Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Like a Pumpkin

Following Jesus is like being a pumpkin. He picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, fear and selfishness. Then He carves you a new smiling face, and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

This isn't new, but I was amazed again at how true it was as the kids made their jack-o-lanterns. They so meticulously cleaned them and got out each and every seed, unfazed by the slime, and full of anticipation of the final products of their carefully executed plans.

Thank you, Lord, for not being bothered by the messy job of cleaning me out. You've got the finished product in mind. Hallelujah!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The little things

We had a fun weekend. Nothing big, just enjoying the little things. We had lots of leaves to rake up, and the lawn needed mowing. And Bethany needed something to do. So Lee used her as a "yard waste compactor". He would add some more leaves and bounce her up and down on them. You should have heard her giggling her head off.

Then it was time for Ben's basketball practice. Yes, that's right, a new sport for Ben. I cannot believe these second graders can play so well and make so many shots. They are a blast to watch, and these dads are such great coaches.

Lee and I got something special in the mail--a love note from our little girl. She very secretly found an envelope and addressed it and took it to the mailbox for us to find. How lucky are we! (Originally posted on Tracy's Scrapbook)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hidden with Christ

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:3-4

These verses have taken me by surprise in the past few weeks. On first glance, I thought this would have been the perfect message for me to reflect on when I was home with preschoolers a few years ago. Compared to other chapters of my life, that was a stage when my life was very much hidden. So why is now the time that I hear this message echoing from so many places?

It seems that the answers lie in the questions. Hidden...not "from whom or what?", but "with whom?", and "where?" With Christ. In God. If another person could see me, in a literal sense, drawing near to God, my presence would be imperceptible compared to His greatness. Not that I have no value, but my value is completely enveloped in the glorious worth of my Creator. And Christ is my vehicle to this amazing hiding place.

The idea of being hidden in someONE reminds me of the time that Lee and I went to the Boundary Waters with some friends. A bear came to visit our campsite, so I grabbed my camera to take his picture. It's too bad the automatic flash worked--he either didn't like it, or wanted a closer look. There was a fallen tree between the bear and me, but when he started heading my way, I ran and hid--right behind Lee and the other guys. What made me think he would find them more intimidating, I'm not really sure. Thankfully, he decided to ramble up the path to the john and we never saw him again.

Being hidden with Christ in God is such a truly safe place, and such a place of intimacy with Him. I get out and about more often now, and it really is a good time to be reminded that my goal isn't to be noticed, or not noticed. My goal is that when people see me, I am reflecting HIM, and that when they don't see me, I am content with the security and honor of being hidden in Him.

As I pondered all of this today, I noticed these lyrics playing through my mind:

How could I stand here
And watch the sun rise
Follow the mountains
Where they touch the sky
Ponder the vastness
And the depths of the sea
And think for a moment
The point of it all was to make much of me
Cause I'm just a whisper
And You are the thunder

I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

And how can I kneel here
And think of the cross
The thorns and the whip and the nails and the spear
The infinite cost
To purchase my pardon
And bear all my shame
To think I have anything worth boasting in
Except for Your name
Cause I am a sinner
And You are the Savior

This is Your love, oh God
Not to make much of me
But to send Your own son
So that we could make much of You
For all eternity

--"Much of You" by Steven Curtis Chapman