Posts

Showing posts from October, 2005

Never Underestimate God

What I'm listening to: Rich Mullin's A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band

I was so nervous this morning. And I never get nervous. Not when it comes to leading worship, anyway. When I first started to lead with my guitar, I was a little nervous, but not like today.

Actually, it was more worry that nervousness.

They installed part of our new sound system this week. The mixer's still on back order, but everything else is pretty much done. So that was simply an added question mark on what worship was going to be like this morning. Because this was the first Sunday morning service I lead worship with an entire band behind me - three guitar, four vocalists, a keyboardist and a drummer. But that's not what made me worry. What I was worried about was what the congregation response was going to be.

They knew it was coming. We'd been rehearsing for the last couple of months, and we led worship for the youth programs' fall kickoff last month. But having all those peo…

Answering the Call

What I'm listening to: Tait's Empty

My friend Shannon is in Budapest - she left last month to join the YWAM mission group there and I'm thrilled for her. She sent me these great pictures this week of her new apartment and roommate. She just had a birthday and as I looked through her photos of how she spent that day, her birthday, in a strange country with a person she barely knows, I was simply in awe of her.

Back in 1996, I dedicated my life to the ministry. At the time, I thought I knew what that would involve. When that didn't work, I accepted what God's plan was and that was for me to be here. Years later, I'm enjoying my simple life. My life filled with love and friends, music and bible study, graphic design and the guitar... just simple things. Lovely things I've settled into, an environment I love and that make my life the abundant life God has promised.

But am I settling?

Let me back up a bit.

Several months ago, I was feeling directionless in my role as…

What Peace? and What Heart?

...when you least expect it...

I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned what it means to strive for excellence, not perfection. And I finally know and have experienced the raw power of God’s peace.

A friend of mine once said, “I make the little decisions with my head and the big decisions with my heart. After all, that’s where Jesus is.” I’ve often pondered that statement - wondering if this was just a way to make decisions based solely on feelings or if there is a great truth in her words. I fear our society is one that often relies on feelings only - the mentality “If it feels good, do it.” This mantra is all around us - it has damaged us emotionally, physically, deep down. And Satan has so deceived us we don’t see and realize it’s happened.

But Christ does live in our hearts. He does in mine. I struggle with making it a home for him - because my heart is hard at times, it’s been let down my friends, family, co-workers, professors, bosses. And I’ve let my own heart down with my sinf…
Image
At home with the huskers

Never Underestimate My Ability to Doubt Myself

What I'm listening to: Chris Tomlin's Arriving

I've been hearing a theme in my everyday life lately - fear.

"Fear not" is the most frequent instruction God gives us in the Bible. Probably not a coincidence. Fear can sink fast - without you even realizing it. Bad fear is when trust isn't there. Good fear is when it keeps you from driving like an idiot.
Is my fear a lack of trust in God? I'm not sure. I know my fear most certainly is for lack of trust in myself. I've screwed up enough that I'm too scared to do something - because I'm just sure I'll screw it up. I know myself well enough. I'm really good and ignoring all the warning signs God provides - all the instruction he give me and just messing things up.

Just another lovely side effect of low self esteem.

It's happening slowly - I can feel it. I have since last spring. God knows me well enough to not hit me in the face with it all at once. He does it in pieces - so I can get used t…

may i wear black?

What I'm listening to: Don Chaffer's You Were at the Time for Love

coffee and daylight obscure my senses as the sun goes down
my eyes travel across pages with words i do not want to face
i want to be put away
where no one is bothered by me
where the corner of a room is my haven
and the color black is not of death, but of hiding

is there a difference?

my ears hear the low rumble of trains in the distance and traffic in midtown
the smell of expresso beans and paper reach through
all at once i want to be everywhere and nowhere

to know more life
to be more who i am (or who i should be)
am i enough?

but my shame overtakes my heart
i wear the black sweater of fear
the back of the room welcomes me

the whispers in my ear...

you are meant for more than this

i have no faith in me

but i do

the walls of self-protection weaken

but may i still wear black?

Don't Shoot Me Because I'm A Mac Person

What I'm listening to: Aimee Mann

Man, do I catch a lot of crap for being a Mac person.

In this sad little PC world, I actually find myself seeking out Mac people. And when we find each other, it's like there's this weird little unspoken connection between us. We don't have to say it, or talk about it, we just know. It's like we've got this little secret the rest of the world doesn't know about.

We just know. We know it's better to use a Mac for many, many things. We know it easier to use, we know the logic of the operating system makes so much more sense than a PC, and that the answer to every solution isn't "ctl + alt + del". Mac users rarely have to reboot - and when they do, it's not because of the hardware, it's because of the user. My PC? I'm rebooting every other day.

And what's with never being able to find anything on my PC? It's like when I'm working on something - where it gets saved off in neverland. I never…

When did I become an adult?

What I'm listening to: Soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou

I still remember sitting in my AP English classroom in high school, filling out my applications to college, repearting my S.S. # over and over again, wondering where I'd end up next. I was so sure I'd be in New York City or somewhere exciting - just because I thought I deserved it.

I have a cousin who believes, more or less, in socialism. That the poor and less fortunate deserve help from the government simply because they are poor and less fortunate. Then there are all those crazy people who believe the bible says, "God helps those who help themselves." Believe me - that's no where in the bible. But my unskewed vision of the world I had back at the age of 17 trusted in that ideal - that if I worked hard, I would get ahead in life. I would deserve the success that comes with an honest day's work.

The reality of paying bills, shopping for cars, houses, and health insurance has turned me into an adu…

Misplaced Obsessiveness

Image
What I'm listening to: Plumb's Beautiful Lumps of Coal

So I'm innocently shopping at my hometown Hobby Lobby - a little against protest, not because I hate the store, but because the last 7 days of my life were overtaken by a scrapbook my mother I insisted I make for my grandmother. (Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to do it for my grandmother, it's the "in 10 days" part I have trouble with, as her surprise 90th b-day party is this Sunday.) Anyway, I'm innocently looking for the paper I need, I turn with my cart around the corner and I see her. This annoying girl I used to be friends with awhile back. She studiously ignores me, as I equally studiously ignore her. But what happens? Tons and tons of stupid thoughts run through my head - thoughts that remind me of how good women are at obsessing about the relationships in their lives.

This girl was truly annoying. Looking back, I have no idea why I was friends with her. She had the most negative attitude…

Hunger and Thirst

What I'm listening to: Jennifer Knapp's Wishing Well

Our physical bodies need things to survive - the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink. Without these things, our bodies deteriorate.

And what does our soul need to survive? Some say fellowship with other people, some say love. The soul can deteriorate like the body, but may take longer or may not be evident to the outside world as much.

I believe the God-shaped hole we are born is why our soul deteriorates - when it’s not filled the his nourishment, our soul can wither away.

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
-Psalm 63:1


Our bodies and souls long for our Creator, partially because he is our Creator, but also because this world is not our home. We are aliens is this world and are called to glorify him.

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have recei…

Fuzzy Slippers and Shakespeare

Image
You know what I've decided? That purple fuzzy terry cloth slippers are a girl's best friend.

Yes, they cost me $2, and yes they are weird off-shade color of lavender, and no, they aren't very warm, but what is it about these slippers that has me so enamored? I mean, they probably won't last 6 months, they have no way of providing warmth for my chilly toes on this breezy fall evening, and yet, I'm oddly in love with these babies.

I made my way up to the storage area of my building about an hour ago, simply to see if I could find an empty box, and all the while thinking... Ilovetheseslippers.

Not that it's at all abnormal for me to form unnatural attachments to the inatimate objects in my life. It's really not. For example, I have this box in my kitchen cabinet (for lack of a better place to put it) with tons of bizarre things...but each one of them has a memory attached to it. And in this box is a mini-sized LifeSaver Candy pack. My friend Russ gave it to me on…