Follow by Email

Monday, September 22, 2008

MySpace Reality Check

Lately I have been going through a self-destructive funk. Basically, I do the very opposite of what I want to do. Which makes me feel worse about myself, and get generally discouraged about life. And so the cycle continues. WHY!?!?!

Then on Sunday I got to talk to a dear, dear friend about these and many other heart issues. We eventually got to the whole singleness issue. (Sorry to you married folks...suffer along with me.) Ugh.

She has a lot more to hope on than me, but it is still hard to not worry there is something wrong with you. I know there is nothing good, nothing worthy about me. It's only through Christ that I am compete, worthy, and acceptable. And it is only through His GRACE and undeserved favor that I will ever get married. Unfortunately for me, knowing all good and perfect gifts come from above and waiting patiently don't always go hand in hand.

But thanks to MySpace, I am reminded, yet again, why I am waiting. Today I got two messages from two men. One guy (we'll call him "The Shirtless Wonder") simply told me I was "gorgeous" and asked me if I wanted to have his baby. Hmm, Mr. Shirtless 22-year-old, tempting!! Thankfully, I have (in my past) anticipated such questions arising and thus established a policy against having complete strangers' babies. If not for that policy, his abs might have made me reply instead of delete.

The other man, we'll call him "Divorced Daddy," wrote a long, horribly punctuated run-on paragraph about all the pros of his character. It was both comical and pathatic all in one. The public school system failed him. Really. A 37 year-old-man should be able to construct sentences by now. Call me a jerk or a snob...but I do enjoy well contructed sentence every once and a while.

Yeah, waiting stinks. But MySpace taught me two more things today. One, my "MySpace" self is both intruging and hot (to at least some small, although pathetic, sector of the public); and two....keep waiting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I caught a glimpse of You today, the sun was blinding, but I could not look away....

I held a miracle yesterday.

How can you hold a baby and look at its fingernails, ears, hair, and eyelashes and think we came from nothing? That tiny pinky fingernail almost screamed perceptibly God’s existence.

Yet we don’t see. We don’t hear.

It’s really not that surprising, actually. We live in a man-made world where it is almost impossible to find any sign of God. The asphalt roads and the cement boxes of our world are not alive. They have dulled out senses and drown out creation that calls of God.

Man-made objects can impress, yes, but awe? I love technology, but it does not cause me to feel awe or reverence. The Sears Tower is an interesting sight, but it does not cause me to fall to my knees and pray. All we have created and have surrounded ourselves with has disrupted us from God and all that is implied in God—beauty, meaning, significance, security, majesty, love—and all that is valuable.

Man has never been so rich as he is today. Ironic huh? The inner, spiritual being has become poorer while the outer being has become richer. True life can have meaning only in the context of something that surpasses us—something bigger, something greater than us.

I’m not planning on selling all my earthly belongings and living in the wilderness. I don't want to lose my sense of awe either. Do a heart check. Can look at a newborn baby’s fingernail and not hear God whispering?? Take some time and get out of town. Sit at the base of a mountain, watch a sunset, or caress a rose petal.

Before long you will hear Him. He will be calling to you.

“You are my beloved. I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. It's all right. Everything is fine. I AM with you, I AM mighty to save. I take great delight in you, I will quiet you with my love, and I will rejoice over you with singing.

Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Lost Art of Silence

In this high-definition watching, I-Pod listening, cell phone ringing, email updating world, I am afraid we have drown out God. God won't compete with our self-induced noise.

I am reminded of
Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13....

"The LORD said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?;"

God came in a gentle whisper. Isn't that so like our God? Whispers are intimate, personal. I picture leaning in toward the speaker and being close enough to feel their breath on my ear.

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation." ~Jean Arp

Lord, let me be still and quiet enough to hear Your voice. Amen

I really love teaching. Preparing to teach is a spirit-filling thing

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Typical Exchange

Cindy: I had to get gas today.

Me: Me too. It was expensive.

Cindy: Yeah, I had to fill it up the rental car before I returned it. I was sad I had to return that beautiful car!

Me: You got your car back?

Cindy: Yeah.

Me: Was it in the garage when I got home???

Cindy: Uh, yeah.

Me: Oh. I guess I need to work on my observation skills.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Iron of the Soul

My last post is connected to this one. Currently, I receive daily grief-related emails. Not long ago I received one entitled "Loss of Purpose and Direction."

One of the things it shared was the loss may be the beginning of something very special that God has planned for you. It may be something that you would not be able to do if He had kept that one person on earth with you.

Dad and I were so close, but at the same time I never felt a freedom to go anywhere or do anything because I wanted to stay near to him. His death has now opened up doors for me to consider--doors I would have never even thought of going through before. And some doors may have been too heavy for me to even open before his death, but now I am able.

I am reminded of Joseph, whose dungeon was the very road to his throne. If he had never been Egypt's prisoner, would he have never been it's governor? In Psalm 4:1 (KJV) is says, "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."

The phrase "enlarged me when I was in distress" is interesting to me. The sorrows of life have (through God's mighty hand) been the source of life's enlargement--of growth and strength. It's the idea of "iron entering the soul." Shallow romance and idealistic dreams harden the heart to reality, whereas distress and trials strengthen it. The iron of life enlarges our character, strengthens us, expands our capacity, and leads us down deeper roads.

God is calling me for a specific purpose, and I can trust Him to accomplish His purpose in my life. What if this loss is a turning point for my life? A very, very hard turning point, but a turning point no less.

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me" (Psalm 57:2).

"The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands" (Psalm 138:8).

Lord God, I don't feel purposeful at all right now, but I'm starting to be curious about what it is You want me to do. Amen.