let justice and praise become my embrace

figuring out the art of losing myself to better know Him

Refocusing Tuesday, 17 July 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 9:12 pm

Last night I went out for coffee with a friend. Actually, I had only met her once before, and that was over a year ago… but we have a mutual friend, who ended up re-introducing us and before we knew it, we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory talking for nearly two hours.
I feel like it was one of those moments in life where God becomes so much clearer, and all that once was blurry begins to sharpen, and you begin to really SEE. Anyway, the whole conversation was so refreshing and encouraging, that I just want to share a little piece of the things we discussed.
Being home has been tough at times, boring at other times… but the whole of it, God has felt really distant. Or maybe it’s just that I didn’t want Him to be too close. But last night as we chatted, I realized that God is such a jealous God and that He will literally destroy anything that gets between us and Him. It sounds funny, but often times, it’s quite painful when the things or people in which we’ve put our hope, fail us.
Leaving DTS was a hard transition, mainly because I was constantly surrounded by people there, anytime I experienced God, it was in the presence of other people. And coming home, I am mostly alone. And I think I began to think that maybe I could not experience God by myself. Which is so off, I can’t even begin to tell you…
I’m beginning to see that God likes to kinda pull the rug out from under us, so to speak, so that we will start to depend and rely fully on him. If we are depending on anything or anyone more than we depend on Him, then we have lost sight. And He is so faithful to keep bringing our focus back to Him.
We were created for intimacy with Him.
That is the basic message and motivation behind the Gospel.
God wanted to be intimate with us. We were made for the sole purpose of knowing the One who made us.
How is it that life carries us so far away from our main purpose?
How is it that in the search for our God-given destiny, we sometimes stop seeking the Destiny-giver?
God is a jealous God.
He is after your time, your attention, your heart.
Your entire life.
And I think we’ll find time and time again, that that is the only way we can truly LIVE.
We must keep coming back to the cross. To the Source of our life. Jesus.

Life without him kinda sucks.
If you haven’t found that out yet, sooner or later you will. : )

May you be totally satisfied in Him alone today.

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Sunday, 1 July 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 3:49 pm

I was thinking today about how when I was in Rwanda, there were so many comforts that I missed from home. Simple things too, like running water, hot showers, toilets that flushed, and carpet under my feet. There were other things too like my mom’s cooking, my cell phone, a comfy pillow, privacy, alone time, etc…

And now I am home. I took a hot shower last night, every toilet I’ve used today has flushed, just had lunch (that my mom made), there is carpet under my feet as I type this, and I am alone in the study. And strangely enough, now I miss comforts of a different sort. I miss late-night conversations with Georgie underneath our mozzy net. I miss Arun poking his head in our window, asking “Do you need your iPod charged?” I miss Rene pulling me aside randomly and hugging me tightly. I miss the walks Taz and I used to go on, where she’d just encourage me the whole time, telling me, reminding me of who I am in Christ. Oh how I miss these things!

You see, I think when there is a lack of physical comforts, you turn to people, and the joy that they bring you becomes comfort to you. Truth be told, I can live without a flushing “loo” or bread and bananas for breakfast every morning… I’ve done it, so I know.
The Africans are onto something though. In African culture,  people (and the relationship you have with them) are valued above all else. You drop everything to talk to your neighbor, you can get distracted at the market, but it’s okay, because people are more important than your daily agenda.

And I really, really miss that. I miss people who will listen to what I say, because they truly want to hear the words I say. I miss being hugged- the kind of hug that feels like they’ll never let you go. I miss it.

When I think back to the past six months, what I treasured the most was my relationships. I felt so loved and so accepted by the people with whom I spent my time. I wish I had taken advantage of it more.

Maybe we just show love differently here in America. Or maybe we are just so busy with our “comforts” that we forget just how valuable people are…

what do you think?