Sunday, January 24, 2010

for haiti.

Haiti has obviously been in the hearts and minds of most these last couple of weeks. The needs are great and our ability to help is fairly limited. Such a devastating time. So, with that in our hearts, we were able to do something really cool on Sunday that I've never done before. We worshipped on Haiti's behalf.

We sang for the people that were too weak to speak.

We praised the Lord for the people who survived.

We shouted for the people whose despair is so deep.

And I gotta tell ya. It was powerful. At first, it seemed a little foreign. Maybe cheesy or something. But as the service went on it felt really right. You know? Like the Lord heard us. As I thought about each of the people affected by the earthquake I thought about how their state of mind probably wasn't in a place to be singing songs in worship to God, but ours is. And how amazing is it that as fellow creations of Him we can lift each other up, be strong when others are weak? The beauty of life on this earth is that we're not alone. So we just sang. All night long. We sang for Haiti.

He loves them
Oh how he loves them
Oh how he loves them
Oh how he loves

Maybe I could encourage you to do the same. See what it stirs in your heart as the words you sing in worship are for the suffering.

Friday, January 15, 2010

fear not.

I aspire to be great in my life. But great how, I wonder? From the moment I could understand the concept of having purpose I knew that my life could be meaningful, influential in some way. I know that I'm strong. That I have a heart for justice. For peace. But what's it for?

Perhaps the real issue is not what it is I'm supposed to be doing, but what is standing in the way of me getting anywhere. In the last few months it has become evident that the biggest thing keeping my head from even thinking about changing the world is fear. I live a fearful life. And it kills me. I'm a little embarrassed to even say it. Some where along the way I've taught myself to be afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of consequences. Afraid of death. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of rejection.

Greatness certainly does not come from fear.

I wish this was one of those things that could be solved with an epiphany. A simple, A-ha! moment. But this is a way of life I've settled myself in and it's going to take some time to dig out. Time well spent, I think. The fearful life has crippled me. It's taught me to think I'm incapable or that my hopes of changing the world are out of reach. False. I will change the world. Fear will not win.

Christmas was such a great reminder of God's call to not be afraid. How many times have we heard the story? The phrase? To Mary before she conceives. To the shepherds in their fields. "Do not be afraid." In a boat amidst a storm. To a mother asking for her daughter's healing. The Bible tells us time and time again how Jesus wanted no part in fear. Then to be home with my family. To see my parents giving so much of their time and resources to bring light and hope wherever they can. To be around my sister who, in my mind, knows no fear. She's the picture of courage to me. I love her. I love all of them. Good, good people. And such remarkable examples of living unafraid. How must fear be keeping me from the deep, deep peace of life lived in the unwavering courage of the Lord? I know it is. I feel it. I fight it.

These days I'm praying for courage. Praying that the Lord throws something our way that is totally unexpected and uncomfortable and that we see it as step past fear. It is not that I live a life cowering in the corner. No, this fear is more of a nagging in the back of my mind. An excuse to not do as much as I could, to not be as vulnerable. And I won't have it. I won't listen to the world telling me to be careful. To watch out for the latest scare. Scare me world! I'm not afraid! ... hmm too much, maybe? Nah.

Dear Fear, I'm planning on changing the world for the Lord so just go ahead and move along. Thanks.