"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WARNING: A very long blah-blah-blog post...

Where I'm blogging...

Don't laugh at me for taking this picture!  I do not personally own a laptop, so the fact that I am sitting outside on my porch in the sun blogging is a big deal to me!  {Two of my favorite things being done simultaneously!}  My parents went away for a few days and left their laptop for Emma to use for a project.  Project is done, and I have confiscated the laptop for my own enjoyment.

Dear Mom,
I may have lost your laptop.  Please forgive me if I cannot find it to return to you.  Please do not stop by my house to look for it.  There is NO WAY, NO HOW that you will find it.  It is lost for good.  Do not look on the porch for it either, you will just be wasting your time.

Anyway...there really was a point to my blogging this morning.  I almost lost sight of it for a minute in my momentary outdoor-blogging-bliss.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm reading a book called "Crazy Love".  I'm still working my way through it, mostly because I have to stop and mull it over for a while before moving on.  I read some things this morning that are just raking over me.  I can't shake them, but I think it will take a while for them to work their way deeply in me and settle out in understanding. 

"Do you want to SEE God more than you desire security?"

Do I? And if my answer is "yes", am I just saying it because I really mean it, or because it's the right answer to give?  Do I REALLY desire Him more than security?  In my daily pursuit of a job, am I desiring Him more than a paycheck?  Or does the paycheck bring security....and then I can feel free to See Him?  

Our feet are here on earth, and bills are part of the deal....so it's only right that I pursue a way to pay mine.  But what is the heart of my desire?  How should this play out in my life? 

"Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy.  Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers."

I'm pretty sure my life doesn't make sense to anybody {sometimes including myself}....but is it because I live by radical faith?  It should be.  Noah spent 120 years building a boat so big and unconventional in a time when no one had a clue what rain was...much less world-wide flooding!  Talk about radical!  Could I do that?  WOULD I?

"How would my life change if I actually thought of each person I came into contact with as Christ - the person driving painfully slow in front of me, the checker at the grocery store who seems more interested in chatting than ringing up my items, the member of my family with whom I can't seem to have a conversation and not get annoyed??"

That paragraph in itself annoys me.  Because sometimes people are just plain annoying....and I feel like I have the right to point that out.  But, I don't.  Because right living requires me to see every face as the face of God Himself.  Shoot.

{Hold that thought while I take off my sweater so I don't get a crew-neck tan...}

The next part of the chapter really has me stumped as to how this falls down in my own life. 

"He expects us to treat the poor and the desperate as if they were Christ Himself"

Sometimes I think I am the poor and desperate.  But, in light of the rest of the world I live in luxury and abundance.  And, I know it.  How dare I ever have a thought of "need".  What I need to do is man-up and stop thinking I deserve better. 

I spent two weeks in Africa last summer.  I know need, I've seen it on the faces of beautiful, beautiful people.  Some of them had no clue that they were in need....because they were busy giving to others.  They give out of their abundance to those who have less.  From my perspective none of them had much of anything....but what they did have in abundance was contentment.  They were content to use what they needed and share the rest. 

So, here's my struggle today. 

What does this look like in my life?  How do I live with what I need and bless others with the overflow?  {Or maybe more accurately, how do I recognize that I even HAVE overflow?} 

The truth of the matter is that I'm about to move my family into a house that is twice the size that I need, more than I could have afforded to actually buy outright, and contains more rooms than I actually have furniture to fill.  {Which only means that I will have to buy furniture to fill up those spaces, because, heaven forbid they should remain empty.}  Granted, it's the pursuit of a thrify bargain that will actually fill those rooms eventually, but the point is...I have more than enough already. 

"As we begin to practice regular giving {to others}, we see how ludicrous it is to hold on to the abundance God has given us and merely repeat the words thank you."

"The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...
and nearly unheard of."

God is challenging me to trust Him more.  To care about what others need out of my abundance instead of an empty room or two. To live with less, and to be content. 

I haven't decided if I'm going to finish reading this book...It is really undoing me.  Apparently I have alot of issues that need a good Spring cleaning. 

I was thinking this morning that I was going to look into purchasing the next book written by Francis Chan called, "Forgotten GOD". 

But when I looked up some info about it, this line
popped out at me:

"...Churches have become filled with self-focused consumers instead of Spirit-filled believers...."

Oh, wow...I can't take it!  I always figure that conviction that hurts bad feels good when it's done its work. So, I guess I'll finish Crazy Love and head to the store for Forgotten God when I'm done.  I'm already in neck deep.

What started out to be a few minutes on the porch has taken about an hour to complete...what with my need to change tanning positions and all.  The rest of my day will be spent between mowing two lawns and continuing my tanning with irritating sneaker and long short tan lines. 
Thankfully I have alot to think about...


Jeane` said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that 'blah blah long' blog post! And am happy for your moments of reflection out on the sunny porch. Nice. Very nice.

Your thoughts mirror many of mine. love it.


jabi said...

Dear Terri :)
Thank you sooo much for this looooong post. It's contents touched me so much.. I wish I could read that book. Your thoughts are so similar to mine. And it makes your post even more touchable. Once more - THANK YOU!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Wow! Those are challenging thoughts aren't they?

Especially about security...who or what are we really trusting in? sigh...I know the answer to that one.

Thanks for sharing!

lindsey said...

I have enjoyed reading tis post.I am glad you have sold your house (from your last post) and I think I may buy Crazy Love to read. I liked your bit about Africa, we are off to South Africa in July/Aug, for the second time to stay with ur daugher and her family http://literallyalifeline.blogspot.com/ We will see need too, we will also see the work that God is doing amongst these very needy people and be amazed at His Love and faithfulness! I pray that you will be blessed in your new home!

Chuck Ransford said...

I really enjoyed this post too! I really loved this book. I read it while the guys were in Israel. It was very challenging, and made me REALLY think. I will definitely have to read "Forgotten God." Keep posting!!

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