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Showing posts from August, 2009

Monday QB

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This week's message was a natural progression from last week's commentary on God's silence (especially if George read my blog to help him with his prep-LOL): God and Suffering.
Last week I observed that God's silence is often connected with a perception of being abandoned during times of difficulty. Surely, not always, but that is when we notice His distance most profoundly.Sunday we looked at Psalm 73.How do we reconcile God's goodness to the evil and suffering we see? Depends on how we see the story.I see the story as the world, God's creation, was broken, also called The Fall which is where sin entered the world. We chose something over God...security, knowledge, relationship, power...and things were never the same. Still, God loved His creation (us included but all of His creation) and the Bible is the recording of God's pursuit of mending, reconciling, of bringing us back to His dream for us. Since very ancient times, since the beginnings of this …

My new adventure

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I am so nervous. Tonight I start a class. A first night, a group of strangers, a higher level of schooling. All the insecurity and fear leaps into my throat. Silly that I can avoid all this by just not going, not pressing thru. Shaking my head, I know that is not a possibility for me. Too much possibility, too much adventure, too many opportunities would be lost. So I worry what I should wear and when I should leave and if I know where I am going, but I know I am going.

Armchair QB

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How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1 NIV )

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you...
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. (Psalm 42:5-7 NIV)


This Sunday the topic in our series on the Mysterious God is: The Silence of God.
Somewhat fitting that I have been a bit tongue tied, eh? Well, not quite so tongue tied, as brain tied. What a HUGE topic! I know people who believe that God is silent to them. I have times like that, but I do not struggle with them because they are typically short and I rationalize them with my small brain as God needed to go fishing or see to something else for a little. He has not left me, just stepped out for a moment.
But then there were other moments, in a death, in a tragic event-where was…

Armchair QB

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OK, the ref is calling delay of game.

I am gonna be a little late with Monday's post. Working at my real job while working out this post. Get to you soon!

Time for Monday Armchair Pastor

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This Sunday we continued our discussion of the attributes of our Mysterious God with His Power. Our text was primarily Isaiah 40:7-31.


Altho this is where I usually process the message, I am going to do something a little different. I am going to tell you a little of my story about His Power.


As an adult, I was not involved in church. I didn't want to be. Growing up in a Baptist church, I heard the Bible preached regularly. I knew the stories, and I knew it wasn't for me because this ancient book was just some myths made up by a people to make sense of life's tragedies. But along my path, a woman taught me to seek evidence in a Power greater than myself.


She said, "What if there are no coincidences? What if that is God speaking to you? Can you be open minded enough to investigate?"


I was pretty desperate at that moment, my marriage difficult, my emotions volatile. I was willing to see what this was all about.


Now, this was not a journey of 10 minutes or 10 months. Pr…

He's Calling

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I didn't sleep well last night. I kept waking up, wanting to write. Those nights are annoying, particularly when I am working 12 hours the next day so I have no business getting out of bed to write. But here is the thing that kept bugging me...what if God is calling us not to greatness, but to smallness?
Yeah, weird thing to keep a person awake, huh? Our group that went to the Leadership Summit are praying for ways that we can put what we learned into practice. Look around your neighborhood-there is so much need. Look around your coworkers-enough need to depress you. Look around the world-so much need it can paralyze.
And then I think about this thing with callings... What if it isn't about being called to a thing, but to be like Him? What if it doesn't matter where I am or what I do but how I do it? What if His only desire is for me to respond to this broken world as He does? Right where I am?
Jesus stopped to love the kids, he held up important people to talk to a woman, he n…

Feast of Saint Clare

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St Clare's Blessing
Always be lovers of your souls
and those of all your sisters.
And may you always be eager
to observe what you have promised the Lord.
May the Lord always be with you
and may you always be with Him
Amen

I chose St Clare as my confirmation saint. It is a hard choice because out of all the saints, you have to pick one whose character or life is admirable.

Clare heard a preacher who helped the Holy Spirit ignite a fire within her that prevented Clare from going back to life as usual. An heiress who grew up in comfort, she turned away from all this seeking her Lover. She wanted to know Him like Francis and to serve Him like Francis.

On a Palm Sunday, she left her family, her wealth, her pretty clothes, and her hair (shaving of the head was a surrender of vanity and worldliness), and followed Francis to her Beloved Jesus.

I also wanted to be like Francis. I wanted to preach the Gospel, to embrace the untouchables, to give all I had on this earth for my Savior. I felt the passi…

Time for Monday QB

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The text is one of my favorites...Ephesians 3:17-19.

God is Love.

We hear that a lot. People insist that a loving God can't send people to hell. In suffering people cry out, "How could a loving God do this?"

Is our idea of love the same as God's? I am not so sure, tho I believe we like to think we are that good and that amazing.

But God loves wider and longer than I do...

He doesn't just love those who love Him. He loves those who reject Him, those who hurt Him repeatedly, those who ignore Him, those who are unlike Him. He even seeks these people whereas I would just stick with the people I knew cared about me. His love began at the beginning and continues. My love, well, as embarrassing as it may be to admit, can be a little fickle. I won't defend it as a "girl's prerogative," since I think it has more to do with a carnal prerogative.

He loves higher and deeper than I do...

He loves me despite all the times I rejected Him outright, when I heard His v…

Leadership Summit 2009

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It has been quite a two day conference. Wasn't sure I was going to like it, as it seemed like the grown up version of Catalyst, and maybe it was, but we made the fun and they stuffed our brains.

The speakers were amazing. The host Bill Hybels, Tim Keller, Harvey Carey, Dave Gibbons, and David Gergen were my favorites tho I also learned from others. I do not believe I can do the scope of what I learned justice in this post today, but I wanted to write a little something. Start to process.

I suppose I go to these conferences not just looking for ideas but for answers. I am not even in a leadership position. A conference attendee asked about my position, and I snickered quietly and offered, "Resident heretic?" But even I wonder where I belong. As any reader knows, I wonder what God has in store for me, what He is calling me to, but no real answers appear.

In fact, mostly I heard a lot of double messages:

Lead out of passion, no lead out of obedience Organization versus organism L…

Service ranting

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When my husband and I started going to church, we weren't necessarily sure what we believed, we probably didn't know all the songs, we certainly didn't know all the books of the Bible, but we did know how to make coffee and we knew being of service was a key to making connections.


Years of recovery meetings had taught us the importance service, not for those I serve, but even for me. Being in service makes me visible. People may not know my name, but they learn my face and I become part of the fabric of the place I serve. I learn people's names and develop connections. I take ownership of something that is valuable to me; I am not just a taker. Arriving early and staying late also creates a comfort level for newbies like us. And, of course, you are useful, not awkwardly standing out.

It intrigues me that the church seems so caught up in this idea that a minister of God is going to give them a word and the worship will be "good" then everyone runs out of chu…

Callings

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I have been thinking a lot about God's calling lately.

You may think I am crazy, but I feel him urging me, calling to me, but I don't know what He wants. I attempt to intellectualize it: these are my gifts-how can I use them? I attempt to ignore it: He can talk to my husband. I try to fill in the blanks like I do when people are speaking too slow for me or I think I know where they are going.

What if He is just letting me know that I am His?

I have a lilac crowned Amazon named Sangria. We call to each other sometimes. She is just checking to see where I am and I am letting her know that I am close by.

Could it be that simple?

I know for His Word that God wants me to live rightly, loving justice, being merciful, and walking with Him. Living out those ideas leaves me reliant on His grace. I love the friendless. I feed the hungry. I give hope to those in darkness. I stand for justice in a selfish world. I read His Word, study His Word. I follow my Shepherd's call.

I don't need …

Monday QB

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This Sunday my family visited a different church, Victory Church. Our home church is about 40 minutes from our where we live, so we sometimes fantasize about finding a church nearer, especially when gas prices go up. Another downfall of one's church home being so far away is when friends ask for help finding a church, you don't want to invite them to your church long term but help them find one that works for them. And sometimes it is also just fun to worship the same God with a bunch of people who are at once strangers and family.

So, today's adventure started with rain...the kind that makes you want to stay in bed. After meeting with the kids for the usual breakfast and g babe snuggles, we set off. Tiersa mumbled that she didn't like trying new things as we walked thru the parking lot to the front doors. For a moment, fear crept in. What if we aren't dressed right? What if we don't know any songs? I shrugged off the "what ifs" knowing that my Father…

Book Review

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This book, Nine Ways God Always Speaks by Mark Herringshaw and Jennifer Schuchmann, is both a sarcastic and thoughtful discussion of a topic that can be very touchy. If you are someone who believes God has spoken to you, you might begin telling someone about it after the disclaimer, "You're going to think I am crazy, but..." At the other end of the conversation would be the person who wonders about their own value in God's eyes because they have never heard from Him. The authors utilize personal stories from many people to demonstrate how others perceive God's voice, thus challenging us to review how God may have been speaking to us but we were not in a state to hear. (The subtitle for the book is, *Offer available only in certain states, which certainly implies that there are conditions where we might be better able to hear God.)
Each chapter is numbered like a radio frequency and discusses a particular way of hearing from God. Dreams, voices, nature, the Bible, …