Friday, May 23, 2008

Boldness in the dark

Current mood: Courageous

Tonight, I watched "Kingdom of Heaven"...for those of you who have not seen it, I would recommend it, but not if you get queazy by bloody war films. The ideas...not really ideas, but more points that are put forward, are upright & seem to be true to God's character. The movie takes place during the crusades...Muslim's and Christendom, one against each other's purpose yet not against each other. It brings to the surface that men can be good despite the bad around them, that standing for a Godly purpose can bring Glory to God through all men.

Please read the quotes below to get a taste of the honest truth & beauty of the purpose behind this piece of art & mastery.

King: You see, none of us chose our end really. A king may move a man, a father may claim a son. But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convinient at the time." This will not suffice. Remember that.

Nasir: Your quality will be known among your enemies, before ever you meet them.

Hospitaller: I put no stock in religion. By the word religion I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is here
[points to head]
Hospitaller: and here
[points to heart]
Hospitaller: and what you decide to do every day, you will be a good man - or not.

Balian of Ibelin: What man is a man who does not make the world better.

Godfrey of Ibelin: Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.

Balian of Ibelin: God will understand, my lord. And if he doesn't, then he is not God and we need not worry.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Craziest Thing

It's a funny thing when people or situations around you just happen to turn out funny. It's nothing you can plan on or hope for....but somewhere deep down you always do! You can't plan on those things like choking on falafel cause you're laughing so hard and at that exact moment a Jewish midget happens to walk past your window! Or like when you're playing a game of Mexican Train with your grandpa who just had a stroke & as he's moving the train forward he says "tweet tweet"! These moments are priceless....funny, hysterical and worth so much in memories.

Then there are those moments where you're laughing at this lady dancing her heart out to some crazy music and realize that she doesn't have a care in the world right now and you would LOVE to be in her shoes. Or moments when people you've never met come to you with a message they believe is from God...and they speak into what you'd been praying about all day but hadn't told a soul!

But the craziest thing, is that tonight, after a day of secluding myself in silence (pretty much), I went home to watch the Bucket List. As I cried through the end of "The Bucket List," all I wanted was some water & maybe something sweet. SO I went to my kitchen, got a big glass of water & reached into my "stash" to get a piece of Dove chocolate. As is my custom, I always fully unwrap the chocolate before looking at the phrase beneath. And what was the message I found? "Make a list of your dreams." I laughed, I stared and then cried because somewhere deep inside I just needed to hear someone, something, anything encouraging at that moment. I just wanted to know someone was there & there He was....providing a little comfort & humor in the moment I needed it. A little reminder that God is in every moment of our lives....directing & navigating our path to His good will...and through His good sense of humor!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hope....and courage.

So today I visited an old (literally old, as in age) friend in the hospital. His whole being is an encouragement to each person that he knows. It is this kind of person that I hope to be someday...but seeing him in the hospital shook me back to the memories of my own grandfather in the hospital. Some of you didn't know me at that time, but it was a difficult time for me & my family. It was a deep time of uncertainty & disbelief. The quietness of the hospital room, being surrounded by a presence of peace & grace, yet shrouded with fear and pain. In the last few hours that I spent with my grandpa, I sang him some old hymns & read some scriptures...he was unresponsive for two weeks, yet when you held his hand he would squeeze so tight that you knew he understood my intentions were to show my love for him. Today, as I visited my friend, we prayed & he squeezed my hand the way my grandpa brought tears out of my eyes, silently releasing the longing I still have to see my grandpa again. As I remember what God has told us & look back on how I have seen Him work, I know that through this, God IS STILL WITH US. Last night, I watched Martian Child, and the father says to the little boy who has been hurt, abused, abandoned & left behind, "I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER, ever....leave you." As the child embraces the man who he knows truly loves him more than anything, you get a sense that this is how God reaches out & comforts us amidst our pain. In Romans 8:28 it says "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God." And Romans 8:38 says "So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Think on these things & be comforted knowing that though men & women die, leave us, move away or forget us, God will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER....leave us.