Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meaty, Not Milky

C. S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity, summarizes the call of Jesus this way: “Give me all. I don’t want
so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you...No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent, as well as the ones you think are wicked-the whole outfit.”

   I'm sickened by the justifications. Excuses that, instead of dying everyday, cause me to bleed out slowly. He calls me. He calls us. Why am I still who I am? 

   This rebirth is not to be taken so lightly. Our Christ was willingly flogged for us. Spit on. Humiliated. Jeered. Striped naked. Bloody and broken and bruised and battered all to be taken like a pill: maybe it works for me today, perhaps tomorrow I'll pray and try better.

    Jesus was serious then and He's serious now. How come the demons believe more than me? Why do I go back to selfishness and contentment so easily? Why is He so very patient as to put up with a terrible soldier such as myself? Why do I keep going back to thinking that it's all about me? That I am so weak that He has to dote on me, kissing my boo boos, reassuring me constantly, fix my mistakes, blah blah blah. It's all for nothing if one doesn't get up and take responsibility for their new life. He came with a sword, for heaven's sake, not a box of Kleenex.

    Not that my God doesn't so all those things. He does because He loves us. But, oh the calling and adventure we will miss when we're focused on ourselves 24/7-whether with good intentions or bad. If I'm spending 3 hours every day petitioning the Lord for favors or miracles, yet seemingly missing the opportunities to share Him with my neighbor over a cup of coffee, I have failed. If the healing that my loved one needs has not come yet, (which it hasn't) I must trust Him in action. Yes pray and pray and pray, all the while helping others to find their Healer and praying for them as if their tragedy was my own. We must be in action-while praying and petitioning and repenting-or else our feet become muddied and stuck, and we  are then of no use to Him. 

   The seriousness of His Purpose slips by us so quietly as we relax into the Good Christian role. The Holy War we are to be engaged in is still waging and people are still dying....for eternity. I can't be content with myself any longer for I am not yet made complete.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm hesitating now but make up my mind by the end.

                                                 My (Attempt at) Media & Technology Fast 

     Today marks the first day of a 7 day withdrawal from modern media & technology. Well, late this afternoon does-( that's why I am writing this now.) Our group is working through The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker, and it is a fascinating run. Lots of different perspectives on how to 'fast' various mediums such as the classic FOOD, but also clothing, stress, waste and much more.

    But, this day, I have to resolve to do it. And do it honestly. Because no one is here looking over my shoulder to hold me accountable. And that, my friends, is a little scary. A little too much freedom. Now I can only be responsible for me. Ugh........................I could cheat in so many ways. I know this because I have already thought of a thousand... And one.

    Jen stresses personal relationships throughout (and hopefully for long after) this fast. Relate with the family. Neighbors. Strangers. Mailman. You get it. The reason is not for me to gain more friendships or glory or a winner's ribbon, but to be the church and love others. To be missional. Maybe even live dangerously. 

    I WANT to do this. But I WANT this to be horribly difficult just so my pride can feel justified, like the 'struggle' was worth it. (That's ugly, I know. Get over it. I'm human.)

   As if it's really such a big stupid deal. With all I've learned & gained through the fasts so far, why am I nervous over this at all? How selfish am I really? I grew up without all this junk, for heaven's sake. I. Am. Such. A. Baby.

      I pray that this WILL mean something. That I will be seeking my Lord & King like never before during this week. That I will feel weak so He will be my hero again. I pray I have the guts to share Christ if the Holy Spirit allows. That my kids will see Jesus in me. That I will see Him in them. That, through this study, I will become the woman I think I am, not the hypocrite I tend to be. I want others to see Christ, which really means I am to be small and unnoticeable and forgotten, but He is not. I want another woman who is just 'normal' to be saved. It doesn't have to be some big dramatic thing or some horrid sinful creature that accepts, but rather an ordinary woman living an ordinary life who learns of the extraordinary God who loves her. That's cool.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Making The Connection

    This is not the best time for me to stop and write my blog. Let alone to sit. I have way too much to take care of here at the homestead: too much laundry. too much cleaning. too much necessary's. Sometimes though, that's just what I need-to stop and take a moment and SIT.

    The pampered pooch is being ignored. I sent the kids outside to do whatever as long as they stay out of the road and don't drink whiskey. I turned on the tv to block out all my other responsibilities- (please tell me you've done that too at some point.)
   Tomorrow is my annual swap with my friends. I haven't pulled a thing from my closet. I love to put off the inevitable. I am excited about the event, mostly because it's a terrific excuse to hang out and run my mouth and and only close it long enough to stuff something sugary in it also. And all for a wonderful cause. Good for us because we have the opportunity to 'purchase' new-to-us items like stain-free clothing with no holes or a purse without a sticky candy stuck since Easter or a sweet pair of shoes that we don't need to feel guilty about later when we realize it's October and we've never worn them in 7 months.

   But, even better than that! All the clothing and items that didn't find a home are then taken to my local homeless shelter that happens to house, sadly, too many women and their families. And these are articles that I can feel good about giving to them because they're clean and in style and probably not cheap either. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want someone else's sweats or ugly Christmas sweater, especially when I already have hardly a thing. There's nothing about a cheap donation that makes you feel good or pretty or even human. And I want everyone to feel good & pretty & fully human.

   What I give-what we give- matters. Jesus said when we care for the least we are caring for Him. And I'm not willing anymore to offer Him my least. He deserves my best. And so do others. I will still give my ratty clothing to Goodwill as they in turn make rags from less than perfect clothes. But now, as God helps me to make the connection from my heart to His, I will be more deliberate  to give my best. Clothes. Food. Friendship. And also, I guess, housework. Everything I do has the potential to be a blessing to someone else, and that includes my children, so it's back down into the dungeon to do another load of clothes. Clothes that I am blessed to even have.