Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tarzan

I sat down and watched Tarzan yesterday with my six-year-old because it was on TV during her allotted time, and she had never seen it before.  Yes, there's a pattern there.  She's the youngest, and her sisters never gave her the time of day in choosing the show, but now they're out and about and she's seeing things she never saw before.  I had to explain to her what was going on since we turned it on a little late.
As I was explaining, I found myself saying, "When he was born, he was only surrounded by apes, so he thought he was one - until he saw people, they're the first humans he has seen."  Then I remembered a book I read a few months ago by Bob Hamp, that says pretty much the same thing about us:

"You have become someone other than who you were meant to be.  You are stuck being the wrong person until someone else reaches in and rescues you....  We are in bondage to being ourselves, we are stuck being us!"

It's like the Israelites in Egypt.  At one point, as Moses was leading them to freedom, they complained to him saying that they would rather be slaves being brutally treated in Egypt than risk freedom into something new and unknown!
Tarzan didn't know he was living among apes; the Israelites didn't know there was a way better life out there, and often times, neither do we.

"Instrumental to being ourselves is knowing who our Father is."
It didn't click for Tarzan until he saw the photograph of his mother and father holding him.  Once he saw his father, he knew there was something more for him.
Do we know whose we are?
"Has something whispered to you that you were made for more than you have known?"  
"True Freedom comes when we live life as the person we were created and restored to be!" 
 Let's go after it!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rebekah Rocks!

I read the coolest analogy today by Shannon Ethridge, about Isaac and Rebekah (may need to read Genesis 24 as a refresher), that I'd never heard before:

"Abraham represents God the Father seeking a wife for His Son.  Isaac represents Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom waiting for His bride to be brought to Him by His father.  Abraham's servant is a representation of the Holy Spirit, who draws us away from our past life into a new life of purity and promise.  And Rebekah symbolizes the believer as she submits herself and her future into the hands of the Holy Spirit, her anticipated Bridegroom, and her heavenly Father."

I had never heard it that way.  Thought it was a lesson on serving others - going above and beyond what is asked...  Which is still a great lesson!

My youngest daughter was reading the story of The Little Mermaid, and asked several questions along the way because she was not familiar with it (negligent mother, she must have!).  I had to explain to her that the mermaid was willing to give up her beautiful voice so that she could have legs and be with the one she  loved.  She left her home and family in the sea, to live in a foreign land for the love of one!

We are Rebekahs (and the mermaid, if you can go there).  God is seeking us through the Holy Spirit; to become one with His Son.  Are we willing to leave our comfortable life for one that is full of adventure?  Are we willing to give some things up that we are used to in order to experience life abundantly?

"Will you, like Rebekah, allow yourself to be drawn toward your divine destiny?" - Ethridge



Friday, April 20, 2012

Race Day!

I use to do triathlons.  I use to get up at 4:30am to get on the bike in the basement.  I use to carbo-load before a race so my body would be stronger, last longer, and be in peak condition.
But now I have a new race.  According to Ezekial 36, God can give us a new heart, with new passions, and He has done that with me.
Today, I get to go to Breakthrough and hang out with and eat with "The Invisible", as Arloa Sutter calls them.  I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus; and I'm just as excited as I use to be when I would wake up before my alarm went off because I was so excited to go race.
Now, I get up at 4:30am to train my heart in different ways.  And I had the opportunity last night to "carbo-load" on John Ortberg's motivating words on having eyes to see those who Jesus sees, and help those who Jesus helped...  "the least of these".
The drive's not pretty, there will probably not be tulips blooming and kids cavorting in the neighborhood, but I kinda think that's like getting through the cold, wavy swim.  Once you get on the bike (in the shelter with people) then you're in your sweet spot and you know the reason you came!
Unlike a triathlon, I am not planning a recovery phase afterwards.  I have a feeling that once this race is done for the day, it will not break down my body but invigorate me - because that's how God made us.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Test...

Once I made the decision to forewarn my bosses that I would be making a career move (with my few spare hours) from Spinning to Serving the poor once summer hit, my classes started filling up.  So, naturally, I started second-guessing my decision.  "Maybe I really am supposed to be teaching Spin, maybe this was what I needed to do?  It feels pretty good teaching with a bunch of people in my classes..." I mused.  Thankfully, I kept those thoughts in my head because God showed me an awesome set of verses yesterday.

"We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts."  2 Corinthians 5:9


Galations 1:10 says that if we are trying to win the approval of men, we are not serving Christ. 

Romans 15:2  "Strength is for service, not status."  MSG translation


Aha!  It was a test.  Do I want to please the people in my class, or do I want to please the One who seems to be calling me to love the unloved and lonely?  Back in the Old Testament, God spoke to people differently because they didn't have the Holy Spirit or The Scriptures (way back), but now, if we listen and look, He can speak to us through His written word, and He loves to do it!

"Remember:  life is not a dress rehearsal.  It's your only shot at absolutely delighting your audience of One."  - Shannon Etheridge

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catching Flies...

Yesterday, Moose was "playing" a little rough with my daughter while she was on the hammock, so I yelled at him to come inside.  He gave me the look as if to say; "I don't think a big hug and treat will accompany that 'come', so I'm not movin'!"
Then, my lovely daughter jumped out of the hammock with a polite little, "come on Moosey, let's go inside" and off he went with her, galloping happily along.
Lesson of the day:  You catch more flies with honey.

God wired us to respond to love.  Moose was a great reminder of this.   If we are asking our children to honor their sisters above themselves; we need to be guiding them with love in that request.  Dogs are trained to respond obediently by treats and petting - they come if we call them in love!
And I heard God tell me - That's what I've been trying to tell you all along - When you bask yourself in my love, knowing that I loved the world so much, that I gave my only son for it - it will move you to follow me in obedience!
As we enter into the events following Jesus' resurrection,  His final command to us in Matthew 28 was to "go and make disciples of all nations" - knowing "and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age"!  When we understand how much He loves us, this will be the desire of our hearts.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Attractive Death

"When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"...the kind of life God wants us to live:  a life emptied of ourselves and filled with Him." - David Nasser

"O the wonderful cross
O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die
and find that I may truly live" - Chris Tomlin

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'"  Mt 16:24-25


There is an amazing 40 day devotional out there entitled "A Call to Die" by David Nasser.  Why would anyone buy this?  It's amazingly popular.  I'm almost finished with it and the death I've learned about is compelling.

I've been lazy lately.  I've wanted to read instead of playing with my kids.  I've brought death - to me and to my kids.  The day I realized this was happening, I put down my book and played - life came from that. Arguments subsided, love was felt, and the flesh in me started to die while the spirit started to come alive. That's what Jesus did on the cross.  He brought life to us - and access to the Father's presence!  This is the death that brings life.  One that Jesus wants us to follow Him in.

"No, the call to die is not for everybody - only for those who are serious about experiencing the greatest adventure life has to offer." - Nasser
What are we going to put in the tomb, so that we get to experience this great adventure He has for us?




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Best Will Ever!

The other day I stepped in the shower and discovered a note taped to the glass door.  There was a big "Mom" with a circle around it and a line through it, followed by "is the menest prsn evr.  I bont lik her."  It wasn't signed, but I have a feeling I know who it was (she had been disciplined earlier).  I smiled, folded it up, and put it away.
A few days later, I showed it to a friend because it was really making me laugh (ok, call me a gossip).  She was pretty shocked that I didn't let it get to me (she wouldn't have let it get to her either, she was probably just sad for me to have to read something so nasty).

Then I heard a sermon by Tullian Tchividjian:  In it he says, as he always does lately; that "Jesus + Nothing = Everything!"  But he explained it differently.  He said that because we have such a hard working Father, and we are His Children, we don't need to do any of the work.  We have received all the love we need because we are His heirs.  Church is like the reading of the will - reminding us over and over that we have a great inheritance... So we don't need to look for love or reinforcement from others (people or things).  We can love without requiring that it be returned.

This is The Gospel - It is Done!  And, because of that; I have a "full tank"!  Any nasty note I receive from someone does not need to hurt me.  I can live in the freedom of the one who came into my prison to break my chains and set me free from the law that tells me my tank is empty.  And so can you!

"Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins.  God's plan is that we all experience that rescue."  Gal 1:5 The Message

He has worked very hard for our freedom!  Let's live in it!!