Friday, February 25, 2011

"Crazy Love" Compelling Thoughts from Chapter 1

For the last couple of weeks now, we have been discussing a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan with our beloved "Group 38". I'd heard of the book and been meaning to read it for the last handful of years... What a thought provoking adventure so far!

Anyways, kind of a re-curring theme lately especially in our culture, there is one particular concept that I really feel led to hone in on. Well, let me pre-cede that with this: In the first chapter [partucularly] of the book Chan gives his best human effort to try and draw a picture for you of who God really is.... his omnipotence, his massiveness, his absolute eternal and timeless existance. To get a glimpse (when you have 17mins) check out the 2 videos @ : "Awe Factor"[2min] "Just Stop and Think" [15min]

A quote from the book:
A lot of people say that whatever you believe about God is fine, so long as you are sincere. But that is comarable to describing your friend in one instance as a 300lb sumo wrestler and in another as a 5'2" 90lb gymnast. No matter how sincere you are in your explanations, both descriptions of your friend simply cannot be true

This concept points me to ponder a very false belief that has infected our society. Does this one sound familiar?
"I am a good person, I don't have anything to worry about, I believe that as long as I am generally good, nice to people and give to charity, I should have no problem getting into heaven"

The truth my friends is this: Us HUMANS don't get to set the standards. God does, He has made the standards very clear and if you live in the US you are extremely priveleged to have access. All you have to do is go to the book store, library, or stay home and turn on your computer. What are you searching for?

My husband re-tweeted a priceless piece of wisdom from one of our previous pastor's this morning: "If you have given up on seeking God, don't blame Him that you have also ceased to find Him." But let me add to that... If you've given up on seeking God, you've given up on the most envigorating, exciting, unpredictable, compelling and fulfilling adventure of your life! From this view: things make sense, have a purpose, change lives and shape the future more than money, or power ever could.

I don't condemn anyone for having that weak point of view I highlighted above I just want you to have more purpose, hope, and flavor in your life!

Let me leave you with 2 thoughts:

Saying that just being a good person will get you into heaven is basically saying that Jesus died in vain. (Wait, don't roll your eyes, even the world's most "intelligent" Athiests don't deny Jesus, his innocence, OR His death. They only dispute his resurrection and His origin. Again, everything you need to know is acccessable)

The second thought is a piece of scripture to ponder:
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demon's believe that - and shudder. -James 2:19

The Gospel is not about condemnation or guilt. But the very truth of it should compell you to thirst for more... So Relax, enjoy the ride, and always check your sources :)
(see Luke 13:24)

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Chapter...

Okay, it's been a while... I've been formulating this post for several days now 'cause it's kinda a big deal.... you'll have to read the whole thing to find out why though :)
Throughout my adult years [18+ish], I am extremely grateful to have such a diverse variety of experiences... Character building, I'm sure, but more importantly chapters of a story that in the end will show how they all come together to Glorify Him.
Near the end of my second year away at college... I woke one morning with a voice shouting "It's over, time to go". Funny how these things are ALWAYS preceded with a way to deepen my roots in each particular phase. Ironically, I had spent the several days leading up to that morning looking for housing with my "roomy" for the next year, Melissia. Both of us excited about the year-to-come.
But there was that voice. A voice I knew only as unavoidable and true. It's always accompanied by a stirring in the gut almost a wieghtless stirring if I could describe it. Like a bird about to take it's first jump out of the tree... a little nervous, at the same time knowing there is NOT another option and it's really for the best.
SO I called my Dad. We were closest at that time... normal I think for a Gal @ 19... not saying my mom and I butt heads 'cause we really didn't. I just talked to my dad more. I let him know... "After finals, I want you guys to come and pick me up, it's over". [Sounding relieved 'cause they hated Northwood for me] He said okay, no questions asked.. just call your mom. So I did.
I went home did my internship at my Dad's shop that summer (for my Associates) and interviewed with United Airlines and got hired. That was great! I traveled the world, lived in Wrigleyville for a stint, met many many people and had great fun.. Met Mike in 2000 married 2 yrs later.
After being furloughed and called back a couple times after 9/11 I had a harder time going back. I wanted to paint, and not be away for unpredictable amounts of time anymore. Then came the voice "it's time to move".. preceeded by the "huge" 5-yr pay raise and accompanied by that gut thing. I thought ... well I gotta keep at it 'til I get a cleintelle built up. NOPE. After weeks/months of horrible anxiety attacks I decided to do a PalmSprings turn... "it's only one day" [one VERY long day]. I never went back.
Married a couple years, we had a Townhome/Condo in South Elgin IL at the time. This is about the time we started going to Church... it was a tiny little Methodist church, avg attendance less than 50. The female preacher, Pastor Mary's words pierced our hearts. Forever changed. Around this time we started talking about starting a family.. we were READY! lol.
I was standing out on our little deck one morning after Mike left for work and that Voice had something to say to me. A 14 day abstinance from my worst vices, and we can start a family.... I know what they are, so did that voice... no further dialogue was necessary.
We moved about a year later to Palos Heights experienced great spiritual growth, God put the most amazing people in our lives at the Stone Church. I get choked up thinking about you guys :) Thank you!
Anyways ... a couple years later came the voice, and the stirring. Roots being the church... but it was our faith now that gave us wings. We ended up in Broken Arrow OK. (There are of course many many details.. but, this is a blogpost..)
Anyways... this is now our 3rd year here. MY how time flies... the family thing seeming unreachable ... we've had times of hope and times of hopelessness... never yet the strength to make my "14 days". The voice would remind me regularly... and my response became "Lord why do you ask me to do something that you know I cant". (I knew now that voice is the Holy Spirit) We began to see a doctor. Diagnosis: "I see nothing wrong with you two, but let's try a few things"
Anyways, I think this just added more frustration and emotion to the mix because we had this hope in medicine.... (which, I don't discredit)
In the fall, I started working with another woman, Lisa. Became fast friends, we were staying busy, making money... what I had been hoping for since moving here.... a few weeks before Christmas... though... I got that stirring again... I thought.. I know that feeling well... it's time for change again.... Here we go! But I wasn't entirely sure what.... do I need to change careers? Things were just starting to get good! Typical.
Meanwhile, that voice wasn't going to go away and I knew what I had to do. Mike and I did joined together in a 14 day fast starting at the beginning of this year. I had no doubt in my mind we would have good news. After all.... Given the strength by Christ... I MADE MY 14 DAYS! I started taking home tests more than a week early.... in great anticipation... all the while repeating in my head any time doubt tried to enter my mind "God is Faithful".
After years and years of prayer "Father please bless us with a child that we promise to raise to reflect your light"
We are finally going to be given that chance!
Moral of the story: All the Glory be given to God. We are thankful. Looking forward to my new "career" :)