I'm not really sure where to begin today. There's so much to talk about... and, quite frankly, not enough time to say it... or type it! First off, I must mention that Jamie and I went to Providence this past weekend without the kids. We weren't home two weeks before we set off once again, but, thankfully, our getaway was a huge blessing. We got a chance to eat dinner with Angie and Carson Cheatham. (Carson is the Worship Leader for Bridgepointe.) We had such a great time making new friends and sharing our love for Jesus. Angie also gave me one of the most wonderful presents.... EVER: a signed copy of Matt Chandler's The Explicit Gospel. (After we left their place, Jamie said, "I'm never gonna be able to beat that." And he's probably right!)
We also got to spend some time with Jared and Rachel which was also really nice. But I think what blessed me the most were my stolen moments with Rachel throughout the weekend; conversations about self-doubt, insecurities, challenges... and a grace that covers all that and more. As I've had time to process the weekend... our conversations, I'm left mulling over three things: numbers, corruption and the Holy Spirit. (How's that for clarity?)
Put as simply as I can... and through a lens that magnifies my own life... I can't help but look and analyze how I live my life... how I truly live the day to day. There's a "formula" for everything... a routine that just works. (Albeit... not well at times, but my kids are still alive and my house is in one piece!) I read my Bible. I do devotionals with the kids. I memorize verses with them. I pray with Jamie. I embarrass my kids on a regular basis by singing and dancing to worship songs in public. So, I can confidently say that God is sprinkled throughout my day. But sometimes... a lot of the time... my formula is geared to what works best instead of what IS best. You know the old saying: If it's not broke, don't fix it. We'll I guess I've come to the realization that just because something isn't broke... that doesn't mean that it's working the way it's suppose to be... the way God designed it to work.
I keep going back to James 1:27: Religion that God our father finds pure and faultless is this: to take care of widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.
I've come to realize that I've spent so much time focused on the widows and orphans that I've missed the power... and conviction... of the subsequent directive. In the past, when I've thought about corruption, it's always been in the context of my children: the internet, texting, the clothes they wear, the things they watch on television, the music they listen to in the car. Not once, did I ever think about the corruption of conventional thinking: I live life run by numbers... decisions made by conventional wisdom... by what makes sense and what the "odds" support. I simply forget about the Holy Spirit... or worse, I choose to ignore it.
Recently, I heard a well-known pastor refer to the Holy Spirit as the ugly step-child... definitely not something I would say... but his intent wasn't lost on me. I even had my own great quote over the weekend: "To-Do Lists are great... unless you want to live by the Spirit." And I guess that's where my heart is sitting right now... and my mind. How many days have I wasted in auto-pilot? Living life, acknowledging Jesus... but ignoring the Spirit... or worse, never even asking the Holy Spirit to stir my heart, to open my mouth, to move my hands and feet. I always go back to "ole' reliable"... I sprinkle in Jesus. I have moments in the Spirit... but never truly staying there for very long. Because, let's be honest... living in the Spirit can be scary. It means bucking the system... ignoring the numbers... trusting Jesus. I've come to realize that this world has corrupted me in ways I never imagined possible. It's made me lose sight of the power of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, He brought this to my attention this weekend.