Wednesday, November 17, 2010

poems on suffering

Here are some excerpts from a poem that John Piper wrote in relation to Job's story and suffering.

-Come learn the lesson of the rod.
The treasure that we have in God.
He is not poor nor much enticed.
Who loses everything but Christ.

-Unkindly has He kindly showed me God.

-We must bless the Lord for all that's good and bad.

-The Lord has made me drink the cup of his severity
that he may kindly show to me
what I would be when only he remains in my calamity.

God speaking to Job:

-Can you draw down and then disrobe Leviathan,
the kings of all the sons of pride,
and in his fall strip off his camouflage of strength,
and make him over all the length of earth and heav'n,
to serve the plan of humble righteousness?
I can. I make the Leviathan my rod.
Beloved Job, Behold your God.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to do when...

a meeting goes terribly bad...


I've been in bad meetings before. I think there are varying degrees of "bad" concerning meetings. Low on the scale would be the kind of meeting where nothing gets accomplished and we all "hang out" for 4 hours. Although I would consider that I "bad" meeting, I'm talking about the kind of meeting where the leader just quits everything, lays his head down and just stop dead in his tracks and then proceeds to yell at the leadership team...

Before the melt down, we were all discussing in a very loving and kind manner how to move forward with some of the events we are trying to plan. One of big issues comes in because we can't make decisions without the wife of the couple, who is the one with the final say, and happened to not be at our meeting. Awesome...nothing can get done. So when we asked this man, what can we do to get things moving on this event that is coming up in 2 weeks, there was no response. And the answer is nothing because EVERYTHING has to go through his wife...we can't even plan another meeting and ask her to be there...nothing happens...youth events are put on hold because the man isn't allowed to make simple decisions without his wife...(let's not start on the other issues that come up with this.) So there is frustration, a team wanting to help, move forward, push the main youth leaders forward to success, but zero power/authority to make any move. Our legs are cut from under us. So, we push just a bit, in a kind caring way, to help this guy make a small decision that will help us as a leadership team move forward...and bam. The meltdown happens.

Anyway back to thinking about leadership...

Joel and I were talking about it and in the military if the leader (captain/lieutenant) quit and talked about being a failure while a battle was raging around them, all of his men would worry about how they'd get out of the situation before them...they would be screwed and most likely, would all die. In the military, hopefully, the leaders wouldn't do that. If this does happen, someone steps up into the leading position. That's one of the reasons there is a hierarchy of leadership...

But what happens when this occurs in the church? What is the correct response? In church, the rules are different. I would say most of the time (if not all of the time) people come before the mission. Jesus is about restoration and redemption. And I fully believe he can restore and redeem this messed up situation through/with these people in leadership. But when do you say, enough? It is up to the discretion of the main pastors to do the real decision making with what to do with this couple. They have to be wise and discern the will of the Lord; do we wait along with the couple for the Lord's transforming work in them as leaders, keeping them in their current position or do they get asked to step down until there is some growth/maturity/transformation in them as leaders?

Of course I have my opinion on how things should go. I just pray that I am compassionate and understanding in dealing with this couple's heart. I really don't want relationships to be broken whether that's on an individual level or on a bigger level, like between them and the church. I want to see them empowered to move forward in their marriage and family life.

I am so thankful that Jesus works in us and through us despite us. He uses messed up, jacked up people to further His kingdom.

I admit I have a tendency to think that I have more figured out than this couple. I pray that my eyes not be bind to my own sin and shortcomings. And that in whatever position I am in, I lead by serving in humility.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hey. Ja-ja-ja-jaded.

The word 'jaded' defined by the merriam-webster dictionary means "made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit."

Recently I've been hanging out with a sophomore who is a 3 week old Christian. She is a wonderful girl, full of life and love. She is excited about all things God. She loves going to church and learning from the preacher. She sat there and listened, hung onto the preacher's every word as he talked about overcoming the world through Jesus. After service she said she thinks it all "soaked in." I gave her her first Bible. She just sat there looking at it, not knowing where to start. We put a bookmark in John. She made sure it stayed in its place, occasionally opening the book up to that very spot. She said that when she got home she was going to put tabs on the different books to make it easier to find them and then she was going to start reading it. She said that since becoming a Christian, she is just happy. She said the other week when she came into the church service, a weight was lifted off of her.

Its been so long since I've been around new believers. They are full of life and excitement, anticipation and hunger. As she was sharing these things with me, all I could come to think of was, "those feelings aren't going to last, just'll see..." Then as the thought passed through my mind, I stopped. When did I become that Christian? When did I become the one that was so jaded by Christianity and so cynical about the things of God? There is some right in the fact that those "feelings" aren't going to last forever, that there is something about being a mature Christian that goes deeper than just the "feelings" of life. But there is something truly wrong with my thinking. I stopped living/believing in God for the pure joy and happiness that only He can bring. These "feelings" should be a part of a Christian's life. As I started thinking about it more I became jealous of her awe and inspiration for the Lord. Oh, to dream the impossible with God and to be so awakened to the reality of life, true life, abundant life, that it wells up inside you...

My prayer is that I become alive on the inside, and that I am able to overcome the idea that Christianity being lived out, is a mundane act. I think that if I really understood the gospel, life would be anything but mundane.

Awaken the Gospel in me Lord Jesus.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some accomplishments

Over the last 6 weeks many things have happened in my life, accomplishments if you will. I thought that I should share them here with you.

1- started running regularly

2- lost 6 lbs.

3- taught/learned so much about wisdom

4- made a few new DELICIOUS recipes

5- loved some highschool girls

6- turned 25, which included dying my hair a bit more makes me feel young ;)

7- read some books, the best of all being " The Help," by Kathryn Hockett

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I am sure proud of myself. They are all small things. Nonetheless, I feel accomplished. I wonder what the next 6 weeks hold.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanks to my brother

I was talking on the phone with Steven, my brother today, and he showed me a video made from sounds from Alice in Wonderland. It intrigued me, so I did a bit of perusing and found this by the same guy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Salvation belongs to the Lord

The girl in the second story I told in my previous post actually ended up getting saved on Sunday! I just thought I would share the wonderful news. I am so in awe of Jesus and the way He chooses to work in us and through us despite us.