Sunday, March 15, 2009

divine gentleness

in the past month or so, i've been attempting to do a study in the Bible on the fruits of the spirit. i have one of those old school Thompson Chain Reference Bibles that's about 30 lbs and could kill a small child ... it has an amazing concordance in the back with all the passages that link together, etc.

so i made it through kindness and have moved onto gentleness this week.

in the concordance, it's classified as Divine Gentleness. Reading the passages that related in the Old Testament brought me to this passage.

Isaiah 42:3 says "A bruised reed He will not break; and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish"

it took me a little while to ponder this to understand what this had to do with gentleness. the conclusion i came to is that when God is showing gentleness, He does not cut down that which is damaged. A bruised reed and a smoking wick are almost completely useless. A smoking wick is almost died out and it's really hard to re-light it. but God will not extinguish it. He still has a purpose for it and He still can heal it and restore it to it's original use.

i guess to me i would have always thought this pointed to the mercy of God, but not so much His gentleness.

so this week i'm going to work on exhibiting some of this divine gentleness. it's hard for me, i'm so judgemental at times. when i see someone who is failing and struggling, my first instict is to judge them and think harshly about them.

i'm working on this

Thursday, January 29, 2009

letter from the bush twins to the obama girls

just heard about this letter - it's very sweet to read, and even made me cry a little bit ... MSNBC also has a newclip they did on their website

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


so normally, i like to plan things out, in as far advance as i can ... but i'm finding that more often, being spontaneous leads to better times!! the longer i plan something out, the more i can obsess about it, and plan for every thing that could or couldn't happen (i'm guessing that's the "C" in me coming out - you GF people will know what that means).

so my friend christine and i started talking about going to see chris tomlin in philadelphia back in november. but it was just a passing conversation like "we should go to philly to see chris tomlin in january" "yeah that would be tons of fun" and that was about it.

well on thursday of last week, we decided to actually go to philly to see the concert. on friday, i got the tickets, she found a great hotel at an even better price, i planned to drive and she planned to get snacks.

we had it all planned out in about 30 minutes and it ended up being a great trip!

we left on Sunday after 1st service, made it to Philadelphia in great time, checked into the hotel, did a little shopping / exploring (i love this city!!), ate dinner and then made our way to the concert.

what an amazing show!! i was a little wary of the opening band, israel and new breed,
since their most famous song is "I Am a Friend of God" and since that's not a particularly favorite song of mine (a lot due to my friend Jeremy's dance) i wasn't sure what to expect. well other than playing that dang song as soon as we walked into the Electric Factor, they were a pretty amazing band! lots of soul and gospel music, very talented musicians and tons of energy. they were a decent opening band

chris tomlin rocked. i have no other words. it was the best i've seen him - and i've seen him quite a few times before - he was funny, a little sarcastic, full of energy and played all the songs i was hoping to hear.

what was so cool about being at the Electric Factory was seeing the diversity in the room! there were lots of people predictably older than me, but just as many my age or unexpectedly younger. Every other chris tomlin show i've been to has had a predominantly white audience. This time, it was a lot more diverse! I'm not sure how many people were there, it holds 2500-3000 people. i'm guessing there were around 2000 there ... it was awesome to hear "how great is our God" being sung by everyone (but the band)!! a small taste of heaven perhaps

all in all, the trip was very short - we stayed over and left by 8AM on Monday but so much fun!! and definitely worth the 4 hr trip each way!

moral of this story: rachael needs to add more spontaneity to her life!!

final thought: in the immortal words of j.mulder at soulfest a few years ago: "chris tomlin is God's worship leader"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

it's a new year

i know everyone is big on new year's resolutions this time of year. and i'm not big on making them (i get that from my father i'm pretty sure) because a week after you make them, you have failed and things are back the way they used to be...

while i am not making any official resolutions this year, i am hoping to live better and strive to be a better person.

living better for me means:
1) i'm going to say "no" more often - so that i do not become easily overwhelmed and stressed out
2) eating healthier (far less buffalo chicken dip and no bake cookies for me)
3) spending less money on non-essential things.

striving to be a better person means:
1) spending more time in God's Word and becoming a woman of prayer
2) building lasting relationships with some teenagers; relationships that make a difference and help teens survive high school and become prepared to take on college and the world
3) continuing to develop the amazing relationships i have with the women in my small group. we have been though so many difficult things this year and it has brought us so much closer together. difficulties including deaths of family members, loss of jobs, loss of foster children, loss of relationships (just to name a few). i'm excited to see what this year brings for us and am hopeful for a less dramatic year!

one of the best things that happened in 2008 was having all my brother's home for Christmas. We have not all been together since 2001. 7 years ago, if i were being honest, i would easily admit, i didn't even LIKE my siblings, much less love them and miss having them around. since then, we've all moved out of the home, all left the church of our childhood, had 2 weddings, 2 births, 1 divorce, more moves that i can count, 2 tours to Iraq, a prison sentence, grave illness, funerals and thousands of amazing memories.

through all of this, we have truly become a family. i think the physical distance has drawn us closer together. i'm proud of the men my brothers have become and the men they continue to strive to be.

looking forward to 2009 and all the possibilities in store.