Thursday, December 30, 2010

closing out 2010 with some thankfulness...

So I know I've been seriously behind in my list of 1000 gifts. But although I wasn't doing very well in the stopping and writing down...I do have to say that even just starting the list has made me more conscientious of my gifts in general. And then it seemed like the end of the year was a fitting moment to pause once again and put them down on paper.

196- Finally owning a kitchen table! (and matching buffet) I didn’t bring my table to CO with me when I moved years ago…and kept putting off getting a new one. (I couldn’t decided to go with vintage or modern) I ended up buying a friend’s antique table she was selling. (her grandparents bought it in the 1920’s) I recovered the chairs. 5 so far, plus one needing repaired. And I like purposed 3 of them are in the colored paisley...2 are in the black (which is textured paisley) and then just the one stripped. I LOVE love love it! I was going to make an entire post about it, but never did. Plus, I decided owning a table makes me an official grown up. Yay me! 

197- The new friends and connections I’ve made this year.

198- Being laid off from my job. I know that sounds kinda crazy…but the stress level and burden that was immediately lifted was almost physically tangible.

199- This time of unemployment. Yes, financial stress is an issue…but I also know this time I have is a precious gift.

200- Receiving Unemployment Benefits. It doesn’t quite make me functional…but is obviously a tremendous blessing when it comes to paying rent.

201- The many visits of my sister (who needs to hurry and just move here)

202- Friends who have helped me get around since my car isn’t working.

203- Watching the amazing circle of a friend embracing the life God has for her…and now is turning around and helping show other’s their path...

204- New people coming to the Selah Tuesday night group…my most favorite place to be every week.

205- Reuniting with a friend after letting 6 mos slip by without seeing each other because of busy lives...and making concentrated efforts to schedule specific times when we’ll see each other next.

206- Celebrating Hanukkah with newbies. I LOVE celebrating holidays with people who never have before.

207- All the fabulous time I’ve been able to spend with my niece this year. 
She’s so much like me it’s scary...and fabulous. I’ve loved the connection we’re forming and the heart to heart conversations I can have with her cause I get what's truly going on in that head of hers. We are kindred spirits through and through...exact personalities...sense of humor...obsession with accessories...flair for drama...and several pairs of matching shoes.

208- The divine reconnection with my old YWAM leaders…and the new possibilities the future may hold because of it.

209- The last 10 days of almost complete solitude with God. Roommates were out of town, no car to go anywhere, on a social network fast, very little tv…it was beautifully refreshing.

210- Sharing intimate prayers with friends

211- God’s refining fire…which seems to be the season I am in…and embracing, despite the extreme uncomfortableness. (cue the music to my current anthem...Misty Edward's Fling Wide…)

I hope everyone that's started their lists are still continuing them............and if you haven't started yours yet...2011 is the perfect time....

Every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

onething 2010

Don’t you love it when God shows you that you’re not always a complete nut job??

onething 2010 started today in Kansas City. It’s a conference through IHOP (the prayer place…not pancake place). And sadly…I’m not there…but, I am watching it via the webstream.

Corey Russell just finished speaking. I freakin heart Corey. If I had to pick just one speaker to listen to for the rest of my life…it would be Corey. He's passionate...he stirs you up...steps on your toes...and makes you want to get closer to God.

His message that started off the conference……WAKE UP! Shake off the slumber….shake off the laziness…and WAKE UP.

Pretty much everything he said was what I wished I could have so eloquently written in my last post. But, bottom line…it was confirmation that this issue is stirring on the heart of God.

If you should watch onething online the next few days. And they should have the archive videos up soon and you’ll be able to watch Corey’s message…or any of the ones you miss live.

Here's the link: onething 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Awake, awake, oh warrior

I  decided that instead of blogging about all the issues I’ve been pondering for the last several months…I’ll spare ya’ll the trudgerey of several more posts. (yes, I like to make up words) 
Instead I’ll just share one more about what’s been on my heart.

For the past several months, I’ve mainly just sat back and watched what’s going on around me…in my inner circles…in my social network circles…just even in society itself. And besides what I've already shared, He’s also been showing me how extremes of Religion and Apathy seem to be on the rise too. Now, I know that legalism and religion seem to be the same thing, and in most ways they are, but I do think there is a difference between them also.

Course…I’ve blogged countless times about the ridiculousness of religion and how it makes Christians miss the mark more times than we’d ever want to admit. But…I’m not going off about that…this time.

Instead…what’s really made me the most heart broken…is the apathy that is abounding in our society, and in Christianity. I despise apathy. Partly because…well… if you know anything about me (or can tell by reading my blog)…you know that I’m a girl of PASSION. And passion and apathy do. not. mix. When it comes to apathy….I just don’t have much grace for it, really.

And yes…I get that not all people reach my level of…enthusiasm about most things. That’s not the issue. I know people’s passions look different...different subjects, different levels, different expressions. That’s not what this is about. The issue is that apathy (and religion!) lock up people…paralyzes them…stops them in their tracks…and keeps people from embracing and moving into the things God has in store for them. It keeps them from connecting intimately with the heart of God. And that is the issue that breaks my heart.

Now, one of the things I happen to be passionate about is seeing people fulfill their destinies. This includes whatever Calling God may have for them…and it includes their relationship and connection with the Almighty Creator. I get completely overwhelmed whenever God lets me be involved…big or small...directly or indirectly…with people stepping out into what God has for them. Getting to watch someone moving forward in their calling…connecting with God in a new way…or using one of the gifts God has placed inside of them, brings me to tears every time. It is a beautiful thing to behold…and I don’t think there’s much else on this earth that can compare.

So to watch people caught up in religion or apathy drives me insane. It takes everything in me to show restraint and not literally walk up to them, start shaking them and telling them to snap out of it. I hate watching them being robbed of their destiny because they’re not willing to step out of their comfort zones and run after God. Apathy is a disgusting, destructive device that keeps people from their Calling…from knowing the breadth and length and height and depth of an intimate relationship with God...from fighting for what rightfully belongs to them.

Why fight the apathy? Because for no other reason than this...God is worth it. 

He is worth your love. 
He is worth your time.
He is worth your effort.

He is worth your devotion.

It. is. time, people. WAKE UP! Rise up the warrior’s heart within you and fight! It is a new year…a fresh start for you! It is time to put aside the past…put aside the doubts…the fears, and STEP OUT! Step out of your comfort zone. Step out of your preconceived box of who God is and what your relationship with Him should look like. Wake up out of your slumber! Your relationship with God is worth your time…it’s worth’s worth your fight. Wake up…stand up…and grab a hold of what belongs to you.

(fyi...the number one strategy to fight the enemy that is causing apathy is Worship and Communion. THOSE are your greatest weapons in winning the battle that is trying to steal your warrior’s heart…)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chan has left the building...

Ok…so I know that I’m a little bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to talking about the majority of the Church. Especially in light of my last post...and well...the ones that are about to come. Unfortunately, it's just what tends to happen when that’s what's constantly in your face. And’s my blog…and I’ll cry if I want to.

BUT…get this...I actually read an article this week that restored at least a glimmer of my hope in Christianity. (and yes...I know...this is probably old news to most since he announced he was stepping down months ago...but new articles were posted this week)

Francis Chan, pastor of a mega-church, speaker, bestselling author, etc…suddenly stepped down and left the country.

AND….get this shocker………it has NOTHING to do with any type of scandal.  *GASP!*

I know, I know. I braced myself for horrifyingness when I first heard he stepped down. Isn’t that a sad testimony in itself? BUT…it actually seems that Chan gets it…like…really really gets it.

This is my favorite quote from one of the articles I read… “Even in my own church I heard the words, ‘Francis Chan’ more than I heard the words, ‘Holy Spirit’,” he said. “I think there has been too much emphasis on me. I want to be used by God, but I think we have this desire to make heroes out of people rather than following God and the Holy Spirit.”

I think what he’s doing takes a lot of courage. And shows much character. I hope more Pastors take note and follow suit. Not necessarily stepping down and disappearing…but the aspect of TRULY prioritizing what God wants them to do...and doing it exactly how God's called them to do it.

And no worries Chanifans…he’s not disappearing forever.

You can read the whole article here...

P.S… I haven’t actually read his books yet, but I did recently get a copy of Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God and was planning on reading it soon. Who’s read it? Tell me what you think…

Friday, December 24, 2010

Truth = Stability*

I know I’ve been quiet for quite some time. I have such a hard time trying to figure out how to effectively communicate what’s stirring in my head or heart…mainly because it’s several different issues…separate but intertwined…and I’m not sure how to effectively separate them to be able to blog about it all. So this is my first attempt. I’ve just been saddened and heartbroken over the things I continually see around me. I don’t remember what specifically triggered this burden…(it was actually a series of events)…but my Spirit has been stirring…and my heart has been heavy…and my head has been spinning.

Now, I know what I’m about to say is far from new…people everywhere are screaming out about it…entire blogs are dedicated to the subject…books top the best sellers list written by jaded Christians. But I just don’t. get. it…and I wonder if it will ever stop.

I’m just so tired of hearing or reading story after story of people being hurt by God’s idiotic followers. And by idiotic followers…I mean, quite sadly, the majority of The Church.

And I’m tired of the extremes that comes with it. The Bible says that Legalism and Lawlessness goes hand in hand. But it’s nauseating to watch. Story after story after story is out there…people who have been hurt by some legalistic standpoint of the Church…and swing to the extreme of walking away from God...or…those that don’t completely walk away, adopt an “anything goes” philosophy. Either one…is tragic…and scary.

Several weeks ago, I was watching videos of the “It Gets Better” campaign. Now…this was stirring up approximately 71204587674920 different issues in my Spirit…but for this subject…there was one particular video that put me over the edge. It was by Randy Robert Potts, grandson of Oral Roberts. The first part of the video made me weep and weep. He shares his story of being gay and being part of the Robert’s family. (I. Can’t. Imagine.) And I found myself being angry at Christians for failing once again. Then, as the video progressed, I became sick to my stomach. Because that extreme swing was so blatantly evident...the lawlessness was embraced. (for example, he states that "sex with someone you love is ALWAYS beautiful." That's a really risky extreme.) By the end I wished he could hear me screaming at my computer that his new message was just as crap…and just as dangerous. And I can’t seem to get him out of my mind…praying for him over and over again…that the balance of truth would prevail in his life.

Then again tonight…just as I thought I was moving on and wouldn’t be so consumed with this subject…I was reading a blog post about Mark Driscoll…and the hundreds of comments that resulted. Basically, Pastor Mark has some EXTREMELY old-fashioned views of women. He thinks that our only God-ordained purpose in life is to be married, popping out babies, and making sure dinner is on the table by the time your husband is home from work. (oy-see my restraint of containing this to just a paragraph explanation and not going on for HOURS about what’s wrong with that view) ANYWAYS…as I sat and read the comments…I was heartbroken all over again…I saw several women state that they’ve totally walked away from God because they couldn’t take the oppressiveness of women in Christianity. And again, I sat and cried for these strangers. Praying that they would find their way back to their Creator…and would find the balance in the truth they so desperately need. 

(those were just two small, random examples of what I've been watching over and over again...)

For two thousand years, we have repeatedly twisted and profaned the heart of God…and as a result…the gap between God and the people He longs to have relationships with have grown further and further apart. AND…most tragically…we dare to do it in the name of Jesus. Our religion’s history just keeps repeating itself. We’ve done it to the Jews, women, the divorced, Democrats, unwed mothers, and homosexuals…just to name a few groups.

At what point do we really start to get it? At what point do we find the balance in our own lives, so that we can then find it corporately? Can we learn to find truth without having to swing from extreme to extreme? Can we just move to the center and stand firmly there instead?

My prayer is this:
~ that we find God’s stability in our own lives. That whatever our extremes are in our own lives, will come to the center...will come to the true truth. ~that in the journey to our stability…we will stop causing harm to those around us and pushing them further away from their promises. ~that our passion for truth and new revelations will not make us swing…but truly get and understand the Heart of God…so that we may walk it out...and effectively share it to the World around us. 

*(education side note....did you know that many times in the Hebrew...Truth and Stability are the same word?? mmmmhhhhhmmmm...EXACTLY!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stupid is as stupid does

So yesterday my friend Holly and I were out and about running errands. Our first stop was the fabulous Einstein Bagels. (shout out for the turkey bacon/sausage!) The only problem is that it's on the corner of a shopping center in a HIGHLY awkward traffic spot. The SMART thing to do is park way out in the lot and just walk up...and of course NOT park directly in front of the building to avoid having to back out in the middle of impossible and utter chaos. But...temptation abounded because there was an empty spot right by the door...and I felt momentarily I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. But just as I was turning into the spot...all the consequences of my choices flashed through my brain, and I said, out loud-  
"I'm probably REALLY stupid for doing this." 

By the time I finished the sentence...I was in the spot............and Holly and I just burst into laughter...because this was directly in front of us...the confirmation I didn't really need:

Lesson learned.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Apparently it's NOT just about the Maccabees...

Are you people lighting your menorahs??? CAUSE IT'S HANUKKAH baby!

Just in case you aren't aware of the pure fabulousness of this holiday, I wrote a post about it a couple of years ago... Here

AND...actually... I can share a new fun fact I learned last year celebrating with my fab friend Sarah ...a fan-freakin-tabulous Hanukkah story that is forever going to be part of my celebration! It's about the lovely heroine Judith. Now, there's debate about whether or not her story is true...course, there tends to be debate whether ANY story involving a Woman World Changer is true. Unless of course we turn her into a prostitute...then that somehow justifies her story. Oh, but I digress...., it is very probable that her story IS true...AND it's a story about a butt-kicking woman, very similar to that of Deborah and Jael (my personal favs)'s specifically regarding kicking the butts of the Assyrians. SO, incorporating her story with the Maccabees, pretty much makes Hanukkah all about defeating the Assyrians AND Greek influence...and well...just trust me, Judith is DEFINITELY my new favorite.

Ok. So Judith in a nutshell- It was during the second century B.C.E...when the Assyrians were large and in charge. Basically...they're about to invade, and Judith and her maid take off to their camp. (which is MUCH bravery right there, cause the Assyrians were the cruelest of the cruel to those they captured) So the general sees her, is instantly gaga over her cause she's apparently gorgeous and all that...and invites her back to his tent. So they go, she fills him up with wine and cheese till he's drunk as a skunk...and then takes a sword...and WHACK! Off with his head! Which then of course freaks out the army...the Israelites launch an attack...and victory is theirs!

SO...along with eating large amounts of fried foods, celebrating the miracle of the're also suppose to eat lots of dairy (especially cheese) and wine. Well, ok, I may have added the wine part myself. But the Mogen David and Manischewitz can barely count as wine, right?

So there you have it. My new addition to Hanukkah....that makes my heart happy. 

The ORIGINAL purpose of this blog was JUST to post this video that made me laugh...but then, you know, I can never pass up a chance to tell a fantastic story about a world changing woman.