God's Pursuit of Me

Ever been told something so devastating you wanted to slip through a keyhole and disappear?  Check this out: www.inspireafire.com



This past week at Teen Leadership Conference, high schoolers were asked to write about significant events in their lives (whether joyful or devastating) in a way that would be a blessing to someone else. 

Click on "Teens Write" to read their work:


The Face I've Earned

My husband and I laughed our bottoms off one night as we watched a commercial advertising the services of a local plastic surgeon.  The spokeswoman in the commercial gave a lengthy discussion about procedures using collagen, botox, facial implants, etc., all without ever moving her upper lip--not because she didn't want to, but apparently because she couldn't.  A little too much of something had rendered her upper lip unmovable!

You should know that I honestly believe in doing the best you can with what you have.  I just wonder if some are going too far.

Is it really so bad to have laugh lines that map the way back to funny experiences you've had?  That let people know you're a kid at heart?  That give testimony of a God who gives the gift of laughter even after unmentionable pain? 

I was blessed to have a baby at age 43.  Somehow I got through that without a single stretch mark. 

I really wish I had gotten one. 

And I kind of wish it were across my face.


God Sightings

Three of Many Ways I Know There is a God:

A life. 

A love.

A passion.

I have all three, and only HE could have put them together as they are.  (Ephesians 3:20)


Community (Prodigal Pilates, Part 5)

My friends and I have finished reading and discussing The Prodigal God, and it has taken a little while to digest it all...Here's what I see:

Community. That's what it all comes down to. Though the born-again experience is an individual one, the living out of this life in Christ was designed by God to happen in community. How would I know if I had an elder brother attitude if I closed myself off to community? How would I GET the whole idea of redemption without opportunities to love my neighbor as Christ has loved me?

Who are we kidding? If our faith has nothing to do with our community, with our neighbors--with those people who are difficult to love as well as those easy to love, then we are no more than  Christian culturalists, and have no idea what redemption means.

A Christian culturalist, by the way, is someone enamored with the niceness of Christian culture, and who believes they are Christian because of their adherence to expected cultural norms. The strength of their faith, they would say, is equal to their disdain or discomfort with things or people that do not conform to that culture.

Where does that fit with the idea of community?

Perhaps YOU can tell me.


What Grace Looks Like (Prodigal Pilates, Part 4)

It looks like the bishop scene in the movie version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (Columbia/TriStar Pictures, 1998).  The bishop in that scene demonstrates what Christ, "the true elder brother" did for you and me.  (The Prodigal God, chapter 5).  Just google "Grace-Les Miserables" and check it out for yourself.
Then get the movie to see it in its entirety! 


Considering Culture (Prodigal Pilates, Part 3)

I just realized the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal sonS is an even bigger jerk than I thought a week ago.

Notice how the presence of the elder brother is confirmed right at the beginning of the parable (Luke 15:11, 12):  "There was a man who had TWO sons . . . So he divided his property between THEM."   Though the elder brother says nothing, he is as present here as when he explodes in conversation with his father outside the banquet hall at the end of the parable.

What would you say if you knew it was the duty of elder brothers in Middle Eastern society to keep the peace at  home, particularly if there was a problem between a younger sibling and the father?  The elder brother, who would have been the person closest to both the father and the problematic sibling, should have protested violently when his younger brother essentially wished their father dead by asking for his inheritance while the father was still alive.   

But the elder brother doesn't do that.

What's more, under these circumstances, the elder brother should have refused his own portion of the father's inheritance so as to honor the patriarch. 

But the elder brother doesn't do that either.

What does this reveal to you about the elder brother's heart and motive(s)?

(Reference:  Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15  by Kenneth Bailey, Concordia, 1992)