Making Space

We collapsed into our seats at church Sunday morning, worn out after an intensive two days of emptying our storage pods into our new house—moving furniture, hauling boxes, and trying to make snap decisions on where everything should go. Two days of violent thunderstorms, driving rain, and up to six inches of hail made the process a bit more “interesting.” Now, with the hired movers gone, we’re left with rooms full of boxes. I admit to feeling more than a bit overwhelmed. How in the world will we fit into our downsized digs?

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It seems as if everything that can hold things—bookcases, cabinets, and the like—are buried behind the boxes of books and linens that belong in them. But the room is so full, there’s no place to put the boxes so that we can extract the furniture, and no way to position it correctly so we can start unpacking into it. At the moment, downsizing doesn’t seem like much fun!

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Avoiding “Yearbook Christianity”

Have you heard of Yearbook Christianity? I recently heard a speaker describe it, and I admit it really hit home.

What was the first thing you did when you got your high school yearbook? What’s the first thing any of us did? We flipped to the index, if there was one, and located every page where our picture appeared. Then we checked out each photo to see what we looked like. Sound familiar?

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Give to Nepal Relief and…

2015_Nepal_depremi_(7)-001Death and destruction never take a holiday. Intense persecution in the Middle East. Famine and war. Tsunamis, tornados and hurricanes. And now a disastrous earthquake in Nepal—there are always horrific circumstances that break our hearts and motivate us to help. So we should. God blesses us so that we can bless others.

Within hours of the first news reports out of Kathmandu, my inbox was flooded with pleas for donations. Relief ministries, friends, and friends of friends all told stories of suffering and begged for aid.

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Praying for Me

I woke up the other morning realizing that, while my to-do list was quite full, there was nothing on it that posed a dire emergency, nor was there anything that left me feeling overwhelmed and incapable. That was such a change from the previous few months that I had to stop and breathe a sigh of relief. As I talked to God that morning, I prayed for others on my heart, but not for myself. In fact, I had the utter audacity to tell him that, for once, I had everything under control.

You’d think I would know better.

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An Abundance of Possessions

We sold our house. After months of working hard to get it ready, we finally listed it on a Saturday morning in late March—far, far later than the planned February date. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be hordes of people coming to view it? Would anyone come at all? Given the timing, we needed a quick sale. What would God do?

A lot, it turns out. We received a serious offer a mere seven days after the listing went live. What’s more, the buyers love plants. They’re thrilled about filling the windows with indoor greenery and filling the outside beds with veggies. They’re interested in getting chickens. In fact, they love everything about the house that we do. It’s so much easier to let go when you know you’re blessing someone else as a result!

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God’s No-Win Dilemma

It’s the age-old question—“Why am I here?” Why did God make us?

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that we exist to bring glory to God. As I continued reading in Isaiah, I came across this pertinent verse:

… for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel. Isaiah 44:23

This states it more clearly: He displays His glory in Israel—and in us. We don’t have to do it; He does it. Our role is to be willing vessels.

And that got me thinking—how does God go about displaying His glory in us? What does it look like from our perspective? I believe that God has two options here.

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Stop. Listen.

christ-on-the-cross-001I tend to lay low on Good Friday. I want time to think, time to spend with God, time to consider the price Jesus paid so that we could be in God’s presence without condemnation.

I appreciate the time you spend reading my blog posts, as I share my thoughts with you.

Today, please spend that time with God. Listen to His thoughts.

I’ll be doing the same.