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Showing posts from July, 2012

Inspiration

I have been thinking a lot about intention lately. Last week's sermon and the study I led on Friday dealt with this topic. The Nooma study entitled Shells asked hard questions of us, like why are we so busy? What is our life about? Do you have a hard time saying no? Or, better yet, what have you said yes to? 
Soren Kierkegaard said that a saint is the person who can will the one thing. He was talking about the kind of person who knows exactly what their life is about. Does our lives reflect the "one thing"? 
My friends and I would always jokingly say that if you didn't know the answer just say Jesus because Jesus is always the answer. 
And isn't He? He should always be the One to drive our focus, our things. 
A few weeks ago I was really struggling with feeling like I was being ineffective. Like, how am I even making a difference? And I think it is always the idea of the grandiose that makes me feel defeated. Right now in the season of my life I am unable to do …

A Stumbling Hope

Well, this post is a long time coming. And as much as I have always endeavored for my blog to be transparent and honest, this feels almost too vulnerable for me, but here it goes anyway {may God use it...}
I have had a desire to simplify. I have been going through and purging, donating, etc... Amid my books, I came across an activity I had my women's group complete a few years ago. On a piece of paper I had typed each person's name and the phrase "You make a difference by..." and everyone wrote an example of how that person made a difference in the lives of others. I looked at the responses written on my paper which included; walking with others, listening, providing encouragement, having a servant's heart, leading, opening your heart to help others learn/feel loved, and praying and being so intentional in all that you do.
It was the last statement scrawled across the paper that caused me to pause: being so intentional in all that you do. It was just ten hours earl…

By and By

I just took some medicine for a migraine. I took a nap earlier. When you can sleep, the pain goes away. But, there is the waking, and so many people cannot sleep for their pain is too great anyway. So what to do for the sleep-deprived and soul-weary?
We can keep others' sufferings at a distance. We get comfortable with our happy sphere of life. We try our best to keep our bubbles intact and impenetrable, until one day they are not. It all feels overwhelming tonight. My head pounds, my heart aches, and the tears fall for those who suffer {people I know personally, people in Colorado, people all around this big sphere}. I ponder the response. How, in our daily lives, do we respond to others' sufferings? How can I not ignore the broken and hurting all around me? And sometimes I think we try to choose the convoluted answers, when it is more simple, straightforward, but by no means easy. The response to others' suffering should always be compassion {to suffer with} as we continu…

In Which We Move Beyond the Walls

Today has been a good day. Today was a day that started by moving out beyond the walls of church. And for me, it couldn't have been better timing. It may seem hard to understand, but over the last month or so, I have grown fidgety. Like, when I am sitting in a pew, I fidget. I find it hard to just sit.

I have been thinking and praying about this. I have been reading. Droves of people are leaving church, becoming disheartened. Declining churches are continuing to decline while growing churches continue to grow. However, they are growing with previous churchgoers, not the lost, unchurched. My heart grieves and I think that overall the lost aren't just going to show up to sit in the pews either. They aren't drawn in by the liturgy. They aren't breaking down the doors to come to the Lord's table {even if they were led to partake by the Spirit, would they feel welcome?}.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with tradition.…

How Fire Works

Sitting at home on the Fourth of July and thinking about the holiday. You know, the celebration of Independence Day, Bar-B-Ques, parades, people adorned in patriotic garb, flags everywhere {someone even stuck a flag in my lawn}, and fireworks. Growing up, this holiday terrified me. I enjoyed the fireworks in the sky, but the illegal, street variety sent me indoors. Sparklers, which were always a huge hit with the neighborhood kids, were off limits to me. I was fiercely afraid of fire.

I knew that fire was destructive, powerful, and painful. But, there is a fire that is refining instead of destructive. Scripture refers to God as "a refiner and purifier" (Malachi 3). This work of becoming holy is no joke and so necessary. We are the ones, after all, who fill our lives with the impurities of our selfish desires and false idols...

And there is fear and trembling with this fire, too, as we work it all out. The heat can be intense and the afflictions indeed painful, but I know th…