About Me

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Growing Pains

My daughter, who just turned five yesterday, woke up this morning complaining about an aching leg. I told her that it was just growing pains (although it was probably just that she slept funny) and that because she is five now, she must be getting bigger. She asked if that meant she would need to go to work like Mommy and Daddy.
Isn't it funny that she thought that because she was getting bigger - she must already be "big". I tried to explain to her that there was much more growth that needed to happen before she needed to get to work. She asked if there were some things she could do now. "Of course" I told her - she can do chores and feed the cat. There are lots of things she is ready to do now - the size that she is.
I wonder if that applies to me? Just because I'm growing doesn't mean I'm ready for everything God has in store for me just yet. But I AM able to do SOME things. I just need to make sure that He is the One deciding what I am able to do - and not me. I also hope that I am able to do those things He's entrusted me with as enthusiastically as my daughter does her chores. She is so excited to be able to do things for me - hoping to make me proud. She never thinks about the things she is not able to do yet - because she considers it a privilege to do things I let her do. God is so much smarter than I am - he knows what I'm ready for and what I'm not. I need to remember that it is such an incredible privilege to get to do the things He allows me to do. He obviously doesn't need me. I'm not THAT important. But how great it is to be invited to be in on the God things that are happening around me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wisdom from a 4-Year Old

My 4-Year old has a unique understanding of things. Sometimes I wish that I thought the way she did. She started Kindergarten last week and is learning this week about Creation - specifically the first few verses in the Bible. So, she has been asking a lot of questions - and I am loving it. Yesterday, on our way to school, she asked me if Jesus was God - and if so, how.
Well, I explained to her that yes - Jesus was also God - and then gave her the ice/water/steam analogy in the simplest way that I possibly could. She then said - very matter-of-factly - "Oh, I see - His first name is Jesus and His middle name is God."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for choosing Compass Airlines...

Most of you know that I am part of a church plant in Roanoke, TX. We've had a number of challenges over the last couple of years, most of which have turned into major advantages. Check out Johnny's post for specific examples.
I've been thinking alot lately about the upcoming months and how we will design our services to really make an impact in our area. I've come to some conclusions:

I read an article about how before we put together our services we need to know who we are - personalities, etc. I think that up until now we've been trying to figure out what will reach people - what people will respond to. Well, if we first figure out what WE respond to, that will help us communicate with passion, excitement and actually reach the people God means for us to reach. God put our personalities together for a reason - and it's not so that we can do church like we always have. I think we are supposed to play on our strengths, passions, preferences, and styles and then - ONLY THEN - will we reach the people God is calling us to reach. Lets design a service - or Weekly gathering - that WE would be able to get excited about - and want to invite people to. Let's take the church goggles off and dream a little. We CAN have fun with this. Church is supposed to be fun - it's supposed to be creative - it's supposed to be different. People will respond to us if we're genuine and real - we've talked about this a million times. I think that it's time to put our worship service where our mouth is. It will take major dedication, creativity, excitement, passion, time - but we can absolutely make it happen.

It's like all of the sudden my eyes have been opened and I see things not for what they were or what they are, but for what they could be. It's the DUH moment. Actually I've had a lot of DUH moments over the last couple of weeks. I feel so stupid that it never occured to me before. God chose us - who we are - our personalities, etc. for this area at this time. We don't have to wait and see what God will do. HE's called US to do something. To reach out in an exciting and real way to the people in THIS area and tell them about Him. When we're obedient to do that - He'll move in a mighty way. It all seems so simple, now. God has given us the opportunity to be creative - to get excited - to be passionate and to have a blast at the same time. I've been saying that I'm learning what a privilege it is to be in ministry and to be a part of God's will.
It's like my first airplane ride - I expected something really cool. I knew that it would be great. But when the wheels of the plane left the ground for the first time and I realized that I was FLYING - Words couldn't express how I was feeling. My mind was expanded at that moment - suddenly the world was a lot bigger - and I was a lot smaller - and it was WONDERFUL! I finally saw a glimpse of the Big Picture - and I will NEVER BE THE SAME.

That's where we are as a church - the wheels are leaving the pavement. Just like in the airplane - I held on a little tighter to the armrest as the nose of the plane pointed toward the sky and the ground got farther away - we need to do the same now - hold on tighter. There is a natural excitement that we'll feel just knowing that the plane is going higher and higher and pointing more and more toward the sky - and the higher we get, the looser our grip will be on the armrests. The higher we go - the more we will trust the thing that is holding us up. The higher we go - the more of the picture we'll see. I'm so ready to fly. I've never been more ready.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm the mom of a Kindergartener

Today was the first day of Kindergarten. I think I was WAY more nervous than Elisa was. She was excited. She even picked out a special gift for one of her classmates that she knew from pre-K to give her on the first day.
I just have to say that some days I am busting with pride over my child. Those of you that hate it when parents brag on their children - look away...here it comes:

I LOVE MY KID! I can't hardly believe how great of a person she is shaping up to be. Every day she gives me so many reasons to be proud of her. She is kind, thoughtful, generous, SO smart, creative, loving, trusting, accepting, inquisitive (which I think is a great thing), brave and all those other things I wish I was all the time. Isn't it weird how we can learn to be more Christlike from our children. She struggles with obedience and patience, but so does everyone. I wonder if my Heavenly Father every feels for me the way I feel for her. I suspect that He does. I look at her and am so proud of how hard she tries to please me and at how much she learns and applies every day. I hope that I can make God as proud of me each day. Gosh, my kid rocks!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

God & M&M's

I overheard an argument earlier this week that got me all fired up. It doesn't matter what the argument was about (but if you really want to know, I'll tell you). What matters is what I re-realized about my God as a result of that argument.

I really love M&M's. I do. The best thing about M&M's is that I like them all equally. Not like skittles. I don't like the yellow skittles, and the greens are not my favorites either. But M&M's - yummm! Even the ones that are deformed - or have an M on both sides, or the ones without an M at all. I LOVE THEM ALL.
We are to God as M&M's are to me. He loves every one.

My God does not discriminate. He does not pick and choose. He wants everyone to know Him. He is a God of MERCY, GRACE, FORGIVENESS, LOVE, KINDNESS, DID I MENTION GRACE & LOVE?!

God chose to send Jesus as a sacrifice for the sins of the WORLD! Not the sins of a chosen few. God sent Jesus for ME!!! and for YOU!!! ANYONE that calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. (that's scripture!)

TALK ABOUT GOOD NEWS!!! (You can now assume that the caps means that I'm shouting!)

If you understand nothing about God - understand this: He Loves You. He Chose you. He Wants you. He sent His ONLY son to save you. No matter who you are - or what you've done. You have the opportunity - the choice - to accept His gift of forgiveness. You have the opportunity to accept Christ's sacrifice - and to know God. EVERYONE HAS THIS CHOICE.

Christ came for you - because He couldn't imagine eternity without YOU!

DUDE - that IS good news! Spread it around.

Personal Growth Plan update - Ministry Goals

I mentioned a while back that I've developed a personal growth plan for myself for this Fall. As a part of my growth plan, I've written out ministry goals. I based them on the 5 purposes of the church and of the believer as penned by Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Church. Here they are:

CONNECT: To use music to connect with people and to reveal God's love, grace, and invitation to them to partner with Him in life and join Him in eternity.

GROW: To constantly seek to become more like Christ in every are of my life and ministry.

SERVE: To invest in and meet the needs of the people I come in contact with through work, church, everyday life, and any other way in an effort to display Christ's accepting and servant-hearted character to the people He came to save (that's everyone!)

SHARE: To use my music, my testimony, and my life as a tool to share what God has done in and through my life, and to shine brightly as a light in the darkness so that others may see the light and want what I have.

WORSHIP: To live every moment of every day in testimony of God's goodness and to give my everything in response to His greatness.

This is all just a beginning. In the coming months and years, these might change as I learn more about my part in the Big Picture. Right now, I'm just so grateful that I am a part at all.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I found a blog today - very cool blog...

I found a blog today - very cool blog. You gotta check out his project. I love the idea. I think I might steal it a little bit.

GOD BIG, me small!

I read a post today by Tadd Grandstaff who is the Spiritual Development pastor at Ridge Stone Church in Georgia that made me think. I love it when things inspire me to think. How else would I ever get smarter? Here's the snippet I most enjoyed:

"I am once again challenged to search my life, to search my heart, to dig deep inside myself to find out where my focus is. In the midst of all the success, in the midst of all the mountain top experiences, it's easy to forget my first love. I want to renew that relationship, to fall back in love, to fall to my knees and realize in all of God's extraordinary plans I am just a small piece. I am dime a dozen, He could easily plug someone else in my place and have the same finished product. I am never bigger than His plan. It's amazing what God can do you when you just get silent and listen!"

God always does an excellent job of reminding me that I am never bigger than His plan and that He can accomplish it without me 100% of the time. BUT - God is an inviting God. He always gives me the opportunity to be a part of His plan. If I always remember that it is a privilege to be a part of God's will and to serve Him in whatever He calls me to do - then I will be able to be a part of much more than I could ever experience on my own - SO MUCH MORE!

Very cool, Tadd - thanks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Input vs. Output

I've discovered today that my good intentions mean nothing to God. You've heard the old phrase, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions", well I've decided that is not far from the truth. Although, as a child of God, I'd have to say the road to disconnect is paved with good intentions. Or the road to discontent or distraction. I have been completely distracted over the last week, and for the life of me I can't figure out how it happened. I'm sure I can give a big fat list of excuses, but the truth is I allowed myself to get distracted. My intentions were good. I am thinking all the time about scripture I'm memorizing or prayers I need to pray, or even how great God is. I'm getting a lot of spiritual input, but no worshipful output is happening on my part. God doesn't want me to just learn all I can, memorize His word, listen to sermons and "be fed". My purpose is to worship God with my life. My goal is to live my days in a way that brings glory to His name. I'm not sure I did that this week. I will make it my focus today.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I Discovered My Strengths

After all the buzz about the Now, Discover Your Strengths book I had to go and check it out, literally. I didn't want to buy it because there are SO MANY books I want to buy right now, that I wasn't sure this one should be the top of the list. SO - I flipped through it - reading a little of this and a little of that and decided to go ahead and take the test. I know, I know - I should read the whole book. But I'm reading several other books right now and I really wanted to just get to the conclusion. Enough talk. Here are my results:

Positivity - "People strong in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do." "They are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation." "They inject drama into every project...and celebrate every achievement." "They can't quite escape their conviction that it is good to be alive, that work CAN be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one's sense of humor."

Woo - "People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over." "Strangers are rarely intimidating to you...you want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport." "Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection." "In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet - lots of them."

Belief - "People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life." "You are family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and value responsibility and high ethics both in yourself and others." "These core values give your life meaning and satisfaction...provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities." "Your friends call you dependable...your belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to you. And guided by your Belief theme it will matter only if it gives you a chance to live out your values."

Connectedness - "People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason." "You are considerate, caring and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives....Your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life's mysteries."

Strategic - "People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues." "The strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. You can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make decisions."