Hello, Ladies. I'm sipping a latte on this cold late afternoon, pretending you're all here with me. Actually, it's going to seem even more like that in our new Google Group. I hope you'll continue to report in when you're having trouble getting in there so Leah can sort that out for you. (As you can imagine, I'm just as clueless as you are!) I think it's going to be a good extension of our twice weekly posts. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see yesterday's (Monday's post) by Leah, entitled "Announcing."
One of the things you'll be able to do there is make prayer requests, but I hope you'll continue to do it here too. I like this part of our visits, and I think a lot of you do too. We've seen some God-things happen, haven't we? Today, your sisters have asked you to pray for:
SARAH ELIZABETH'S friend Shannah's mom who has no end of serious health problems. Pray for Shannah too; she's under a lot of stress.
ABBY who has a math test she's freaking out over on Thursday, and who is dealing with a change of schedule at her church that will keep her from going to the high school service.
ALISHA, who has a set of exams starting tomorrow. Please pray that she'll stay vertical! Seriously, do pray that health issues won't interfere.
Merciful God, please hear the prayers of your daughters.
We also have some things to give thanks for:
The continued improvement in Baby Em, ALISHA"s very small friend.
The presence of the Spirit in ALEXANDRIA and her group's work at the theatre Competition and Convention -- a spirit the Broadway director judge said he saw but couldn't define.
I have one too. YOu know how in the last post I confessed that I'd been whining because I hadn't heard from a publisher on a project I really, really wanted to do? They're offering me a contract! Just found out today! Ya gotta love what happens when you do what's in front of you and wait for God. (It doesn't always turn out the way you plan, but this time it did. I might have TWO lattes!)
Your Responses To the Last Post:
You were your usual honest selves when I asked what you might be whining about, instead of well, you know, obeying. You said:
* You've tended to ignore these posts because they've struck a nerve. (I must be doing something right, then!)
* It's easy to think something you deep-down know is a nudge really isn't because you don't want to go where it's pulling you.
* You whine about: parental authority; letting go of things that, even though they don't serve you well, have come to define you -- like depression; school . . . school . . . and did I mention school? -- especially with semester exams lined up like planes waiting to take off.
In your discussions on the Google Group or even here, please continue to tell us what you plan to do about that. Is God nudging you at all? Can you take a baby step? Or do you need somebody to get in your face and say, "Get over it, girl!" (The way my daughter sometimes has to do with now two-year-old Baby Maeryn. I just smile . . .)
While you continue in that vein, I'm going to take us in what may seem like the opposite direction, but bear with me, because I think some of you have experienced this too -- maybe even at the same time that you're whining about one thing . . . Life can be so confusing!
Obedience Session #4
READ: John 6:14-15. This comes right after Jesus has miraculously fed the five thousand, using the loaves and fishes provided by a small boy. (John's is the only Gospel that includes the kid in this story; that's why it's my favorite version) You've probably heard every interpretation of that miracle possible, so we're going to look at the aftermath, where two things happen:
(1) The people are so impressed and awed by the whole thing they try to take Jesus by force and make him king.
(2) Jesus gives them the slip and goes off to the mountain by himself.
IMAGINE AND PONDER: First THINK about the fact that Jesus has reached a peak in his popularity and yet he runs away from it. He doesn't just say, "No thanks -- I really couldn't." He physically removes himself from the situation and goes off by himself, presumably to pray. IMAGINE what he discussed with his Father. Did he ask for strength to continue to refuse their plan? Did he ask for guidance in what to do next? One thing to consider is that in the very next scene, Jesus walks on water. Do you think his talk with God had anything to do with that new evidence of his power? Now PONDER your dream of success, and IMAGINE yourself at its peak. What's going on? How are people treating you? How are you feeling about your sweet self? What could possibly be un-godly about the whole thing? Do any pitfalls yawn before you -- holes of pride, ego, loss of perspective you could fall into? Now IMAGINE going off by yourself to pray about it.
PRAY: This time, write in your journal or on your drawing pad so you can include some art if you want. Ask God to show you a current situation in your life where you are either: (1) feeling a little too, what my grandmother used to call, "big for your britches;" or (2) putting somebody else on a pedastal they don't belong on (because, um, nobody does). When you know what it is, write it down. Make it visual if you want. (And by the way, anytime you do a drawing or other piece of art connected with these sessions, feel free to snap a digital photo and attach it to an email to me to include here on the blog.)
NUDGE TO ACTION: What do you need to do to either (1) back off the ego thing or (2) get perspective on this person you're practically worshipping? Obey. Do it. Do it now. If that means going off by yourself to think it and pray it through, do that first.
SHARE: Tell us anything about this experience that you want to. If you like a specific question, here's one: Where do you need to remind yourself that neither you nor anybody else is that good, that powerful, that awesome? What are you going to do obey what Jesus demonstrates in this story?
As for that Treasure Chest where you're storing up signs and wonders, anything that symbolizes a call to humility (not beating yourself up! just perspective on yourself!) should go right in there.
Right now, I'm going to go bake a humble pie. The first person to tell us what that means gets a free book.