Sunday, September 26, 2010

When I Became A Christian

My bible class teacher shared this poem in class today. It's a little long but worth the read.

When I Became a Christian, by Adrian Plass

When I became a Christian I said, Lord, now fill me in,
Tell me what I’ll suffer in this world of shame and sin.
He said, Your body may be killed, and left to rot and stink,
Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! – I think.
I think Amen, Amen I think, I think I say Amen,
I’m not completely sure, can you just run through that again?
You say my body may be killed and left to rot and stink,
Well, yes, that sounds teriffic, Lord, I say Amen – I think.

But , Lord, there must be other ways to follow you, I said,
I really would prefer to end up dying in my bed.
Well, yes, he said, you could put up with sneers and scorn and spit,
Do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! – a bit.
A bit Amen, Amen a bit, a bit I say Amen,
I’m not completely sure, can you just run through that again?
You say I could put up with sneers and also scorn and spit,
Well, yes, I’ve made my mind up, and I say Amen! – a bit.

Well I sat back and thought a while, then tried a different ploy,
Now, Lord, I said, the Good Book says that Christians live in joy.
That’s true, he said, you need the joy to bear the pain and sorrow,
So do you still want to follow me? I said, Amen! – tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Lord, I’ll say it then, that’s when I’ll say Amen,
I need to get it clear, can I just run through that again?
You said I will need the joy, to bear the pain and sorrow,
Well, yes, I think I’ve got it straight, I’ll say, Amen – tomorrow.

He said, Look, I’m not asking you to spend an hour with me,
A quick salvation sandwich and a cup of sanctity,
The cost is you, not half of you, but every single bit.
Now tell me, will you follow me? I said, Amen! – I quit.
I’m very sorry, Lord, I said, I’d like to follow you,
But I don’t think religion is a manly thing to do.
He said, Forget religion then, and think about my Son,
And tell me if you’re man enough to do what he has done.

Are you man enough to see the need, and man enough to go,
Man enough to care for those whom no one wants to know,
Man enough to say the thing that people hate to hear,
To battle through Gethsemane in lonliness and fear.
And listen! Are you man enough to stand it at the end,
The moment of betrayal by the kisses of a friend,
Are you man enough to hold your tongue, and man enough to cry,
When the nails break your body – are you man enough to die?
Man enough to take the pain, and wear it like a crown,
Man enough to love the world and turn it upside down,
Are you man enough to follow me, I ask you once again.
I said, Oh Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said Amen.
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen,
I said, Oh Lord, I’m frightened, but I also said, Amen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Between Retreats

Last weekend, we had our fall class retreat. We went to a ranch house about 5 miles from the trailer that we lived in when I was pre-school aged. Such a good and needed time! We spent the weekend in the book of Lamentations learning about suffering and what to do with it. It was hard but beautiful. God provided an object lesson the week leading up to it so it was timely as well.
Later this week, I am headed to the great state of Colorado for a women's retreat in the mountains. I cannot begin to share the level of anticipation and excitement that is growing within me! The content, the setting, and meeting with my God. I almost feel like I need to pinch myself to make sure it is real!

So as I sit between retreats, I am looking at where I am. I told Erin tonight that I feel like a punching bag right now. Attach after attach, it isn't slowing down. First the object lesson. Now are the constant struggles that ebb and flow with life in general. Right now, they are all coming in at full force. On one hand, it is difficult. On the other, I feel really excited about it. We are not attacked until Satan feels threatened. So I look forward to a second retreat - full of work and full of grace.

Until then, enjoy some pictures from last weekend:

Kim and me relaxing - our traditional retreat picture:

I learned chess on the back patio:

Our homework/quiet times were spent on the river just behind the house (the "splashes" on the water is the rain coming in):

Part of our group from the weekend:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Warrior Princesses

In a few weeks I am headed to an encampment just outside of Buena Vista, Colorado for the Captivating Event by Randsomed Heart Ministries. Captivating is the book that John and Staci Eldredge wrote about the importance of our female hearts to God. In it, they present that at the very core of who we are, women have three longings: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil our beauty. It is about our relationship with God and how He so perfectly molded our hearts in His perfect way. It is about how we can know God through our perfect design and how we can be known by Him. I can identify with all of these but right now one is screaming at me. And I don't know what it means.

Lately I have had a restlessness growing in me. I've had the desire for something new - an adventure, if you will. I'm not sure why. Honestly, the thought of adding anything new to my already overflowing plate is daunting. But I'm feeling it. The need for something greater. Something bigger. Something that will push me as a person. Something....... I'm feeling that itch of "There's got to be more to life than this." Don't get me wrong, I love my life. I spend my days with six year olds who have already given me more stories to tell in three weeks than I got all of last year combined. I live 30 minutes from my sister/best friend and her family. I have parents that lift me up in prayer and take phone calls about nothing. I worship with a body of believers that are changing my eternal life for the good. I have friends that know what it means to laugh with those who laugh and mourn with those who mourn. I have a roof over my head and every need met. But there has so be something more....

I receive emails daily from Ransomed Heart with excerpts from various books. When I opened my inbox today, it hit me in the gut. This is it:
Women are often portrayed in stories and tales as the "Damsel in Distress." We are the ones for whom men rise up and slay dragons. We are the "weaker sex"; said to faint at the sight of blood, needing to be spared the gory details of battle whether on the field or in the market place. We are the ones waiting in our flowing gowns for the knight to come and carry us away on the back of his white horse. And yes. There are days when a knight in shining armor would be most welcome. We do long to be fought for; loved enough to be courageously protected. But there is a mighty fierceness set in the heart of women by God. It is true to who we are and what we are created to do.

Women are warriors too.

Redeemed women of God have tender, merciful hearts, backbones of steel and hands that have been trained for battle. There is something incredibly fierce in the heart of a woman that is to be contended with, not dismissed, not disdained, but recognized, honored, welcomed and trained.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Stolen Video

I am stealing this from a friend's blog to share. Kevin Anderson has been battling bowel and liver cancer for the past 11 months. This is the video he made for his wife's birthday. Amazing.....

Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Worst First Date Ever

When single women get together, often the topic of conversation turns to guys. Sad but true. It's only a matter of time. It happened recently. I met up with three other ladies for dinner and it took two hours but there it came. So in order to make it a little different, one of the girls decided we should share our war stories (i.e. worst first date stories). Mine ranked up there but my friend's story took the cake. It didn't happen to her but to a minister she heard speak. It's too good not to share. Enjoy and be thankful it wasn't you!

He was a single minister in small town Wisconsin (I think) and "of course" needed a wife. So the sweet, well intentioned ladies of his flock decided to set him up with a nice girl they knew. He picked her up and went to dinner in a bigger town about 20 minutes away. The food was good but that was about it. No spark. At all. And it was mutual. So they finished their meal and left the restaurant. Apparently while they were eating, a pretty good sized snow hit. They were having to drive slow so the trip was lengthen. His date decided she needed to go to the restroom and could not wait. She asked him to pull over and please not look in the rearview mirror. He found a safe spot, pulled over, and behaved like a gentleman. However, after 10 minutes of waiting, he decided to see what was going on. He opened the door and discreetly made his was to the back bumper. She was SO thankful he got out because.... Instead of "hovering" she decided to balance her toosh on his bumper while she relieved herself. On a snowy night. In Wisconsin. So what happened? Her rear froze to his bumper! So there she sat, bare-bottomed, freezing, and stuck! We all know not to yank when your tongue freezes to something but what about your bum? After some quick brainstorming, they came up with a solution. There was no other choice really. When you stop and think about it, it was the only logical thing..... Melt the ice. Yep. She looked away as he peed on her/the bumper to melt the frozen connection she had made with his car! She dried off, got dressed, and he took her home. Eventually, he married her too. After going through such a thing, I guess you are bonded for life. But really.....

Can you imagine!?