Tremble In Fear and Do It Anyway

I once knew a man who belonged to a chat room called, “Young Millionaires”. He wasn’t even close to being a millionaire, but he was convinced that everyone else in the room was a millionaire and so he pretended to be one too. I quickly pointed out to him that they could just as easily be making up their financial picture as he was, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He believed them to be completely sincere despite his insincerity.

Last week, at the Write To Publish Conference, I had my first experience at a cyber-friendship made real life or (RL). I was really quite nervous about it.

“What if she doesn’t like the real me?” I wondered. “What if I’ve accidentally created a virtual me that doesn’t reflect the real me, like the guy in the young millionaire chat room?”

But the moment I saw her all fears were chased away. It was like I had known her my whole life…and I should have known all would be well, because Adela Crandell Durkee is a pretty amazing woman! She writes with wisdom and wit. She tells side-splittingly funny stories. She smiles under pressure, and everyone is stronger for her being in their presence.

She was the very first blogger to offer her friendship, writing to me an e-mail that stated, “Let’s be Best Blogging Girlfriends!” And that’s just what we are.

It occurs to me that our relationship with God can be much like a virtual friendship. We don’t see Him face to face, although we could get nervous about when we will someday.

When I do see Him in RL, will I stand before Him realizing how much of the time I was trying to be someone I am not? Will my insincerity drive me away from His presence?

I only know that I am told that I can stand in His presence boldly and that my faith pleases Him. It takes faith to stand in His presence. He sees right through our pretending. But when I do? He welcomes me the way my friend welcomed me, with open arms and loving acceptance, pleased by my reliance on His grace…the outpouring of grace which I gladly receive to tremble and go anyway.

On In Around button

…sharing a playdate with Laura:


(En) Couraged By Love

Love isn’t a feeling.

If it was it could never endure.

Because what feeling lasts forever?

But love can last forever.

Love isn’t word-deep.

It requires more than words.

It requires action.

Yet love isn’t actions alone.

“If  I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or [c] in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me),
I. gain. nothing.”

Love isn’t a touch.

Or else every sexual encounter would be love.

So. what. is. love?

Love is a discipline.

and to become disciplined, we must train,

and follow our Trainer.

Become a Follower of Love.

Who is leading in our follow-the-leader game of love?

God is love.

and Perfect love casts out all fear.

His love is perfect,

When I choose to be discipled by it I am (en)couraged.

Nothing can separate me from the love of God.

Even. me.

Counting his manifestations of love to me with my dear Ann: Counting the provisions of the Lord with Ann:

148. Spring springing.

149. A robin sighting.

150. Good finds in a library.

151. Real Mexican dining just a walk away.

152. A beautiful new company car for my husband!!!!

153. New mercies.

154. New opportunities.

155. Mama’s arms around my neck.

156. Relief after a 5 hour bus ride…

157. An understanding husband.

158. A son whose idea of an ideal Friday night is to watch Judah Smith preach at Church On The Move.

159. Everyday treasures discovered by little hands.

160. Little girl “mustaches”.

161. A much anticipated walk to the park.

162. An aunt not seen for 10 years.

163. A son who calls to make a lunch appointment.

164. Bagel chips.

165. Italian ice.

166. Revelations from “The Voice”…God is not waiting for me to impress Him before He commits to helping me succeed!

167. A plaque honoring godly pioneers.

168. A widow’s mite idea for a family wedding shower.

169. Exciting possibilities.

170. a hope and a future.

171. Young men who dream dreams.

172. Toddlers to give presents to.

173. My husband’s snoring.

174. Almost summer-like days.

175. Human frailties that insist upon grace.

176. Sabbath rest in the midst of chaos.

177. A gift of The Hunger Games

178. Direction for lent (finally!)

179. Learning about preparation in all things.

180. Aha! moments at church.

181. Answered prayer and more answered prayer.

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

….finding heaven with Jen:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

…sharing with Shandra:

 

Some Grown Up “Make-Believe”


“He (Jesus) even told us that we had to be like little children ourselves if we wanted to understand God, and yet the world (and too often the church) taught then, and still teaches, that we have to outgrow our childhood love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun, and so we blunder into the grown-up world of literalism.” Madeleine L’Engle

But aren’t children the greatest literalists in the world? I wish I could ask Madeleine that. If you tell a child something, don’t they take you quite literally? One thing about what is literally true to a child, is that the line between reality and make-believe is very ambiguous.

I remember playing “farm” with my two best childhood friends. For some reason, I got it in my head that we might buy my great grandparent’s farm in Nebraska. I’d never even been there, but my mother had told me much about it, and we had a few old black and white photos of a grand farmhouse. My guess is that they had recently passed away and my mother sighed out loud that she wished she could buy that farm because it had so many precious memories for her. From that statement of yearning, I decided that we were very probably buying that farm.

So, I rounded up anyone who would play with me and we pretended we were on my great grandparent’s farm. I still remember the rooms I imagined and the grove of pine trees I “sat” under even though there wasn’t a pine tree in sight.

I suppose in that way, we, as children have given up our “love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun” and have blundered “into the grown-up world of literalism.” We think that those times of “make-believe” weren’t real. But what are we really saying when we say “make-believe”? Are we saying that we pretend and imagine to the point where we make ourselves believe something is there when it is not? And if so, isn’t that a type of faith? A kind of calling things that are not as though they were? (Romans 4:17)

Maybe if we imagined and played “make-believe” about the things we have been promised by our Maker, we would be having faith like a child and would see more things happen in our lives.

I am not suggesting that we live in denial. After all, was it denial for me to imagine and “make-believe” that I was on my great grandparent’s farm when I was really standing on the tiny plot of land in front of our Chicago bungalow? Of course not! As soon as my mother called me in to eat, I was in Oak Park, Illinois again. I would gobble down her lovely lunch and run outside to make a mud pie for all the field workers.

So, which was more “real”? You tell me.

 Linking with the lovely Jen:

and Michelle at: