Archive for June 2012

WDJD? – from Rachel Starr Thompson

June 30, 2012

After my attempts to put life in shoe leather recently, I find that Rachel Starr Thompson has done a better job with it.

… Back in my teen years, “What would Jesus do?” was the catchphrase that identified the in-crowds of young Christendom. We wore “WWJD?” on our wrists, around our necks, and on our backpacks. But I never confessed how much the question frustrated me. … read the rest at Boundless Webzine.

I have to agree with Rachel.  The question of what Jesus did is much more helpful than the question of what He would do.  It’s much easier to imitate what we know He did than first to imagine what His response today would be and then to imitate the imagination.

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of games and gallantry; From Glimpses

June 22, 2012

For those who haven’t noticed, there’s a blog swap going on! I follow two of the bloggers involved – Grace from “Glimpses” and Nathan E. from “Nathan’s Two Cents.” I recommend Grace’s take on Nathan’s typical topic of manhood as a laugh-out-loud, thought-provoking look at some manly characteristics.

Can It Be?

June 19, 2012

I passed a “congratulations grads” sign the other day.  The realization suddenly hit me that I have been out of college for a year.  I’m not sure whether that feels like a long time, or a short one!  Much has changed in that year, and much has stayed the same.

I still run into people who assume I’m in college, primarily based on my looks.  Of course, I have also had someone say they thought I was in my late twenties based on my maturity level.  And that same someone could still tell I was homeschooled from a mile away!

So, where am I a year after college?  How am I doing?

Based on the current job market, I am thankful at this point to have been working full-time for 6 months.  Beyond that, I am very thankful to have been given a job that I care about and one that I enjoy.  I tell people that I love my job, I like my coworkers, and they like me, so everything is wonderful.

Honestly, though, the six months after graduation were not easy.  I was volunteering, so I had something to do out of the house, and I was hunting work, but the uncertainty was rather unsettling.  I had a few interviews in the fall, but nothing that came to anything.

And then God dropped this job in my lap.

Oddly enough, I probably got it because I am a homeschooler.  Not because they were looking for one, but because jobs still come back to who you know.  I was at a homeschool meeting with my mom, and we mentioned that I was looking for a full-time job.  One of the ladies who was there is my boss’s wife, and when this position opened up a month after the meeting, he gave me a call.  The rest, as I like to say, is His-story!

I’m still dealing with plenty of uncertainty in my life, which is always teaching me to run back to God for help because I don’t like change, and I don’t like not knowing what, where, when, why, and how.  But I don’t have a whole lot of time to worry about it anymore – not with working 40 hours a week!

For those of you still waiting for that perfect job to materialize, be patient, and do the thing in front of you.  Sometimes you have to wait for the stepping-stones to surface before you can cross the river, but you can find something useful to do wherever you are right now.

If you’d like to compare these thoughts to what I wrote a year ago about graduating, you can find that post here.  As then, I still encourage you to focus on Christ and not on circumstances, good or bad.  He’s still in control!

Ordinary

June 16, 2012

In what seems
ordinary and everyday
there is always more than at first
meets the eye.

 

-Charles Cummings

What kind of shoe are you?

June 5, 2012

Okay, you can say it.  This girl is weird.

Who on earth would want to be a shoe?

Actually, this post is about putting our purpose into shoe leather.  So those of you who read the title and immediately started picturing what cute kind of shoe you’d like to be, focus.  I’m talking serious big-kid stuff here.

I was considering that age-old question the other day: What is my purpose?

Answers to this abound, many of them lies.  I won’t go into most of those.  Most of them completely miss the point, or are simplistic, like the Sunday School answer – to do good.  Or the spiritualistic answer – to glorify God.  If you give these answers to a true seeker, however, he’ll be disappointed.  And so am I.  These answers lack direction.  I want to know what good to do, how to glorify my God.

So, I had to dig deeper and ask what does glorifying God look like in shoe leather?  How on earth do we get that rubber to meet the road?  Can we draw a blueprint or a road map for how to get to that position?

Here are the answers I’ve been working on.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact blueprint.  Because every person is different, because He made us each with different talents, every person will glorify Him differently.  Because every person will glorify Him differently, there is and can be no detailed blueprint for us to follow as we build the houses (temples – 1 Cor. 3:16) He delights to dwell in.

Instead, He has given us The Way.

In following the footsteps of Jesus, who is the Way (the Truth, and the Life), and the leading of the Spirit, we find our path lit by His Word, and we are blessed in glorifying our Father.  Yeah, I know, I’m still not being concrete.  Let me tell you, being concrete is pretty easy for me to do in reality, but not an easy thing for me to describe in words (Sister is the writer, remember!).  But let me keep trying, and we’ll see if by the end of the discussion I can’t give you something concrete to work with.  (Granted, I don’t know who would want to wear concrete shoes, but . . . )

Okay, let’s try the shoe on for size.  Suppose we are like the leather in a shoe (or boot, if you like).  We start out as limp, helpless leather, unable to fathom how on earth we’re going to get in the right shape.  God, as the master cobbler, cuts out the 2D shape that he wants (and that can be a painful process as He gets rid of baggage that we don’t need which would only mar the shoe in the end).   Then He uses His tools to shape us, and to sew all the pieces in the right positions to create a beautiful shoe.

Don’t you love it when a project comes together?  And when we start putting the pieces together that make up the different parts of our lives, realizing that we can’t compartmentalize Jesus because He belongs in all parts, I think God is pleased in seeing His “project” come together.

Still want to know what it will look like?  Well, since He doesn’t ever make two identical shoes (although He does make them in pairs sometimes), we won’t know until He finishes with us what we’re going to look like.  Still, we have many saints/shoes to look to for ideas on the kinds of shoes He has made before.

I’m probably not getting any warmer in my search for a concrete image for you.  But there seems to be a reason for that.  As I see it, the key concept to this process is Faith.  Everything keeps coming back to faith in Jesus.  And since faith is an abstract kind of concept, we should not be surprised that the concrete is difficult to come by.

We must believe that although we do not know our shoe type, He does, and we know He can turn out a good shoe.  Of course, we also have to stay out of his way.  Our part is to listen while He works in us.  At some point, somewhere along The Way, we will probably become aware of the kind of shoe we are becoming.  But probably not until we have learned lessons about not rushing ahead when we aren’t ready yet.  You know how ready we are to jump to conclusions when we think we know how a story is going to end, so I’m not surprised that God doesn’t show us more than a few steps of the path lest we be tempted to take shortcuts.  Imagine trying to walk in a shoe that hadn’t been stitched together yet!  Or trying to run in one that didn’t have any laces yet!  We run into problems when we impatiently push forward instead of waiting till He leads us in The Way.

When we look to Him in faith and hope, I think that’s when He can show us what is next.  Not that He is unable to show us before that, but more that we are too distracted to see it.  I think sometimes we get too focused on where we are, instead of looking at Him and who He is.  If we look to Him, and do the next thing He hands us to do, then we won’t have to worry about our futures, and we won’t get bogged down in figuring out where we are going.

Maybe you’re one of those who’d like to have a long-range goal to work toward.  Sometimes God will give us a dream that we can work for, but other times we have to work a little harder.  If you don’t have a dream, you can always ask Him for one, but then try looking at the little things He has given you to do lately, and see if there isn’t a pattern.  Do you like to share His story?  Do you enjoy spending time with little ones?  Maybe you’re a writer and He has used you to brighten people’s day with a poem.  Perhaps He has given you a green thumb and you can bless people with the flowers He made.  I don’t think you’ll have a hard time once you start looking for the vision He has for your life in Him.

Like I said, I’m better at living this concept than writing about it, although I sometimes have trouble with that aspect as well.  I am one to whom He gave a dream very early on, but who has sometimes struggled to see the next step along The Way.  But our God is faithful; He knew all along just where the next step was in my climb.  And He knows yours too.


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