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Friday, October 29, 2004

Long-term Road Trip

God tends to teach me things in themes. This semester I am starting to see He is teaching me about baggage--both my own and others. I don't know one person that doesn't have at least a small bag they they carry with them in life Others are so loaded down that they can barely move.

As I learn how to dibaggagesciple girls, (and when I say disciple, I mean teach them more than the how to's and the why's, but get into the gunk of their lives), I have seen one thing--baggage will be's what we do with it that matters.

For instance, did yo
u know baggage is easy to hide behind? It keeps you and me safe from others ever knowing the "real us". It keeps us protected from criticism, from rejection, even from having to take those risks that are required for healthy relationships. Of course, with baggage in front of us, it’s awfully difficult to see where we're going. And it’s pretty lonely too…. Isolated, sitting in our little corner of the world, surrounded by our baggage. *Sigh*

The worst part about carrying around all this baggage is that it becomes our identity. We don’t know who we are, only what we carried around. (Abuse. Anger. Depression. Addictions. Resentments. Selfishness. Painful childhood. Shame. Guilt. People pleasing. Defeat. Codependency.)

The trouble with baggage is that when it’s your only identity, you have to do a lot to try to make it as presentable as possible. As long as everything looks pretty on the surface, no one will notice how bad it really is deep inside. Hmm.

No one....except God. He notices.
He knows what’s behind the cover-up.

David writes in Psalm 139 (The Message Bible)

“I'm an open book to you;

even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.

You know when I leave and when I get back;

I'm never out of your sight.

You know everything I'm going to say

before I start the first sentence….

You know me inside and out.”

You see, the thing about God is that He knows everything about us. And He is not content to leave us lugging around baggage. He loves us too much for that.

One of the most amazing things about God is that nothing is ever wasted with Him. He will use all our experiences, all our desires and passions, all our talents and abilities, all our personality (with it’s quirks and uniqueness)….. and even all our pain, to grow and transform us into the person He created you and I to be.

So this year is about me unpacking my baggage and replacing it with my New Clothes (identity in Christ), and then helping others do the same, so that they can help others do the same.....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why am I so weird?

Words I hate (in context):

au jus......As in, dip your roast beef sandwich in this au jus.

pit.........As in, arm pit.

Words I can't say correctly....or at least very fast:

abominable........"a bomb in a bull"

nuclear......."new clear"

aluminum......."a loon na mum"

specific......"spu sif ic"

Yes....I did grajeweighted college!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

True Friendship

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 1 John 3:16

What would happen if all Christians truly lived this verse out each day? Imagine....

Thursday, October 7, 2004

My Nose

I hate my allergies. If you see me today, my red shirt matches my nose. It wasn't planned. Here is a poem by Dorothy Aldis. I swear, this little poem is my life:

It doesn't breathe;

It doesn't smell;

It doesn't feel

So very well.

I am discouraged

With my nose;

The only thing it

Does is blows.

Otherwise in my life.....

I see Emily this weekend on her turf. Yippeee!

OU is going to beat Texas. (AGAIN)

My Alex is sportin' his fall fashions. Nice.

I heard from TWO UofA friends today. Fun.

Jade is the baby. : P

Tygre, I still won't make out with you!!!!

George Bush and John Kerry are related, but George Bush should still be President.

I love my roomies.

I need comments please! (Emily fixed them so anyone can post)

God is good. We're in negotiations about Him healing my nose.


Wednesday, October 6, 2004

The Question of the Stranger

Of all that was done in the past,

you eat the fruit either rotten or ripe.

And the Church must be forever building,

and always decaying and always being restored.

For where there is no Temple there shall be no homes,

though you have shelters and institutions.

What life have you if you have not life together?

There is no life that is not in community.

And no community not lived in praise of God.

But now you live dispersed on ribbon roads,

And no one knows or cares who is his neighbor

Unless his neighbor makes too much disturbance,

But dash to and fro in motor cars,

Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.

And the wind shall say, "Here were decent godless people;

Their only monument the asphalt road

And a thousand lost golf balls."

When the Stranger says,

What is the meaning of this city?

Do you huddle together because you love each other?

What will you answer? --

'We all dwell together to make money from each other'?

or 'This is a community'?

And the stranger will depart and return to the desert.

O My soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,

Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.

from The Rock by T.S. Eliot

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Laura and George

Today I watched Headliners and Legends: Laura Bush. Here are some cool facts I learned:

  • Laura and George lived very close to each other twice and never met.
  • The second time they lived in the same apartment complex just across from one another.
  • They met via a BLIND date. The friends that set them up hope Laura's quietness would settle down a wild George W.
  • They only "dated" for 3 months before marrying.
  • The day after Laura's 31st bithday was their wedding day.
  • She became a republican by marriage.

Some lessons I learned: it's a small world and maybe blind dates aren't so bad. ; )

Friday, October 1, 2004

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."

Today I'm feeling thankful for my friends. Our MT did a thing for a couple of weeks called "secret saints" (basically, you have a person you secretly encourage). We usually do it around Valentine's Day, but Kels thought we could all use some encouragement now.

Okay, half the fun is trying to figure out who has you. But, I guessed who had me after one day. (It was David, and he borrowed my car one day to go to Hobby Lobby. The next day there was a framed verse on my desk. Hmmmm...anyway, he did a super, wonderful, great job. Thanks! *wink* and a *smile*)

We officially "revealed" ourselves this past Wednesday. I found out that for a week David been sending e-mails that went into my junk mail folder. If you're not in my contacts, you go into the junk folder. I glace through them for "real" messages and delete the rest. (Okay, if you saw "Cupid's Competition" as the "from" and the title of the e-mail was "This is just the beginning" wouldn't you delete it?)

Anyway....I deleted all this encouragement without knowing it! David was so sad I didn't get them because he put a lot of thought and effort into making me know I was loved and appreciated. It made me wonder how many times a day God means to encourage us and we just count it as junk. Has someone showed you an act of kindness, smiled or waved hello, called you, e-mailed you, brought you a gift, make time for you, laughed or cried with you....all those are from GOD! He is using all of us to speak directly to the needs of others. How sad he must be when he finds we've not received them. So you don't miss it, here is some encouragement from God for you today.

(David has been resending me the lost encouragement e-mails. I wanted to share today's with you. It encouraged me. ) Here is what he sent:

Paul said in his letter to the Philippian church, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."

This verse offers so much encouragement. Why should we rejoice? Even when my roommates are stuck up brats? Even when the people around me demand for more of me when I feel I am running on empty? Is it possible to rejoice when I am sick, or when I have chores to do, or when I am stuck in Norman traffic on Lindsey Street? Does Paul really mean always rejoice? Well sure, why not. After all, what is Paul's reason for his continual rejoicing in the Lord? The simple fact that God is near. He goes through those traffic jams, broken hearts, down-and-out days; when the world seems to be ignoring our needs, God reminds us that He is always faithful and He is always near. I think that is something to feel encouraged about, don't you?

I was encouraged. Not only by this Word from God (via David), but I was greatly thankful for friends like Him who care about me. I am surrounded by friends. But it doesn't stop there. God is near. Wow. The Host of the Heavens is here with me and with you!

Thanks. I love you all. And as Strap would say... "Never surrender!"