I just had the privilege of getting to hang out w some ultra cool chicks / women. i have a friend who’s connected into a Korean church in town & she invited me to share w their lady’s group – what an amazing time. We women are very unique creatures. We have tremendous capacity for fellowship & relationship w each other – but this also translates to our relationship w Jesus. I love this about us. We have an amazing potential to love, to listen, to communicate, to be intimate (without getting weird), to share our hearts – such richness of fellowship. I love seeing this in action w Jesus & experiencing this with the communion of the Holy Spirit. I’m very full.
Today, we had a small bit of family time. Reece & i took Benji (our 5 yr old) skiing. Reece & Benji ski, but i snowboard – that’s a whole different story. Anyways, driving up to the mtns, it was totally beautiful. It was lightly snowing & the wind would gently stir the trees, catching the snow & creating almost like snow ghosts, whisping around the tree tops. Once we hit the slopes, it continued to snow throughout the day & was totally captivating. I don’t think there are many more peaceful things then being in the mountains while its snowing. Everything seems extremely still & quiet – almost like a holy awe. It was also incredible today because i couldn’t hardly see – the snow from the sky was blending into the snow on the ground & i my eyes couldn’t differentiate very well different elevations on the ground. You can make your own conclusions, but none of us got hurt.
Ok, my point in all of this was that today seemed like a divine assault on my senses – totally light, the air filled w stillness & the clouds occassionally giving way to the sun’s mild globe. Totally amazing. i’m captivated by God – such extravagence
this day started off a bit rough, but here are some cool, fun & wonderful things that happened today:
- getting donuts for my friends from my armenian donut shop
- finishing my message for sunday – i’m REALLY excited about it!!
- problem solving some work issues
- snuggling w Benji (my 5 year old) in the sun
- talking w good friends – good, honest conversations about life, frustrations, hurts & growing
- traffic at Isabell & David’s school
- hearing God
So my prayer for you, friend is this:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all – 2 Cor 13:14.
Can i just say that i’m completely amazed by God & here are some reasons i am continually discovering that increase the amazement factor:
- God knows me really well – He totally gets how i think, even better than me
- provision – God gives me what i need, when i need it (often not earlier); either He provides the actual resources or the wisdom to match the need. Astounding
- Trinity – there’s enough w just this one word to keep my brain fully engaged until i die & better than that, enough of the Trinity to sustain, fuel & even overwhelm my heart, brokenness & inadequacy
- darkness cannot hide from light, no matter how hard it tries
Another reason i’m amazed w God is from what Jesus tells us in Matt 6:22-23: our eye is the lamp of our body & if our eye is clear, then we will be filled w light. If our eye is bad, then our body is full of darkness & that’s ALOT of darkness. So let’s consider some things we may use as “light” to illuminate our daily living (read through all of these to get the gist):
- if your light is food, then possibly fasting is darkness
- if your light is sex, then abstinence is darkness
- if your light is wealth, then poverty is your darkness
- if your light is education, then ignorance is your darkness
- if your light is relationships, then alone is your darkness
- if your light is your self, then maybe an empty heart is your darkness
While this list isn’t comprehensive & none of these things are bad by themselves, they become darkness for us, if we allow them to be a core value or motivation in our daily living. Let’s be sure that Jesus, the Light of the world, is THE Light who illuminates the entirety of our lives for each day.
In Philippians 4:4-5, Paul tells us 2x to rejoice in the Lord (its an imperative – command). Paul tells us to rejoice without exceptions, buts or excuses. Now for us ladies, that can be a tall order, depending on the hormonal levels on any given day. Hmmmmmm. But Paul doesn’t give us, either men or women, any wiggle room. We’re supposed to rejoice, end of the story, full stop.
Next he commands us to let our gentleness be evident to everyone. The word Paul uses in the greek doesn’t so much imply a character trait of gentleness but rather the way in which we treat others – not being harsh, mean, demanding, etc. Now you probably can do this easily, but i wasnt’ exactly “gentle” when the guy at the airport charged me almost triple for some espresso shots – grrrrrrrrrrr.
So, how on earth, given the humanity that tires us, are we supposed to rejoice always & let everyone see our gentleness???? I think Paul gives us the answer in the very next phrase – Jesus is near. Can I just say that whenever i get to talk w someone about Jesus (whether they’re a Jesus fan or not), i just get really amped up. Furthermore, it makes me “rejoice” when i think that Jesus is near me & He actually likes to be near me. i don’t even like being w me that much, but He does & that causes me to rejoice. Furthermore, when i think that Jesus is near me as i interact w others, i find myself wanting to tone down some volatility & i also find myself giving more grace, being keenly aware of the ongoing grace tsunami in which i live & breath. So, dear friend, Jesus is near – be joyful & gentle.
yesterday, Benji was running & fell – getting the classic elbow scrape. it wasn’t bleeding, but the skin got rubbed off just enough to make it stingy for awhile. getting hurt is the pits – big hurts, little hurts, medium size hurts, they’re all the pits.
lately, i’ve been thinking about pain & some hurts from back when i was a kid. everyone has childhood pains – hurt feelings, broken friendships, parental disappointments, harsh words that still haunt us, . . . . . being human can be stingy. but the real rub comes if we don’t let something good come out of the pain. i’ve watched myself with the various pains that have been interwoven in my life – sometimes i let them impair me & sometimes i take them to God. When i take them to God, i want Him to make it feel better NOW & yesterday is too long to wait. But here’s an interesting thought, pain has caused me to burrow into God (maybe more like respond to His invitations) like i never do when i’m not hurt. i find, of late, that Jesus walks me through various pains & helps me grow – grow closer to Him, grow in truth, grow in strength, grow in character, grow. so maybe the various pains we experience are “growing pains” when we bring them to Jesus.
pain isn’t so much the problem, its what we do w it that impairs, medicates or fuels us. let’s chose to grow
toast needs butter & that’s an axiom like salt & pepper, peanut butter & jelly. if you’ve got too much toast & not enough butter, then the toast isn’t as tastey – at least that’s my take for the present.
this last week has had too much toast & too little butter. i flew to dallas for a quickie trip & got to hang out w some very wonderful people – teen mania folk (Emmie & Katie) & Pastor Ben (from Calvary Church). we also had some good business meetings that were exciting. while doing all of that, including a healthy amount of girl scout cookie distribution (i’ve become a dealer for all girl scout cookie junkies – i’m your fix), i’ve been thinking LOTS! these are some things i’ve been chewing on:
- benji going into kindergarten in the fall & what that means (he’s my last little person not in full-time school)
- getting more girlscout cookies
- the trinity & its distinct persons w their interactions w me – what this is all about
- birthday parties the kids have been invited to
- a new book for mom
- friendships & un-friendships
- trying to figure out chessmaster for benji
- Shelley’s dad dying
- kingdom & community dynamics
Good things to think about & some very high octane reflecting. Maybe next week will be a more palitable butter & toast ratio. Benji just woke up – time to party. 😉