Saturday, May 28, 2011

h o p e

A quick thought on my heart this morning.

(Just a peek into real life: I am sitting here shredding our old phone book to add to the compost pile. Haha. Our garden and the ridiculous things I do to help it along are whole 'nother blog post.)

This last week has hurt. Finding out of the deaths of two people on the peripheries of our acquaintence on Saturday and then going to bed on Sunday only to wake up to the destruction of Joplin. Add to that a sky full of rain and clouds, and the week has been nothing but heavy. I've been thinking a lot about Jesus' return. You might have caught tale of that crazy guy in California who convinced his followers Jesus was coming back at 6 p.m., and surprise, no one showed up, and now the world ridicules. That's okay. One crazy guy does not change the truth that I believe and long for: Jesus is coming back. No man knows the hour, but He will come, and these earth-things that make me wring my hands and cry will be swallowed up in the advent of a new kingdom. I was in Isaiah this morning:

" A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling
[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious."

-Isaiah 11:1-10

I read this passage to Aaron with tears brinking. The scope of sin has affected even the way animals interact with each other. We feel it deep down, in the basements of our souls, every day: the world is is not the way it was made to be. But for those who follow Christ, the hope is that it will not always be this way.

And then I thought of all the things I worry about. Namely, the deaths of people I love. I won't go into all the scenarios I imagine...

But, today my heart has peace and hope that nothing, nothing, nothing can change what will someday be when Christ locks sin and death away forever. If all my worst fears came true, there is a greater truth still. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and the truest and best life is yet to come.

I hope this encourages you today. When you take a look at the world, despair is inescapable. When you take a look at Christ, hope is undeniable.

Take a look at Him today, my friends.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Last Hurrah (but there will be another)

A couple of months ago, I had an early morning epiphany. (I love the word epiphany; it is probably one of my top ten favorite words. Now that would be a fun list to make.) I dashed off an email to my three dear friends, and I'll let y'all read it in its unedited glory:


Literally I am like bouncing off the walls right now.

Okay this idea came to me this morning during my morning devos, so I really think it might be from Jesus. :)

Kristen and Nicole are already planning to be in OKC for the Nomads conference April 29-May 1. So that just means that if Kyndel and I could get there, we could have a foursome reunion of the sweetest proportions before K and Nic leave for the Asian continent!!!!!!"

I really do believe the idea was from Jesus.

Somehow, He made last week's reunion happen, and we were all able to sneak away for a few days from our lives in Kansas, Colorado, Texas, and Missouri.

Our friendship is about to turn 8 this year. I wrote about these women here, when we celebrated Kyndel's wedding in October. For four years, we were able to race down the hallway or, at most, across campus, to share something exciting or ask for prayer or cry or jump crazy from couch to couch.

For the next four years, we did those same things over Facebook, email, cell phone calls, and weekend reunions.

Things are about to change.

I tear up when I think about the changes coming. Nicole and Kristen are both moving before summer's end. In the world's judgement, it would seem they are throwing their young and lovely lives away. Moving to countries where oppression and poverty abound is not exactly most people's idea of a good life. I am so proud of my friends who are following Jesus into the hardest earthly circumstances, and who do so with joy and excitement and peace.

So we met in Oklahoma City for three days, and we laughed and remembered and prayed and even argued a little. (Making matching shirts at 12 am was maybe not the best timing...)

We ate our way through Oklahoma City. Thai and tacos and cupcakes and Chik-fil-a and Cheesecake Factory take-out.

We shared marriage stories and prayer needs. Tears were shed, and it was so sweet! (Only a woman would write that sentence.) There are few things more cathartic than crying in the presence of a comfortable friend.

I love you, girls. You have been the presence of Christ to me in some of my darkest hours. You spur me on. You make me want to love our God more.