Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I am prepping right now for my High School Protestant Class at Ascension Academy this Spring. We are going to be working through the book unChristian. It is a good read and offers some really good insights for consideration.

Chapter 1 has a line tucked away in the opening page that has really struck me. Nothing particularly profound but very striking. David Kinnamon and Gabe Lyons spent three years looking at the perceptions of "outsiders" toward Christians and Church and spend the bulk of this book looking at the big perceptions that add to Christianity's image problem. One of the things they heard from Mosaics (16-29) repeatedly in their research was this little line: "They admit their emotional and intellectual barriers go up when they are around Christians, and they reject Jesus because they feel rejected by Christians."

This is so convicting to me. There are so many possible questions that flow out of this statement. Bad theology that unravels right here and good theology that is just begging to be heard. Conversations about kingdom and living for Jesus now and not merely hanging on for heaven. Confessions about how and when we really live incarnationally and when we fail. So many ideas.

But today as I sit on my couch watching the snow fall, I am struck very personally by the thought - "how do I represent Jesus?"

Monday, December 28, 2009


Warning: Self Indulgent Personal Reflections to Follow!

It has been a while since I have had as many unanswered questions in my mind as I seem to have right now. Questions about the future, about what to do, about how to do it, about established church vs. organic church, about heaven and hell, about passion vs pragmatics, about timing vs. randomness....oh the list goes on.

Last night David and I talked for hours about some of this and we had to end the conversation with "idk's" -- not a very helpful place for someone who is seeking answers. But life sometimes presents us with more questions than answers and knowing how to be in the midst of that is an art.

My ability to "be" is being challenged and the indecision feels like it is killing me. And so for today, the words of Jesus keep rattling around my head.... "do not worry about your life..."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More on Moses

The last couple of days I have had some thoughts bouncing around my brain but have struggled to land them. Hopefully being able to articulate them here I can solidify what I am thinking. Don't mind me while I process!

It becomes clear early on in Exodus that God uses flawed people. Spend much time in scripture and that is a hard to miss fact. Humanities perfection is never a prerequisite to God using us. Good thing, eh? Moses appears less than confident in his ability to speak for God. He seems generally anxious about things. He needs God to reaffirm His promises. He gets angry and frustrated and generally seems like a pretty normal guy.

This is speaking volumes to me right now in life. The last almost 3 years since turning 40 have taken me on a journey that I could never have predicted. Stereotypically I began reflecting on life and who I am and how I live it. I asked God to invade my heart and begin to show me the worst parts of myself so I could offer those up to Him. I was done with dark, secret places. It has been an eye opening, awe inspiring painful process. The first six months of this year seemed to be bringing that process to a conclusion. God had been faithful to reveal Himself to me and to reveal so much crud about myself that is has been overwhelming.

Don't read that I had handled the revealed crud in the first six months of this year - I just knew what it was. That felt good and I have never felt as close to God in my life. But then, as July drew on - wham! I was hit by a whole new set of stuff and it has made the last six months of the year the most personally challenging, invigorating ones I have experienced in years. Out of the blue I learned stuff about myself, how I feel, what I need, what I lack, what I crave and who I can be -- and they all surprised me.....NEW STUFF!

But here is the most delightful part of all. In the middle of me uncovering new crud and still seeing myself as struggling, God has drawn people to me who are struggling with similar things. He never misses an opportunity for us to walk alongside each other. He can use us in the middle of our struggles. He still uses flawed people and that is good news!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gratitude comes in different packages

Like most everyone else on the planet, as Christmas draws close and the New Year is on the horizon, we begin to reflect on blessings and the things we are grateful for.

This morning I was thinking about some of the things that I am grateful for:

1.The sound of my kids laughing -- they both can really crack up and sometimes I find myself just dying laughing because they are laughing!

2.Ten o'clock tea -- every night David and I stop whatever we are doing and have our "before bed tea" around 10 or 10:30. No matter what else has happened that day or how disconnected we may be due to busyness or ministry, we know without a doubt that we get real connection time over a cuppa every night.

3.Relationships -- it is no surprise to anyone that I would describe myself as relationally driven. I am so thankful for the people in my life who I have coffee with, have lunch with, work with, volunteer with, and worship with. Naturally we all find ourselves closer to some people than others but all the layers of relationship matter for different reasons. And so to my closest friends -- the besties -- I just say I love you!

4.All the little things: post-it notes, good ice, real coke, the sound of rain, colored paper clips, sharpies, starbucks, mail, organized cabinets, fun jewelry, my pets, storage containers of any kind, textures, books....I should stop now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moses and God

For the first time in a long time I am spending time reading Exodus. To be honest, not by choice but due to some curriculum writing that is looming in my near future. However, the more time I spend with it, the more I choose to spend. I am so enjoying the relationship between Moses and God. It is real, intimate, and communicative. And just when one might think that familiarity breeds contempt the Almighty Sovereign Worship Compelling nature of God overcomes Moses and I the reader want to hide my face too.

I am chapters away and because I know the story, epic events away, from the narrow focus of the curriculum I will be writing, but it has me pondering. These thoughts are a little random, not thematic and still in process. Today I am struck by these insights:

-God is the ultimate covenant keeper
-God loves us and seeks relationship with us in a fierce, passionate way
-I am left not understanding the "situational ethics" sometimes...the midwives lie to protect the Israelites and God blesses them....huh?
-God and Moses know each other -- really know each other
-God meets Moses in a burning bush .... Moses holds God's feet to the fire and insists that He acts (so boldly at times it makes me uncomfortable)
-God provides in both extravagant and simple ways
-God equips humanity for the task that He calls us to

And today as I feel a little uncertain about what the future holds, I am assured again that Manna for today is all we need.