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Monday, July 17, 2006

Snapshots--in words

Below are some snapshots of what I have been learning. These are quotes from the talks, sermons, Sunday School lessons, speakers, and books I have been reading. If you want MORE explanation of one of them, just ask. I will try to expand on it if there is a desire for that.
  • "Leading is putting people in the best possible position to succeed. If people don't believe that you have their best interests in mind, they won't follow you without some kind of reward."
  • "It is easy to complain. It takes character to be thankful. Christ is the ONLY one who had a 'right' to complain and he never did."
  • "You give glory to what you talk about."
  • "A butterfly's wings are made of crystallized waste! That's God, though, taking our 'waste' and making something beautiful out of it."
  • "Love is inconvenient. Love sacrifices for another. The greater the love, the greater the sacrifice must be."
  • "Where did we get the idea there were no hardships in the Christian life? Jesus was killed! The apostles sufferer and even died. Why do we think we would be any different?"
  • "It is easier to talk to God about men, than men about God. If we love people we must put legs to our prayers. Praying alone is not a substitute for obedience."
  • "In 2006, $21 Billion was given toward 'missions' and reaching the nations with the Gospel. Another $22 BILLION was LOST due to embezzlement from Christian workers. More money was stolen from the cause of Christ than was given to missions. And we wonder why we see no fruit."
  • "Corrie, do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for the love to travel. When we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way."
  • "Oh this was the great ploy of Satan in the kingdom of his: to display such blatant evil that one could almost believe one's own secret sins didn't matter."
  • "Intimacy always comes through an invitation and a choice. Each disciple was as close to Jesus as they choose to be. The King has no favorites. To be in His inner circle is by our choice, not by lack of an invitation."
  • "Our worldview is much like a frog in a kettle. If you put a frog in a kettle of cold water and gradually turn up the heat, the frog won't jump out because he becomes accustomed, slowly, to the new temperature. He will stay there in the water until he boils. In our culture, the heat has gradually been turned up--changed--and we, like the frog, haven't even realized it's a different temperature."
  • "Does it trouble your heart when what you believe is not backed up by scripture?"
  • "We many times spend so much time wrestling with God's will that we never really have the freedom to enjoy it."
  • "Fear causes us to cover up; to lie; to conform. It is the greatest block to real relationship. Fearful people cannot truly commit, can't accept, can't be real....fear blocks real love."
  • "When I am gone, I shall leave some grand men and women behind."

Monday, July 3, 2006

Blogspot Confessional

The last few days I have been in a weird mood. My heart is heavy and sad. It's hard to explain and when people ask what is wrong, I honestly can't say what it is that is wrong. I think God is just doing some pruning. It's not like huge limbs are falling, but through snip, snip, snip, snips....I am getting pruned.

Right now I am not who I want to be. I feel it is on the surface, waiting to spring out. I've been thinking a lot about my up-coming birthday. It's in December, so no one freak out and check facebook. It's not the date that is making me think--it is the age! On December 5, I will be turning....it hurts to type it.....30.

THIRTY! That is a grown-up age. That is old and adultish, even to me. I can't imagine what all you 21-almost-year-olds might be thinking. With this age, I am thinking about who I am, and if I am who I want to be by this age.

This whole 30 thing is probably prompted by my recent joining of "MySpace." I have been looking up high school "friends" and classmates. In some respects, some of the pictures have brought me joy. Like, "THANK YOU LORD, for not giving me who I thought I wanted to marry!" Or when I see the pictures and think, "Man! He looks OLD! I don't look that old (do I)"

For those moments, I am thankful. But when I look at me, I am not exactly perfect either. In some respects, I have done well. I am in a job I love, and have so many wonderful friends it makes me cry just thinking of them.

But my heart--my character--it has come up lacking. I haven't really allowed God to fully make me who He wants me to be. I have been lazy, apathetic at times.

I only have 155 days and counting until I hit the big 3-0. I want to make those days count....but will I let God do it? Will I put in the work and the effort? I know me, and I fear I won't...Romans 7:15 anyone? ("I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.")

Sadly, I have a soundtrack to all of these thoughts. I heard it the other day, and over-played as it is, it still pricked my heart. "This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Today that answer is no. No, I am not.