Thursday, January 24, 2013

My burning thoughts...

Recently, a house burned down on our quiet cul-de-sac.  I've been struck by so many things.  How we don't really know most of our the work days are long and the garage doors go down with a thud of separation. 

As it happens, I've been walking this particular road of conviction...and have struggled to get to know our neighbors.  I happened to know this woman was a Sister in Christ.  Knowing that practical needs probably didn't include a new Bible...I went and bought her one.  She stopped by after sifting over her sooty loss...and we cried together.  Hoping to be a blessing, instead I was blessed!  I found an amazing ALLY for the kingdom journey.  I was encouraged and amazed to see her walking so strongly.  I only hope I'd be the same.  She is seeing future opportunities for sharing of Christ's love and mercy!

More shocking still we discussed how far we are willing to walk on this road of obedience.  There's been a lot of "well, thank goodness no one was caught in the flames.  They all got out alive."  And to be sure, this is something to be SO thankful for.  But, as she so rightly pointed out...would we still be praising Him if all life was lost?...if only one survived?  Would God still be Sovereign...would all His ways still be perfect.  Even as I ask God to help me understand that this would be true...I beg not to be tested to those lengths.!

I'm currently reading some life changing books.  Books that I anticipate will change how I do things;  how I approach living counter culturally in a world of excess.  Living different from the world, yet deeply involved with the world...for the benefit of God's glory.  When I've got it all sorted out I'll make my "changes" and let ya know.  Don't worry...I think it'll be obvious. 

Funny, how God points out to me the others who are struggling with these "issues"...and how quickly I want to judge their hypocrisy.  In anger I point at those who spout on and on about the poor, freezing homeless and then in practically the same breath boast of their affluence.  Ugh. 

Then, I turn the finger back at myself...and God uses my study of His Word to convict my heart.  Oh, how like Lot I am.  Not seeing God's mercy and repeated chances to fully commit.  Instead begging to live closer to the world...expecting to not be sucked in...not standing for Truth.  If I continue without regarding this, will I come out as one who goes to heaven but smells of smoke.  As one who's righteous but as through flames.

I have other burning thoughts...but this is getting, I'll snuff out for today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I pick REST!

Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

When am I going to learn that He does the pulling and I just need to walk before Him in obedience?

I'm always thinking about all the stuff being pulled in the wagon. 

"Uh, looks kind of heavy...not sure I can bear that!"

And I'm freaked out by the mountains and canyons ahead. 

"Um, where are we going?  Are we there yet?  This can't be it!" 

Could you imagine actually saying these things to God?  But, when I fail to trust Him that's exactly what I'm communicating.  Sometimes it takes awhile down the road til my heart is humbled...and I seek out the rest that's been offered all along.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unfavorite Bible Characters.

Boy, never...ever...think you have learned all you can from a passage of Scripture.  Don't think it's cut and dried...cuz it's active and living ya'll!

I have never really liked the Hagar/Sarai story in Genesis 17.  I have held back from 1 Pet. 3 for years because "You are her (Sarah's) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."  Uh...after Genesis 17 (and other times where she laughed at God's plan and lied for her husband) why would I want to be like her?... Due to this part of the story she's just manipulating God's plan...and her husband.  Then, there's Hagar, who I always felt got a rum deal and was also a bit brazen. Yeah, she's just so totally the best of both worlds.  NOT!

Then...I did my favorite Bible study this week...and it was as if God took the chapter and whapped me upside the head.  Ha....sometimes He needs to this with me!  Yeah, I'm like them...both of them.  The Sarah part I was ready to accept...I mean, if God puts her in that "mother" position I'll try to swallow it...but Hagar...Seriously!?

The question that splashed my coffee was, "why was Hagar unhappy?"  Oh, let me count the justified reasons!  I was so ready to defend her unhappiness...OUCH!  just like I'm so ready to blame my own unhappiness and SIN on other people's awful actions and behavior.  Just like I'm not willing to bow my PRIDE and be a SERVANT. 

Oh, how I'd like to run away from some of my difficult people situations...but just like Hagar...God would SEE me!  REALLY really see me!  My un-bowed, not servant-ness.  Yeah, the grammar's really flowing...I with me people!  

The issues aren't always THE ISSUE.  I must trust God to deal with the bigger issues (ie. other people's sin) and I need to focus on my own attitude and heart being right before Him.

This really hurts my feelings.  Sniff sniff.  I'd really rather run away.  But, as God so patiently points out when he says "STAY"...there are things He needs to teach me where I am.  And just like with Hagar and Sarai...there are blessings I will miss if I rush ahead of God.  I do not want to dilute the best God has for my impatience, my pride or my lack of trust in how He works out those perfect plans for me.  Perfect plans.

Oh Dear Lord,
Help me trust you.  Help me keep seeing myself in my least favorite Bible characters so that I can learn what they learned about how very awesome You are!  Thank you that you are El Roi...the God Who Sees Me!  Thank you for loving and blessing me when I buck against you and your best for me.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sunny Hodgepodge!

Cute-ness from the past!

1. What is ONE thing or area in your home or life you hope to report is completely organized when 2013 draws to a close?  Do you  have a plan to make it happen?
I want to keep a better inventory of my cupboards and freezer.  I think it will positively affect my grocery bill.  I need to come up with a better system.  Well...any system would be good.

2. What's the worst uniform you've ever had to wear for a job?
I hated my McDonald's uniform.  Mostly cuz it was quickly associated with grease...that smell that just WON'T wash out.  I hated the stupid black shoes I had to wear with it!

3. What was your last kitchen 'mishap'?  This question comes to you courtesy of Betty who blogs over at A Glimpse Into Midlife...everyone go say hi to Betty!
At Thanksgiving I dropped a beautiful berry pie on the kitchen floor.  That was...messy and depressing. 

4. How do you protect yourself from other people's negativity?
Not well.  I'm pretty good at letting them steal my joy.  I tend to stay away from the one's I've clearly identified as joy suckers.

5. Who in your family do you most resemble (physically)? If you have children, who do people say they favor? Do you agree?
I have my Mom's eyes...and my Dad's hands.  My daughter is a little me according to almost everyone at the airport.  LOL.  Caleb is a little Darren.  My Dad calls them Big Caleb and Little Caleb!  HA!

6. January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day...will you be celebrating?
Oooo...there's a that I know!

7.  Some of the 'world's best winter festivals' are - Mardi Gras (New Orleans), Quebec Winter Festival (Canada), Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah),  Rio Carnivale (Brazil), Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan), Venice Carnival (Italy) and the Harbin Ice Festival (Northern China).  Of those listed (and if cost were not a factor) which would you most like to attend and why?
I'd pick the Harbin Ice we could all follow Darren on his business trip.  Well...he'd have to work but we'd have fun and be in the same country!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
There should be more joy in paying off vehicles.  Like, they should be guaranteed to NOT BREAK for a certain amount of time so you can enjoy not having a payment.  Just sayin'.