26 January 2009

new season

I feel like the past few months have been awesome. I have asked for and received wisdom, and it has been a milestone in my faith journey. Things have changed in my heart, mind, and life--somethings that only God and I will ever fully know. Incredible.

But I feel like the next season of life will be one of obedience. I have learned over the past few months that we spell "love" t-i-m-e and God spells "love" o-b-e-d-i-e-n-c-e, so I am moving into a new season. This will be a season of discipline and structure: in work, in play, in mind, in body, and in soul.

In work: I hope to have structure when I have a job. If God wills something else, I feel quite certain that my time will still involve much structure and self-discipline.

In play: I will make more intentional time to hangout and play with friends.

In body: I am working hard to lose a few pounds and continue an overall healthy lifestyle in working out and choosing wisely what I put into this temple of mine--I only have one ;) . I want to honor God in my choices.

In soul: I have joined a new women's bible study on Friday mornings and am loving it. Furthermore, I'm joining Beth Moore on her blog (with 3500 other women) in committing to memorizing 2 scriptures per month--24 total in 2009. I can't wait. I haven't been this intentional in my disciple time in a while; the time that I've had has been awesome, but different each day, lacking basic structure but abounding in creativity and wisdom. This will be a new time of structured quiet time and quiet self-discipline. I'm incredibly hopeful and excited about this next season of life and obedience to God--exploring what that means and how to live it out.

What new seasons are you all encountering?

21 January 2009


Facebook group turned book venture and blawg ranked nationally. This girl has got it going on.

Check this out:

Law Student’s New Book Showcases the Lighter Side of Bad Grammar
Sharon Eliza Nichols, a second-year law student at Alabama, recently parlayed her Facebook group titled, “I judge you when you use poor grammar," into a book deal with St. Martin’s Press. Her book, I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Inadvertent Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups, is set for release later this year.

For those of us interested in blogs outside our typical web surfing, there are blawgs--law blogs--that comment on some pertinent--and some entertaining--issues that our country faces in the midst of economic and political turmoil, how they will effect daily lives and the law. One such blawg is above the law, and another, thank you ma'am

Nichols guest blogs at AboveTheLaw.com and maintains her own blog, “Thank You Ma'am,” which was voted recently as the top law student blog in the “2008 ABA Journal Blawg 100.”

16 January 2009

old and new


the most fun times you can remember: umm... getting married!! then of course the honeymoon!

your greatest flashes of creativity: scrap-booking, blogging... well kinda ;), and reading the twilight series--picturing the passion, love, and devotion, and creating a world where vampires and werewolves exist. it makes me want to write.

memorable things you heard people say: "God is sovereign to judge, the Holy Spirit convicts, and I am called to love"; "i do"

people you came to appreciate in a new way: Janice--i've decided to love her without expectation or want of anything in return. it's incredibly freeing. if i approach her with nothing but love and place no expectation on her head to perform, it makes for an amazingly giving and compassionate relationship.

times that music touched you deeply: when visiting ashley in fla, we heard a praise choir sing. my favorite verse was from a song that emphasizes how much we all need each other. "i pray for you, you pray for me, i love you, i need you to survive, stand with me, agree with me, i need you to survive, it is His will that every need be supplied, you are important to me, i need you to survive." amazing moment--ash, nida, you know what i'm talking about. oh, and this is really stupid, but taylor swift's love story. grant text me a really sweet section of it and every time i hear it i think of him--lame, i know, but it gets me every time.

in what ways did you change? i learned a lot. a lot about me. a lot about grant. a lot about being married. and a whole lot about God.

things that books taught you: i've read more this year than ever before, but a few stand out: for women only, God wants to save christians, the twilight series, a voice in the wind, along with re-reading a few faves. each one has taught me more about myself and who i want to become. and ever single one has had something to say about love, being more conscious about loving grant the way HE needs to be loved. representing and describing bonds that last a life time and then some.

terms you would use to describe yourself in 2008: happy. content. satisfied. joyful.

your most significant accomplishments: graduating from graduate school with a 4.0! woohoo! glad to be done with that!

people who came through for you: God. grant. family. georgia (she loves me and she's soft ;) and my besties

ways you messed up: i wish i'd given Janice a better chance sooner. but it's all in God's time and purpose.

times that God took you by surprise: wedding day bliss and every day since. finding this incredible apartment that we've made into a home. mending my heart when i didn't know i needed it.

if you were to give a title to 2008: "love and change"


what apprehensions do you have about the coming year? getting a j.o.b.--yeah... hope that works out...!

what journeys would you like to take? visit greece, scotland, ireland, back to new zealand for grant's sake (it's his fave), a mission trip abroad with grant, i also want to do a beth moore video study series, which should be quite a journey i'm looking forward to.

what daring and potentially thrilling things would you like to do? skydive. that's gotta happen this year. and the whole mission trip to ... hopefully africa... should be an adventure in so many ways

what would you like to change about yourself? i want to be more involved in this shelter we've discovered; the mission and outreach is intoxicating. they go out weekly. and i want to serve more. i want us to serve more.

who do you want to get to know better this year? God. grant. zach and steph. Nile. our small group. my future boss....

if 2009 is to have a title, what do you want it to be? "go. do. seek adventure"

what major things do you want to accomplish this coming year? better discipline in my quiet time, more love, more compassion.

02 January 2009

learning lately

Here's what I've been learning lately. It's a culmination of things--verses, conversations, sermons, thoughts--that have recently come together in a dream I had a few weeks ago. I rarely have dreams--well, actually I dream every night, but rarely dreams with significance or meaning. What's interesting is that I've had only three and each one involved Hannah and Aswan.

The first was prophetic about Aswan and his music, getting the deals necessary to spread the Word; the dream was as if I were watching it happen at a packed concert.

The second was the first night Hannah knew she was pregnant but hadn't told anyone; it was a convo between me and Go about how everyone had a time that they needed to be born, regardless of the "readiness" of the parents and how each person's birth effected eternity in a ripple effect. That was cool.

Then this one was about a lot of things but involved Aswan speaking truth into a community of believers--a truth that is rarely/ never addressed in church. I learned a lot. And it was good.

Here's my dream (kinda long, sorry, but for God's glory, I promise):

Last night I had a dream. Joseph Antonio [I have no idea the significance with Joseph, whom I have not seen in years] and I were on our way to a conference to hear someone great speak. We had heard much about him, but on the way in the car, I could not remember his name. There were two scheduled speakers, but we ended up hearing three sermons, basically about: worth, the ego-centric verses other-centric church, and compassion. These three topics were directly related to and tied in with scripture to love.

We arrived and the first speaker began to talk—almost like an opener for the second—to a crowd of about 200. He spoke about worth: that if we saw ourselves and each other as God sees us—worth everything—we would not submit ourselves to Sin and would forgive and love others more freely. If we viewed ourselves as worthy of God’s love and grace, as He does—not in a self-righteous or ungrateful way, but in a humble, loving, thankful, accepting way—we would not whore ourselves out to the Sin of the world or settle for so much less in relationships, in family, in respect (or lack thereof), in the church. We would not give our bodies to prostitution. We would not allow others to be sold as sex slaves. We would not allow pornography and drug use to be the largest industries in the world. We would not abort babies from the very womb in which God knit them together. We would not beat our wives or children. We would not kill each other out of hate or violence. Furthermore, the speaker went on, if we viewed our neighbors—every other human we came in contact with the same way, of the same worth and value as God’s creation—we would forgive and love more freely. We would give them the things that the Lord has given them and us so generously. We would clothe the homeless, feed the poor, visit the prisons, take in the orphans and widows, love the loveless, support the forsaken—FREELY—if we really thought they were worth it as God does. We would respond out of love and kindness not anger and bitterness. And as a result of the whole church living with purpose, knowing individual worth and the value of others as God sees His crown of creation, we would experience a freedom within ourselves as well; even though the most evident change would be outward, he argued, the biggest change would happen in the depths of our souls as we lived with different intentions and saw the world through news eyes and a renewed perspective. Seeing people and ourselves as God sees us can only result in gracious, lavish love, the kind of love that can change a family, a church, a city, a country, a world. He closed us in prayer, cited scripture throughout that I cannot now recall, and introduced the next speaker: Aswan.

The moment Aswan got to the stage, I realized that I had known all along who he was and the crowd thickened to over 1,000 packed in to hear him speak. Aswan spoke about an ego-centric church—a group of believes who come together, worship corporately, but view themselves self-righteous and as different from the others of the body in a separate and even elitist way. These people love and accept people as best they can, but they still have certain individuals, families, groups of people, that they cannot or will not resolve conflict with. All of this stems from the belief—so subtle they are unaware that Satan has embedded it so deeply in their understanding, which makes it an pandemic of the heart throughout the church and exponentially dangerous: the God that loves and accepts me, created me and died or my sins, that’s My God, not Your God; the God that created you, with all your junk, and baggage, and depression, and self-loathing, and anger, and ignorance, and regret, and un-forgiveness, and jealously, everything that makes you different from me, He is not my God. The argument follows that if my God calls me to love those that bear his image, and you certainly do not bear his image—and worship a different God (either outwardly or inwardly)—I will not love you but will instead choose to hate you, or separate you out from our group, our family, our church. I will ostracize you and refuse conflict resolution and forgiveness because you are different and my God is my God, not your God. He created me and values me, not you. Aswan went on to explain that thought potent, this thinking when laid out and expressed out loud, of course, is absurd; that is why Satan buries it so deeply in our hearts that we cannot unearth it ourselves without the accountability of others to help us deal with ourselves and others once it has been exposed to the light. This thinking—ego-centric church rather than others-centered church—is the reason that many who say they love Jesus can also choose to hate their brother. They are morally good and yet there’s something within them that expresses a great distaste and dissatisfaction with those who are different or have “otherness” qualities about them. This is also why the homeless are struggling, the orphans are starving, the widows are abandoned, the families and homes and churches are broken. Aswan pleaded with the crowd and expressed a dire need to preach and teach more about this topic in churches, to unearth the crud buried deep in our hearts, repent, forgive, resolve differences, and to love. He, too, cited many verses that I cannot at this time recall, but he gave a powerful message and the meeting was over. Many left, many ate, but someone (a prophet, I think) said, “There is still someone here who needs to speak God’s word. He has put it on your heart, and now needs you to speak it.”

I was that person. Me. Lucy.

It shocked me as much as anyone else as I prayed, got up on stage, and spoke to a group of about 20. It was good. I spoke about compassion. I said, tying in so pertinently with the first two speakers, that I believed God wanted us to seriously in a very real and practical daily way clothe ourselves with compassion—not anger, not stress, not the ways of the world, not the mindset of capitalism, but with compassion. I explained that God was teaching me a lot about that right now, that He had taken me through six months of a marriage with a mother-in-law that was very difficult to love. I had prayed for wisdom, and what God spoke into my heart was compassion. Compassion to replace the bitterness and hate, compassion to remove the resistance and stubbornness, compassion to ease the process of love and acceptance. Compassion is important to the Lord because it leads to good things: forgiveness, acceptance, love. Similar to the previous two messages, there exists an outward benefit to embracing compassion as a worldview and lifestyle and an inward benefit. The outward is that we are humble and joyous in the Lord in all things, and approach other people with godly qualities rather than the ones would otherwise come to them with. We would forgive freely, love generously, support one another, bare each other’s burdens, serve others more often and in more creative ways, pooling our resources for others rather than hording it away for ourselves. Inward benefits would include a freedom of the heart, liberation of the soul, a light and peaceful outlook to replace the darker one that had clouded our vision before. My sermon was much shorter than the other two, and I read scripture that, at this point, I cannot remember.

At the end, we closed in prayer and went out into the world, a new creation in Christ, with a new outlook, a new perspective, a better heart readjusted to kingdom needs rather than our own, and in reflect about what to do next. It was awesome and invigorating.

I woke up with a smile on my face.

you may not believe in dreamers. it's ok. i didn't either until God spoke to me through dreams. i'm not trying to convince any one of the authenticity of my dream, just trying to spread the Word that i've most recently received from the Father. i think it speaks differently to everyone, so interpretation on my part is moot. xoxoxo

what do y'all think?

01 January 2009

Food for Thought

There will be more on the New Year later. Until then, there's this food for thought.