Sunday, November 18, 2007


The past few weeks were probably my most school work-heavy of the semester, which certainly aided in feeling slightly burdened. Paired with a few other stressful things going on, it's been crazy. But not impossible. when I am feeling like this, i realize the importance and power of gratitude and of simply remembering that I am not in control. Power and control... it's funny. i want those things and i don't want them at the same time. i don't want to have to make the hard decisions, but i want to influence people, and i long to be important to others. My guess is that this is part of the human condition... learning that power feels nice, but it can be incredibly destructive and soul-eating, and that power ultimately belongs to God. I've been reminded this week of the need to just be willing to submit, to lay down my need for "knowing" at the foot of the cross. I'm reminded over and over again that the beginning of humility is gratitude, and so i like to occassionally reflect on why it is that I'm thankful to God. Here is my latest prayer of gratitude, written a couple of weeks ago....

Help me to understand how You are active in my life-help me to recognize Your love for me to never pass it up or ignore the power of Your love and sacrifice! and today, i also thank you for...your death on the cross-for a Church family-for friends who are near-for my own family-for the ability to read and think-for the power of encouragement-for provision-for constructive criticism-for allowing me to learn-for games-for laughter-for prayer-for children-for the beauty of fall colors-for so many who care for me-for the journey you've given me-for growth-for tears-for hugs-for Your Word-for the ability to talk and think-for sleep-for feelings-for love-for passion-for warm blankets-for silence-for music-for sunshine-for mountains-for words-for warm sweatshirts-for community-for being able to join with You in communion-for the power and beauty of the incarnation-for Your ultimate sacrifice-for taking on the powers of death and hell so that i might have life-for medicine-for epiphanies-for soup-for warm socks-for being able to snuggle in a warm blanket-for the beauty of joining with other souls-for chocolate-for candles-for baseball.

Thank You for life. Thank You for You. You are life.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Taste of Grace

This past week has been hard... i've been overwhelmed by a collection of things, and i've been in a funk. It's days like today that i'm grateful for the words below... this is a song we occassionally sing at church, and it has become one of my favorite songs. Typically, when i am feeling like this, I find it hard to remember God's grace and what i remember is my failure and my own short-comings. I think that's why i love this song: God has redeemed me, so i have the confidence to arise, even when what i feel is shame. so beautiful.

Arise, My Soul, Arise
Charles Wesley

1. Arise, my soul, arise, shake off your guilty fears; The bleeding sacrifice, in my behalf appears; Before the throne my Surety stands, Before the throne my Surety stands, My name is written on His hands.

Chorus: Arise (arise), arise (arise), ariseArise, my soul, arise. Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise Arise, my soul, arise. Shake off your guilty fears and rise

2. He ever lives above, for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead; His blood atoned for every race, His blood atoned for every race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

3. Five bleeding wounds He bears;received on Calvary;They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry,"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry,"Nor let that ransomed sinner die!"

4. The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;He cannot turn away the presence of His Son; The Spirit answers to the blood,The Spirit answers to the bloodAnd tells me I am born of God.

5. My God is reconciled;His pardoning voice I hear; He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear With confidence I now draw nigh, With confidence I now draw nigh, And "Father, Abba, Father," cry.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sweet Innocence

So, I'm babysitting the other night. I'm making dinner for the boys and they are playing in the other room. I bring Joe the corn i had just made for him and start to dish it onto his plate. He looks up at me with his sweet, innocent, 5-year old eyes and says, "what the hell is that?"

i tried really hard to discipline him and explain that that was not a word that was ok to use, but i was laughing too hard to be effective. then i tell his father (aaron, and my friend and pastor) what has just happened. he doubles over in laughter and says, "i just don't know where they get this stuff!"

i just look at him and say, "are you seriously asking this question? i know exactly where they get this." and then i just look at him.

from the mouths of babes.