This past week I have been really taken back by how uncertain our lives our. Nothing is promised to us. We are all blessed to have food to eat each day and a roof over our head but even that is a gift from God. Its not something we are entitled to or deserve it is given to us out of the overflow of His goodness. While I am sure this feeling of uncertainty has a deeper meaning there are a couple instances in the past week that it can be attributed to.
First is what is happening in my family on my Mom's side. My uncle, who I look up to, admire, and is one of my closest friends, is supposed to get married in two weeks in Mexico. Key words....supposed to. While my uncle is an awesome person with a great heart he has a tendency, as we all do, to be a little self-centered, focused more on his own personal gain than those in his life. This has caused some major friction in the relationship between him and his fiance. And while I care greatly for both of them the last thing that I would want for either of them is to force something that might not be right. So, as they take this next week to evaluate and figure out what they both really want my family is left with some uncertainty. Wedding or no wedding?
The second thing carries a bit more weight to it. My dad has a close friend, DK, who has been battling cancer for more than 11 years. On Friday afternoon my dad got a phone call that DK had been admitted to the hospital and was not doing well, we weren't even sure if he would make it through the night. This is always something that we knew could happen. Because of his illness there was a constant uncertainty that one day DK could be here and the next morning he would be gone. But on Friday this uncertainty became a certainty as he went to be with Jesus that night. While I didn't know him as more than an acquaintance my dad and him and grown close and to see someone you love and care about hurting is not easy. And as I was left to sit and reminisce about the many stories he told of DK, I was reminded of the uncertainty of life. Each day is a gift and something that we should not take for granted. Only God knows when our time here on earth is finished and we should choose to live that life out in thankfulness and joy for the one who sacrificed it all for us.
But, in all this uncertainty and turmoil I know of one certainty, God. He is my rock and my firm foundation. Even when everything around me seems to be in flux the His consistent love, mercy and grace is the certainty I stand on.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Someone told me once that it takes 40 days to break a habit or 40 days to create one. 40 days, that’s it. So, I went into this Lenten season with a commitment to read a chapter of the bible each day hoping to make it a staple in my daily routine. I chose to start reading in Mark and go through Luke leading me right through Easter. I know that I should be committed to reading my bible everyday but I have become complacent over these past few months. I can make tons of excuses, I’m busy, I’m tired, I am reading all this stuff for Circles, or my favorite, the Jersey Shore is on. But see that’s all they are, excuses. My prayer going into this time was that God would reignite my passion for His word and light my life on fire.
Well, I am a week in and to say that God has once again stirred my passion for the Word is true. I long for the time I spend each day reading through the Gospel. But lighting my life on fire, now that’s another story. Actually I would say that it has been just the opposite or at least that’s how it feels. I am wrecked. Each time I open God’s word I become aware of another flaw in my faith or life. An area I am lacking in is brought up or an unhealed wound is reopened. And that’s hard.
My naïve view of scripture was that it was there to encourage and build us up not make us feel lousy or challenged. But, was I wrong. I am beginning to realize that while we are able to find encouragement and joy in the hope of the Gospel, God’s word is meant to challenge us. It is there to bring about self examination and growth. As I recount Christ’s mission and ministry each day, God continues to move in me. He is healing wounds that I didn’t even know where there. He is showing me who He wants me to be and how I should live my life.
And even though it’s hard, and it hurts, and it causes many tears, this revelation of just how broken I am has been the best thing for me. So, each day I am drawn back to Him, back to His word and back to the love and grace that first captured me.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I spent this past weekend in the mountains of Ramona (still not sure where that is) for Wyldlife Winter Camp. It was probably one of the most epic weekends of my life. Exhausting but epic. There is something about Jr. Highers that is just exhausting. We were at a camp called Oakbridge that was one of the coolest camps I have seen. Ok, I havent seen many, but still it was so sweet. They had a skate park, high dive, basketball courts, none of which we could use because it snowed almost 6" on Saturday night. As someone who spent 4 years in Colorado, the snow is something that I have grown to love so that was a special treat from God. Here are some other highlights:
*Dancing to Justin Bieber till the early morning hours
*Having club every day/night
*Program and entertainment night
*Double tap (Its a pretty sweet game. If you want to learn just ask. :))
*Silent football (I actually never played this but watching the kids play was fun!)
There are so many other things that happened and I could spend hours telling you all about it. But I think for me the best part was the relationships and conversations that I was able to be involved in. Camp is a unique thing because as leaders we dont have to plan anything. Normally it falls on us to plan games, talks, food ect. but camp is different. All of our attention can be on the kids and spending time with them. Camp creates space for conversations that club just cant. And for me that is what its all about. Its the reason I became a leader and a big reason that I joined Circles. Being able to pour into these kids and simply love on them as Christ would is such a wonderful blessing.
This weekend was an awesome reminder of what is important and what I should be focusing my life on. When I get wrapped up in and frustrated with work, family, and life I can look back at the time I spent at camp with those kids reminds me what it is all about.
Here are a couple pictures too...