Saturday, April 10, 2010

temper tantrum

We used to say it when we were kids, and someone was having a temper tantrum: "you can't always get what you want..."

In my adult life, once in a while when I have to work with a particularly difficult person, I have this incongruous, very cheesy fantasy that I just start rocking out and singing to the person "you can't, always get, what you want, but if you try sometimes...." (incongruous because that song was probably not about temper tantrums.)

Today I realized that I've been throwing a temper tantrum with God. I have been moping around because I didn't get what I wanted, and I'm not willing to move on. I have to realize I can't always get what I want. Momentarily I'm amusing myself by listening to Mick Jagger. Later I am going to have to deal with God on this, and it will probably have something to do with a cliché story about taking away a kid's mud pies that he really really loved and giving him ice cream he didn't realize he wanted but really liked in the end.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Usefulness and Intercessory Prayer

When I was little my dad would take me to our family-owned garage and my aunt would give me office jobs to do. My tasks consisted of stamping new invoices with our garage name and assembling promotional key chains. I felt very important and needed.

One day my mom and I were planning out our day, and I called my aunt to see if she 'needed' me in the office. My memory is very faint, but I know that somehow from our conversation I learned that having assembled key chains on hand was not a top priority in the office. I'm pretty sure I cried. I was not needed.

I think those feelings I had shows a basic human need: the need to feel useful.

In light of that need, God has given us an incredible gift. In addition to saving us from our sins, he has created us in Christ Jesus for doing good works. God has planned out work for me to do. God is giving me the resources I need to do that work. God is going to use me.

I realized this gift after seeing some prayers that Paul prayed for his friends. They are prayers that I know others are praying for me, and that I want to pray for my loved ones.

...we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be... bearing fruit in every good work... Colossians 1:9,10

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, II Thessalonians 1:10

I like that second verse because I resolve to do many a good work that I'm not quite sure will get done...

I searched the words 'every good work', and these two beautiful blessings came up. I guess they are prayers, I'm not quite sure what a blessing is...

This first one is incredibly personal, like this good work thing is going to be between me and Jesus:

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. II Thessalonians 2:13

This second one was a favorite verse in high school, after I discovered (I'm not being facetious here) Revelation 4:11 and that we were created for the express purpose of pleasing God.

Now may the God of peace... equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

Thank you for giving me good works, Lord.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blue like Jazz

I KNEW that Donald Miller and I were soul-mates. Check out his recent post on sleep, and my recent post on sleep, written within two days of each other. Furthermore, he just gave up gluten to reduce cravings. Gluten gives me cravings too! It is a match made in heaven.