Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Reflecting on the Holidays

I have been thinking about what to post on the topic of Christmas, grace and thankfulness lately. I remembered Jonathan Christmans blog posting of a year ago and knew that it could summ up my thoughts exactly. Thanks Jonathan, for sharing your thoughts, heart and elequence with us.

For Jesus Christ, the gospel, gift of faith and the grace to repent, peace with God, hope in life, a passion for the years to come, a vision for the future, forgiveness of sins, mercies new every morning, grace in time of need, God’s attributes – all of them- chiefly His unconditional love and faithfulness, union with Christ, the Bible, my family, the family of God, friends who love Christ, friends who love the world, the nations and all ethnic peoples who worship Jesus, cultural diversity in the family of God, diversity in worship expression to Jesus Christ, the nations who do not know our savior, missions, the privilege of sharing Jesus with the world, spiritual illumination, the Holy Spirit, the conviction He brings, His comfort and consolation, His intercession, His constant guidance and leadership through the word of God, yes, but also through his consistent promptings, biblical fellowship, worship, extended times of prayer, bible studies, small group, Spirit-saturated books, rich devotional puritan literature, modern-day life-imparting authors, theological teachers who produce doxological students, the ESV translation of the Bible, William Tyndall and John Wycliff, Christian martyrs, heart-driven preaching, engaging worship music, urban-minded churches, underprivileged people who teach me about my selfishness, Isaiah 58 and the heart of God, the wisdom of men before me, godly examples of biblical Christ-exalting families, virtuous women, feminine modesty, church history, families oblivious to worldly comfort, the tender love of a mother, faithful pastors, humble men, shepherding fathers, visionary Christians, Tim Keller, missional churches, expositional preaching, biblical theology, food to eat, pastoral oversight, Martin Luther King Jr., life-losing and life-giving missionaries, a vision and theology for racial harmony, the Lord’s day, joyful Christians, feasting and celebrating at the Lord’s supper, persecution, salvation of sinners, testimonies of grace, Baptism’s, Spirit-filled corporate prayer meetings, careful exegetes, the gifts of the Spirit, fathers who do not abdicate leadership, women in the church who minister in such vital ways, child-like faith, kindness of God leading to repentance, Grudem’s systematic theology, sleep, the Reformation and all of its leaders, the adoption of children, freedom of religion, radical Christian lives, radical churches, freedom from sin, slavery to Christ, Christian hedonism, well-ordered churches, George Eldon Ladd and realized eschatology, friends who will not waste their lives, friends who are not wasting their lives, an open ear from those outside of Christ, the example of Christ, Sunday morning prayer meetings, the promises of God, anticipation of Christ’s return, and the sufferings of this age which cannot compare to our eternal weight of glory. Need I say more? Isn’t it great to be a Christian?


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Hotness of Modesty

Sarah Vendsel, my lovely friend has bought me my favorite Christmas gift of at least the past 2 years. I was actually giddy with excitement. I wore this snappy number to work and to the grocery store yesterday. The problem with this is that people do not understand irony. When you are wearing your hair in a pony tail wtih gap jeans, you do not look cool enough to pull off the "I am a Christian but I am such an awesome one that does not need to proclaim the love of my Lord on my shirt...but ohh, look at me, I just did." Not nearly cool enough. I kept getting looks like "bet she's backward," or "short bus.." My self esteem took a serious blow, but not enough. The question is, which of your events will the "modest is Hottest" shirt make an appearence? Emerys belated birthday, ummm yes. Now you also can let your giddiness begin. Do not look over the verse which, in my humble opinion is the best part.
"The parts that are unpresentable are treated with a special modesty." to quote Liz "oh goodness gracious me."

Redneck Christmas.

I wrote a long explination. I don't need one. I live in TN...this is about 25 minutes from my house. Sweet Lord.

After gasping (audibly) I laughed so hard I gagged.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Leda and beyond

A few nights ago I locked myself out of our house. Let me set the scene for you. There I was eating pepermint ice cream with raspberrys and watching buffy the vampire slayer season 4. Just in case you don't know me and you read that last sentance, no I am not a dork and 300lbs. So, I decided since I ate the ice cream, I should go running. I get ready, decide to leave the door open and go out to my car for a second and...yes ladies and gents I locked the door sans keys. SUCK. Long story shortened...
skip ahead 45 mins...
Scene: Ian and Ledas. Ian is helping me call locksmiths and showing me his new contraption. Ian has just been diagnosed with a pretty severe case of sleep apnea (where you stop breathing for more than 10sec during the night.) It looks like Darth Vadors mask, I mean, if I knew what that looked like... Anyway, his incredibly kind, beautiful wife Leda was on the couch. I have never seen Leda look so tired, she was hardly keepin herself awake. So, Ian was explaining the contraption and he informs Leda that he will need help putting it on at night. Leda without missing a beat responds.

"No, no you don't. Single people must have sleep apnea!" I snorted with laughter. I am not sure the humor translates to the internet, but alas, here you go. That said, Leda is great, beautiful and one of my top 3 favorite people in Chattanooga. Enjoy your vacation Leda, thanks for letting me crash at your house.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Saftey Jesus.

"I reckon this: the idol of the nice god, the safe god, has done more damage to biblical faith-more damage to people coming to faith-than the cariacture of the tyrant god ever did. The despotic god, howling his rage, wielding punishment with both ransacking destruction and surgical precision, at least inspired something in us. We were afraid. We wanted to appease. But this Milquetoast-Pampering deity is nothing but a cosmic lackey, an errand boy we call on to make our golf games pleasant or to help us escape reality for a little while and them summarily dismiss. Worship him? Revere him? Die for him? Believe that he died a curel and bloody death for us? You must be kidding." -Your God Is To Safe (Mark Buchanan)

"Is-is he a man?" asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion-the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're rather braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king, I tell you." (Narnia)

A man at work was telling me how his mother had 16 children and I was listening patiently all the while thinking how that would be my hell. Don't get me wrong, I like children and would even like my own, but not 16, heck, not even 6. Alas, I digress. The thought actually crossed my mind that I would rather be in hell than have that life. I didn't say it out loud, but it was in the back of my mind and now it is haunting me. What a comercialized view of hell I must have to even consider a thought like that. Do I really believe in Satan, or do I chalk him up to a dime store teenager with satin horns. It was almost enough to bring tears to my eyes. Not even considering that children are a blessing from the Lord. Anyway, this has put my brain into overdrive.

How do I view Jesus? When I am walking with him all other things seem to fade away. I get glimpses of his glory and I know that I can sit, worshiping my King forever. It is like that worship song says "I long to be where the praise is never ending, yearn to dwell where the glory never fades. Where countless worshippers will share one song, and cries of "worthy" will honor the lamb." Yet, when I am not...I find myself giving God a way out. If I pray for someone I will leave it open "if it is your will" or making excuses. I know this is disjointed, it is my lunch break and I just felt like writting...but I am just praying that the Lord of the harvest will break this box I have put him in lately. He is the Lord of the Exodus, Lord of India, of Africa, of unbelieving family and friends. He is majestic, beautiful, worthy, glorious and breath taking. May this be our image of our savior, may we see him clothed in glory and honor, victorious, and may the simplicity of his birth be a vessle for us to see the magnitude of his life.

I am sure I will write before Christmas but I just want to use this one paragraph to write to the cameroon team.
As you are sent, know that it is my joy to come along side you in prayer. There is a King who is longing to see the nations worship the glorious Trinity. It has been written that "every tounge, tribe and nation WILL know the Lord." You have an amazing privilage to teach, encourage, love and honor those you come in contact with. I believe that Jesus is preparing each one of you in amazing ways and I can't wait to hear how he will reach the people of cameroon, and encourage the missionaries through your presence. Go in peace, know that you are loved.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

John Mayer+meaty baby=my mind.

You know it's time to post again when you are getting internet spam in your comments section! That has never happened, I would say I feel unpopular, but well, I deserve it.

Instead of catching ya'll up on whats happening in the South I think I will just type tonight and let everyone (all 4 of you who still faithfully check this) just free flow.

I am listening to John Mayer and I am forced to agree with Erick Taylor that he indeed "rocks." I have been in denial for so long thanks to that "rockin the halls of my highschool" song that when I finally tuned in, 7 years later..I am forced to admit it, I love it. The song "Waiting on the world to change" has just been an incredible voice of my generation. All that random information so you will be able to audibly understand my mindset while I am typing this post.

It is really amazing how things are comming together, not just this trip but in life. About 4 weeks ago I was burdened with my debt. This is odd because I had been running from it for years and why now is a good question. I obtained a copy of my credit report and have proceeded to contact everyone on that sheet and begin payments. Now the total due is only around $6,000 but for the first time I am excited to bring this area of my life under the Lordship of Jesus. I am such a strict budget it is really funny. It is nothing like the Donaldson $10 a week entertainment, but I am not far behind. I am paying off of 3,000 in 7 months. I believe what really spurned this process was realizing that I had been talking about the mission field for so long and I was not acting on the one thing that could free me up to leave. It is almost as though I had been holding on to this as a crutch. I am excited for whatever the Lord leads now, if that is the field then amazing, if not, for the first time I can wait. I remember in a sermon that Piper preached about 7 years ago now, where he was walking in MN in Feb and it was about -20. He said that it made him think that maybe he might want a vacation. Then, in the Piperest of voices, he said he started dreaming of Heaven. After a while of that and looking around at all the work that needed to be accomplished he said "I can wait for that" meaning his vacation. That is how I am feeling about life right now. The Lord of the Harvest, wherever he was called us, an office building, our homes and families or the field is such an amazing provider. May we wait, trust and pray that we can catch a vision of our Lord and Heaven that can cause us to fall deeper in love with him. In that vision let us be encouraged that we are where we are supposed to be knowing that God who is soverign over all will be working all for the good of those who trust him and are called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28 paraphrase.)

Other news, parts of the Holsts (Dan, Liz and Anie) are going to Cameroon at the end of the month for a missions trip. They are connecting with the Baptist Theo. Seminary. May your presence breath new life into those you minister to. I love you all and will be laboring in prayer with you and for you and for the younger ones left home! Liz, you might want to get out that child harness and strap the Mayor in until you get back. Who is watching them?
Other, other news: I just met with the leader of my foreign missions commitee of NSF and we are planning a trip to Cameroon in late spring!! Sweet.

check out Seriously, there is this clip of a laughing baby, not usually my sense of humor I know. But this baby laughs like a meaty old man. I had tears streaming down my face. Just type in baby laughing or something not so stupid.

peace out, yo.