Tag Archives: worship

Humour dissection

12 Mar

I read this today. And I’m taking it on.

You – who read my blog, wise tribe – may not be recipient of my frequent sarcasm. Usually it is directed at myself. And for people who can take it – they get some too. I suppose this is a place I’m pretty gendered in my categorisations. Read: I think boys can take it, girls can’t.

Someone close to me asked me once if that was my modus operandi for flirting – and shocked me. Me? Good little Christian girl, know how to flirt? He only barely got away with that one being a good friend… 🙂 But it made me examine myself – perhaps and I need to be accountable there. BUT if it were, it would be sweet and gentler? Haha, I don’t know.

Sarcasm is funny. It makes people laugh. I love making people laugh. I use sarcasm.

Logical? Mostly. Except sarcasm is not all funny.

The same friend also asked me if my humour was my defence mechanism. Why did I joke about something that could hurt me?

I told you he was a good friend… That was just it. It could hurt and so I diffused it with humour. But I end up diffusing every potentially vulnerable situation with humour.

And what is the problem with having a coping strategy that works every time, you ask? This.

I am my real-est, I am myself with nothing else when I am at my most vulnerable. This is the kernel of knowledge that I (or the other person or both of us) have allowed to survive, inside the contexts and interactions of any of my best relationships. At my most vulnerable, I am also welcoming to God. It is when I stand there, that I can open the door of my heart. I run away from vulnerability until there’s a ringing manufacturer recall.

And that is the other problem with some of my humour. Even when it is targeted towards myself, self-deprecatingly, it is because I fail to honour what God has put in me. I fail to have the courage to speak boldly. With modesty but no fear. With security in the identity and love that comes from a relationship with God.

iAnalyse

7 Apr

I analyse. Incessantly. Mostly myself, mostly critically, ‘most all the time…

Here is what I have come up with. I have upper-middle class sympathies and inclinations, I am quick to recoil from the failings of society that can be massed into a statistic, I have several of my own failings that sadly are less open to scrutiny. I don’t know if analysing my categorisability will make me want to fall into another category… In fact, I don’t think it will. But I am intrigued by the quirks of judgement that go with categories and labels.

Teen pregnancy, alcoholism, addiction, lack of a college education – Lord, may it never come into our lives. And I agree – amen! I don’t want it there. But but – there is little said about the domestic friction, the violence in Indian homes, the gender dominance, the deep-seated resentment of familial structure and dependence – these things, we will never bemoan openly.

I’m not bringing down the standards. Far from it. I’m saying in giving ourselves obvious standards, social standards, we find it easy to be the new ‘genteel unhappy’…

The Lord weighs the heart…

And then there is more to my self-analysis. This is the real cruncher. The level at which I analyse most of the time… Just plain ol’ me. I don’t know where you are on this spectrum – but you can be objective about your thoughts, about your beliefs, you can tell when you’re irrational, you can tell when you’re instinctive, you. can. criticise. and be your worst opponent in an argument.

This is a blessing. I kid you not. I mean, it’ll take you a while to find out but it really is… Because when it comes to accountability, you’ve already done the hard work. I am also grateful for the times when this isn’t self-induced but instead I am listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, convicting, moving and gently nudging to acknowledge truth, to hear His heartbeat and not my own.

And although it hurts, and although your self will try to take over and be merciless, I love that vulnerability in the presence of God.

I give you all my pieces, Lord. Hold me together. And take the unbroken parts and break open the flaws set in stone… Change my heart.  Find it here, as I lay myself before you. I give you only broken worship. There is no one else I trust, but You – Your Holy Spirit and His revelations, and the people you use and nudge me to listen. Hold me close into wholeness then. I do, I really do – I give you all my pieces.

Beauty is

17 Feb

Today, I am left without words.

Beauty is having a child run after you because she wants to hold your hand.

Beauty is having a child – a different child from a different home – ask you wonderingly if you would still play with him. Broken beauty, but beauty.

Beauty is an animal who trusts you so completely that she will sigh her frustration into the hollow of your hand, as she lays her head there, and licks you, while the doctor administers painful treatment.

Beauty is knowing that that is what God wants us to be like with him.

Beauty is a train ride through Snowdonia, knowing that my help comes from the Lord who holds the cattle on a thousand hills – and hearing this God remind you in his whispers.

Beauty is telling a friend about a God-encounter and hearing her words echo your thoughts.

Beauty is when someone knows you’re sad when you’re laughing, and no one else knows.

Beauty is the homeless man who will smile at me every time I pass outside the store he frequents. Beauty is when he recognises you and you smile back.

Beauty is when you write a kind email, an email hoping for a coffee one of these days, to someone who has slighted you.

Beauty is letting go of the hurts you’d forgotten you remembered, until God asked you to let them go. Beauty is knowing that an apology might never come, but that you are hearing God’s voice in the situation.

Beauty is pain that nobody else knows you’re holding until suddenly God looks you in the eye and tells you ‘I know it hurts. And I know how much’. Beauty is when you believe that and share the fellowship of his suffering in the smallest measure, that he may grow you into his image in disproportionate recompense.

Beauty is when it draws you closer to the sanctity of the cross and people know you’ve been with Jesus.

Beauty is when someone on a random protest day, in the central square on the shopping street, walks up to you and asks if you are Christian. Then beauty is when you nod and they say they saw it.

Beauty is an old friend’s unexpected call or email.

Beauty is a new friend you haven’t yet made decides to ask you to listen and pray.

Beauty is when God sees the ugliness and decides to use it. Like me.

Today, I am in awe of this beauty. I know His name. And all I can bring myself do is to curl up into him and say one thing. If my words fail, and I choke up inadequately, then I can look at the face I know. And let Him look on as I confess it.

This: Jesus, I am so in love with you.

 

God, Exods 15, Exodus, Bible, beautiful God, awesome God, God is awesome, love God, love of God, Jesus, Christ, Father, Holy Spirit, miracles, wonders, Snowdonia, faith, worship, love, beauty, beautiful



God is beautiful – Part 1

2 Feb

I think I should re-name this blog ‘God is beautiful’. After all the sifting and the raking, after the ploughing and the draining, after everything is stripped away from me, and I have nothing left but God’s voice to hear, as I stare into my hands… this is what I will be left with:

God

is

beautiful.

There is nothing higher or deeper than His amazing love for you, and His persistence in saving you from your own fears and distractions. Nothing. And when you ask Him how He can forgive so much, He says to you ‘Forgive what?’.

Your sins I will remember no more.

There is no way that I can ever deserve that love. Today, as I was sitting in my chair at work, I asked Him how I could ever be worthy of His calling.

I cannot. But He makes me beautiful because His beauty is sufficient.

He is able to keep me from stumbling, even stumbling, and to present me – me! – faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

And there is nothing to indicate it is only when the body has been stripped off. Not just when we think we’re not human any more and we are ethereal beings in some kind of new dimension… No, it is now.

Worship him. There is nothing else to do.

If worship were sweet oil

27 Jan

I give you my worship, I pour it out upon you like an alabaster flask of precious essence. And then – I’m afraid of being empty. I’m empty in myself.

Lord, may your Spirit be the one that conceives my worship, leads me to you. May my words and my songs and my worship never be without your Spirit in me, the essence, the fragrance that carries it on the air and the object of my praise.

Using you

8 Jan

Not sure my blog is of the type to be popular, even given the chance. Too much soul baring? Is that it? 😀 Just for the record, though, whenever I tell a story about myself it is, in some measure, meant for confession or to share secrets (comes from being in the habit of sleep-overs when you were a little girl…) or to bless someone else who is in the same boat. I don’t know about you but when I read of someone else’s story, I learn and am blessed and humbled by a God who sees. It is never meant to be pompous or – dare I say it? – too full of myself.

So homies – holler up if anyone, at any time, thinks I’m in danger of that – okay? Glad that’s out there now! 😉

Before 2008, I had people automatically come to me and talk to me without knowing me very well. And I would listen, you know. Since then, it’s been a while and of course I have people I trust and who trust me back but no… random conversations from strangers who, erm, trust me.

In case that sounds creepy to you, let me explain before y’all get your ‘stalker’ labels on me ;)))

A story might suffice! One day I visited this church and checked out the Alpha Course. I’d enjoyed Nicky Gumbels’ presentation skills and his fairness in presenting Christianity. This church followed a drinks-DVD-dinner-discussion format. After all the alliteration, of course, I headed over to the books sold and given away on a table to the side. There were two others there and one of them smiled tentatively at me, as I did at her. She then told me she was looking for a Bible and I made some remark off-hand about some of the versions I liked on that table, and then scrambled for something more neutral so I didn’t fulfil my paranoia of pushiness and talked about a storybook that might make interesting reading. Ugh, awkward Writeroo moment.

Right? But I actually hadn’t managed to kill the conversation. That was never my intent but I wouldn’t have blamed her if I had! Instead, Guo Wei told me she was not used to all this, that she was new to it but she thought she would like to know more about the Bible. And we ended up going to my student room at 10:30 on a Friday night and talking over a shared last slice of toffee cheesecake on the one plate I possessed back then. We talked until 1 am. She told me about a boy, who put God before her. And about the things she didn’t understand and about forgetting him, but still wanting to seek Jesus. And about her scholarship and a whole host of things.

You don’t get used to that sort of thing. But you sure hope with all you’ve got that you will be used in that sorta thing.

But the next time you’re standing somewhere and having that awkward conversation and wondering what on earth it’s about, think again. And the next time, don’t try to end it. Smile at the stranger or – be a complete blubbering idiot as I was wont to be but – just be there. Don’t let it be too late or too early or too weird or too uncomfortable or too much.

You are not standing or sitting where you are right now, you are not looking at this screen right now, you are not reading my words right now without a Purpose. Every good thing you ever do, you were made to do before you were born, in advance.

%d bloggers like this: