Friday, April 22, 2011

The Son Teaching This Papa

Once again, God sneaks in with a little reminder where I least expect it. This time it was a bible lesson that I had prepared - ostensibly - for my son. Methinks it night have been meant for me!

When I read Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His Highest" I am always amazed at how clear Mr. Chambers' thinking/distillation of biblical concepts is. And I thought I would like to share this with Andrew. But I knew I needed to simplify the message a little for an 11-year-old brain. So I re-worked yesterday's message, "Don't Hurt The Lord", and shared it with Andrew today.

When I read the part - We look for God to show Himself to us, but God only shows Himself in us. And while other people can see signs of God’s presence in us by our words and actions, we do not see it in ourselves. As much as we want to notice what God is doing in us, if we keep asking God for proof and watching for that proof, we hurt the Lord  - I realized how much that describes ME. Especially lately. And boy did I confess it right away to Andrew (see son, even Papa makes mistakes!)

I have been telling Minda lately that I feel like I am hyper-vigilant for signs of my relationship with Christ. Which is not necessarily a bad thing - focusing on God is my utmost. But I confessed to her and later to God, that I have been so focused on what God is doing in my life that I may have forgotten about all the "brothers and neighbors" - that Jesus tells us to love - around me.

And yes, what I am looking for is proof that God loves me.

So I confess this to God and family and whomever is reading this: I have been self-absorbed with my relationship with Christ and hurting Him by questioning, analyzing and over-thinking our relationship. And I repent for it here and now.

The final part of today's lesson was very fitting for me and Andrew. (The paraphrase of) Chambers' essay said:  Believe it or not, choosing NOT to be worried about things—weather, grades, food, money—actually honors Jesus. It’s another way of saying, “Thank you God for loving me.”

What was interesting was right before I read to him, he mentioned that he thinks God is helping with his fear (terror) of thunderstorms because he slept right through one the other night. And that made the final line even more awesome:
Realize that Jesus is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A White and Pink Coffee Cup

I haven’t had a God-dream in a while and I miss them! Then last week, Boom! This one was different - it was short, succinct and amazing. It was also unique in that I was purely a witness rather than a participant. And unlike most of my God-dreams, when I woke up I immediately knew what the dream was telling me.

The Dream: I was in a library-like setting and I was watching a woman who was standing alone, 15 feet away, sipping a coffee. I didn't recognize her, but felt like I knew her. As I watched, a man walked behind her and as he passed he reached out and gently touched – just touched – her back and kept going. I never saw the man’s face, just his touch and passing . The woman turned, with a slightly stunned look, as if to see who had touched her and then as I watched, her face lit up with a smile.

And then I woke up and instantly knew that I had just witnessed Jesus blessing this woman. Very cool dream! But who was she?? I wanted to tell her the good news!

The only clue was her coffee cup: it was one of those plastic white ones meant to look like a Starbuck’s travel cup with a pink sleeve. I pondered this detail for awhile and remembered a woman co-worker visiting my desk just the other day with a white/pink coffee cup. I couldn't remember who but I thought it might have been Jessica or Kim.

Saturday I arrived at work to find Kim pulling a weekend shift. I asked her nonchalantly if she had a white/pink coffee cup – Yes! Later, when we had a moment, I explained my dream and my interpretation of it, and that I believed she may have been recently blessed by God. She seemed to like the idea of a “blessing” (although she might have been humoring the "crazy bald guy") but then she informed me that "Jessica also has a white/pink coffee cup."

Arrgghhh! God must really enjoy irony!

Along came Sunday and toward the end of church we were praying for Jill’s healing and Jill was crying and I kept thinking, “I wish the blessing in my dream was for Jill!”. At one point I opened my eyes and looked at Jill, wanting to comfort her and realized she was wearing a PINK sweater over a WHITE shirt!

So, maybe the blessing was for her. Or for Kim. Or Jessica. Or for all three. They have all been informed now that they may have been recipients of a God-blessing  and to keep their eyes open to spot it. But of course I already know, they were blessed by God a long time ago!