Tuesday, April 20, 2010

did i just write that?

carlos whittaker. i heart him. his ability to be honest and completely transparent is something that, even though i know i shouldn't, i envy. he's been posting "Soul Creative Questions of the Day" the last few weeks. A few minutes ago he posted #8:

Finish this statement.
If I was a piece of furniture I would be… 
 without pretty much any contemplation at all, i hit the post comment button and wrote what first came to mind. here's my response:

most days… the table just inside the front door (or garage door) where you dump all of your crap when you walk in.

on the good days though, the kitchen/dining room table, where family, friends, and loved ones gather around with a ton of amazing food doing life together and supporting one another.
i reread it quickly and then hit "submit comment."

then i thought about it. "wait, did i really just post that?" yes. yes i did.

the truth is that there are a lot of days when i do feel like that table. you know which one i'm talking about. the one that you unload on right when you walk in the door. the one that holds the mail. the one that catches your keys. the one that is always there without fail. the one that, if it wasn't there, you'd miss it, but you don't really notice the importance of it each time you pass by it. every day i'm here. i'm ol' reliable.

i was sick last thursday. i missed work. i don't ever miss work. ever since then, i've been thinking: "does anyone really even notice when i'm gone?" not necessarily just at work. do they notice when i miss church on sunday mornings? if i'm not there, wherever "there" may be, does it really matter? do people notice?

do i matter?

then i'm ever so gently reminded of psalm 139:
1 O Lord , you have examined my heart
  and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
3 You see me when I travel
  and when I rest at home.
  You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
  even before I say it, L
ord .
5 You go before me and follow me.
  You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
  too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
  I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
  if I go down to the grave,
s you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
  if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
  and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
  and the light around me to become night—
12   but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
  Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
  and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
  before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,s O God.
  They cannot be numbered!
18 I can't even count them;
  they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
  you are still with me!
God knows me. he knows me. little ol' reliable me. he wants me. he know my heart. he knows my hurts. he knows my questions. my worries. he knows it all. and he still loves me.

the God of the universe that is greater than any of us could possibly ever fathom... he knows me.

so do i matter?

heck yeah i do. 
he knows me. 
he loves me. 
i am his.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The "Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard

As part of the release of Jon Acuff's book, Stuff Christians Like, he's created what could be one of the largest scorecards EVER! He's doled out more than 130 "guest blog" posts like the one below to create one MASSIVE guest post! To add up your score with the over 130 other ideas on the scorecard, check out Jon's website, stuffchrstianslike.net!

92. When asked why they picked such a bad song to sing by the judges they respond, “Spiritual Attack” = + 3 points

To add up your score with over 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit stuffchristianslike.net!

Monday, April 5, 2010


this is actually only part one of this post. part two will come later this week!

so there have been a lot of things rolling around in my head for the last couple months or so. God's been working on my heart in a lot of different ways. i thought it might be a good thing to try and get some of them out "on paper." even though this isn't actually paper. :)

ministry. i know that i don't have to tell anyone that actually in any sort of leadership role in the church that sometimes... well sometimes ministry completely sucks. does sharing Jesus with a bunch of teenagers suck? no. that doesn't suck. does working with five year olds on a Sunday morning suck? no. it can get interesting and be challenging, but no, it doesn't suck. ministry in it's own right, it's pure passion, it doesn't suck. so what is it that does? the mundane things getting in the way of Jesus. the insecurities getting in the way of a God who wants to love us.

there are a lot of things that have happened in my life the last couple of months. not all of them have been good, but i've learned some things about myself and about God that i wouldn't have learned otherwise.

i've been reading anne jackson's  mad church disease. i've had this book since April. i started reading it then, but never finished it. i have a habit of doing that. if you were to take a look at my bookshelves, you'd find at least fifty or so books that i've started to read and never finished. something that i desperately want to change!

anyway, Brandon, our creative arts and community pastor told me the one day that he had started reading this awesome book. what was it? mad church disease of course! it was free a little while back for Kindle and Nook. he'd downloaded a copy of it. so i decided to pick it up again and see what anne had to say. i'd forgotten how right on she was with some of the things i was feeling when i started to read it in april. the interesting thing though, is that now, she seems even more accurate in her descriptions and everything. it's CRAZY how much her thoughts and feelings mimic mine. or rather, how mine mimic hers.

there are a few things that hit me right off the bat. seriously. on page one. of the stinking foreword. not even anne's writing. craig groeschel's. he says this in the beginning of it: "i loved Jesus, but his church was wearing me out." he then goes on to quote Bill Hybels: "the way i was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in my life." how true these two statements seem to me!

at the start of anne's introduction, she says this:
At some point along the road, your heart, your mind, your spirit--maybe even your body-- have been damaged while fighting the battles of good and evil.
Mine too.
When we should have been fighting with our fellow believers back-to-back, we find ourselves bandaging our wounds from friendly fire.
When we should be breathing life into a comatose world, we find ourselves gasping for air, just trying to survive.
how true this is of the body of Christ and the men and women in her leadership positions! how did it get to this point? how do we get away from this?

in my post on february 5th, i wrote about how i don't know who i am anymore. shortly after i wrote that post was when i read this next part:

... that was all a front. I was an empty shell, thinking my good-girl exterior would compensate for my dying heart. In the shadows of my life, I was medicating years of hurt by escaping.

that lead on to this next part:
"Since I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing this for God, my spiritual tank had been sucked dry. When that happened, I began to lose perspective on almost every area of my life. My defenses were down, and I allowed myself to start believing the little lies the enemy would throw into my path. 
      Do you really think what you're doing matters? You're just a little girl on the support staff. Nobody really cares what you think. You'll never be able to lead like one of the guys. It's just the world you're in."

that's where i am right now. if i can be completely honest for a few minutes (and of course i can, this is MY blog :D), i don't really go to church anymore. *gasp* did i really just say that? yes. yes i did. it is rare that you will find me in church on Sunday morning. and on those rare occasions, i make it a point to come in late. why? because if i come in late, there is a much smaller chance that i will get stopped and asked to do some sort of work. so how's that? i work full time in a church office, and i don't like to come to church. of course there are a lot of reasons for that, not just trying to avoid working. some reasons i may flesh out later, but for now, we'll just leave it at that. it's just so hard sometimes to come to church when i know that there's a really good chance that i won't get to refuel. that i won't get to spend time in worship. that i won't get to be fed. contrary to popular belief, i don't spend 40 hours a week at the church reading my Bible, meditating on scripture, and singing worship songs at the top of my lungs. that bulletin you hold in your hand each Sunday (that most of you don't read anyway!)... i made that this week. those posters you see for VBS? i designed those. the newsletter you got in your mailbox last week, i did that! and no, i didn't do it in between worship sets with Brandon. yeah, Jeff gave us a short devotional thought during staff meeting where we also had prayer time.... but is that supposed to be enough?

ok, so i'm ranting. i think i'll quite for now. more of this post will be along later this week! :D