Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Since I wrote last, I have started leaving bags of chips with Bible verses taped to them in the park next door. It made me start to feel differently about the park. There seemed to be a peace there and I thought that perhaps God was moving, speaking to people. But in the last few days it has been hard. The last time I left chips out, I was leaving right as some kind of dangerous looking young men (maybe HS age) showed up. They went to one of the tables I had dropped by and started doing drugs. As I passed them on the way out, I felt afraid.

The next day some people threw a party at the park all day. They had party blowers and were making a ruckus during William's nap, and I was angry. Then they left the park a disaster. I went down and cleaned up what I could. When I came home I didn't lock my car because my gloves had broken and I got frosting on my fingers and didn't want to touch the clicker. Today, our car was found ransacked and all of Kurt's CDs were stolen. And I thought to myself, I am SO done living next to this park!

After the police left this morning, I got to thinking. That officer who took the report puts his life on the line everyday to protect our lives and property. Shouldn't I be willing to lay down my life to offer people eternal life? That's what Jesus did, and I think I am called to no less.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The key to real ministry

But then I am also reminded of Jesus' ministry--he said, "...the Son can do nothing of himself, unless it is something he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." Jn 5:19 The Father was guiding Jesus constantly in his earthly ministry, and Jesus acted always in obedience to his Father.

I think we're called to do the same--to always be listening or seeking His guidance in our hearts, and acting in obedience, as opposed to going off on our own and dreaming up ideas for God. I think we are called to listen to Him and seek to know what work He is doing on earth, and then offer ourselves as vessels for that work. And so, when it comes to sowing seed, I want to let the Master Farmer be guiding me to fields He wants to see sown. I think he just wants us willing and walking with Him to whatever end...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wasted Seeds

Yesterday I watched a couple of documentary films, one on Keith Green and the other on Rees Howells, whom I was already pretty familiar with. As I was watching, something was coming over me that was new and strange. Both of these men, largely different in their personalities and the way that God met them in their lives, had in common a burning desire to see the lost come to hear the gospel. It was their consuming passion. And it stirred something in me that was hard to explain. All I can say is that it seemed like they were on the best ride ever and I wanted to get on too.

For a long time, since college, I have not been interested in sharing the gospel unless God specifically brought me a person who was hungry and eager. I tried sharing with my friends in college and it got nowhere. People were closed and it didn't seem to matter how much I loved Jesus or if I had the right answers. So I figured I was going about it all wrong. I'll just hang out in one spot and wait for a hungry fish to come my way. But I haven't seen any fish.

The Lord brought home to me the reality that efficiency is not His MO. In the parable of the sower, the sower went out scattering seeds, which landed on various hearts, some fruitful, some not. I was more like a sower going around testing patches of dirt with my toe and only planting where I thought there was a reasonable chance the seed could grow. But the realization came: how did I know my estimation of the soil was correct? It is quite likely that I have passed a lot of good soil.

The sower went out and scattered seed. Not only did some of it fail to produce fruit, 3/4 of it did. But He scattered all the same. And now I feel free, adventurous, excited...it's not like the seed bag is going to go empty and there is a lot of land out there that needs covering.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What's your Excuse?

On Monday I got my wisdom teeth removed and it has been a painful week trying to recover. It hurt especially to eat, which had me always torn between dealing with my empty stomach or keeping my mouth from hurting even more. So I have spent a lot of time frustrated and hurting, and it has made me a very unpleasant person to live with.

This morning Kurt left to go hiking, and while I am totally able to care for the kids at this point, I just didn't want to. I wanted to be alone, definitely not be responsible for two lives. I was cranky and I think William was way more naughty than usual...I have the torn book and scribbled-on coffee table as evidence. I was about at my wit's end when God brought a picture to my mind. I saw Christ carrying his cross up to Calvary. He was beaten and bleeding, and along the way, even to his last breath, he was speaking to encourage others or ask for them to be forgiven. He didn't take even excruciating pain to be an excuse to focus on himself, but even at the end his life was in the Father's hands, loving people. He poured out himself.

So what was my excuse?

Friday, August 1, 2008


This is another word I read in Scripture that confused me, but I didn't realize it until recently. I thought it meant "unbelievingness" and had to do with having doubts. But while doubting is sin in God's eyes, it recently occurred to me that the word means the same thing as the way we use it today--its talking about a spouse being unfaithful. I guess maybe that's obvious to other people but it was a big moment for me. God wants His people to love Him with their whole heart, just like Kurt wants my whole affection and would be jealous if I gave my love in any degree to another man.

So then it makes a lot more sense to me when God says that He is a jealous God. Off yesterday's post, to love the world in any degree is to be unfaithful to God. There are lots of references in the Bible to God's relationship to the Jews and/or the Church being one like marriage. So that creates a very pressing issue...am I unfaithful to God? Do I make Him jealous? I can't take that any less seriously than I would in my earthly marriage.

So what do I love in the world? Where are my affections, really? Often a clue comes in the form of what I tend to get riled up about.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. ." James 4:1

I get that way about sleep a lot these days, since I've got two little ones.

"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?But he gives us more grace." James 4:4-6

Sounds kind of funny to think about love of sleep being adultery toward God, but I can't deny the fruit of it. I get quick tempered when I expect to have a nap and can't have one, or when I am made to stay up past my bedtime. Its a vicious drive in me, and bears all the fruit of unrighteousness. Fortunately the Lord wants us to be faithful and bear the fruit of righteousness, so I find Him working to rid me of this idol, and teaching me how to yield to His peaceful, gentle, generous Spirit working in me to care for my family. (and it is His Spirit, incidentally, that revealed my lust for sleep to me. Our places of unfaithfulness tend to be very cleverly hidden from our eyes. But God sees them.)