Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Calls into existence the things that do not exist."

This is another phrase that Paul wrote in Romans that my eyes run back to on the page.
What doesn't exist in my life today?  In yours?

Peace that sustains you when things get crazy?  A good relationship with the person closest to you?  The health of a family member?  Enough money to pay the bills?  Wisdom about what to do about that big decision?

The book of Romans tells the story of a guy who believed that God was the one who brought all of those things about.  And then, well, He did.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You can only pick three.
But if you could be guaranteed to do three things every day for the rest of your life what would they be?

Now...why can't you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Will not count."

Ah, the glorious trudge that is the book of Romans.  Some have said it is the greatest letter ever written. It is full of so much hope.
It is full of so much depth.
It is full of so much conviction.

I hit chapter four this morning and had the time to do something I would highly recommend.
Read verses seven and eight and then just go for a short walk.

Think about what these verses mean.
"The Lord will not count his sin."

While on your short walk just reflect on all of those injustices, those hurts, that lack of consideration you and I have committed against other people.  Think about what we have done in our lives that has hurt the heart of God.

He gave Jesus to us because he loves us.  He doesn't ask us to earn heaven like so many other religions do.  That comes as such a relief to me as I walk and reflect on the moments in my life where my heart was full of wrong.

Sometimes the beautiful word "forgiveness" gets swept over in my mind because of the frequency of its use.  But something just not counting is a phrase I can wrap my mind around.
Numbers.  Tallies.  Strikes.  I can picture those things.

When we say the name of Jesus and believe he is who he says he is, then our sin becomes invisible.
He just doesn't count it.
That sin.
It is no longer seen.
It doesn't add up.
It doesn't burry you in its weight.
It doesn't exclude you from connection.
He sees Jesus and says, "what sin?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Five:

The sun was pushing hard through the space between the thick curtains.
"Where am I?"

I looked at the glowing green numbers hoping they would give me a clue.  I was inside an unfamiliar house and this small bed was latching on to me with it's heavy sheets.  Not home.  Motorcycle.  Lawn chairs in the garage.  Casey's family.  Oh yeah, Illinois.

It was Easter morning in Illinois.  He has risen.  I should shower.

I cleaned up quickly after wondering throughout the duration of my glorious shower what time it was in this foreign state.  I never wear my watch in the shower.  I wondered who was up and if I had missed out on the family activities of the family that was not my own.  If it was late and I had over slept, then I  needed to walk down stairs and act like I had been awake for awhile.  I cleared my throat and hummed a few notes to get the scratch out.

The smell of cabbage rested on the bottom stair.  I would later find out that cabbage and sausage was an Easter tradition.  I liked this tradition.  The kitchen was empty so I continued on to the back yard where the grass was green and the ham was smoking.  I felt my toes on the grass, which is rare.  Normally I wouldn't have noticed the feeling of the grass, but I was on a cross country trip and noticing was the whole point.

Little Caden wanted to sit on the motorcycles in the driveway.  Front seat.  Back seat.  White bike.  Front.  Honk horn.  Black bike.  Front seat.  Back seat.  Now multiply this by seventeen, and the fact that I hadn't eaten.  "The bikes can't be sat on anymore or we will hurt them."  This was a lie, of course.  I chunked this sweet kid's eggs in the tall grass and grabbed a drink.  I'm kidding.  We had a lovely game of Easter egg hunting in the afternoon sun.

We left later that evening for Casey's other grandparents who lived down the interstate.  The white lines  tremolo-ed against the black.  My hands soaked up the cold to my bones and my teeth rattled in my helmet.  I would shake my legs at stop signs and tuck my hands under my inner thigh.  Gosh, that was a cold night.  But we arrived to the other house in time for ice cream.

Parking your motorcycle in a garage where you don't have to unload ever little piece of gear makes you feel like royalty.  You people with those fancy gadgets called doors that close and lock have it easy.  I looked through some of the old tools that hung on the walls.  That wood plane hadn't moved from its spot in years.

"Oh my god!  Oh my god!" Grandma Giessen said in her Chicago-native accent as she hobbled out into the garage and saw the motorcycles.

My notes from this day:
"Get people together often.  Always eat outside when you can.  People are all that matters.  Lauren's tired voice warms my heart.  I love her.  I will tell her soon."