thought this was appropriate for today.

“America- Chris Tomlin

Let your glory fly

If my people will humbly pray

Turn from sin and their wicked ways

I will hear them and heal their land

And show my glory and power again

Lift your eyes up

Look to the sky

The Lord is coming, coming to America

Can you feel the fire

Can you see the wind

Blowing through

Coming to America again

Go and tell them the blind will see

The lame will walk and the slave is free

Shout the news that the lost are saved

In the name of Jesus the dead are raised”

I wrote this last year, but thought I would post it today. I was asked what I thought and what I remembered about 9/11 and what i felt:

“I had just returned from NYC a few days before. I had stood in the very spot where the Towers were on fire. I had taken pictures of the buildings and marveled at their magnificence. Three days later, I was humbled and confused as our innocence and naiveté were crushed with a single act of hatred and violence. I thought of all the statistics I had heard when I was there, I thought of the people I had met and the pride I had seen on the face of every New Yorker. Part of me didn’t want to believe that it had really happened, but the proof was there. I was at work, and we didn’t have access to a television, so a friend of mine in Texas was emailing me up-to-the-minute blurbs. I remember the email where he said the 1st Tower had fallen. I cried for all those lives that had been lost, I sat in silence for all those dreams that would never be fulfilled. I wanted to be with my family, but they were far away. I wanted to hug my mom and know that everyone I loved was okay. When the plane crashed in Pennsylvania, my first thought was that the attacks were moving west. Who would be next? The magnitude of what had happened slowly began to sink in as my boss brought televisions into work and told us we were all free to go home if we wanted to be with our families. I was part of a generation whose single concern was technology and making millions fast. Now I was part of a generation that would always remember where they were on September 11, 2001. I didn’t want to take my eyes away from the television or turn off the radio out of fear at what would happen while my back was turned. I wanted to be surrounded by those I loved and make the tragedy make sense. ..”

This morning, for some reason, the events of two years ago were really bothering me. I think last year I was still in shock; still a little unbelieving and scared and waiting for something to happen. My roommate and I were talking last night. I think one of the reasons that it is affecting me so much is that in some ways, it seems like people have started to forget. I know I’m guilty of it. We’ve quickly gone back to the self-centered, american-dream, me-only mentality that has so permeated our culture for so long. When did we change from caring about others to caring only about ourselves?

Okay, the insane amount of time between Blogs just has to stop. My life is busy, sure, but it’s not THAT busy. I’m just a little lazy and a little less-than-motivated at the moment. But, things in my life have been happening, one on top of the other. First, I want to post the partial entry from a blog i wrote a couple weeks ago, from AUGUST 24th, to be exact:

“My father died 7 years ago today. To me, that’s almost unbelievable. Not only that he is dead, but that it has been that long. It was the summer before my senior year of high school, and oh what a summer it was…i became a Christian, met my very first boyfriend, and lost my father. all in about 2 1/2 weeks. And i think every single one of those events still echoes in my daily life to varying degrees….”

and then I stopped writing that entry. Life picked up and got busy again, and the thoughts and the moment and the feelings were quickly lost. Plus, service was about to start and I needed to get down to the nursery. So, that was that moment. Since then life has kept happening!

To bring you up to date: last night we had a women’s ministry event, FACE2FACE, at church. It was awesome. Claudia Mitchell, our women’s ministry leader, spoke about Hannah’s life, her story, and her makeover. Hannah’s prayer is pretty powerful. Here’s just the beginning:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;

in the Lord my horn is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

for I delight in your deliverance.

There is no one holy like the Lord;

there is no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God.

Do not keep talking so proudly

or let your mouth speak such arrogance,

for the Lord is a God who knows,

and by him deed are weighed.”

It’s good to know that He knows, because I’ve just realized it’s completely possible to be joyful and bewildered at the same time. I just never knew until now how those two emotions could combine and manifest themselves. It’s a strange feeling. My life is going really well. I’m really happy, but at the same time, i can’t shake this feeling that God is saying ‘You just wait. You think it’s good now, wait until you see what I’m going to do…” and I’m waiting. There is a feeling at church. We all feel it. We know it’s about to happen. We just don’t know what ‘it’ is really. Strange, huh?

My church is reading through the entire Old Testament between August 17th and December 31st. It seems like a huge goal, but I am plugging along at a reasonable pace…there is the option to purchase the OT on CD or casette and listen to it, but that is both expensive and I don’t know that I would pay as much attention as I should listening in my car. So, I am reading. As of right now I’m mostly through Genesis. I had a friend in college who called my attention to the very beginning…”Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

So many times in my life I have found myself in a place where I feel formless and empty; where life makes little or no sense and there is an opressive darkness over the deep dreams and desires of my life (the number one desire being to see Him, to follow Him, and to experience everything He has given me in this life). And then I am reminded, through song, through friends, through this verse, that even in that moment of darkness before creation exploded all around, God was there, hovering over the waters, promising that He is about to do something amazing. And so I like to think, in my moments of darkness, God is hovering there, about to do something amazing. And He has never failed me.

Right now, I am in a creation moment. For awhile there had been this darkness, and then life exploded around me. I see beauty and passion in my friends; I feel love and joy at the simple things; I watched the sun rise over the ocean and felt God painting a masterpiece just for me to see. I stood at the edge of the Atlantic, the waves washing over my feet, and wondered aloud how people could not see God and how the world could so easily believe everything was left up to chance. I heard a baby’s laughter and saw the innocent love of a three year old who just became a big sister. A friend got out of a job she hated and already found something else. I have the honor of holding the hand of a man who has quickly come to mean something special to me. I sat on a boat, talked about books, and realized that life is made up of moment after moment of grace. And today I feel amazingly lucky and blessed!

“When I come to the edge of all the light I know and am about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen; there will be something firm to stand on, or I will be taught how to fly.”

wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I think it probably has something to do with the suddenly frantic pace my life has been taking. So much has been happening that I’m not even sure where to begin and where to put the words that make the most sense…and if what i’m thinking and feeling can ever really be portrayed by something as simple and archaic as language. Words are amazing. Words are my life. And yet, right here, right now, I’m suddenly finding myself unable to find the perfect phrases to tell you, dear reader, what I feel. There is a Leonard Sweet quote, though lengthy, that has haunted my waking thoughts these past few days. Here it is:

“I am part of the Church of the Out-Of-Control; I’ve give up my control to God. I’ve jumped off the fence; I’ve stepped over the line. I’ve pulled out all the stops; I’m holding nothing back. There’s no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, or shutting up. It’s a life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall, “Thy Will Be done…” I’m done playing by the rules, whether it’s Roberts Rules of Order or Miss Manner’s Rules of Etiquette or Martha Stewart’s Rules of Living or Merrill Lynch’s Money Minding/Botton-lining/Ladder climbing Rules of America’s Most Wanted.

“I am not here to please the dominant culture. I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste buds have graduated from fizz and froth to Fire and Ice. Don’t give me that old-time religion. Don’t give me that new-time religion. Give me that all-time religion that is as hard as rock and as soft as snow.

“I’ve stopped trying to make life work, and started trying to make life sing. I’m finished with secondhand sensations; third-rate dreams; I can’t be bought by any personalities or perks, positions or prizes.

“I won’t give up, though I will give in…to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. When shorthanded and hard-pressed, I will never again simply hang in there.

“I will stand in there; I will run in there; I will pray in there; I will sacrifice in there; I will endure in there-I will do everything in there but hang. I am organized religion’s best friend and worst nightmare.

“I won’t back down slow down, shut down, or let down until I’m preached out, teached out, healed out, hauled out of God’s mission in the world entrusted to member of the out-of-control. To unbind the confined, whether they’re downtrodden or the upscale the overlooked or the under-represented.

“My fundamental identity is a disciple of Jesus. And I won’t walk through history simply “in His steps” but will seek to travel more deeply in God’s Spirit.

“Until God comes again or calls me home, you can find me filling…not killing time so that one day God will pick me out in the line-up of the ages as one of God’s own. And then…it will be worth it all….to hear these words, the most precious words I can ever hear; “well done, thou good and faithful…Out-of-control disciple.”

~Excerpted from Leonard Sweet, A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Café. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998). Pp 168-170.~

Isn’t that amazing? It’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do, and the results have already started pouring in. I am happy and have suddenly found myself in a relationship I was beginning to doubt would ever appear. I feel God, I am blessed, I am loved, I am cherished. I am real and I am His. And, for the first time ever, I’m learning that that is enough…

Thoughts for Friday Afternoon…

(From Relevant) “Who are you? What is it that you consistently love, dream of, and perhaps even pursue on some level or another withouth even maybe realizing that it might be the definitive calling on your life? Life is too short, so do what you love–and, more importantly, do it for God, who you should love even more…Begin right where you are. Don’t wait for life to get better, more convenient, ideal or anything else of the sort. That wouldn’t require faith. That would require change and change won’t come without even the most basic of faith being put into action.”

If this is so true, then why is it so hard? People talk all the time about finding their passion, and I’ve struggled with it for so long! what is it that’s I’m passionate about? What makes me pulse quicken and my heart beat? What makes me ready to change the world and willing to do just that? What makes me believe when it would be easier to doubt? What makes me fired up? My writing? My job? My friendships? My faith? I don’t know, but I’m asking for the answer and I know it will be out there…and then I will know passion and I will know faith and I will know action.

Friday Morning Sunshine

Can you believe it’s Friday already? This week has been crazy. Last night I had the honor of going up to Indianapolis and being at the airport when a friend of a close friend brought home her adopted baby from Bulgaria. It was a truly magical moment for everyone involved. I don’t know Paige and Brett all that well, but the joy on their faces was obvious from half way across the airport! Samuel’s arrival has truly been a miracle. It’s funny how seeing other people joyful just has to rub off on you. I cried and i don’t even know them. I’m not family. I’m not really a friend. But there I was, tears streaming down my face, lost in the wonder of the moment. It was a truly beautiful thing, that’s for sure. But, it is a moment and a memory that I will cherish always.

Well, here we are. I’m not sure that letting my mind have free reign on the internet is that good of an idea, but here we go! Not a lot to say at the moment. I’m feeling a lot of peace, which is good, all things considered-can we say it’s been a crazy, hectic week? Well, it has…but, a thought to leave you with– “If we lose this, we lose all.” C.S. Lewis

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