Friday, June 30, 2006

Star Sighting #2...And #3!

I was released from the last day of my first rotation early and decided to treat myself to a bad lunch from McAlister's. Woo, the thought of that broc/cheese soup still gives me bad. I don't know how Memphis always got that right, but beware the McAlister's in Brentwood. As I drive by Chik-fil-a, I look, I look again, and yep, I'm pretty sure I saw Matt Wertz sitting there in deep convo with his bud. I bout flipped. Had I not been completely tired, worn out, and discouraged, I might have busted out the usual Lauren-lack-of-shyness-always-ready-to-make-a-new-connection and chatted it up. Oh well, maybe next time.

My next chance came when I stopped by Blockbuster tonight after work. I go there once a week, usually on a Friday night, and relax and watch a movie. It's fun for me, don't hate. So I walk in, glance at this guy, look twice, second guess myself, try to get another look without seeming wierd, then ask him with a quizzical look, "Are you Ben Shive?" He is! He goes to church with Suzanne and Jamie at Grace AND we both know the Gullahorns. Crazy. So there ya go. All these great people I've enjoyed hearing the gifts of for years now will hopefully become at least acquaintances for me. I'll keep ya posted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Purpose of the Process

Most of you who know me are aware that I agree with the Westminster Catechism that "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Please understand (those of you who know me know THIS as well) that I DON'T succeed at living this out much of the time. The coolest part is, my success or failure doesn't determine my ability to glorify God...or my worth, for that matter. Both of those things were secured when Christ's death and resurrection bought my redemption.

Ok, so I didn't mean to launch into doctrine, I just rarely am able to get around it. lol. What I REALLY wanted to blog about was an opportunity available to anyone to help someone in need. One of the ways we grow, learn, and understand purpose is to better ourselves by doing or giving something for a neighbor.

A small, meager way that I have immensely enjoyed doing this is by sponsoring a child through Compassion International. I have had Lena from Indonesia as my sponsor child since my sophomore year of college. So yeah, please don't let money stand in your way. We write letters to each other, and one day I'd really like to go visit her someday. I have no idea how it's worked out for me to have 32 bucks a month in my account, ready to go to her, but it always has...worked out.

So if you are looking for a little way to make a big difference, please let me know or click on the link at the left that reads "Help children". It's so rewarding.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More of my process...

I gave my presentation today for this rotation. I thought it went pretty well, especially for my first one. So that's one hurdle jumped. I also started my part-time job tonite at CVS here. Loved it. The people I work with are super cool and fun to be around. I can tell I'm gonna like it. So things are not as overwhelming as before. Part of my fam's coming in this weekend. That's good. I miss my family.

Still looking for a church. Please pray for that if you're reading this. If you read my last blog, you know that I need some healing in terms of my heart in correlation to The Church. I hurt for it. And I need one...the fellowship...the accountability...the community.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My heart is broken for the Body of Christ in America. The apathy that is rampant in the vast majority of our assemblies is disgusting. We are scared of the real thing. We are terrified of whole surrender. We're too afraid of what God will ask us to do, of what God wants from us. The truth is we are too ignorant of His love, the depth, the quality, and the power of it. We are highly deceived about what He DOES want for us. It's not scary. It's not unattainable. It's simple and sweet and worth everything. Not only are we afraid of it, but we silence and persecute those who challenge us toward it. We want what we know. We want what we've seen and heard before. Don't bring us something we don't understand. Don't lead us to a new place where we have to change in order to live there. We like HERE and NOW.

We've forsaken the most basic command Christ gave us: follow Him. What comforts did He ever lay hold of? He didn't even seek to save His own LIFE! We don't want to give up our favorite TV show in order to be closer to Him.

bureaucracy. leadership structure. contemporary vs. traditional. giving. taking. growing. buildings. outreach. "worship". What does these words mean to a soul without Christ? Have we shown them Who He is?


Why are "church-people" so judgmental? Here's a theory: We (as churchgoers) have yet to truly lay hold of the forgiveness God offers us, so we can't experience the real freedom of being pardoned from all our sins. Since we subject ourselves to these burdens of personal punishment, we feel that others should too. Because after all, they're not perfect. Isn't that the Story? Isn't that the whole point? WE ARE NOTHING. That's the beauty of the Gospel. We haven't ever been. We've never had anything to offer. Then God, in His infinite love, sent Christ to redeem for Himself a people to KNOW Him and experience his LOVE based on NO merit of their own. Our glory is that Christ died for us and conquered death so that we might LIVE through Him. That's our glory, that's our story, that's our whole worth wrapped up in a nutshell. So the daily mess, we all got it! Stop acting like you don't and looking down on me because I do. Until we, as the Body of Christ, learn to love EACH OTHER AS WE ARE, the world won't want to join in. It starts with individuals. Do you love YOU as you are? I honestly struggle most with this one. But...when I can lay hold of those promises of God's huge and unfailing love, I can love ANYONE just because HE loves me.

Thanks for reading my heart.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Does God change His mind?

I was recently face-to-face with this question during my personal reading time. I decided to consult a concordance and then a wiser Christian. Here's what I found. Feel free to add.

Dear wiser Christian (who shall remain nameless because I didn't ask his permission),

I came across a passage in Amos 7 that challenges my current understanding of God's omniscience. It's in verses 3 and 6 when Amos pleads with Him to withold His full wrath against Israel. The NASB says that He "changed His mind", while the NIV uses the word relented. Zondervan's concordance took it back to a Hebrew word naham, meaning the previously used words or to show sympathy or comfort. My question is: what does this imply about God's will and His omniscience? For Him to truly "change His mind" the way we as humans change our minds would imply there is information of which He was made aware that He previously did not know. I don't believe I can reconcile that with His omniscience. Was it just an act to grow Amos's faith? God doesn't lie, so it would be contrary to His essence for Him to proclaim all this judgment with no real intent on carrying it out, right? That's my dilemma in a nutshell. I was hoping you could shed some light on how to package this in my head.

Thank you so much for your time.

-- For His glory,

Lauren Webb
Isaiah 42:6

The response, which was extremely fast, I might add, is below.


You have raised an excellent question. This phrase occurs numeroustimes in the Old Testament where God is seen as "changing his mind."Based on other propositional statements about God's will, His decrees,His character, His constancy and faithfulness, I do not think that thesepassages could mean that he changed his mind on a whim based on some"new" information.

It seems best to me to understand this language in the passage in a waysimilar to what we have to do to several of God's statements to Hischildren as "theanthropic" language-that is it is God using human language to communicate to us in a waythat we can understand based on our limted experience, our limitedunderstanding and our finiteness--compared with His infinite attributesof omniscience and foreknowledge. John Calvin was fond of saying thatGod had to use "baby talk" with us for us to understand.

I think that the concept of "theanthropic language" is the best way tounderstand this concept and be faithful both to the language of the textand the theological propositions about God elsewhere in Scripture.I know that this brief response will not answer all of your questions,but I hope it will help a little bit. The idea of theanthropic language goes along for me to satisfy some of these very challenging sections ofthe OT.

- The Wiser Christian

I liked it. Let me know what comes to mind for you...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I need to be in bed...

That thought weighs on me like a nagging chimp on my back. And the following thought says, "If you don't blog now, you never will." And so my life threatens to slip out of my control again. Rotations have started. I'm getting up at dawn. My body hasn't adjusted yet, so all day I pray not to fall asleep while I'm at the hospital, then I'm too tired to be social when I get home. I know I'll catch the swing of things soon.

Everything's going well. I love Nashville. Such a cool city. Love my roommate. Cool girl. did a girl good. I'm not advocating online dating or anything, but props to the compatibility matcher of Already got most of roads navigated. There hasn't been a single time where I had no clue where I was. Yep, I've almost got this place down.

Been to some really neat churches. Still got two more I'd like to check out before I dive into one. We'll see. It's hard when churches only meet once a week. Makes this process way drawn-out. Love the people in the churches here, though. Well, just love the people period. Very vibrant. Cool individuals. And just THAT...lots of individuals.

God is proving Himself just as faithful as ever. He calms my heart constantly. Except for a few jitters still about my performance on rotations, I have such a peace about my life here. Growing, learning, and most of the time abiding. It's a sweet time.