Friday, April 22, 2011

Sharper than...

Today I am chopping a very large amount of nuts for a recipe. Chop, chop, chop. For awhile I was exerting quite a bit of pressure and really going at the work. Then something occurred to me: I have a really sharp knife. In fact, Kelly sharpened it for me just now. (Thanks Casey and Michelle for the knife sharpener!)

Anyway, I noticed that I was very tense. My shoulders were all tight and I was using so much force to chop at these nuts. I thought to myself, I need to let this sharp knife do the work. Why am I exhausting myself for no reason?

I could've kept on going the way I was. But instead I relaxed my shoulders and eased up. I started letting the knife do the work and I was just using smooth movements that were easy and basically effortless.

Now of course the result would've been the same. Whether I used up all my energy or not, the nuts would've been chopped and I would eventually enjoy the fruits of my labor. But this way, the work gets done and I enjoy the fruit and I am NOT exhausted by it. It becomes an enjoyable task instead of a tiresome chore.

Maybe you know where I am going with this. But my mind took me right to thinking of my relationship with God and the work that we are doing here in Zambia. I can just go at this work here in Lusaka, putting in all my effort and tensely and hurriedly keeping up with all of our tasks. I can chop, chop, chop away at all the projects on our plate and end up exhausted and joyless. I can spend all my time working hard trying to gain something or prove something or just trying to avoid being a failure.

OR, I can let the sharp knives I've been given do the work. I can let God's Word work in my life and share it with others. I can let his holy Spirit work in me and through me. I can consider the work God calls me to each morning and thank him for it. And most of all I can accept the work that Jesus Christ has already done on my behalf by dying for my sins!!!! And accept the life he gives me because he himself was raised to life!!!! I don't have to do that work. I don't have to earn my salvation by winning the approval of others or of God because he already loves and accepts me because of Jesus. YES!!!!! That is such a sharp knife!!!!

So I just want to say HAPPY EASTER weekend! He is risen indeed! I pray for you that you are not exhausting yourself trying to do the work that has already been done for you. For it is by faith that we are saved and not by works. Thank you God for your mercy and grace poured out for us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Body Language

This morning we had to go to Social Welfare to sign all the final papers for the adoption to be submitted to the courts for approval by a judge. Very exciting! Since I don't have a househelper right now it has been hard to find someone who can watch the kids for us on short notice so we decided to take all of the kids with us... assuming it was going to be a quick thing (yeah, right!)

Anyway, as we filed along the depressing concrete hallways with the kids we passed a lady in the hallway and Lucas says very loudly, "Mommy, look at those really big boobies!"

Of course I was taken aback and said quietly, "Um, Lucas, that's not a very polite thing to say." Now the advantage of being in Lusaka at the very uncomfortable moment was that by the look on the woman's face I think that quite possibly she had no idea what Lucas had said... probably a Nyanja speaker. However, the youth next to her obviously had understood and I could tell by the way he was violently laughing. I can't blame him for that because it was rather difficult for Kelly and I not to laugh as well... I mean, she did have some really big boobies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daily Worship

God deserves our worship. Sometimes I forget this simple fact and I live out my day without a worshipful attitude toward God. Yesterday we were driving out to Ciyanjano with the kids and we were listening to "worship" music. It was such a great reminder of who our God is. Giving God the worship he rightfully owns always puts me back where I need to be. So, there were two songs that were really good reminders for me so I thought I would post the lyrics for all of us to consider. In this first song, the fact that God knows "the depths of our hearts" and still loves us, always moves me. That is truly indescribable love. In the second, I think the description of Jesus as the "perfect lamb that was slain" is always a very powerful metaphor.

Indescribable

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

The Glory of Your Name

It was in the way You came
As a lowly babe
That Your glory was displayed
And it was in the sacrifice
Of the purest life
It was in Your Father’s will obeyed

(chorus)
The perfect Lamb that was slain
And there’s the glory of Your name
No other one, no other way for me to see
You took my place, You are the way
And there’s the glory of Your name
Yes, there’s the glory of Your name

And there is nothing in this world
That could take the place of You
That could take the place of You my Jesus
And there is nothing in this life

That could take the place of
One life, one love
One power to save us all
One hope, One truth
And one glory in it all
One glory in it all

The perfect Lamb that was slain
And there’s the glory of Your name
No other one, on other way for me to see
You took my place, You are the way
And there’s the glory of Your name
Yes, there’s the glory of Your name

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another note about the Rules of the Road

Maybe people get sick of hearing about driving in foreign countries, but I just have to tell you this little story. The other day I was driving our truck back from a friend's house after dinnertime. I was pretty nervous because it was twilight which is a very dangerous time to drive in Lusaka, and not because of teenage vampires. It's actually very difficult to see around here because there are no street lights, people don't turn their headlights on, and there are a million pedestrians around who happen to be black.

Also, I had our whole family in the truck along with our guests, Isaac and April. Why was I driving, you may ask? Kelly was feeling really sick so I had spent most of the day driving.

Okay, so I am driving along, my knuckles white with anxiety on the wheel, and I come to a four-way stop. Blam! I get rear-ended. Thankfully, I could tell it was not a big deal because it didn't feel like we got hit very hard but I pulled off to the side anyway and asked Kelly to get out and check out the situation. Turns out it's another m'zungu woman! And what does she tell Kelly?! "I'm really sorry I hit you; I just didn't expect you to stop." What?! That's right, folks. She didn't expect me to come to a complete stop at the stop sign.

Welcome to Zambia. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Those are the Rules of the Road.