Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Rescuer

"The story was about his friend who is a Navy SEAL. He told it like it was true, so I guess it was true, although it could have been a lie.

The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His friend's team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room, the folksinger said, was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALs entered the room, they heard the gasps of the hostages. They stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them they were Americans. The SEALs asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn't. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn't believe their rescuers were really Americans. 

The SEALs stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn't possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALs, the folksinger's friend, got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show them he was one of them. None of the prison guards would have done this. He stayed there for a little while until some of the hostages started to look at him, finally meeting his eyes. The Navy SEAL whispered that they were Americans and were there to rescue them. Will you follow us? he said. The hero stood to his feet and one of the hostages did the same, then another, until all of them were willing to go. The story end with all the hostages safe on an American aircraft carrier.

I never liked it when the preachers said we had to follow Jesus. Sometimes they would make Him sound angry. But I liked the story the folksinger told. I liked the idea of Jesus becoming man, so that we would be able to trust Him, and I like that He healed people and loved them and cared deeply about how people were feeling.

When I understood that the decision to follow Jesus was very much like the decision the hostages had to make to follow their rescuer, I knew then that I needed to decide whether or not I would follow Him."

-Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Table

Genius, yet so simple: a side table made out of books.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I love the smell of...

I love the smell of...

  • chocolate chip cookies baking
  • Sanrio's plastic wallets
  • s'mores Pop Tarts toasting
  • the clay on the softball field
  • my worn in softball glove
  • cotton candy being spun
  • butter, sugar and flour wafting in your nostrils as you enter a bakery
  • plumeria flowers on a warm Hawaiian night
  • Dr. Pepper Lipsmaker chap-stick
  • the apple-cinnamon Glade Plug-in  every elementary school teacher uses
  • the ocean when I first pull off the freeway at Sea World Drive in San Diego
  • firework smoke on Fourth of July 
  • chimney smoke on the first cold night of winter
  • Douglas Fir Christmas trees
  • waffle cones being made
  • freshly ground coffee
  • sweet spring roses

God you are good. Thank you for the sense of smell.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lets Get Personal: A Look Into My Journal

And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
-Jeremiah 30:22

In this verse I find comfort, safety, wholeness, destiny, peace, belonging; all from the uncomplicated truth that I have a God, and I belong to Him, that we have a God, and that we belong to Him. What a merciful God to take ownership of such a wayward people, to cleanse them, draw them close and brand them with His seal. What satisfaction I find in this dependency. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Early For Christmas?

Yes! Not till after Thanksgiving please! However, I think it is never to early to start getting your Christmas cards together because we all know they take forever to get out! I am loving the designs from Minted, they offer cute and creative cards sans the corny turtle doves and snowflakes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Cliff, The Ocean And Ballerina Skirt

What I wouldn't give to be her, lying at the edge of the ocean on a grassy cliff, wearing a ballerina-esque skirt. My imagination and thoughts would be so free!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Plates Of The Finest Golden Wood

Love these plates from West Elm! They could be possible Christmas wish list items.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Service Creates Community

This is a picture of the mosaic that my middle school Service Learning Club members and I did a couple years ago. Right now, I am listening to a series of talks about living a life of ministry in the city, the message of which reminded me of this mosaic.

So I go back to my photo album, and suddenly the message seems more revolutionary than trite. Serving the community out of the love of Christ IS what creates community. Beyond all social and communal norms, it must be sought. And when community is established, life change and rebirth is given a medium to spread like wild fire. Turns out my middles school students were a bunch of revolutionaries.

Here is the prayer we included on the mosaic. I think it speaks for itself.

The Prayer for the Farm Workers Struggle
-Cesar Chavez

Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
So I will know my people's plight.

Free me to pray for others;
For you are present in every person.
Help me take responsibility for my own life;
So that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve others;
For in service there is true life.
Give me honesty and patience;
So that the Spirit will be alive among us.
Let the Spirit flourish and grow;
So that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice;
For they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More From The Dawn Treader

"My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise..."

- C.S. Lewis, The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

-Philippians  3:7-14
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Memorable Movie Scene

It's been awhile since I have done a Memorable Movie scene, but today definitely warrants ones because today is the first day in LA it actually feels like fall. So happy Monday! I hope the sounds of the Cranberries fill your head as you walk down gloom filled golden streets.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Please Remain Seated With Your Suitcase Strap Buckled @ All Times


"Well, anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly towards me... I was terribly afraid of it. You may think that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion out easily enough. But it wasn't that kind of fear... And I shut my eyes tight. But that wasn't any good because it told me to follow it...

So we at last came to the top of the mountain... and on the top of this mountain was a garden... In the middles of it there was a well...

The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. But the lion told me I must undress first...

So I stared scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place... And then I scratched a little deeper and... my whole skin started peeling off beautifully... I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty... So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.

But just as I was going to put my foot into the water I looked down and saw that it was all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as it had been before... So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully...

Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever may skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg.

Then the lion said... You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws... but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off...

Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off... and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobby looking than the other had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch... Then he caught hold of me- I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on- and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again."
-The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader", C.S. Lewis 

We cannot "undress" ourselves nor can we "bathe" ourselves, this is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not come without a moment of sharp pain, but without the pain it cannot be done, for our whole self must be laid down and that is painful. And when the moment of our painful self-death has passed the constant dull pain of sin and slow destruction will be gone and will not linger, for we will be reborn eternally new of our Lord Jesus Christ. But note, like the dragon we must "lay down flat on our backs" and allow Christ to "undress" us, bathe us and bring us forth again.