Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Deadened by Destruction

5"Look around at the godless nations. Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock. Something's about to take place and you're going to find it hard to believe."
Habakkuk 1:5 (The message)

How much destruction can you see before you simply stop feeling? As I continue to watch the news coverage of things happening in New Orleans I cannot tear my eyes away, but at the same time, I wonder why don't I feel anything? When 9/11 happened I had emotions all over the place: anger, sadness, hope, fear and more. I watched anxiously when Florida was hit by hurricane after hurricane, cried when the tsunami hit, watched in grief as the Israelies were evacuated from their homes in gaza... but this,as we watch New Orleans sink into the sea like Atlantis, I only watch in shock and awe and wonder what next? My prayer today is "How much can we handle God before we break? Before we turn to You and ask for help?" It feels like the end times, but maybe it's just a bad year.

God, come to our aide.

And then some...

Hello blog, it's been awhile.

I really don't have anything profound to write, but feel the need, so here are some updates on my life and then some... (hence the title:)).

Life as full-time DCE & Y at Messiah is different. I feel alternately excited and terrified of the job I've been called to do and some days feel so terribly unqualified I think that I might just fail. I have however, seen some of the good things that God has done through me in the past year, but it's all about the baby steps.

Life is different and the same here. Different in the fact that Kristy has moved, I have a roommate, and I've moved apartments. Life is same in the fact that Oklahoma City has crept up behind me and made itself my home in this past year, same in the fact that I am working with people I have grown to love, and same that I am able to continue to minister to those that I have worked with in the past.

I've learned alot this past month as a "called and commissioned" DCE (ask Jamie to do the hand symbols we made up sophomore year) :), but maybe the thing I've learned the most is that God is still teaching me patience.

Patience as I learn this new role, patience as I grow up, patience as I wait for my future husband. The waiting for that last part is getting harder as I watch more of my friends get married and I am still here single, hoping God will answer that prayer. BUT... God has never let me down in the past, so I trust he's got that under control.

I've also gained an acute awareness and pain on my heart--Bill Hybels of Willow Creek calls it Holy Discontent: Something that wrecks your heart so much so that it sets a fire in you to fix it. Mine is this: the fact that there are people that turn away from the church because they've been told they're not holy enough, nice enough, they don't give enough, dress correctly, pray correctly, commune correctly, behave nicely. I hurt for the people that have never and may never experience a loving Christian community built on true compassion and care. The church is not a museum for the saints it's a hosptital for sinners (shout-out to mollie j fisher from whom I stole that phrase) and it breaks my heart that there are those people out there that will never see church as a place where they can go and be healed and forgiven in Christ's name. Bill Hybels (who talked about his at a leadership summit I was at) said that chances are that if this hurts me, then this wrecks God as well and he's placed this burden on my heart because he's gifted me to use me and make some changes.

How awesome, how humbling, that God burdens and blesses with the same thing.

And maybe that's the moral of this blog. Through each burden comes a blessing, in each burden there is blessing.

"sometimes you pray for God to act, knowing that his answer may be no"
(one of the ladies from my congregation said this regarding her husband who died from his 2 month battle with cancer)

I pray that God can use me in His "no", His "yes", His "later"

Well that's all for tonight... This definately included the "and then some" :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hannah-lysis: part 3

This is going to be the title of my blog from now on me thinks. :) I haven't written in a heap long time.

What's new? well I'm glad you asked. As of July 15, I'm the new official DCE & Y at Messiah Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City Oklahoma... yes, the girl who cried when she found out that she was going to OK is staying. I also moved apartments, have a roommate and am adjusting to the full-time permanence of my job. More on that another time. It's been up and down, but I think it's starting to level out.

Praise the Lord

That's my thought. I stumbled on the Psalms today for something I'm working on for Water-ski weekend and I noticed something I hadn't noticed before about Psalms 146-150. They all start and end with Praise the Lord. I started reading them, then realized that yeah, they still dealt with crap in the middle, like being defeated and going to war and such, but the psalms never failed to end with Praise the Lord.

It hit me then that David's got it figured out. Life isn't perfect, but that shouldn't give us an excuse not to praise. It's easy for me to complain and be annoyed about lots of stuff, but if I were to make this change in attitude, this "praise the lord" change of heart wouldn't life be more joyous? wouldn't i have less reason to complain?

My goal and challenge for myself this week and for you all too, is to remember that no matter what happens in your week, good or bad, we still have a reason to praise.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."
Praise the Lord