April 12, 2011

A Pencil and Paper Post ... Almost

If it weren't so sloppy, I'd take a good photograph and let you read what I wrote while on the plane.  But for the sake of legibility, here it is typed.

April 11, 2011 - in flight between Boston and Pittsburgh

My first ever laptop-of-my-very-own shipped today, so here I sit on the plane home from Boston with paper and pencil to "write out" the time there.

I can sum it all up with one word, one feeling: GRATITUDE.

I just finished another chapter in The Call about the necessity of thanks-giving.  Guiness says that calling is a reminder for followers of Christ that nothing in life should ever be taken for granted; everything in life must be received with gratitude. p. 206

I finished the chapter just prior to take-off, slipped into some prayer for the ladies who attended the retreat and were back into normal life again today, just wrapping up the nine-to-five.  As the plane took off, the tears came.  Now, mind you, I'm sappy and cried plenty this weekend.  Emotion can overcome me too quickly for my taste!  But, we're fearfully and wonderfully made, aren't we?  God wants me this way.

What brought the tears this time?  A deep mix of joy and sorrow: joy that God has been directing and overseeing my way, sovereignly orchestrating personal decisions and external events and circumstances to draw me nearer to Him and His people; joy that I got to see so many dear people this weekend; joy at the memories past and present that fill my mind and heart.

But I am sad.  I'm sad to leave these friends and our history behind.  I'm sad there wasn't just. a little. more time. to be together.  I'm sad that, for now, our sovereign God sees fit that we live in Pittsburgh.

But oh how we can give thanks in such joys and sorrows!  Were it not for our years in Cambridge, under the teaching at Christ the King, I would not have been there this weekend.  The spiritual growth in that place and opportunities to learn and to lead have been for me a training ground and a launching pad.  At the same time, I'm also thankful that we are near our families in Pittsburgh and have found a new church home where we're being taught, fed, and challenged.

Praise the Lord!

I was overwhelmingly humbled to stand before that room full of wonderful women and speak the gospel into their ears and hearts.

I'm awed by God's faithfulness to me as I have considered His call to more intentionally develop and use my gifts to serve the Church.  There are really not enough ways to give Him thanks.

I'm baffled that God uses us as vessels of compassion, mercy, and grace even as we struggle against our own deep-seated sins and transgressions.

I'm thankful the gospel is true.  Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.  Hallelujah!

Sweet, blog-reading friends, will you join me and give thanks today?  Look around you.  Look back. Look ahead.  Consider God's faithfulness.  Consider His call.  Open your lips to praise Him.  We improve at giving thanks as we practice giving thanks.  We're changed when we give thanks; and God gets more of the glory that He deserves.

Exalt the LORD our God
   and worship at his holy mountain,
   for the LORD our God is holy.
Psalm 99:9

1 comment:

  1. Can't even express how thrilled I am for you!
    And the tear thing?... You come by it honestly!
    I always marvel at preachers, speakers, etc that can talk without crying.. But then again... maybe it should be the other way around! Ever thought about it that way?
    Passion is s great thing! And when we are doing what the Lord has for us to do.... well, the joys and struggles might just ooze out sometimes! It's really ok! It's just the Lord's way of cleansing our souls!