04 July 2015

My Anchor, My Lord

from treehousetheaternyc.com
I'm a water baby, I'm sure of it. I'm only learning how to swim now at age 26 but I never allowed my fear or inability to stay above water keep me from getting wet. However, I realize that unless I want to increase my odds of dying, I should learn. I started taking classes about a month ago and I'm so proud of my progress! My teacher called it a miracle and I'd agree with her, especially since I was terrified to get my face wet that first class and today I floated on my own!

Every class is a crossroad of faith. How much deeper am I going to go? Am I going to trust myself? My instructor? The water? The feeling I had floating today symbolized the trust I have to take off of myself and put on the Lord.

I think about Peter, who Jesus called out onto the water. At first, he begins walking and then forgets-- his faith transfers from Jesus to himself which cannot keep him up. He begins to sink. I know that feeling, both emotionally and now physically. Below are thoughts that were swimming in my head about this feeling and the truth of Christ. Recently I've been convicted of our generation's over-leniency on prayer. Don't get me wrong, prayer is an intimate and wonderful thing, but we can use it as a crutch to keep ourselves from acting out in faith. What would happen if we just DID a little more? I'm trying to live that out in my own life, no more crippling myself or God by waiting for some sign when the fact that God not closing the door is sign enough! I hope you'll have faith to dive in head first with me, friend.

I need my feet to touch the floor
But you say no.
Head first, arms straight,
Dive in, I've got you.
But God.
I close my eyes and forget.
My legs sink like a needle point.
I lose my footing.
The water rises,
He catches me.

My child, trust me.
But God, I say.
I need to be grounded.
I need to know what's below me.
I'm below you, He says.
I'm all around you.
I'm your anchor.

I won't let go, I can't let go.
Fear not, for I created all of this.
So dive in, head first.

Faith in your feet, you'll sink.
Faith in me, you'll soar.
In the midst of waves crashing,
Waters rising,
Truth remains.
I'm your anchor.
Stay tied to me and you cannot drown.

25 December 2014

The Wonder of Christmas

wonder: the feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

I spoke about this feeling last Sunday, albeit imperfectly, and questioned whether we experience Christmas in wonder of what happened some thousands of years ago or have we become desensitized to the Christmas story. 

The birth of Christ is also an event full of scandal, danger, death, and conflict. It's a story about the God of the Universe leaving his throne and coming down to Earth in the form of a helpless infant who cannot do anything by himself, but depends on others for its every need. He came down because He loved His people so much that he could not let them be. He came down to die a death that He didn't deserve and we so rightfully did.

He came to earth in the most ordinary way possible. Not as a king but as a baby. In that same way, you can see God is in our lives, not only in the dramatic but in the ordinary moments where He's teaching us about grace and showing it to others and to ourselves. 

I hope this Christmas, you wake up with a sense of wonder. Jesus' birth was beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, and inexplicable for those who did not know Him and I hope that you fall on your knees from the crushing wave of gladness in your heart that comes from knowing that the King was born and the world would never be the same. 

And to end, here's a modern day reminder of the wonder of Christmas. I was in awe of this person I met earlier this year, who chased a dream despite the cost and below is something he's been working on. It captures the gravity of Christ entering the world so well, you have to watch it! 

ANOMALY from ANOMALY on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas, friends.

02 September 2014

Well said.

They say to write well, you have to read. So here's some things I've read today that I don't want to forget and I'm eager to share.

From Bob Goff's Love Does:
"If Jesus has taught me anything, it's that sometimes you can really want to know somebody and it takes them forever to want to know you back."
"I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down."
And my most favorite quote from the book so far:
"Ryan's love was audacious. It was whimsical. It was strategic. Most of all, it was contagious. Watching Ryan lose himself in love reminded me that being "engaged" isn't just an event that happens when a guy gets on one knee and puts a ring on his true love's finger. Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It's about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That's what I want my life to be all about -- full of abandon, whimsy and in love. I want to be engaged to life and with life."
 From Relevant Magazine:

The word “happy” appears six times in the Bible, none of those in reference to God’s intention for your life. Happiness is almost always tied to the present. If we constantly lived for our current happiness, what a miserable life most of us would have. How many times has something awesome birthed from something not so awesome? The good news for you and me is that God is much more concerned with lasting qualities such as joy and peace. Those qualities are unaffected by the fragility of life.

And lastly, from C.S Lewis:
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and the most precious thing in all thinking. 

15 August 2014

Munchkin Birthdays

My munchkin is turning 4 in just a couple of days. I can't remember life without her. Actually, I do. It was much quieter and I didn't use my imagination as much. But Suraya has opened the world of adventure and pretend back up for me. We ride in corner elevators together (actually the corner of a hallway) and sing our own music. We tiptoe into rooms so the sleeping tiger or lion doesn't hear us. Somehow he always does and we run out of the room screaming for our lives. We sing the songs in Frozen over and over again though we don't know the words.We ride through the sky with a five foot high view and take stops in Houston, Dallas, and New York along the way.

Don't get me wrong -- she has her tantrums when she doesn't get the ketchup bottle when she asks for it or I don't give her the red crayon when she demands it. But two minutes later, she's promising me a spot in her bridal party and trying a new hue of lip gloss on me.

Reminiscing on the joy she's brought me in her young life reminds me of the little ones I met in Mumbai a little more than a year ago. Their smiles are so alike though their circumstances couldn't be more different.
Their smiles are so alike though their circumstances couldn't be more different.
These children have hope because of the special people in their lives-- whether that be parents or a compassionate servant-- they are people who consider the child and his or her life as significant. As a result, instead of worshiping a tribal statue, she will know the Lord. And instead of settling for a life as a laborer, he can go to college. 

They have the opportunity, like Su, to reach past that glass ceiling and seize their dreams whatever that might be. I'm not sure when their birthdays are but I hope its full of the same love, joy and memories that Su's will be. Either way, I'm thinking about them.

13 June 2014

My Dad, My Hero

My dad is not a perfect man by any means, he'll tell you that himself. But it's how he's conquered life and broken free from things that held him back that makes him a hero in my book.

I've grown more and more proud of my dad especially in the past year when he made a decision that changed his life and our family's forever.

He's a living testimony to the fact that you're never too old to change, improve and get better. Most of all, he is proof that God can break through the hardest of hearts and years with of shame and pain.

I think it's a daughter thing-- we want to believe our dads are these invincible people who can fix anything and rescue us from any trouble. There's many times I've put my dad on a pedestal which never worked. As you get to know your dad or any one in your family, disappointments happen and imperfections show through. You see that dad isn't as invincible or mighty as you thought.

Dads don't belong on a pedestal --they belong at our side. I now look at my dad as a human being who's advice and guidance is only there to bless me and who's love is more constant than anyone else in my life. He messes up but so do I and if I expect forgiveness, I have to be willing to give it, too.

He's my biggest fan and I am his and I couldn't be more proud of him as Father's Day approaches. If all goes well, he has the perfect present in store this weekend and I can't wait to see his face! (I'll make sure to post a picture.)

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. 
Thank you for being our heroes.