Thursday, September 1, 2011

eucharisteo in washing windows

it happened a few months ago, towards the end of Spring,
sitting outside with a buddy enjoying some fro-yo

we noticed an older man walking back & forth along the outside path,
cleaning the store windows that rimmed his path,
with his bucket and squeegee in tow.

the interesting thing was
his constant muttering to himself...
we couldn't make it out,
but he seemed to be in constant conversation.

when he found himself cleaning the window nearest us
i struck up friendly conversation with him
asking, "How ya doin' today?"

he answered with joy,
declaring how blessed he was.
that's positive and encouraging, i thought, if not a bit generic.

but he elaborated upon his assessment
when, unsolicited, he got specific in his thanks.

"this step"
he placed one foot forward.
"this breath"
he inhaled deeply.
"this beat"
his hand patted his chest.

"i thank Him for each and every one.
He doesn't have to give it to me.
this step - thank ya, Lord.
this breath - thank ya, Lord.
this beat - thank ya, Lord."

he literally, after EVERY step or breath he took,
would mutter happily to the sky, as he went about his business:
"thank ya Lord ... thank ya Jesus ... thank ya Lord"

my buddy and i just look at each other
in complete awe.
so moved by his gratitude,
how he poured out his thanks to the Lord.
for the simple things
that most of us don't think twice (even once?) about.

a living, breathing, walking testimony to God's goodness and provision.
a life of moment-by-moment obedience to Psalm 9:1
"I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds."

...recounting His wonderful deeds...

in the early months of 2011 a friend & i read a book together.
neither of us had any idea how deeply it would change our lives:
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

the book is ann's story of
discovering joy

through the means of giving thanks.
not just general, vague thankfulness...
but specific, tangible, moment-by-moment
'recounting His wonderful deeds'.

greek for "thanksgiving",
used when describing Jesus sharing
the 1st communion (or Eucharist) with His disciples.

Christ's body and blood broken & shared for us.
His death giving us life.

and, within eucharisteo - meaning giving thanks,
one finds charis - meaning grace,
and its derivative chara - meaning joy.

a holy trio
of grace, thanks, joy.

she discovered that when she
(1) counted God's graces
(specific, tangible things... big & small... this beat, this breath, this step)
(2) and gave thanks for them
...she found that
(3) He gives her joy in return.

that is how He wants us to live!
experiencing all of life as GIFT, giving thanks, & receiving joy in return.

having just finished that book,
having had my perspective on JOY completely changed...
i saw this man as living Eucharisteo in the flesh.

in the mundane of scrubbing windows
counting each
as God's grace to him,
something worth giving thanks for,
...his joy was radiant.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

holy week tidbits

1. been loving following along with what was happening (chronologically) the last week of Jesus' life. makes it all seem so much more real to think of His last days!

2. been reading along with these devotionals for the last couple weeks (even though they're designed for kids). she is so gifted with words.

3. been listening nonstop to this song. so worshipful. He is worthy of our affection!

4. excited about experiencing my 1st ever messianic Passover Seder tonight. we, covered in the blood of Christ our Passover Lamb: the final sacrifice.

5. anticipating Good Friday night, learning from David Platt about the crucifixion, salvation & the glory of God.

6. then lastly, celebrating this great event on Easter Sunday here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

testifying about our abba

my church
gave me this great opportunity
to talk about my experience in Africa!
check it out :)

also thinking about these ones today,
grieving their lack of an earthly father...
those kind of wounds cut so deep.
praying that they and i both
more and more and more
grow in intimately knowing
the love of our Heavenly Abba Father.

Monday, April 18, 2011

holy week part 2: alas, and did my savior bleed?

i have been playing this song nonstop for a couple weeks now

check out these beautiful lyrics:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a wretch as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day.

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While Calvary’s cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Friday, April 15, 2011

holy week

...Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped

made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,

being born in the likeness of men.


And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient
to the point of death,
even death on a cross.

[philippians 2:5-8]

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pure Religion: Uganda 2011 with Visiting Orphans from Jennifer Hanson on Vimeo.

Jen made this incredible video that perfectly encapsulates our time.

those lyrics (shared below)...
those sweet memories captured...
all those big brown eyes!!!

just when i thought i had gotten acclimated to being back in the States.
finally felt like i was out of the fog...
i watch this
and my heart nearly bursts -
i want to go back.

but until then,
i give
i write letters
i pray.

but oh how i MISS these sweet faces.

I Refuse

by Josh Wilson

Sometimes I
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not

This world needs God
But it's easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I refuse
'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I refuse
I refuse