Showing posts from May, 2014

Armchair QB: Idols? Who me?

I am still in Judges, still captivated studying Gideon. God showed up, out of no where, and called Gideon, the guy preparing wheat in secret, a mighty warrior. This seems to have turned Gideon's understanding of himself upside down.  He pushes back that God seemed to have abandoned them, that there is no way Gideon could save the people.  After this first exchange, Gideon prepares an offering and God consumes it all in fire.  Only after this demonstration of power does God seem to have Gideon's full attention.

Gideon is instructed by God to tear down  his family's idols. Being that he was part of God's chosen people, the Israelites, that seems like a no brainer, right? But as I work thru this story, I begin to wonder: what idols do I have?
The passage of Judges tells us what kind Gideon's family has. The same as their neighbors. The same as the people oppressing them. Is that because, as Gideon argued, that God had been absent for a while?  Is it because obviously…

Armchair QB-If Gideon Can Trust, I Guess I Will. Maybe.

We have recently started a new series at church-Creating Spaces, because we are effectively "out" of space.  We are full, the seats, the parking lot, the classes, which is a good thing, unless one considers that means there is change ahead, in one form or another.  For this series, we are going through the story of Gideon. I have been studying these passages for weeks now (Judges 6 & 7).This could be seen as an occupational hazard since I work and volunteer at the church, or it could be seen as one of the many benefits of being deeply connected there.  However I look at that, Gideon’s eyes have become a fascinating set of lenses through which to envision this journey. I am terribly protective of much of my life.  And probably have no reason to be living in the country that I do, with a decent income and a modest home, without persecution or wars.  Gideon on the other hand was part of a nation who was being oppressed by an enemy. Our lives couldn't be more different. …

Submission Bites

Most everyone knows that I hate the "S" word. And if you didn't before, you know now.

To me, the "S" word is about devaluing one to raise up another individual, potentially less qualified or less worthy, based on titles, roles, or anatomy.  
I know sweet, kind people who cheerfully follow and submit to leadership. That would not be me. But this is the place I find myself right now.
Maybe I can blame it on Burger King, the "have it your way" mentality. Perhaps it is just that I am skeptical of the motives of others. Or it could just be that I am skeptical of others because I know how dark my own heart can be.
How do I get to a place of surrendering my opinions and my desires sweetly and kindly to human, and therefore potentially flawed, leadership?
(Wow. I thought I would just crumple this post up and toss it aside. Somehow, I managed to publish it, so I guess I need to finish it.)
Is it ok for me to wait until I know if I can trust your heart before …

If you only knew....

Every Tuesday after work, I either skip supper or gulp it down because I have somewhere to be: senior high youth group.  
No, I don't have kids at home anymore. No, I didn't have some special revelation from God to do this (just two teenaged girls). No, I don't get paid. No, I am not the bubbly, popular chick who loves pep rally events or that even is a model Christian (what I think of as "Christian"). But I love these kids and how God pursues them, and me through them.
I am awkward. I don't know how to spark up deep conversations like Mel. I am not as funny (they either laugh at or with) as Dave. I am not experienced or trained like Kim. I just sort of hang out. I get harassed by some of the guys. I pick on some of the girls. We laugh. A lot. And sometimes we pray or study the Bible. But mostly, we laugh. 
And I love these kids! 
They are awkward and funny. I pray for them when they put out Facebook requests. I cheer them on when they are working on an obstacle …

Grace Covers the Mess

Sometimes at church or events I look around me and am amazed. I don't know about you but there are moments, everyday, when I feel like I am the only one. 
The only one with a temper that annoys. The only one who puts her foot in her mouth-frequently. The only one who feels alone in a crowd. The only one who wants better but can't do better.  The only one who is a mess. The only one who can't get this Christian act together. The only one who believes that she is hopeless without grace...
And then, I look around. At the crowd. At this room full of messes.
I do this when we line up one Sunday and slowly creep toward the communion table. I do this at conferences. I look around at the Body of Christ...and I know that I am not alone. 
We are all loved messes covered in grace...covered in His blood...a little bit of heaven on earth is found in this fraternity called the church. 
Today, as my mind recalls the rooms, the crowds, the gatherings, I cannot help but be amazed at how big thi…