Friday, January 28, 2011

"The King's Speech": my thoughts.

While it’s fresh in my mind I want to share my thoughts on the movie, “The King’s Speech”. Yes, it is rated R, but I personally will allow my sons see it. And those of you that know me know that I don’t even let my kids watch PG-13 movies, (maybe someday I will write a blog on movies and how I think they affect the adolescent brain!!) It’s rated R because of the use of some inappropriate language, but in reality any kid that goes to a public school no matter how old he/she is has heard these words in a disturbing way, the use of these words in this movie, are at least befitting to the story.

This movie touched me on many levels, but most of all the idea of being a “kindred spirit” with another person is what moved me. We all have friends throughout our lives that we have connections with perhaps by a shared event, a common cause and perhaps even a vague connection with those friends of convenience (I think you all know what I mean by that) but few people go through life without a friend of some sort. But the idea of a “kindred spirit” is what I think this movie relayed to me. The definition of a "kindred spirit" is: An individual with the same beliefs, attitudes or feelings as oneself. But I would take this idea a step farther, to me there are people we come across in our life that we share a deeper type of bond with, I’m not referring to a romantic type of bond. I am referring to those people weaved into our lives that when we think of them we smile and long to talk to. Those conversations that start out as a simple “hello” and can lead to a real thought provoking conversation. A person you can trust with your most heart felt feelings, that you can share ideas with, and that person you see great potential in and want to see them succeed in life for no other reason than your deep feeling of fondness towards them. This is the type of friendship that this movie is about. Two strangers that met each other through a common cause and ended up being “kindred spirits.” Sharing the good bad and the ugly, lovingly pushing that friend to be a better person, to perhaps achieve goals that they may have never achieved with out the encouragement, kindness, tough-love and unconditional friendship that is shared by only a few people in a life time.

How wonderful it would be if we could all be “that” kind of a friend to everyone. I think that the reason God only allows us to experience this type of friendship with a few people in our lifetime is because it takes a lot of heart space for this kind of friendship. Just by default of being human, we rarely have the capacity to love to this extent. But on the road to becoming more Christ-like, the more capacity God gives us. Ultimately we get our example of this type of friendship from Jesus. Oh, to be able to love as Jesus does…what a beautiful place this would be.

John 13:23 (The Message)

“The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder.…”

Can you even imagine being so close to Jesus that you could put your head on His shoulder? Wow.

This movie and Jesus' example of friendship makes me eager to evaluate, what kind of a friend am I?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Give me a sign.

“God, how do I know I am doing what you have called me to do? I think I am but when I meet resistance from people that I would typically trust….I wonder. I need a sign God that I am where you want
me and I am doing what you want me to.”

This is a frequent prayer of mine. I know that God is not a deal maker and I know that ultimately God has a plan for me, but when I am in the trenches of everyday life, sometimes the opposition becomes overwhelming…I won’t lie, thoughts of quitting cross my mind. Sometimes I wonder if living a life for Christ is worth the frustration...maybe it’s just easier to let myself and my children do what we want regardless of how God feels about it.

But then I think about the •joy• I get from hearing and seeing signs from God, they by far out weigh my desire to live a life of apart from Him. (thank goodness)

The story of Gideon came to mind during a conversation with my daughter, so she read it, then I re-read it and we both decided that it’s OK to ask God for signs, especially for prayers that have been weighing heavy on our hearts. Life directions are some times hard to follow when we are trying to hear from God, so I decided I needed some hard-core visual and audible signs. I asked God to speak loud and clear to me and sure enough He has honored my request.

Here is the short story of Gideon: Taken from Judges 6-8
via The Bible Stories Library

“"How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest of all Israel, and I am the weakest of my clan!" cried Gideon. "If this is true, give me a sign." That night, Gideon prayed to God and said, "Father, if you are really going to use me to save my nation, make the dew form on just this fleece and keep the grass around it dry."

He placed a wool fleece on the ground and went to bed. The next morning when he awoke, he checked the fleece. It was so wet, he wrung a bowl of water from it and the grass around it was dry.

That night he asked God, "Dear God, please don't be mad at me. I want to be sure you are going to use me to save my people. Tonight, make the fleece dry, and the grass around it wet." He placed the wool fleece on the ground and went to bed. When he awoke the next morning, he picked up the fleece. It was as dry as popcorn without butter and his bare feet were soaked with water from the grass. It was true, God was going to use him to save Israel.”

I didn’t actually put a fleece out for God to get wet or keep dry, but I did ask for a sign, OK, I asked for more than one sign. Since the time I asked God to humor me in this way, He has done just that. Yes, I admit being in need of reassurance, especially since the opposition is coming from a place very close to home. My question, “God am I where you want me in this season of my life.” God’s answer, “Yes.” How did I hear this you may ask, well…. through people that have encouraged me over the last few months and through very clear answers to prayers. This is not an exaggeration, at least once a day for about the last 4 months I have received either words of encouragement or a sign from God that He hears my prayers and is taking them very seriously.

God knows our heart and knows when we are in deep need of reassurance, that is when He becomes our Encourager and often uses people to be the messengers. In the following verse, God gives us words of encouragement to keep us going.

Isaiah 35:3-4
“Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts, be strong, do not fear;
your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

**special note of interest, while I was writing this blog God thought it would be fun to send me another sign, a facebook message that answered an ongoing prayer**

{{I love how God works}}

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A missionary?

“Be careful what you pray for,

because one of your kids may become a missionary and move far away.”

Someone actually said this to me, many years ago and I am happy to say I decided to ignore that advice. The prayer I’ve prayed for my children since the time I knew I was going to have them, was that they would love the Lord their God. I knew I would take them to church and talk to them about God but my most earnest prayer was that they would make my God, the God of the Bible their God.

Well, the time has come to see if I really stand by that prayer, the one that God has so graciously answered thus far. My daughter Courtney, born a little 3-pound preemie with a heart condition, who had open-heart surgery at 11 months old, surgery on her eyes at age 2, a girl that is EXTREMELY cautious in life has made the God of the Bible her God. So much so that she is taking off on January 8th to Australia to study Evangelism/Discipleship and to take this information to the “…ends of the earth.” She is going to spend this season of her life being a missionary, moving far away, just like the lady I mentioned earlier warned me would happen!!! Praise the Lord. Of course I am going to miss Courtney, but I think that my excitement and awe for her choice to follow God’s leading trumps my sadness that she is going to be so far away.

I have been tearing up a lot in the last week thinking about her, not because I am sad, but because I am so amazed at how God is moving in her life. How blessed I am to be the mother of this wonderful young women. How filled with astonishment I am at how God has made Himself known through preparing my sick little preemie girl for this Divine assignment.

Talking about God answering prayer and guiding our life journey is easy to do, but recognizing when God is doing it is just sometimes more than my heart can take. The phrase, “tears are words the heart can’t say,” comes to mind. Just listening to Courtney in the car today talking about how cool it is that God has paved the way for her, brought tears to my eyes. I told her I couldn’t really talk about it right then because crying and driving don’t mix well.

God has so beautifully orchestrated her life. Not coincidentally in 7th grade Courtney did a project on Australia. Also not coincidentally there is a girl from Texas who is going to be traveling with Courtney to YWAM Australia, they are going to meet up in California, this girl is from Ireland and travels internationally often, God used Facebook to connect these two girls!! God has placed people strategically in Courtney’s life to encourage her to just “do it!” And the time has come.

Acts 13:47

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’