Thursday, May 31, 2012

::this week::

cooking:  pesto tomato soup with grilled cheeses, lemon bars, portobello mushroom pizzas (mushrooms stuffed with marinara sauce, cheese, and turkey pepperoni), portobello mushrooms stuffed with spinach artichoke dip, chicken sausages

listening:  Bryan and Katie Torwalt... their lyrics have been coming alive to me this week.  I've been praying and worshipping my way through the entire cd while I cook and do housework. 

reading:  finishing Exodus and starting Leviticus, Practicing His Presence, The Discipline Book

doing:  a marriage retreat with our church on Friday and Saturday.  cooked food for the memorial service on Wednesday for the man murdered on our street last week.  hosting several dinners with friends.

praying:  for the marriages in our church, and the marriage retreat this weekend.  for our city... for freedom from this chain of violence.  for this generational sin to be severed in the name of Jesus.  for this poverty mentality to be severed in the name of Jesus.  for the families of the man murdered last week, and for the families of the multiple murders this week.  for racial reconciliation... to see unity and fellowship among all races in our city.  to see the walls that have been built up for years torn down in the name of Jesus.  for healing of these hurts, prejudices, and judgments.  to move into a more full experience of the beautiful, diverse body of Christ.  praying and fasting for our homes again this week, and praying for the other ladies doing the same.

praising:  God is so cool!  He has been working, speaking to, and using Jeremy and I in such creative ways.  It's so awesome to be a part of!  super thankful this week for the way He is at work in some of our friendships, really deepening them and bringing them into a sense of family.  praising Him for new breakthroughs and freedom in some of our friends.  for His freedom in my heart... many months ago I was so judgmental and critical over our church and the leadership... now He has filled me with so much grace and love that I don't have a single negative thought in that area.

pondering:  1) As I finished Exodus I was pondering just how awesome and powerful God is.  He performed so many powerful signs and wonders... the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna, and more.  We have this same God, with this same power seeking to do equally powerful works today and I am ready to see Him in action!  Yet, despite His majesty and works the Israelites were so unfaithful, so quick to grumble and complain or worship false Gods.  Praying that I would not grow out of touch with the miracles that He does in my life as the Israelites did back then.  Praying that I would have mental altars (as the Israelites had physical altars) reminding me of His many works, gifts, and encounters. 2) Thinking of how vibrant the celebration was for the man who was murdered in our neighborhood.  At how his friends and family celebrated him with such passion.  The street was filled with people dancing, music was blasting, a brass band even marched down the block.  Wanting to see us celebrate our God with this same fervor.  To worship Him with such passion.  To celebrate baptisms with such enthusiasm.  To celebrate the lives of our friends in family n such an exuberant manner.

stepping into: a season of more obedience to God.  I have tended to pick and choose what I will and won't do for God.  I have tended to not do anything out of my comfort zone or that was too much of an inconvenience for me.  thankful for small opportunities this week to obey and experience Him in ways that were not comfortable for me, in ways that I was scared I would like stupid and be uncomfortable... particularly in approaching the family of the man that was murdered, and in giving a friend a word from the Lord that was sort of weird and out of the box.  grateful for the strength and courage He gave me in these areas and excited to see Him increase my territory as I'm being faithful with the bits and pieces He is giving me.

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