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He makes me new, He is making me new

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Cruisin'

I can't believe I haven't yet blogged about our awesome impending trip! :-)

Basically, Paul and I are SO incredibly blessed to be able to go on our very first cruise (at the end of this month) courtesy of my dear brother in law's generosity! Indeed, this is not something that happens every day, in fact, Paul and I have never truly had a vacation together, at least not a BEACHY HOT SUMMER weather vacation where we get to just be with each other and relax!!! It is an awesome gift and one that is not in the least going unappreciated.

So...today it's May 18th, and Paul and I are leaving in the morning on May 21st !!!!
3 DAYS!!! I have not had something this exciting to look forward to in a while! :-)

I am thankful to God for this awesome opportunity and of course thankful to Bruce, Paul's brother, who so generously offered to make this possible for us.

We will be going to the Western Caribbean and stop at Cozumel Mexico, Ocho Rios Jamaica, and Grand Cayman and have four days at sea. We can't wait!!

For anyone interested in following our itinerary or just the cruise info,check this link out :-)

http://www.carnival.com/Itinerary.aspx?embkCode=MIA&itinCode=WC9&shipCode
=VI&durDays=7&subRegionCode=CW

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Materialistic Christian

I am reading the book "The Naked Church" by Waybe Jacobsen and it has been thus far very interesting and in my opinion, quite accurate. He speaks about the state that the church is in these days, and speaks about a lot of the reasons for that.

The chapter I was reading recently dealt with the materialistic nature of some western christians. He suggests that we have missed the point. That we have tried to "combine" the priorities of this world as they relate to wealth and prosperity and the priorities of the kingdom, and that has created some confusion and what's worse, it has created a gap between God and us. He very simply says...if I am prioritizing a nice house, a couple of cars, a "good" family, the "good life", I am missing what God is saying to me, I am missing his work in my life and thus I will interpret my circumstances as a "result" of what God may or may not be doing.When we prioritize anything over relationship and community with God, we will lose the benefit or truly walking with him and we will be lost and influenced by our circumstances, and these in turn will govern our relationship with God.

That has happened to me. I get so easily caught up in the "I deserve this" and "I should have that" that when I don't get whatever it is, it causes friction between me and God. I question his motives, I wonder about his love for me, I ask myself what I could have possibly done better. None of that is necessary if I am in daily relationship with him. If I know him and my life reflects his love and his grace, whatever circumstance comes my way I will not doubt his love, his motives or my worth. I will walk through it and know that he is with me and whether challenging or sad,annoying or overwhelming, I know he is with me and I need not endure it on my own.
And I can know that his ultimate goal has little to do with THIS life and the circumstances of it, and lots to do with my eternal life and relationship with him forever.

Broken Toe?

Ok, I am NOT sure because I have not seen a doctor at this point, but I am fairly certain that I have broken a toe in my left foot. I have drawn this conclusion after much careful evaluation of the contusion and swelling around the area and...the incredible pain I feel whenever I attempt to step on it.:-(

What happened,you might ask yourself.Well....very simply, a mis-handling of grocery baggage caused the dropping of a rather large and full 2 liter bottle of diet root beer on my foot (OUCH!). I must say...the people present were quite impressed with how I handled the blow, but quite frankly I think it had nothing to do with my threshold for pain, but more with the fact that the blow had quite possibly taken my breath away thus rendering me unable to utter any sound, as in.. a blood curling scream or very loud tears.

So..it has now been about 3 days, and the swelling has gone down and the bruising is more green then purple (Usually this is a good thing) but walking is still rather difficult. This in turn is very difficult for me, as I am quite used to moving quite speedily about while accomplishing several different tasks at once. Once more, God has figured out a way to get my attention and once more, he is teaching me patience.

There are many things that simply cannot get done,when you are moving as slowly as I am these days, in a 24 hour period.I am learning to live with the consequences and be content in the amount of activity that my foot can handle.
Patience Patience Patience! :-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sailing with...Jesus

I am a highly musical person..WAIT no, that does not mean that I am musically talented, just that I love music and that music has a strong effect on me.
I was listening to a Chris Rice album (I love his stuff, he's one of my favorite song writers)and the song "Sailing with Russel" came on...and this particular verse caught my attention, as if I was hearing it for the first time...

"What if we saw him there(Jesus)
Walking out on the water?"
No time for splashing around in shallow theology
He just invited us out into the deep simplicity

I picture it..some friends hanging out, and suddenly, we see Jesus, and he joins us
I don't picture theology talks, complicated words that I need to look up in the dictionary, I picture him easy going, loving, kind, hanging out with us, one of us and yet GOD. Wow...wouldn't that would be awesome!
I love that Chris Rice uses the phrase "Deep Simplicity", what would that be like?
I love simplicity, I love unstructured spontaneous fellowship with other believers, when people get to be real with one another and the cover-ups,and masks,and pretending to be someone they're not,stops. Where we can be with each other in our weakest moments and still love each other.
That's when I see Jesus. In the SIMPLE times, and yet it is deep. Deep simplicity...deep love, deep fellowship, deep connections with one another and yet simple because all we really have to do is let go of our expectations and plans and schemes and let him do the work in and through us.
I've been a part of that kind of deep simplicity a few times during my Christian walk and I can't help but wonder, why not more often? Is there something to be said for the lifestyle most of us lead that gets in the way of that simplicity?
Certainly my experience has been that living in the U.S. limits in some ways your ability to be spontaneous and carefree with your life. Planning needs to happen, committees are put together, time "slots" are reserverd for different activities, and the opportunity for spontaneous God led fellowship decreases. We DECIDE when we will meet, at what time and for how long and THAT's when God can work.
That seems...limiting. Anytime I feel bound by a schedule I don't feel free to worship God. Rarely does God's timing in my life coincide with the pre-set schedule, but I do have to say, God does work trough everything, he uses us our efforts, even when to us it looks like we are failing because the "intended" result is not achieved. So perhaps all our planning and scheming and structuring doesn't allow much wiggle room or flexibility for us to "take in" or even notice God's work in and around us and perhaps for some us, some things need to change, but in the meantime, He is God. Whatever we do,he will use, for his purpose and for his glory.

Followers