Wednesday, June 27, 2007

She Speaks, Part I

As some of you may have already heard, God did show up in some awesome ways at the She Speaks conference this past weekend. I personally had two really meaningful experiences, tangible reminders for me from my Heavenly Father that He’s got my back. So that this post doesn’t go on too long, I’ll write about one of these instances now and save the other one for another post…

Meaningful experience #1—Out of Obedience, God Always Offers Growth and Blessing

Those of you who know me personally, know that I cry. Often. And wetly (okay, I know that’s not a word, but it somehow seems better than “soggily”). ;-) When I pray, especially out loud with others, share “God-stuff,” or just when I’m moved, I usually gush forth. I’ve often let this inhibit me from sharing or praying—I mean, who wants to be a big crumpled, sobbing heap in front of others?

Since I’d signed up for the beginning speaker track at the conference, I was required to share a three-minute testimony on Friday night and a five-minute teaching talk on Saturday. Teaching is my thing and I welcomed that opportunity. But a testimony? Well, now, that’s different because that involves opening up. That makes me vulnerable. That’s when I cry…oh no. But that’s when it hit me. That “little” issue I have is what I needed to give my testimony about! God made that clear to me. It was like He was saying, “Kathy I want you to publicly acknowledge your acceptance and obedience in this area. Yes, in front of strangers.” Wow. I really didn’t want to make that kind of impression, but I knew I needed to do it. (At least, I figured, when I DO break down—it was never a question of “if”—then at least it will serve as evidence of my message, ya know?)

I built my testimony around Paul asking God to take away his “thorn” (II Cor. 12:7) because I'd also longed for God to take away my thorn of crying. But just as Paul accepted that God’s grace was sufficient for him, I’ve begun to see it's sufficient for me when dealing with my thorn too.

So Friday night then, for me, was sort of numbing. My speaker group members was so sweet in their encouragement, and Missy “raised me up” by declaring my lingering tears “AWESOME!” but I was left kind of with the feeling, “Okay God, I obeyed. Do with it what you will.”

Check out what He willed to do with it. ALL DAY Saturday, I didn’t cry. Not once! I’d had meetings with a magazine editor, a literary agent, a publisher, and gave my teaching talk—all sans tears! I even prayed at lunch and Sara of the Marshall FCC posse commented, “Wow, you didn’t cry!” As I marveled at each tear-free episode, God was affirming me saying, “See Kath, give it up in obedience and I’ll bless you for it.”

I’m not able to say I’m no longer tear-prone. The alter-call Saturday night proved that. But the whole experience was so liberating because God showed me it doesn’t even matter. I’m to persevere, regardless. If He wants to use my tears, cool. If he doesn’t, cool. And you know what? That’s pretty cool. ;-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Salmon Anyone?

No wonder salmon is so good for us! Just look at the cardio workout you have to endure just to enjoy some! :-)

Hilarious Grizzly Bear Video

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ain't No Shuckin' and Jivin'

I had never heard the phrase "shuckin' and jivin'" before I met Shane. I'm not even sure where it originated. Maybe a movie? A TV show? Or maybe it was another one of those southern expressions he picked up in Texas, like "fixin' to" or "y'all." But it's a phrase we turn quite a bit around our house and it's synonymous with "messing around" or "wasting time," as in, " Hey kids, let's go! We got no time to be shuckin' and jivin'. Practice starts in ten minutes!" Yep. These days we just don't seem to have much time for shuckin' and jivin'. Or do we?

Elisha sure didn't. I haved LOVED reading about him in 2 Kings this past week. This man of God seemed to have ZERO tolerance for ANY shuckin' and jivin'. Proof?

*Elijah asks Elisha what he'd like from him before he's taken up. Elisha's response? "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit"(2:9). That's bold. That's brassy. That's NOT shuckin' and jivin'.

*Nasty water was causing infertility and death. Elisha throws salt into it and proclaims God's declaration that it will be wholesome thereafter (2:19-22). No messin' around.

*Some hooligans taunted Elisha, giving him grief about his bald head. Let them get under his skin? No way! He cursed them in the name of the Lord, they were mauled by two bears, and the prophet continued on his way (2:23-25). He had work to do.

This extremely confident behavior continues through chapters 4 and 5, as we see Elisha offer help to a needy widow, a faithful Shunammite woman, and Naaman the leper. In every case, his word from the Lord and the directive he gives are decisive, clear, and quick. Absolutely no hint of shuckin' and jivin' whatsoever.

When it comes to living my life for God, many times I'm guilty of over-thinking. Or I'll hop on board mentally and spiritually, but my physical execution lags behind. Maybe I need to internalize that whole "not shuckin' and jivin'" concept and truly apply it. It's not a matter of being rash or acting on gut-instincts, but it IS about having that God-confidence that reaches out to help people and to attract others to the faith.

Oh to be like Elisha! To be so in tune with the Father that I don't continually seek confirmation. To have that rare combination of bold mercy that enabled him to see others' needs and get busy right away to help their situations. To not second-guess myself or my God. To be so faith-filled to know, really 100% know, that as the prayer or claim leaves my mouth, it's as good as done. Wow.

Come on y'all...ain't no time to be shuckin' and jivin'!