Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I haven't figure this all out yet . . .

but some of what I've been thinking lately is about conversation.

I've had a few conversations the last while that have troubled me. There seems to perhaps be a deeper need than just what appears on the surface. How does one recognize that? How can one do more than just offer advice? spiritual counsel, if you will? How can I speak to the heart?

I've been reading Larry Crabb's book, Soul Talk Yesterday I came across this:

"As I looked at the husband weeping in my living room and at his wife stting numb and motionless, I could think vision. The memory of Dad at breakfast helped. I longed for Christ to be formed in their souls until they valued fellowship with the Trinity above protection from pain, above every pleasure that second-thing blessings could provide.... I had a vision for them. I wanted them to move toward each other in a way that thrilled the Lord, in a way that would make it plain to anyone who watched that these people had been with Jesus, and that nothing mattered more."*

hmmm... to value fellowship with the Trinity above everything else? to have people see me and it would be plain that I had been with Jesus, and that nothing mattered more?

It reminds me of another book I read this spring, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Quoting from the back cover, "But what if God's primary intent for your marriage isn't to make you happy . . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God."

Somehow I think we've gotten it all wrong, trying to be religious and pious, offering answers... answers and 'help' that will make us look wise and spiritual... answers that will make us feel good about what we've been able to do in helping others sort through things... answers that put bandaids on scrapes & cuts. When, maybe... just maybe.... it's not really about that at all.

What if it's really about seeing things from a different perspective... maybe seeing things from God's perspective... maybe it's about wanting more than anything else "to please God more than we want to please others or win back an estranged spouse or straighten out a rebellious kid. Maybe it's about wanting to experience Him more than we want to be right, to be in control, or to enjoy the 'good life'..."* Maybe it's about "enjoying God so much that we want to reveal what He's like to others"*... Maybe it's about "seeing a passion for God ruling in the human soul..."*

What do you think?

* Larry Crabb, SoulTalk (2003, Integrity Publishers, p.104,108)

Monday, June 22, 2009

this week. . .

on the devotional blog for women, (Woman to Woman) there's a great interview with Lori McCroskey from Clear Dollar Stamps.

Not only did I find it inspiring, but it made my heart smile as I read Lori's story because it is always such a joy to find women who strive to keep their love for Jesus "front & centre" - women who continually strive to bring glory to God in all they say & do, whether it's running after toddlers, in their business practices, or in the conversations that take place in their homes.

May you be encouraged & blessed as you read an interview with Lori.

p.s. Lori has also been very generous in offering 4 stamp sets.... if you think you'd like the opportunity to be on the receiving end of her generosity, you can read about it here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

have you wondered. . .

why God doesn't seem to give us any explanations when things just don't make sense?

I have. I have had the most confusing & bewildering time this past year. I thought I had clear direction to move ahead and yet when I did, the doors were closed? It just didn't make any sense. Either I was misunderstanding God's OK.... or maybe .... was He playing some kind of cruel joke on me?

I'm just starting a study in the book of Job and read this as part of the introduction. It's from Search the Scriptures*:

"The principal agony lies, not in his (Job) diseased body, but in his bewildered mind. His cry to God to explain Himself is maintained with growing impatience....

At last his desire is granted. God speaks to him, but very differently from his expectation. The sole divine answer consists of a vision of God's great power. Job, seeing his small concerns against this vast back-cloth, is humbled and silenced. Then God commends him, and he is restored."

It has taken a long time, but I think I'm OK with those closed doors. It has forced me to consider other paths... other directions... and in that I realize that God's OK was there, but maybe, just maybe, it was me who misunderstood... that this was God's way of re-directing my thoughts.... of knocking on a different door that I will find open....

* Search the Scriptures (1974, InterVarsity Press)