Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Trinity of Terrors

Here's a little excerpt from "The Shack," my current obsession:
Mack: "You're not too fond of religion and institutions?"
Jesus: "I don't create institutions - never have, never will."
Mack: "What about the institution of marriage?"
Jesus: "Marriage is not an institution. It's a relationship. Like I said, I don't create institutions; that's an occupation for those who want to play God. So no, I'm not too big on religion, and not very fond of politics or economics either. And why should I be? They are the man-created trinity of terrors that ravages the earth and deceives those I care about. What mental turmoil and anxiety does any human face that is not related to one of those three? Put simply, these terrors are tools that many use to prop up their illusions of security and control. People are afraid of uncertainly, afraid of the future. These institutions, these structures and ideologies, are all a vain effort to create some sense of certainty and security where there isn't any. It's all false! Systems cannot provide you security, only I can."

Chew on that for a while in light of our current "economic crisis".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All they need are palm branches...

As we celebrate the transition to a new presidential administration today, I can't help but think of another grand entrance in history...I'm standing there in my living room, folding clothes, watching NBC's take on every second as it unfolds, and seeing the sheer excitement on the faces of Americans. Students, celebrities, dignitaries, mothers, children, the list goes on and on...all with this well of emotions, why? Well, for one this new president is of African American descent, a historical moment, implying that perhaps we have risen above racial discrimenations, above judging someone solely by the color of their skin - a very exciting possibility indeed. Second, this president speaks confidently of hope, and change. He assures Americans, with his smooth oratorical skills, that hope is just around the corner. We CAN be the country we used to be, we CAN rise above these last 8 years, etc, etc. And, in return America has latched on...tight. Obama has now almost become synonymous with success, victory if you will, equality, pretty much everything anybody longs for...Obama can make it happen. There's a running joke between Brian and I, when we just can't figure out how to get something to work, whether it's our budget or our coffee pot, we'll say - "ah, give it a few days, once Obama's in charge, everything will work out just fine," or "Oh, don't worry, in a matter of days Obama will be president and all our problems will disappear." As silly as it sounds, I feel like so much of the country, and even the world, has taken to this attitude. Folks we're in a pretty deep ditch...it took us a while to get here, and it's going to take a while to get out. ONE MAN DID NOT GET US IN THIS, AND ONE MAN WILL NOT GET US OUT.
In the 21st chapter of Matthew, Jesus (the real Savior of the world by the way) is entering Jerusalem, not in a motorcade, but on a humble donkey. Jerusalem has heard that he's the Messiah they've been waiting for, the King that will end all of their troubles. So they gather on the streets and welcome him in the most regal way they know how, throwing their garments down on the road and waving the branches of palms. The Message version of the Bible says, "Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, "Hosanna to David's son!" "Blessed is he who comes in God's name!" "Hosanna in highest heaven!" In today's version it would be masses gathered on either side of the road, holding up their signs, reporters catching every split second and interviewing random members of the crowd, "Why did you choose to come out today to see this monumental event?" and they might reply, "Oh, we wouldn't have missed it! This is the One we've been waiting for! He will defend our people and make right was has been done to us!"
Sound familiar? Meet the 44th President of the United States, do we pretend that he's our modern day messiah? Here to right all wrongs? Here to save us from bankruptcy, fraud, foreign threats, foreclosures? He's one man, created by God, gifted with many talents, yet he's one man. Jesus Christ, our humble Savior, Son of God, and King of Kings is the only one that can fit that bill. When we come to His throne and seek relief from the things that burden us, he hears...and he acts. NO ONE else has the authority, the ability, or the compassion to hear YOU when you call out. And as much as we would like for our King to right all wrongs and put us back onto the solid ground on which we so long to stand...we must trust in his timing, knowing that all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to his purpose. So today, as I see the crowds, desperate for change, desperate for a savior to fit the God-shaped hole in their lives, I pray that they would see beyond Washington, beyond the man that speaks so eloquently and see the true Savior that loves them more than they'll ever be able to comprehend and desires a deep and personal relationship with each one of them, desires to bless them beyond what they could dream up for themselves. This is trust, this is faith, this is living a life we were intended to live. Looking to no one but Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and the provider for a future of freedom...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today's weather: Mostly Cloudy

You know how sometimes you just get the blahs?  That's kind of where I am.  It's a new year, and there are new, exciting things happening...for instance - Brian is the newest employee of the Gwinnett Co. Fire Department!  Yay for him, I so hope that God blesses this endeavor and Brian loves it.  He has searched for so long for somewhere, something that just "fits" and hasn't found it as of yet.  And, as happy and hopeful as I am for him, I'm still just stuck...stagnant.  One of my best friends is coming into town tomorrow from Wisconsin.  She and I are road-tripping down to Orlando Wednesday morning for a 3 day Stampin' Up! Leadership conference.  It's my first, and I'm very excited, I'm hoping it'll be just what I need to increase my enthusiasm for my business.  After our trip to Colorado, I kind of got into "vacation mode".  Which is very unlike me.  Usually, I have a hard time leaving my work at home, but I had no trouble relaxing and forgetting about it all this time.  So now, it's time to get back at it!  And I'm not focused, a little lethargic, wondering...what's next?  What does God have for me?  Sometime I feel like I'm just missing it.  I absolutely LOVE our church.  Every Sunday I feel like I hear such great truths and it excites me to get on board with God and be a part of what He's doing.  And I pray: God, Please open my eyes to opportunities to show your love, be your hands and feet!  And what happens?  Do they come and go, and I remain oblivious?  Does He not give me opportunities?  Or am I so deep into saying "no" everytime that it's just habit?  I mean, sure I hold the door open for people, smile at folks when passing...but I want to go beyond that!  I want to be involved in seeing God change lives!  I don't want to stay in my house with my garage door closed, working, working, working.  Surely God didn't mean for it to be so confusing and cloudy to follow Him.  Surely I'm making it so much more difficult that it's supposed to be...a little clarity please?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

post #3

Simply said, there is no good reason for this post. To make a long story short, I'm not great at making time to blog. A friend of mine, the author of "Pearls & Pumps" (see link) made a deal with me to help me get my blog up and running as I hadn't posted a single time in the 2 months I had set up my blog. Part of the deal was 3 posts by Christmas...well here ya have it. Post #3, at 9:10pm Mountain Time. A cheap way to win a deal, I admit - but done, nonetheless! Thanks Steph for pushing me to do this...I promise I'll get better over time! Time Management: resolution #1 for 2009!

Christmas away from home

Well tonight I'm in "Colorful Colorado," spending Christmas with my in-laws. Let's just say Christmas in Colorado, as ideal as it may sound, is a far cry from Christmas in Georgia. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with Brian's family. We don't get to see them often enough. However, growing up with certain traditions, and not having them to enjoy at a time of year when traditions are so celebrated, leaves a heart longing for home. I miss Christmas music, all day long. I miss casseroles, seeing my family open the gifts we bought them, smelling the warm fragrance of homemade breakfast in the morning, and all that makes Christmas, Christmas! There's certainly nothing wrong with how Brian grew up celebrating this special time of year...just different. Here it's not quite as distinct of a day, if that makes sense. They do many of the things they would do any other time of the year. Eat the same foods, watch the same tv shows, listen to the same music, etc. Makes it a little harder to get into the Christmas spirit. All that being said, we ARE having a great time! We always enjoy staying with Brian's brother and his family, seeing good friends, and of course playing in the snow. While we didn't get a "White Christmas" this year, there is snow on the ground, which is certainly special in it's own way and something I've always wished could be a part of my Georgia Christmas. We'll be leaving to come home Monday to celebrate the dawn of a new year...Merry Christmas to all & to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Praise to a sovereign God

While I realize this is my first post on the blog I've apparently had for months, I'm not in the mood for an introduction.  I'm in the mood to acknowledge the hugeness and wonder of a great, great God that I get the opportunity to know and serve.  I just finished the Beth Moore study of Daniel, and my head is full of knowledge, but my heart is full of excitement and awe that I can say "I belong to the same God that delivered His people from Egypt.  The same God that delivered 3 courageous men from the inside of a furnace hot enough to kill someone that came within a few feet of it.  The same God that vows to make good on his promise to return and take us home to be with Him in a land of perfection and splendor one day, and I believe that He will.  My Savior's will endures.  What He says happens, happens.  Praise you Father.  Thank you for allowing me to come before you, to know you, share my thoughts, cares, worries...thank you so much for being so hugely amazing, but for loving me so deeply and personally all at the same time.  This is why I wanted to start a blog.  Not for you, for me.  Because the deeper I get into this, the more my heart turns to the God of the universe and longs for more.  I don't even have the words to express the gratitude I feel right now for what You have done for me.  So, thank You will have to suffice.  It's in times like this that I cling to the verse that talks about how Jesus intercedes for us...when we can't find the words to say, he speaks to the Father on our behalf.  Needless to say, if you haven't done Beth Moore's study of Daniel, I can't recommend it enough.  You have to be mentally prepared though.  She flat out says it's the most mentally challenging study she's ever written, and I believe it.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I truly learned about a book full of wisdom, a man full of passion-deeper than I've ever known-for his God, a country, called the "Beautiful Land", that will always be at the center of God's heart and therefore the center of great distress and dissention, and a future that God promises to those who believe in Him and make an effort to rise above the Babylon that calls to us and live a life of integrity, wholly and fully for Him.  (I do realize that was the world's longest run-on sentence by the way.)  So what now?  I plan to re-read the book of Daniel in the Message version, one of my favorites...if you've never read the Message version of the Bible, it's a paraphrase...it reads like we talk.  

Well anywho, I know this is long, and seemingly out of nowhere...and a little heavy for a girl's first post, but I fully intend this blog to be whatever's on my heart.  Probably won't be a light-hearted blog full of cute little stories about the happenings of my day.  I'll wrestle thoughts through my mind, share with you what I feel God is sharing with me, and occasionally update you with things going on in my life.  And for the one or two people that actually read it - feel free to leave comments, what do you think?  How has God spoke to you in the past regarding this? Are you in my boat too?  Let me know!  Until next time...