Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time to have a little fun

Ok, it's Audience Participation time!!  We all need something to make us grin once in a while, and I figured that this topic might provide a few amusing answers.

What are three things you'd like to have answered about life's oddities?  There are just some things in life that catch you off guard and it makes you ask, "Why?"  For instance...

WHY does Wal-Mart have this supernatural magnetic pull that attracts people who dress in clothes 4 sizes too small?  I have seen more 300lb people at Wal-Mart in size medium tube tops than anywhere I've ever been! Not exaggerating. WHY? 

Another example...Why do boys from the age of 5-12 not lift the lid when they pee?  Us girls would have a much happier midnight-squat if we didn't sit in a puddle when nature called. WHY!!! 
So, give me your 3 why's of life.  Go....

Monday, October 25, 2010

The World Behind Me...

During the wee hours of the morning yesterday, I was prodded gently awake by an eruption of dog-barking.  Why two bone-headed dogs decide to pick 6:03am to begin greeting the morning, I don't know. But I do know I was tempted to take them on a "road-trip" after that...ya know, the kind of road trip where you throw a chew toy, yell "fetch", and then drive away.  But I didn't. 

Anyway. Not the point.  So I'm up way early on a Sunday morning, unable to fall back asleep.  I crack open my bible to the Psalms and I read this: 
"They have exchanged My glory for the image of an ox that eats grass..."Believe it or not, that little sentence throbbed in my brain like a thumb that had just been smashed with a hammer.  God was talking about the Israelites making cast-iron fake idols to worship.  To the Israelites, these statues were beautiful, glistening images of something praise-worthy. I'm sure the graven ox statues were sculpted in a way that exaggerated its muscles, symbolizing strength.  I'm sure it looked pretty beastly with an appearance that caught the eye.
But in God's eye-vision the idols are exposed for what they really are, "an image of an ox that eats grass".  Oh, and then you put the first part of that sentence in there..."They exchanged My GLORY..."

With my imagination (which I actually pray on a regular basis that God will expand, so I can see Scripture when I read it) I just pictured the Israelites, who'd been led through the Red Sea and had seen wonders performed by God's own hand, standing in a single-file line and one by one handing over the glorious sonship with God and taking a statue of a cow instead.

Then, the life-application hit me.  How many times have I made my life about the pursuit of a record deal? Or about buying a guitar? About people's oppinion of me? About making a real salary? All of those seem like pretty big things, really.
But I pray that at the end of my life, the record won't show:
"And she exchanged My glory for a piece of wood that makes sound....for a piece of paper that says she's an artist...for a currency that became as valuable as ashes."What is really important to you? What do you strive for? Does your glory come in the form of being percieved as a good parent? Or in the form of achieving a degree? Whatever you are wanting to glory in, are you exchanging the glory of God to get it?  Because in the eyes of God, we see how little those things really amount to.  The world's finest gold statue in man's eyes is only "an image of an ox that eats grass" in God's. Think about that.

SOOO, I defiled my guitar.  Or at least that's what it would seem like in a guitar-enthusiast's eyes. I was so moved by this realization that I could trade God's glory for my own, that I made a permanent reminder to myself by doing the unthinkable. I took my new $2,000 Taylor guitar, and with a silver sharpie, wrote on the headstock, "The World Behind Me, The Cross Before Me."  Anyone who knows ANYTHING about guitars would want to slap me.  I thought about slapping myself.  You just don't take a sharpie and write on a Taylor.  But that's just it. In my eyes, it's a Taylor.  In God's eyes, it's a piece of wood with strings. 
May we never forget Who is first.

Friday, October 22, 2010

God rocked my morning with a pink piece of paper.

I sat at my kitchen table early this morning before the sun had even thought about peeking his head above the horizon.  Hazelnut coffee steaming invitingly, I sipped and folded my bible open. I read a verse or two, and just looked up and sighed. I felt such a gap between Him and myself.
When it comes to God I'm kind of like a child.  You know when a toddler is in that stage of being taught to sleep in his own bed instead of sleeping in between mom and dad in their room?  Sometimes in the middle of the night the child reaches out his little arm to pat around, feeling to make sure that mom and dad are still there, and that he hasn't been carried into his own room after he'd fallen asleep. 

That's me.  When I prepare myself to get into the Word or to begin praying, that's my spirit's way of patting around, making sure that God is within an arm's distance.  When I can't feel Him near, I know it's time to sit up and start calling "Daaaaddy...."  And this morning I just wasn't feeling Him.  I can't take that for very long.  I began asking Him specifically, "God, I want to SEE You today. I want to know Your voice more surely, please invite me into an intimate circle with You. Enhance my imagination so I can picture You more clearly and I can go there with You in Scripture. Bottom line  Lord, speeeak to me!"Reader, can I be honest with you for a second, and bear a little bit of my soul with you?  Last night I saw that I'm still being effected by wounds in my life that I thought I'd healed from.  I mean, I really thought I was over the phase of that hurt effecting me deeply.  I guess it's kind of like when you break your leg.  Even over time when it seems to have mended and you haven't limped for years, something will hit you in just the right place and you find yourself on crutches for a week.
Well my once-broken heart has been hit in just the right place over the last two weeks.  God has done some significant mending and we've been making MUCH progress in the healing process together, but this minor jolt has torn some stitches.  My "walking with a limp" is coming in the form of shutting off access to my heart.  That natural response to hold people at an arm's distance to keep from getting hurt again is a doozie. 

I have a pink piece of paper in my bible.  It is a "love letter from God", with words written on it as if it were addressed to me from Him. I've had it for a long time, and every so often I take it out and read it.  Remember that I told you today that I asked God to speak to me?  You may or may not know that I'm recovering from an ugly broken engagement, and I have lost two good friends this year.  My heart has been dragged through a considerable amount of crap. haha.  I won't read you the whole letter, 'cause quite frankly, it's mine. And I don't want to throw out a very intimate piece of me and God's personal life out there for everyone to enjoy. I'm stingy with this letter. But there are a few lines that I feel I have to share, just so you can see how good He treats me. :) Look what my sweet Husband tells me:

"I will awaken you in the still hours to speak to you. Meet Me there. I will trade your ashes in for beauty, and make you a display of My glory. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will make your crooked paths straight, and redeem your mistakes. Trust in Me and My hope will not disappoint."
God woke me in the still hours this morning, and He lead me to a place where He spoke words of comfort. Beloved brother or sister reading this, HEAR ME CLEARLY:  Your heart is safe in His hand. You can let others in, and EVEN BE HURT BY THEM and God will meet you there.  We are beckoned out to partake in such an exhilarating adventure of fatih, trust, hope, hurt and redemption.  We'd be fools to miss it just because we were afraid of the risks.  We aren't wimps are we? The joy of loving and being loved is worth the risk.  It's okay. Let God show you right this very second where you still need healing.  THEN, let Him go there.  Let Him see it, and be willing to go on an intentional voyage of restoration. 
This is a beautiful thing:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Living In A Snowglobe

There is something mesmerizing to a child (and to yours truly, who is as easily as amused as a child) about a snow globe.  Now, I don't know if it was just a thing in my house, or if it's like a universal thing, but at Christmas time when the snow globe was placed in the decoration of the house, ours always ended up on the piano.  Don't know why. But I distinctly remember my mom putting the snow globe on the piano.  Was anyone else's mom particular about that, or just mine? ;)

Anyway sorry.  So what is the first thing you instinctively do when you walk by a snow globe?  You grab it and shake the heck out of it of course. And for those of us who get bored with the rookie move of shaking it up and down, we get fancy with it and wave it in circles, so that all the flakes and glitter particles encompass Mr. Snowman in a cyclone of dazzling wintry wonder.  We wait until the last little flake hits the bottom, and then we go again.  There really is a world of enchantment trapped inside that glass sphere, isn't there? 

However, being me, I had the random thought go through my brain today:  "I wonder if that snowman inside of there ever thinks to himself, I wish those darned people would quit shaking my house every stinkin' time they walk by!"  'Cause from inside the snow globe, I bet it's absolute chaos.  First, there's something that feels like an earthquake, then you get blinded by all this white stuff, and you hear laughter going on outside, followed by another earthquake.  haha.  I bet it's terrifying to be a snowman.  But to the person holding the snow globe, the perspective is so different.  The person holding the snow globe sees how beautiful it is to turn it upside down and watch it glisten.

Okay. Here's the WHOOOOLE point here. We are snowmen.  Yep, I bet you were way ahead of me weren't you?  You saw it coming probably.  But it's so true.  
Man, I've gotten in a routine the last 7 months of getting up before dawn, driving to work and having an amazing time watching God raise the sun up and paint brilliant colors upon the sleepy clouds.  He's become so real to me just by my getting to SEE His creativity.  I have gotten used to my alarm going off at 5:25am, hitting snooze once or twice, getting up, dragging my sleep-drunk self to the Wellspring of Life (coffee maker) and then opening up the bread of Life (the Word) and just having the first 3 hours of my day predictably wonderful with God.  But now here I stand, and my job is going to end in 3 weeks.  I've gotten no leads on a new job. My routine of "work 5 days and get a paycheck on friday" is about to be history.  Things are changing rapidly and my only option is to adjust. 

How about you?  I bet that like me you have felt earthquakes going on around you, only to be blinded by the unexpected.  And just when you breathe a sigh of relief as the snow settles and you can see again, the earth quakes again.  To us, the snowmen, it can seem cruel of God to keep turning our world upside down. It's like a sick game.  But to God, the one holding our entire world in His hand, the perspective is totally different.  He gets to stand on the outside and see the wonder that unravels at the flick of His wrists.  What seems like chaos is actually a brilliant demonstration of beauty.  Will we choose to believe today that when our world takes an unexpected spin, that there is something miraculous going on around us that everyone on the outside beholds in amazement?  I choose to believe it. God, you are the Author of order and peace. You are completely creative but never spontaneously careless.  You can be so artistic with the story You write in my life and not one page or chapter is in vain.  I cannot wait to stand on eternity's side and read the book start to finish, and for the first time ever, look at my snow globe of a life from Your eyes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Welcome my Blogging Homies!

Hello, hello, hello. So glad you stopped by. So yep, get this. You are now part of a community of people that I pray God will use to edify one another, to build up, encourage, cry with, laugh with (and at times, even laugh at) each other. Come along with me and allow me to carry you in my pocket as I bounce from adventure to adventure. I will be faithful with this blog, and I hope you will too! may God bless you on this fine Tuesday.

keep doin' the walk,