21 June 2010

hot minute

it's been entirely too long since I've written - for that i apologize. For the past week I was in Panama City Beach at Big Stuf. Talk about an incredible trip!
We met with some blocks on the way down there AND on the way back - the excursion was acting up due to a clogged fuel filter and didn't want to go very fast. However, the Lord worked that out and we arrived at PCB and back in Macon safely both times. We were also blessed to stay in the Laketown Wharf. Talk about ridiculously amazing. Seriously - please let me have one of those condos. I will gladly use it for whoever is paying for it. =D

The whole week was full of good times and hard times. I cried more on Tuesday (I think) than I have in one single 24 period in a long time. It was more out of frustration and confusion than anything else. I can't quite say that most of it was cleared up or satisfied or made better, but I know that in the end God gets the glory. The Skit Guys did a video that night (or was it Wednesday night?) that really rocked my socks. I want you guys to see it: godschisel.com
Seriously, one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. I only had one tissue and it was soaked by the time they finished. I'm sure at one point I was sobbing.

It was incredibly humbling to watch other people worship...to watch these children who are high school and middle school aged kids (I know I've only been out of HS for 2 years, but bear with me) make much of God. To see them really just worship...WOW! When I was their age, that's not something I knew. True worship was so very unfamiliar to me. Unknown even! I know some of them may have simply been doing what others around them were doing or may have been "putting up a front" of loving the Lord, but I know in my heart that there were so many that have really tasted and seen that Adonai is gracious. Most of their stories are more intense than mine..and they've seen God triumph in the most magnificent ways in their lives and those around them. To see them come together, unified in THE God - absolutely humbling.

There's more that I could say about Big Stuf, but I really don't know where to begin without taking a ton of time to make it happen. I'm sure more will come out over the next few posts. I'm still processing most of it. The theme was "Think" by the way - and the emphasis was on the truth that if we can train our THOUGHTS to be on what is ABOVE, our actions will change. Our mind is the battleground. God changes our hearts, but He doesn't change our minds..that's something we have to deal with.
That little bit right up there called me out on so many things. The rest of it was just as good.

08 June 2010

engagement rings

Amanda wrote this on the LPM blog ... and I couldn't help but put it here. wow.

"Our marriages are somewhat like my engagement ring. The core – the diamond – holds a great love story with lots of passion and commitment. But everyday wear and tear and the occasional traumatic event can do a number on the metal that holds it together. Some of our rings could just use some polishing while others need some real restoration. God can do both! Remember that He loves marriage. He created it, after all. I’m praying that God will show each one of us a specific way we can invest in our marriage to strengthen it and bring out its beauty."

02 June 2010

Proverbs and a verse for yesterday

First of all, in Isaiah 32...there's such a great image in the second verse of four things:
1. shelter from the wind
2. refuge from the rain
3. streams of water in a dry land
4. shade of a massive rock in an arid land
What an incredible picture of what God is to us....to put it simply - he saves us from certain death. Riley's dad, Mr. Scott, recently returned from a year in Iraq. He said sometimes the sandstorms would get so bad that they would last for over a day and going outside was impossible. The wind stirred the sand up so much that it would surely blind you if you were in it without protection. Protection, for us, is Adonai. He is our shelter from the wind. Mr. Scott also talked about how the rain would come through the sandstorm, slapping red stains on everything it could reach. The Israelites/Hebrews/God's chosen people lived in this desert...amidst the sandstorms and torrential rains. He was their shelter and refuge.
Another thing that is cool is...He is our refuge from rain, yet the provider of water in dry land. He gives us just enough - not too little or too much because we can't handle either of those. He gives us enough. Number 4 reminds me so much of Moses in Exodus 33...His light is so bright that He has to provide for us a shelter...Adonai hid Moses in the rock because Moses couldn't see Adonai's full glory and still live...how wonderful. How incredible to know that He's looking out on both sides - the 'too much' and the 'not enough' side..how incredible to know that He is just enough.

In a similar way, Isaiah 32 speaks against the overconfident and the complacent - there's a 'happy medium.' The middle of the chapter tells of destruction and mourning...then vs 15 says "until the Spirit from heaven is poured out upon us." I'm not sure if I'm right, but this seems to be a picture of Yeshua...He brought the outpouring of the Spirit ... to dwell within us forever, right? "The desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest."
Verse 17 says "The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever." - this reminds me so much of yesterday: Isaiah 30:15 & 18. Deliverance/strength/patience all tie in with quiet confidence. How incredible.

Chapter 2 of Proverbs is full of pictures and contrasts between the wise and the foolish - I challenge you to write it down - in your own words what the scriptures say - in a chart and keep track of it as you read through Proverbs. The pictures are striking and very humbling. Specifically, verse 17 tied in with a few other things I've learned recently. It says, "...who abandons the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;" - it's discussing a 'forbidden woman' - a married woman, I would presume.
She has divorced her first love and has forgotten the covenant of her God. Think back to Moses and the Israelites after their deliverance from Egypt. Moses met on the mountain with Adonai.. when the cloud was on the mountain and Moses was receiving the Word, God makes a covenant with the Israelites. The image of that is where the chuppah comes from...it is a covering. The chuppah is used in wedding ceremonies, but holds the most meaning in Jewish weddings where it symbolizes this covering as the Israelites received the Torah among other things. But seriously, the fact that Proverbs discusses this woman, obviously previously married, forgetting the covenant of her God, is such an incredible picture of how we should not forget His covenant, but also should not enter into marriage, or abandon it, with any sort of nonchalance. It's a HUGE deal!! Such a big deal that God entered into a covenant with the Israelites, His chosen people, in the same sense that we enter into a marriage - it is a covenant that should not be broken!