Platinum Weddings

I don’t know why I continue to watch this show.  It makes me sick thinking about how much money some people spend on their weddings… and half of them don’t last!  Half a million dollars?  Seriously?!  The couple that I am watching right now spent $12000 on the rental of a castle, plus $22000 on the bride’s dress.  *Shudder* it’s just so expensive!

Prayer

Tomorrow, the former college pastor at the church I used to attend is having major surgery.  His name is Chaz, and he’s been fighting a really hard battle with ulcerative colitis.  So if you remember, please pray for Chaz on Tuesday as he’s having surgery, or whenever, for that matter.  Because recovery is an “audible curse word”.

You can read about his journey here.

Come to the Water

This morning in church we sang the most beautiful arrangement of the song “Come to the Water”.  I had never heard it before, but it struck such a chord in my soul that I just had to share it.

Oh let all who thirst, let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing, let them come to the Lord.
Without money, without price
Why should you pay the price, except for the Lord.

And let all who seek, let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing, let them come to the Lord.
Without money, without strife
Why should you spend your life, except for the Lord.

And let all who toil, let them come to the water.
And let all who are weary, let them come to the Lord.
All who labor, without rest
How can your soul find rest, except for the Lord.

And let all the poor, let them come to the water.
Bring the ones who are laden, bring them all to the Lord.
Bring the children, without might
Easy the load and light, come to the Lord.

I love music so much.  It has become one of the most powerful ways that the Lord speaks to me.  Andrew and I left church this morning and I told him that the music at our church just makes me happy.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been happy and at peace at church, and I am so grateful that I am.

New Shoes!

I was at Target the other day looking for something that I didn’t find… but I did find some shoes!  The best part… they were on clearance for $6!

I’ve started to become quite the bargain shopper.  TJ Maxx and clearance aisles at Target have become my best friends.

Natasha Richardson

Natasha Richardson died today.  Her family took her off of life support after a skiing accident.

I’m usually not this affected by celebrity tragedy, but my family went through something like this in October when my cousin died that was totally unexpected.  I am so sad for her husband, Liam Neeson, and their two teenage boys.  Natasha was only 45.  I keep thinking that I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I lost my mom so young and I am so sad for them.

The only movie that I have ever seen her in is “The Parent Trap” (the one with Lindsay Lohan).

I am so sad.

Materials

I realize more and more all of the time how materialistic I am.  Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, and that bothers me.  Now, I know that it’s not wrong to want nice things, but it is wrong to define myself by the things I do or don’t have.  It’s also wrong to elevate things above people and relationships with them.

Finding error in yourself can be downright frustrating, but then, it should also force you to grow.

It’s been a while

I’m really kind of proud of myself because I haven’t blogged in something like 5 days!  (As opposed to a new post everyday)  Nothing earth shattering… I just think I’m getting sick.  Yuck!  Scratchy throat and phlegm.  Gross!  I definitely can’t get sick tomorrow because I’m driving to Tampa for my best friend’s bridal shower.  Get in there and fight, white blood cells!!

Love

I finished reading The Shack yesterday while I was at work during a lull.   But when I was at this wonderful horrible part where Papa (God the Father) asks Mack to forgive the man who murdered his little girl, I started to cry and had to watch the door to make sure no one would come in to find me in tears.  Thankfully, no one did.  Anyway, that is totally beside the point of this post, sort of.  One of the themes of the book is loving as God loves, even those we deem unworthy or evil.  This doesn’t mean excusing evil, but seeing those who commit evil as He sees them–misguided and hurting children (i.e. Mack forgiving his daughter’s murderer).

It continues to surprise me just how unloving and unforgiving I can be.  I have to make a conscious effort everyday to supress the mean in me and see beyond the exterior to the beautiful scared people that were created by the same Person who longs to redeem them.  It’s almost easier, though, to love people who don’t know Jesus versus those who do.  This is so sad, and it’s not a problem with the believers, it’s a problem with me and my heart.  With me and my sin.  It is not my responsibility to sit in judgment of my brothers and sisters in the Christ, or anyone, for that matter.  I need to learn to give my frustrations to God and let Him take care of them.  Because when I don’t give them over, they begin to eat at me, frustrating me further, and building a wall of bitterness and disgust.  Loving people is hard work.

On my last post I said that I’d love a weekend at the shack, but now I think I need a daily visit.  On the other hand, I don’t really need to go anywhere.  He is already here, I just forget sometimes.

The Shack

Have you read The Shack?  I’m in the process of reading it right now, and I must say, it has given me a great deal to think about.  It has challenged my perception of God and the Church.  For starters, the Father as a big black woman?  You’ll just have to read the book to find out what I mean.

Anyway, this book was given to Andrew and I as a wedding gift, and I finally opened it up yesterday.  I’m already about three-fourths of the way through and can’t wait to get to the end.  The first few chapters were a little tough to get through, just because of the overwhelming loss of the main character.  But, oh my, the rest of the book is overwhelmingly redemptive.  Now I wish that God would take me to a shack for the weekend so we could have a face to face.

Music

I love music, and the Lord always seems to speak to me most clearly through it.  The last few Sundays He spoke especially clearly through the words of song, but not wanting to look silly, I don’t write down the words He breaths into my soul.  I think that I’m going to change that.  Not wanting to look silly during praise and worship, when no one but the Lord should even be paying attention to me, is not a good reason to not absorb what He is saying.  I want to always remember what my Wonderful Savior says to me.

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

Tracy leaves for Italy tomorrow with Campus Crusade at UCF to minister to college students in Salerno.  Please keep her in your prayers.