Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Singing in the Bathtub

As a little girl I remember not wanting to take baths. I do not remember the reason for this. I can only assume that I had better things to do with my time. Maybe the thought of getting into the water was scary, for some reason. I just didn't want to do it.

I do not remember what actually got in me in the tub. It may have been my parents or maybe I just gave in. What I do remember best about tub memories other than the fact that I didn't want to take the bath... was how much fun I had once I was in the bath. I would sing and sing and sing. My fingers would get prunie, but I didn't mind. My parents minded that I was in the tub for 30 minutes and still dirty from the water line up, but I was just happy being where I was. Eventually I was forced to actually wash up and get out... Sad that my tub time was over, but dreading the next time it came around.

I don't know why this memory came back to me over the weekend, but I can guess. This weekend I was sick. Not like can't move, call 911 sick, but more achy, churny, not hungry sick. Enough to keep me in my bed and apartment all weekend. As I woke up Monday morning I was feeling a little bit better, but more than anything I wanted fellowship. So often I treat fellowship like I treated bath time as a child.

I know I need fellowship, but I dread going into it. I have fears and doubts, just the prospect seems overwhelming and forced. But... when I am in the midst of it, true fellowship, I don't want it to end. Eventually it must. Then when it is over I can reflect on what a wonderful time I had, but still be dreading the next round.

Why is that?? What is it in me that cannot just let go and embrace those times?

Single Guys- How to Find a Wife

Lovin Perry Noble!

Beautiful_02- Single Guys Outtake from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Speaking on Lonliness

I have been asked to be the final speaker/facilitator for our post-college retreat this coming weekend. The retreat theme is "Good Relationship are No Accident". We have a star studded cast of speakers on Friday night and Saturday, then I get to wrap it up on Sunday. I am greatly humbled by this opportunity. Though most of my time has been outlined for me by my boss, I do have some opening moments for thoughts and a closing wrap-up. Since the whole weekend is about relationships I just keep thinking about what stops us from having them and what makes us disappointed in them once we do. My thoughts again and again go towards the grip loneliness has on people. How God hates for people to be alone. He created us for community. Though... you can still be lonely in community. In Blue Like Jazz (Clayton if you are reading this post, yes I still have your copy and will mail it to you eventually) there is a moment where one of Don Miller's friend is opening up to him about his marriage... about how even in marriage where he is best known to any other human being, there is still something missing that only God can fill.

"I'm saying there is stuff I can't tell her, not because I don't want to, but because there aren't words. It's like we are separate people and there is no getting inside each other to read each other's thoughts, each other's beings. Marriage is amazing because it is the most beautiful thing I have ever dreamed of, Don, but it isn't everything. It isn't Mecca. Danielle loves everything about me; she accepts me and tolerates me and encourages me. She knows me better than anybody else in the world, but she doesn't know all of me, and I don't know all of her. And I never thought after I got married there would still e something lacking. I always thought marriage, especially after I first met Danielle, would be the ultimate fulfillment. It is great, don't get me wrong, and I am glad I married Danielle, and I will be with her forever. But there are places in our lives that only God can go." (Blue Like Jazz pg. 146)

So many people (like myself) fear intimacy. Instead we shrink into loneliness. There is a false perception of safety there. God is love. Without loving and being loved... how can we truly know God? If we say we are His followers and want to do His will... we have to step through fear, and love. When we fill unloved, rejected, or abandoned... that is not from God. When we are not loving, reject, or abandon... that is us going against the will of God.

Please pray as I continue to process these thoughts. After I share we will go into a time of confession and communion. I pray that God will continue to shape my thoughts so that I can speak in love and those who come will leave with their love tanks overflowing.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Life is full of transitions. Those are the hardest times and the times where you need the most love and prayer. There is actually an article on the right column about how important transitions are to singles ministry.

Our singles pastor will be leaving at the end of the month. The singles and post-college ministries find themselves flung into a time of transition. I ask for prayer. Here are the scripture verses I have been meditating on during this stressful time.

Phillipians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Learnings From a Linkin Park Concert

It hit me Sunday night as I was in a crowd of thousands that I need to not just enjoy my night, but learn from it. So here are some observations and learnings from last night's Linkin Park concert:

1. People are weird! (There was quite a diverse crowd!!)
Learning: People come in all shapes and sizes. But once engaged, people are people. I spoke with some different people throughout the night. Some had had way too much to drink, others were just so excited about the concert, there was one couple (friends), who the girl just started to tell me about her boyfriend and the guy started to tell me about how left out he feels now that she has a boyfriend... it was crazy!! People want to be engaged and listened to. They want others to come along in their excitment and passion. No matter how many tats or piercings... they are still just people with the same needs and desires as I.

2. They do not sing the "clean" version of songs at the concerts
Learning: Though the f-bomb was flying... I personally saw more people connecting to the lyrics than the commentators. When I could understand what they were saying... I saw a common theme to the songs: a desire for acceptance and to be heard. One of the few songs I knew was "Somewhere I Belong"... what a sad song if you think about it.
3. People love to be heard. During the breaks they had a number you could text to and your message would appear on the screen. There were about 18 marriage proposals, a ton of sports fans, some political messages, shoutouts, messages of love and thanks, pop culture references, and sometimes a mixture (Like when someone asked Hannah Montana to marry them).
Learning: What I got from this also was a good feel of the views of the audience. This was a great way to poll interests. I can tell you that the crowd did not like the Jonas Brothers, did like Obama, most had seen Dark Knight (b/c of all the references to Heath Ledger), they were up on current pop news (the RIP Bernie Mac texts), and they love seeing their names on a big screen. Here were some of my favorite big screen entries:
My fav, but I think Heath Ledger and Bernie Mac got more applause. Definitely Linkin Park got more :(
That made me think of Lisa :)
That last one got a lot of boos.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Key... Value

One of the keys within singles ministry, like with every ministry, is value. Does your church value singles? Do the singles know it?

Singles should not be siloed off from the rest of the church or seen as incomplete people. To say that there is something wrong with singles... is to say there was something wrong with Jesus. Jesus was single. Almost all of his disciples were single. Paul was single and recommended it.

This value must come from the top. For example: How many sermon illustrations have you heard about the pastor's wife and/or kids? Those are valuable, but have you ever thought how a single with no children who deeply longs for marriage would relate to those?

Here is one thing we did at Saddleback to show singles how they are valued and needed within the church body.

Do you have any ideas? What have you done at your church? I am sure this topic will come up again :)