Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lovin' Like Jesus

Last night I was getting ready for my hometeam/small group, reading through the study material and I was just NOT into it.  I did not feel excited about what I was going to share with the girls in my group.  This had never really happened to me before as a leader of a small group.  Normally, I am excited or at least determined to share the lesson that is planned.  

I read through about half of the lesson, threw it aside and barged into my roommate's room (she co-leads with me) threw my Bible on her bed and said "I CAN'T DO THIS LESSON!"  Now the difference between my roommate and I is that she is very regimented and organized and not.  I think at first she was just sort of guessing that I was having a hard time sitting down and focusing so I had to explain to her that I really felt a push to do something else for the lesson (which was to happen in about 2 hours).  

We sat and brainstormed for awhile.  I kept sharing that I wanted to leave our apartment and go do something fun that would cause our group to get to know each other a lot better.  So I called my pastor and asked him if he thought it was okay to be spontaneous and forget the lesson and get everyone out to do something different. 

His words..."Yes, if that's how you feel then you need to get everyone the heck out of your apartment and go do something else."

My pastor!? Telling me NOT to present my Bible study?  

Yes, and he was right on.  Go with your gut....step out of the box.
Our group time ended up being AMAZING.  We went to a diner, ate some great food, and asked questions that helped us to get to know each other.

"What is something you have done in your life that you are extremely proud of"
"What animal would you want to be and why"

A mixture of serious and silly.  Some of us really opened up...I mean REALLY opened up.  

Isn't that what a small group is all about?  

Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  --1 John 3:18

How do you love someone more effectively?  You need to get to know that person.  It's easy to present some Bible verses and a nice study to a group of people, but how do you really reach their hearts?  Jesus did not just go around shouting out directions and rules.  Look in the Bible.  He got to know people.  He sat with them.  He loved them.

If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal 1 Cor 13:1

I believe God prompted last night's spontaneity.  I am glad that I listened because the results were truly amazing.  I was reminded how important it is to LOVE people first before trying to teach them anything.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Slaying the Dragon

So there is this princess right...and she's stuck up in some dumb tower that is guarded by a big ferocious dragon.  This dragon is forcing the princess to stay locked up in her tower.... all alone.  This goes on for  years and years, with no sign of hope.  Finally, a handsome prince shows up to save the day....but when get gets a look at that dragon's teeth he drops his sword and sprints in the other direction.  He doesn't think he has what it takes to defeat it.  This continues to happen with a number of different princes.  Maybe they can't handle a lengthy battle, they change their mind and want a different princess, or maybe they just decide they aren't ready to fight this dragon.  Regardless of the circumstance, the princess is getting pretty impatient waiting for someone to come and slay this dragon, get her out of the tower, and ride her off into the sunset on a gallant white steed.  So the next prince comes along, sword drawn and colors blazing.  The princess decides that she is NOT letting this one get away and she comes down out of that tower, takes the sword from prince, slays the dragon herself, and throws herself at the feet of the prince.  

Do they live happily ever after?


Why not?

Because the prince did not have to fight to win her heart.  The princess did all of the work.  The very thing that prince was designed to do (kill the dragon, save the princess) was taken from him.  Now he doesn't want this princess. He wants to go out and find a princess that will let him slay her dragon.  


I listened to some speakers talk about this very thing two weeks ago. are the princess. are the prince.  And the dragon...represents the battle that a man should go through to win a woman's heart.  Some of you may be thinking, "Okay we are no longer living in the 1950's and these ideas are old school.  Women are equal to men, they should be able to slay this dragon, they should be able to pursue a guy."

Hear me out....

Two really awesome books that I've read on this subject are "Captivating" and "Wild at Heart" by Jon and Stasi Eldridge.  The books talk about the fact that we were both (men and women) designed and created very differently from each other.  Read this excerpt from "Captivating, Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul"

One of my favorite games growing up was "kidnapped and rescued"  I know many little girls who played this-- or wished they had.  To be the beauty, abducted by the bad guys, fought for and rescued by a hero-- some version of this had a place in all our dreams.  Like Sleeping Beauty, like Cinderella, like Maid Marian, or like Cora in the Last of the Mohicans, I wanted to be the heroine and have my hero come for me.  Why am I embarrassed to tell you this?  I simply loved feeling wanted and fought for.  This desire is set deep in the heart of every little girl-- and every woman.  Yet most of us are ashamed of it.  We downplay it.  We pretend that it is less than it is.  We are women of the twenty-first century after all-- strong, independent, and capable, thank you very much.  Uh-huh. . .and who is buying all those romance novels?"

Okay stay with me...and now read this except from "Wild at Heart, Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul" 

What would Robin Hood or King Arthur be without the woman they love?  Lonely men fighting lonely battles.  Indiana Jones and James Bond just wouldn't be the same without a beauty at their side, and inevitably they must fight for her.  You see, it's not just that a man needs a battle to fight; he needs someone to fight for.  Remember Nehemiah's words to the few brave souls defending a wall-less Jerusalem?  "Don't be afraid. . . fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."  The battle itself is never enough; a man yearns for romance.  It's not enough to be a hero; it's that he is a hero to someone in particular, to the woman he loves.  Adam was given the wind and the sea, the horse and the hawk, but as God himself said, things were just not right until there was Eve.  Yes, there is something passionate in the heart of every man.

We are different for a reason.  God created Adam and Eve at different times and in different ways.  He made them to compliment each other, not to be an exact replica of the other. Men and women each bring something so unique to a relationship.  If you were to search deep into your heart of hearts I believe that you would agree with me.  I believe that every woman wants to be saved and that every man wants to save her.  

In this season of my life it's nice to be reminded of these things.  It's nice to remember that God has a really big adventure planned for my life that includes this very "rescue scene"  

Ladies...don't sell yourself short.  Wait for the guy that is going to pursue you.  You are a princess, you deserve to be pursued

Guys...take the lead in pursuing her.  God will give you the tools you need to fight for your princess's heart

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My College Education

This is what happens when you put myself and two of my roomates in a room together with Photobooth when we should be doing homework.....can anyone say "senioritis"

Christians are this if you need a laugh

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Falling for Fall

What is your favorite season?

My favorite season...beyond all doubt....hands FALL

Why do I love fall? 

I love fall for so many reasons...
  • the fact that it's cool outside (no more of this being hot business, you know like what we have to deal with in August)
  • back to school...yep I'm one of those nerds who loves school
  • changing leaves...beautiful
  • apple season
  • hayrides (non-haunted are preferred)
  • football games (not so much to watch the game, but to talk to friends and drink hot chocolate)
And one of the most WONDERFUL things about fall are....


Those little orange things bring me great joy.  Why, do you ask?  (I'm not sure why you would have to, but for those of you who just don't get it...)

  • Pumpkins can be made into jack-o-lanterns.  You get to use a large knife to cut a face into YOUR OWN pumpkin and who doesn't love pulling all the guts out!
  • Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and eaten (delish)
  • You can go to a field and PICK your own pumpkin, which makes for great fun
  • They look quite lovely sitting around your house for decoration
  • They can be made into...pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, etc. etc.  
And it is because of all the above, ladies and gents, that I am falling for Fall.


I went to visit some of my friends at their house the other day for an open prayer time.  They invited anyone and everyone to come.  Someone had made the comment to them, "Yo man, thanks for letting us come to your house." These guys always make it a point to share with everyone that their house is "always open." 

Their reply to this comment was, "Dude, this isn't our house.  It's God's.  He blessed us with it, so we are just sharing it with everyone else."

What an awesome attitude.  Their gratitude towards God's provision and willingness to share it with others totally inspired me.  

It's so true!  Everything I have has been literally given to me by God himself.  Sometimes I forget this and start acting selfish.  Not only with my possessions but with my time and energy. 

There are tons of verses about this in the Bible.  A few I looked up were: 
Matthew 6:31-32 (God always provides)
1 Peter 4:9-10 (offer hospitality, share the gifts God has given you)
Acts 20:30 (more blessed to give than receive)
Romans 12:13 (hospitality)

and my most favorite....
Matthew 6:26 

I'm sure there are many more that get the point across.  

Anyway, thanks to these guys and the attitude that Christ has shaped in their hearts, I am inspired to do something to give of the resources that God has blessed me with. It's nice to be reminded that I don't have to hold on to things so tightly for fear that I might be left with nothing, but that God will always provide what I need.