Monday, February 23, 2009

Beware of the Stinging Nettle

Y'all ever heard of these things? I think it's something I may have heard of but didn't really know what they were. They're plants. They look like mint and they grow like mint - taking over and recreating wherever they are. Except the major difference is that they have tiny little thorns all over them that appear as "texture". These thorns immediately release some strange chemical into your fingers. We went hiking today and kept seeing these along the path and I was curious.. is it mint? (the ones we saw were much prettier than the picture) So I went to pluck a leaf and immediately pulled back my hand! It BIT ME! Weird thing is there were no thorns actually stuck in my fingers. It just felt like it. I thought it would go away after a few hours and the sensation has changed, but not diminished much. It feels like the ends of my left finger and thumb are asleep. When something touches them I get that strange waking-up-pins-and-needles sensation. Anyway. I just thought I would share so that you can avoid them too. It's not nice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Am the Church

I came across this video. It's really, really neat. SO amazing to see that there are so many around the world who say the same thing we do. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Can't Remember

I can't remember the last time that I've written with abandon. Written something for myself because I need to, because I want the release of seeing all of it typed in front of me instead of floating around in my head in unorganized, wandering thoughts. I think that's part of what my blog is for. Not always these lofty philosophical theologies and revelations. Not that those are bad. And I do want to write about that. The things that God has been revealing, the way He's been changing have been monumental. But what about the past few months? The months in which this blog has lay dormant. I feel a silent question from the readers - especially those who may not know me as well. What's happened?
A line from a Sara Groves song is circling my mind right now. "It's been a hard year, I'm climbing out of the rubble. These lessons are hard, healing changes are subtle. But every day.. It's less like scars... And more like character" I admit. I haven't much of a life to reflect on yet. But this has been one of the hardest years I've ever encountered. So difficult, so painful, but so gloriously victorious. Lets go backwards.
Start with December. My dad was admitted to the hospital at the beginning of the month, losing blood in places you don't want to lose blood. He lost so much at one point that he passed out and ended up in the ICU for days. They discovered a cancerous tumor in his colon. There was never an opportunity to be fearful. Immediately the body of Christ surrounded us on all sides. God gave us peace through every circumstance we faced. He brought our family together and gave us the comfort of HIS family. I had an entire month to simply cherish the LIFE of my dad. He was in and out of the ICU a couple times, but we got through it after 2 exhausting weeks. Gods timing was amazing! They removed the cancer and doctors now say that he is 95% CURED - something they rarely say to anyone. The chances of the cancer coming back are little to none.
Back up a little more. We had a week off of work and school due to a major Hurricane in September. Gustav hit Baton Rouge with more force than any hurricane for several years. Weird part is, the hurricane was great! We played in it and spent an inordinate amount of time with our family - the body of Christ (who, incidentally had power back after 2 days, while we had to wait a week!). But during that time the Lord was dealing with me emotionally. That was very weird to me. For so long I didn't think that He had anything to do with emotion. I've learned not to base my spiritual status on how I "feel".. In fact I think that's rather dumb and selfish. But there was years worth of anger and hurt built up in me that I had to deal with. The alternative to dealing with it was a heart hardened by bitterness. And I could see myself on that pathway very quickly. God gave me a major revelation on this passage from Hebrews 11:15, "Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." But.. That's a blog post in itself.. He's still working on me to keep my heart clear.
In July we moved out. That was such a bittersweet experience! I think we were ecstatic to finally be on our own. Everything that happened leading up to moving out was difficult. But I knew that God had me in that season for a purpose and I was determined not to waste that time! Being surrendered to Him paid off in a big way. He changed me and my attitude.. And taught me some very valuable things during those 6 months. Like how to keep my mouth shut when it's difficult. How to serve and love when everything in your flesh says they don't deserve it.
“We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armor.  If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it.”
I've put that quote on my blog before. But I think that now it sums up the last year for me. There has been love through suffering. And I can't remember a time when I've ever felt nearer to Him. Even when it seems He is the one doing the breaking. He has taught me to throw away the defenses and let myself be wounded. And He is healing deeper than I dreamed was possible.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Testing for Deanna

Y'all tell me if you see a picture.

****Edit: Okay it worked, Thanks!