Wait Gracefully

horse“Wait gracefully”.

This truth bomb was dropped on my head by Sarah over at Love/Power/Strength in response to a discussion here on my blog, and my ears are still ringing from the impact.

It’s just such a deceptively great phrase! And it applies regardless of what you’re waiting for.

Because there’s so many directions you can take the idea of “graceful”, at least in my mind. And because there’s an alternative: to wait gracelessly. I’ve done my share of that.

What could “wait gracefully” mean?

 

1. Graceful appearance

The outward appearance of our lives can be staggered, jerky, tumultuous and ungainly, or it can be smooth, tranquil, flowing, and confident – pleasing to the eye.

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“A bruised reed shall He not break…”

“His grace, like water, naturally flows to the lowest place filling the void of the human heart.”

Source: Thought for Today – God’s Heart

When You Don’t Feel Like Praying for Rain Again

rainSmoke covers the Montana Rockies. Every thunderstorm that passes through seems to touch off new blazes, which now surround my town on three sides so that the wind can’t easily clear out the smoke. Last night, flakes of ash were drifting out of the sky.

So you could say that, like Elijah, we’re praying for rain.

In the last few days, I’ve prayed for the safety of the firefighters putting their lives on the line to contain the flames. I’ve also asked for your prayer.

But last night, when I realized it had been a whole day since I prayed, something in me quailed.

Ugh. I don’t feel like praying tonight. Not again.

And that’s exactly how I knew that I needed to keep praying.

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Please Pray for My Torch of a State

Both a general and a personal request here.

Last spring, after a winter of incredible snowpack, I said to a few friends: “Given this much snow, it’ll be pretty annoying if we have a big fire season this summer.”

Well, guess what.

It hasn’t reached the levels of our 2007 season yet, when you couldn’t see traffic lights three blocks away and ash was drifting out of the sky, but we’re headed that way. One town about an hour southeast of me is being evacuated because of air quality concerns. Every thunderstorm that rolls through is producing lightning fires. It’s that dry. And just last night, the most picturesque parts of Glacier National Park got hit.

Please take a moment today (no, really take a moment, don’t just say you will and then forget) to pray for the fire situation in Montana, as well as the Cascades and all through the Rockies. Please pray for the courage, alertness, and strength of the brave men and women fighting these fires from the ground, from the air, and from the offices supporting them.

Also, a personal request – far less urgent, but if I may…

These fires come just a week before my tight friend and I are preparing for a 50-mile backpacking trip. It’s not just any trip; it’s the first step in a story we’re hoping will culminate in hiking the Continental Divide Trail – a 3,100 stretch of trail spanning the Rockies from Mexico to Canada. We’re building up to that goal, gathering experience, over the course of several years and we hope not to be barred or choked out of next week’s trip by the looming fire problem.

So if you don’t mind, please pray for our trip. Although, by all means, spend far more energy on praying for our firemen.

Whaddya Mean, “Are You a Missionary?”

soldierEver since I started talking about my recent Czech mission, a number of brothers- and sisters-in-blogging have asked the same question: “Are you a missionary?”

I know what they mean: am I a long-term evangelist. Nope; the trip was only two weeks long (though I’ve returned a few times).

But what I wanted to say (without being rude – I love y’all) was, “Aren’t we all missionaries?”

(Most people, including the folks who have asked me this question, would totally agree with what I’m saying. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it again!)

My church teaches variations of this theme: there’s a certain danger in treating our earthly residence as “home”. It’s the danger of mistaking our true situation. We are all behind enemy lines; none of us are home yet. It’s thinking of this earth as “home” that gets our focus off of heaven; it’s thinking of our personal comfort zone as “home” that causes us to miss opportunities to share the Gospel with those in our workplace, our school, or our street.

I’m as bad as anyone else. My focus are constantly on earthly goals, so much so that I have a hard time dreaming about anything else.

But when I consider thousands of people plunging daily into hell, well, it becomes a burr in my shoe. Hopefully more.

Because it’s actually harder to witness in America, precisely because of the fact that I live here.

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Hearing God Is Dangerous, But… (link fixed)

I absolutely love this article. A lot of our Christian doctrines are abuseable. Instead of throwing out babies with the theological bathwater, maybe we should just do things right, and with a surrendered heart.

Source: Hearing God Is Dangerous

My Mole Scare and What It Taught Me

A few months ago, I noticed my skin was starting to sport moles.

No, not THAT kind.

mole1

There you go.

I read that moles tend to happen in one’s thirties and thought little of it. Perhaps that “I’m Invincible” feeling was still lingering from my teens.

But as the year wore on, one particular mole kept staring up at me from my front right torso, as if to say “I’m important.”

Further research revealed that melanoma is not something to trifle with. It would seem that skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if caught early and one of the least treatable if not. I spoke to a couple fortuitously placed church friends and learned that investigating the mole via a “shave biopsy” carried a benefit-to-cost ratio too high to ignore.

Biopsy.

Man. There’s a word I never wanted to be using in my thirties. Or, y’know, ever.

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