Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Pursuit of God

Some crazy good quotes from my favorite chapter of The Pursuit of God...

The chapter is entitled Removing the Veil

Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We may as well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. we must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment. We must prepare ourselves for an ordeal of suffering in some measure like that through which our Savior passed when He suffered under Pontius Pilate.

God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and to trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life and then reckon it crucified.

Insist that the work be done in very truth and it will be done. The cross is rough and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when the work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God.

- A.W. Tozer

Man! He encourages me so much and I would love to spend the next few hours processing my thoughts on all this (yes, it would take me that long...I'm a very slow writer ;) but alas, these dishes are not going to do themselves.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clearing My Blogger Brain

So much has been going on and I keep taking pictures with the intention of blogging and sharing all the details and my crazy thoughts and whatnot, but, it just hasn't happened. BUT!...the subjects are still hovering over the blogging section of my I just have to get it out. I'm afraid we will just have to settle for bullet points.

- Christ Community started Sunday evening worship gatherings three weeks ago. Here's where we meet:

- At the zoo:
Nesting. ;)

- In the car. We've been in the car a lot. Poor Baby.
- Coloring the windows! These window markers are brilliant! You should go get some...whether you have kids or not!

Not sure if you can see it or not, but that is a drawing of me. Can you see my shoulders? :)

I just liked this picture.

- We signed a lease on an apartment in The Woodlands/Magnolia area. Yup...we're moving into an apartment. I know...if you need to breathe into a paper bag, don't feel bad. I do too, sometimes.

- Baby Showering:
Sweet Jess. Beautiful mom-to-be.

Jess and Hostesses. I stinkin' love these women SO much! I'm considering buying a big bin and packing them away to take with me to Magnolia. Don't worry...I'll put some snacks in there.

- Finished The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Oh my word! Excellent! I don't know how I made it so long without reading his work. If you haven't read must! brain is clear. That feels better.

Coming Soon:
- My baby brother's college graduation
- My 30th birthday (again with the paper bag)
- A few more baby showers
- A trip to Denver for our Acts29 assessment. Woo Hoo!
- June 15th...The Move.

(Better keep that paper bag handy. ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Love Note

To my family at Christ Church Brenham,

First of all, let me start by saying, thank you for last week, for blessing us, for sending us, for commissioning us onward and outward to continue the work of Christ. Thank you for your prayers of protection and prayers for wisdom and prayers for faithfulness. It was such a bitter sweet day for I am excited for the work ahead of us, but having such tender affections for you, I am sad to think of a Sunday without you. But, I can't think about that just yet. Thankfully, there are still services to be shared!

I also want to say that the past three years have been some of the most precious of my life. Our first days here, when things were still in boxes and I was still a little light-headed from all the fresh air, I remember doubting the prudence of our decision. I remember thinking how strange it was to spend so much time around the dinner table with the same people night after night. But soon, very soon, after a few long evenings spent together, outside and over dinner, strangers became friends, and not long after that, friends became family. What lessons I learned in those first months! I learned that "doing life" with people takes time and it takes home-cooked meals (with dessert!) and it takes clearing your schedule a bit to make room for guests and it takes a willingness to let your house get a little messy. It does take a lot, I suppose, but it gives so much more than it takes. I learned that because of you.

I also remember learning that when people are unified and on mission together, attack will come, both personally and corporately. And it did, didn't it?! But, I remember praising God (and I still praise Him for this) that we endured together. We carried each others burdens. We encouraged one another. We grew stronger in faith and in friendship and were all the more resolved to carry on with Kingdom work. I am thankful that I learned that with you.

And just so you know...
I learned how have people in my house all the time.
I learned how to cook...sort of. ;)
I learned how to play poker...sort of. ;)
I learned that sometimes the most important conversations happen at 2am on my couch.
I learned how to have a picnic.
I learned that having cable and DVR is useful for making friends.
I learned that I love having little sisters. And that I love going to coffee with them each week.
I learned that gardening hoes are useful for killing snakes.
I learned that the best is not always the best. Sometimes simplicity is best.
I learned so many wonderful things...because of you and the Jesus in you.

To my family at Christ Church...I love you. I thank you for loving my family so well. I thank our Father that I am different than when I got here. And I thank Him for the privilege of serving alongside you.

All my love,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Snapshots

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
Here's a few pictures from our weekend...

The Easter tree. (So, I'm a one-trick pony...what are ya gonna do? ;) I had Braelyn decorate 8 eggs and then I painted an image from the Passion story on 8 eggs and wrote a related Scripture on the back. We talked about one egg each night from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday.

Dying Easter eggs.

Casey is very proud of his rubber-band technique.

Easter Sunday:

The table...with China. ;) (And the most delicious lemonade-tea. I'll post the recipe.)

Egg Hunt

Me and my little brother. He's so handsome! (Missed you Kelley!)

An attempt at a family picture...I think B was getting tired by this point.

I'm not gonna lie...I had to work pretty much all day on Saturday to get get things ready...but it was worth it. And since I was wanting to make much of Jesus and not much of myself (you know how that ugliness can sneak in when we are planning parties, ladies?) it was all joy and no stress. I am so thankful for that beautiful day, our wonderful family and most of all...that He is risen!

(Oh, and thanks, honey! Couldn't have done it without you! Literally! Love you!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Fall and Rise of My "To-Do"

It's 8:00 on Friday night...Good Friday night actually. Casey is out speaking and Braelyn is in bed. What's a girl to do with a quiet Good Friday evening all to herself? Here's my drop a little love on the blog, read my Bible (suppose I should have done that first...sinner!), and then GET TO WORK...and there's LOTS to do!

Before I get into the "To-Do," allow me review the last couple of days...

Yesterday...Braelyn's school Easter party...

Today...Round Top. My one and only trip this season. And guess what I bought?...Nothin'! Can you believe it?! I know...I can't either. Anyways, great time with my girls. (That's Beth {garage apartment buddy}, Brandi with H.W., and Jess in the pic. Sarah was also there but was changing Betsy's diaper during the photo opp.)Okay, so about "getting to work"...
Yesterday morning, we had zero Easter plans. By yesterday afternoon, both Casey's family and my family decided to join us for church and Easter lunch at our house. I was delighted to hear this news, but I would be lying if I said the teensiest bit of anxiety didn't begin to creep up, seeing as I had not been preparing whatsoever for this happy occasion.

Well, considering all that has been going on...planning class Easter parties, supporting friends in their antique purchasing endeavors (which is no trifling matter, by the way) and so many other very important things that we just can't get into right now...with all that...I very practically planned to keep things simple...a No-Frills Easter as it were. Right?...Less is more. No need to work up a sweat just 'cause it's Easter. After all, as soon as the festivities are over, we have to clean up and pack up to go to the Magnolia. With so much to do, we just cannot go losing our heads over China and floral arrangements and four-course meals.

Perfect! Bring on the paper plates!

Well, after coming to these sensible conclusions and finding my "to-do" list quite shrunken and manageable, I awarded myself a few luxurious moments to browse my favorite blogs. I noticed I was several posts behind on Femina, so I thought I'd see what the lovely Mrs. Nancy Wilson had to say. Uh...MISTAKE! I's not a mistake if you want to be encouraged to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior with joy and with gusto and with China and floral arrangements and 4 course meals. But if you were planning on paper is a colossal mistake.


What was I thinking?

What in the world is worth celebrating if not the Risen King? If I don't bust out the China for the fact that I was once a wretched enemy of God, but now, because of the perfect work of Christ am invited to sit at God's table as His very child, FOREVER!...what in the world DO I bust it out for?!

"It is FINISHED!"...Bring out the silver!
"The curtain is torn!...Bring out the wine!
The tomb is EMPTY!!!!!...Let us feast and take pictures and decorate and hunt for eggs and enjoy this blessed day!

Paper plates. I should be ashamed of myself.
Well, as a matter of fact I AM quite ashamed of myself. And it's not that I should go all out or I have to go all out...but I want to go all out! I get to go all out!...for a great and mighty victory was won that day. And I know the Champion! I know Him! Yes, if there was ever a reason to celebrate and go all out...this is it. And next year, and the next year, and the year after that.

So...I have some serious work to do, not to mention said Bible reading. I'd better get to it.

Mrs. Wilson...thanks for setting me straight, yet again.

* If you happen to be using paper plates...there is no judgment. I am not condemning paper plates in themselves, I was just using paper plates as a metaphor for my lazy, selfish attitude. :)