Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bucket lists

I've recently begun to realize an area I've fallen back into (and maybe never left) of un-belief. Un-belief in God's ability, willingness, and/or concern for me or parts of my life. I have a lot of faulty thinking I need to deal with. One of the biggest struggles I have is believing God delights in miracles, wholeness, and the desires of our heart. Silly, because it's not at all true. In fact, if u really get into it, u can argue that He's the one who puts them there in the first place!......
Something I heard today was that everyone has things that they struggle with. The key is to struggle WELL. Hmmmmm. Struggle well. How do I do that? By being honest and open about myself. In the lighthearted side of that idea, I've decided to share the core of my bucket list. I just thought it'd be fun, and I have nothing to be ashamed of in sharing it. So here are my top desires, or things I seriously want to do in my lifetime and need to believe my God is big enough to do them if He wanted:
One I've done in the past. One I'm very trained for but there's no demand for it.  One is halfway done. One I want more than any of the others, or anything else I've ever desired. Can you guess which ones I'm talking about?:•}
1. Perform in the theater
2. Work for Disneyland
3. Visit every single state/see special landmarks in each 
4. Compose music
5. Create an incredible painting
6. Work for Living Proof 
7. Learn how to ballroom dance
8. Start an orphanage and school in Africa
9. Be loved (romantically)
10.Go horseback riding
11. Live in a tree or hut for a minimum of 1 yr. 
12. Compete in a dance competition
13. Work as a therapeutic clown 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Twists and turns around the bend (part 2)

You ever have a conviction about something grow so strongly within you that u wish you could be allowed to force everybody to be tied down until they hear what u have to say and have their lives dramatically affected like yours has been by whatever the subject or issue? Well, this happens to me. It's frustrating. And while I can't force everyone to listen, I can pray the right people read this.

This is a continuation of a note I posted about a week ago. In it I talked about Paul convicting me in the way of being Jesus in this world. That subject has not ceased to bother me. And I've been contemplating it for a while. Here's a nutshell of my conclusion......

I act as if I will live for years to come. I put off so much because I think, "someday, I'll...". I'll what? Stop ignoring the problem with that relationship? Help more people? Go on more missions trips? Tell people what I keep saying I'll wait to say someday? Give away possessions I don't need that someone else does? All good things. All of which need to happen. And how do I really know I'll have the time
and be given the chance to do any of these things later? Maybe I'll get in a car accident tomorrow. Maybe I'll die of cancer 2 years from now. Maybe that brother or sister in Jesus needs to learn something from the things I not saying. Maybe children are dying who I could be helping. Maybe widows could be living in grace and redemption this year, but will be dead in 10. I can't, don't want to, and don't have a right to live this coosh life. I don't CARE if it's more comfortable having my own recliner, air conditioner, and all the Glee, Bones, and House I can stand taped on my DVR. I used to care. So much. But something is changing.

Now that I'm at Starbucks, I'm surprised at what the Lord is doing within me. I usually slip into a comfortable complacency when working in such an environment. Like, I get used to the way my co-workers live and like it when it rubs off on me. I typically compare myself to them to feel good about what I do. And this time......not so much. Rather than slip into what I wanted and was TRYING to find comfort in, I have found myself totally saddened by the lost and miserable state my co-workers are unknowingly in. I feel a burden for them to know the Lord. I come home from work being disgusted with myself and my country for being self-centered and only wanting wanting wanting. The more I go without DOING something, the more convicted I become. This world desperately needs to hear about the redemption of Jesus Christ. Most people living in this world need help to survive. And I have no right and little desire to sit back and do nothing about that. I HAVE to help people discover victory, grace, and redemption. I am compelled. Don't ask me how. I don't know yet. But I'm trying to figure it out. Soon. My life is too short. I don't want ANY of it wasted. I want to make a difference. To BE the difference. I'm not backing down. Im crazy. I'm intense. I'm extreme. I'm okay with that.

If not me, who? If not now when? (Part 1, written 8-24-2010)

So, as I read James I find confirmation of the struggle I've been in. It talks a lot about not just listening to the Word, but doing it. Sure, we're all familiar with the whole "be do-ers of the Word" concept. But seriously. Do we ever actually think about that seriously? I have come to believe that the majority of Christians today (oh, I'm included, don't worry!) are used to, content with, and yes, even deceived by listening to the word and not taking it any further than that. Most of the time we don't even realize that's what's going on. We're used to it. It's how we were taught to do our faith. We hear a verse or sermon and think "Oh, that was GOOD! Awesome! Thanks God." And indeed it was. But what then?

I thought to myself the other day, "okay. James says if I just listen to the word and don't do what it commands, I'm deceived. But what does the Word command?" So, I tried to objectively look at the Bible in as simple a way as possible. If I were describing the commands that the Word contains in a nutshell version, how would that go? Well, off the top of my head, I think about loving my enemy. Obedience to God. Holy living. And more than anything, being Jesus to the world. Bringing healing, redemption, relationship, and the Good News to all people everywhere. Living in and with an amazing and mind-blowing authority that we Americans so very rarely tap into. Stomping all over the enemy and his army. (How often do we really do this rather than self medicate and ignore our issues with food, noise [tv, Internet, gaming], and lust?) Living in true community so that the outside world sees a difference when they see how our relationships are done. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much this society is set up to live in a way that is absolutely opposite of these things in so many ways. Makes it hard to really follow and experience God. Too much pulling at us. Comfort. Coosh. Money. Looks. Sure, I'd rather go shopping for new make-up at Sephora or watch a season of GLEE or Bones than be listening to how the Spirit wants me to offer an ear and cousel to a messed-up, needy, depressed friend or co-worker who desperately needs to touch of Jesus. And don't get me started on other countries and the question of whether I truly have a right to live rich (I only make $800 a month but compare that to a dollar a day being a high average in the rest of the world) when I KNOW they need the healing touch from someone who has the authority of Jesus living within them. And even if I decide there's nothing wrong with living here and being proud of it. What then? Can we really ignore the command to take care of orphans and widows? Would it be right to do anything BUT adopt or foster? If not me, who? If not now, when?

The more I think about everything, the more I'm convicted. Lord, help me do all I can for you. And live with as much authority as I'm allowed! I don't want to waste any time here on Earth.