Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Inspirations Of Home

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33

Today I had a rough day. The usual reasons my heart tricks me into thinking I am having a "rough day." I begin to think about my self for a moment and realize that moment was too long. I’m thinking about my own unhappiness, mis-contented spirit. Thinking about thinking about why I'm not constantly in a good mood and I’m stuck down here playing this waiting game. Thinking about thinking about why I need to glorify God or please Him. And round and round it goes until my head pops off with the loudness of a helium balloon!

...Until I think about heaven. The real journey. When I think about the God’s Home, my heart is lifted, spirit renewed and hope restored. There must be reasons why Jesus asks us to pray like “on earth as it is in heaven.” The question is what aspects about heaven do we lack down here? What do you think of when you think of heaven?

Although there are many strains of thought regarding heaven, I will focus on 2:

1) "Heaven sounds tiring. I will be getting all exhausted by worshiping God all the time. What person wants to spend all their time doing that? Standing around in a big mosh-pit and jumping up and down! Besides, I like other things like surfing, eating, walking and dancing. I can't just stand around singing with a bunch of other sweaty people!"

2) "Heaven sounds amazing because of the cultures that are present. The accumulation of joy and love together worshiping God! How Rad!"

I am here to propose the latter.

What if heaven is an accumulation of all the things God asks of us in the Bible coming together for a massive party? I envision children dancing, massive laughter with uncontrollable joy, What if it's that mountain-top experience we all long for and rarely get in this life comes to a point? What if the fruits of the spirit are actually in complete wholeness? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness and Self-Control finally make sense? What if this is our missing picture of love? What if heaven marries every creative cell in all humans together to finish this piece of real art? The great mural. What if your gifts of dance, art, intelligence, desire, gardening, sewing, mathematics, voice and baking all combine to take care of the "family?" In the end, the beautiful part makes a worshipful sound and a symphony we cannot handle, because God's AWE-someness is BIG! What if every creature truly thinks of the other for once. What if every creature has no walls? We truly believe in love and believe others love for us is real, with full belief and acceptance. Our naked bodies finally makes sense! We are truly free now to "BE" and not "DO." We can believe in love, because, we are in TRUE LOVE'S presence.

Then it hits me again... I'm hungry and it's time to go home. Time to be human, and hope to bring this joy to earth while I have time. Time for me to I focus on 'you,' and not 'me.' But mostly, I will focus on Him. See you after I fix my earthly stomach with some hummus and chips. Next time you start thinking, just think about heaven. It makes your day better. It works mostly ever time! Can't wait to spend eternity with you in our real home!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is This Question Valid?

This morning I woke up to the sound of the waves beating the sand, a man playing a game with a dog, laughing children, excessive honking, all kinds of birds, crickets, a fighting couple, thatching of wheat, the smell of coffee and french toast, scuffling feet heading to school. I sit up and it hits me...

Is this is reality?
Is this true?
Is this AFRICA?

Flash back two years ago to February 2009. My face squinted with cold fear as I scurried out the door, stuffing a scone down my face in Portland, Oregon. All the while praying my burning little legs would work fast enough to haul me to class on time. When I say “on time,” I literally mean on time. One minute late and I would be docked down a whole grade.

Is this beneficial?
Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?
Is this going to be helpful for my future?

Fast forward to February 2011, as I ride, once again for the first time into an oddly familiar scene. An orphanage in Liberia, West Africa. I’m surrounded by little hands touching my “fine fine hair,” and smiling at my stupid flower tattoo. I think how blessed I am that I am actually here and try to hold back tears! I cannot believe how amazing life is. I have the opportunity to hang out with children, invest in orphan directors lives and to work with some of the best people in the world.

PLEASE don’t get me wrong. This is not going to be easy. I ask daily for God to reveal more truths about His great kingdom plan for Liberia and the kids. I expect the days of inconvenience, lots of spiritual buffing, and unexpected situations. Tons of thoughts and often some insecurities too, are running through my head like a whirlwind...

Will I do a good job?
Will I be able to make a difference Lord for you?
Will I glorify You with all I have in my time here?

As I am embarking on this journey for the next months, I would have to say I’m ready as I’ll ever be. I’m completely sold out for whatever God has, and honestly hoping for the wisdom of His love to teach me more than I have ever known.

The point I’m making is this: SEVERAL times in life we find ourselves in places we have no control over and we may never know the answer to our “whys” in our physical life on earth. We might find ourself in school, working in the U.S., saving the dying in hospice centers, playing music in a bar, gardening, serving at a restaurant, staying at home with the kids, cooking in the kitchen etc...

When we find ourselves moving to other continents, or staying home, remember time moves quickly. Your questions are humanly valid in ever sense of the "question," and God knows your heart. He is faithful to allow ambiguity in them and always answers, just not in the way we want them or expect them. In all circumstances God is faithful. I may never really “KNOW, KNOW,” the answer these questions... But, it doesn’t matter. God knows the heart. So, next time you find yourself questioning a lot, Stop. Think about those questions through the lens of Christ’s love for you and creation.

No matter where you are, what you’re doing, do it all for His glory and the questions grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and praise. Give them to Him, and that makes all the difference. :)

Your questions are valid. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. - 1 Cor 1:9
Excuse me while I go listen to "Blessed Be Your Name..."

Until The Next Question...