Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Critical, I've been so critical lately. Both inwardly and outwardly I've been criticizing everything and repeating the phrase, "I need to do this; you shouldn't do this; if only they would do it this way." What is wrong with me? Where is grace? Where is patience? How did I go on about this and miss it? Perhaps you haven't seen it, but I am painfully aware of it (and so is my husband!)

I think it might have something to do with want. We all want something don't we? We want skinnier bodies, more money, more discipline in prayer, the answers to life's problems; we seek affirmation from people by looking polished, "having it all together," saying all the right things, paying attention to all the "right" people, even if "for the sake of the Kingdom." But we want. 

At dinner tonight I found myself saying, "Uh, that's so lame, why would they want to have this big festival with a bunch of concerts. It's just going to attract a bunch of Christians. People don't meet Jesus through flashy shows; they meet him in the face and lives of others." Now, I know this blanket statement can't be true; I'm sure lots of people can say they were moved to know Jesus because of a concert, a festival, a crusade. But I'm thinking of how Jesus moved and affected people. There were some crowds we hear about, and maybe they left some of the stories of other crowds out, but there sure are a lot of one-on-one encounters. Quiet, intense encounters, that left a life changed. Did they all give it up and follow Jesus? We can't know. But I know from my measly 23 years of life lived that when eyes meet, when laughter escapes, when bodies are embraced in lingering hugs, something happens... something that can't be replicated from a stage and a sinner's prayer.

But I rambled.

I still can't say such strong words as "can't" and "won't" because God can and does use anything to make his name known, to nudge a person's heart, to waken something in their spirit that might not have been stirred otherwise. I just want things my way; I want my opinions and theologies to be true and correct.

Alas, I shall ask, "but what do you want of me, Lord?"

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory... (Psalm 115:1)

Friday, December 19, 2008


This week in particular has reminded me of some of the things I love most about the South, some of which are only relevant in the DEEP South where I come from. And since I don't write about "light" things very often, here goes...

Things I love about my South.

1. the way the city shuts down with the prediction of ice/snow that never actually comes...
2. sweet tea
3. cheese grits
4. pool swimming season lasts from May - September (at least)
5. sweet tea
6. New Orleans cuisine
7. two days out of school for Mardi Gras holidays
8. the ability to wear skirts at random points throughout the winter
9. no need for snow tires
10. sweet tea
11. southern accents
12. southern belles (like the sweet lady at our last church who sounded like Blanche Devereaux from the Golden Girls, but with much better morals.)
13. sweet tea

I'm constantly dreaming of places to move, all of which are NOT in the South, claiming that I can't stand the heat, that I want to meet people who follow Jesus instead of just claiming him, and that I want to hike and whitewater raft more. And those things are true, and those dreams keep dreaming, but you know, my South is home and you just can't get good sweet tea anywhere else, that's for dang sure.


Wishing you that joy and peace that came when the Word became flesh....