Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tahoe Baby!

Here's a sad fact.

I have been in Tahoe.

Since Saturday.

But I don't have my computer.

Or my camera cord.

So I can't update like I want to.

But rest easy friends.

I will be posting many ridiculous, jealousy envoking posts when I return to town on Saturday.

Rest easy.

I sure am. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You're Welcome

Ahi Spring Rolls at Typhoon. They'll change your life.

You're welcome.

Making People Cry

Here's a little known fact about me...okay it's a moderately known fact...okay everybody knows it and they talk about it all the time: I cry. A lot. Seriously. It's bad. But surprisingly I don't cry when I get frustrated, or angry. I don't cry when things don't go my way. I don't cry when people hit me...okay sometimes I cry when people hit me. "Who hits you" you ask? I don't want to talk about it.

What I cry about ranges anywhere from a Kodak commercial to Bo's blog to a good book (The Shack...killed me) to a song, to the presence of Jesus. And because I cry so easily, I pride myself on making other people cry. In the good way. In the "that really just changed my life" way. What can I say...misery loves company. Mostly I victimize Mekenzie, Lindsay and Noel. But I've decided that is not a broad enough range. I've got to expand my influence. this.

This video makes me ache. It makes me pray. It makes me hungry. It makes me cry.

I hope it does the same to you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

So Predictable

"Predictably Israel cries out, 'My God! We know You!' But they don't act like it."
~Hosea 8:2 (The Message)

My relationship with God was predictable. By this I do not mean consistent...I mean predictable. Meaning that the way I woke up, or the day I had in front of me determined whether or not God would have my attention.

I'm ashamed to say that it wasn't very long ago.

God would watch me wake up, observe my attitude, and note the obstacles and victories I would face. He probably turned to Gabriel and said, "Looks like we'll get to spend some time together today" or "Maybe tomorrow..."

I've always prioritized my relationship with God, or so I thought.

In my mind, I gave Him my whole life. I loved Him, I worshiped Him, I served Him. And even though I wasn't spending everyday in the Word, I trivialized it away, excusing myself by singing a worship song, or going to church. That "counted" right?

Israel lived the same way. They followed the rules, they made the sacrifices...but through all of that, they got to know their religion instead of their God. And when times got tough, they would cry out, saying, "We know You! Come help us!"

So predictable.

I see myself in the story of Hosea. Though my devotional life was hit or miss, when trials came I would cry out to God, saying, "I am Yours! I know You! Come help me!"

So predictable.

But then something changed. Maybe it was desperation, maybe it was frustration, but I got really sick of the person I was becoming. I began to realize in difficult times, that I didn't really know Him like I thought. And the well named Purpose inside of me began to beg. It begged me to get in the Word - everyday even when it was painful. It begged me to dig deeper than I had - to know myself and to know Jesus more than I had ever dared. It begged me to be really honest in my relationships - both with God and with people. It begged me to see beyond today, beyond next week. To see the generations that are coming, to see the injustice in the world, to cry with God, to know His heart.

To STOP being predictable. And I remembered:

"And this is real and eternal life: that they know You, the one and only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent." ~John 17:3 (The Message)

To know Him. To have conversations with Him. To figure out what is on His heart. To understand the Kingdom, and all that is within it. To live for justice. And the truly amazing thing is, that everyday I go to find Him, to know Him a little more. And everyday He is there: rain or shine, good mood or bad mood, sinful or righteous. He is there..."as surely as the arrival of the dawn."

I love that He is faithful. I love that He is so wonderfully mysterious, and predictable.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Feeding People

About three years ago, I worked as a nanny. That meant 9-10 hours a day taking care of 4 kids...which meant 2-3 meals...which meant Katie needed to learn to cook. I've never been particularly excellent at cooking - I try (probably not as much as I should) but it never turns out quite like I want it to.

But having to cook for children is pretty easy. Their diet consisted of dino nuggets, mac & cheese, hotdogs, mini pizzas, and every other delicacy Costco has to offer. Occasionally I tried to give them something healthy, but they really weren't that interested. :) It's pretty easy, and pretty fun to cook for them.

But then there's the moment when my mom asks me to cook something for Thanksgiving dinner...which usually causes me to go into a panic attack. Not that I'm incapable at cooking, or even cooking well (rarely...), but the pressure was different. These are seasoned adults I'm cooking for. They've had a lot of meals from an excellent chef (my mom rocks!).

What I'm getting at here is that the responsibility to feed people is a big one. It is a big, fat, giant, humbling one.

"But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "

The Word is likened to bread here. And tomorrow night, I am in charge of feeding a hungry Wednesday night crowd. I've been speaking for lots of years now - to Oneighty (our youth ministry for those of you who are new). But it's just easier with them. I know them well, I've been through their season, I'm older, wiser (maybe), etc. But tomorrow night, I'm feeding the grownups - and it makes my stomach a little sick. Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited and so honored...but also very aware of the responsibility.

I would like to add a disclaimer here for all of you thinking, "Oneighty is just as important as big church!" And to you I would say, you are absolutely, 100% right. There is no difference in importance - only in my comfort level. Many people would be terrified to speak to Oneighty, and sometimes I still am. But I've grown there - it's where I learned to speak.

This...this is a whole new deal.

I will be speaking to people who have children older than I do, people that are going through divorces, people hurting and broken in ways that I could never understand.

I guess throughout all of these ramblings, I'm just trying to say that I have a new perspective. I've just had a refresher course this week in the humility and integrity and responsibility it takes to be a feeder.

But people are starving, and I've got food to give...

Thanks for reading,