Monthly Archives: November 2009

back to it

Today is my first day of work in a week.  A lot has happened this week and as I think about what there is to come in the next few weeks and beyond that, I am terrified and jubilant.  First, terrified because it’s a lot to handle.  Jubilant because there is even more weakness to bring God’s power to the forefront and the light!

Colossians 1:17, anyone?

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.  NLT

The return of community is SUCH a blessing to me.  I’m on the verge of friendships in my connection group, which brings joy to my heart.  When I was sitting at our “table” (a plastic table cloth on the floor with 15 people seated around it), I looked up and around the table and was indescribably blessed by the act of sharing a meal with people, and they had it right…we weren’t split up into factions and corners and couches.  We were all together.  It is really beautiful.  I beamed (probably inwardly, but possibly outwardly…I didn’t take time to notice).

It makes me think a bit of the Passover Feast Jesus had with his disciples right before the cross…the last supper.  He knew these people well, had spent years of his life with them.  They broke bread together, and it wasn’t just symbolic.  At a big church, celebrating communion is understandably less like a family style meal and more like a drive through, but stopping to think about the love and community we too enjoy with Christ…it means it’s not just a wafer and a sip of wine/juice.  When we partake in the feast we are joining brothers and sisters we share unity in Christ with…even without knowing them (yet).  The act itself isn’t salvation any more than good works are, but it’s a privilege of the grace the church body has received.

Speaking of that word just…I just watched Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Mahoney’s character (natalie portman) accuses the mutant of being a “just man”…just a toy shop, etc.  It made me think of the limited expectations we have for God especially as we pray.  I’m more in favor of really big because I know that my idea of really big is still incomprehensibly smaller than God’s capacity for action.  Let’s not just pray for comfort for the sick, let’s pray to abolish illness.  Let’s not pray for just a number of new hearts for Christ, let’s pray for all hearts.  This idea is more in theory than practice for me, for now, but I can’t really think of a good reason why we should cut God short.  Granted, He continues to surpass the huge hopes we have, but yeah.

It’s just a collection of thoughts.  Take or leave as you will.

And to conclude, I am excited for the following:
extended quiet times
grocery shopping tonight/tomorrow!
mpls next weekend
community
hanging pictures in my room.

 

peace out, home-slices.

community

it’s a year of community for Hope in 2010, which is exciting because I’ve been craving it (and have especially noticed its value in my life, now that I don’t have a small group).

and I’m playing in community band tonight.  Similarly exciting and relevant.

okay, off the community horse.  Why is discerning the future so important to me lately?  I don’t have any decisions to make, but I insist on “worrying” about them.  I receive a compliment from someone about a gift or skill they’ve noticed I have and I wonder what sort of ramifications (well…results) will, well…result.  Does that mean you think I should be doing that next year?  I know it boils down to what God would have me do, but how can I be sure?  I was talking with someone (joking) that if you received a text message from God telling you what to do in life, it’d be sweet.  I thought it’d be miraculous, especially since I have blocked texting on my phone.  I don’t want to put God to the test, limit his lines of communication…but I’d delight in him cleaning out my ears or giving me an aid of some sort so that I could understand what He says with total confidence.

James 1 says to ask God for wisdom and expect Him to give it generously without finding fault.  I’m doing that a lot lately–granted, once would be enough, but I feel like I keep coming up with another angle of wisdom in discernment that I need to ask for more.

If I had my guitar here, I’d probably play and sing at the top of my lungs.  I feel like worshipping.  I don’t have much in the way of music on my computer (it’s on an external hard drive), so I could search for stuff on youtube…or make due with what I have.  Hmm.

I have a new Mum [plant].  A gave it to dad a while back and he gave it to me so I could replant it in the ground and use its pot and dirt to plant my basil.  I think I might try to revive it (it was outside, where it’s been getting cold), as there is still some green on the plant.  I thought it would be funny to call it Dad or something.  Then I could say, this is my mum, Dad.  I’m thinking of the perfect pun still, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m making little ornaments to distribute to congregation members for advent so they pray for students.  I don’t know if it’ll fly with them, but I’ve had fun learning about each student as I make the ornaments (I list the activities they listed on their registration…when it comes time for high school, I’m in trouble), and pray for them.  Maybe I should make a whole bunch for myself.  The best part of it all is that I got the paper and the ribbon half off.  Hobby Lobby had all gift wrapping stuff 50% off, and the scrapbook paper was, too.  I thought I was getting cardstock…but alas, I wasn’t.  Still made it work, though.  They open up.  And have glitter.  Love it.

I think I’m going to print a couple PL pix and maybe whip out the clarinet before heading to H-town for some band extravagance.  Yesssss!  I have missed playing, especially as reminiscing with a bunch of CDs I sorted yesterday.  While my junior high school taste in music was appalling (Lou Bega?  SmashMouth’s later album), I started picking out classier stuff in late HS and college…including the UISO recording of Verdi’s Requiem I played principal in as a sophomore in college.  The clarinet part is easy to pick out (and sometimes I find myself thinking, Patty, hold that full value), but the work en masse is a treat.  It took me a whole trip to SC from Ames, a trip to Ankeny, and most of a trip to WDM to finish it.  Anyway, the more I think about the music that is absent from my current job, the more I want to make sure I don’t lose it.

Which gives me EVEN more things to think about.  Will you pray for my wisdom too?  Thanks!

Okay…dinner is finished (bagel dipped in cream cheese…not exactly what hit the spot, but convenient enough), and I have a couple things to do.  I pray you are well!

speedy delivery

I’m not a newborn Christian, yet I find myself being rather inexperienced with prayer.  Silly, right?  It’s a conversation between God, the Holy Spirit intercedes, it’s basic, essential, and rich.  And still, for some strange, inexplicable reason, I don’t have great expectations for my requests.  Not that I don’t ask in faith that God hears and responds…I do.  I just happen to assume that His reply will be “Wait”.  Part of that stems from the types of requests I’ve made in the past that have rightfully gotten the “hold your horses” reply…I’m thankful that God didn’t give a quick nod of approval to some of the pleadings of my heart because I’ve been able to know and appreciate the blessing in the wait-time.

 

But this week, He’s been moving at lightning pace to answer prayer.  It is rather empowering.  Encouraging, too.  I don’t mean to say I can get anything I want, but my faith in prayer and its answer is affirmed and inspired through it.

 

On Sunday I was tired.  I had had the high school recharge the previous two nights, which was totally awesome, and although I had gotten sleep, I woke up early in order to hang out with my dad before going to church.  By the time I pulled up to the middle school, I realized that I had about 4 hours of “taking in” ahead of me…and my focus was non-existent.  I wasn’t so tired I could fall asleep standing or sitting, but I knew my heart wasn’t really ready for worship, let alone 2 identical services in a row.  So I prayed for freshness, alertness, and that the experience wouldn’t be boring to me in my weary state of mind.  When I walked in the door, less than a minute after that prayer, I was greeted almost immediately by the children’s ministry coordinator.  She asked me how I felt about kindergarten, to which I replied–I love them!–and she asked if I would be a sub for the kindergarten section of the children’s ministry.  I got to hang out with 7 (I think) 5-year olds and teach them about Jesus, sing some songs (including Christmas songs for their upcoming program), play a bit, draw a bit, and enjoy them.  I expected to do it for both services, but God provided freshness in the coordinator informing me that I could go ahead and go to worship for the second service, as they had someone else coming in to teach that service.

 

Even yesterday, as a culminating forlorn prayer for company and fellowship was offered, I received an email response to a guest card I had filled out at a nearby church…and another response when I followed that one with a reply.  I might have an age-similar small group coming up, and my encouragement is unmatched–for weeks I have met some dead ends in this regard, but there is hope!

 

I’ll challenge you to be open to God’s response.  Don’t expect Him to answer right away OR later…recall that His timing is for a greater purpose.

 

Off to do laundry and figure out a menu for dinner tonight.  Peace to you!