Monday, January 23, 2012


I'd like to introduce you to my new friend: David Platt
I'm about three chapters in so far....
My early opinion:  This is a hard-hat, steel toes only area.
This book is not for the faint of heart.
This ain't no jive talkin'.
It's kinda hard to explain - I'll let Pastor David speak for himself.
Buckle up.

     "I am convinced that we as Christ followers in American churches have embraced values and ideas that are not only unbiblical but that actually contradict the Gospel we claim to believe." pg. 3
      "We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves." pg. 7
     "We are giving into the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with....A nice, middle-class, American Jesus....who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts....who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes...A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity..." pg. 13

     "And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible.  Instead we may be worshipping ourselves."  pg. 13
     "We spurn our Creator's authority over us.  God beckons storm clouds and they come.  He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately.  He speaks to the mountains, "You go there," and he says to the seas, "You stop here," and they do it.  Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until you get to you and me.  We have the audacity to look God in the face and say,'No'." pg.31
     "Both our diagnosis of the situation and our conclusion regarding the solution fit nicely in a culture that exalts self-sufficiency, self-esteem and self-confidence.  We already have a fairly high view of our morality , so when we add a superstitious prayer, a subsequent dose of church attendance, and obedience to some of the Bible, we feel pretty sure that we will be all right in the end." pg. 32
     "What happened at the Cross was not primarily about nails being thrust into Jesus' hands and feet but about the wrath due your sin and my sin being thrust upon his soul...One preacher described it as if you and I were standing a short hundred yards away from a dam of water ten thousand miles high and ten thousand miles wide.  All of a sudden that dam was breached, and a torrential flood of water came crashing toward us.  Right before it reached our feet, the ground in front of us opened up and swallowed it all.  At the Cross, Christ drank the full cup of the wrath of God and when he had downed the last drop, he turned the cup over and cried out,'It is finished.'" pg. 36
     "We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced Him to a poor puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept Him." pg. 37
     "I invite you to consider with me a proper response to this gospel.  Surely more than praying a prayer is involved.  Surely more than religious attendance is warranted.  Surely this gospel evokes unconditional surrender of all that we are and all that we have to all that he is." pg. 37
     "Here the gospel demands and enables us to turn from our sin, to take up our cross, to die to ourselves, and to follow Jesus....And salvation now consists of a deep wrestling in our souls with the sinfulness of our hearts, the depth of our depravity and the desperation of our need for his grace.  Jesus is no longer one to be accepted or invited in but one who infinitely worthy of our immediate and total surrender."  pg. 39

Total surrender.  Total surrender.  Total surrender.  Lord, help my unbelief.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Organizational Nonsense

Several months ago, after trying to get one thing out of my spice cabinet and having fifteen others fall out on my head AGAIN (!#^@*), I decided it was time to _actually_do something about this mess besides complain and semi-swear about it.

So I pulled everything out of the cabinet and was surprised to see how much really cool stuff was hiding in back of my cabinet.
Chaos!!  Chaos!!
that's A LOT of coriander...good thing we eat it 'most every day...
baking stuff....too bad I don't bake much....
So, we sorted and got rid of, labelled and reorganized....and it was beautiful.

Baking stuff all together on the top shelf....herbs together, seeds together,  all the bags poured into jars and labelled, all the spice blends snuggled up together.  It's lovely.  Really.  I was really feeling great about myself.  And then this thought came to me:
Child, you've just spent an hour organizing hundreds of dollars worth of seasonings. 
Seasonings.  Not even food
that would keep you alive.  Do you know
that people are starving?  Starving.  Are you sure your priorities are in the right order?
I would like to think that my cabinet of spices is no big deal.....but is it? 

How do I justify it to this baby's Mama?
How do I explain to her why my babies are healthy, clean and well fed.
Or how about to these people?

Do you think that they would be sympathetic to my dissatisfied heart about my house because its a double-wide in a really nice park with no room for a real garden - and not a real house with a big yard and a tree swing? 
My life's really tough, isn't it?

And I moan and groan because I've overfed myself and so some of my clothes don't fit and I don't have money to buy new ones.  Or my husband blessedly has a job in this tough economy, but he's not making enough money for my taste.  Or my Bible isn't the perfect translation.  Or I can't afford the most perfect curriculum for my homeschooled kids - while all over the world, children are doomed to a life of illiteracy because they lack a pencil.  A freaking pencil....
<><> <><> <><>
Children of the Lundazi Village Pencil Project gifts
(photo from 
check them out....I think we'll be getting to know these folks very soon!)

I'm not saying that it's wrong to research good curriculum or buy new clothes or even have a really nice house.  I'm saying it's wrong to have those things first - first on our minds, first in our checkbooks, first in our hearts. 

What kind of wretch am I that I won't buy cheap mayonnaise because it doesn't taste as good, and then go home and wonder if I can afford to make my monthly commitment of $64 to Food for the Hungry for two sponsored children? 

What, I'm really not willing to go without one bit of food for my over-sated self, one bit of comfort in a house crammed full of comforts, one single ounce of selfishness to meet the basic needs of a brother or sister in Christ? 

Maybe I'm overthinking this.  Exaggerating.  Making something out of nothing.  Maybe.  But one thing I KNOW for certain - one day I will have to stand and face the Lord Jesus in judgement and I will have to give an accounting for my life.  And I seriously don't think a well-ordered spice cabinet, a well-groomed lawn or even well-educated children are going to win me any favor. 

If I have any hope of hearing, "Well done..." my life, my heart, my priorities, my goals, my dreams, my checkbook, my waistline, my closet, my attitude - they all have to begin to change NOW.  And change radically. 

My whole life has to be about Kingdom work....about making sure that EVERYONE - from LadyBug, Firecracker and the Griz to my neighbors to my brothers and sister around the world - knows that the Lord Jesus is in love with them.  That He seeks them.  That He wants, more than anything, to wrap them in His mercy and goodness - no matter who they, where they are or what they are doing.  That the Bible is not ancient history, not a collection of moralistic fables, not an instruction book - but a LOVE STORY written to and for and about them. 

It's ok to organize our kitchens....but it's probably also about time to organize our priorities.