Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

idiocy

I forgot God today.
I forgot that He loved me.
I forgot that I am not alone.
I forgot that His unfailing love is enough.

I forgot to fear him.

Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.” (PS 36.1-4)

I forgot that this is NOT who I want to be.
I forgot that it is up to me to choose to hate and reject evil.
I forgot that I had the power I needed to do this.

The following is from The Blazing Center's post on the 23rd:

Amazingly, the most fabulous blessings and the most blood-curdling curses can’t inspire a sinful heart to obey. The law provides neither the desire nor the power to obey it.

But God’s astounding grace provides both.

In Christ Jesus, grace invades our lives, purifies us, then creates in us new hearts that delight in God. But omnipotent grace does far more than regenerate us. It keeps working itself out in our lives, renovating our thoughts, motives, and attitudes. Grace justifies us, adopts us, empowers us, and remakes us into Christ’s image. It transforms us from selfish rebels to humble servants.

How miraculous, powerful,unstoppable and amazing is grace.

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ahhh childhood

and I quote....

"Your good, Dad. Good like butter on peas." - Aurora age 5



Scene: Matt (dad) lying on floor in living room stretching his aching back.
Enter: Maddie Kate, age 3. Charges at dad, preparing to do a Hulk Hogan leg drop.
Matt (anxiously): No, Maddie! Please. Daddy's back is really sore.
Maddie (turns backwards, closes eyes and clasps hands in prayer): Dear God, Please don't let this hurt my dad.
Scene: Maddie in reverse charges her dad, landing squarely on his chest.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

book review: the road to daybreak - henri j. m. nouwen

This was a choice suggested by a friend with providential timing. I think I started it around the first of the year and have been reading a few pages here and there. It is Nouwen's journal from a season when he left 20+ years of academia to live in a community setting with handicapped people both for his own retreat and also to serve as their pastor. The book specifically details the year of visiting the different locations of the le'Arche communities to pursue and define God's call for him before he moved permanently into the community in Canada.

It is his journal, a travelogue on Europe, a thesis on prayer and intimacy with Christ, and a window into the world of the truly poor in spirit. One of the moist poignant experts I bring away from this is best quoted exactly:

"To choose the little people, the little joys, and to trust that it is there that God will come close - that is the hard way of Jesus. Again, I felt a deep resistance to choosing that way.

I am quite willing to work for and even with little people, but I want it to be a great event! Something in me always wants to turn the way of Jesus into a way that is honorable in the eyes of the world. I always want the little way to become the big way. But Jesus' movement toward the places the world wants to move away from cannot be made a success story.

Every time we think we have touched a place of poverty, we will discover greater poverty beyond that place. There is really no way back to riches, wealth, success, acclaim, and prizes. Beyond physical poverty, there is mental poverty, beyond mental poverty, there is spiritual poverty, and beyond that there is nothing, nothing but the naked truth that God is mercy.
It is not a way that we can walk alone. Only with Jesus can we go to the place where there is nothing but mercy. It is the place from which Jeus cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is also the place from which Jesus was raised up to new life.

The way of Jesus can only be walked with Jesus. If I want to do it alone, it becomes a form of inverse humanism as fickle as heroism itself. Only Jesus, the Son of God, can walk to that place of total surrender and mercy. He warns us about striking off on our own: "cut off from me, you can do nothing. "But He also promises, "whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty" (John 15:5).

I see clearly now why action without prayer is so fruitless. It is only in and through prayer that we can become intimately connected with Jesus and find the strength to join Him on His way."

Overall opinion: I could start again and get completely new things this time through; it is best read as a journey itself, in small steps, with time for thought, conversation and community inbetween, it seems that he writes from his heart and soul, therefore it is relateable...irritating, convicting, and inspiring.

It reminded me that life is not about accomplishing my to do list, or making educational, spiritual or social achivements, but rather the people in it. (Read on, before you say, "No duh.") I can look back now on the years since college, and realize that each place I have lived has been a community, a place where I shared, learned, and grew in "reading" people, sharing in their lives and allowing them to share in mine. I would argue loudly to not being a "people person." That is I used to. Now I look forward to the times when I can "waste" time with someone. I can still get focused on the lists, but I would much rather get a cuppa something and just sit with you and hear your story. Today's the perfect dark, rainy day for such conversation, so come on over.

Monday, September 8, 2008

jellyfish

There’s a jellyfish on my back today. And its tentacles wrap around my throat and into my eyes and ears. I curl up in my ultra-soft blue and white polka-dot bathrobe, but it turns to sand paper on my skin, so I snatch it off and throw it’s warmth into a heap on the floor.

It’s September. These viruses are supposed to wait until it’s cold outside, so cocoa and bathrobes are welcome friends, not prickly enemies.

A few moments ago I stood in my bathroom, foggy from the shower, and asked Jesus for healing. Graciously, He reminded me of Himself. My next thoughts were that I could not begin to imagine how His body must have felt as He was beat beyond recognition, hungry, bruised, had razor thorns jammed above his eyebrows, iron spikes holding him to His death, every bone disconnected from its neighbor, was thirsty, and alone. In this moment I want to crawl out of my skin and come back to it later. He allowed the iron spikes of my hatred and rejection to hold Him to his Father’s will of love.

In Hawaii I met a beautiful sister who had faced beating, strangling and death by bombing from the hands of her closest family and friends. The light in her eyes was captivating as she told of answering her accusers with sweet words of loyalty to her Jesus, not herself. Suffering has made her the most joyful and beautiful person I know.

I think I am healed, far beyond what I can think or imagine.

Isaiah 53: 5
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

Romans 7:24-25
Wretched (one) that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!