coffees. Any suggestions? We start tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reality Check

I am still thinking about what is real and I am finding all sorts of verses that talk about the subject. Lovin this one: Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:2-3

Why would God hide our real life? I am guessing it is something about faith, being certain of things we cannot see. So cool!

And here's another passage from Revelations: You say, `I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy gold from me--gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. ~Jesus

How would we buy something from Jesus? I doubt He has any use for American dollars. I am just asking that He will anoint my eyes so I can see things how they really are. Since He has already paid the price for my redemption.

On a more earthly note, I am extremely irritable this afternoon. For no reason again. Just thought I would let you know. :)

*****My friend Anni sent me these verses in a different translation that expain the "hidden" part very well. Thanks Anni!

Col 3:1-4
3:1 Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts; don't spend your time worrying about things down here. 3 You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God. 4 And when Christ who is our real life comes back again, you will shine with him and share in all his glories.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Examination Time

A couple days after I wrote the "Truth or Illusion" post, I read these verses in my Bible Study book: (Ps 33:13-22)

From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

It seems to be heart examination time for some of us. Well, me anyway. What am I trusting in? What am I hoping in? Do I feel as secure today with all of the uncertainty in our economy and politics as I did last year? Is my hope truly in God alone, so that circumstances don't matter? On the flip side, do I feel powerless because of my lack of strength?

I am so glad God knows exactly how to lead His people. We may find it uncomfortable, and even painful at times, but He is doing what is best for us.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Hey Guys,

Just wanted to let you know, I think this is a super good blog, if you want to go check it out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Truth or Illusion?

It is a glorious autumn day today. I actually went and took a walk. It was very similar to one of my first memories. Of me walking to kindergarten by myself on a windy fall day, thinking of how life feels like a dream. I am surprised I felt that way, being so young.

Today I was wondering about what is real. The things I can smell and see, the here and now, or the things going on behind the scenes that I can't even see? Will the future show me if this moment is real? Will I find out my life was what I thought it was, or will I find out I was just fooling myself?

I was thinking about how as believers, we are safe and secure. We are protected and provided for. But if we don't believe that, we don't feel safe. Does our fear make His provision less real? God gives us what is best for us, always. But His priorities are not our priorities. What He says is good and true and important, may not even appeal to us. I so desperately want His priorities instead of my own. I am not afraid of Him controlling my life anymore, I am begging Him to. I want what is real. I don't want to live so things can seem good and true and beautiful. I want to walk with Him, who is love and truth and beauty, so in the end, all that I lived for will not burn up in the flames.

So I guess it goes back to that old question...are we building our lives on the solid rock or the shifting sand? So glad He is a carpenter and our guide!

1 Cr 3:12-19
For no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have-Jesus Christ. Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames. Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple. Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, "God catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weather Watch

Whew, I think the storm is over and the Son is shining in my heart again. (Not that He ever left, of course, the cloud cover of my flesh was just getting in the way.) Thank you for praying for me. Hopefully, this not just the eye of the storm!

I am also so glad that I have friends that I don't have to pretend with. That will still love me if I go weird phases of despair for no real reason. Thank you!