Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks Giving (NFTPL #12)

What does it mean to be thankful? This is the thought that has been running through my head all week...is it just something you do once a week or is a form of whole life transformation? What does a disposition of thankfulness look like? As I have pondered I have been struck by the thought that it is a gratitude for all that is placed in your life the good and the bad (which God turns into good). It is the act of saying I am blessed through the crazy friends and family members who try my patience because through my encounters with their brokenness and love I am reminded of my own. It is the willingness to eat the awful and hurtful things that I could say because I am seeking to love. When it come down to it being thankful is having the outlook that seeks to bless instead of curse...the offering of grace when it is the last possible thing you want to do. Grace and Thanks giving are best seen when they are hard to give, not easy. This I think is the lesson of thanks giving, the sacrifice of giving it even when it is hard and brutal.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dying to self...(NFTPL #11)

So the church I am currently going to here in Los Angeles is all about service, but not in a overwhelming way. To them service is just the extension of grace and getting out of your self. Sometimes calls at churches to be in service can feel very guilted and pushy but that isn't how I feel with Mosaic. Tonight the sermon was about baptism and the death to self which one is called to by following God. Now I can't even count the number of times I have heard words or sermons around these topics but especially the dying to self can get very warped in how it plays out in the church.

For example when we were talking about gender in the church in my last graduate program, we spent a lot of time talking about the fact that women or other people who have no voice, power or position with in certain communities of believers (outside of the expectation of them serving others) are told specifically when they seek to step into greater things God has for them are told that they must "die to themselves"...in essence your calling and gifting is in valid a spiritual "woman get your ass back in the kitchen and make me some food". Or it is the person who has given so much of themselves with out resting and being filled up who is asked to give even more when they are bone dry.

This is not Mosaic's approach, and every time I hear one of the pastors encourage serving others I find that my heart is spurred on in a desire to be of service. In fact I find that I want badly to be useful to others to have something to offer out of what little I have. I also find that as I seek out tiny ways I can serve each day that I feel more aware of God's little taps...like a rainbow I saw this afternoon. Just those little things that say hi & yes, I do know what I am doing and it will be ok. And as funny as it is seeing those moments and letting go has taken dying to my typical responses...which is a dying to self.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

No More Control (NFTPL #10)

I have issues with control...well really I have issues with trust. I find it really hard to believe that people will actually follow through with what they say they will do (well there are a few people that I trust for the most part). Anytime I have something important that relies on another person I internally freak out a bit. I'm not exactly sure how this whole issue came about especially considering that I have been acting since I was little and anyone who have been to a play knows that it is all about trusting that the other person will show up but yet here I am in my early thirties and scared that people will unintentionally screw me over. More than anything my lack of trust I think is rooted in a spiritual issue, for much of the last seventeen or more years I have questioned whether or not God is trust worthy. From an early age growing up in a church environment I was told that God was good and trust worthy...yet I also from that same young age experienced family members becoming very sick, friends from pre and elementary school dying or their parents dying, and my Mom having a miscarriage at 6mth a long. As I entered my teenage years the weight of these instanced coupled with more trama watered the question of God's trust worthiness...it took until my second year of graduate school for me to maybe believe that God was for me and not against me.

Since then, especially with in the last twelve months, I have grown in leaps and bounds in my willingness to trust God and others. Enter two incidents and I find my delicate trust begin to slip a bit. The first being that after three weeks I am still waiting for my last recommendation which is the last bit of my application for my next graduate program...part of me know's that my former professor will get it in because he said he would but another dark and worried voice is afraid he won't. Each morning I wake up and have to give this over to God trusting that God's timing is perfect and my vision is limited. The good voice in my head says things like "it's God wanting to be showy and bring it in with a big POW". Second incident is that my temp nanny position ends this friday and that means I am out of work, and since the last conversation I had with them was that they wanted me to stay through at least january I had taken a breather from looking and applying for work. This meant that currently I didn't have any interviews lined up.

Now given these two things I could freak out and make my self sick with worry or I can say ok God you are good and for me and I trust you help me in my lack of trust. The latter is what I am choosing to do, especially since I had two lovely friends remind me that God has always provided when I needed work and that they both are blessed through hearing how God shows up for me...it encourages them to trust too.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

music that keeps on giving...BRMC love(NFTPL #9)

ever since i took my best friend to her first "small venue" concert a few months ago, we went to see BRMC at the Glass House, their music has been flowing as an ever persent element of both of our soundtracks. even though i have been a fan of theirs for the last several years, i hadn't really realized how incredible they are, i mean i knew but i didn't know. i had seen them previously and hands down it was the sexiest concert i have ever been to and i have been to see plenty of bands but they are like fire! the more and more i listen to them the more i am aware of the power, magic, and beauty of the world they create. today while sitting in traffic i decided for the whole drive i would listen to their newest album (beat the devil's tattoo) and nothing else. and holy healing rock and roll batman!! this album is incredible... sweet feeling, a love song wrapped in the guise of full on rock hard on. if i hadn't been listening with my whole mind i wouldn't have caught the hopelessly romantic lyrics. then there was the conversation with death/goddess called aya and inspiration went on a swirling treasure hunt through my mind. i think i am going to get a very interesting painting and possibly a short story. but most of all i love this band because they are talented men who love what they do and love the people they do it for which is what i think and hope all artists should want to be. they are vehicles of blessing and change portraying the power of art in the life of others.

heart to brmc!!!