Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fall's Creek

Went to Fall’s Creek last night with Clint. He was asked to speak last night for our church’s youth group. The message was a good one, and one that Clint and I probably need to spend some time walking through again. I’m not sure who the speaker is right now for Fall’s Creek, but his message was also pertinent for us –and I’m glad we got to be there for it. He spoke on God wrestling with Jacob in the desert. He gave a very interesting perspective. He said it would be kind of like a kid wrestling with their dad. That the Dad only did as much as needed to keep the kid in place – not exerting to much force – not trying to hurt the kid – just doing enough to make the kid realize he had no chance of winning the fight. He gave the kid chances to feel like they actually had a chance, but never let the kid really gain the upper hand. He talked about God tiring and touching Jacob’s hip to make it out of place. The Hebrew word for “touch” means “to physically wrench” – so this, he said, is similar to when our dad’s would get tired wrestling with us, and they would hold us down in a certain way to show us the power they had to do something, if they really wanted to – just enough to let us know that we we not in control. He talked about when the Bible talks about God saying to Jacob –“Let me go, it’s almost morning.” He said that it would appear that Jacob actually has the upper hand here – that God is asking to be let go. And that God asked Jacob, “What is your name” because of the meaning behind the name. Jacob’s name means “heel-grabber” thief, swindler – and God wanted to hear him own up to that. He also said at this point, Jacob was not winning, but that instead he pictures him going to a last-ditch effort to seize the ankle of God, and was latched onto his leg –refusing to let go. He sees it as God saying – “Okay son, it’s time to let go now – seriously”. Jacob wouldn’t let go until he had received God’s blessing. After owning up to his name – God did bless Jacob, by giving him a new name – Israel. This is like our new names in Christ. We are not the same – we are redefined – new – renamed. I thought this was a beautiful analogy for our lives in Christ. We can wrestle all we want, but we are not going to win on our own.

Clint’s message, as I mentioned earlier was about living to the potential Christ meant for us to. To recognize that salvation was not a “free pass” to exist for eternity, but a chance and a call for us to live now – fully – and to do that for eternity. He spoke on God calling us to have a life of pleasure, a life of passion, and a life of purpose. He talked about people like Jim Elliot, and the prophets in the Bible rejoicing after being brutally beaten, because they had been counted worthy of being tortured in the name of Christ. He challenged us to live – a life of passion – fully putting ourselves into reaching others for Christ – to passionately pursue our purpose in Christ. Clint and I are still trying to do this, and revisiting these simple messages was what we needed.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Happy day after the 4th of July!

We returned early this morning from Phoenix, after a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Clint had already been in Arizona doing some field tests for his company’s land-mine detection sensors, and I flew down to meet him in Phoenix (actually Gilbert) for the weekend. My dad recently moved to Gilbert, AZ, the nations fastest growing city. It’s such a big place, and surprisingly lush, despite the desert you’re probably imagining. My dad’s new house is great, and his backyard is fit for a movie star. Clint helped my dad get wired. I assisted when I could, and when I was of no help, I went swimming. Have I ever mentioned how much I love swimming through a cool rush of water on a warm day? Not much beats that. I also partook of the slide – which I promised Sarah I would do in her absence. It was really great. I’ll try to get pictures if I can get my dad to snap a few.

Beverly flew down to visit my dad, and we ended up being on the same flight together. She’s going to stay on for the rest of the week, and David and Diane, Dad’s friends will be visiting him then too. He’s had a rash of guests lately, but I don’t think he minds. We went tubing in the Salt River, and ate at a lot of fine dining establishments –including: Rubio’s, Inn-n-Out Burger, and Pappadeaux’s to name a few. We didn’t get to see fireworks on the ground, but we did manage to sneak peeks at a few in the air on our landing in Tulsa, which was interesting.

The moment we landed, the mugginess I’ve come to know as home hit me, and I’m sad to say…I miss Arizona’s dry heat. Anyway, it was a nice vacation- and a really good visit with my dad.

Now it’s back to work and life as usual. Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!