Wednesday, April 21, 2010

is passion a good thing? it tends to get me in trouble...

so i read one of my favorite pastors blogs this morning and it really got me to thinking today. how come Christians, not all, but enough to make it an issue, tip so poorly at restaurants ? i've had conversations with some of those said people, and their response is somewhere along the line of not wanting to give more to a servant than they do when they tithe to God. ok... so many issues with that statement, but since my thought process went further than that today, i will only say this, then move on: when you tithe, 10% is a guide line. God is looking for a posture of giving, not rule following, and i'm pretty damn sure He'd be shaking His head if we chose to give LESS to someone serving you just because you want to give Him more. how bout you give your 10% at church, then when you go out to eat after church, you continue that act of giving to His children and bless them for allowing you to not have to cook!?!

enough about that. here's the rest of my thought process:
we, at the Stirring, are known for our love. Bethel is known for healing, Neighborhood for Grace and so on. we all have our roles to play in this community, but does that mean that just because Bethel focuses on healing, that grace gets overlooked? NO. are we, who attending the Stirring, going to only send our sick to Bethel to be healed? NO. why? because being strong in one area of service, doesn't give us the right to slack off in all other areas. God can heal people through friends at Neighborhood and find grace when they talk to friends at Bethel. I just believe that God leads people to the above said churches to be forged by the best in the land, then sent out to reach out to the rest of us. The connection with my thought process is this: we call ourselves Christians, read the Bible, give our 10%... then treat people like crap all because of our "beliefs". some churches, (none of them listed above) pride themselves on being more Godly for handing out tracts instead of a tip, or "showing" God their love for Him by giving more to Him on Sunday morning. i think if the Bible was still being written there would be a whole letter written to each of these churches begging them to change their ways. NO ONE GETS IT RIGHT PEOPLE, but at least TRY to humble thy-selves and look at the example that Jesus gave us. being a servant is not a glamorous job, but an important one, and if you want to seal your place BEHIND them, then continue on being jerks by cheating them out of what you KNOW is right. i am so very thankful that a few of the churches here in town, meet on a regular basis as the FRIENDS THEY SHOULD be and help each other. what's that called... oh yeah... SERVICE! read the bible, all of it, not just the old testament, then get out and live it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

quotes i live by... unfortunatly

"'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin

but even better:
"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them." Gone with the wind

kill me. kill me now!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

so many thoughts

life in itself is so hard. there's things you can't control like the economy, sickness, natural disasters, the weather... so many times did i pray for it not to rain, but alas i would end up sitting on the couch worrying about randy's cancer listening to the news about another earthquake and the lack of help because no body can afford to aid yet another natural disaster, as it pours outside and the hail blankets the ground enough to make you think it was snow. these things we can't control. all we can do is try not to worry and know that we are in God's hands during this predestined life He has for us. I believe in providence. I believe that this life is not meant to be easy. I believe that we learn as we walk through life, we make mistakes, others will hurt us, we will do some things right but in the end, God is the goal.

there are however, things we can control like the people who we surround ourselves with, choices we make, and whom to trust with our hearts. we need to love and be loved. that is our commandment. LOVE. that's what the Stirring stands for. We love. We make disciples. unfortunately life still crashes into to these choices we feel that we are in control of, but that just leads us to another choice: do you continue to trust, love unconditionally, stand firm in what you feel is right? for me, i will choose to love. thankfully i have a Father who shows me this example daily. no matter what, He loves, so therefore, so should I.

My job is not to condemn, but to lift up. Not to crush, but to heal. have i made mistakes by hurting someone, when i should have put my armor around them? of course. it's human nature. that said, being human doesn't give me a free pass to continue on. my words have hurt too many times to count, but thankfully we have a God of restoration and healing. He has helped to restore broken relationships, broken hearts and broken spirits. This is where i choose to stand...

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18

Monday, April 5, 2010

leaving it all behind

i felt the spirit of God crash into me yesterday harder than i ever have before. i am so thankful that He was gentle. i understand why He won't allow us to see Him visually, because i don't doubt we would just burst into flames. i was at church, minding my own business, looking forward to watching Kelly get baptized, and i ended up getting a backstage view, as i found myself standing right behind her, getting ready to get in myself.

as soon as Pastor Dan said, "i feel like someone here, who hasn't planned on getting baptized, will be joining us today..." my whole body got extremely hot and i started shaking. i tried to explain to God that i can't be baptized in a white shirt, totally un-prepared, having no change of clothes or a towel. He had other plans. I even tried to do a U turn and head out the front door, but my legs just wouldn't work, so i put my head down and walked up to Dan, put my hand on his shoulder, he gave me a knowing look and directed us up the stairs to the baptismal pool. Randy and Gillian were right behind me for support. We watched as several others were dunked, and all i could think about is something Amy had said a couple of months ago, "stop running". God has told me for a long time, "meet me by the water". Never knew what He meant until yesterday.

So there i stand with Nate looking at me with a puzzled look on his face, and i walk into the water to meet God. It was time to stop running. Time to leave it all behind and take the plunge so to speak. I felt something physically change inside of me as i came out of the water. It's not a feeling i can explain, so i won't even try. I turn around to find a towel, and i see my little girl literally ripping her top shirt off getting ready to get in herself. Randy's right behind her to pray over his girl along with Nate, and she gets baptized herself. 3 minutes later, we're all three standing backstage, soaking wet and cold and i finally felt complete and whole for the first time. I went back and forth between tears and laughter. It's an amazing feeling to know that when i met God by the water, i set my self apart for Him and am now able to leave my old self behind. I will never forget this Easter. EVER!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

oh my world. what a whirlwind!

i have lived out of a suit case for about three weeks now. started off with weekend at my sisters. followed by 9 days in the LA area and concluded with 4 days as a WES camp leader. i was the ONLY woman leader of a boys cabin, and it changed my life. setting the stinkyness and fart jokes aside, i had SOOOO much fun! it was cold, but mostly dry. my sense of humor has changed. i realized my body is not as young as it was when i was a counselor as a junior in high school. i laugh at the antics of 11 year olds who forgot i have a boy of my own. waking up to the silhouette of 2 boys peeing off the porch of our cabin at 2am this morning. changing my clothes in my sleeping bag because i had no where else to go??? lol. good times. so many stories, AND i realized tonight that the main guy who runs WES camp is in fact my neighbor from across the street!

all in all, life is good. family is coming to visit for Easter. Friends' lives are changing for the better. randy's... alive. what else can i ask for? i am laughing at myself right now because i should be ready for bed, but i am ready to party with 4 kiddos who are on SPRING BREAK baby!!! bring it!