Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The power

Ok, so being a Children's Ministry Director doesn't come with a whole lot of power and stature. But there is one week where I inherit ultimate power with endless possibilities. The type of power that allows me to require my co-workers to dress up in crazy costumes that include gold jeans, leather pants, and shiny lizard-skin shirts. Now pull your mind out of whatever gutter you've found yourself and realize that our VBS theme is about special agents in space. Hence the gold, leather, and lizard skin.

Obviously since it only happens once a year, I'm getting lots of pictures of this hilarious event. Maybe I'll use them as blackmail for a new playground or more cheerios. Hey, a girl's gotta use what she has available to her.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I find it interesting that Christ is referred to as the last Adam. For the first and only God-Man is tied closely to the first man made by God.

In fact, when God created Adam, he formed him out of dust and dirt, he wasn't born, he didn't grow up, he just became. And yet, Christ, who was human and yet also God, was formed in the womb. He grew by his cells dividing and multiplying, forming organs and body parts. Both created by God in body and form, both perfect in their creation, and each would face a choice that would define their lives and ours.

Adam dwelled in the presence of God, he walked and talked with Him (sidenote: this amazes me and blows my mind) in the Garden of Eden. He didn't suffer hunger, thirst, want, or any other trial or need we now find part of our life. Adam's body was perfect, complete, and eternal. His existence was idyllic until one fateful choice. The one time he faced the option to oppose God he jumped at it. There is no record of Adam struggling with his decision, debating the outcome or consequences. The Bible simply says he ate. In that one choice the path of man was eternally altered.

Christ, on the other hand, was born into temptation. He entered the world not in a divine body but one that began breaking down the moment he took his first breath. Christ suffered every trial, tribulation, need, etc. that man would encounter: hunger, thirst, temptation (those three taking place at the hand of Satan in a face to face showdown), loneliness, brokenness, deception, rejection, and more. In the midst of all these temptations Christ stood firm, he suffered through the trials but He didn't fall to the temptation.

Yet one night we get a glimpse of the man Christ and his toughest trial. Alone in a garden, on the eve of His death, we see Christ wrestle with temptation. He is in anguish, both physically and mentally, a battle waring within himself. Christ could have walked away. He could have made the choice to not follow through with the cross. If he couldn't than why the anguish? Why the pleading with God for a different way?

This is where we see the greatest difference between Adam and Christ. Adam chose self in his garden while Christ chose us in his. Both decisions reach into eternity and change the course of man. One brought death and the other life. One was made without a thought, instinct maybe, or just the ease of sin. The other was made after a battle of wills, sweat, tears, and pleading.

What do I learn about myself in these two men in their gardens with their choices? Are my choices for self and sin, made without a thought, an instinct that is deep within me? Do I battle with God to chose His will and way, pleading for something else, but submitting to His leading? I don't think the battle is that wrong when it signifies that I know His truth and I'm honest with my struggle to live it. The wrong is how quickly I can chose self without a thought to Him.

We each possess a part of both Adams. Our flesh is born of the first one always seeking self with no thought to the consequences. Our spirit is born of the second, loving God so much we battle the other to submit to His will

I hope when I find myself in my gardens, I'm willing to have the battle with God, to suffer the anguish and pain that comes when both my parts war over what I will chose.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's lonely at the top

My friend, co-worker, and fellow blogger Ben posted something recently about loneliness vs. being alone. Go read the post for yourself, because it's well thought out and interesting (Ben's one of those good thinker types), but I'll give you the cliff notes version. He's thinking trought the difference, if there is one, between loneliness and being alone and how we interact with those two states of being.

In a related situation, I was talking with a friend recently about what had been going on in our lives and as she began to describe what she was feeling and experiencing I could relate. As she grasped for a one-word description I ventured a guess with "lonely". That was it, but not specifically the loneliness that comes with being absent from people or even a feeling of aloneness, but more of a longing and emptiness that you recognized slowly at first and then with overwhelming depth. It was something more than related to people but internal, personal, and not easily solved by immersing oneself in the crowd.

I have more thoughts on this and an answer to Ben's questions posed over on his post, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

How do you define loneliness? Being alone?

Is there a difference between the two, if so what?