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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crazy Love, chapter 4

Starting with a big disclaimer. I feel like crap, so if what I say does not make sense, that would explain why.

I am currently reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Several years ago, I heard him speak at a worship event and was enthralled by his authenticity and his passion for worship. I did not know what to expect from his book, but I am pleased to say that I am surprised, delighted, and convicted by his insights into God and worship.

For me, chapter 4 was really convicting. Chan talked about the hallmarks of a lukewarm believer. Although I would say that I have made great strides forward toward loving God with a consuming passion, there are still many areas that I would rank as lukewarm. Chan's statement that, "God is not interested in people who fake it" was especially convicting to me. It seems that no matter how hard I try to be authentic and live out a very real faith that later I look back and go, "oops, that was fake."

Then there's this statement, "Are you satisfied with being 'godly enough'"? I think that lots of times I am. I am satisfied with "godly enough". I try hard to live a good life and be faithful and that should be good enough. But God does not call us to the "good enough" life. He calls us to surrendered lives.

There were pages of examples of painfully familiar characteristics of a lukewarm believer. Way too many to list here. Some areas I felt good about, but some....well.....Let's just say that I guess I've still got lots of growing left to do. If you want the specifics, you'll have to sneak a peek in my book at my notes. There's a limit to how much I want to out myself online.

I did agree with Chan on the goals of the American Church, "I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don't swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering." I want more than a nice life....I want the big adventure, the amazing, the incredible, the beautiful....I want God....even if it's a little bit scary to lose control.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Teaching first grade on Halloween is a joke. The kids are more excited than any other day of the year. Today we had special stuff all day for them, and that meant I had parents with me all day. That meant that I had to play my A game on a day that I was exhausted and sick. That's me whining. Honestly, it was a good day. I made lots of fun, special memories for the kids and survived.

Trunk or treat at Brookshire's was a great success. We made contact with several hundred people. It was really cool to realize how many of the people I knew. I remember this summer praying for the friends that I had not made yet in Anna. Now I am seeing God working out that prayer and it's cool.

Then it was off to Wal-mart for pacifiers. Wal-mart on Halloween is just straight up creepy.

Now it's off to bed. A bed full of sleeping little girls. I'm enjoying it while I can. They are growing up too fast. The years are flying by quickly. I crossed over to the men's section of Kohl's this week to buy clothes for James.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AHHHHH - I'M OLD!!!!!!!!

It happened. Tonight. At Cvs. A benchmark moment in my life. The young girl behind the register sees the pull-ups I am using to fluff up my big purse (cause what else do you put in a purse) and asks, "Are those for your grandbaby?" I didn't even pretend to be polite. I dropped my credit card that I was scanning, looked at her and said curtly, "What did you say?" So she REPEATED IT! LOUDER AS IF I WERE OLD AND HARD OF HEARING!!!! I said, "no...they are for my two year old. I am not a grandmother, I am not old!" So then I got in my car and told James and Grace what she said. They laughed hysterically, and James comfortingly says, "Hey mom, you know you just look old because of your angry lines from teaching." So I am dying my hair and making an appointment with a plastic surgeon immediately! Just kidding.....but I think I may start a mid-life crisis! Any ideas?

*Seriously ya'll, thanks for praying for me this week. My big observation went well and all the meetings that I've had to have this week have gone smoothly as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Missing Shua

Since I'm already down to about 5 hours of sleep tonight if I was asleep right now, this one will be short.

Tonight I said good=bye to a dear friend, a member of my family really. Joshua joined us late last spring on this adventure of church planting. Shawn met him in a coffee shop and the rest is kind of history. He quickly joined our family at our supper table at least once a week and my baby learned to call him "shua". I made some lifelong beautiful memories with my friend. Nothing gets much better than sitting on the porch, writing music, and picking out harmonies together. He even shared my sacred piano bench with me on a couple of songwriting journies and heard some of the stuff that I haven't really even written yet. I have been blessed to get to know him and to see God at work in his life.

In just a few months time, our family has adopted Shua as one of our own. Unfortunately for us, Joshua is leaving late this week to chase God. He is going to Seattle, and then back East. We will desperately miss Joshua and are blessed that God allowed us to share this part of his journey. Love you Shua ----- God watch over you ------ until we meet again! Chase the Lion!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crazy Love, chapter 3

OH WOW! I wrote between the lines and in the margins and folded pages am I going to condense it for a single blog? If you're just joining me, I'm sharing my random thoughts about Crazy Love by Francis Chan. An absolutely incredible book about worship!

God really spoke to me in this chapter about a couple things that I'll try to share with you. If you want to know what else God said, you'll have to sneak a peak in my book.

1. (p. 55) Loving God with abandon. When Abby came home from Memaw's after a week, she ran to meet me. Yelling exuberantly and reaching up her arms for me to swing her around. Just because she loves me. That's how God wants us to love him. Abandoned, shamelessly, whole-heartedly, absolutely, no holding back, - love Him. And he loves us back. I am by nature reserved and private and guarded. I have a long ways to go on abandoned love. ----- Then, I got to thinking about how much I missed Abby while she was away and how glad I was when she got home. Do you think God feels that way about us while we are on Earth and is looking forward to us coming home? I've never thought about death like that before. Much less scary and intimidating.

2. God's view of my own attempts at righteousness. (p.60) So, um....boys.....this is an incredible insight that made me understand Is. 64.6 in a whole new light.....but it is probably going to make you exceptionally uncomfortable to I am apologizing in advance but am going to encourage you to read it to the end. Ladies....well, maybe this will enlighten you like it did me. Is. 64.6, "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags." You know the routine - we avoid confessing sin thinking that our good deeds will outweigh our bad deeds. But God makes it clear that our good deeds performed in our own strength for our own glory cannot buy forgiveness from our sins. He says they are "filthy rags." Chan says that a literal interpretation of this verse is, "menstrual garments." Think "used tampons". could we ever hope to purchase forgiveness with used tampons? As I contemplated this image of approaching God with my hands full of used tampons asking him to take away my sin, I actually had to fight the urge to vomit. I think that maybe for the first time ever in my life, I really understood just exactly how God views my false righteousness. Honestly, can you think of anything more disgusting, more preposterous, more insane than trying to purchase forgiveness with used tampons? So why would I ever brag about my own righteousness ever again? Totally new meaning to that verse for me. Understand filthy in a whole new light, huh?

3. God considers us his inheritance (p.61). A God of unfathomable wealth and power and prestige wanted me for his inheritance. I can't grasp that. Choosing between me and a million bucks? Not sure which one I would honestly choose. But for God, there was no question. That's Love.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

why they should stand in line

OK, um, wow, last blog a bit too honest for me... so here's something lighter.

Here are your comments about lining up my students and teaching them appropriate hallway behavior.

Reasons children should practice standing in line quietly:

In case they need to exit the building quickly - example - fire drill

In case they have a future in band and need to know how to line up to march on the field.

In case they have a future in the military.

In case they are later institutionalized or imprisioned.

In case they have a future as showgirls in Vegas.

Thanks for the suggestions and I must say, seeing all of your impressions of the hallway bubbles and tails has been absolutely priceless.