Today has been so wonderful. Luke and I are the only ones home with dad. Mom is in Michigan spending time with her dad (and mom!). I'm jealous she gets to be in the U.P. but I am enjoying my bonding time with the boys here at home. It is definitely frustrating at times...for example...I spend my time cooking for them and cleaning up for them. Mostly Luke. Haha. But I sort of got mad at him today and then he started helping. Here is what the past few days have looked like:
Luke (with a box of cheeze-its in hand) sits around the house.
Andrea: Are you getting hungry?
Luke: No, i'm fine
Andrea: Well, its almost dinner time. Maybe you should stop snacking and I'll make real food. Are you hungry enough to eat?
Luke: Sure, I'll eat
Andrea (in the kitchen making food): If I make nachos to go along with dinner will you eat them
Luke (enthusiastically): really? yeah!
Andrea (20 minutes later): It's time to eat!
*boys come to kitchen*
*Luke eats two chips but doesn't take any on his plate*
Andrea: I thought you said you would want to eat them if I made them
Luke: Oh, I'm not hungry
UGH! Now I understand why mom hates it when we snack and spoil our appetites for dinner. It is SO frustrating for the cook! All day today Luke has been eating cheeze-its. He seriously makes them every meal. I understand the addiction but come on. Sigh...
It's been fun, though. After Church today we rented the Killing Fields. It was really sad but really good. I recommend it. After that we just hung out around the house. I went to the grocery store for more fruits and veggies (we were having a shortage). Luke convinced me to look for a gallon of chocolate milk (when mom is away luke will play!) but all they had was fat free and he refused. Haha. Silly boy.
I cleaned my room this afternoon while listening to the Derek Webb House Show. Sigh...oh so good! Plus it was nice to get my room all cleaned and organized. This evening I was in my room reading and my dad came in to chat for a bit (I LOVE it when he comes into my room to talk...i feel like he doesn't make it down the hall very often. haha. he's so funny). Well, the "chat" turned into a full out discussion about SO MANY things and lasted for an hour and a half (or maybe longer). We talked about the Church (ours and the Church in general) and ideas of fellowship, outreach, service, ministry, community, etc. We talked about how the Church evolves with the times and remains relevant without compromising itself. We talked about friendships and relationships. We talked about our family. We talked a little bit about my future (mostly about what it would look like for me to be at home next semester). It was such a wonderful talk!! I love him so much. He is a good thinker and I appreciate him so much. Sigh. He's such an awesome dad.
So much of what I listened to on the House Show related to my conversation with dad. There are a few things Derek Webb talks about on it that are especially good. I will share them:
"So often we try to make it our job to make the Gospel easier for us to preach and easier for other people to hear--in order to not get into trouble and in order to not be confrontational. But here's the truth. You just can't preach the Gospel and not get into trouble. You just can't do it, hard as you might try. You can dress it up any way you want. But if you're really preaching the Gospel you are going to get yourself into trouble, you are going to be in trouble as well. Because the cross is both beautiful and offensive and it must be both. It is both. There is no other Gospel for you to preach...It's not safe to boldly preach the Gospel. it is dangerous work we are in as believers, perilous work that we have before us to preach the gospel not only to each other but to the outside world, the unbelieving world. Not safe work. Safe is not a word that I would believe characterizes Christians or Jesus or the Gospel. It shouldn't. If it is then it might not be the Gospel we are preaching. Jesus is not safe. He is not manageable. He is a wild lion. You cannot tame Him. He is not safe. But He is good. He is king. You can trust Him. the Gospel that we carry is not safe. It is not manageable, not efficient. Loving people is not efficient. But the Gospel is good, it is true, but it is not safe."
"We are called into community together. If you divorce the people of God, if you divorce local community from the Gospel, then it ceases to be the Gospel. There is no other context for your faith as a christian than to be in community with other people. I've heard a lot of people say to me over the years "Its just me and Jesus and that's all i need." Well that's not the Gospel in scripture. If you are going to be those who claim to love Jesus you will be compelled to love also the things that he loved. And he not only loved but came and gave himself up for the church, and that makes it our concern as well. And if that's not hard enough--that we live in community together--we are also called with a mandate that we preach the Gospel to each other. We mistake the Gospel for the thing only that we preach to non believers. It certainly is that, but much more than that, the Gospel must have, necessarily has, a primary place in the life of believers. We've got to heard it every week, if not every day. "
These are things I have been thinking about A LOT lately. My head and heart have been so full of thoughts about the Gospel and its relationship to/with community--local AND global. I have been thinking about Jesus and the life He lived. I have learned a lot of things this week but two things stands out in particular.
1. I have learned that Jesus isn't safe...but He is GOOD. I cannot tame Him (and oh have I tried). Following Him is dangerous and standing in His truth (THE truth) is perilous. He calls me to live dangerously. He calls me to be uncomfortable and make difficult decisions. He asks me to stand firm in my convictions, no matter what evil might attack (doubts, uncertainties...) He asks me to talk with Him and spend time with Him--He turns my life upside down.
2. I have also learned that loving people is not efficient. It is really hard, and it costs A LOT. God's love for me cost the life of His only Son. His love changed the world. And His love for me demands that I love the things that He loves--and love like He loves (obviously only by His grace). Loving is not comfortable, like I want it to be. It challenges me and changes me...and it is scary.
As I learn that the Gospel is not safe, I rely on the promises of Christ and the knowledge that the He is good and true and His Gospel is good and true. These can be hard lessons to learn but the joy supplied by the Lord and satisfaction found in Him are my hope in times of fear and truth in times of doubt. I thank Him for these days and for all the prodding I receive from the Spirit.
oh...also. Back on the issue of living in community. I've been learning what it means to be honest--first with myself and jesus (that might sound weird, since He knows everything about me already. But I have found Him to be saying "Andrea, talk to me. Give me ALL of your heart.") and then with others. The first step is mostly really hard. It is hard to be honest with myself when my sin nature tries to be deceitful all the time. Also, it is hard to lay my pride aside and humble myself before Christ. The second step is mostly really scary. It is frightening to let people into me and see me for who I really am (or begin to see me for who I really am)--faults and all. It's a lesson in laying down pride also.
These steps are difficult, but the freedom and redemption Christ gives are rich and boundless. In other words, the reward is GREAT! And His grace is MORE than enough....yes, it is everything.