Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the thorn in my flesh

concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. and He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

may I only learn to rest and be satisfied in His bountiful favor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

in the words of a. w. tozer

Recently, while reading Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, these words struck me with their simple truth.

"When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean "in the exact image." To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all. It is to break down the wall, infinitely high, that separates That-which-is-God from that-which-is-not-God. To think of creature and Creator as alike in essential being is to rob God of most of His attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature. It is, for instance, to rob Him of His infinitude: there cannot be two unlimited substances in the universe. It is to take away His sovereignty: there cannot be two absolutely free beings in the universe, for sooner or later two completely free wills must collide. These attributes, to mention no more, require that there be but one to whom they belong."

There is nothing I can nor want to add. He articulated it perfectly.

Monday, August 20, 2007

bugs, bugs go away

If there is one hard and fast rule that governs my home, it is this: Bugs do not belong. Beware any creepie-crawlies: you will be smashed and flushed without a second thought. I do not bother you in your space, don't you bother me in my space. (Besides, it gives me the willies to imagine any little creature crawling about my home just waiting to surprise me!)

My cat - and newfound hero - and I had an interesting experience last week. I had just come inside and much to my chagrin, a little gecko was resting on my living room wall! (I should mention here that I've had several traumatizing encounters with geckos). Now, of course it was not in the most convenient place for me to remove it. It was above the stairs just out of my reach. By now, Bashful had also spotted the creature and was eyeing it hungrily. At that point, I decided the two of us must become partners in order to catch the invader. I began pounding on the wall, trying to scare the gecko over to a wall where either of us could reach it. I even tried throwing a plastic cup at it, hoping to knock it off it's perch on my wall. No such luck. My attempts only caused the gecko to move further into the middle of the wall. Now what? I asked Bashful.

And then I had a brilliant idea - Bug spray! It had to do the trick! While shouting at Bashful to keep a watchful eye on the gecko, I ran downstairs to get my can of tropical splash bug spray. I ran back upstairs and joined the kitty on the living room banister behind the couch. Gingerly, I hung over the banister, pointed the spray can at the gecko, and pushed the lever. A very stunned gecko fell off the wall. Woohoo!! The job was almost finished. Bashful raced down the stairs and pounced on our prey. It was only a few minutes later that I was able to scoop up the poor gecko (minus his tail) and toss him outdoors. Phew! Mission accomplished!

(for those of you who like to read the epilogues of books, here is a quick note: I was shaking with relief at the end of this episode, Bashful got a handful of kitty treats, and he became my hero - at least for the day.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

the forest hides behind the trees

I love visionaries. I have known a few in my life, my high school youth pastor being one of them. I am always amazed at the inspiring effect people like him have on me. Every so often, I need to be reminded why I'm doing the what and how. My personality is definitely Type A; details are my speciality. In fact, Heath & I discovered a curious difference in our personalities while we were on a photography date in downtown Dallas. He wanted to get panoramic shots of the downtown skyline, while I was only interested in the up close and personal shots of a mailbox, a sign, or the crisscrossing bars in a fence. My favorite photographs are those that hone in on a certian aspect of the overall picture. Needless to say, the details that I am so interested in and pretty good at noticing tend to narrow my vision. In doing so, I begin to only see the things that are my responsibility and not how crucial they are to the overall picture. Not only that, but I tend to get sloppy in my work.

This is why that I need to be reminded of the why of life.

I had just such an opportunity yesterday. It was my company's annual training day, and we had the pleasure of hearing both of the Co-Founders and the Director of International Leadership speak. This was a new experience for me, since my first day of work was a couple weeks after the training last year. Now I understand a little more why these men have accomplished what they have - they are wonderful visionaries. They see the big picture, and it is constantly the why behind the what of their work. A few minutes into their talks, I remembered first finding out about JE when I was applying for jobs last summer; I was very excited about their mission to "bring the world to young people and the Gospel to the world." It is simple and straightforward. It was a vision I could get behind and support, something that would make my work meaningful and worth doing well.

And I realized yesterday that I have forgotten this very important vision that is the goal of my work Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm. It's an incredible trajedy that for many months my job has been an isolated project to me. The reality is this: for months I've been doing a lousy job of answering the phones and being the office assitant here just because I forgot the why behind the what. The truth is that my job (however menial it can seem some days) is crucial to the smooth operation of this company, whose mission is to teach the Word of God and disciple young people to do the same through their specific gifts.

Lord help me remember that whatever I do, it ought to be done in Your Name and for Your glory.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

north, south...which way?

My husband can get himself pretty much anywhere from wherever he is, even if he forgets to look at a map. He has a sort of internal compass that doesn't necessarily point North (reference to Pirates of the Caribbean), but somehow he ends up where he wants to be...every time! I have given up trying to figure out where his magic wand is hidden and now I just am amazed by his obvious ability!

I, on the other hand, am completely lost if I don't:

1. know the street name that I am on
2. know the street name that I am headed to
3. know some landmarks along the route
4. have a map in my hand
5. understand the general layout of North,South,East,West in relationship to the streets & destination that I am working with

So you see, Heath has the better deal here. He needs basically zero information to survive, while I need one of those GPS systems strapped to me!

As long as I'm with him, we'll arrive at our destination. That's really why I married him! :)