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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