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Showing posts from July, 2011

Should

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When it rains, it pours, right?

Seems that way to me lately.  For those who do not know, I have a wonderful little girl named Chelsea.  She is a wheaten terrier who was supposed to be my husband's dog but instead claimed me.  Unfortunately, she has gotten sick with some genetic disease of her breed: inflammatory bowel disease and lymphangectasia (a protein losing disease affecting her bowel).  She is terminal, but in a way to lessen the blow, I remind myself that we are all terminal.  We just know now that she only has 2 years or so and what the cause of death will be provided she doesn't get hit by a car or burn to death in a house fire.  Yeah, I know, unpleasant thoughts, but this is where my head is.

Where my heart has been is a swamp of guilt.  There are the usual guilts-walks not taken, playtime missed, puppy years resented, but there are also the current guilts-money spent.  A friend encouraged me not to allow it to weigh me down, but we have spent so much money to treat…

Armchair QB-God is Love

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Yesterday we continued our study of God at Hope with "God is Love."  The main text is here.  I admit, once again, the message given is not the message heard.  While I took "his" notes, I was also making my own notes.  This post is my notes.
I always think of the phrase "God is love" whenever I hear we are going to the letters from John.  But what is love?  Obviously God's heart is not an flimsy as our own.  Can His love be as fickle as mine?  Of course not!  My favorite quote about His love is this: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.  He could have let us die in our sin.  He could have abandoned us to our own evil.  He could have backed down as He listened to Jesus plead with Him to find another way, as He watched Jesus suffer, as He heard the cries of His Son dying.  Can I even fathom loving like this?  Not really.  I get cantankerous when my husband doesn't answer me soon…

Armchair QB

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A dear friend returned from a mission trip to Belize Saturday and in her text to me she said, "This trip has changed my life."  What is it about mission trips?  Seems like everyone returning says that same thing.  I don't know what it is, since I have yet to be on a mission trip, tho I would argue that everyday we are on a mission trip no matter where we are.  I have had my own moments when my life was altered, however.  My perspective was changed when I read Half the Sky.  My purpose was changed when I decided to let Jesus take the lead in my life.  One day I will go on one of those mission trips to see what it means.
I would imagine it is something like what Isaiah experienced, tho.  This Sunday's text is Isaiah 6:1-8.  I have studied different places in the Bible where humanity has come face to face with the Divine.  This is one of my favorite accounts.  Kirk's focus was how holy-set apart or extraordinarily different-God is.  Mine is always about how that hol…

A Closer Look

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Before anyone (if anyone reads this) gets offended by what I may say on this post, know that I am writing only about MY heart's condition.  You may have a completely different outlook, and that is great, but this is about me.

Service can be a good thing.  One of the strongest desires of my heart is to serve God.   Catechism that I learned in school taught me this:

Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

I think my desire to serve Him, typically, is a natural outpouring of my love for the God I know.  Typically.  But then there is part of me lately that I have been looking at in my prayer & meditation time.  I also want to serve Him because I don't know how else to respond to His loving care.  Doesn't sound too bad on the surface, right?  Well, let's take it a step further-would I be content if I had absolutely nothing to ever offer Him but my imperfect self-love…

Armchair QB

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Today is Monday so that means it is time to play armchair QB, or pastor.  Unfortunately, I was not completely engaged in what Kirk was saying, although I did take notes.  I was more involved in my own lesson being learned.
The text for the day is here with the message being about how God reacts to idolatry-with jealousy.  The parallel was drawn between marriage and the covenant between God and his people, or the bride of Christ.
What was distracting me was one of those hide and seek moments with God.
I had come to worship still reeling from a cantankerous mood (not what my husband would call it) that has nagged me for the last couple days.  I have been frustrated, discontent, anxious for many reasons.  During the worship, phrases of songs drew my attention, challenging me: Do I refuse to admit I am weak?  (Of course I do.  I hate thinking I am weak.  I want to be able to handle things.)  Why are my fears not washed away?  Am I afraid? Isn't there some fear behind all the anger?  (See…

Adventures

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My husband and I like to take adventures.  Some might call them vacations, but I don't relax easily (just ask my husband who has been trying to teach me how for 20 years).  I prefer to think of them as adventures because we never truly know what will happen and that is ok with us.  Last week, we went to Massachusetts, where I was born, to go whale watching.  We stayed in a small beach community and had some great seafood.

The real adventure was trying to get back from Boston that first day.  The roads were tricky, to say the least, but the problem was that the GPS lady would lose us in a tunnel, we would make a decision, the wrong one, and then she would re-route us to another tunnel where, you guessed it, we would make another wrong decision.

Kind of like life can be.  We think we have a plan, move ahead with it, then something unexpected comes up-a loss, a hurt-and we make a poor choice.  We lose our way.  Many times it is difficult to find our way again.

That is how I have bee…

Armchair QB

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I love a good message to gnaw on, particularly when I only get a taste of something and I want more.  Yesterday Hope left me with such a hunger.

The text was basic enough: the difference between knowing God, as Moses did, and knowing about God, as many of us in the church claim to without really having a relationship with Him.

But what got me thinking was this text.

It is easy to see people who have a true intimacy with God and want what they have.  It is quite another thing to persevere and take the risks to get it.

Like the Hebrews, we are not always willing to risk hearing from God.  They heard God speaking from the mountain and were not drawn to him, but instead repulsed and terrified of Him.  What were they afraid of, and are we fearful enough I wonder, but that is another post.  The people asked Moses to go speak for them.  Was it because they knew he had a connection with God or because they were tired of following Moses and it seemed like an easy way to off him? 

And like the…