Wednesday, June 29, 2005

DAY 21: THE HEART BEGINS TO BEAT



i don't know how it happened but i seemed to have gone from being miffed about the whole timing of this pregnancy thing to really excited. i went to a pregnancy resource center yesterday and got it officially confirmed that i am indeed with child. i got a pamplet there that explains what happens to a baby during the nine months of pregnancy. i can't believe how miraclous life is. God is so crazy cool! i am in complete awe of his craftsmanship. psalm 139 is one of my all time favorites. i wonder if while david wrote this psalm he was expecting a child or if he had just had one. i guess i've never realized how miraclous my own body is. i'm always too busy picking out what i would change about it rather than celebrating the amazing way God put me together.

right now fin has a heart beat. at 21 days he already has a beating heart! that completely blows me away. i don't want to be become one of those sappy moms who enjoys every single thing about becoming pregnant. i already know that this lady is not going to be a graceful preggo. i will however probably go on and on about how fin is growing. how could i not do that!? it's just too darn amazing what God does!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

INTRODUCING FIN THE FETUS...



it's hard to imagine that this alien looking creature is growing inside of me. yes i am pregnant. i am still completely confused as to how this happened. last night les tried to give me the "when a man loves a woman story" but it's just not computing. for all two of you who read this and actually know me personally don't be offended that i haven't called bearing the joyous news. i just found out yesterday and i'm still in a state of shock. don't get me wrong i'm exited as all get out but i have to admit i'm also scared as hell. i still feel like just a punk kid myself how in the world could i possibly be having a baby? i know i should relax and just enjoy the ride God has now placed me on but i like to kick and scream. it's the way i operate.

since i'm absolutely conviced that the rice grain with a tail that is now residing in my uterus is a boy he will be referred to as Fin. les loves the name and since i would never actually name my child after a marine animals body part i have agreed to allow him to name our unborn child Fin the Fetus. i'm sure he will be the topic of many future posts.

my discovery of fin has a similiar feel to the night of my engagement. the night les purposed i was certained i would fall off the cliffs he proposed to me at and then later had the urge to jump out of the car window as we were driving away. there is no car window in this more recent story but i did almost fall off the toilet seat when i saw two pink lines emerging from the pee stick that is supposed to determine if you are indeed preggo or not. i seem to enjoy the feeling of falling off things when i am surprised by big news. the story of les and i has turned out to be more incredible than i had ever imagined it could be. so i'm sure after the shock wears away this too will be more incredible than i could have ever imagined.

Friday, June 24, 2005

AUNTIE EM! AUNTIE EM!


lately i feel like i'm stuck right smack in the middle of some crazy life tornado. i can see what is going on all around me yet i can't grasp the reality of it all. i can totally relate to dorothy from the wizard of oz right now. this sure isn't kansas anymore... well, this sure isn't texas anymore but what does that mean? oz had to be a crazy wonderful place! sure dorothy missed home but she got an opportunity to see things and experience things that she never would have if she had stayed in her tiny little kansas home. she got to see an entire city full of dancing and singing munchkins! i would have a joy heart attack if i ever got the opportunity to see a city full of midgets. i miss my kansas very much. i think it's finally sinking in that i'm not just on vacation here. i don't want the people in my oz to know that i'm struggling right now. i don't want it to take away from how wonderful and exciting oz really is. at the same time i don't want the people back home in kansas to know how amazing oz really is because i don't want them to think that i miss them anyless. i know in reality it doesn't have to be this black and white. i can still marvel at oz while still longing for kansas.

i wonder what it was like for dorothy when she finally got back home. was it dull and boring? did she miss the adventure? did she look out her window night after night longing for something more? or did she take what she learned in oz to transform her world?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

RANDOM MUSINGS...



i can still hardly believe i live in the crazy and beautiful state of oregon. it's still so weird to drive on the highway and see huge and beautiful trees. i wonder if this state will ever feel like home?

...



i miss heather like i would miss my arm. everything seemed right in my world when she was here. there is a spark of energy that always surrounds her. she adds more to my life than she'll ever know. it was almost better before she came and visited. i had no idea what portland was like without her and now that she has been here there is a huge and obvious void. God please bring heather to portland. PLEASE!?

...



i was wondering today about what type of parent i will be someday. i was thinking of all the times i let riley and buster crawl up on the couch or bed even though i really want them to stay off. sometimes it's just easier to give in than to be consistent. plus they have the best sad puppy dog faces ever. sometimes i just can't resist giving in. am i going to be the same way with my children someday? on a hard and frustrating day am i going to give in because i don't have the energy to follow through? what would i be teaching my kids if i operated that way and how far will they push the limits if i'm not consistent?

FUTURE HIZZOUSE?



lester and i put an offer on this little yellow house yesterday and low and behold it was accepted. if things continue to go well on july 29th this could very well be our first house. that is so crazy! i don't know exactly how we are going to pay for this house but i'm sure God has a thing or two planned. the owner of the house is actually a Christian too which is pretty uncommon in portland. the owner plans on becoming an officer with the salvation army in LA where he will join his fiance. we were "lucky" enough to stumble onto the house when the owner was there. he invited us in to look around and the rest is history. did i mention that the house comes complete with a hot tub? it will be a great house to do ministry at especially youth ministry. it's crazy how all of it has come about so far. i was a little worried that the owner might have been offended about our offer but he was excited and even made the deal little sweeter for us. i'm excited to see what happens next. God is so stinking cool!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

SATAN IS A DUMB BUTT!



i ran across a quote yesterday by francis de sales that really started to get me thinking. "the evil one is pleased with sadness and melancholy because he himself is sad and melancholy, and will be so for all eternity. hence he desires that everyone should be like himself." i generally don't sit around thinking about beelzebub, el diablo, the devil, satan, lucifer, the pitch fork carrying dude, or whatever but i found this quote rather interesting. i am quite aware that the devil isn't cute and cuddly like this little red guy and that he would love to take me out any chance he can get but i've never really thought about him other than trying to figure out how he is going to try to screw with me on any given day. the truth is the devil is a total and complete dumb butt! he was in the presence of God Almighty and still chose to go his own way. i don't understand how that is possible. i guess if i'm going to call satan a dumb butt i can't leave out myself. i'm a dumb butt too! i might not have been able to see God directly growing up but there were definate times when i was able to experience what it was like to be in His presence. even with those experiences i still chose to go my own way as well. if God loves me and has forgiven me does he love satan and want to offer him forgiveness too? i really believe the answer is yes. i believe this is the kind of God we have.

this got me started thinking about sin. sin didn't start here on earth but rather started in the heavenly realms with lucifer and the rest of the fallen angel club. here on earth there is a temptor who tries to persuade us that sin is awesome and the best thing ever. adam and eve were in the direct presence of God too and they too were dumb butts and decided to go their own way. BUT would adam and eve have eaten the forbidden fruit if there was no one to tempt them to do so? and if the answer is no then why would an angel decide to turn away from God on his own when there is no one to tempt him? if no one was whispering "you are much more powerful than God why are you serving under him?" into the devil's ear then why did he fall?

this only leads to the next question. would we be able to experience the fullness of God's love if there was no sin? if we were God's perfect obedient children it really wouldn't be hard for him to love us. it's easy for us as human's to love the sweet, funny, authentic, clean cut, outgoing, ect people so of course it would be super duper easy for God to do the same. it's a lot harder for us to love people who are different or who are annoying or who offend and hurt us. many times we choose not to love these people because it's way too hard. God loves us no matter how f*ed up we are and no matter what we've done to each other and to Him. He loves us and He's always calling us back to Him.

"Come now, let us argue this out," says the Lord. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool. If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!"
Isaiah 1:18-20

if there was no choice to make would we be able to truly love God? if there was free will but no choice to make would it matter? if we were in heaven and that's all we knew our choices would be to love God or to love God. here on earth we really have a choice on who to love. do we love the world or do we choose to love God even despite the craziness of this world? so with that to say could we truly love God if there wasn't sin?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

METHODOLOGY SMETHODOLOGY

the pastor from my last church wrote a book and it's finally out on the shelves. i'm not quite sure what to think about all this. i ordered the book on amazon today but i can't say that all my intentions are pure. i still feel like i'm recovering from the damage and the marks that were left from my last church. i'm know a large part of me wants to read it because my flesh craves it. my carnal self wants to read it and get pissed off and rant and rave about how much it's a big crock of bs. part of me wants to read it so that i'm more aware that the people that write these types of books are just that, people. it's so easy to get swept away and wooed by the latest and greatest book out there. the fact of the matter is that you can have a mega church or you can have a huge following but that doesn't mean that the church the book is coming out of is God-centric. another part of me desires to read this book so that i can remember that God still changes lives no matter what the circumstances maybe. my God is a sovereign God and He can still do miraculous things despite our short comings and errors.

i think i'm just jaded. why do churches put God in a box by following the last and greatest methodologies out there?
"I’ve written this book primarily for leaders—church leaders, small group leaders, and ministry leaders—to help them create a come-as-you are culture to bridge the chasm between the church and our postmodern world."
here's the problem "i want to help them create a come as you are culture." why do WE feel the need to create this culture or that culture in our churches. if you are curious about how to reach the messy post-modern culture READ THE GOSPEL! how did Jesus reach those broken and hurting people? ineffective churches aren't a new problem. the pharasees of Jesus times were ineffective too. they were more concerned with the appearance of looking good than changing their hearts. they followed the law to a tee yet they left out the most important commandment to love. love God, love people.

in my last church i caught onto the culture on the staff, performance. i know this is not the heart or intention of the pastor but it's the culture none the less. the cry of the church is no perfect people allowed, except for those on staff. the sad part is that i don't think the pastor heeds to that matra himself. he doesn't have to be perfect and yet that is what he is striving for and that is translated into the entire staff. it makes me so sad. sad for the pastors of the church. sad for the rest of the staff. the burden doesn't have to be that heavy. they don't have to carry the load and yet they choose to do just that.

i remember sitting in staff meetings perplexed that we weren't on our knees asking for God's guidance on issues that we were going through as a church. instead we would forge on through the agenda of the week trying to come up with solutions to problems by ourselves. we would never step out of the way and ask God to show up in ways that would blow our minds and renew and stregthen our faith. we would never step out of the way long enough to let God be God. i did the same in the student ministry and it wasn't long before i was burned out. the student ministry was ineffective because i wouldn't step out of the way and let God be God.

there are so many churches across the world trying to run their church like a business. why wouldn't they do it that way? that's what the world says to do. the more and more i let go and give to God i realize that God's ways are freaking nutty. they don't make any sense, at least to the ways of the world. it's hard to trust following the ways of a God who asks us to leave behind our understanding of how things work. the more i follow Him the more i am awed by Him and His crazy ways.