Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forgiveness

I really love being able to ask for forgiveness.

What? That probably sounds weird.

But it's true.

This morning I had the opportunity to ask forgiveness from someone. At first I thought I'd blow it off, but then I realized no, I needed to. For my tongue ran rampant last night and, although it may not have impacted this person, it caused division between the Lord and me as I wasn't loving one of his precious people well by letting my tongue run amuck. I don't know how it'll occur, but I'm at thankful I can ask.

Why?

Because I'm forgiven.

Interestingly, after the above morning act, I dove into some Luke. I read a lot, as I've picked-up the chronological bible to finish the New Testament, but one passage hit me. Luke 7:36-50. Go read it.

Have you read it? :)

I was struck by these lines:

I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

The reason I love asking for forgiveness is I have received the largest forgiveness ever through Jesus. Even so, I know that, while I hope it continues to lessen with the Spirit's help, I will sadly still hurt others, have a careless tongue, respond selfishly, etc. And these acts and thoughts will impact the lives of others and break unity. Asking for forgiveness gives me the ability to humbly acknowledge when I allowed unity to be broken, grow, and learn. Even if the other person chooses not to accept, which I can't control.

Prayerful others will let me know and prayerful the Spirit will convict me when I need to ask for forgiveness. And that I will joyfully and humbly do so, out of grace and thankfulness for the eternal forgiveness I've been given in Jesus.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stone

I have recently become re-obsessed with this song. Which may not seem like a big thing, but it is as I didn't listen to Dave for YEARS as it always made me think of a negative person in my past. But recently I claimed freedom over that person and, after going to a Dave concert with some friends, have rediscovered my love for his music. Particularly this song, which is one of my most favorites, if not my most favorite.

The very best way to listen to this is ridiculously loud with the sunroof open. Just sayin'. :)

Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Travel List

I've recently been thinking of writing a list of things to do in life. Well, when I sat down to start it, ALL of them were travel related. Ha! Not that there aren't things I want to do in non-travel life, but I suppose they weren't as big to warrant being put on a list.

Anyway, below is a very condensed list...as in I pretty much am game to go almost anywhere if it means the ability to experience something new, learn, and indulge in a new culture. So, here it goes! They're not really in any particular order, mostly.

1.   Go to Paris!
2.   Jump up and down in sheer delight in front of the Eiffel Tower
3.   Sit in a French cafĂ© and listen to people speak French
4.   Speak French IN France!
5.   Walk around Sacre Coeur, tracing the footsteps of the great artists
6.   Go to Normandy and stand on Normandy beach, reflecting on what occurred there for as long as I please
7.   Visit a French vineyard
8.   See Marseilles and pretend I'm like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief
9.   Basically just travel all over France
10. Visit the Westminster Abbey and say “hands down, best abbey I ever saw”
11. Go to Greece and see everything I possibly can
12. Sail in the Mediterranean
13. Go on the Sound of Music tour in Austria and be ridiculously obnoxious with the singing and dancing..."I am sixteen going on seventeen..."
14. See Anne Frank’s house
15. Visit Auschwitz because it’s important
16. Travel around Israel and see the places Jesus walked, taught, and lived first-hand
17. Go to Poland…I have no idea why, but I want to go
18. See the home of Beethoven
19. Relish in the beauty of the Amalfi Coast
20. Dance around the windmills in Holland
21. Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
22. See the pyramids and sing “walk like an Egyptian”
23. Spend Christmas in Williamsburg again
24. Go on another white water rafting trip (more than a day trip) in honor of my Granddaddy
25. See Hawaii!
26. Visit New England during the fall and become extremely giddy with the colors, smells, season
27. Go to Rhode Island, the only state my great-grandparents didn’t see
28. See Alaska and obnoxiously call it Al-as-ka the whole time
29. Be outdoorsy in Seattle again (well, last time we weren’t so outdoorsy)
30. Hike up to Machu Picchu (do you hike up that?)
31. Go to Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon
32. See the Grand Illumination!
33. Salsa dance in some Latin country, preferably with a ridiculously cute Latin guy named Alejandro or Enrique or Carlos
34. Go on an African safari
35. See the Great Wall of China

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Le Saint-Esprit

I think I've mentioned before that I've been on a path lately of learning about balance. It wasn't something I was looking for, but seems to be hitting me on all sides.

I'm currently camped out in the New Testament (surprised?!?) and this morning was reading through the passages in which the Pharisees are nit-picking everything Jesus does and telling him he's disobeying the law of the Sabbath.

After reading, I spent some time journaling prayers in response to what I read. In doing so, I started thinking about how the Pharisees didn't get balance. They lived on the side of legalism. And then there were other folks who lived on the side of...I'm not sure the word...doing whatever they wanted damning the consequences. As I was basically judging the Pharisees' ridiculousness in my head, I realized I can be a Pharisee just as easily as I can be a loose cannon (that's what we'll call them today :)).

I started to think about pendulums, specifically the ones with magnets at the bottom. At rest, they just hang there in the middle, steady and confident, connected to the stabilizing magnet. When give in to a push, they swing wildly from one side to the other, while still trying to reconnect to the magnet. Eventually they tire and settle back into the middle until they get another push.

I feel like this is me. Something will happen, or a temptation will arise, or I become impatient and allow the push to set me into motion, pulling me away from the Magnet. Sometimes I'll swing to the loose cannon side and decide not to care what the Magnet thinks, and then other times I'll swing to legalism and attempt to control everything with rules and regulations. Regardless, both detach my heart from the Magnet and leave me swinging about wildly.

Obviously this will occur throughout life since I will still sin and struggle, but how do you fight it? How do we live in balance? Balance being the place where we live with grace, love, and forgiveness, but also where we recognize that God's best doesn't always align with loose cannon-flesh side.

Then I realized it. The Holy Spirit. Le Saint-Esprit.

Only through the Spirit can we live in balance as it's not natural. Only through the Spirit will we remain connected to the Magnet as we're prone to swinging. And the only way to live in the Spirit is to know him. To talk to him. To read and write his words on our hearts. To be quick to listen and slow to speak or act. To intentionally pray and patiently wait for answers. And to do all of this daily.

And then I thought, holy cannoli, the FULLNESS of God lives IN me! I mean, I know that, but I just sat there for a minute and let it sit on me. The Spirit that has the power to save souls, raise Jesus from the dead, intercede on my behalf, a part of the trinity...lives in me. Why the world do I so often and so easily discount that? Why do I easily freak out, second guess, or worry?

Literally at this moment, that Chris Tomlin song that says "and if our God is for us, who can be against us" came on and I had to laugh. No joke.

Most of the time I have no idea what to do. Literally this morning I prayed for several people and told God I have absolutely no clue how to best love them through hard things they're walking through or maybe I don't even know what they're going through but feel led to pray for them. I asked for guidance, a loving heart, boldness, and confidence to not second-guess. Now I wait and trust that the Spirit will provide as he loves these people WAY more than I ever could.

The key to balanced living is the Holy Spirit. Don't discount his power. Don't discount that, if you know and walk with Christ, he's there to help you live out what God instructs. What a gift.

Let's walk in the power of Le Saint-Esprit and see what mighty things the Lord can do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crazy, Eloise, Germans, Patios, & Dave! Oh my!

I feel like I’m the queen of random these days. Maybe that’s really not so abnormal… J

Random #1
Meet Eloise. My new toy who I love. She’s quite fun and could be a buddy through my first speeding ticket… She prefers to go fast, and I need to get better at wrangling her desires. J


Random #2
Over Memorial Day weekend, I went to Shreveport for a cousin’s graduation. This family is half-German, and several of their German family members were also there. It was a great, relaxing weekend. My favorite times were certainly playing card games with the German family. It was quite hilarious, especially when I’d get stuck with the German cards! It’s interesting how a simple change of J (for Jack) to B and Q (for Queen) to D can throw you off! Made me excited for more family time in July with more cards and Bananagrams. I heart games.

Random #3
Last weekend I had time on a patio Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon! Oh how I love patios!! Yes, Texas summer is ridiculous, but I’m thankful that we have a pretty long patio season with spring and fall. Trying to soak up as much as possible before it gets as hot as Hades…

Random #4 (and last random for today)
I’ve rediscovered my old love for Dave Matthews Band. This is exciting to me for many reasons, but it’s been fun to rediscover old favorites and find that I still like them. Haven’t tried his new stuff; I’m thoroughly enjoying relistening to his first three albums and their live counterparts.