Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I gotta admit...

I've got a heavy heart this morning. You know that feeling when something lingers in your mind? The way you feel a bit sick to your stomach - almost like those nervous butterflies, except there isn't any way to know when they'll go away since there isn't any ONE event to get through to make them go away. Ick.

It's making writing more difficult to say the least. But in my ever pushing desire to be "real" here in webland - I decided it's okay to not look "together"! ha ha If you knew me in real life you'd already know that I'm not - so this is for all my cyber friends! :)

Here's something I've been chewing on the last few days. A good friend asked a group of us what the word "repent" meant. Naturally, initially my mind when flying to what I think most of us would think - saying sorry, feeling contrite, telling Jesus you'll never do "X" again - giving up something, "turning away from", etc. And while none of those are exactly wrong they weren't summing up and encompassing the word's "purpose"/meaning.

Come to find out repent has a strong tie to the word "agenda"! Trust me, it does make sense!! I googled it this morning and here's what I got from wikipedia.

"In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: שוב shuv (to return) and נחם nicham (to feel sorrow). In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness"."

WOAH! You mean in the process of repenting it actually means I take after or change my thoughts/direction/whathaveyou?! Who knew that the word repent had slightly different (and yet profoundly different impacts) meanings b/w the OT and the NT?! Assuming some of my readers HAVE to be smarter than me I'll give a few of the benefit of the doubt... but I'm guessing (And hoping) that some of you were like myself and didn't know!

So, lets talk about it. We're all guilty of having a natural bent to what our own flesh wants. It's that sin nature that we're literally born with! When we wake up in the morning we think about our day - about our schedule - about how we want to accomplish what WE need done for the day. We even call it our "agenda"... our schedule or our plans. It's often driving, full of details that some days leave wiggle room and other days leave little breathing room.

Besides the "physical" agenda we talk about - there's can be an "agenda" that is in our hearts. What motivates me? What gives me direction and who's direction is it? Where do I find validation? Who am I seeing validation from? Who am I hoping to please? Is it self seeking? If it self serving? Will it benefit ME or push me ahead? Is it to climb a ladder or gain power? Is it because something makes me uncomfortable? Or perhaps I'm happy with things and want to maintain and stay safe? Play the same song and dance to just keep things even keel. Maybe my agenda is to be seen; to be noticed; to gain recognition....or perhaps it's to remain invisible... to hide behind someone or something.... agenda's can be as varied as you and I are different.

The thing about agenda's is that they can be difficult to decipher. We can hold them tight - close to ourselves - and choose who we share them with.... and yet tell tale signs I think pop up along the way - giving away our agenda... dropping hints and small glimpses.

Our agendas CAN get given away by our actions and words! It's rather like the act of "bearing fruit" that the Bible talks about. A life centered in Christ and seeking HIS HOLY agenda is going to have "results" (bear fruit) and a domino affect. Our actions and words DO impact others - what we do and say IS important.

And I'll say it with lots of honesty - I'm in a re-evaluating mode in re: to my agenda. I'm doing my best to ask myself some hard questions. It can be painful...and who likes pain?! No one I know.

What I want to do is wake up - and instead of instantly thinking of my "to-do's" for the day think to what God would like my "to-do's" to look like that day. I want to ask him to direct my heart and my thoughts to the way his heart beats and they way his thoughts flow. Is there someone I need to call to encourage? Is there someone He wants me to befriend? Am I being the mom that blesses HIS name? Do my children get a picture of Jesus when they see me throughout the day? Am I eager to love on them and be with them - encouraging them to come to me - or do I shrug them aside when I'm tired or in the middle of something (like this post for example).

I'm asking that you join me in prayer. That I would see HIS agenda and that I would let go of mine - as ever changing and fluxing as it is.

This post seems rather flailing to me - must be the random thoughts bouncing around in my head...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How's your water pressure?

It is hot today! So of course the kiddie pool came out and was filled for the kids. I watered desperately thirsty plants and flowers and then started to play around with the hose. Fanning it around the yard, squirting the kids, making arches of water for them to run under and through. I started seeing big fat droplets of water and small tiny droplets of water falling at the same rate and impacting the grass, ground, or bodies that didn't manage to dodge the droplets. It was beautiful. It got me to thinking...

I know it might seem like a huge stretch...but go along with me for the ride anyway, ok?

I envisioned my life as a water hose. Unhooked to the water source (Christ of course) I'm but an empty vessel without a function. Sure I have a purpose - but unattached to the water I'm ineffective. Hooked to the water source gives purpose and meaning to my hosey-ness (NEW word! ding ding ding!). I all the sudden have something to give. Something to share. Some way to give to those without water. As my heart and will becomes closer to Christs the water pressure increases and I have more to give. The more Christ fills me - the more bursts forth from me.

Uncontainable joy and the ability to stretch and reach far from my boundaries! What a glorious feeling!

Then I was reminded of the problem with hoses! We drag them around with us, they wind up around objects or even themselves and the water pressure becomes less and less. Sometimes the water flow is cut off completely and we're no longer able to be vessels that produce beauty or passion or purpose. Sometimes it's just one lil kink in the line and soon we're back in the flow. Sometimes it requires back tracking, untangling the path we took ourselves down, and making a NEW and more direct path with our hose - so as to open up God's blessings so that He can refill us to brimming.. and one again we can pour out His love and joy, kindness and goodness.

Sin in our lives can kink our hose. It can stop of the flow of Christ through us to the world. We can become so cut off that sometimes we don't even feel his presense in our life.... but just like a hose - once we remove the kink or tangle - His love is there ready to burst forth. That love has just been waiting....the pressure building and eager to be released... gushing, rambunctious, and a driven love... Yup, he loves you that much. So much that he will simply wait for you.... as long as it takes.