Monday, April 16, 2012

visual love.

God just does stuff cuz He loves us. He doesn't have to have any other reason. 
(Even better when visuals are involved for this gal.)
The ultimate love without fear. 

 He showed me His love.. THREE times in one night!! 
I wonder how many other less obvious ones I miss? prolly lots...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

i miss her already.

We sat there in Taco Johns, it prolly was her favorite place. She always ate healthy. Carefully attending to the temple God gave her one way or another. She was in fact, the most heath conscience person I knew. She was my friend. We sat there over our tacos crying over life, decisions made, hope found and of course the ever illusive parenting skills we lacked. She was a confidant.

We decided that the summer months were ours to serve in the nursery at church. We holed up with numerous toddlers in a teachers lounge turned baby place each  and every Sunday that summer. It was much easier to just count on ourselves than have to rely on folks to be there. We were young and six of the babies in there were ours anyways. She never wanted to burden anyone, ever.

When she was leading the K/1 sunday school class, my oldest world changer was included in her class. It was she who he wanted to pray to accept Jesus with. She was always always safe.

Today is her funeral and I know life will go on, but death does certainly change it. She is a rock to her young kids and a beautiful wife to her man. She will always be missed.

But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. 
Every morning and at noon I utter my complaint
 and he hears my voice. 
He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage.
 Psalm 55:16-18 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

to endure the wait.

There is something uncomfortable about waiting. The place in between. The moments or lifetimes when you beg and plead for relief from whatever you are going through, and God seems to turn a deaf ear and carry on working in other people around you, and you sit there hearing nothing.  Planning and scheming your own way out of whatever it is your knee deep in. Waiting is hard, dare I say Americans stink at it?

Of course Satan doesn't want you to wait. If you wait well, you might hear God's words in your heart so deep that would never let them go. Then, your life is changed- into something that Satan has no use for. Ahhhh.. that's the master scheme. You can not thrive on microwave waiting.

You must have slow cooker faith. When you cook with a slow cooker you put all the ingredients in first. Then you enjoy life with the aroma of whats cooking. With the exception of the good things that are cooking. The aroma helps you wait well. It's the waiting that develops your senses to the Spirit. The sweet smell of God's work and giving Him glory.

When Jesus proclaim "It is finished" while He was still hanging on the cross, God could have conquered death right then and there, but God chose to have Jesus raised on the third day. On day two the believers had no choice but to morn and feel hopeless. They just invested three years of their lives into a man who just died a horrible death.  Rejection, abandonment, unworthiness, they felt it all I'm almost positive.  So many times in the Word we see situations that God could have chose to have come in and save the day. But He loved us enough to wait.

Waiting. It's another form of love. A form of love that develops deeper intimacy and joy with the God who created you. You may have to force yourself to wait. You would not be alone in that battle, but if you are screaming and kicking while waiting, looking and grasping for any sign that the waiting is over, you may be missing the point.  Go about your day.  Redirect your thoughts on the goodness and love of God as needed and be still. God will astound you. God will tell your soul to move and act. God will whisper gentle words of love to you.. and you will learn to love to wait. Because it's in the waiting that God is the nearest to you. God wants to save the day for you, but he also wants the glory. He's like that. Jealous of your affection. He wants you to love Him with all of you, and that may take years, or maybe just days.. but know He will save you from whatever you find your self journeying through.  He promises.

"For you have need of endurance, 
so that when you have done the will of God 
you may receive what is promised."
Hebrews 10:36

Friday, April 6, 2012

we all do it.

Every Good Friday when I was growing up.  Our family would head over across field to attend the service at a little Lutheran church.  A service where the altar was ceremoniously stripped of it's greatness and draped in a black cloth. A tomb of hopelessness. A service where at the end the normal chatter and banter between housewives and farmers was silenced. Taken over by the immense weight of what our sin did to a man who was just hung on a cross. 

I do not attend a Lutheran church now, haven't for many years, but every Good Friday I would just once like to take my tribe to a service where the focus is a feeling of hopelessness. A place where you are forced to sit and wait for three days for answers that your heart seeks. A service where the main point is to point out that your sin is real, and it hurts people. A service where the recognition of your sin is placed front and center on a cross in front of you. A service where you are forced to keep an uncomfortable silence at the end. 

Sin stinks and is wreaking havoc on this world. It is supposed to. That's what sin does, destroys. Of course it's awkward to talk about. There isn't one person on this planet who takes great joy in admitting they are full of sin, but we do ourselves a great disservice when we hide the sin that is in us all. Satan, the Father of Lies, takes what is hidden and uses it against us. Our hearts put up walls and force people out. We build our own kingdoms so we feel like we save ourselves. 

Sin is in us all. All. Should we celebrate it? No. 
Should we set aside a couple of days to deal with it?  Jesus did.