Thursday, April 28, 2016

happy spring from my hummingbird friends




I've been hanging out with these two in the evenings... Well, more like sitting very still for long periods of time, waiting till they grace me with their presence for a few seconds while I frantically adjust my manual focus. ;) My fingers get cold hovering ready to press the shutter when the sun starts to go down, but it's good to be out in the fresh springtime air hearing the chickadees sing their mating song and catching oh-so-brief glimpses of these little flying jewels.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

april thoughts in bullet points









  • ^ This is my favorite person. It was fun (and also very scary and stressful at times) helping him and his dad take a tree down by our carport over the weekend. I have been struck anew lately what a privilege marriage is.... a privilege and a responsibility that together we get to be a mini-model of God's love, honor, and grace toward us.
  • I used to think it was normal and right to refer to myself, as a Christian, as "a dirty, rotten sinner saved by grace." It didn't begin to occur to me until recent months and weeks what a flawed viewpoint that is. Yes, it's right to identify sin as what it is: sin, rebellion, unrighteousness, offense against the holiness of God Himself. But as a saved person it can't be right to identify myself with that sin any longer. I do not find Jesus or Paul or Peter or the other major characters of the New Testament referring to themselves and their followers as sinners - I find that they, almost without exception, use the word "saints" instead. I am not a dirty, rotten sinner saved by grace; I am a saint who, yes, still sins, but who is being perfected by the gracious hand of God every day. Can it be anything but damaging and wrong to look at myself differently than HE looks at me? Can I be so arrogant as to think I'm being super-righteous by getting more down on myself than God Himself does? Can His precious blood sacrifice possibly be "not enough" to WIPE AWAY my sin and change my identity completely?! I don't think so.
  • Speaking of being a saint who still sins... who is still in the process of being sanctified... sometimes this sanctification hurts. The breaking of pride hurts. I experienced this afresh last week and sometimes I would just rather say, "Nope, not going through this, God, not even for You." But I have found it true again that God draws near to humility, and that what is lost by the painful destruction of my pride is gained back tenfold in the way He picks me up from my epic fail and gifts me with His presence and closeness so much more richly. The Lord loves those He chastens! Hallelujah that He values His children enough to guide them to righteousness, even when it hurts.
  • I have been thinking about the concept of lament. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of lament in the Bible; most of the Psalms fall into this category along with (obviously) the whole book of Lamentations. I wonder sometimes why we don't see more lament happening in our worship and prayer times in the church. We sing a lot of praise and joy, which is needed and right, but it is only a small facet of worship. Huge depths of spiritual truth and growth and understanding of God are found in the laments of the Bible, and when we act like coming to God from a place of pain isn't okay, I think we miss out on a whole aspect of His character. God isn't too small to handle our pain or our anger or our fear or our complaints. And I sometimes think He would rather we come to HIM with these ugly things than do what we normally do, which is (for me) take them out on other people or to the all-knowing Internet. God is ready and willing to hear our deepest hurt and offer His grace, comfort, and healing. And it's usually in these places of pain that we find ourselves softened to the truth of God's Word that can help redirect our perspective and set us free.
So yeah... that's a little tip-of-the-iceberg taste of what has been whirling around in my head lately. There is so much wisdom and knowledge and truth to be had from our God and it just makes me excited. :) What's been on your mind recently?

Friday, April 8, 2016

in mountains










A few Mt. Adams shots from my past couple visits home that had yet to make it to the blog.

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