Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh, Romans...

How I love thee! Maybe it's the thinker in me, but that book honkin' rocks my face off. It's chock full of the reasoning mechanism behind God's plan of salvation for mankind. Being the science mind and basing most of my job on natural laws of science, for God to give Paul this insight into the natural workings of man's heart and His plan to redeem them is a delight to digest!

And as heady as the material can be, it's so simple! I can't get past Rom. 4:20-22. Much of Romans mentions Abraham and how his faith was credited to him as righteousness. But ask the question WHAT is "saving faith"?

Is it different than believing the sun will come out tommorow? Or that the Bible is God's Word? Or that the earth is round?

Check verse 21 and brace yourself: "fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised." Wow. That's it? But what would that look like? How would that change us?

Would we still be fearful? Worriers? Disgruntled? Impatient? Man, the ramifications of THAT kind of faith are honkin' limitless. Let's try it. Who's with me?

I'm tearing up. I think my cup must be small- or maybe it's that He's THAT big- because the overflow from Him sharing Truth to my heart is abundant recently. Thank You, Lord.

- Posted on the go...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Snowboarding Day 2

It was a really good day today, at least the first half of it.  God woke me up before my alarm, and the sun was out all day.  I was able to get some things done at the house before I headed over to Snoqualmie for my second attempt at snowboarding.  Armed with a board and boots (x2, actually) that I'd borrowed from friends for test-driving, I made the beautiful drive up for some afternoon boarding.

Got there, got my gear, got my bindings adjusted, and things in some ways were better and in other ways worse than I expected. 
  • I've completely shanked heading down heel-edge, which was my more comfortable stance on Day 1.  The one time today I tried it was disastrous.  So...that skill is currently under construction.
  • I think I actually prefer riding goofy.  I felt way more comfortable and in control with my right foot downhill.  It appears that I ride a snowboard like I shoot pool: as a lefty. 
  • Slush can be good...or bad.  Easier on the backside, but can be tricky when you're trying to carve.  After the hill's been ridden for a while, the slush gets super-uneven, so it can sneak up on you at times and make you catch an edge you weren't planning for.  (Or maybe it's just me.)
  • I noticed that I tend to head down the mountain with a smirk on my face...even when I've fallen.  It may even turn to a slight out-stuck (can I say that?) tongue when recovering from a fall.  But either way, it's just fun.  And my face shows it.  (Shocker, I know)
  • Like many other activities in my life, I tend to talk to myself while I'm doing this...because I'm the only one I know there.  I'm not sure and don't really care whether anyone else noticed.
  • I've decided I'm a natural.  Yep, it's just what I've decided.  And sometimes I actually believe it...just waiting for my skillz to show it.  ;)
  • The lift is the bain of my existence.  It was a constant battle.  
  • Times I made it off the lift without busting my tail or my hands: 2
  • Times I cracked my tailbone (I think) = times I got the breath knocked out of me = times I tried by heel edge = 1.
  • The main thing I'm learning in this process: HUMILITY
I'm only partially kidding.  This whole process puts me in a place where I'm new, I'm inexperienced, and I'm by myself.  I'm not a fan of being new at something.  Most sports I didn't quickly have a knack for I didn't stick with.  That's why you never saw me owning a basketball court.  Part of me is glad I go up by myself.  I really don't like people to see me not having it together, so falling and fumbling around is less humiliating if I'm not likely to see my audience again. 

However, today I left with wierd vision changes.  After touching base over the phone with one of our ER docs, I decided it was probably just snow blindness as I didn't wear my goggles most of the day.  However, symptoms of headache and nausea became increasingly worse until I made it home and into a lying down position.  I started battling the hypochondriac in me as I tried to make sure I wasn't decompensating: hypotension, numbness/tingling in my extremities, and odd word placement in my thoughts.  I figured worse case scenario was that I had a head bleed and was losing blood volume.  I know, way more dramatic than necessary...which is why I decided NOT to visit my ER friends for an MRI.  I think my friend nailed it when he said I know too much for my own good...just adds material for my usual hyperanalysis.  

But barring disaster in the near future, I still plan on getting good.  Now my objective is to make it through my ER shifts this weekend without having to sit on a doughnut cushion.   ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

People Are Delicious

Before you get freaked out or report me for cannibalistic tendencies, let me explain.

I get the opportunity to sit around a table every week with 8-10 of my peers and discuss life, faith, and our personal journeys. And these people are so many way and for so many different reasons. I love seeing and witnessing the deposit of Himself God has placed in those around me. They're beautiful!

And it just keeps getting better. We keep getting new faces with new stories He's been writing. As an observer and amateur social analyst, I have a field day with these people. They emit humor (very clever humor, I might add); they spout wisdom and encouragement; and they call me friend! How delicious it is to soak it all up. I don't even mind that the humor is often at my expense (and sometimes self-inflicted).

They each deserve a post. Each person has their own specific flavor incorporating their personality, their outlook, their passion, their career, their experience, and their communication style. You can see how blessedly diverse this group can be. You can also see how this group of parts coming together to make a whole wafts a beautiful Aroma through our trusty Origin 23 coffeeshop every Thursday night.

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
- 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 -
- Posted on the go -

Saturday, January 16, 2010

His Name

I'm reading through Isaiah 37 where Hezekiah has made a plea to the Lord due to the threat of King Sennacherib of Assyria.  He prayed hard to the God he knew could deliver him.  So Isaiah brings God's response, and it gets my heart fired up.  It starts in verse 22 and goes through verse 35. 

Verse 23 is the initial kicker for me.  God mocks Sennacherib by asking basically who the feez homeboy thinks he's messing with.  He answers His own question by calling Himself "THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL".  Wow.  I see in Zondervan's NIV concordance that this Name for God is used many times in Isaiah, a couple of times in Jeremiah and the Psalms.  (I might have missed an instance in my quick skim, but I think that's it.)  All of Isaiah is about God's love relationship with Israel: various threats from nearby kingdoms, His constant desire that they would turn to trust Him instead of the works of their hands or weak alliances, and His radical pursuit of their hearts.  He does this through blessing and cursing, bringing attacks and defending them against others,  and telling them of future destruction and salvation through Isaiah.  I can't imagine that he was a very popular dude.

But wow, when Sennacherib sends his henchman, the Rabshekah, to declare his future victory over Israel, I picture a quasi-WWF scene where the obnoxious ignorant dude grabs the mic and talks a bunch of smack about how bad he'll put a hurtin' on those folks, making sure to mock all that they trust in and see as important.  And he's not doing so bad until he lumps the Holy One of Israel into that heap of things he's making light of.  Um, who has that ever gone well for?  I'm sure they taught history back then, but this kid needs brushing up...for serious.  He must've really been convincing, though, because Hezekiah and HIS folks are shaken up.  They're in sackcloth and ashes mode immediately.  And Hezekiah does what he knows works: he takes it to the sovereign God of the universe, the Holy One of Israel. 

And God, in His usual format, does NOT mince words.  He points out that He's always been in control, regardless of who Assyria has conquered.  He's still been writing that script (verses 26-28).  Then in verse 29, He speaks of how he will put His reigns on them.  He will put His hook in their nose and make them go where He wants.  Can you imagine?  How humiliating?!  He goes in until verse 35 explaining in detail exactly how He will bring that about. 

And then He does.  One angel goes out and mows down 185,000 of those Assyrian dudes.  He does NOT mess.  But what kills me is that even after this and after displays of God's power/strength/provision/protection in my own life, the Israelites still doubted.  They still turned at times to trust something else.  And so do I.  How tragic.  This God Who has written this beautiful love story to a people He made to KNOW HIM about redemption, salvation, and eternal communion with Him, the Source of all that is GOOD, loves and knows ME.  Read that sentence again.  Write it on my heart, Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Story

I'm seeing more of it. I had mentioned during a previous post that my life at this cross-section was not exactly what I had projected at various timepoints throughout my development: not at 6, not at 16, not at 23, you see where I'm going with this. My choice was to step back, and re-evaluate based on the premise that God is the perfect Author. He has all my days written in His book before one of them comes to pass (Psalm 139:16). I've been needing (for a while now) to get on track with what He's writing. So I am. And it's good stuff.

One of the things I've been asking Him to show me is my eternal impact. I loved my college years because I was constantly surrounded by peers trucking down the same path I was: thought processes based on Kingdom work, new doctrinal insights imparted from a Christian author or speaker, and an overall urgency that people know Jesus. Any one day could be filled with multiple conversations that would rock my heart, soul, and mind to the core about Who God was. It was a rich and sweet time, to say the least. But now I'm a 40-hr/week kinda girl. And I go to church. Don't get me wrong: It's not exactly that simple, but from the outside looking in, one might perceive it as such. I'm definitely plugged in at my church. I love that place. I wouldn't be able to be just a spectator. In fact, I've been given some amazing opportunities to learn, be loved, give, and grow at Discovery.

But I want more. That can't be it. Doesn't Jesus have plenty to say about how easy it is to love those who love us back? Don't get me wrong: Community is HARD...and MESSY, but ALWAYS worth it. If you don't think so, you haven't stuck with it long enough to see the beauty redeemed from ashes. That was a side bar, so back to my original plight: I want to know that what I do Monday through Friday still has eternal impact.

I've been trying to look and listen. Don't snicker, I am aware it's not the most immediate action in my nature. And at work last week, one of my coworkers walked into my office. I happened (yeah, right, like there's room for coincidence with a sovereign God like ours) to be alone in there because my student had to use another computer since the second one in my office was broken. My friend asked me to pray for her about a job opportunity, for direction concerning it. Much to her surprise, I asked if I could just pray with her right there. So we did. The next day she reported that God had already given her an answer. So I was pumped!

Then this weekend I was working down in the ER, which I love with my whole heart. So much of that has to do with the staff down there. I just love those people. There's such a comraderie, and for some reason, they've let me into their clan. I was having a chat about teenagers with a coworker, and we got into a discussion on parenting. We talked a little about why kids are the way they are these days and the changing dynamic in the family units. And out of nowhere, she got a little teary-eyed, so of course, I followed the the nurses station. I became immediately aware of my opportunities and that if I weren't listening, looking, and connected to Him, I would miss them.

Now I'm more expectant. I've seen that He is able to overcome the slightly Type A, sometimes disgruntled, impatient pharmacist, and USE ME. And what does it require? Guess. I've said it on here a milllion times, and I will continue to proclaim it: A YES! That's all He asks for. He's faithful to do the rest. Please check out Eph. 2:10. Actually, start in verse 8. Ask yourself this: how much of this is up to me? And what is my response to be? The answers are NONE and BELIEVE; and WALK in His ways. They're laid out already. Just walk in them.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Chapter 1

After years of attempts with little improvement, I said goodbye to skis today. I had gotten better at various intervals (by Day 3 in Teluride circa spring break 03 or so or the first half of a day on the mountain), but it STILL felt like every trip down could be my last. I feel like that should not be the sentament with which you approach a leisure activity. So figuring that I'm decent in terms of coordination and most sports (at least average, maybe), I concluded that snowboarding might be my gig.

I'm not one to waste time when I want something, and I want the most bang for my buck. So I invested in private lessons to begin my snowboarding adventure. GREAT idea. Seriously, I'm so glad I did. My homie AJ did a bombin' job of showing me the ropes and making me feel like I was catching on quickly. He even laughed at my jokes without charging me extra. We even did an extra run on the lift after my time was up. I only almost killed myself once, getting off the lift of course. Twisted my ankle bad and heard pops, but I made it down fine... and for 3 more times after that. ;)

I went up a little nervous: about going by myself, about killing myself on the board, about being really bad at it and that frustrating me. I'm not the most patient person (Shocker, I know), and so being new (and bad) at a sport can frustrate me quickly. But I never got angry today. And I left hopeful and pumped about heading back up. That never happened with skiing. The rest of my thoughts I'm going to throw into some bullets. It's gonna be random fire, so consider yourself warned.
  • I bought knee pads prevent recurrence of the beasthammond bruises that currently reside atop my kneecaps. I need one for my sacrum, but that might look awkward in my boarding pants. ;)
  • I'm glad I went up by myself. Falling and flailing around in the snow on that board was way more comfortable in front of my instructor AJ (who's trained and used to seeing such sadness) than any of my current friends, even when I almost took that kid out sliding nearly directly into him.
  • I can do this. I mean, I'm excited and expectant to eventually be good at it. It's a good feeling.
  • I haven't recently prayed for humility (because that bought be a broken leg once), but there was some inflicted by today's activities.
  • Driving up there and seeing the mountains reminded me of so much: why I love living here, how much beauty is in such close range, and how just seeing that scenery is peaceful.
  • As I was driving home, I started thinking how if God can orchestrate all the nutrients, weather conditions, etc. to sustain the life of each of those trees atop those mountains, it's highly likely (and completely true!) that He is more than capable of handling my meager existence. I loved it, feeling small but seen. Read more in Matthew 6.
Overall, it was just a rich day between me and God. I think AJ thought I was kidding, but the sun came out at one point, and I informed him that I had prayed for that. He then asked me to pray for snow, which I did silently, and guess honkin' what? It totally snowed - even a few of the good fat flakes - during my lesson. Absolutely no coincidence. I worshipped on my drive home. I didn't even have any trouble seeing the road through the tears; it was great. I'm planning on heading back up on Monday. Until my next snowboarding adventure...

Sunday, January 03, 2010


So I wussed out and couldn't think of a better title...or didn't really want to take the time it. I'm gonna attribute the awkward ending of that sentence to a conversation I had with my small group about grammar. I confessed then that my biggest struggle, and it's a consious one, is ending sentences with prepositions. I just want to! Geesh.

But my first blog of 2010 is not going to be an earth-shattering one. I can't say that I've even been emotionally invested in the fact that it's a new year. Woops. I said it (or typed it). But I have been assessing my life and thinking about positive changes I want to see. They're not new. I wanted the same things in November and December of 2009, and like I discussed with my small group as well today, I have yet to make any effort towards incorporating these changes into my life. I keep waiting on better but doing nothing about it. And yep, you guessed it, that's a fruitless and disappointing place.

But this weekend I've been a little more desperate. I've wanted to see God do something more than last week or last year. I need to see the eternal impact my life is and is not making. I need to be drawn near to God's heart so I can know and walk in His way for me. That will take specific steps on my part: mainly being in the Word and in prayer. The community part I love and regularly take part in; the setting aside of time and meditation on things of eternal value outside of myself is not as frequent, sadly.

And I know He'll meet me there. He already has. Tonight I took a nap after small group dreading the onset of Sunday night sadness when I woke up. For some reason the end of the weekend, the looming start to the week, is a lonely place for me. But when I awoke, I looked around at how cozy my little house looked. I didn't feel alone. I felt Him near. I knew He was El Roi, the God Who sees, in that moment.

I know I'm not alone. I know He's at work in my life. I'm praying my emotional fortitude will catch up to my head knowledge of Truth. And I'm welcoming 2010 with hopeful anticipation.

- Posted on the go...