Sunday, July 29, 2007

Just in case you needed a laugh today...

So last night we had a staff "gansta" party complete with "bouncers", VIP passes, and some of the worst dancing I've seen since MC Hammer and those silly pants he used to wear. In case some one is seriously needing to drop a few calories by laughing until their abs pop, I thought I'd post some pictures of this glorious event. Beware...Abby has only one "gansta" face...and after examining the evidence it was realized that this in fact is NOT a gansta face, but rather just the "kissy face" with a little attitude.

Hope your day is blessed at our expense.... :)

My fabulous "bouncer" brother and I...

My roommate Katie and I...

Yam the Smoothie maker Cruise...

A friendly one :)


Katie's sister Kristen and I...

I have lots of things to tell, but that's all I got for now...go ahead...laugh it up!
I'll try to catch up this week with all of the amazing stories about what the Lord is doing here! I can't believe there are only 2 weeks left!

PS...Why do I feel like Shelly Bland would have done really well with this whole gansta thing?!?!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cheap Grace

Don't have much time before worship, but just wanted to share part of what I have been reading. I bought a book by John Piper at Passion 07' called When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy. I have just got around to reading it this summer and it is blowing my socks off. I have to read every page like 3 times just to even begin to understand his genius writing. I am now STUCK on a particular page because of a Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote that Piper adds in at the bottom of the page. I just can't get over it, and the sadness of how true it really is...

"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate....The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ...We...have gathered like eagles round the carcass of cheap grace, and there we have drunk of the poison which has killed the life of following Christ."

Sweet Jesus I pray for forgiveness for the ways that we have minimized you, contained you, tried to restrain you, and kept you from doing your work. I hate that we have even thought about making you anything your not, an at the same time not given you enough credit for ALL that you are. I pray that the world would see and know the true Christ, and not some fabrication of Him, or the version of Him that we have adopted and tried to mold you into to give to others. Reveal yourself to us in a way that makes us change and kills any evidence of cheap grace in our lives. We love you, help us love you more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Locked Doors

So I fully intended to come back after worship (and a little free time *grin*) and give my camp update of what has been happening here the last month and a half or so. That was the plan before worship. Then I went to worship, and the plan changed. I love it when that happens...sometimes Jesus just has a different agenda for our hearts and minds--and how messed up would we be not to follow in line at His feet and say YES SIR!!
Our proclaimer this week is a man named Adrian Despres (sp?...pronounced Doo-Pray). He is hands down one of the most amazing evangelist I've ever heard in my life. The message this evening wasn't specifically from this particular passage, but when Adrian rested here for a minute, the ears of my heart perked up and my toes got stepped on.

The address is Ezekiel 8. The subject, idolatry in the temple. The Lord leads Ezekiel to the temple in Jerusalem "to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood" (v.3) How true is that? How many times do our idols spring out of jealous admiration of THEIR___________ or THAT____________ that's not ours, but that we desperately want. Toe #1, ouch.
Verse 6..."Son of man, do you see what they are doing--the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is going here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?" How many times have I cause the Lord to want to turn from His dwelling place within my heart because of my SIN that disgusts Him? Toe #2.
(Cont.) "But you will see things that are even more detestable".
After digging through a hole in the wall, Ezekiel comes to a doorway (v8). At this point Adrian posed the option that maybe this doorway would have been locked because of the seriousness of what was going on behind it. Something about that idea just clicked with me. And on the other side of the doorway Ezekiel found...

"...I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals and all the idols of the house of Israel. In front of them stood seventy elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing amount them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising. [The Lord] said to me "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? The say 'The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.' Again, he said, "You will see them doing things that are even more detestable."

All toes bruised.

This was one of those nights where you come face to face with Christ, and there is no denying the straight up JUNK in your life. The crawling, detestable idols and sins you THINK are hidden in your life are revealed before the cross, and you have no choice but to say I'M SORRY to the great I AM...humbly accept his grace...and repent.
Sometimes we keep things hidden behind our own "locked doors" thinking as long as they stay there, and we own the key, we can hide our secret lives and no one will know that we are still struggling to get it right...not even God.

NEWSFLASH. HE KNOWS. And you're not the only one with a key to that door. Every time you and I enter into our secret areas of lies and deception the Almighty SEES, and He KNOWS. One of my favorite Beth Moore illustrations is from her study on Jonah where she describes Jonah's mission to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent. She compares their situation to someone who, in the middle of their darkest hour receives a letter from God that says something like, "I just wanted you to know, I KNOW. I know about the sin. The wickedness and depravity. I KNOW."
Can you imagine? Caught in the act. The moment your sin is nailing Christ to the cross, God just leans down and says, HELLO, I CAN SEE YOU. AND I KNOW.

What is behind your "locked door"? Tonight I came face to face with some areas that I needed to hand over the key to...including the extra copy I hid underneath my pillow in case I needed to take the back way in or out. It's time to hand over your key, say "I'm sorry", accept the grace freely given you, and repent like your life depends on it...cause it does.

PS...Then get up and throw a party cause Jesus loves you like no other and you are a new creation in Him. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Still breathing :)

Just dropping in to say that after battling camp sickness twice, and depression from my blog hiatus (sp?) I'm still alive! I have several new blog friends to catch up with and re-pay them for a visit or two, and hope to do so very soon! Our camp team traveled to western North Carolina for 2 weeks for a break from the beach to do camp in the mountains, and it has been the biggest blessing!! We have had some much needed REST (there is nothing like napping in the mountains while the rain hits your window) and extra time to love on our God and let Him do the same to us! We are heading back to the beach this weekend for the last 4 weeks of camp at which point I will give an extremely over-due UPDATE on what the Lord has been doing with us for the last month and a half! (Be prepared for a novel!) Ahhh!! I am so excited!!!
In the meantime, thanks to those who keep visiting despite any recent news being posted, and I can't wait to catch up! ...I love how blog sistas talk like we're gonna be "haning out" makes me smile :)

Til the weekend...have a blast with your Creator!! :)
Much love, friends!!