Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I can almost write to you as Dr. Lauren Webb, and that's exciting and a little scary. What a journey these last four years have been. I think it finally hit me today as I was talking to my dad on the phone. There's so many decisions, preparations, and plans to be made, but I'll be making them all as a new graduate of a professional program. I'm pumped and a little bit liberated. But with all new freedom comes greater responsibility.

I just think of the freedom we are bought with Christ's blood. We are free from the law, but not to ignore it. We have been equipped (as with a degree) with the Holy Spirit in order to make the right choices that protect that freedom, but ultimately we choose how to wield it.

Do I sound like a wise adult yet?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

From the spiritual side of the originators of Alcoholics Anonymous,

I Stand at the Door

By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.
I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.
The door is the most important door in the world -
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door - the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man's own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in -
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door -
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But - more important for me -
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.

'I had rather be a door-keeper
So I stand by the door.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

As He always does, God has been working out and working on each of my stressors about this big move. Monday night I heard a great message from an old friend and mentor Moses Caesar about worry. He gave us practical steps that enable us to give things to the Lord, trust Him with our future, and live fully in the present...not letting Satan rob us of the peace Christ died to afford us.

And sure enough, the next day I was able to register for both my major exams (law and board exam) to become a pharmacist on days when I'll be in town (which aren't many in June). I've been packaing stuff up, throwing stuff out, and slowly but surely getting organized for this trek. I'm still very excited. The woman called yesterday to inform me that I officially had an apartment waiting on me when I get up there.

As for the road trip, Donna and Leela, two of my closest friends and fellow pharmacy students, have been gracious enough to volunteer to make the trek cross-country with me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that will be 35 hours in a car. We're excited about our adventure.

HOWEVER, I would like some audience participation: Give me some ideas for what we should do in the car.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today I was constantly reminded of how lacking my faith is. My stomach has been in a jumble all day regarding my current life transition. I have a personal relationship through Jesus Christ with the Sovereign God of the universe, and I'm stressed about getting licensed as a pharmacist and moving to Washington state. Seriously. But that's the sad truth. That IS the case.

It is baffling to me how accessible the words are when I need to engage in discussion about theological or doctrinal Truth, but when I am given the opportunity to trust and obey with MY LIFE, I'm a baby. I often refer back to the Jill Phillips lyric about getting it "down to my heart from my head". What a chasm.

So, here I sit, acting my age. Pretending that at the quarter-century mark (which I will reach in July), I am equipped to carry a "Dr." in front of my name, a regular paycheck, and a life of my own across the continent from my friends and family. God is ever showing me His faithfulness...even today He brought tears. At the end of the day, I know. He IS who He says He is, and He WILL do what He says He will do. (Thank you, Beth Moore.)

In conclusion, amidst the stress about money management, moving and storing furniture, my unseen apartment, the trek out there, the new job, the church search, licensing and law exams, and everything else that comes with being an "adult", I look forward to writing to you about the specific ways that God reveals Himself during this vulnerable time. Maybe that's why I love change so much. We can never get to the end of Who God is, but with every new experience, we get to see a little more. That basis alone is enough to make my future limitless.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memories or Vanity?

I'm triaging books and journals and papers to decide which things will making the trek to Tacoma, which will be stored at my parents' for future reference, and which will be completely discarded, never to be heard from again. Some of the books have been difficult to place. I have trouble letting go of things I had once assigned value to. I'm trying to be as minimalistic as possible.

Then I came across tons of old journals. And I was faced with a dilemma: do I keep these? Why would I? Am I ever going to want to know what they said? Does it matter now? Will someone else want to know? Would my children be interested? I know when I found some old journals of my mom's, I was completely intrigued by the stories inside. It was entertaining to me. And people write biographies and memoirs from such things. But assuming that I would be biograph-able is vain. Assuming that someone is going to want to know what happened during my college years, my high school years, and those thereafter is a bit pompous, I feel.

The only validating conclusion I have reached regarding their preservation would be the possibility of someone reading about my life and seeing how God used the weak, the poor, the foolish thing (me) of this world to accomplish His purposes, to show His power and what HE alone can do in a life. I don't think my life exemplifies that at this point, but I'm trusting in this process of sanctification. That would make it worth it. Otherwise, they will just take up space and produce clutter.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So I've officially become the blogger I said I'd never be: the one that goes weeks without a post, leaving their faithful readers high and dry and bored and maybe even resistent to frequent the blog in the future. But honestly, life's just been a blur of finishing rotation, working part-time at CVS, and trying to soak up Nashvegas before I head on over the Pacific Northwest.

Tonight, however, was exceptional. One of my resolutions, if you will, before I leave this land of music and honey was to see as many concerts in my final days as possible. And tonight, one of my favorite singer/songwriters was giving a benefit concert at the Nashville Rescue Mission. I went with one of my faithful concert friends, actually a friend of Payten's that she lets me borrow due to our shared love of music. Another one of their Belmont friends joined us as well.

Tyler James is so fun to watch. I love seeing live music, but I sometimes get bored at shows. But these guys were having so much fun, and he's a refreshing artist in that he does music because it's natural to him, not to be seen or celebrated or validated. He's rare.

Then they had some of the missions' graduates tell their story, and I wiped away tears. It was so sobering to hear their life stories and how they had been changed by a relationship with Christ. One of the stories came from a guy that grew up like most of my close friends...middle class white America, went to college on a baseball scholarship, got good jobs and screwed them up because of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Ended up homeless in Nashville. Now he works at the shelter.

It really helped me put things in perspective. These people looked in the face of death and chose life...and Life abundant. I don't know if I've ever come to a crossroads of that depth. It reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for...and so much responsibility to use what I've been given for the furthering of the Kingdom.

Totally worth the admission