in between blogging...

monday morning bright and early, i will be all dramamined up and heading off to memphis for our youth choir/mission trip. just me, maxx, millie, and 47 some odd youth (some more odd than others) and many chaperones much better and more mature than i am (aren’t you glad to know that?).  amongst my sordid and varied duties is being the official trip blogger (don’t know how i won that coveted position). i am also the official photographer, slide show maker, bus driver direction giver, director of bus games, organizer of 16 different games to be played with 150 elementary school children at a boys/girls club in memphis, and i will lead a devotional group (most likely in my sleep).

so you can catch my exciting, exclusive, and exhaustive blog posts over at this website next week. this link should take you to a page where you can click on another link to go to the blog... it should. it really really should...

 http://www.fbctlh.org/youthchoir

it is always interesting to read along as i slowly lose my mind when the miles get longer and the sleep gets lesser.

the theme verses for the tour are colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, 
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

and let’s rock a little of the message version...

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. 
Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 
Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. 
Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—
that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead. 
Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. 
He is your life. 
When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, 
you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. 

the theme is IN BETWEEN. what do we do with the time IN BETWEEN? from the time when we come to know Jesus as our Lord and the time when we see Him face to face? all this time in between. i guess we could have called it SANCTIFICATION. but that isn’t as catchy a name. it doesn’t look as cute on a t-shirt. oh, and we are baptist so we don’t use that word a lot. i happen to like the word. i like the word more than i like the actual process. because i like things that end quickly and painlessly. and sanctification isn’t that way.

at least not for me. it tends to DRAG on endlessly. with very little visible progress.

i only like the ENDINGS of stories. i sometimes read them first to give me patience through the middle. the middle is hard. the middle is messy. this in between time is just that “in between”. 

this refining fire. this polishing period. all work. hard work. 

i love the way jaimie the very worst missionary writes about this process and the beautiful things that come out of the in between times... centerpiece.

i especially love the last two paragraphs (warning, she does use some, ahem, colorful language. but she is the very worst missionary, so that is kind of implied)...

Transient

That first time I stood on Glass Beach, I cried - I cried, and I thought, “This is what God does!”… God takes our crap offerings, our messed up lives and all of our garbage, and He turns it around. He makes it Beautiful, somehow. Against all odds and despite our own easy skepticism, He Redeems what seems hopelessly trashed, He Rebuilds what seems irreparably broken. Somewhere along the line, this God - the God who will make all things new - became the centerpiece of our lives.

He is the real centerpiece around which we invite our friends to sit and talk. The glass rocks only serve as a quiet reminder that we should delight in the unexpectedness of what God can do when we give Him our shit and let Him transform it. Because, seriously you guys, this is what God does….

beautiful endings. from the ugly in between. trash to treasure. a process. one that i need to learn to like more. one that i need to learn to trust in more. perhaps this is a good theme for the week for me as well for the youth that are going. pray for us all during this time of IN BETWEEN. thank you.