Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lookin' Good...

Last night Daniel and I had the privilege to help our sister in law lead worship at a Prophetic Prayer Meeting. I was extremely nervous, because I haven't sang in public since before I had Ava. It has been over 4 months and I was worried I "lost it". As the set began the Prophetic Speaker was sitting right in front of me. I was so worried about her realizing I was nervous and not focused on worship. So I began to put on a really good worship "show". Making deep thinking faces, really stretching out my arms... And then it hit me. She is Prophetic, she can see right through me. I felt so dumb...
Once we were home, I began thinking about it more. I was putting on a Spiritual show for a Prophetic woman. It just sounded funny in my head. But then it hit me. God is the ultimate Prophet, the All Knowing Creator, and yet we put on Spiritual shows for him all the time. Why do we think that we are able to pull the hypothetical wool over God's eyes? He can tell when we don't mean what we say or when we are pretending to worship. Looking back on it, I realized I do that more often then I thought I had. On Sunday mornings during worship I am actually thinking about how dirty my house is or how mad I was at someone. Not at how great my God is. Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely times when we don't feel like worshiping but we have to push into God any way. That's not what I'm talking about. I mean when you are so distracted with other stuff you just pretend.
Everyday I need to wake up and think Authentically. Tell God how I really feel. If I am struggling, then let it show. I know it would sure relieve a lot of stress in my life. Having to pretend all the time is exhausting, so I am going to live Authentically with my God.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

It's been quite a while, i know. I'm still learning how to adjust to life as a mother. I am finding that the smallest tasks, once finished, can be so rewarding. For instance, There was a pile of receipts on our Kitchen counter for nearly 3 weeks. Every time I walked by i would think "As soon as I finish what I am doing, I am going to put those receipts away". It never happened, at least not until last night. But once I had finally completed my Oh-so-tiny task, I felt so accomplished! I chalked yesterday up as a definite win!
Now for something more interesting... I have found myself consumed with thoughts of Joseph today. And not Joseph in general, specifically his Coat of Many Colors. For some crazy reason, I truly desired to have a coat like that for myself. I even asked Ava if she wanted one. (Of course she responded with a "YES", at least that was what I thought her babbles sounded like.) As my dreams of a Technicolor Coat continued through the day I also began thinking of whether or not Joseph ever missed his coat. The descriptions I have heard of this coat would lead me to believe that it is just too extraordinary to just forget it. Can you picture Joseph and Pharaoh sitting together and looking out over all of Egypt and Joseph turns to Pharaoh and says " Have I told you about the Coat I used to have?".
Here is where I have arrived. I think the Coat can be looked at as not only a status symbol, but as a metaphor into our lives. Joseph loved the Coat, people envied him, and at the same time that he lost his Coat, his world seemed to crash down around him. He was in a pit, then a slave, then in jail, ultimately arriving in Egypt where he became BFF's with Pharaoh. He was being used by God in such a real way. So, how do I get used by God in a real way? I have to shed my Magnificent Coat of Many Colors. Relinquish what I hold dear and value. Then let God humble me in a crazy real way, so he can then build me back up to achieve more then I could have ever imagened. So give up the Coat already...
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shark Dreams

Over the past few months I have had several dreams with the same recurring theme. That I am in the ocean and there are sharks swimming around beside me, not biting me, but i feel the pressure to get out of the water quickly. I usually pull myself onto a boat, or get to the shore just in time before the shark tries to bite. It's like when you're watching JAWS and you see the kids scrambling to get onto the boat and you see the Shark swimming towards them and they pull there feel out of the water just as the shark jumps up to get him. By the end of those scenes I have my feet pulled up on the couch and I am holding my breathe.... The end of my dreams leave me feeling the same way.
Last night I had another one. I was in the middle of the Ocean and Daniel was incapacitated somehow, so I was pulling him to a boat. I was holding his neck like lifeguards do if someone has a head injury. As i was swimming to the boat there was a shark bumping into Daniel. I kicked it to try and get it away from Him. I pushed Daniel onto the back of the boat and the shark came around and pushed against my legs. Then I pulled myself up into the boat with that "Just in Time" feeling.
While Daniel and I were driving to work this morning I told him about my dream, and how it was the 4th or 5th one I have had. I asked his opinion on why he thought I was having them or what he thought they meant. After talking for a little while Daniel said it reminds him of the the story of Daniel and the Lions Den. In Daniel 5:6 it says, " Then Daniel Said to the king, 'O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.'" Here comes the conundrum... I know that I am not perfect, but i also know that through Jesus I am found blameless in the eyes of God. I know that His blood will cover me. After I chose to follow Him it was up to me to continue on the path of Righteousness where He walks with me.
Now here is my next question, am I already in the Den or is the Den still to come? Is God saying that He is protecting me through this hard time, while I sit in a Den of Lions, or in my case Sharks. Or is he showing me that there are hard times to come and I am going to be in the Lions Den, but not to fear because He is protecting me? So many questions, so little time...
It is exciting to know that God is so heavily moving in my life. He makes me feel wanted. Funny how I can be finding love and comfort in God through a situation that can be very terrifying. I don't care if hard times are to come, because I know that my God loves me. He is showing me that He will provide and take care of me. Who could be more blessed then me?

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jose Luis

This is Jose Luis. I met him a few years ago on a Missions Trip to La Mission Mexico. He changed my life.
I took this picture the first time I saw him. We were walking around the small Village and inviting people to a party we were having, and while walking through a back alley we heard laughter from under a blue tarp. We lifted up the tarp to find 4 young buys playing with a broken down Arcade Game that was kept under there. It looked like it was 20 or so years old, and there was no power running to it. When we lifted up the tarp and saw them, two of the boys bolted and the other two stayed. Jose Luis was one of the boys who stayed. He looked up at me with these beautiful brown eyes, and my heart melted. One of the translators was talking with him and asking what he was doing, he said that they were just playing games because they were bored. Eventually while we were talking everyone in my group surrounded him, at first he seemed to enjoy the attention. Then there was a moment when he looked around and realized he was encircled by people who he did not recognize and who didn't speak his language. He got very nervous and ran away.
A few days later I saw him again at the Party we were throwing. We gave away some soccer balls and he managed to get one. I walked towards him to see if he remembered me, and he did. I asked him if he was having fun, actually it was more like i mouthed it too him and made gestures. He understood and responded, but i could only understand every few words. I spent a few hours with him that day. He wanted to show me around. When he got candy after a pinata broke open, he brought it back to me as if he was trying to make me proud. I was very proud.
I couldn't understand how he could trust me without even knowing me, or without even being able to understand me. We bonded without words, only smiles and actions. It made me think of my relationship with Jesus. There usually isn't a lot of words, but I trust Him. He is there for us, waiting to see the candy we bring back to Him. The funny thing is that the candy isn't important to Him, It's seeing our joy in life that makes Him proud. It's watching us do something selfless that makes Him smile at us the biggest.
I went back to the Church we were staying at later that night and couldn't stop thinking about my day with Jose Luis. I wished so desperately that I could just take him home with me. I wondered if i would ever get to see him again. As all these questions ran through my head I felt a joy unlike any other. I think God was letting me feel just for a minute, a small portion of how He feels when we connect with Him. When we want to show God around and spend the day with Him. I appreciate Him letting me feel that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living In Love

This morning on our way to work Daniel and I drove by a car with a sticker on the back window that read,
"Live in Love". We both agreed that it was a cool sticker. But after the car was long gone, there was still something left lingering in my head... I wondered if the sticker was in reference to 1 John 4:16 "...God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in Him."
Daniel and I memorized a chunk of 1 John 4 when we were dating, and that verse was in there. I have forgotten most of what we memorized, except for that verse. It always felt so sweet to say. Almost like you were getting a taste of what it would be like if you did Live in Love.
I began thinking about that statement, Living in Love, and whether or not I am. I instantly went with a "NO" because I think I was trying to be Humble. Who I was trying to impress I don't know, maybe the narrator in my head. Then I truly thought about it, and I concluded on a "Sometimes". I am not quick to love people. People are frustrating for me. I am someone who truly enjoys being alone. Sitting in busy places is fun, then I can just watch people and the strange things they do. I like to go to the Movies alone, which is sad for Daniel. I realized that when it was convenient for me I was Loving. Sometimes I walk by a homeless person and think, "What's your story? What's your name? I have no money, but i have a granola bar and some time. Can i sit and talk with you?" Other times i think, " Lazy! You don't even look homeless, you must be scamming me. I don't feel bad for you, you can get a job."
I used to make the excuse of being emotional, and as my emotions changed, so did my response to things. But now i see that it was just a poor attempt to justify my lack of Love for people. Jesus probably had days where He was feeling emotional, but I highly doubt that made him walk by a Widow, Prostitute, or Paraplegic, and not Love them and help them.
The hardest part of this Jesus inspired revelation is the self reflection that comes along with it. Realizing the people I have not been loving, and the instances where I was not showing Love. It's easy for me to use my desire to be introverted as a scape goat for not showing Love. Feeling like I am entitled to be quite and not talkative because I like having silence. It's not about me though. It's not about what Samantha wants, it's about how Samantha can make someone feel Loved even if she doesn't want to. It's about trying to grasp the Jesus concept that other people come first, that we are less then others. Selflessness. I know it's something that I need to work on, and I am realizing this isn't going to be one of those realizations you have that you never put into action. Becuase if I am not living in Love, than I am not living in God, and I am terrified of that thought. I don't ever want to see or experience what life would be like not Living in God and His Grace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is Jesus a Rebel

I am in the middle of a 90 day study about Jesus. It started with His birth and now I am looking at His life, and some of the miracles He did. I have been reading things in the gospels about how the Pharisee's would come watch Jesus to see if he would break the law, and He did. He continued to heal people whether or not the Pharisee's thought it was right. So i have been wondering, Is Jesus a Rebel?
So here comes question number one; Is Jesus a Rebel because he blatantly breaks the law of the Sabbath? I believe so. He knows the things the law forbids you to do, but He does them any way. The difference i think is that Jesus wasn't Rebelling just to Rebel, He was Rebelling because He knew He needed to heal people. He needed to show people that He was God and that he did care about them. So is being a rebel WITH a cause ok?
Along with my 90 day study I am meeting with a group of other believers every two weeks to discuss what they have been realizing or thinking. This topic came up the last two times we met. Someone brought up a good point, when you hear the word Jesus, the first thing you think of is not usually the word Rebel. Yet, the young adult movement that is happeining in Chruch's is saying that He is. Are people saying that so they can relate themselves to Jesus, because in fact they are Rebels? Or because they really believe it?
My second question is this... Is Jesus even rebeling if He is the one to wrote the Laws? God gave the Jews specific laws to follow, observing the Sabbath is one of them. So if Jesus decides to break one of his own rules does that make Him a Rebel? Or does that just mean the rules have changed? Now, i am not in any way calling Jesus a hypocrite for making a rule and then breaking it. I am simply looking at the situation for what it's worth. Rules and laws need to change, it's inevitable, it's the natural progression of society. Women voting, abolishing slavery, and giving people the freedom of religion (that's a topic for another day), are all good examples of how Laws have changed for the good. We need that. So was Jesus rebeling to change the laws and minds of people?
Ultimately i don't know the answer to my own questions, but i am glad that I am in Love with a God who is exciting and is a risk taker. So i guess i could say that Rebeling for Jesus is a good thing. Rebel against popular belief that Christians hate Homosexuals, because I know that i don't. Rebel against the idea that if you are a Christian you are not able to have fun and live a fulfilling life, because i do. And rebel against the notion that God is outdated and un relateable, because the God i serve is radical and life changing.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I feel like I should try to not be like an Insect...

Those were my words last night while driving in the car with my Husband. I feel like car headlights have gotten progressively brighter through the years. Every time someone drives by i think they have their High Beams on, and usually i yell at them through my car. I know they can't hear me, but i feel so much better. Needless to say, 9 times out of 10 the High Beams are not on.... But yet i still feel the need to stare into them as they drive by. Every time. Then if someone is in the car with me i mention to them how i feel about peoples headlights. Their response is usually all the same, saying something to the effect of "It's not their High Beams, i think you're just being over dramatic". A day in the life of me. Being dramatic.
I am sure this seems to be of little importance to most people, but i could not resist the urge of writing down my thoughts and sharing them with the world. And by world i mean mother, since she will probably be the only one reading this. So, "Hello Mother".
More meaningful topics are to come, i assure you. Hang in there and i promise things will pick up.
Thanks for checking out my blog. The writings found on these pages are just sincere thoughts, questions, and feelings I have about life, God, and banana slugs.