Tuesday, May 11, 2010

play the fixer or point to the rescuer...

anyone else hate seeing people hurting and struggling?  i hate it.  i just want to help.  to ease their pain, fix their problem, make them laugh, and get them out of their struggle.  sounds like the right thing to do.  and it can be, but not always.  now before you call me cruel and tell me i have no heart, let me explain.

"if you have a problem, yo i'll solve it."-vanilla ice

i am a fixer. i like to take care of my friends problems and help them.  the problem is, when i swoop in and take care of things, i often set myself up as the rescuer.  a role i was never meant to play. this week i was reading in 1 samuel 23, a verse stuck out to me that i think speaks a lot to how gospel centered friendships should look.  this chapter in samuel puts us in the middle of one of the most esteemed friendships of all time, jonathan and david. 

david is on the run from saul.  he is literally running for his life from this crazy king.  he is living in caves and as a vagabond.  saul is in hot pursuit of david again and then jonathan, his best friend comes out to him.  i can only imagine that david is tired, maybe wondering if this is all worth it or how much longer god is going to let saul do this or whatever.  but i am almost certain that he is weary!  now i have never had a friend who was running for their lives, but i have had friends who were definitely feeling weary and many of my friends have seen me weary (like all the time). i love the simplicity and power of what jonathan does:
"and jonathan, saul's son, rose and went to david at horesh, and strengthened his hand in god. and he said to him, “do not fear, for the hand of saul my father shall not find you. you shall be king over Israel, and i shall be next to you. saul my father also knows this.”  1 samuel 23:16-17
he strengthened and encouraged him by reminding him of god's promise and god's goodness.  he pointed him to his rescuer and the one in control. he did not falsely try to build david up or bash his father's crazy leadership. and he did this with love! it was not done coldly and tritely without empathy like most of us religious people do so often. he gave him what he needed most.  i love that the word the scripture uses here is that jonathan strengthened david's hand in god!  he helped him endure what the lord has planned. he didn't try and relieve it from him, but wanted him to trust in the one who could.

i think often in helping people, we forget this key element.  we get so caught up in wanting them to feel better, that we forget this.  and we end up either becoming their fixer, pointing them to something else to help them, or just soothing their surface symptoms.  this has been a challenge for me. when i am helping people, am i really helping them and strengthening them in god, or am i just putting myself in the place as the fixer.
the fixer is dangerous, because it feels so good and you feel so right about it, even so christian about but in the long run it only makes things worse. i have to trust that in pointing them to the rescuer is the best thing and that he will rescue them, he does not need me.  the fixer is usually a much faster result, but like a drug they will be back for their next fix.  the rescuer will heal their lives forever, and some times it feels like it takes that long and you have to be that patient, but they will be whole! he has purpose for everything, even when things hurt or are hard.

this or course does not mean not meeting physical needs or never helping, after all that is biblical! and it certainly does not mean coldly telling someone to pray and read your bible (this is one of the things that makes me angry quickly! trite christian advice!!) but when you are encouraging your friends and helping those around you, ask yourself, "who are my actions and words pointing them to?"

Monday, May 10, 2010

food heads...

this restaurant is hands down my favorite place for lunch! i try and schedule meetings there once a week!  this austin original is in a small house near 34th and guadalupe.  there is some seating inside and lots of outdoor seating. they have some great specialty sandwhiches and great soups as well! 

my three go to sandwiches are: the ahi seared tuna, spicy apple pork tenderloin, and the squash and mozzeralla.  hmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

they close each day at 4 and they are not open on sundays. so choose your time wisely. i have never tried them for breakfast, but have heard that their breakfast tacos are tasty. 

i am sure you will see me at food heads if you go and try it out.

what happens to foster kids after 18?....

              video platform   video management   video solutions   video player

here is another link about this. i could not figure out how to embed on my blog, but i recommend watching it.
foster kids to face tough times after age 18

Friday, May 7, 2010

my adoption in christ...

"In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
-galatians 4:4-7
i have been thinking a lot this week about my adoption in christ. this is of course something i have thought a lot about before and is one of the main motivating factors in my desire for adoption. i know that i am adopted and that i have been brought into the family of god, though formerly was a child wrath.  but this week, i was really challenged to think about what that really means for me. what are the implications of being adopted?

in his book knowing god, j.i. packer calls adoption the greatest privilege of the gospel. how can this be?  after all, isn't the fact that jesus paid for my sins, rose again, and therefore allows me to stand justified before the father the greatest privilege?  i am no longer plagued with guilt and i am free of my debt.  this indeed is great!  and worthy of praise, but look at galatians 4.  we were redeemed under the law and justified, SO THAT we might receive adoption as sons.  god redeemed us but he did not stop there, he went even further.  he went on to another legal proceeding.  he not only freed us, he then brings us into he very family.  he does not leave us out there to be servants and slaves.  he brings us into his family. 

i knew all of this i my head, but this week, i was asked the question, "do you live like a son of god or a servant of god?"  i immediately knew my answer. i live like a servant of god.  not that this would be horrible, after all i am justified, but he tells me that i am his daughter and i have all of those privileges.  i forget what most of them are, i just keep working hard, trying not to mess up and seeking to do things well to please the master.  no wonder i so frequently need to be reminded of his love for me.  no wonder i do not feel his greatness and love when i get to working so hard. no wonder i fall into despair rather than joy. no wonder i worry about my future.  i have forgotten and do not know the privileges of being a child of the king!

here are a few that have really stuck out to me this week:
  • i am fully loved and that the father is the perfect parent and his love for me will never change. i am assured in whose i am. i do not have to prove my worth or seek out my value. i do not have to live in fear that he will leave me if i mess up too badly.
  • i can ask my father for anything. nothing is too silly, to crazy, or whatever.  and i can know that he delights to give me good things (just like a parent loves to gives gifts to a child) but he knows what is best for me.  he will always give me what is best, even if i am asking for something else.
  • my father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the earth is the lord's and everything in it! i do not have to worry about providing for myself (or my future child).  it is all his and he will give me what i need.  no child of a millionaire worries about getting what they need, why should i?
  • i have hope! i am an heir to all things that christ is an heir too. this world is not my home, my inheritance is coming. i freed from trying to find happiness and joy in the things here. i am also free to give away things just as freely as i have been given them.
i am not only freed, i am a daughter of god. i am no longer a slave or a servant, i am part of this family.  this truly is even more than i could ever ask for or imagine. my father's love is truly extravagant!

i recommend reading j.i. packer's chapter "sons of god" in his book knowing god. another great book, which is on my list for this summer is russell moore's adopted for life.

elector of saints,
blessed is the man whom thou choosest and callest to thyself,
with thee is mercy, redemption, assurance, forgiveness;
thou hast lifted me, a prisioner, out of the pit of sin
  and pronounced my discharge,
     not only in the courts of heaven,
     but in the dock of conscience;
  hath justified me by faith, 
     given me peace with thee,
  made me to enjoy glorious liberty as they child.
save me from the false hope of the hypocrite;
 (taken from "sincerity" in the valley of vision)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

franklin bbq...

yet another trailer success!  franklin barbeque is in a trailer just south of 38 1/2 street, on the I-35 frontage road, and it is probably the best brisket i have had in austin!! no lie, i really wanted to just keep eating, but glutton is a sin people!  the owner must be a believer because i am sure we are going to have that in heaven! the brisket was that good! we also had some pulled pork, also very tasty!  i did not try it personally, but i heard the ribs were not that great.  there are four different sauces to choose from, but i just taste tested them because the meat needed no sauce!  seriously!

we got there right at 11:00am when it opened and there was already a line.  be ready to wait a bit, it is not a quick place to eat. but hey, it is worth it!  there are lots of picnic tables with umbrellas for shade.  and i heard the owner say he was going to buy outdoor fans today.  so if you want some delicious brisket in austin, try out franklin barbecue!  the trailers win again!

swagger wagon...

this video is stinkin' hilarious! thought all my mom friends would think so too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

cost associated with foster care adoption...

read this post today. Cost Associated with Foster Care Adoption. it is a great summary of all the costs associated with foster care adoption, which is the type of adoption i feel called to and hope to see become a reality in a year or so.  i had no idea until last october that adopting a child out of foster care is basically free.  (great for a single mom in ministry) thought you should know too.  there are so many kids that are legally free for adoption right now!  finances are no longer an excuse for me not to adopt or care for the orphan.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

[valley of vision] divine promises...

divine promises
from valley of vision

glorious jehovah, my convenant god,

all thy promises in christ jesus are
     yea and amen, and all shall be fulfilled.
thou has spoken then, and they shall be done,
     commanded, and they shall come to pass.
yet i have often doubted thee,
     have lived at times as if there were no god.
lord, forgive me that death in life,
     when i have found something apart from thee,
     when i have been content with ephemeral things.

but through thy grace i have repented;
thou hast given me to read my pardon
        in the wounds of jesus,
     and my soul doth trust in him, my god incarnate,
     the ground of my life, the spring of my hope.

teach me to be resigned to thy will,
     to delight in thy law,
     to have no will but thine,
     to believe that everything thou doest is for my good.
help me to leave my concerns in thy hands,
     for thou has power over evil,
     and bringest from it an infinite progression of good,
     until thy purposes are fulfilled.

bless me with abraham's faith
     that staggers not at promises through unbelief.
may i not instruct thee in my troubles,
     but glorify thee in my trials;
grant me a distinct advance in the divine life;
     may i reach a higher platform,
     leave the mists of doubt and fear in the valley,
     and climb to hill-tops of eternal security in christ,
        by simply believing he cannot lie,
        or turn from his purpose.

give me the confidence i ought to have in him
      who is worthy to be praised,
      and who is blessed evermore.