Friday, February 24, 2006

Clouds. Rain. Fire.

...did anyone actually SEE the sky this morning?

Maybe it's the fact that I got about three hours of sleep last night (I was at Compass until a little after midnight planing and plotting out the next series with the Creative Team). Maybe it's just that God knows how much I love seeing Him manifest Himself in nature. Maybe it's just that I needed something to make me smile this morning.

Regardless of the reason -- the sky this morning looked like it was a wave. A wave of clouds. As if God had sent a ripple through the atmosphere.

You know how when you see a wave in a pool, or an ocean, and there is the crest of the wave, followed by the ripples of water that trail after it? That is exactly what the sky looked like this morning -- as if God's hand had literally just brushed against the crown of the earth, causing the clouds to ripple, showing the brightest, bluest sky underneath.

I froze, standing perfectly and completely still when I saw what was above me.

It was one of those God moments, the ones where everything else -- the sleep deprivation, the exhaustion, the struggles you're going through -- all of it is just gone, in the blink of an eye. Where you can FEEL the warmth of God's smile on your life. Where in the midst of chaos, headaches and heartaches -- there comes peace. Beauty, peace, and a moment of "Don't worry -- I'll take care of you."

It was so powerful that as soon as I got back inside, I had to pray. I had to literally fall down on my knees and just say thanks. To say thanks for the blessings in the midst of the struggles, both personally and financially. To say thanks for the blessings in my life that lead me to a better, deeper and stronger understanding of who God is and who I am -- and who I'm supposed to be.

To say thanks for just giving me life.

Clouds. Who'd'a thunk wisps...vapors...could inspire and move you so much?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cue the music...

"Extraordinary Excellence."

This was the topic of the talk that Jim gave this past week at my church here in Athens. Excellence. Extraordinary excellence. How we are to -- naturally -- give our best, our all to God, and for Him and His work here on earth.

JIm gave the illustration of how he wanted to come out on stage and play drums -- but we wouldn't let him. How we knew that even though he had the passion to do so, the drive to want to...he wasn't gifetd in that area. And how many times do we -- or, for me, did we, growing up in a traditional church -- allow people to sing, to teach, to lead when they're just not that good, but we feel that God can use them and honor their attempt. That we can just let the Spirit move and that if we do something with half the ability, God will take care of the rest.

-- well, yeah. He does work miracles and all that jazz, and I would NEVER tell someone that they weren't going to be honored by God for their efforts. Amd yes, I'm torn, because I know that Gd expects us to give our best, and sometimes our personal best might not measure up to the best-best that there is (say, comparing my guitar skills to Phil Keaggy for instance), but still...God can honor and does us it.

It's the American Idol theory: We feel we're just that good. But in reality, when you loook at getting the best, we might not measure up.

So, clearly, this has led to hours and days of self-doubt, self-reflection, and worry in me: do I measure up? Do I have what it takes? Am I good enough?

Rob Bell has written an incredible book called Vevet Elvis, and in it, he talks about God's ability to call -- and use -- the not-quite-good-enoughs. That gives me hope that maybe I can be used.

-- I'm just rambling now. I need to take a break...