Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Happy Year!

It's mine and Matt's first anniversary, and I have been so excited for the last few weeks looking forward to it!

I am happy to honestly say it has been a great year - although there were times I wasn't sure it would be possible (maybe one day I will blog about how nuts The Pill made me and how happy I am to be off it, as well as how grateful I am for a husband who continued to love me through ridiculous mood swings and relentless, senseless tears).

Of course, there are still ups and downs, and we both have a lot to learn and lots of growing to do, but in general... life is so darn good together!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oneness with God

A lot of Christians like to talk about following Jesus, which I've been thinking about a lot since I got an email from a wonderful sister in Christ about intimacy with God. She wrote:

I am covered in the blood - the inseparable life of Christ. I don't need to be a follower now his life is complete in me. Nothing can separate us from his life not in action, thought or deed. His life is living and breathing and very exciting to live in that relationship place.

I find so much strength and comfort knowing that nothing can separate me from him or his life.

I've been thinking about this the last few days - and I agree there are times when our mentality as Christians should be as Christ-followers, but I like the way Jesus takes out a step by sending the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us straight from the heart, not only from our minds solving the answer to WWJD. It is so good in those times when I can get out of my own way to trust God and allow him to use me, and those are the times when I really realize how useless we are apart from him.

I want it more!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Gerasenes

The sermon I heard on Sunday was about the demon-possessed man Jesus set free in Luke 8:26-39. This was the weirdest thing that struck me:

When Jesus arrived, "He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs... [The demon that possessed him] had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert...many demons had entered him."

Nuts, right? This guy is scary, and his situation is scary. He is not someone I would want as a neighbour, even if he did keep to the tombs. This is not a man I would want to have to explain to my children.

How did the Gerasenes feel? "The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. "

I don't know what is scary about this. I'm trying to think if maybe there is anything in my life that (insanely) I am more scared of Jesus making right than just living with it.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Last month, I read Desire by John Eldridge. His message is that desire is the key to our hearts, and too many Christians are smothering their desires in efforts to be "godlier." He says that by killing our desires, our hearts are dying also, and as a result we are left as dull and sterile shadows of who God would have us be. Eldridge says that Christians must not allow themselves to be satisfied in this world, because we were designed for Paradise.

Sometimes I feel like I could swell up and explode with how full life can be - the moments of contentment, abundance, and delight. But I also swing (usually quickly) to the other extreme of cynicism and fatigue, seemingly unable to embrace life to the full because... I don't know why. It feels like I just shut down.

The last two weeks have had so many spiritual ups and downs, but in a very different way than I've experienced before - usually I rebound between intimacy with God and independence or indifference, but these ups and downs have been all wrapped up in closeness with God. The ups have been conversations and prayers God has used to convict and heal and challenge me; lows have been letting myself hurt and loving people who are hurt, and mourning. Sometimes it is so good to just break down in front of God, but it can also be scary because there aren't guarantees that God will put everything back together. Sometimes there are still jagged edges and frailty, and God doesn't pat me on the head and tell me it's okay, because it just isn't. But I'm comforted that God doesn't allow his dissatisfaction to come in the way of his love, and neither should we.

I've had this song stuck in my head lately... You Never Let Go - Matt Redman

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being Broken

I stayed home from church last week - to rest. Is that ironic? I listened to a sermon online, prayed when I was moved and convicted, sat quietly, and tidied up around the house when I was done.

I'm afraid there is something about church that inhibits rather than fosters spiritual intimacy with God and others. We bring our "best" selves - put together, not too flashy - and I'm worried that our best selves are not prepared to be broken. What if we came to church ready for God to make us cry? For him to pull the rug out from under us with the reminder that we sin, and it is offensive to him. Or for him to allow us glimpses of glory that leave us speechless and aching with wonder.

What if "how was your week?" could have answers other than "good thanks"? (I know this is true at some churches, and with some people... but I think that generally people ask to be polite, not because they're ready for a messy answer)

What if church was a place where instead of learning to slap Christian labels on our lives, we could be moved by the Holy Spirit to reflect Jesus more and more, regardless of the music playing in the background, whether we are "hanging out" or "having fellowship," even if the movie we're watching or game we're playing doesn't have direct ties to Scripture?

God is reminding me of my brokenness, and it is... great. So I wiiiish that could be happening more in our churches because it brings such deep change and growth and intimacy with God and awareness of grace.

Thanks for your prayers :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Falling Behind

I have enjoyed so much of this summer as a break from classes, time for friends and settling into the apartment and neighbourhood and do things I want to do... but the last couple days (I want to say weeks, but that is probably an exaggeration) have been so long and full and draining that I am wearing out. I discovered a journal that I kept in 2007 this morning and read it over on the subway to work, so I might cheat and blog an entry or two from there to try and be consistent... I have other ideas in the works that I'd like to write, but I just don't have the juice in me to do it at this point.

It appears that our pest control problems are under control, so hopefully this time that we set up our kitchen (and other rooms) it stays that way and we can truly settle in. There is a railing on our balcony, but our door is still barred shut so we can't go out on it.

Please pray for us :) Matt is co-ordinating VBS next week, so he doesn't really have any spare minutes either - I am hoping that once VBS is through we can enjoy the last two weeks before classes start (I'm also hoping for an EASY semester with only one course - we'll see!)