Sunday, July 24, 2005

to seize a divine moment

some of my favorites slices from "Seizing Your Divine Moment":

"The odds are irrelevant to God."

"If we are going to seize our divine moments, we must accept the reality that we have no control over many things. We have no control over when we die or how we die. We must instead take responsibility for what we do have control over - how we choose to live."

In battle: "Even when we live, it doesn't mean that the victory comes without suffering."

"The realm of uncertainty is the place of miracles."

"In fact, we are told that if our prayers do not result in an affrimative answer, it is because we didn't have enough faith. We didn't believe strongly enough... The promise of Jesus that if we ask anything in His name, He will do it, is fueled not by how strongly we believe in something, but by how we represent God's purpose and intention."

"The door we fear going through the most may be the very one where we will meet God most profoundly."

"We must remember that if we are thrown into the lion's den and we get eaten, God is still faithful."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

carpe deim

Had coffee with j. tonight. I went to E’s early and just spent some time reading and staring out the window for a while, then he met up with me later on in the evening. its small and eclectic and it’s a nice alternative to the corporate giant and social hub that starbucks has become. plus, you can go and remain anonymous, relax, sip a latte and read a book and no one will bother you. Whereas in starbucks its nearly impossible to go without running into someone you know, usually from apex, who will chat with you. When I want socialization I go to starbucks, when I want solitude or uninterrupted conversation, I go to E’s.
So, I’m nearly finished with “Seizing Your Divine Moment” just a few more chapters I think. Its been really good, and this is the theme line that has been repeating over and over in my brain since I read it: “The realm of uncertainty is the place of miracles.” God has already been using it to call to mind a lot of moments He is placing in my path, where often I could have chosen the way of risk (which may produce failure, yet leaves uncertainty for God to act in) or the way of mundane safety. Sadly, I saw a moment tonight in which I chose safety. There was a religious debate going on amongst three women a few tables away – I sensed a good opportunity for me to go introduce myself, ask to join them, share Truth. And I sat there, doing nothing, well not nothing – I decided to pray – but I was praying when I should have been acting. I chose safety over divine opportunity. Do I use prayer to stall obedience? Yes, I could have been stone cold rejected, fallen flat on my spiritual face as it were, but I would have been failing while I moved in line with the heart of God. Instead I stayed safe, anonymous, and disobedient.

Faith is all about character, trusting in the character of God, being certain in WHO GOD IS and following Him into the unknown.”

It’s a scary thing to fall into the hands of Almighty God.

Monday, July 11, 2005

the sky was ablaze

i saw a brilliant display of God's artistry this morning. the sunrise. the clouds were blazing pink, red, and orange, and set against the brightest blue sky that, in contrast, made them appear to be on fire. it was so exactly what i was hoping for from God today. isn't He just so good like that? i wonder if long ago in the mind of God, He omnipotently knew that on the night before july 11th i would be aching for a display of His artistic spleandor, so perhaps He planned it all out, weather patterns and sunrise time, and even put the thought into a coworker's mind to walk down the hall at precisely the moment when the sunrise was at its most glorious, and announce to all of us, "you have to come see this!" and i wondered as i sat watching the light grow and the sky change colors, could God have done this whole thing with the delight of a perfect father in His heart, knowing that His child would be so happy and thankful and want to worship Him even more?
i feel so loved right now.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

the theme of the week is grace

have you ever noticed a subtle (or blatantly obvious) theme running through your days for a period of time? well i certainly have these past few days, and it is undoubtedly "grace". monday began with a "James Chapter One" day.

"Consider it joy when you face trials of any kind, for you know it is for the perfecting of your faith"

isn't it great how God arms you with scripture right when you're going to need it most and when you're about to see it play out in application to your life? as if returning to work when half of me is still in Africa wasn't difficult enough, adding trial to the workplace wasn't what i had hoped for. i'm currently reading "Seizing Your Divine Moment" by Erwin McManus. without detail, let me say that the other night at work i was faced with one of those moments. it was a moment when the Truth was being twisted before my very eyes and i could have chosen to do nothing, but instead i acted. and it wasn't the easy road. it brought about a lot of tension. have you ever had a disagreement with someone who feels that any disagreement is a personal attack? but the Holy Spirit in me was reflecting God's anger at that moment -- anger towards pride, hypocrisy, judgementalism, self-righteousness, legalism, and just plain wrong theology. i don't know if you've felt it as well, but God's righteous anger feels physically different to me than when i myself just get angery about something. the type of righteous anger i'm talking about feels like a fire in my core that is burning so hot i feel like i'll explode, not at a person, but at the ugliness of sin, in this case the obscuring of God's Truth. i'm not one to be easily angered personally, and when i am angry, it doesn't ever feel like that. but the thought i my mind was, "the Truth in love. the Truth in love." yet no matter how calm and loving my words of Truth were, they hit the lies like an explosion. when Light enters the picture, darkness has to flee, and let me tell you, it didn't want to give in. praise the Almightly God for His promise, "I will give you the words to speak" praise Him for the instruction of "always be prepared to give an answer for the faith that you have." He is faithful. and darkness had nothing to back it up.

the conflict: the old law, rules that we must aboey to be considered "right with God"

the lies: Jesus didn't bring with Him a new law. we are still bound to the old (yet somehow only certain old laws are ones we need to to pay attention to; how that's determined, "i don't know")

the truth: Ephesians 2:15 and so much more

so that was monday. tuesday brought a non-theological type of legalism. what i means is simply this: people making up their own rules and expecting others to know and follow their rules when there is no basis for them. now hear this: i'm not much of a lover of rules. i'll be honest. funny thing is i've never been much of the rebel. when a rule makes sense to me, i have absolutely no problem obeying it. but when it doesn't make any sense to me, look out. i'm a policy girl. i make sure i know the policies at work, because if i'm breaking one, i at least want to know it. i am fine with consequences for my actions when i am overtly breaking a rule. it's to be expected, and i would expect no less. even if i disagree with the rule and think it's ridiculous, i have no problem reaping what i've sowed, if i choose to be outside the lines. the problem comes when others try to put extra rules on me that are not policy, and dress it up to sound like it is. i do not appreciate being called on the carpet about something, and scolded for breaking a rule that isn't even a rule. that's what i LOVE about Jesus. He called all those pharisees out for doing just that, putting extra burdens on the people that God didn't intend.

so that's how work was for me last night. twice. as one of my coworkers observed, "amanda, it seems like you are the designated 'crap catcher' this week." and i say, "bring it on. consider it joy. pray for those that persecute you. speak the truth in love, bless and do not curse. turn the other cheek. love others as you love yourself."


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

image memories of Namibia

some images that tell the story of my time in Namibia...







Namibia Multi-purpose building Namibia Multi-purpose building

Here I come!


Hungry elephants at Etosha National Park

Zebras at Etosha National Park

Namibia173 Namibia181





Saturday, July 02, 2005

random free-form thought-flow...

3am Ohio time = 8am Namibia time. i'm exhausted. why the heck couldn't i sleep today? lila is cute. dogs barking in the afternoon sucks. my feet are cold. i think it's funny that i type so fast using two fingers. i had a dog named sam until i was 16years old then he passed away. it's crazy that my parents are such cat-people now. i can't believe lila calls jedi "the crazy cat" because phil told her that's what jedi was. i wonder if cracking your knuckles actually fosters arthritis or if that's one of those urban myths. i'm tired. it'd really quiet here now. i can't believe they pay me to do this. the nights have been so slow. is it really only halfway thru my shift? relating to God as a King is nearly impossible to me, i have no clue how to act in front of a king. i wonder how Jesus really feels about tattoos. j. is so cool. i'm so glad he's my friend. super-quick deep chats over coffee - so frustrating to have to leave right when it's getting good. i need $1,000 to fix the plumbing. this sweater is itchy. i should have invited amanda to church when she asked about apex. i wonder if she's interested. i want to invite her and and have her bring her son. that was cool reading his blog and seeing how it has impacted so many people worldwide. i wonder how jon is. i'm so glad i know how to text now. need to ask for jenny's number. i have so much to do to get ready to leave this place. i wonder if edith will write that letter i asked her about. my stomach is full. i ate too much. how is it that i can fill myself and not even think about how half the world had nothing to eat tonight? i am selfish. my motivation sucks most of the time, if i really press myself to think about what's behind my actions. i wonder if anyone really does that. i kind of like this thought-flow thing. it's amazing to look back and see how my brain works and what toughts run together - how i got from one place to the next. God is so intricate in His planning of how the human mind works. that was one crazy beautiful storm last night. i hope there are more this summer. i want to be somewhere where i can see better next time. it's crazy how j. and i were thinking about the same stuff last night when in the midst of the thunder. i'm so thankful for apex. i want to be in namibia right now. i wonder what experience is doing? or ambrosious, or tuleni. the next team will be home on sunday. i want to meet them at the airport. need to find out what time they arrive. i wonder if someone sent something for me. i need to get to the post-office and send those letters...

Friday, July 01, 2005

who is this man that even the wind and waves obey his voice?

there was a glorious thunderstorm tonight. i hope you were able to bask in its enjoyment as i did. continuous thunder, brilliant lightning powerful wind, and drenching rain. the perfect summer cocktail. i turned off all the lights in my house and just sat there in the living room in the dark. the etherial light danced across the walls as i listened to the crashing thunder rumbling amidst the sound of rain slamming into the house on all sides. i wanted it to last forever. and the artist God smiled at His creation.