Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How the World Sees You

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Have you ever wondered how the world perceives you? Recently I got the chance to see that first hand. The description above was found in another blogger’s post on social media mastery (I’m still in awe that I made the list). 

Her quote, “Christianity with authenticity and no judgment,” I’ll take it. If I would have made a goal of how I’d like to be perceived by the world I don’t think I could have come up with a much better description than that. I can only hope that the people I minister to on a regular basis see me the same way. (Sure they’re predominantly college-aged males but it could be close, right?)

Do you ever think about what the world thinks of you? I hope so because it matters. Sure there are times that judgment rears its ugly head in my life as it does with all of us…but the idea that I’ve presented a representation of Christ that makes people feel safe? I’m humbled.

So how do you think the world perceives you? If you could write down what they think right now what do you think it would be? Does it affirm what you’re already doing or move you toward change? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

And “little but mighty,” perhaps that could be my theme for next year?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Song (Five Minute Friday)

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 This week the song of my life…It has been a gasping.  A sound like drowning. This, trying to keep my head above water. This, “I can’t breathe.” It’s all too much.

For two weeks actually. Husband working crazy hours.  One car. Busy work.  Took on one too many projects. Trying to eat healthy, live intentionally, be in community. Learning all over again that I can’t do it all. And I just want to breathe.

Remembering that I need more margin than most. That I need rest. Quiet. Peace. Stillness. Just trying to get through the next 36 hours for …

Bliss. Sabbath. Renewal. Warm cup of coffee on Sunday morning couch. Lazy blog reading. Basset Hound snuggling. Longing for the song of my life to once again be…

Jesus first. To worship Him with my time and not with filling it. Not bringing busyness to His altar but bringing me. Finding Him first in the morning and letting His time table shape my day. Here’s to living a life of breathing. A song that's without gasping as its melody. Here’s to feeling fully alive. 

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exponential Multiplies to West Coast

Exponential, the largest gathering of church planters on the planet, has recently announced plans for Exponential West.  Read more here. Any of my West Coast friends planing on being there?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Comfort (Five Minute Friday)

Is what I need today. This longing in the pit of my soul that says only you can satisfy. I don’t always come to your throne like this. Tears and downcast. Sure I always come broken. But sometimes I’m convinced I can fix myself and don’t need you. And othertimes broken is just an intellectual knowledge.

But you bring me weeks and seasons like this to remind me I need you. That I need to be broken. In my brokenness I am prepared to receive true comfort.

And your dictionary is different than this world’s. They say a nice house, reliable job, and picture perfect family will provide comfort. Or perhaps just a warm cup of coffee and good book. But oftentimes the American dream is more like a nightmare that leaves you constantly striving. And other times the coffee is cold and the plot never goes quite how we expected.

And we’re left remembering that in the shadow of your wings is the only place we can find true and lasting comfort. And so today I ask for it. “Come to me like rain, God.” Wash my soul in your warmth. I need you today.

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Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Am I a Fraud?"

I said the words to my husband on the patio of our third place. Even with the music blaring I whispered it. Jason never wanting to get in the way of God working replied, “well, are you?”

“I don’t think so,” I replied. 

 Reading these quotes and the state of affairs in my heart had left me asking the question though. This area of my life has plagued me before. I wrote about it here when I was trying to discover my role in mission in Downtown Orlando. And when I discovered my niche after such a long journey of searching I dove in deep and never came up for air.

I lived and breathed ministry. I planned my life around it. I thought constantly of how to do it better and do it more. I found fulfillment and joy in relationships with the lost. In being needed. Appreciated. Confided in. 

And it didn’t happen all at once. But I know I woke up one day and started seeing it. Discovering mission had become my god. And God himself, I was not sure I knew him. I was a faithful worshipper of missional living. Even writing on practical tips for you to do it here. But I turned ministry into a mistress. I loved, served and worshipped at her altar faithfully. Because of my devotion I took pride in my work. In my knowledge. I was farther down the path than most and many came to me for advice on starting their missional journey. 

It was that night just a few weeks ago that I let anyone know what I was thinking. That I said it out loud. 

“I think,” I said, “I’ve just lost my way. I’ve gotten off the path.”

And so since that night a few weeks ago I’ve been trying to get back on the path to knowing and worshipping the Creator and putting ministry in its proper place in light of Him. I’m still trying to figure this out. But this is a short list of what I’m doing to rediscover my first love:

  •  Ask God for help. He knew I was struggling with idolatry long before I did. And his grace is the only way I can be lead back to the foot of the cross where I remember who is the one true God.
  • Meditate on God. One way I've had to to reorient my life is listening to worship music during my commute.I need the words of the artists during those sixty minutes each day to remind me why I even do ministry.
  • Read & Memorize scripture.  Somewhere in my adult life I began counting on all I'd memorized from the Bible in my youth. I hoping to reignite my love for God by joining this community in memorization this year. I also joined the Hello Mornings challenge.

I'm in the middle of this journey right now and it's hard and imperfect but I'm moving forward and growing closer to God.

Have you ever felt like a fraud? What ways do you meditate on God and realign your relationship with him?