Thursday, December 29, 2011
"What does it mean to be a kingdom of God hero? Enter darkness, especially your own. Enter that darkness with sufficient humility that it can only be called foolishness. And to the degree you find the bright and beautiful light of the kindness of God, then take that light to the darkest world that God calls you to enter and then let the voracious winds of hell try and suffocate the minuscule light you offer in his name. Come to see if you find God to be real, true, and good." -Dan Allender I want to desire a life on the edge, but I feel too often that I allow the comforts of this world trap me into a very different reality. What would it look like for me to live a life following Jesus with no regards to myself? I mean, that is what we're called to as Christians. Why are we so hesitant? Why do we shy away from entering hard relationships/situations? Why do we allow our culture to define how we live instead of following Jesus? I am torn up this morning as I write. My heart wants a life that is totally surrendered to Him, no matter the cost. I read blogs like Dan Allender's and there is a resounding "yes" echoing in my heart. But my head/my mind fight my heart. I am afraid of the sacrifices that may come my way. I pray that I will have the courage to follow Jesus wherever he calls me even if it is into the darkest of places.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Its the time of the year where starbucks puts out their famous Christmas coffee treats, there are sales galore trying to get you to spend money on things you don't really need, christmas music is playing non-stop, and decorations of all kinds go up around the town and in your own home. I've been putting off Christmas decorating this year. For some reason I just haven't had the desire to do it. Well, it all started 2 days ago... we have group here on Thursday nights. A bunch of the people who come don't put christmas things up in their homes. So, I thought I would grace them with holiday cheer, bite the bullet, and decorate my house. I pulled out the 2 year old pre-lit tree, assembled it, plugged it in and only half of the lights on the thing work. I think, no biggie, I can just go get a light tester, you know the kind you find at Home Depot or Wal-Mart in the states. So out I go. 3 stores, many unhelpful store employees, 2 lattes, buckets of rain (which means wet clothes for the girl who forgot her umbrella), and a bad mood later, no light tester. I had other things that needed to get done that day, so I put my christmas decorating endeavors on hold for the night. "I'll figure this out tomorrow," I thought. The next day rolls around. I decide over the night that I am going to change my game plan. I go back to the one store with the intent of buying one strand of lights. It should be an easy fix, right? To the light section I go. I look around and see no single strand lights. Bummer. Back home, I decide I need to get my house in order. I have 4 hours before people come over. There are boxes filled with christmas decorations and ornaments everywhere not to mention the many loads of laundry sitting on the couch needing to be folded and put away. I need to clean! I start with the table and move my way through the house decorating and cleaning as I go. The stockings are hung, candles and nutcrackers are placed around. Everything is in its right place, but the magic seems to be missing because my sad tree isn't decorated and only half of the lights turn on. I thought all hope was lost. Non-the-less friends start arriving. The first friend to come is George (we'll call him this for privacy). George is a cool, level-headed dude. I saw him at the store earlier in the day on my trek to get lights. He asked why I was all the way up town and I told him my sad story. Without saying anything, he gets up, and starts inspecting every little light on my tree. Then I remember, George is a bomb technician. I say, "oh yea, you have to work with wires and things of the sort all the time." He says, " yea, I just built a bomb today." WHAT??!! Crazy man. He goes on looking and changing little lights until group starts. Another friends who works on the maintenance of hundreds or millions of dollars worth of aircraft comes in and starts helping. Its like I have the dream team working to fix my tree. Amazing. Long story short, they unwind a whole strand of lights from the tree (which is a major feat in itself)and inspect all of the lights. But still, the thing won't light up. I thought they were going to take the lights home with them so they wouldn't have to admit defeat. But the end result is that there is nothing to be done about these lights. They cannot be fixed. I paid the gentlemen for their time with as many fresh baked chocolate chip cookies they could eat and some for the road. I felt super blessed that they would try so hard and take their time to work on something so trivial as my tree lights. I am grateful for them. What about the lights you ask. Another friend is going to give me a strand she has in storage. I am grateful for friends that take time to care about us in even the smallest of ways. I just pray that I am a good steward of the friends Jesus places in my life. Sometimes I wish there were other friends around, maybe ones that I am more comfortable with or get along with better. But Jesus knows just who I need now. Here is what the house looks like so far.