i love God. have you figured that out yet?

i love that He is a storyteller. because i love a good story. 

i love that He keeps telling the same stories over and over and over in so many different ways. because He knows that i need repetition. and help. and chai lattes.

and i love how ALL of us love His stories. even when some of us don’t realize that He is telling them.

case in point... (and i bet that EVERY GREAT and even the not-so-great christian bloggers have jumped on this one) but i will join in on the not-so-great side with the fact that ANYONE with a television and a soul was GLUED to the rescue of the chilean miners this week.

several tweeters tweeted ALL DAY AND NIGHT with updates every half hour or so. 


i cried every time i saw or read that another miner was out.

because God was telling a story.

the story He tells best. and often. the story of RESCUE...

let me tell you the story that i saw play out over and over on the television. just in case you had a life and weren’t watching it 24/7...

33 miners trapped in a dark place. a confined space. a dangerous place. they could improve that place. they could measure out their food. they could exercise. they could “live”. but we wouldn’t call it “living”. we called it “trapped in a mine”. “waiting to be rescued”. “must get them out”.

they couldn’t figure out a way out of that mine on their own. they didn’t have that kind of knowledge. power. strength. now they could only improve what went on in the mine. get along nicely with each other. sing songs. ration out food. read letters from above. they could “use their time wisely”. they prayed a lot. they prayed for rescue. 

then here comes a strange contraption into their midst. it looked like more confinement. in a smaller place. dang, that rescue capsule looked suffocating. but they trusted it. they got in. really, this is what you want me to do? trust in THIS? and they all did. one after another, trusting in something they couldn’t really see on a path that was dark and winding... through the rocks and hard places they traveled wrapped in safety. pulled along by hands they couldn’t see. something bigger than they were. another force at work.

one by one they were rescued. they came to a spacious place. not through anything they had done. not through all that nice rationing of food in the mine. that didn’t rescue them. it kept them alive IN THE MINE. but the point wasn’t to continue to live IN THE MINE. the point was to LIVE life in a spacious place. in freedom.

 psalm 18:19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
       he rescued me because he delighted in me.

and i loved this comment that i heard on the news, “they went in as miners and they came out as celebrities”.

because God tells a story about RESCUE and then He likes to follow that up with a story of TRANSFORMATION.

2 Corinthians 3:18 
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

transformation through the rescue. because i know what that feels like. because i came into this world as a mere human and after my rescue i come out as a child of the King. dark place. rescue. transformation. life to the fullest.

the news outlets couldn’t stop themselves from writing the story of the gospel over and over in the headlines...

“chilean miners taste freedom”. it tastes good doesn’t it my brothers of rescue?

“freed in a flawless rescue”. oh, He is flawless indeed my Rescuer.

“miners emerge to rejoicing and singing”. celebrations continue everywhere to this very day.

“rescue complete”.  praise God that it was finished long ago.

“the future of the mine is in question”. ummm, i think i might know what happens to that mine in the end...

what a great story. no wonder we all watched. and cried. 

some because we know what it feels like. and we look at the joy on those rescued miners faces and we know exactly how that feels.

some because they yearn to be rescued and don’t know to step into His arms.... yet. that contraption doesn’t look quite right to them. it isn’t modern enough. not proven by science. not attractive. they were hurt by something that looked like that once. it looks worse than where they are. but it is rescue. it is freedom. peace. joy. and a million other things that are Good.

and there are those who love their mine. it is all they know. it is home. cramped. but they have food. they have order. they like it there. they have a faint sense that there might be beauty, light, life somewhere far far away. but they can’t quite grasp that it is meant for them. it is just something they dream about at night and then can’t quite reason out during the day light hours spent still in the dark. organizing and perfecting their little world in the mine shaft. making the mine as “liveable” as they can. all the time defending the greatness of mine life. because it is their choice. to ignore the rescue so close at hand. right there. waiting. calling. opening the door to freedom. but don’t mention it to them. wouldn’t be politically correct to point out that rescue to anyone. 

the rocks will cry out the Truth. and sometimes so will our televisions sets. and cnn online.

keep those stories coming God. oh, i know you will.

i have your Word on it...

Romans 7:24-25 

What a wretched man I am! 

Who will rescue me 

from this body of death?

Thanks be to God-

through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

last monday... "lost" monday...

the LAST monday of school for this year...

the LAST monday of blogging (next monday counts as a holiday and we will be at the beach).

and LOST monday because i stayed up WAY too late last night watching the series finale of LOST. i have watched that show from the VERY first show and have watched it week in and week out. no catching up on on dvd. i am a HUGE fan of that show. loved it. read blogs about it. didn’t understand most of it. thought it had some meaning that i didn’t really totally clue in (not sure i know anyone who did). but i knew it was captivating entertainment. and i loved the character development. the suspense. the relationships. the polar bear. and most of all i liked the idea lived out on the small screen that what we do, who we meet, and that our life experiences matter. every moment matters. in a world increasingly void of taking responsibility for our actions, LOST showed that perhaps we reap what we sow... and sometimes on an island with a smoke monster. 

and speaking of seeing things clearly.... rosalea will be seeing things a bit more clearly now. in her new glasses. 


the most fun was watching her look around right after she put on those glasses. to hear her talk about all those details that she was seeing for the first time. it was fun to be there for that... it reminds me of why i LOVE Christianity. it makes me see details that i might have passed by without seeing before. i know that i see things clearer through the lens of His Word and a Christian worldview. i see experiences as having meaning, purpose, and direction. little things matter. the smallest scenes might have the HUGEST impact once we get to the end of the series. perhaps i don’t know why things happen, but i do know that Someone does. the Director. the Casting Agent. the Producer. the Writer. Someone is working all things together for good. 

and when the credits roll on the series of “lea”, you will all see that ALL credit will have to go to the Director, the Casting Agent, the Producer, and the Writer. i just played the part that i was given. and i hope to have played it well. for my Audience of One. just like lost, it was never what i was expecting, but i wanted to see what was on each and every week. but unlike lost... i was found. thank God, i once was lost but now am found. and being found makes the details a bit more clear sometimes. not always... but i trust the Director’s vision.

and you never thought i could write ONE post about new glasses AND lost and make it make a tiny bit more sense than the series finale, did you? 

welcome to my birthday week...

yes, i like a whole week to celebrate (and to give you all notice so you can be out scouring the city for the best gift for me....)

on wednesday evening i will be heading down to the beach house with some friends. because weekend and wednesday both start with the letter “w”, so it only makes sense that my birthday weekend should start on a wednesday... doesn’t it... it does in my crazy little world that revolves around me and my birthday. and so i leave wednesday for the beach house....

where i will become a hypergelast.... isn’t that a great word of the day?

this made me a hypergelast also...

the saturday night live skit about the bailout. i happen to think that every now and then saturday night live in their humor has it more correct than CNN’s serious news coverage... this is one of those times.

and another time they understand something correctly..... “oh no, why would i want that? let me just fix that....” and “you should probably tell your daughter to stay off the internet”....

and this one reminds me a lot of some herpes commercials i have seen... because obviously if you sing about something, it makes it sound so much better... or if you talk about it in the check out aisle at publix...

i will never sing the song supercalifragilisticexpialidocious again without thinking about mary poppins in a much different light.... she is so in denial...

and i am thinking of going on the michael phelps diet... “because you don’t have to train like an olympic athlete to have the body like an olympic athlete”...

there now we have all had our snl fix for the year. 

Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.  
~Peter Ustinov
Comedy has to be based on truth.  You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.  
~Sid Caesar

Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.  
~Mary Hirsch

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes.  ~William Davis

Many a true word is spoken in jest.  
~English Proverb

deep thoughts for a tuesday...

i read this quote today and i read it several times to really understand it and then it made me stop and think for a minute or two about being a good mother and a thoughtful human being (and i hope that i am both),.. 

go on read it a few times and then think and then come back to my conclusions....

"Evil lust and evil passions are to a great extent generated by boredom and emptiness. It is difficult to struggle against that boredom by means of abstract goodness and virtue. The dreadful thing is that virtue at times seems deadly dull, and there's no salvation in it. Cold, hard-set virtue, devoid of creative fire, is always dull and never saves. The heart must be set aglow if dullness is to be dispelled.
...Lust is a means of escaped from boredom when goodness provides no such escape. This is why it is very difficult -- almost impossible -- to conquer evil passions through negative asceticism ... and prohibition. They can only be conquered positively, through awakening the positive and creative spiritual force opposed to them.
...Purely negative asceticism, preoccupied with evil and sinful desires and strivings, so far from enlightening the soul, intensifies its darkness. We must preach, therefore, a morality based not upon the annihilation of will but upon its enlightenment, not upon the humiliation of man and his external submission to God, but upon the creative realization by man of the divine in life -- of the values of truth, goodness and beauty."
-- Nicholas Berdyaev, from "Ultimate Questions: An Anthology of Modern Russian Religious Thought" 

and just because i know you all will think i was actually reading that entire really thought provoking book, i wasn’t. i just found that quote on a blog that i read...

here is that blog in case you want to have deep thought tuesday yourself...

now onto my deep thoughts early on a tuesday morning (really,it is way too early for such deep thoughts, but this is just how i roll)...

first of all, we are facing a generation of kids (and adults) who are bored and empty. no wonder we see incredible amounts of evil lust and passions EVERYWHERE around us. after reading amusing ourselves to death, i look at television in a whole new way. i don’t want a life spent searching after entertainment, a life concentrated on being amused and half awake, being duped into believing what my eyes see on the flickering screen. when i am more interested in someone’s fake life on television that the real life i am living, i am in trouble (thanks to lori for expounding that concept in starbucks).

anyway, i think as a parent, i have tended to rely on using negative stimuli to produce goodness in my children (and myself), and for the most part it has worked. but i would like to “set their hearts aglow if dullness is to be dispelled”, not a mere “external submission to God” (which i struggle with GREATLY) but a creative desire to seek what is Divine and wonderful in our lives and how we can bring truth, goodness, and beauty into all that we do. i want my inner life to be larger and more God centered than my outer life “appears”.

and i think with me it starts with me living more creatively first (and i know you all don’t even know how i could live MORE creatively). and encouraging that in my children. which is all very relevant (isn’t God SO relevant) because....

summer is a comin’ and with that free time for us all it typically means more television, computer, entertainment time for my children (and myself). but i really feel that God is leading me to do something different with all that time this summer. and it will start with turning off the television and the computer and unplugging a bit. not merely amusing ourselves through a summer. but really living through those days...

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainment, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk: culture-death is a clear possibility.”
from AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
by Neil Postman

that is all the deep thinking i can do for a tuesday morning. i gotta go watch t.v. now...

ha ha ha.