Thursday, February 26, 2009

Break Me Down

The following is something I read from the Tenth Avenue North Website. It is from Mike's Journal dated Feb 3rd, 2009.
Challenging and powerful words.

“Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.”
-Hosea 6:1

Excuse me, what?!!
Who has torn us?
Who has injured us?
The Lord?!!!
Wait a second there Hosea, didn’t you mean to say Satan has torn us?
Or maybe bad people?
You sure that’s not a typo or something?

Personally, I think one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to reconcile in my head
and my heart is this idea that a loving, merciful, compassionate God
would hurt me.
And not on accident either, but purposefully and willfully.
God will unapologetically tear me into pieces so that He can heal me.
And you.
Strange huh?

And I suppose it isn’t so terribly surprising coming from a prophet who was made
to marry a harlot. If anyone would know something about being hurt by the
Lord it would be him right?
I don’t know if you know the story, but
I mean, just put yourself in his place for a second.
There you are. The man. The dude. You’re the prophet over all of Israel, and
you’ve been keeping yourself pure, praying every day for the woman that God will
give to you and then He finally speaks, but its not at all what you were hoping for.

God: “Hosea.”
Hosea: “Yeah Lord?”
God: “It’s time.”
Hosea: “Ahhhh Yeaaahhh! That’s what I was hoping you were gonna say.
Time for a wife right Lord?”
God: “Yes Hosea, it’s time for a wife.”
Hosea: “Ooohh, I can’t wait!!! Just tell me though God, is she hot and holy?
Cuz you know, I’ve been keeping myself pure, and I just know you’re gonna
reward me with a wife that’s hot and holy. That’s all I’m asking for because,
hey, that’s what I deserve right?”
God: “Well, not exactly. I don’t think she’s quite what you had in mind.”
Hosea: “Wait, what? …..Oh… I see! She’s even hotter and holier than I thought!
Oh yeah Lord, I know how you work!
God: “Well, no.”
Hosea: “What you mean, no?”
God: “Hosea, I don’t know how to tell you this, well, of course I know how to tell you this,
I’m God, it’s just, well….she’s a prostitute.”
Hosea: “prosti-what?”
God: “Prostitute. Whore. Lady of the Night.”
Hosea: No, no, I know what it is, but a PROSTITUTE!!!
God: Yeah, I know that’s not what you were planning, but its what I was planning, so you’re
gonna marry her.
Hosea: “I’m gonna do what?”
God: “you’re gonna marry her, but then of course, she’ll cheat on you, and sell herself
so you’ll have to go buy her back.”
Hosea: “Go what?”
“Yeah, you’re going to forgive her and buy her back and when she cheats on you again
and has children with other lovers you’re going to love them and take her back again.”
Hosea: “Come again?”
God: “you’re going to love her kids and take her back.”

Long awkward silence

Hosea: “What’s her name?”
God: “Gomer.”
Hosea: “Oh Come on!!!”

Now I apologize if you’re name is Gomer, but you do have to admit,
it’s a rather unfortunate name, and an even more unfortunate situation.
But the Bible records that it did happen.
Maybe not exactly like that, but God did tell Hosea to marry an adulterous wife.
And the reason that the Lord supplies in Hosea 3
Is that their marriage was to show us how he loves his people.
He loves his people like an adulterous wife.

And the story is so insanely beautiful when you see it from that angle,
but when you look at it from Hosea’s angle it’s just plain crazy.
Think about what you’d say if your pastor got up in front of the congregation and
announced that he was about to marry a whore. What would your response be?
Now, I’m not suggesting that every one go out and marry someone from the local
street corner, but I am saying that it is evident that God will do whatever He has to do
to bring you to a place where all you want is Him.

He’ll break you, He’ll hurt you, He’ll ruin your plans, and He’ll tear you into pieces,
and He’ll do it all out of a perfect holy love.
And look, I know that sounds crazy, but think about it for a moment.
A lot of people want to use God to give them something other than Himself.
If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we all do it on some level.
For instance, we don’t have sex until we’re married, because then God owes us a virgin.
We give 10% of our income to a church, because then God owes us prosperity and wealth.
We pray and pray and pray, and then God owes it to us to answer and give us what we want.
And in all those cases, Jesus is no longer the end, but simply a means to something else.

You’ve got to see that in Hosea’s case, or perhaps in the case
of that one friend of yours who thinks marriage is the goal of their existence.
Don’t laugh. It might be you.
But if you think about it, It would actually be unloving of God to go
and make our marriage perfect and make that person fulfill our every hope and dream.
Because that person will die.
That marriage will end, and if your whole life and existence and joy depends on another
human being, you will inevitably be in for heartache.
Just read the Twilight series (it’s true. I’ve read it, though I’m not proud of it)
and see how the heroine Bella, how her entire life falls apart when her vampire
lover leaves her. Put simply, If our joy rests entirely upon human love or
vampire love, or any other kind of earthly love for that matter,
then one day, our joy will be destroyed.
Is this making sense?

Of course, marriage is just one example.
Money. Security. Fame. Obedience. Sex. Drugs. Worship Music.
If our hope is set in anything but the living person of Christ, then we’re just setting ourselves
up for failure. And so God, in his infinite and everlasting love, will do whatever He has to do
to break, bend and conform his people’s hearts to Him.
He will no longer be the means to some other end, but the end Himself.
Like a surgeon who has to cut you open,
so God must tear us apart to create in us a new heart.
A heart that is obsessed with Him alone.
But unlike a doctor, He doesn’t just use a knife. He uses the most bizarre people,
circumstances, and tragedies to change our hearts until they only treasure Him.

He will break us down.
And it will be painful, scary, and altogether beautiful.
Friends, if the Lord is tearing down your world today,
if all the walls on your so carefully constructed plans are caving in on themselves,
then ask Him in faith, God, are you my treasure?
And if you find the answer is no, then ask Him to bring it on.
Break out the scalpel. Tear down the walls. Let loose the storms.
Ask Him to do whatever He has to do, until you can proclaim with the psalmist,
“Whom have in heaven but you,
and earth has nothing I desire besides you.”
(Psalm 73)

All this world is fading away anyway right?
Then take heart.
This life is not about succeeding.
It’s not about changing the world.
It’s not about living with purpose, or leaving a legacy
or making the maximum impact with your life.
It’s actually not even about living your life for God.
Did you hear me?
Don’t live your life for God.

Live your life because God.

Because He has loved us, redeemed us, and because He is all that our hearts are longing for.
It’s no longer about what you do with your life at all, because He is your life.
May He do whatever it takes to open our eyes to see that.
He is the means and He is the end. And everything in between is from his hand.
It can be terrifying at times, I know, but its worth it.
Believe me, and I guess more importantly believe Him.
It’s worth it.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
-Romans 8:18

“”Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.

2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.

3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
-Hosea 6:1-3

holding hands

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A spoonful of sugar... or not

So. I haven't done this Lent thing in a while and I could really use a goal right now. I hope that God will be ok with that. Lent will give me something to focus on. So my plan for Lent is to only have natural sugars. Like fruits and honey and beet juice is ok. I did this for a couple months with a friend last spring and it was a difficult but so beneficial challenge. I just finished the Reece's Pieces that were mocking me and am sure that 46 days is totally doable though I will appreciate all the support I can get. So please don't offer me anything sweet... unless of course you managed to use fruit juice, honey, or beet juice to make it sweet. Thanks for your support friends. Heres to hoping I will remember to do this for the next 46 days. After all... my body is Christs temple... I should be paying more attention to what I put in His temple.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Beloved

This song is God's words to us. So beautiful the way He pursues us.

You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me My love

You're Beautiful to Me
So beautiful to Me

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your care down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love

Sunday, February 22, 2009


... that is how I would describe my weekend.

It started out with one hour of sleep before chauffeuring the people I live with off to the airport at O-dark-thirty in the morning. After returning from one of my favorite places (the airport) I focused my attentions on sleep. Waking up at noon would give me a total of five hours of sleep that night. woohoo! It turned out to be more like four hours though... my brother called and texted and texted some more and called again while I was trying to sleep. Perhaps I should have given up entirely but I was determined to sleep til noon. I was victorious. It was after noon when I finally got up to face the day. What a glorious day it was too! The sun was out in all its glory and the sky was speckled with clouds.
Plans for the afternoon... spend time with my brother (the one who had been calling and texting while I was TRYING to sleep).
I picked him up at my moms house and we went to my favourite coffee shop on South Hill... cafe Adamo. Over the past couple months while my broski has been home we have spent heaps of time together and gotten close again. One of our favourite things to do at Adamo is to play Mancala (a strategy game with marbles and a wooden board with 14 holes in it). My brother and I have taken two months to get really good at this game and he has beaten me countless times of late. So Saturday it was my turn. He was winning at the beginning. He thought he had the game in the bag. Then... as if some kind of miracle... I turned it around and won! Victory!
We headed home and then my broski found out that his next plan for the day had been postponed. I had an idea to do something fun, something that was on my list of things to do before I die. And my brother is one of those people who will do random things most of the time so I was hoping he would be game. I told him my plan and he was stoked!
We headed to our destination. As we pulled onto the lot I could scarcely believe my eyes. Hundreds of Mini Coppers were all lined up just waiting for me to take them out for a spin. I didn't need hundreds. Just one would do. So we found a shiny silver one and soon I was behind the wheel. It was a beautiful thing. Makes me giddy to talk about it still. Took me all night to calm down about it. Maybe some day I will have a mini of my own.

Sunday morning I took my brother to the bus station. He left to go to trucker school. Ha! It sounds so funny. I hope he enjoys it though. He loves to travel. It is good for him to be doing something again. He has been searching for something for quite some time. After dropping my brother off I headed home. I was intending on going to church this morning. When I got back to the house though... my bed would not have it. I was sucked into a very deep sleep and did not wake up until... noon! woohoo! Oh how I love to sleep in!
It was a lazy afternoon and the sun was beaming again. I soaked in the rays and readied myself for a fun evening of Oscars. Not wanting to watch the Oscars at home with Bubba the cat... I invited myself over to the Dill's to watch with friends. It was a fun evening. I can't say that any of the winners were big surprises. My friend Paul had almost every winner predicted correctly. I really enjoyed the big musical number and the way the prior best actors and actresses announced the nominees. It was a special night. And I almost forgot to mention that Janet, Larry, and Paul created some delicious delights which we nibbled on during the Oscars. My favourite were the crab cakes and sliders. mmmm. mmmm. good.
My weekend was fantastic! Thats all there is to it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Photo Tag

Vicky tagged me. :)

Here are the rules:

1. Go to the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo.
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun.

So, I went to my fourth folder and there were two folders within that folder... so you get two pictures! These are both from a couple of my MANY trips to Cannon Beach, Oregon. My favourite place in the US!

Marissa and I were at a restaurant and I had a knife... need I say more.

Another CB trip with Marissa. We were apparently bringing sexy back that day!

Oh and I need to tag some readers!!

1. Sonja and Cam (you are one)
2. Angie
3. Katie Laine
4. Joey and Suzanne (you are one)

I am in dire need of another trip to my favourite place in the US! Haven't been since November. I am long overdue. So if anyone wants to take a day trip or a weekend trip to the serene town that so warms my heart and soul... let me know!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Randomness x 25

So if you want to do this thing where you have to write 25 things about yourself I would love to hear/read about them... so I am not going to tag anyone but just hope that I will get to learn more random things about my friends some time soon. I love randomness! So you sharing with me will only increase the warm and fuzzy feelings I have for you as a dear friend.

Now to my random list:

1. I have a dent in my forehead. I fell off a slide when I was 2 1/2 years old onto a concrete driveway. Miraculously it did not break the skin or my skull... just a perma-dent. No wise cracks about other long term effects.

2. The list of countries in the world I have been to is longer than the list of states in the US I have visited. So far my count is 16 countries. My travel itch needs some scratching real soon. It has been almost a year since I got on a plane! uugh!

3. I have a scar on my left hand that looks like a caterpillar.
Thanks BJ!

4. In one week I watched Pride and Prejudice more than ten times. No explanation needed.

5. I am a lactard. Lactard = one who is lactose intolerant. And I just ate a delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. I know... I know.

6. My parents married and divorced each other twice.

7. I have a thing for men in uniform. Sailors in particular make me blush for no reason.

8. If I had a super power it would be... to be able to be in multiple places at the same time.

9. When I was in high school I missed more than 60 days a year of school junior AND senior year. And I still graduated with a decent GPA! Miracle!

10. My favourite number is 10... I was born on the 10th of November. But oddly enough I despise 10 dollar bills. They rub me the wrong way. So odd. I know. And I like spelling favourite like other parts of the world do. It looks prettier.

11. Some day I hope to live in a different country. I would like to live in Edinburgh, Scotland for a few years.

12. When I get my BSN (bachelors of science in nursing) degree, it is heavy on my heart to go to Africa for a couple months to a couple years at a time with health care skills.

13. I drive a Saturn Ion and I call her Bella Bling. Because she has nice headlights and is a shiny beautiful silver.

14. Breaking into song is a normal and naturally occurring event throughout my day. Anything said by anyone could and will trigger the words of a song to come to my mind thus breaking out in song.

15. I have five nieces, an older sister (Melissa, 30, 4 nieces belong to her), two younger brothers (BJ, 26, one niece belongs to him; Nick, 25), two step-sisters (Tara, not sure how old she is, oh! she has 3 kids! that means I have another niece and two nephews! sweet!; And Tawni, 18), and a step brother (Joel, I don't know how old he is either and I have never met him, I think he has kids too!)

16. If you are one of my "youth girlies" you will be one forever! Even when I am and old wrinkly saggy grandma!

17. My favourite place to day trip to is Cannon Beach, Oregon. It takes about 3 hours of drive time to get there. It has been two months since my last day trip.

18. When I was a kid I wanted to be a pediatric heart surgeon, a marine biologist, a teacher, and a mom.

19. I was not allowed to play with Barbie's as a kid. Instead my sister and I had a ridiculously large collection of My Little Pony's. Seriously. We had at least a hundred. And to go with them: four houses and a pool and... you get the picture.

20. I LOVE ICE CREAM! (see #5... I know. I know.)Sorbet is my backup... though I recently fell in love with coconut gelato. It changed my life.

21. When I was at a NY airport I traveled on a bus about two arm lengths away from Geraldo Rivera. He was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. He was talking on a cell phone the entire time.

22. I like to read about the Amish. (Beverly Lewis is one of my favourite Christian authors who grew up near Lancaster County and has quite a few mini series about the Amish)

23. As a nine year old I golfed on a team and received a trophy that proclaimed "most improved player of the year". I think I must have been pretty bad to start out!
ps. I only put-put now.

24. My sister and I had a friendship bracelet business when I was 8 & 9 years old. We sold them and took orders at the Twin Lakes Country Club.

25. I always talk about "when I win the lottery" as if it is really going to happen... and yet I rarely ever buy a ticket. silly. I know.

Hope you enjoyed a bit of my randomness! I sure enjoy being random!