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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flair addiction

I have to go to work tomorrow so I'm doing the blog thing a day ahead of time for those of you who harass me to hurry up and update every day.

I truly must confess my newest addiction/obsession. I love flair on facebook! I spend way too much time checking to see if anybody has sent me flair and way too much time checking out flair to send to other people. It's so much fun to see what people think about you and how well they know you and your interests by seeing the flair they send.

Today was a good flair day. I received tons of flair from my friends. I do understand that how much flair I receive on any given day is not a true gauge of how much I am loved. But it sure makes me feel special. One friend sent me like 10 flairs - does that make us best friends?

Okay - bored with my rambling and ready for the point yet? Today a friend sent me this awesome flair that said, "Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, 'Oh, crap, she's up'!" I love that idea that I can strive to be that type of woman who works hard to be a formidable enemy to our Great Enemy. It makes me feel like shouting a battle cry or something. How cool is that!

Pray for my success tomorrow - my first day on the new job. I'm pretty stinkin' nervous.

Never enough

So today in my quiet time I was reading Haggai. The first chapter was so interesting in its description of a people who chase after stuff and are never satisfied. "You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!" Hello - has he been looking at my checkbook?

Haggai continues in this manner for sometime, expressing God's anger with a people that is consumed by stuff-chasing. Is that a word? While people were seeking to meet their own desires, the temple of the Lord lay in complete ruin. Religion took a backseat to their own wants. I was certainly convicted that I have often allowed my own faith to lay in ruins around me while I chased after my own desires.

The beautiful part of this first chapter in Haggai is what happens after the people are confronted with their sins. They repent. Completely and immediately. In obedience they begin to rebuild the temple. God's anger changed to pleasure. "I am with you," said the Lord. I sneak peeked at some of the rest of Haggai (Yeah, I'm that kind of reader) - God continually affirms and encourages those working to rebuild the temple.

I love that God honors obedience and repentance. I hope that God will use us as church planters to help others lay down their stuff-chasing and exchange it for a life of faith and beauty. I hope that God does not allow us to ever lay down our faith to chase after other things. I only want Him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Worship in the dark.

It was a late night. I went to bed and stared at the ceiling for a couple of hours waiting on my coffee to wear off. I replayed the events of the day in my head, and was reminded by how blessed I am with great friends who love God and desperately want to serve Him. Somewhere around midnight, I finally drifted off to sleep.

At 4:30 God woke me up to pray. My first response is always so spiritual, "Are you kidding, it's dark outside, I should be asleep. Do you really need me to pray right now? I can pray just fine in the morning." My second response was obedience. As I was praying for the close friend who needs God's hand today, I began to meditate on Job 26:7-14, "God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds do not burst with the weight. He shrouds his throne with his clouds. He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundaries for day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble at his rebuke. By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who can understand the thunder of his power?"

As I was praying, I was contemplating the power of God, His ability to control situations. Some of you know that this is a passage that I have been praying through for a year now in preparation for church planting. As I was contemplating the unfathomable truth that everything that I have ever seen God do in my lifetime is but only a whisper of God's power, thunder began to roll in the distance. As I prayed longer, the thunder grew louder. I began to get excited about "who can understand the thunder of his power". I want to see "the thunder" of God's power. The more I thought about God's power, the louder the thunder became. Worship broke out in the darkness of my bedroom as I began to see God's hand at work in the church plant and in my life, and in the life of the people around me - and realized that "I ain't seen nothin' yet!"

Then the rain began to fall. I heard the first slow drops of rain hitting the roof and rolling down my window. Then the rain began to fall faster and harder. It was as if God was letting me know that He is prepared to "rain down" His presence on His people. I want to be in the middle of that rain. When the drops fall, I want the very first one to splash over me. I can't wait to see how God is going to refresh us, cleanse us, renew us, and make us whole as He begins to work around us. I can't wait to see the people that God is going to redeem, and I am so excited and humbled to be a part of what God is doing.

Gradually as I listened to God and to the rain and the rumbling thunder, I understood that God has great and mighty things in store for my friend. I finally drifted back off to sleep as dawn broke. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next. I am so glad that I did not miss worshipping in the dark this morning as the storm rolled in to illustrate that verse that I love. I'm so glad that God woke me up to share that moment with Him.