Sunday, July 6, 2014

Loaded Questions.

Have you ever been really disappointed in yourself?

Whoa. Loaded question, right?
This weekend, I was disappointed in myself.

This past weekend, the hubs and I spent some time outside of our normal surroundings. I was so disappointed in myself when I found myself thinking, "You are wasting my time." You see, the hubs and I were supposed to be helping someone, but it wasn't at my pace or in my kind of order. Whoa. How selfish! (and some of you would sarcastically say, "How surprising!" - just kidding, hopefully)
As I sat in my frustration about the schedule of our day, I felt so convicted. I was thinking of myself first.
If I was going to help someone, I better be put to the best possible use and all of my time should be well-spent. If I wasn't being used to my fullest potential, it was a waste of my time. 

That is a lot of "I"s and "my"s and not a lot of "them"s.

As I spoke with JD about this and apologized to him for my poor attitude, we realized that we had both struggled with that attitude.
I wonder how many other times I've done that. When I've gone to serve others, have I been mostly concerned about myself and how my *precious* time was being spent?

While all of that is a valuable question, my biggest question was, "God, how is this guilt absolved?" You see, I felt super guilty. I had wasted a whole day of helping someone on my selfish thoughts. (By the way- it's because I was guilty!)

Today, as we took communion, we sang,

"There's a place where sin and shame are powerless
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness
Where all the love I've ever found
Comes like a flood, flowing down
At the cross"

We can walk with God for a long time, but the cross never gets old. The power of the cross and of God's forgiveness never gets old. Taking Communion never gets old. The gravity of the King of the Universe taking on my sin never gets old. 

So if you've been disappointed with yourself, remember that the cross breaks the power of shame. It doesn't mean we don't have to grow, but it means we can grow without the chains of guilt and shame. Thank God for the cross today and celebrate that the chains of disappointment are broken.

Today, we sang:
"Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman
"God is Able" by Hillsong
"Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant
"The Same Love" by Paul Baloche
 and "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)" by Chris Tomlin (off of the awesome new Passion album)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Car-Buying and Burger-Induced Comas.

This week was quite the week for the Foote family! On Tuesday, we found ourselves at a car dealership bargaining for a Toyota Sequoia. There's nothing like selling and buying cars to make you feel like a real, grown-up married couple! But more importantly, I got to spend lots of time with good friends this week.
While we were at the dealership, I was rounding the corner to the restroom when I heard my name. Soon, I saw a NewSong member! She asked what she could do to help and then introduced me to the manager and told him to accept our offer on the car. (Ha! I love when people are that honest.) It worked! Her influence was invaluable in helping us. As the day progressed, she continued to help us with the car and when it had to stay in the shop, she ended up driving me home!
But the best part was that I got to hear her story. I got to hear how God has changed her life and the hope the He brings her each day.

It was amazing. Flat-out amazing! And so encouraging! 

I'm of the opinion that we don't share our stories enough, but I think it's because we don't know them. In this rat race of a world, we rarely take the time to step back and look at our lives outside of one day at a time. When I finally do that, I see God's beautiful artistry. But I have to take the time to recount my days and find the thread of God weaving each one of those days together. I'll tell you what- she had done that! She sees everything that God has done for her and it was so beautiful and humbling to listen to her story of God's work in her life.

Fast-forward a few days.

On Sunday, we ate lunch at my parents' house. After 3 burgers and watching soccer, Justen fell fast asleep on the couch. 
Olivia, who is 5 years old, taught me a very important lesson. She really wanted to play in the other room, but we had to pass the sleeping Justen. She took very careful steps not to wake him up and instructed me to do the same. She used her whispering voice, crouched low behind the couch and made sure not to make a lot of noise so that we didn't wake him up. She didn't even want to turn on the light in the next room in case it would wake him up.  She colored in the dark and whispered the whole time.

"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, 'Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.'" 
Luke 18:16-17

If we treated everyone with as much respect and regard as Olivia treated the sleeping Justen, this world would be a different place. No wonder God told us to be more like them. 

This week reminded me that no matter what is going on, whether I'm buying a new car or playing after Sunday lunch, listening to other people is one of the greatest chances I have of seeing God. The Bible says we were created in the image of God and I sincerely believe that. When I look up from my phone and start actually talking to people, I see Him. I see Him at work in others' lives. I see Him in the children. I see Him in the stories that people recount. 
I see Him in you.

On June 29th, we sang:
"Lift the Name" by NewLife Worship
"Nothing But the Blood" by Andy Cherry
"My Hope" by Paul Baloche feat. Kathryn Scott
and "Carry Your Name" by Christy Nockels