Sunday, October 26, 2008

Building Faith - Entry for Falling for Jesus

Psalm 105: 1,2 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!

God is just so amazingly good! This morning I felt His presence and blessing so strongly upon our congregation. Our church has been building-less for about five years. (Sometime I will go into the details of how we found grace by leaving Grace and how we came to be called Faith.) We have the land and some money. Most of us want to build a church. After much God-searching over the past few weeks our church elders have come to the conclusion that it truly is impossible, irresponsible, and inappropriate for us to start building a church. Therefore, we will start building a church! This is wonderful news, but perhaps a tiny bit confusing. Allow me to explain.
Years ago our Pastor prayed, wisely, "Lord, please make it impossible for us to build a church." We want God, not us, to build His church, not our church. We set up a building committee and started a building fund. Then because things got a little scary (the inordinate cost of building, negative input at a fragile time, fear from our collective past of losing church buildings), we stopped moving forward with building. We have just been moving from borrowed place to borrowed place, building-less, for a long time.
Partway through the "impossible, inappropriate, irresponsible" sermon, I was getting a little frustrated. It has been so painfully obvious to my family that we should start building and let God ... well LET God period. So when the three I's were introduced with scripture to back them, I found myself almost giving up with the thought, "If our elders are not seeking God (or at least not listening) and now they are using scripture to justify this lack of faith, maybe we do not want to be part of this church after all." I hate even writing that down. I LOVE my church! We have been through so much together. I love our pastor. I love each of our elders and their families. But God is my All In All. I can't be in a church that goes purposefully out of His will.
This morning when it first occurred to me that we were going ahead with building, I remember glancing up from my notes and meeting eyes with one of my best friends whose husband is an elder and dear friend. She was smiling with tears in her eyes. It was so exciting to realize that our church was going to build! I found out later that my dear mother-in-law was having a similar reaction across the room from me; Taking notes, being irritated, thinking, "I guess this is it." To clarify, I would never leave a church family because they didn't do something I wanted them to do, i.e. build a building. It just was so clearly God's will that we build.
I think that is why today was so sweet. It has never really been about building a new church. It has been about building Faith. God has been speaking. We've been praying and listening. God spoke some more... and we heard Him! I just love that! You could feel Him in that room with us. I think we are on the right track!

Psalm 105:3,4

Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Our family enjoyed dinner at a restaurant last night. It was in the town where dh is a policeman, and since he was working, he wore his uniform. Extra pressure to keep the 1 year old entertained so she doesn’t scream her little head off. We tried crackers, a straw tied in a knot and then french fries finally worked for awhile. When our meal came dh gave her little pieces of his chicken fried steak. I use the term “little” loosely as there was really nothing little about the honkin’ huge pieces of cow he was feeding to that tiny10-toothed infant! Okay, I am exaggerating. But still, I would have probably at least fourth’d those bites before letting her anywhere near them. To my husband’s credit and to my relief, she did just fine and I will no longer be buying baby food.
Midway through the meal, our 7 year old foster son proclaimed to me, quite loudly, “Remember when Bob tried to kill you?” I was just speechless. Less than a week ago I had shocked myself a bit on some wiring from our under-cupboard lights dh had installed in our kitchen. That night at dinner my finger was still a little charred so I got all dramatic and entertained my boys with how I got shocked and, “Look at my finger! Bob tried to kill me!”
Who would have thunk the little guys would have actually believed that? And really, who in the world could have predicted that one of the dear ones would try retelling it loudly in a crowded restaurant in the town where Bob worked, while he was wearing his uniform! Well, apparently dh could have predicted it, for he seethed through bared teeth “They will repeat every thing you say!” Oops! I don’t think anyone heard, and really dh did think it was kind of funny. Phew!
Kids are just so much fun! Remind me of that tomorrow, and the next day, and next week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hot Lava and Prayers

Daniel has an Uncle Obsession of sorts. For the longest time Uncle Mike has had top billing, but lately Daniel has been asking a lot of questions and telling stories about his Uncle Dan. Tonight we were snoozling (a Bob-term meaning cuddling prior to snoozing) in bed and Daniel started talking about uncles. (I’ll have to think of how it started, but want to get some of this down before it leaves my brain.) He asked if we could pray to his uncle…the one “that died.”
“No sweetie, we can only pray to God, but we can pray and ask God if He would say Hi to Uncle Dan for us.”
“Yeah, I want to do that.”
So I prayed, “Dear God, we ask that you would tell Uncle Dan hi for us and that we miss him. And thank you so much for his love for you and the way he believed the Bible.” Then Daniel asked how he died. He knows it was a motorcycle. I told him that another car ran into him. Okay, how much information is too much information for a 5 year old? I don’t know. But he asks about it sometimes and I try to tell him the truth.
“Was it a bad guy?”
“No, it was a little old lady.”
Long silence and then this sweet little five-year-old voice declares, “I want that girl to die.”
I told him how she didn’t mean to do it. “You know how mommy sometimes runs over the curbs in the van and I say, ‘Oops, I ran into a curb!’ I don’t do it on purpose, I’m just not being very careful. Mommy is not a bad guy. Same with that girl. She didn’t mean to. She just wasn’t very careful. She’s still sad about it sometimes.”
“Can we pray for her?”
This time Daniel prayed. “God please tect (protect) the girl and not make her be sad.” Or something like that. I can’t remember the words he used. Just the meaning and that it was his idea to pray and just how incredible it was to witness that kind of faith in a five-year-old.

* * * * * *

Now I remember part of how this whole conversation got started. It was, of all things, hot lava! Daniel and his brothers have been playing the typical childhood game where you try not to step on carpet (or the colored tiles, or the rug, etc.) because it’s “hot lava.” So he’s been talking about hot lava lately.
“I don’t want to go in hot lava.” He states just matter-of-factly.
“No, that would hurt.” I agree.
“Where is hot lava?”
“Hawaii? Where’s Hawaii?” I told him how Hawaii was some islands in the Pacific Ocean. “Hawaii has hot lava?”
“Whoa, how did God do that, Jenny?”
Then Daniel started telling me about how, “Some guy had hot lava and made metal.” And something about an airplane.
I asked him, “Where did you learn about all this?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did you learn it at school?”
“No, I don’t think at McDonalds… or Chic-Fil-A.”
“Did you watch a movie about it?”
“Yeah I think at my uncle’s… my uncle that died.” Which is not possible since Dan died two years before Daniel was born. But Daniel has made up stories about Uncle Dan before. In the past it would have really freaked me out thinking it was some sort of reincarnation or a ghost, but I think he is just trying to make Uncle Dan more real to him because he’s obviously real to Bob and I. Maybe he thinks he should remember Uncle Dan so he invents memories.
One of the reasons we think Daniel has this ongoing obsession with uncles, other than the obvious fact that he has some incredibly awesome uncles, is because he lives with his mommy and daddy. Now, that might not make a whole lot of sense to those who are in “normal” families. But in our family our kids take turns praying for each other’s moms who are, or have been, in jail. Daniel, not wanting to be left out, started praying for his uncle, who recently moved to Texas. While the kiddos make pictures and write letters for their moms, Daniel makes pictures and writes letters for his uncle. At dinner and at bedtime the other boys will often add, “and Daniel’s uncle” after they’ve asked God to protect their moms. I smile each time they do that knowing how a certain uncle would definitely appreciate these innocent, unknowing, and unspecific prayers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Alright already!

I am writing this only because I have to. DH was peering over my shoulder the other day and said, "You haven't written since August?" So, here. I'm writing. And even though it's nonsense, it actually feels kind of good.
I've been blogging..... just READING instead of WRITING! One thing that struck me tonight was after watching part of the debate I found a thread on a FlyLady BlogTalk Radio Forum about "Feeling unsettled." Many people are scared of what's going on in the economy, unsure about Iran, hesitant about the future of America in general. I will have to write about this later. Why? Well, I guess I don't really. Just that the good Guy wins. God wrote history ahead of time. It's not going to be real pretty at times. But Good wins. He wins. Halleluiah!