Monday, June 25, 2012

Ahhh, Summertime!

Now doesn't this look cool and nice for a hot summer day? Mmmm....I think yes! Summer is my favorite time of year! I love the heat, the sun, the fresh vegetables, and things like this frosty goodness.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not Faint

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 

I can wholeheartedly agree with this verse. Strength renewed, hope burning brightly, I am running and walking and soaring without weariness, and without growing faint or tired.

Hope burning brightly, hope in the Lord.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Body Language

The body language of Christ.
Have you ever thought of that? We talk about what Christ said, we talk about what would Jesus do, and we talk about how Christians ought to behave. But I have never thought about the body language of Christ, of how he welcomes others into His presence, and how He helps them feel His interest, His love, His delight in who they are. He looks beyond their outward appearance, whether they look beautiful, clean, groomed, with polished manners. He looks into their personality, he looks into their heart and mind, and finds the soul. The soul looks different than the body, and many times I have been surprised by that. In my travels, I have met many people who in body, look rough, dirty, and unkempt. But their soul was so beautiful, their person inside was loving, gracious, and showing many of the characteristics of Christ.
Body language is how we communicate without words. We draw near if we are interested or loving, and we step back and tighten our muscles if we do not trust. We smile and look into the eyes if we like a person, or make limited eye contact and keep our mouth tight if we do not. There are a million ways we speak with our bodies.
It is a humbling thought, when I consider my habits and ways of speaking with my body. Frequently it an unconscious extension of my ideas and feelings about the other person. But sometimes, it is intentionally used to let them see how I really think or feel about them, and it is not always in Christ-like ways.
The body of Christ, what kind of language does it communicate? Does it seem to welcome intimacy? Does it seem to draw others into a conversation? What sort of body language did Christ use for us? The body of Christ is the church, and how does my church, or my temple within the church, communicate with others? So often, as a pastor's daughter, I have witnessed and heard of body language being used not to draw others near, but to shove them aside. Their body language was not one of love or acceptance.
And at the same time, I have witnessed many of these bodies, these temples within the church draw others in beautifully gracious ways.
It's something to ponder, this idea of Christ's body language. His person, His way of living with others and inviting them into His life and presence. And it's something to ponder, how my language should reflect this, and how the body language of the church should reflect this.
May I learn the body language of Christ, and may I use it to draw others closer to Him.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Psalm Of Praise

Psalm 104:24-35

24 Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
     which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.[b]
27 These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit,[c] they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Only Jesus!

Father of grace, You’ve sacrificed
Your only Son for us, the crucified Jesus
Enlarge our hearts to love Your Son
O grant to us the grace to walk with Him always
To make Him our great delight 
Bringing worship with our lives 

Only Jesus! Only Jesus! 
Give us Jesus, we cry
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
The Pearl of greatest price

Spirit of grace, You’ve shed Your light
Upon our darkened eyes, unveiling Jesus Christ
Come change our hearts, conform our ways
To honor Jesus’ Name, His glory our refrain
Let His love compel our own
As we worship at His throne

Jesus, our great Savior,
Lord of heaven, Son of God

By Doug Plank "Only Jesus", Valley of Vision

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lifted Out Of The Depths

I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

O Lord, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit.

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help."

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Psalm 30

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I just returned from annual conference. Came in the door, set down my suitcase, ate a bite, and grabbed my laptop.
I have to process what I heard, and writing is one way I do that.

All weekend the focus has been on sending out those to accomplish the mission of making disciples. It was reflected in the messages of what churches are doing, in the ordination service as they prepared those entering ministry, and in messages by leaders. Bishop Willimon's sermon was titled, "Sent" and he described an errand he was sent on as a young boy, an errand that an adult should have been sent to handle. In conversations around me, I heard a repeated comment about being called into ministry, and knowing that you're called being the only thing that keeps you going during the tough grind of everyday ministry. When the hard days come, you can grit your teeth and keep going because you know you're called to this job, to this task. 

Of course, I immediately think of the errand I am called to accomplish. While a little fuzzy on how it should exactly look, it is to gain a greater understanding of mission, of discipleship, of following Christ and helping others find Christ, too. It is an errand I am ill-equipped to handle, and errand that will cause me to depend on God's strength to accomplish.

I don't know exactly how it will look or where it will lead to. But this weekend, I heard that I am sent, and that in the midst of that, God has called and is sending.