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Archive for the ‘Kingdom’ Category

The music starts to play.

This song, it is dramatic and kingly sounding.

The tempo slows, the hush comes…the sound of darkness plays…

The people… Israel…us…they don’t know what is about to happen…they are walking around in darkness.  They are oppressed, burdened, hopeless, confused, scared, solemn.  They stumble around. They fall. They cry out. The people are worn down from the labor, from the law, from the toil of trying to be good enough. They are tattered and torn.

But, then….the tempo picks up…in the song, there is a higher note…a softer note…it gets faster and brighter…

Hurling toward the Earth through universe, space, sound, and time comes a light…

It has dawned!

He has dawned!

He has been born! This little one, The Holy One has been born through pain and suffering and long labor by His  mother…He is here…Emmanuel, God is with us.

He, this tiny baby, is Wonderful Counselor…Mighty God…Everlasting Father…Prince of Peace…The government IS on His shoulders and His reign will never, ever end…

The song, now, is bursting with sound…begging you to dance…to rejoice…

Rejoice as if you found a treasure with jewels and ancient artifacts and crowns and precious things…Laugh and jump up and down because you know what this means!!! You know that His birth means your life! It means your salvation! Your redemption! Your joy is inexplicable and you feel as though any moment you could burst because you are so happy. The Rescuer has come and His plan will succeed and His reign will never end.

The song comes to a close. The story, though, is still going…still happening…in real time…right now…

You are in this magnificent story… Do you feel the weight and the joy of it all at Christmas time?

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Last Saturday my parents, my aunt, and I spent the afternoon in downtown Fairhope.  I parked surprisingly close to Mary Ann’s, where we were eating lunch, and unloaded the kids into their double-stroller.  It was a busy Saturday in downtown as there was an art festival, book signings, music…ect…

I strolled the babies along the sidewalk passing a lady who gave me that familiar look that said…”Bless your heart, darlin, I’ve been there…Yours are so cute…But would not trade places with you for a second!…” Complete with a little giggle as she walked past me…

As we finally got into Mary Ann’s and settled at a table… and the ordeal that actually was, I was reminded why I NEVER GET OUT…But then quickly realized why I NEED TO!!!…We saw people we love and know…There was really good music playing somewhere outside…There were artists and authors talking to us…Mom bought his book…There were people laughing and talking over really. good. deli food…There were all kinds of funky/quirky people walking around…It was really great soul stuff…ya know?

As I was heading back home I just felt so thankful to be in Fairhope again.  Growing up in Fairhope was not always fun and there are plenty of things I wish weren’t so about it…(sometimes people in cities like ours can be a tad snobby…maybe a lot snobby)…I’ve witnessed it….But I’ve also witnessed some of the truest, loveliest people I’ve ever known.  There are memories all over the place…It’s home!

I can’t help but think about how that is such a tiny glimpse of how Heaven will be…Loads of lovable people, interesting people, THE Person, rich culture, good food, amazing music, endless adventure and fun, all enveloped in worshipping Him…

It will be unbelievable.

Loving Fairhope you guys!

Loving You Darlin!!! 🙂

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I am so excited to read this book…When I found it I almost went into labor…

The Culturally Savvy Christian by Dick Staub…

I don’t know why, but the issue of Christianity and culture fascinates me…I think about it a lot…And as I am still wrestling with ideas and questions regarding church functionality…this is a HUGE area of concern…

There is an obvious and enormous gap between the two…and I have often considered how Christians bridge the gap without becoming like the world…How to be in and not of…???

Here are some of my thoughts and questions on the matter….

1.  How does the Church be relevant and authentic without being all about style, entertainment, the “show” if you will…young people especially, I think, are catching onto this whole mentality of “I’m gonna wow you, feed you, give you really good music, in order to get you here”…but young people today want more…they are smart…they want substance…richness…and the church is lacking…

2. The Christian sub-culture is extremely shallow…lite…superficial….How do we move from that?…to being a culture that makes great art…has incredible ideas…uses creativity brilliantly….You know, so much of the art produced by Christians (music, film, visual arts) tries to mimic secular culture…and it makes me want to puke….

3.  We are to be ambassadors…missionaries to the lost…before one goes out on the mission field or to do work as an ambassador…they should learn about the culture they are going to…language, music, art, the way people think, operate, live….why do we, as Christians, shrink from doing that with the world around us?  why do we prefer our little bubbles? We need to continually be watching, learning, listening so that we can be translatable to a culture that needs Christ…

4.  And I know that church should not be all about style, music, “cool-ness”,  I think the primary goal of the church should be telling the Truth…learning, discipling, growing in our walk with Christ, fellowship with each other…building a family of faith…but if  we refuse to use style, great music, technology…then we are missing out…because to myself and other young adults…and especially teenagers…those things are important…they and I care about those things…doing music and technology and visual arts well is a considerable plus…not just so that we can get a few more into the doors…but because we are created by the Creator to glorify Him and one of the ways we do that it is by being creative…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. And lastly, personally, how do I move from being a critic…to simply being more artistic and creative and culturally authentic myself?  I can go on and on about the gap between Christianity and culture…but what am I actually doing about it….whether it is writing better, making interesting jewelry, painting beautiful pieces of art, endorsing great art when I see it, spending time listening to my culture…instead of criticizing….?

So, there are my thoughts, gosh, I have so much more…Hopefully this book will give some more insight into the problem…

I hope your weekend is spectacular sweet ones!!!!!!!

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Every single time I watch either of the Narnia movies, I end up crying at the end like a big baby.  I am so ready for the third one to come out.  Anyways, I watched the last half of the second one yesterday.  At the end, it was the part where the four say their goodbye’s and they walk through the hole in the tree and they are instantly back in England (is it England?)…at the train station.  Yep…I’m bawling.

At the risk of sounding rather strange, those stories tell such truth and when I watch, I am soooooooooooooooo transported to that world…to home…to my King…

As Christians, I think it gives us a tiny taste of what our true home will be like one day…actually seeing and being with Jesus, tons of adventure and horses, beauty unimaginable, relationships perfected…everything perfected….

And when they had to leave…my heart was screaming…NO!!! STAY!!! Narnia is what you were made for!  It’s what we all were made for…

And now…as I sit here typing this…my shirt has spit up all over it…I have about 50 loads of laundry to fold…a bad headache…and two precious ones asleep…

I can easily get caught up in what is to come…daydreaming…but in reality God has given me such responsibility and adventure right here…right now….even in the mundane things…

I am called to raise these two babies to fear the Lord and serve Him and love Him all the days of their life….I am called to make my home a sanctuary for my family, a place of warmth and beauty…I am called right now to love and care for boys who need a lot of love and care…I am called to fight for my husband and my children in a world ruled by an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy…

So, I cant forget that what God has called me to now, may not be Narnia…but a kind of Narnia it is…and I would be good to realize that now is not the time to be concerned over so and so on the ever so addictive facebook…or obsessing over losing those last 10 pounds of baby fat…or procrastinating the laundry like I’m doing right now….Or wishing for a better this or that….

 …Now is the time to work, to love, to teach, to tell, to give…everything I’ve got…

(I am SO preaching to myself right now…and I’m sorry if I made no sense whatsoever)

Daniel has my Reforming Marriage book , so I will paraphrase, but there is a quote in it that says something like this…I love this…

When you and your husband and children have been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, then that eternal pile of laundry will finally come into perspective.

 

Have a magnificent Wednesday!!! Love to You!!

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Not Home Yet

 

The past few days have been quite a blur.  Days where you just see gray and blue.  Days where you wonder what God is up to…

I’ve had the stomach bug and let me just say…I hate it…but I especially hate it when there is another little person in my tummy…I’ll stop there…

One of our boys’ friends from school was killed in a car accident on Sunday.  Another precious life cut too short…

The place that has me the most caught…the most without words, answers…is a good friend of my mother and aunt.  She lost her husband to cancer many years ago.  She just recently got remarried this past summer to a man who had lost his wife to cancer as well.  He now has cancer and is not expected to live much longer.

Too much. Way too much.  Things like that I can not comprehend.  I am praying so much for them and if you would, please pray for this mans healing from an almighty God.

What I am reminded in the midst of suffering, unthinkable circumstances, and just plain ole bad days is that we are not home yet…

These are the words sung by a man I so admire and love…Steven Curtis Chapman…

We are not home yet

We are not home yet

Keep on looking ahead

Let your heart not forget

That we are not home yet

 

Please say a prayer for Brenda and Calvin…

 

photo by: My Fine Garden

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What the ache says to me

I am currently reading “The Beautiful Ache” by Leigh McLeroy.  I found it at my favorite blog… www.messythrillinglife.blogspot.com.  It is wonderful so far. It is my kind of book. My husband flies through books that tell stories…books like “Same Kind of Different as Me” or “The Shack.”  And while I probably would enjoy these, I pour over books that talk about the heart…about life…about how to do and experience and live.  Self help maybe? No…God help is more like it.

She dives into “the ache” we all feel and how to really embrace it instead of run from it or medicate it in some way. I’m not through, so I’ll let you know how it was overall when I’m done.  But, in the Prologue she gave a quote from C.S. Lewis that burned in my heart when I read it…

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Gosh, I have been feeling that ache lately. It comes when I paint a painting and I hate it and wonder why I even try…or when Maris puts her little chubby hands on my cheeks and kisses me…it comes when I am so aggravated at Daniel for not being the ever romantic husband…or when I look at him and my heart melts into a puddle…or when I hear my favorite Coldplay song and I never want it to stop…and right now as a little puppy of ours is breathing her last little breaths. 

Its everywhere. 

That ache that says…”there is more, this is not all, there is a whole wide vast beautiful world you were made for and the Person you were made for that awaits you.  In this world, you will be all you were meant to be and more. In this world, sweet moments are not plagued with the feeling of temporary. They are not stolen by the curse…but they are rapturous and they are forever. Puppies wont die…people wont die…the song will never end…the paintings will be masterpieces…His smile will never fade…our beauty will never diminish…Life will be as it should.”

So, while we are in this world, let us press on as Paul said. Let’s press on toward the goal to win the prize. Oh, and it is one heck of a prize.  And lets try to tell as many people as we can so others can experience the world they too were meant for.

Have a Lovely Thursday!

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Your Kingdom Come

Mark preached a great sermon this morning.  It was about the parable of the King’s wedding banquet for his son.  It was primarily about the invitation God as our King offers to us. I’ve read this passage several times and it still speaks a great truth to me.

I love movies that involve kings, kingdoms, battles, and of course a love story.  The movie, First Knight, is one that I love and could watch again and again.  It has all the major components of a great story…A great king, an evil adversary, a love story, a royal mess-up, a huge battle, enormous sacrifice,  and happily ever after. This movie, really quite beautifully, tells the story that God has set in motion and is telling us now. If you have never seen it you need to watch it and you’ll see the parallels.

When i watch movies like that I feel myself wishing for a life like that…wanting to be IN the movie..wanting the adventure, excitement, the drama, the romance, to have a real king like King Arthur.  Then I understand that i am and i do!!! Sometimes it doesnt feel like it because I am focusing on what I can see instead of what I cant.  If only we could catch a glimpse of what we cant see, oh how we would live differently. How i would live differently.

The truth is…I have a King! A great King and I am in His kingdom.  I was reminded of how the human heart longs for that when the election rolled around last year.  I recognized the desire in my heart to have a president (a King) who would be a good president …one that would rule justly and with mercy…one that would act honorably and uphold with the highest respect the word of God and live out in front of our nation his relationship with Him…one who would be willing to lay down his life for us if need be to protect the precious U S of A. 

Well, sadly we dont have a president like that and what I was really wishing for and desiring was my God’s Kingdom reign. He has done all of the above and so much more!!  One day there will be no opposition to His kingdom. We will live under His rule and reign forever and forever enjoying the peace, joy, and provison He has made for us. We will walk the streets laughing and smiling and praising Him for the precious and righteous King He is.  Oh, how it will be happily ever after!  Here’s to you, King Jesus!

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