Sunday, January 27, 2008

Welcome Home to Me! and notes on believing

Driving home on Friday night, back to NC from DC after my last day of work, I knew this was the right decision.  There's definitely something nice about knowing you're doing the right thing. =) I'm so glad to be home!

I've been pretty overwhelmed... almost had a heart attack on Fri night when I stopped for dinner and couldn't find my wallet anywhere. (I only had 1/4 tank left and was 1 1/2 hrs down the road.) Turns out, it was under my suitcase in the trunk. AND I thought I'd lost my cell phone but it was in my pocket. Ha. But everything got finished eventually; I have cable and a beautiful tv and all my bedroom furniture and I didn't sleep much last night but I'll be in bed early and my first day of work doesn't start til 9am.

My 7 months in DC was so good for me. Kinda like a hospital for my soul... the ICU, more like. I should spend more time thinking about it, but I have been able to realize a few things.  Talking to Becca about it was key, as always... I had a great learning period about how I need to learn to be quiet because I fill my life so much with people and fun and community, but I need to be still, especially when going through healing.  God took me to a big city to teach me to be quiet. How important it is for me to learn to believe (I believe with my head but not with my heart-- "Lord, help my unbelief!") that the only thing that matters is knowing God as revealed in Jesus, the Messiah. If I really understood that truth, it'd be phenomenal.

Summit was really, really good today. JD talked about abiding, about praying according to his will, about really believing God when he said he'll give us anything we ask if we are looking to him for our desires.  God, how I want you to fulfill me through your sufficiency! He asked us to write down two or three areas where we want to see God's power. I couldn't believe how easy it was to pin down those areas, and how emotional I got when I realized that God does want to display that HE is the true God, in my life and through those areas.  What a powerful truth.  It's all been about how he wants to be acknowledged as the only true God, to the end of our happiness and his supremacy!

"Spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples..."  May that be my life mission and all my success.  What a far way I have to go-- but that's where God's glory shines brightest.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Embracing Accusation" by Shane and Shane

Their new cd isn't the best ever... there are a few songs I just skip over, but this song is amazing. In classic S&S style, the music and harmonies are soaring and the crescendo lifts you up and the profound lyrics get to the core of the miracle that is grace... how often do I lose the wonder of this simple Truth...

the father of lies coming to steal, kill and destroy
all my hopes of being good enough/i hear him saying, "cursed are the ones who can't abide"
he's right, hallelujah, he's right!
the devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
that I am cursed and gone astray/i cannot gain salvation
...embracing accusation

could the father of lies be telling the truth of God to me tonight?
that if the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine?
i hear him saying, "cursed are the ones who can't abide."
he's right, hallelujah, he's right!
the devil is preaching the song of the redeemed.

the devil's singing over me an age old song
that I am cursed and gone astray/that i cannot gain salvation

singing the first verse so conveniently over me
he's forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves

(he's redeemed us from the curse of the law)

So, go download it on iTunes. Other good songs are, from church, "Sweetly Broken" by Jeremy Riddle and "Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down)" by Robbie Seay Band.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

Life is often silly, and that's how I like it. That's why I loved to read about Anne Shirley and Nancy Drew and Kitty & Lydia Bennet and Betsy/Tacy and so many other girls when I was wee.

Boys are silly too. I love this story not because I was being hit on (although that is never bad for the Ego), but because it just shows how silly some people are.

Beth Allen, her roommate, and I were closing our tabs at TopO on Saturday night. Beth was being the heroine and getting our cards, and I could tell the group of about eight thirty-somethings were talking about me. The closest leans over and, indicating a young man near us, says, "So is that the new style here?" "What?" "You know, the three-piece suit." I look over at the guy, look back at him, and say, "He's going to a dress for success party." "What's that?" "I don't know." "But you just said that's where he's going." "He told me." "Oh, so he was hitting on you already?" (Mistake 1-- admitting he's hitting on me and he's prolly not the first one tonight.) "No, he's my friend." (Mistake 2-- trying to hit on me by making fun of a friend.)

He valiently tries to recover, as his friend joins the conversation. "So, are you not going? You look dressed for success." Friend: "Yeah, you look successful!" Janel: "I don't think jeans would cut it." Friend: "The only thing you'd be successful at is being a model." (Mistake 3: Pretty obvious. Who says that?)

This is perfect. The lamest thing to say to somebody. I wasn't interested to begin with, and this sealed all their fates, but it did pique my wit.

Janel: "Oh, really? That's ALL I'd be successful at, is it? Just a model. That's all I could do."
Lame Friend of First Guy: "I mean, I've never talked to you before... I don't know if you're smart or not..."
Janel: "Well, I just now spoke to you and I can already tell you're not qualified to judge me on how intelligent I am."
LFoFG: "Well, now that I've spoken to you I know you could be a rocket scientist or a nuclear physicist."
(Props to him for correctly pronouncing physicist.)
Janel: "Right." And I turned back to the bar.

First Guy tried to talk a little more ("What's your major?" ... already graduated... "International studies? You must be a good translator!") but Beth's roommate saved me, and they continued to make fools of themselves. ("She's tough-- are you that tough?" "I don't know; I just met her." "Oh, did she pick you up at the bar or did you pick her up?")

Gotta love it. What on earth possessed them to continue?! Thankfully, this is not a nightly occurrence for me.

Mr Bennet: "And what of your cousin, Mr Collins? As a connoisseur of human folly, I would have thought you eager to be savoring such delights."
Elizabeth: "Of such delights, sir, I believe a little goes a long way."

Tomorrow I'm moving to Morrisville and Ellen and I are signing our new lease! (The aforementioned "big things to come." =) )

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Janel's Guide to...

...Dealing with difficult people or situations.

Step 1. Listen to your mother.
Step 2. Humble yourself.

In so doing, you will heap fiery coals on their heads. And you will clear the air so you can sleep peacefully. He gives his beloved rest.

I have a lot to learn in this life. I just pray that God lets me keep my parents for as long as possible because he knows I would make an even further f-up of my life than I already am doing if they were not here.

Why do I confuse my honor or my dignity with my pride? How do I keep the first and lose the second? Maybe it has something to do with letting God defend me, trusting him for my vindication, and putting down my sword. When it comes to dealing with eternal souls, I cannot be too careful. My actions have supernatural repercussions.

Jesus said in Luke that we are to give to whomever asks us. I assumed that was referring to homeless people; how narrow-minded I can be! And to think that he can provide for everybody-- he told me that only so that I would benefit, not the one who asks me. We are to give because, in God's economy, we are blessed through our giving. Are you asking for blessing? Do your part and give, and God will fulfill his end of the bargain.

My parents gave a huge percentage of their income this year. And Dad's job-on-the-side with the Kansas City Royals replenished that exact percentage back into the family income. What better testimony do you need? He is faithful.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Happy birthday to my one loyal blog reader!!! =) Kim Davidson, I love you! Thanks for the food, the fun, the love, the Bible studies, the advice, the listening ear, the phone calls, the book /movies/music recommendations, the prayer, the camaraderie, and the sympathy. You are the salt of the earth, the virtuous woman, the woman after God's heart, the kind of person I want to be.

Have a great time in North Carolina and I really hope I can see you soon. Miss you tons.

P.S. if I happen to have any OTHER readers (doubt it!), check her out at

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Time: not the magazine, the cereal, or the boardgame (although I like all 3)

So, I've been thinking about living inside Time.  We're on this straight line (a timeline if you will), and we can't see the Future but we obsess over it, and we can't change the Past but we obsess over it, and we never care what we're doing with our Present.  CS Lewis said something along the lines of "The Present is where Eternity touches us."  In essence, we really control only what is happening now, in this very moment.  There’s no power except in this second. I think it was in the Screwtape Letters; the devils tried to get people to focus only on the past (futile) or the future (equally futile, plus distressing and worrisome).


Now is when we establish patterns, when we practice consistency or, to use a Christian word, faithfulness.  Why is consistency and reliability such an emphasis in society?  Because we live in time. Something has to be done over and over to be established, permanent, or trustworthy.  We’ll be known by our fruit, not that one time we did one good thing.


One day is just that—only one day.  January 1 begins a year; December 31 ends it; those are just dates. But we view our lives as within hours within days within weeks… you get the picture.  It’s the only way we can handle it.  We compartmentalize our worlds and our lives into digestible units.  And so, I think that a new year allows me to draw a new mental breath and (at least psychologically) start afresh.


And I, for one, know that I need that.  We all need a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin again… a new day.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but we are barely the same on Tuesday as on Monday. (I am especially unreliable on Tuesdays.)


Now, I’m not good at “summing up” these blogs that are (not quite at all) as rambling as my thoughts… but I have yet another observation about our humanity.  We are horrible at realizing the most fundamental truths of our Selves’ settings.  We are in Time; we have only this Moment in which to act; we must not lose another second.


In 2007, I lost the person who changed me more than any other, except perhaps my parents.  I don’t know whom I will lose next. Death is a part of life, and only now am I realizing what the Fall means.  I talked to Becca about that yesterday… losing innocence was one of the tragedies suffered by Adam and Eve, and it’s a tragedy I suffered last year.  On January 9, my heart was broken; on March 23, my world (temporarily, but no less powerfully) shattered.


Father, thank You for not deserting me when I felt like deserting You.  God is not good because life is good; God is good whether or not life is good.  Sometimes life is good (thank You); sometimes life is not good (thank You).


How am I going to live this one life?  For myself or for others?  With regard for the brevity and fragility of human life, or with disdain for the children of God that are perishing around me?  (Why does my heart bleed for the poor but I am spiteful towards those around me? Why do we all hate hypocrisy and yet harbor it in our hearts?)


It may be miles and miles/before the journey’s clear/there may be rivers, may be oceans of tears

And the very hand that shields your eyes from understanding/is the hand that will be holding you for miles…

And one moment someone whispers “thank You”/just then, another voice cries “how could You?”/when Jesus, who sees us/he says I hear you/and I’m near you


More on time later; it fascinates me.