Monthly Archives: July 2011

Why are we still here?

Dad drove me to Buffalo today to leave for my life in Boston again. Real world. Felt burdened and weighed down with responsibilities and emails (86) and loneliness (sometimes) in a big city. Knew it was coming. So i tried to find things to “preach to myself” and Dad was helping me.

We came to the question: why hasn’t God taken us home yet? Let’s stop and think about it.

1.) Because we’re supposed to enjoy life here (BUZZZZZER: WRONNNG)
2.) Because He loves this world and has a mission for us (ding! yes)
3.) Because He willed it (yes)

It’s not that we should not enjoy life here. I do enjoy it. You may enjoy it. But that’s not WHY we’re here. I think when i think things are about my own glory, that’s when I get ‘distraught’.

By “for my own glory” i do not mean I actually think “How can i be glorified”..it’s more like these sorts of thoughts:

“What will my boss think of me if…”
“What will people think if I …”
“My sister is married. I am not. And she has a new BMW that goes really fast. And i have to walk up the giant hill alone w/my suitcase”.
“When will i get to travel and enjoy my life more while I am young?”

etc. and these are the most ridiculous problems. “White wine” if you will—i just want to slap myself for complaining about these things!

Now. There is nothing wrong with wanting to travel or have fun—or please my boss—-but I’m here to serve God! If i never travel again or get married or make people happy, it’s ok! I’m here to learn to know him and to do his will as much as i can (and then let Him do the 99 percent more i cant even try to do).

When i remember that it is not my job to have fun here because I’ve got Heaven to look forward to, and that Boston is a place God has put me for THIS season, I am encouraged. Super encouraged. He Himself is actually pretty amazing, present and fun and deep and generous and protective and loving. All of a sudden I don’t need to travel, marry, drive a sweet car or anything. This world isn’t for getting sweet cars people! (if you have an amazing car, don’t think i’m saying it’s wrong. I just know that we’re here for a really short time–and it’s not like “better get a good car while we still can, it’s more like “better save up treasures in Heaven where they don’t rust and get corroded”).

So what some people take as “Life is short, i should have as much fun as i can now” we may wanna take as “Life is short, i should store up as much reward in heaven as i can”. Uhm and: 1.) know God so that this doesnt happen” http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A21-23&version=ESV and 2.) do his work here because he’s awesome.

The second i take my eyes off that, I get jealous. Or i get complain-y. Or I get down on life and super impatient. A godly woman “laughs at days to come” and she takes things in stride! This is how i want to live. Just audience of One. Him. Me. Loving people. Then going home. Simple.

Besides, Somalia’s having a famine. I think the whole church needs to feed that nation. How can we start something that will feed all their people? There should never be a person dying of hunger in this world. It makes me really angry and sad when people die of hunger — it makes no sense.

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My sister is married.

I felt like I needed to write something here about today. Sarah got married today, even though she said she never would. She married a tall man named Milton, who she met at age 16, on AOL instant messenger (he randomly im-ed her).

Never seen Sarah look so happy. And I was so happy to be with my whole family again. Everybody! Even Beth, Jon’s gf I hadnt met yet. I was especially amazed at:

1.) Jon’s ability to quit smoking after soo long—his intelligence, interest and knowing attitude about a lot of what I’m working on or say.
2.) Noah’s perseverance and willingness to still work through things when times get hard—his new job, coming to church tomorrow—thinking of other options and working on getting back into school.
3.) Micah’s ability to climb up a tree in a suit to put the pinata string there. And his responsibility–tomorrow he knew he needed to get to church by the eight thirty service so he could clean his cabin 2.5 hours away to prepare for his next week of campers, and to attend a baptism to stand with his friend…i tried to convince him to go later and he calculated how much time is wise to be safe. Then he asked me to breakfast before the 8 AM service. What an awesome brother. :D.
4.) Caleb’s ability to play guitar AND ukalale. i cant even spell it. But we had guitar, uke AND harmonica in “Come thou fount”. it was awesome.
5.) Hannah’s fashion sense and hair curling abilities. I did a lot of my hair myself today (first) but she did curl the whole thing at 7 AM. Hopefully next time she wont hate it as much. I am not kidding when I say that i would have burned off whole sections of my hair without her.

Maybe later i can make a whole post about how amazing mom is. She planned the most beautiful wedding Sarah and Milton could ever dream of, with a breeze, a wonderful reception site—it was just amazing. And she didnt stress at all like i would’ve expected. And she found the coolest place to pick out wildflowers. Reading this we sound like a hippie family or something. But really, i decided this was a hipster wedding that was SUPER exclusive and everybody wished they could come but it was just small 😀 just immediate family.

Or I could also write more about Dad’s super awkward speech “I think of myself as a big teddy bear” , Milton’s ability to kill owl pinatas, or Papa’s steadfastness..for now i need to go to sleep and wake up to micahbreakfast.

I will say that i’m overwhelmed with thankfulness for the family i was given — and I couldnt make it through “The gambler” today with my sister crying and listening to me sing. I sang with an almost sob the whole song, but i guess people liked it. Not an ideal situation but at least i didnt start crying :D.

I just didnt wanna forget favorite parts, like when Sarah’s dress got stuck to Noah’s pocket. dsfkldsjfkldjflkdsjfkdslfjsdlfj i cried laughing. Or when Pastor Geoff interrupted the vows to explain agape love or when Hannah accidentally got 2 cups of the blood of Christ during Communion.

Congrats Sarah and Milton! Enjoy your life together til death do you part—–loved being a part of your day!..

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The Body, Staycations, 3AM Rule and Fame + Dinner Music

Before I forget, I need to write some stuff down.

During the dark days (this is how i will refer to the pain of PRK (lasik) and the terrible 5 days of alone time i had between my magnificent 4th and now), I learned a lot. I was alone. In my house. For days, for hours–crying. Not sadness. Just–eyes wouldnt stop crying from pain. It was just awkward. Lots of healthy choice microwave meals, sermons online and prayer. Good thing I had like, one visitor. Eyes that dont stop watering and stuff are a little bit nasty, if you ask me.

1.) AMAZING women in our church (coughEmilyHorjuscough) and great roommates helped me a lot — so I realized I needed people. I needed people to give me spaghetti –TWICE. And it feels really good to need people. Dependence is frowned upon by our society (you need to grow up and be out on your own!) but as a Christian i am NOT called to be independent either (that would be silly since he says to live as one body, called to peace).

Interdependent is what i’m going for, and this was a good taste of it. There’s helping others (the night i lent an ear to a struggling friend since it’s all i had while lying in total darkness) and being helped (driven to Norwood 6 times by a new mom and her really well-behaved baby). We give to others because Romans 12:5 says: “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

We belong to each other!? So i should not feel bad asking for help. Wow. This is big. Sometimes I think we don’t ask because we feel busy and we think others must also be busy and we wouldn’t want someone to ask US for that —

I need to say yes to people asking ME for help, and look for ways to serve, so that I can build up the body (since it’s command, not a request. Galatians 5:13: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”). right?!

I was thinking that I’ve never seen a church where every person knows and practices using their gifts. Juan said “i have!” and i said, “wait…everybody!? using gifts!?” and he said “oh wait yea, no.” Jesus said:

John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples”.

You = me? That’s what I always thought. I better bear fruit, for God’s glory! Last night i read it to mean ALL OF YOU. All Jesus’ body and people that come after him—that YOU (collective) bear much fruit! It’s not enough for some of you to bear fruit–for God’s glory you should ALL bear fruit! So let’s use our gifts to serve each other and not ourselves. Let’s practice gifts we’re given as good stewards.

I learned WAY more last night (like why not to be jealous of someone’s singing voice since He gave it to them to bless OTHERS and so he made it for me to rejoice in, not be envious of! What a waste of a gift if someone is using it to edify me and i’m just wishing i could sing better. He wants us to enjoy each other’s gifts!). I don’t have time for all of it here but maybe in future posts?

2.) Today God showed me something in prayer. This rarely happens—last time i heard this kind of command it was at morning prayer in March or Feb. and God said to ask media to report on us and all that happens at the Church. Today God convicted me of restlessness. He explained that I cannot complain about staying in one city for 3 years (signing a lease Saturday) when he has 1.) brought nations here for me to meet 2.) made neighborhoods ive never been in cause no one thinks they’re safe to go to 3.) has places i’ve never seen that will provide mini adventures without leaving. I believe i’ll be on ‘the mission field” later in life. For now, he’s asked me to work hard and do “staycations” in a way. Mini adventures every day in a big exciting city as a single woman with time on her hands to practice, learn and build community. SO FUN. impatience is flying out the window as i type. This is awesome. Before i was like “had i known i’d have to stay here, I wouldve gotten a PH.d, GOD. Why didn’t I just do it?” then i remembered i have the coolest.job.everrrr.

3.) I’ve been asking God to show me things and especially to increase my ability to pray for things…I was lying in the dark listening to: Quest for a Life of Prayer (http://www.archive.org/details/MistyEdwardsQuestforaLifeofPrayer) and I asked Jesus: “Jesus, I really have to have more of you. Do I need to pray for like, 2-3 hours a morning and get up at 3AM to hear you and follow?” Immediately Misty says on the sermon “If you want to pray more, just start with 20 minutes a day. More will flow from that if you stick to it–you will definitely want to do more, but start there.” It was slightly creepy how she said it right when I asked. Then i called and spoke with my mentor, Michelle. “Should I pray for 2-3 hours or get up earlier? If I don’t want to pray, should I push it or is it like running on a bad knee and I ought to just quit”? And she said “Just start with 20-30 minutes. You’ll want to do more but start smaller”.

WHAT

so it was confirmed and i was STOKED. I’m an on-off person. It was always 2-3 hours or none. It never occurred to me that all these people who pray for hours and see God’s spirit fall started smaller.

4.) Brother Yun is amazing. You should check out his book, Heavenly Man if you want a great read.

We picked him up today at the airport. I had a sign in all Chinese with his name on it (Brian showed me which way to hold it since I asked and had it upside-down). When we met, finally, he and his wife were SO happy to see me with his name. Oh Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! (all the English he knows). So we praised the Lord and Hallelujahed for a long time. Had to get 2 bags. Took forever. No Chinese. No English. What will we do? We will use motions and gestures (which i found out he understood entirely and said i have a gift of communication! Genetic. Parents are sign language people). and we will sing. Loudly. in the airport. Why? Cause the bags arent here yet, and why not? It encouraged me so much to sing next time my bags take a while on the belt.

Then we drove to where he was staying and a woman cooked us authentic Chinese food. It was phenomenal. Once Brian came, I could ask him whatever I wanted, for hours. If you asked me, “who would you want to have dinner with who is LIVING today” i think he would be in my top 5. I asked him about prayer. He gets up and prays before 5AM daily, even on vacation, til around 8 AM. He also says that he doesn’t see miracles in the West like he does in China because we do not rely on prayer the way they do—and we had a great conversation about childlike faith, prayer and God’s will being completed. It was insane.

I learned that it’s good to sing praises to God and say Praise the Lord a lot when it’s what you know. He sang at dinner too–and always looks SO HAPPY when he sings. He also prayed for my eyes, which feel almost 100 percent now. He blessed me and prayed for me to be a prophetess (I eagerly desire this gift as you know) — and said I am a worshiper. I was overwhelmed. I love learning. Next year, I’ll be on the older 1/2 of my housemates (unlike now). I’ll be helping to teach (but still learn from ) younger women. But I prefer older women (like his wife) teaching me things—this was a bigger blessing that I had expected. I just really pray that God would continue to show me how little I know WHILE introducing me to more of his knowledge and love. If i just realize I’m inadequate to do the work, that’s not enough and it’s not humble. I have to learn to seek out wisdom like a precious jewel, and ask for more of his love and power and gifts and just–more of HIMSELF. If you think you’re empty, pray to be filled! if you think you’re filled and dont need more of Him–well, i’m afraid for you. If you think you’re partly filled…why not pray for WAY more filling?!

I don’t want to have stories or be famous like Brother Yun. I’m afraid of what I’d be like as a famous person and I bet it’s harder to get into heaven or something. But I do want to be as close to Jesus as he is–and to see His Kingdom more clearly as he does–so pray for me to pray if you are that type—we’re opposed by both flesh and Evil and when we try to pray more, he tries to lay the smackdown. Let’s keep each other covered! Anyone have the gift of intercession :)? I’d love some training and prayer.

Exciting time to be alive, young, in Boston, working, deepening friendships and waiting on Him. :D.

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1 Samuel 3:1

And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision..

Today in Church i was thinking about a few things because the message did just what it should–it went down really deep. Thanks for preaching what He asked you to, David!

1.) I recently (this week) realized that I’ve been more impatient lately than I was when i was 6 years old. And for what? Things like travel, love, adventure. Ridiculous. At least if I am going to be impatient for something, it should be the glory of the Lord to rise in Boston! Rather than simply being ashamed of my impatience, I’m recognizing this as a season God’s given me to learn true joy and satisfaction in just Him.

But with impatience has come a severe inconsistency. It is similar to my vision currently. Having just experienced LASIK for the first time, there are moments i can barely see and it’s blurry everywhere, and other moments where things are mostly clear. It changes a lot. Soon as i think i’m improving, it worsens. Blink a few times and it changes.

My prayers/relationship with Him has been all over the place recently. In one moment, everything is crystal clear: He is all that matters, my point for living, and all i have to do is please HIM. Not others, not myself, not even my bosses or parents or friends. Just HIM. If he wants me to get married, serve in Africa, be a writer, a prophetess, it will come from Him at the right time. IF not, just knowing Him is enough!

The next moment, everything changes. I hear word of a young woman headed to Saudi Arabia, I hear someone else received a word of prophecy, I don’t feel good, it’s rainy…and all of a sudden, I’m back to distracted and self-focused (still spiritual, but self-focused) floundering. It’s like in James–the ‘wave being thrown and tossed by the wind’.

Then someone gives me a good word from the Bible and everything is crystal clear again. Lord, give me steadfast love like you have!!!

To battle this, I need to stick to some specific things. Fasting, prayer, scheduled bible reading (otherwise i’ll probably skip) — it really is my food. I guess it’s a good sign that I can’t go a few days without His Word–but as it’s starting to taste more and more like food I want to have in my heart, I need to take advantage of these hungry times and eat as much as possible.

These sorts of times will never be in vain. That’s why i love prayer and the Word so much–because it is NEVER never in vain. I never have to worry about wasting time again! If I open the BIble it will do something worthwhile in eternity, every time. If i’m stuck by the side of the road one day waiting for a tow, or my T is broken, and i lift prayers to HIM for the nations, i’m not wasting time. I am in a position to never waste time ever again while waiting. In the same way, if I have a lonely night (or 5 day long period of not being able to see or venture out during the day) — every second can be filled with times that are not in vain, spent with Him (whether it feels like we’re together now or he feels distant).

2.) Do I minister to the Lord? Samuel did! He ministered TO GOD. God is a person who can relate to us and who seeks to be served by us. I must spend moments (hours if can!) ministering to HIM. Then when storms come and i’m being battered, I know that my relationship with Him is strong and ready to handle all–because it’s a 2-way ministry relationship where we minister to each other and prepare to do His will on earth til he takes me home—-David said in this time, we need to: 1.) Minister to God in WHATEVER the circumstance, 2.) Learn to hear his voice and practice our gifts. Even if nothing changes for 30 years, those are things i need to work on doing.

Are there seasons for everything under heaven? Yes. But in every season I should Minister to GOD, practice my gifts, and learn to hear His voice! Then come what may, I’ll be close enough to Him to know what he wants me to do. It’s so exciting. Especially cause our whole church heard the same message.

Church! Let’s really press in during this time where we ARE hungry and not let it become just a moment with Him. We simply have to minister to Him alone, bear one another’s burdens together, and wait on Him. The glory is returning! The cows are coming (LOL 1 Samuel 6, i’d love to be those farmers) — get ready for it! When my eyes are removed from the eternal point that is GREATER than anything the world gives, please, siblings at Fenway, encourage me to plaster them back on HIm, the author and finisher of our faith! It’s never a waste of time to minister to the Lord! Hallelujah! :D.

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1 Samuel 3:1

And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision..

Today in Church i was thinking about a few things because the message did just what it should–it went down really deep. Thanks for preaching what He asked you to, David!

1.) I recently (this week) realized that I’ve been more impatient lately than I was when i was 6 years old. And for what? Things like travel, love, adventure. Ridiculous. At least if I am going to be impatient for something, it should be the glory of the Lord to rise in Boston! Rather than simply being ashamed of my impatience, I’m recognizing this as a season God’s given me to learn true joy and satisfaction in just Him.

But with impatience has come a severe inconsistency. It is similar to my vision currently. Having just experienced LASIK for the first time, there are moments i can barely see and it’s blurry everywhere, and other moments where things are mostly clear. It changes a lot. Soon as i think i’m improving, it worsens. Blink a few times and it changes.

My prayers/relationship with Him has been all over the place recently. In one moment, everything is crystal clear: He is all that matters, my point for living, and all i have to do is please HIM. Not others, not myself, not even my bosses or parents or friends. Just HIM. If he wants me to get married, serve in Africa, be a writer, a prophetess, it will come from Him at the right time. IF not, just knowing Him is enough!

The next moment, everything changes. I hear word of a young woman headed to Saudi Arabia, I hear someone else received a word of prophecy, I don’t feel good, it’s rainy…and all of a sudden, I’m back to distracted and self-focused (still spiritual, but self-focused) floundering. It’s like in James–the ‘wave being thrown and tossed by the wind’.

Then someone gives me a good word from the Bible and everything is crystal clear again. Lord, give me steadfast love like you have!!!

To battle this, I need to stick to some specific things. Fasting, prayer, scheduled bible reading (otherwise i’ll probably skip) — it really is my food. I guess it’s a good sign that I can’t go a few days without His Word–but as it’s starting to taste more and more like food I want to have in my heart, I need to take advantage of these hungry times and eat as much as possible.

These sorts of times will never be in vain. That’s why i love prayer and the Word so much–because it is NEVER never in vain. I never have to worry about wasting time again! If I open the BIble it will do something worthwhile in eternity, every time. If i’m stuck by the side of the road one day waiting for a tow, or my T is broken, and i lift prayers to HIM for the nations, i’m not wasting time. I am in a position to never waste time ever again while waiting. In the same way, if I have a lonely night (or 5 day long period of not being able to see or venture out during the day) — every second can be filled with times that are not in vain, spent with Him (whether it feels like we’re together now or he feels distant).

2.) Do I minister to the Lord? Samuel did! He ministered TO GOD. God is a person who can relate to us and who seeks to be served by us. I must spend moments (hours if can!) ministering to HIM. Then when storms come and i’m being battered, I know that my relationship with Him is strong and ready to handle all–because it’s a 2-way ministry relationship where we minister to each other and prepare to do His will on earth til he takes me home—-David said in this time, we need to: 1.) Minister to God in WHATEVER the circumstance, 2.) Learn to hear his voice and practice our gifts. Even if nothing changes for 30 years, those are things i need to work on doing.

Are there seasons for everything under heaven? Yes. But in every season I should Minister to GOD, practice my gifts, and learn to hear His voice! Then come what may, I’ll be close enough to Him to know what he wants me to do. It’s so exciting. Especially cause our whole church heard the same message.

Church! Let’s really press in during this time where we ARE hungry and not let it become just a moment with Him. We simply have to minister to Him alone, bear one another’s burdens together, and wait on Him. The glory is returning! The cows are coming (LOL 1 Samuel 6, i’d love to be those farmers) — get ready for it! When my eyes are removed from the eternal point that is GREATER than anything the world gives, please, siblings at Fenway, encourage me to plaster them back on HIm, the author and finisher of our faith! It’s never a waste of time to minister to the Lord! Hallelujah! :D.

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Two more links: yes 3 blog posts today!

Unbelievable message by Misty Edwards. Felt like she told my story but went to ihop at the end of it.

this is funny because recently I met a new friend and she said she’d heard of TechMission on Family LIfe Network. I told her “THAT WAS ME!”, then looked it up to confirm. hahaha. Oh radio. Small small Christian world.

Sorry for those of you who subscribe to me!

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Excuses

So I decided that the section below is more vulgar and more agressive sounding than I wish it was–but he made a great point there about excuses. I’ve done this before: “Well i was born this way” or “I’m just like my dad” or “I only do that when other people yell at me”..

I just think it’s a good point about justifying sin–and that it’s one thing to say “I’m not perfect” (but I would be more perfect if God made me with a different personality or with different people in my life) and another thing to say, “I’m a horrible sinner that needs grace!”

If you can handle his angry, short sounding rhetoric, read on–it’s not bad.

Whole thing available here: http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/rebels-guide-to-joy/the-rebels-guide-to-joy-in-exhaustion (Mark Driscoll).

(beginning – better than the end. Gets super long and is all about Scotland):

When confronted with sin, do you listen or do you defend yourself? When you have sin, do you repent and apologize to people and God, or do you shift the blame? Do you blame it on someone else? “Well I cussed you out because you made me cuss you out. It’s kind of your fault.”

“Really? I took your lips and made naughty words? That’s on me? I did that?”

Or we make excuses. “Well you know, my dad hit me as a kid, so you know, I get to hit people. It’s just it’s a thing – it’s a thing we made up. You know what? Growing up, my parents didn’t love me so I get to be a jerk for the rest of my life. I’m a victim so I get to victimize others.” Or we blame it on our personality. “I took a test and I’m in this very small minority of obsessive people who are violent and Godless and can’t find their pants and violate commandments. That’s my personality, so I’m a victim to my genetics. I had a grandpa like that too.”

And what we can do, we can have genetic excuses. We can have cultural excuses. We can have blame shifting. We can have others that we blame for that which is our own responsibility. We could say things like, “I know it was wrong, but it’s not as bad as what you did to me that one time. Let’s not talk about you and shift the subject off of me.” Sinners have all of these diversionary tactics. Maturity is to not act as if you were perfect. Maturity is to say, “Okay, I’ve sinned. You’re right. I repent. I apologize. I will change. I appreciate you bringing that to my attention. You know what? No one’s ever had the courage to confront me like that. I appreciate that because I think you really do care.”

None of us would say, “I’m perfect,” but many of us act as if we were. And when confronted, we’re hard hearted, stiff necked, rebellious, foolish, proud, obstinate, disobedient, self-righteous, blame shifting, justifying. That’s how we respond. And what Paul is saying, “I’m mature.” What he’s saying is, “You can teach me something. I’ll learn. You can rebuke me of something, and if it’s true, I’ll repent. You can point out a flaw in my life and I’ll work on it.” And he said, “I would encourage everyone to imitate my example because maturity is humility that wants to be like Jesus and doesn’t think that one already is.” Does that make sense?

So he says there are two keys to becoming mature – forgetting what lies behind and then pressing forward. Now let me say that this verse in Philippians 3 is widely misunderstood, misapplied, by Christians.

Continued at : http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/rebels-guide-to-joy/the-rebels-guide-to-joy-in-exhaustion .

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