Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Crazy Things You Do For Love

There was this couple once who'd gone through some rough patches. (And, let's be honest, she was the problem.) They'd had their ups and downs, their break-ups and make-ups, but it didn't make sense for them to stay together anymore. Probably the wisest thing would have been for him to break up with her and forget her.

But he wouldn't.

He loved her, was kinda blinded by his love, and determined to stay with her. Even when she dumped him.

She became his self-proclaimed enemy.

But that didn't stop his love.

She kept making bad choices, kept shunning his attention and help. She got pretty deep into trouble and in one huge, sloppy mess and the judge decided she would be given the death penalty.

This guy was so in love with her that he couldn't stand to see her killed, even though he knew, better than anyone else, that she deserved it.
So he took the death penalty for her.

Crazy, right?

You should know that he didn't stay dead. He rose again and continued to pursue the love of his life, and her acceptance of his love means nothing can separate them again.

The happy ending of this story depends on you.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Side Effects

When I came-to, I was on the floor in the atrium at church surrounded by people. As my hearing slowly faded in, I heard a kid ask, "Did you die?" No, kid; I fainted.

I had been standing there next to my dad when I started feeling very dizzy. And then my vision started to go out, the edges of my sight blackening. I was somehow aware that I was about to pass out, and I think I communicated that to my dad, but I'm not sure. I just remember my vision going out, and then my hearing coming in.

I had been taking medicine for my migraines (before we knew they were my allergic reaction to dairy) and apparently the side effect was lowering blood pressure. Well, that it did.

*

There are some side effects that I'm glad about, though. Like the side effect of a relationship with God-- the side effect of God and I communicating regularly. See, that results in me becoming more like Christ, less dependent on me, and it changes me into a better person. A loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled person.

And, as side effects come, those are pretty good ones.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Worship

The sun. The quiet whispers of the sun, the sky that lightens in anticipation, before it is quite ready to rise. Harsh and searing, penetrating sun glasses and not high enough in the sky, yet, for the visor. Distant, but intentional; yellow and cool and preparing for spring. Glorious and valiant as it sets, trying to get the last word in over the night by scattering rays into the clouds.

Air, oddly warm, begging for deep breaths, filling one's lungs
to the point of satisfaction. Snow, melted by the sun, that smells something like rain.

The generosity of strangers, sending newspaper pages, multiple postcards, and detailed information for the benefit of myself and my Kinders.

A forest of icicles hanging, hidden, in a pine bush. They glimmer in the sun, fragile and resolved.

Cool, rushing air through the cracked windows of the car. Self-inflicted goose-bumps, willingly accepted for the knowledge that spring is on its way.

Smells so thick and remembered that you can taste them and that you could almost fill up on them. And then the flavors themselves, dancing and settling at the same time.

*

Worshiping the creator, rather than created things, by acknowledging the creator. Notice what God has created, what good things he has given you, and thank him. That is one aspect of worship.






Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Talk Talk Talk

I used to think adults were joking around when they couldn't remember, on demand, how old they were. That is, until my church's women's retreat this weekend.

 While there, I was asked several times how old I was (I'm often mistaken for a high school student, and then told I'll be grateful for that someday). Each time, not remembering if I was 23 or 24, I had to pause and think, "How old am  I, anyway?"

My Kindergartners know how old they are. We don't let them forget it! We're always asking them how old they are, and making a big deal about turning 6, and just bringing it up into conversation with them. But as we get older, it becomes more socially impolite to have those conversations. Suddenly, we age to the point where we stop getting asked quite so often what our age actually is. And so we forget.

We remember what we talk about.

And so God commands Israel, "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

I'd always imagined God intended these conversations for the children, but as I reflected on my own forgetfulness I thought perhaps God gave this command for the parents, too.

God knows our forgetfulness. And, goodness, if I forget something like my own age it's pretty unlikely I'll remember God's commands, or how He has provided for me, protected me, forgiven me, and loves me.

So get talking this week. Find something God has taught you, some way God was present to you, or something God revealed to you in studying His word and talk with someone about it, be they your child, a parent, or a friend. Or better yet talk about it with all three, keep calling it to your memory.

Don't forget.

Talk.