It's not as odd as it sounds...

Prayer happens everywhere, even in the tanning bed.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Problem with pancakes...

I have a love-hate relationship with pancakes. They are horribly inconsistent. Today we began our Spring Break period and I wanted to make breakfast, not pour it. All the boys wanted to do was eat Lucky Charms (rarely found in our pantry) but I made them eat pancakes. And whole wheat ones at that. The problem is the process never starts out right. I only had enough chocolate chips for two pancakes (OK, so the chocolate chips cancel out the whole wheat but after all it's spring break). I made the mistake of using up the chocolate chips in the first two pancakes which never turn out. That's all Kate wanted was chocolate chip pancakes. When she saw the burn on the bottom of the first two she shrugged her shoulders and settled for less.

I got to thinking about the book of James and the verses that talk about how we are not to be like waves tossed in the wind; inconsistent.

And so this much of the post has sat here for over two months...

So now, it's not spring break anymore but just days before the end of the school year. It makes my observations no less accurate. However, I suppose, being the person that I am, I began writing this out of frustration I was feeling about an other's behavior. Today, I write realizing that I am the one who needs to be reminded of consistency. The reality is that I struggle with the Sovereignty of God. Not does it exist but maybe it exists too much in my life.

How does that equate to consistency? For me, it's the basis of it. Resting completely in Christ's saving work and God's complete control over everything allows me to look at the unsaved world and be relatively unscathed. It's not that I'm not disappointed or discouraged or just plain bummed out -especially right now, but I'm not surprised. It's the believing world - or more particularly, those who claim to be believers, that absolutely throw me for a loop. After all, only God REALLY knows who are saved and who are not. I can look at the lives of some and question based on their behavior or what they hold dear or how they respond to situations, to be completely honest, that's a guess that I admit I make but isn't really mine to confirm. So since I don't hold the unbelieving world to standards that Christ is clear about they can't surprise me. But do I not have every right to hold brothers and sisters in Christ to standards that Christ Himself made clear?

And so to me, there's not much to get worked up about, really... because God's got it. It's short and sweet and not very intellectual (which is how I prefer to view the world most of the time) but it's true. So when I see people who claim to know and love Jesus to the depths of their being totally lose control over circumstances that they can only leave in God's hands... I come unglued, really, I do.

So why then did I spend the last 5 or 6 weeks behaving as if I suddenly had the responsibility to make sure everyone handled themselves correctly? Correctly, as in MY definition of the word. I wish I could say that's unlike me, it's not. I constantly have to fight the "30 minute sit com" syndrome. That is to say - I have just the right words for every situation and in a sweet 3o minute time slot, with my help and excellent guidance, every situation can be resolved to the approval of all involved. I am constantly reminding myself that I possess no such ability and most likely rarely have just the right words for anyone let alone everyone.

But I do have to say that for the most part, the last 6 weeks have been a struggle for me emotionally and spiritually. I want so much for God to SHOW me his plans for precious Megan and her family. I want to SEE that He's got something incredible that He's working on. That's a tough thing to admit since as the "queen of sovereignty" I'd like to keep those thoughts in the closet. I have struggled with some heavy "christian" hitters in my life lately doing and saying things that have totally thrown me for a loop and will forever change my view of them and to some degree "the church" as a whole. It's made me more determined than ever to dig deeper and deeper into the word and allow fewer people to influence my understanding of my walk in Christ. Actually, I am not sure that's a bad thing. The initial sting of it all was less like a bee and more like an ice pick but if the end result is spiritual maturity and growth in biblical knowledge then Rom. 8:28 won out again! Of course there is also the graduation from high school of my first born. I have been waiting for this day for 5 years. Tapping my watch semi-jokingly letting others know that I'm ready for this young man to move on. There are many reasons for that and I've been completely sincere in my desire to see him advance to another stage in his life. Except... now it's here and I am realizing that the day he gets an apartment and moves out is the day that I must realize that I could go days without hearing from him. College was the most fun part of my life and I am excited about this time for him too. I just didn't realize there would be so many tears that come along with that. I thought I was tougher than that. I'm having trouble admitting the truth of that as well.

So, instead of resting firmly in the arms of God, the thing I love to do and thought I did so well, I've been eaten up by one thing or another for 6 weeks. I finally realized that it was my own inconsistency that had me unglued this time. And I also realized why my first two pancakes never turn out - I have the heat up too high from the very beginning. Once it's too hot the cakes can't cook through without burning first. The key to a good pancake is to allow the pan to heat slowly and gradually so that the temperature is consistant throughout. I need to remember that for myself, too. When I rest in God's arms, I don't have to turn up any heat. My emotions don't rule my behavior only the truth that comes from His word. He IS sovereign so it's not my job - period. Like my good friend says "I have no dog in this hunt". It's my second favorite saying these days. Those who know Craig Brown will know my first! So, it's time to discover what hunt I am on and pursue that with a vengeance. I can leave myself out of everyone else's.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Comment Settings

I want to apologize to those of you who have wanted to post comments but weren't able to. I had a blog troller make comments several posts ago and I wanted to delete his post and ban him from posting. Unfortunately, by doing that, I somehow managed to keep everyone from commenting. I have changed the comment section to allow posts with the least amount of trouble but to run through my email for approval so that I have some control over the trollers. I am not trying to quash dissent, if there is any, but I am trying to keep people who spend their days googling topics so they can thrust their skewed opinions on us from posting a comment here.

Thanks for reading. Comment away! Have a great week!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Well done....

Bob and Catherine are in my Lifegroup class. That's the new term for Sunday School. I guess there are too many negative connotations that go with Sunday School so they have changed the name. Good luck, it's still Sunday School to me. Ewww, I'm old now - I've just admitted I can't adjust. I've got to do something about that.

Anyway... I like Bob and Catherine. I got to know them before we were in Sunday sch.. er... Lifegroup together because their son and Josh are in 5th grade together and they are great friends. I figured that if their son was such a great kid, they must be pretty great as well. And they are. They are both engineers. I really didn't think that two math-types could co-exist but they do and they've done it well. Neither of them are big talkers. Everything they say in Lifegroup is well thought out and worthwhile. I don't think they talk to hear their own voices. I'm always enthusiastic when they begin to discuss something they uncovered from our assignments for the week. They are just great people and folks that you are so thrilled to have as part of your church family.

Well, last week, Bob's grandmother died. I'm glad for her. She was 90 and according to Bob, had a great life. I'm glad for her because of what Bob had to say about her. I am not sure that she lived a day of her life without Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Of course there were one or two days but I'm not sure that there were more than that. To hear Bob talk about her, and he had a lot to say, she was what Timothy's mother and grandmother were like as Paul described them in 2 Timothy 1:5. Paul talked about the faith he knew those influential women had in Timothy's life and how it was modeled and passed down to him. By they way Bob spoke of his grandmother, I am sure that most of his knowledge and trust in Christ was beautifully modeled by this woman.

When I talked to Catherine on Saturday she and I discussed what she thought the funeral would be like. I couldn't imagine that it would be anything less than a glorious celebration. Who could be sad on such a day? Of course those she left behind will miss her for all that she meant to them but think about what she left behind. The memories, the advice, the example... I can only imagine. I wonder what her entrance into Heaven was like for her. Knowing the woman Bob said she was, I will bet she fell flat on her face before her wonderful Savior and He gently picked her up to face Him and said "Well done, good and faithful servant." I hope that all those in her family who are sad about her passing will think of that and be glad, no, delighted in the knowledge that she is in the presence of the One she's been longing for since the day she became a new creation.

I long for Him too. More and more as each year goes by. Most of the time I long for Him when I think things are really going poorly. I don't mean in my personal life, I mean in the life of the church, in the life of the country, in the life of the world. But the way Bob talked about his grandmother made me rethink my longings. Of course we should all long for our Father in Heaven but I'm not sure that it should be something that we rush to verbalize. After all, I will bet Bob's grandmother showed her faith masterfully during the most dreadful of times. If she died at 90 in 2009 that means she was born in 1919. Only history class gives me some idea of what she lived through and how she lived through it. I am sure that her faith in her Creator and Redeemer held her fast when she wanted to give up. I am sure that her children and grandchildren saw her confidence in her Provider which led them to have confidence in Him as well. I want to be that woman to my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. I want my funeral to be a celebration. I do hope there are some tears, after all, there's no positive relationship that doesn't draw a tear when it's over, but I pray that it's a celebration too. I want everyone that loved me and that I loved to KNOW that being with my Father is where I ultimately want to be. But in the midst of the celebration, during the after-funeral gatherings, I hope everyone has a story to tell about my faithfulness to my Lord and Savior. I hope that all those that I loved will be able to point to at least one particular event in my life or a conversation that I had with them that led them into a deeper relationship with Christ.