Monday, August 27, 2012

Some of My Current Loves...

Since it is Monday, and almost 10 PM, I thought I'd go light on this beginning of the week post.  I don't have enough brain power to devote to meaty subjects at this time of night.  Here are some of thethings I am in love with right now:

Married To Jonas: I sat down and watched this show on E! just tonight, and I must admit, in my estimation, its a million times better than Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  I'm looking forward to my weekly dates with Kevin and Danielle Jonas on Sunday evenings.  Plus, whenever I did watch the Kardashians I felt really guilty and that I needed to find a cofession booth immediately or the nearest priest. Married to Jonas leaves me with a very clean conscience. 

Some of my readers may already know of my undiagnosed obession with scarves.  It is an addiction, but a very cute and fashionable one, if I do say so myself.  I always feel so put together when I add a scarf to my wardrobe choice for the day.  They make me feel sophisticated.  I'm only permitting myself to wear lightweight scarves right now.  There is no way I could do pashminas.  Texas summers are just too hot.  Scarves are a small accents that I can add to make it feel a little more like Fall has arrived and will be staying for a while.

Tea: If you've known me for any length of time you know of my adoration for tea.  I drink it ice cold in the Spring and Summer and piping hot in the Fall and Winter.  I feel like it also incorporates a tradition of another one of my favorite things: all things British (except for blood pudding. That's where I draw the line.)  I love the process of making tea, I love the smell of it steeping, I love its taste, and I love how a good-sized cup of it feels in my hands.  It's therapeutic to enjoy my tea.  My favorite blend is the classic black tea.  I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to this.  It's always my drink of choice.

I'm loving that school is back in session.  It is during this time every year that I think of Kathleen Kelly's famous "...bouquets of sharpened pencils" line. There is a huge chunk of my family that are reachers or administrators so the beginning of school is always a huge life event every year.  I love everything about it.  It means a fresh start.  It means learning at deeper levels.  It means making new friends.  It means dreaming new dreams.  I love learning so when August rolls around, I'm a happy young woman.  Plus, this year is special because all of my family, my mom, dad, brother, and sil will all be back in the same town.  I am so excited.  The beginning of a new school year is always wonderful because in some part, I feel like the fantasy of becoming a real-life teacher might actually come true.  Playing school was always my very favorite way to spend my time as a little tiny girl.  I used to have a very strong Texas twangy accent when I taught, and the refrigerator make for a fabulous chalkboard.  Here's to those special memories...

What are you currently loving these days?  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Worship is Warfare...

Happy Monday, dear reader!  I hope your week is beginning well.  As most of you probably know from the info provided in my bio, one of the three most formative passions of my life has been worship. I flat out adore it and I have from the very beginning.  The act of worship is unfathomably powerful.  It breaks down walls, it is intensely inclusive, it ivites God to do the impossible, and it is one of the main points of access into the activity in the heavenly realms.  My very favorite thing about worship is that it completely incapasitates the enemy.  He absolutely has to flee whenever worship is a part of an atmosphere.  He abhors it. I love that.  When we worship, he loses all authority he may hold over any part of life.  All his lies lose power the milisecond one word of praise is uttered from my lips.  Is that not exciting?  I want to just stomp all over him in celebration and victory whenever and however I can.  Worship repels him and it steals his intentions.  The lessons I write about here are lessons that I have had experience with God in.  My intention is to share them as a means to show how a person can walk with God into all of His fullness or how someone may be able to find a way back to Him and in that complete freedom.  I am most certainly not sharing here to pat myself on the back or to shine recognition on anything I have done.  It is all to the glory, honor, and praise of my Papa God.  Now that that is said, I'd love to share three of my beliefs about worship and why I think it is so essential for a Christ-honoring and fulfilling inner life:

1) Worship is a lifestyle.  It most certainly is not just something you do in a building or only on Sunday mornings.  Worship is tied to every single thing -- little or big; significant or insignificant that you do every minute of every day.  Worship is washing dishes, or changing diapers, or tithing, or driving in your car.  The thing that defines whether or not it is an act of worship is the attitude of your heart and spirit as you live it out.  Living life through a lens of worship makes us different.  It causes people to wonder, "What is the it that this person has and is receiving life from?"  An authentic lifestyle of worship leads to Jesus being seen most clearly.  I believe that a life lived every second in every day throughout every season is the richest and most formative way to live.  Worship invites Papa God into every experience.  Claiming worship as a lifestyle is full of rewards and blessings.  It allows you to go into community and communion with God in a deeper and richer way.

2) Worship builds community.  I believe absolutely anyone who desires to live authentically in worship draws people to them.  Authenticity and a true pursuit of worship also draws the activity of God into life in a more relational way.  One thing I've learned as I've gained some milage with God is that you cannot in any way, shape or form fake a life of worship.  You're either intentionally pursuing it or you're not.  God knows.  There is a marked difference.  Another thing, people can tell whether you are actively pursuing a life of worship.  People who are looking for life-giving and lasting community are not interested in fake or counterfeit worship.  Life is a beast and community needs to have a place in the church and in our daily lives.  A life given to worship builds the richest and most treasured community.  If community is not built on a foundation of authenticity it will not serve a godly purpose.  Community is so very needed in society today.  Don't be someone or something you're not.  Make a decision to live out of a place of pure worship and gratitude.

3) Worship invites the reality of heaven into every day.  Two of the purposes of worship is to usher something in and to help create an atmosphere.  As we worship, we release something.  I've heard it said that whatever you behold is what you become and whatever you become will be released into who you are and everything you do.  I can only speak for me, but, I want everything that heaven has.  It is entirely possible to live in the reality of heaven now as we walk the earth.  Jesus said it, so I believe it.  Try it.  All you do is use your mouth to invite heaven's atmoshpere.  It's that easy.  You won't be the same.  It will ruin you for anything less.  Worship partners with heaven to see the miraculous occur.  Worship attracts miracles. Relentless and intimate pursuit of God through worship makes Him eager to accomplish what is seemingly impossible.  It's genius.  It's beautiful to behold.  It's even better to experience. 

Bottom line: Worsip is the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal.  I pray that we live it; that we begin to use it to build authentic community; and that we learn to partner with it to see heaven manifested on earth!  May you know that this is attainable for you.  Worship is a wonderous gift.  Learn to use it to see God move on your behalf.     


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Spirit is Full...

Hi, blogworld! It has been awhile once again.  I have been on a journey this summer, and let me tell you, it has been quite a wild, divinely-orchestrated ride.  As a result of this aforementioned journey, I've been filled up to overflowing with new posts.  You can expect to find a new entry in this space every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday/Saturday.  That last one is dependant upon which day I can most easily sit down and put the time and energy into organizing my thoughts.  I am really excited about sharing the parts of my heart that can be shared.  I realize that some of this journey that I've been on can only be between me and the Lord, but I'm hoping that by sharing where I've been, what I've learned, and what I think about a certain topic can help bring anyone who visits this space a little more authenticity.  I am big on authenticity.  Another thing that is immensely important to me is building a sense of community wherever I am.  I thrive off of these two gifts.  These two things take time to grow in any environment, and I am completely aware of this.  I desire this space to be a place where authenticity, vulnerablity, and community will break out over time.  I belive with all my being that the only way to fully enjoy and embrace this journey of life is to do it with complete authenticity in every area.

My hope and prayer is that this can be a space where anyone can come and find joy for their journey and also that they might find some tangible and life-giving steps toward knowing complete and unashamed freedom in their pursuit toward what lasting fullness of a life lived well looks like like. Many blessings to you, dear reader.  May you know how fully the Lord delights in you right where you are today!