Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: GYC (page 2 of 2)

When God [Re]writes My Christmas Story

I believe in the God-scripted life. A script writer myself, I know that he who writes the script authors the outcome, and I believe in God-authored outcomes.

So let the story take unexpected turns!

 For the shepherd on the dark hillsides outside of Bethlehem, the appearance of not one, but countless angels from Heaven’s very choir was certainly just that: unexpected.

 And for us, sitting in the car all night in a familiar town was that likewise. And being separated by miles and feet of snow when we most wanted to be together– this season, and father’s 60th birthday– certainly not in the plans.

 But I have learned that through the unexpected God hones our expectancy towards Himself… And what is this season to remind us of, if not expectant waiting for the King? And even as space and time make loving hearts grow fonder, separation makes reunion more sweet.

So we glory in the gift of Jesus today, together. And thank Him that we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, and lives to live His script.

Wishing you all a most blessed and joyful Christmas! You are (each!) gifts to me this year…

Together! (seriously icy road…)

finally off the mountain

catching up (we get behind within minutes of separating)

So near, yet so far…

I never thought I would be stranded just a stone’s throw from home…
But here we are.

I awaken with a start in the post office parking lot where we have taken refuge from the storm. We were on our way to Texas, now we’d just be glad for a place to lay flat. A mere hour and a half from home, and now we can’t go forward, and we can’t go back. Mother and Chantée who left earlier and were to meet us are likewise stranded in Albuquerque, both interstates closed. We roll our window down to talk to the policeman who is quickly becoming our friend…

“You guys ok?”

Oh boy. We’re fine… But are you going to get that car out of this parking lot?
Joshua and I end up white from head to foot after pushing the unit out of the drift created by our very van. We decide to get out ourselves before we’re drifted in…

And in the biting wind of the worst blizzard I have ever lived through, I think:
Boy, so near, yet so far! If only we could get home

I mean, I just drove through the worst conditions of my life to get here, but I’d still give anything to be able to head back towards my room right now.

Snow stings. I squint as I make my way back to the car.
My heart strains at receding red and blue lights. The kind policeman promised he’d see us again.

But just before I yank the frozen-closed driver door open, (to go back to “sleep”) this little thought thunders me–

He could have gone home. But He didn’t.
He stayed stranded in a cold world, on a cold night… By far the worst “blizzard” He’d experienced. Like me, part of Him probably wondered at the circumstances he found Himself in. But the stronger part embraced them.
And he didn’t run home, though He could have.

He came here, He stayed here, by choice

Merry Christmas.

usually, there’s a road there.

p.s. this really is real time blogging. Posted from back in the selfsame Post Office parking lot. No idea when we’ll get out of here… Did I tell you this GYC wasn’t going to be average?

When I Forget…

I simply cannot tolerate disconnect anymore… Not now that I know what it feels like to be full and free. I don’t care what I’m in the middle of doing. When I need to drop everything, I do.
I just do.

My thumb swipes left then right across glass, taps “Reminders.”
Check, check. Check. I scroll for the next thing.

These are days unbelievably full in this house. Unbelievably full. With not one, but four young minds straining over plans for the honor of God in Houston next week, (hours a day) there is never a dull moment.
Or a relaxed one.
But we’re honored to serve… Honored to go to war with darkness, as indeed such it will be.

But I glance around my room, across my desktop, through my inbox(es) for the next most pressing emergency. And I suddenly become aware of an emergency of a different character altogether.

It’s this little heart of mine. Something’s not quite right…

I don’t brush past a call anymore. I can’t tolerate being disconnected from heaven any more… It’s the worst torture. I glance at my watch. Almost noon.

I pocket my iPhone, tell my mother I’m going out for a while, take my little sister by the shoulders and ask her if she’s prayed today…
And I go out.

And what I learn on the snow-covered hillside I expect to take with me all through life.

–  –  –  –  –
Whether my days are full or empty, my greatest danger is the same…
To forget my calling.
To forget, to neglect, to lose under a pile of other stuff… same thing.
Because the moment I forget my calling, I lose track of God’s claim on my life.
And make no mistake, God’s claim is the purpose for living. Lose sight of it, and direction is gone, and meaning is gone. I’m at the mercy of my passions and whims–
At the mercy of my merciless enemies. 
But when the claim of God is understood, and the calling of God embraced, then I am alive. And I can fold my arms and stare massive losses in the face with perfect calm. 
Because my side wins either way…

All at once, I’m ready to work again. 
I’ve been up the mountain, through the valley, across the creek… on my way to Zion.

God is Good… [And the year in photos]

God is good.
Oh, so good.
That’s my theme song these days… 
My feet are finally “back to normal,” (after the miles logged in dress shoes in Baltimore :)) but my heart has only started singing. 
Though GYC flew by in somewhat of a blur, God still found ways to articulate His grace to me… Sometimes through thunderous throng, sometimes through stunning silence… 
Every time, right when I most needed a hand to hold. 
When a third of us flew home on a few hours notice partway through to be with my dying grandfather, that’s when grace swept me right off my feet, in more ways than one. It still makes my heart warm to think about it. 
He used sandwiches. One offered, and one bought for me even though I thought I wasn’t hungry. He used a 120-voice choir on its knees. He used the tears in a stranger’s eyes when she said how she’d been blessed. He used Elder Wilson’s compassionate words and prayers. He used the sound of 5,500 voices coming towards me during closing song. He used the prayer room. He used my amazing committee members. He used my little sister’s head resting on my shoulder. He used three hundred smiles from strangers, a “picnic” lunch with old friends and new faces, a solid vote of confidence…
And he used my own weakness. 
Yes, God is good. 
Oh thank You, Your Grace…
Do it again next year. 

For those of you with interest in getting a taste of our year in photos… 🙂

So Many Faces…

From a conference dripping with miracles I return a stronger man, a more exuberant Christian, a humbled, baffled, incredulous, encouraged, inspired child of the God Who never tires of giving… As if I really deserved anything from His hand in the first place!
There were so many faces… Thousands of windows to souls I know nothing about… But then there were probably 1,000 that I did know… and do love. So many smiles! So many transformations… And then there were a few faces that told special stories I’ll long remember… Like the one that smiled through tears when I talked about heaven. And the one that laughed and cried at once. And the one that flushed undiluted earnestness and devotion while praying for a miracle…
Yes, Jesus gives… Jesus loves! And never has my heart loved His more.
And shame? Yes. Shame on being afraid to own Him! Shame on trying to walk without Him! If any will glory, glory in the cross…
Here are a few more faces… from around this big country we call our home. Some think “Oklahoma Family Campmeeting,” some think “Youth for Jesus 2009″…
We think–
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