Monthly Archives: December 2011

Without God, frustration

Without God, frustration…or in Latin (in case you need a cool tattoo idea): Nisi Dominus Frustra.

This is my testimony in three words.  This is my daily confession to God.  Without Him, I can do nothing.

The Latin phrase comes from a contraction of the first line of Psalm 127: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (ESV).  The Psalm goes on: “Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (verses 1-3)

This will come as no surprise to those who know me (Emily) well (and this can be fair warning to my dear future co-workers if any of you are reading this)…I am definitively a “type A” personality.  I really LIKE to get things done.  It’s kind of like crack for my psyche.   To-do lists, checking things off, finishing tasks, being “busy” doing…

Here’s the thing…this aspect of my personality isn’t bad; it’s part of how God made me; but here’s my confession…it’s easy for me to think I can do things on my own, because from a worldly standpoint, I can.  I can finish tasks.  I can work hard.  I can get things done.  BUT (and that’s a big BUT)…all my labor is in vain if I am not content BEING in step with the Holy Spirit, if I am not trusting GOD to do the work, if I am doing things I want done, but not what God considers most important.  In short, I am frustrated and anxious on my own.  I am striving in my own strength instead of resting in God’s strength and trusting Him to direct me to the tasks He will give me the strength to complete for HIS glory.

As a side note, I think this is why God gave me 3 kids so close together.  First, it’s absolutely impossible “to do” list your kids.  (I mean, I guess you could do it, but, wow…not sure that would be best for the kids, you know?) It’s humorous when you think about how LITTLE actually gets done when you have kids to take care of.  But, then, that’s not exactly true is it?  I often wonder how much is being done exactly in those moments when I feel like NOTHING is being done?

And…this leads me to my conclusion (if I even had a point besides just sharing with you a confessional prayer of mine)…I am fully anticipating a humorous series of vignettes about how much I will learn in Mexico.  I’m sure you all will enjoy laughing with me as I continue to learn how to chill out and just BE, and as I learn how to accomplish “to do” lists in Mexico…cause, who am I kidding…I KNOW I’m going to keep making “to do” lists in Mexico.  You can remind me when you hear a scream of frustration coming all the way from Mexico…remind me that God is directing my steps; God has it under control; God is faithful; God has DONE all that is needed.  It is finished.  Redemption has come.  We walk in faith.

Nisi dominus frusta.  Without God, frustration.  “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

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3D Ministries

I spent 3 days this past week at a workshop in SC put on by the people of 3D Ministries.

It was a workshop geared at thinking about Church, discipleship, and creating missional communities…things that I like to think alot about.  It was a great time of thinking and chatting about these topics and helped a ton to put into words alot of my feelings about the Church.

If you want your view of Church rocked watch this video… I would highly recommend it…seriously…carve out some time…turn off the TV and watch this instead…I promise it won’t be a waste of your time! And if you want to watch more you can catch more at their website HERE.

In addition to thinking about issues of discipleship and the Church it was also a great time of spiritual renewal… I went on the drive down frankly, scared out of my mind. We are no longer just hypothetically talking about going to Mexico…now we are actually making plans to do so. As a result I was contemplating all that we would be facing in the year ahead and I was pouring out my heart to God (as if he didn’t already know my heart and mind). I was letting him know that I didn’t think I was really up to the task….doubts and fears of inadequacies abounded…

Anyway, at the workshop in the midst of a learning community, God quieted my fears and spoke into my life in a number of ways. He brought a few people my way at the workshop who spoke words of encouragement and prayed over me. He brought clarity of thought to issues surrounding Church and discipleship. And He gave me a renewed sense of His Kingdom and our calling to be participants.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I would highly recommend anyone who is in the church world of leadership to attend one of their events if you ever get the chance.

And of course I picked up two great books pictured in this post!

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Mexican Rhapsody…Our New Theme Song

Slugs and Bugs!

We were introduced this past month to these CDs and with all the driving we were doing…believe me when I tell you we listened to it more than you could possible know…Hours….and….hours!

We wanted to share our new family theme song (Ali calls it “my song”) that comes from this CD….

Click the link below to go to the slugs and bugs blog page where you can listen to the song…believe me its worth it! Oh…and make sure to turn your speakers up!

Mexican Rhapsody

End Note: These are actually great CDs and won’t have you pulling your hair out like other kid CDs. Emily and I actually really enjoyed these CDs and found ourselves laughing out loud frequently.


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