Wednesday, July 29, 2009
One kid, took the three crosses and connected them top to bottom. At first glance, it looked like he had just stuck the letters on at random wherever he felt like it. But when I asked him to tell me about it he he said, "It's kind of hard to see at first, but look! Up and down it says 'LOVE.' And then, on the diagonal like this is says, 'GOD.'"
Isn't that life? At first glance it looks random, all out of whack, and with no order at all. Yet when you look closer, God's love is visible. You weren't expecting to see it in the manner than it appeared, but it was there.
Search and find God today,
Have you spent some good, quality time with your Abba Father lately? You don't have to say a word. You can borrow someone else's [words] if it helps. Just be with Him and do whatever the Spirit leads. Sing. Dance. Scream. Cry. Whatever feels appropriate. This is your Best Friend, remember, so there's no reason to be embarrassed. He loves you more than you'll ever know.
Have a party with Jesus today,
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We smiled and laughed harder than any of us had in a long time. Our faces are definitely out of shape and need more exercise!
Smile and someone today. It'll make his/her day. It'll also help your facial muscles. :-)
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
On Wednesday, I didn’t really want to be at Lifest. There were a plethora of reasons; namely: very few of my favorite artists were going to be there, after seven years it had become mundane, and my “I’m bored; let’s go get lost in the mosh pit” mother was leaving me with the responsibility of chaperoning my sisters.
I thought about our past six years worth of Lifests, and the plethora of funny memories flooded my head. The time Michael W. Smith finally played “Never Been Unloved” live after years of begging. Having our minivan pushed into the muddy parking lot. Steven Curtis Chapman’s first return to the stage following Maria’s death. How Mark Schultz’s water bottle earned a standing ovation. Watching TobyMac in a downpour and using a lawn chair as an umbrella. Don’t get me wrong, those stories are hilarious, but they aren’t what Lifest is about.
When asked to summarize this past Friday in one sentence, I said, “Worship in alternative form.” That’s exactly what Lifest is all about. I feel like after seven years, I finally got it. Lifest isn’t about sticking plywood in your elbows for four hours to be in the front of the mosh pit that night. It isn’t about finally having the opportunity to meet your favorite band. It isn’t the perfect time to destroy your eating habits. It isn’t even a great excuse to stay up until one am every day. Rather, Lifest is an opportunity to see God in a new way. Worship in alternative form(s).
Sure, it’s pretty basic. If someone else had said it over the past six years, I definitely would have agreed. I have great God moments from previous Lifests. Kneeling on fist-sized rocks with my arms stretched towards the beautiful blue sky crying out to my Abba Father. Listening to Peter Fuller of Newsboys talk about how God’s timing is perfect only for his sentence to be interrupted by a nearby train (“and you laugh”). Something about this year was different. Agreeing that “church has left the building” and applying the concept are two different things.
Of course, I’ve got silly stories from this year, too. Matthew West writing a spontaneous song about brats. Skillet’s opinion on illegal music downloads and still loving the audience for free. Officially becoming part of BarlowGirl. Hitting Aaron Shust in the head with my cowboy hat. Getting chastised by Mark Schultz for singing along to one of his songs that hasn’t been released yet. Dancing, jumping, singing, and worshipping with my arms around complete strangers. Singing two commercials with several hundred of my new “family members.” Following Peder Eide around as he moved from stage to stage. Except I had to look through my journal to remember all of those silly things.
The things I remember off of the top of my head are memories about closing my eyes singing and signing praises to God as raindrops fell softly onto my face and Phillips, Craig, and Dean led us in worship. Singing “Open the Eyes of My Heart” and having Peder Eide cut off the audience telling us only to sing if we really believed it and were aware of what we were singing. Watching Bob Lenz on the jumbotron saying, “God is bigger than your pains” as the beautiful sun set behind him. Singing hymns on Mountain Dew and confessing "Yes, I believe." Finally understanding how worship is truly "tasting and seeing that the Lord is good."
To anyone else, my Lifest may look like a let-down. I only went to 3 events not at the Grandstand. I waited in line for 2 Meet and Greets. Yet to me, it was worth every $2.50 bottle of water to sit outside in a sea of lawn chairs and read 1 Samuel in a new light. I will repeat “We’re family, and I love you,” to more strangers if it also means I can also shout “God is good. All the time.” A misconception that’s been stuck in my head for the last six years has finally disappeared, and praying for no rain for five days will never be the same.
How easily do we lose focus on what Lifest is all about? On what life itself is all about?
Monday, July 13, 2009
This past weekend was God-filled, and it's going to take some time to formulate all of my thoughts into words. As a trilingual writer, I cannot fathom words adequate enough to describe God.
One time, I heard Vikki Beeching talk about how when she first came to the United States, everything we have was new and exciting to her. She told everyone that they had to try Starbucks drive-thru because they were amazing. Now that she's been here while, the novelty wore off and everything that was once baffling has now become mundane. She asked if the same thing has happened with the Gospel. As baby Christians, it was new and exciting. We told everyone about our Savior and His love. We've now grown accustomed to Him, and have stopped telling everyone how great He is. That doesn't make Him less great. In fact, He's still as excited about us as He was on that first day! We should be like Jesus and try to do the same.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I hope you spend your Independence Day remembering...
Remembering that freedom isn't free.
Remembering those who gave up all of their tomorrows so that we can be here today.
Remembering that the Fourth of July isn't about parades or even fireworks but about the those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Remembering the battles fought, the blood shed, and challenges overcome to make this country what it is.
I won't be mad, though, if you spend today remembering...
Remembering all the stupid stuff you and your family friends have done on the 4th in the past.
Remembering the time that ...
Remembering how life has changed over the past twenty years.
Take a minute to remember.
And be sure to remember the Lord who's been with you through it all.