Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Journal Entry

Here's my journal entry from today:

May 16, 2007

As I woke up this morning, I was talking to God and was nearly moved to tears. I was telling him how sorry I was that I couldn’t deserve him. He said that it was better that way. He said if I could deserve him than I wouldn’t need him. It’s a leap and possibly heretical, but I think that our desire to be loved and needed is not just God-given, it’s one of the ways that we reflect his character. Maybe it’s love. Maybe true love creates that desire for the people we love to love us and need us back, but also provides the grace that allows us to love people even when they can’t fulfil that desire.

Brandt did an great job with his Bible Drill, of which I got an advance read. He made an incredible point about the need to temper encouragement. To ask questions before you encourage to find out how you should encourage a person and how much encouragement is needed. I took it personally (because no matter what "it" is, it's all about me) and as a criticism. In reality, I think I am suppose to take from it a challenge and admonition from God. I am gifted to encourage, but that doesn’t mean I do it perfectly. Just like Rob is gifted to play guitar, but he doesn’t play it perfectly. Our gifts still need refinement, practice. I pray that I can encourage well, that I’ll learn to temper and time my encouragement, always with love, truth, and Spirit-leading.

Thank you God and thank you Brandt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"The birds, Clarice..."

This is random, but here goes...

For the past three of four days, as I've walked around the city, I've happened into an inordinate number of dead baby birds. The smallest was just out of its shell and had no feathers. Today's baby bird was older, probably old enough to fly. I don't know if it's the season for mother birds to be pushing their babies out of the nest and I'm seeing the ones who didn't take flight, or what. Although at least two of the birds were clearly not old enough. I don't know what the deal is. Maybe it's a sign, but of what?

Like I said, random.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Day Trippin'

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my friend, Jon, who I always have the hardest time referring to without using his last name. Great guy.

Anyway, we spent about 4 hours hiking around Rock Creek Park. We were on and off the trails. Mostly off. It was an afternoon of men stuff, guy stuff, and kid stuff. We hiked, we ran, we climbed rocks, we skipped rocks, we scaled gullies. We traversed the creek and streams on make-shift bridges forged by God and beaver. We also made bridges of our own. We ran and hid from the Aztec homeless, an aboriginal tribe with a penchant for kidnapping and enslaving unlucky hikers. We dodged huge piles of poop along the trail, which we attributed to the joggers, but more than likely came from horses. We got lost. We spent an hour sitting on the side of Rock Creek Parkway, talking about God, talking about life, making fun of the passing cars and drivers, distracting them with random antics, playing with a baseball we found.

It was an afternoon that I didn't have to be anything: not an adult, or a Christian, or a leader, or a follower, or a student, or a counselor. I could just be. And it was just what the Great Physician ordered.

One of the more memorable events of the day was biblical. Jon jokingly said he was going to give me a Word. So, he threw his Bible into the air and said the Word from the Lord would be whatever it opened to. The Bible landed open with a stick marking a particular passage: 1 Kings 19. When I heard it was Kings, I said, "Crap, it's bad news."

I was wrong, sort of. It turns out that 1 Kings 19 was the text from this week's sermon at our church. It also happened to be the text of another sermon Jon had heard the day before on the radio. The sermon at our church, one of my pastor's best, was on hearing from God. The passage also talked about God's true nature, receiving His provision, fasting, journeying, resting, discipling and mentoring, and moving out of justified fear into action that changes the world.

It's an incredible passage that requires a lot more in-depth reading. It may even spur a blog series, we'll see.

Thanks, Jon.