Over-Intellectualism

“And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:23-26

It’s interesting that the disciples cast lots to decide who would take Judas’ place among them? If I suggested something like that today, people would think I was crazy. What kind of God answers people’s questions through luck? We forget we have a very personal God who meets us where we are, even if it’s casting lots.

That’s not what I wanted to blog about, but it was on my mind how something the disciples did would be disqualified from most churches today because it was too faith based and not holy enough, not intellectual enough.

Won’t You Join Me?

Something I’m excited about this week, there are several things, but this is something I can share with you and I hope you can join me. There is going to be a women’s Christian conference on-line, sponsored by (In)Courage. It is done through on-line video. Several of the speakers are authors who I admire, and I’m excited to see what these ladies have come up with. What a better way to reach women, moms with little kids, busy working moms, women of all ages….than to make your conference an online video and free! Just brilliant.

April 25th and 26th
Friday Screening times (EST): 9am / 1pm / 6pm / 9pm All times are in Eastern Standard Time {North America} – just click them to find your corresponding local time and tune in.

Also, all the videos will be available for 48 hours starting at midnight on Friday. There is an hour and a half on Friday and another hour and a half on Saturday. To get the videos, you need to register (for free!) at (In)Courage Click HERE

Here is a preview of what it will be about, this year’s theme is about the power of sharing our stories.

I would love to have you join me.

Because These Are My People

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I just spent a weekend with family, lots of extended family on both sides. Holding babies, small talk about what people are doing, magnificent feasts, kids eating chocolate and playing with kittens, tulips blooming, celebrating my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary, my dad’s 60th birthday, kitchen talks with my mom. I have strong bonds with these people, these are my people, the ones who would do anything for me, these are the people I love the most. I am greatly blessed.

Yet after spending time with people, I see their pain, feel their insecurities, their fear. Evil is present everywhere, sin is like dust falling on our world. We can’t escape it, if we look closely it falls on each of us. Idolatry, greed, off-handed insults, being taken for granted, the need to control, hardened hearts, hurting others, we’ve got ‘em all. I see the evil of the world in the people I love the most and it’s easy to become hard. It’s easy to hate the people I love the most. I desperately need to recharge alone with my God who loves me, guides me, and shows me truth because I’m falling and becoming cold.

And of course, the first thing He does is to humble me. He shows me I’m not immune, I’m full of dust too. It comes out in every breath I give. I pray they will be forgiving of my slights and I won’t leave too much of a mark. How I can protect those I love from myself? How I can live grace in a world full of evil? How can I show them God?

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Psalm 105:1

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

…..and God gives me the answer of thankfulness, to show others God instead of ourselves, look for the good and proclaim it. Look for the beauty inside each person and remind them of it, remind them they are loved. So they can maybe remember Jesus can love them too. Look at the blessings, the beauty, and leave the wounds with Him…on the cross where they belong and have already been forgiven.
Because these are my people, and I love them, I want to be their safe place.

Fear

“Poor Jazz.”
“What a mess.”
“Well, at least she’s trying.”
“Trying? She’s a mess. They all are.”
“Ah, no, they’re good people,” Corrigan said. “They just don’t know what it is they’re doing. Or what’s being done to them. It’s about fear. You know? They’re all throbbing with fear. We all are.”
He drank the tea without cleaning the lipstick off the rim.
“Bits of it floating in the air,” he said. “It’s like dust. You walk about and don’t see it, don’t notice it, but it’s there and it’s all coming down, covering everything. You’re breathing it in. You touch it. You drink it. You eat it. But it’s so fine you don’t notice it. But you’re covered in it. It’s everywhere. What I mean is, we’re afraid. Just stand still for an instant and there it is, this fear, covering our faces and tongues. If we stopped to take account of it, we’d just fall into despair. But we can’t stop. We’ve got to keep going.”
“For what?”
“I don’t know—that’s my problem.”
~Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann (pg 29,30)

I think this perspective on fear is more accurate than a lot of us would like to admit. A good example of how sin works in our world. How it’s everywhere, inescapable….

another great writer on fear….
A Chance (Coco J. Ginger)

The Sacred Mundane

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“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land
~Anonymous

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I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain’s blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things- old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.
~ Grace Noll Crowell
(h/t Magistratrium)

Yesterday, we all got a sick. Scratchy throats and stuffy heads. Caci had a fever. I baked cinnamon rolls with an orange glaze, went for a walk and cleaned. The girls played in giant mud puddles and watched movies. We are missing homeschool co-op today because I want us to get better. I was supposed to teach preschool, oh well, I feel bad about that. It snowed this morning, crazy weather. I read “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist, I liked her food metaphors mixed in with her writing. “…and the morning light from the east on the three seasons porch is just the softest, most perfect light, like angel food cake….” I’m getting excited for Easter, I have the candy bought but I still need a gift for the girls. Maybe I’ll go out tonight after Luke gets home? I like the idea of new Easter dresses representing us being clothed in the robes of Christ to cover our sins. I had never put that together with the reason for new Easter clothes.

Saturdaze

Who knew kids’ soccer games on Saturday mornings would wipe me out for an entire day? Luckily we have neighbors who spend their weekends gardening and seem to love it when our children come and follow them around for hours. Yesterday was a sneezy, humid, hot day, and our home became suddenly ant infested. We painted t-shirts, I planted two peonies and took a walk holding hands with Sophia. Luke made his amazing fajitas, we ate too many rice krispy treats, our bed became piled high with laundry, and the shoes in front of the door seemed to grow another foot deep. It ended with the most amazing thunder/hail storm. Thunder and lightning constantly flashing across the sky for hours. Luke is studying like crazy for his exam and I watched Fringe on the tv (an excellent show but a bit gory).