Monday, June 8, 2009

Amazed

For some time now, there has been a worship song that is a favorite of many in the church, except maybe me. Don't get me wrong, I thought it a perfectly good song - I just didn't "get" the lyric - they didn't sit right with me...

Lord I'm amazed by You -
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
How You love me.

In my own little world, I would sing that and think - "Why should I be amazed?" I'm saved, I know He loves me! I'm not going to wallow in self-pity of what a horrible sinner I am and un-deserving of His love. That was before I was a Christian...I've been a Christian a long time, and I know all about His love. Why should I be amazed by it?"

(This would be yet another time when Mr. D. just looks at me as if I'm the most bizarre person in the world. Apparently, he already gets it. But this is my blog, so I get to write about it...)

I was reading The Ragamuffin Gospel yesterday. I've actually been reading it for a while now, as time has not allowed me to just sit down and read straight through, and as it turns out, there's a lot to digest in Brennan Manning's book. At any rate, this is what I happened upon yesterday -

and God answers "That's what you don't know. You don't know how much I love you. The moment you think you understand is the moment you do not understand. I am God not man. You tell others about Me - that I am a loving God. Your words are glib. My words are written in the blood of my only Son. The next time you preach about My love with such obnoxious familiarity, I may come and blow your whole prayer meeting apart. When you come at Me with studied professionalism, I will expose you as a rank amateur. When you try to convince others thatyou understand what you are talking about, I will tell you to shut up and fall flat on your face..."

My first reaction to this passage? "Well that's a little harsh isn't it?" But then there it was right in front of me. Yes, I may have been saved long ago, and I may claim to know all about His love for me. But yes, I really should be amazed that He loves me.

"When God's love is taken for granted, we paint Him into a corner and rob Him of the opportunity to love us in a NEW AND SURPRISING way, and faith begins to shrivel and shrink."

Lord, I really am amazed how You love me.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In need of a 12-Step program...

Hello, my name is Candy, and I am a Facebook addict.

More specifically, I am a Farm Town addict.

For those of you who have not become a part of the social networking sites. Run...run as fast as you can away from such things. Once you get in and get hooked, it's impossible to get out. I'm only kidding of course. I could always delete the site from my Favorites folder. But I just know that I would miss out on reuniting with that one person from high school that I haven't spoken to in the last 19 years. (If I haven't spoken to them in 19 years, why do I care what they're up to now?)

But it's not just the reuniting of old friends - even family members we don't see often enough. It's the applications! Oh my word - who knew that I was such a "Saved By the Bell" fanatic! Well there's a quiz on there that let me know as much. Now Mr. D. has found his little FB niche within the realm of "Mafia Wars"...an innocent enough little game where you earn obscene amounts of money by doing jobs, robbing virtual strangers, and the occasional whacking of someone on a hit list. And he's proud of himself with his pretend 2 billion dollars that he has in his mafia bank account. And I admit, I was his good little mafia wife for a time and joined in the fun.

But that was then...and this is now:

Farm Town is like a drug! Maybe it's just the old country girl in me, longing to come back to the country life, but I love this game!

Basically you start with your own little field, and you get to plow, plant, and harvest within that field. The more you do, the more items that can be unlocked, more money to be made, more goodies for your farm to be bought. (I'm holding out for the white farm house personally...only 2 more levels to go!)

You can also hire people to harvest your crops for you, making you more money than doing it by yourself - or you can be hired and make an income off of their harvest. Good deal, right? Not always. In this last week alone, I've been solicited by 3 different people looking for a little "fun" outside of Farm Town. And I'm not talking like they wanted to be my Facebook friends first either. Nope, all three were just quick and to the point about what they were hoping I was going to give them. (And I'm sorry, but one was another woman! Ick!!)

So, this was my reminder as a parent about the dangers of the internet. Big D will soon be 9, and he loves his computer games. Mental note to not let him register on game sites. Or better yet, go play the Wii system we got him for Christmas and stay off of my computer! The Princess has also discovered the joys of her favorite TV characters coming alive and wanting her to play on the computer as well. I think she's safe for now, but I can't imagine the day when any of my children get that first pop-up "Hey There" message.

Well, I've been away from my farm long enough - need to go see if my grapes are ready to harvest. And if they are...I'm getting one of my "neighbors" (my Facebook friends who I already know!) to do it for me!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sweet Mercy

I have never claimed to be a perfect person. I'm not some uber-spiritual, got-it-all-together, perfect woman who walks through each day with a smile on my face. I have bad days. I have really bad days. And there are days when I really, Really mess up. I have those days when bad decisions and stupid choices just abound out of me like snow in Buffalo during the winter months.
The thing is, I'm not a baby Christian - I've been in church all my life, and know in my head everything that's always been taught to me. I know He's a forgiving God. I know He loves me. I know He's merciful. It's only recently that all of this has become to be known in my heart, and not just my head. What a difference between having that "head-knowledge" and knowing it deep within your heart!

I sat in my church service like I always do. But lately, I'm learning to "let go", and shut out the rest of the world. It's during worship, that God is really beginning to work on some things with me, and I like it! But due to my recent bad choices, I was there yesterday in a different frame of mind. I felt like I shouldn't have been there, I felt so filthy in sin. Didn't I need His forgiveness before I could approach Him? But how could I be forgiven without approaching Him?

Hebrews 10: 19-22 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

I can approach Him! (again, I already knew this in my head - just needed it worked out in my heart.) And it was only then that He began to speak a peace into me. One word - Forgiven. "But God, this was REALLY stupid!" Forgiven. "I know that You're all loving, but...." Forgiven. "But..." Forgiven.

When will we learn, that it's just not that hard. He loves us. He wants the absolute best for us. He forgives us.

(and thank you to my dearest friend for sending me this video to help remind me!)