Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

C.S. Summer reading assignment June 28, 2009

books

Like reading? I do. Unfortunately, I gave up several years of great literature to only read “how-to” books. (Balance, people.) Here’s a rich summer reading assignment straight from the pen of C.S. Lewis and the furry muzzle of King Aslan:

“The term is over:  the holidays have begun.  The dream is ended:  this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.  And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after.  But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page:  now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:  which goes on forever:  in which every chapter is better than the one before.” ~ Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle, p. 228

 

Aslan2

 

Want an adventure? Consider heaven. (Have you ever?) Put yourself in the context of the Great Story. What will it be like? Colossians 3:1-2 says: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

One of our pastors (Dan DeMey) recently expounded on this theme, explaining that the Greek word “to set” comes from Phroneo: ” To exercise/Entertain/Interest oneself in/set affection on”. Exercise and entertain your brain (meditate) on this. Eternal life begins here. Live the story NOW!

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Who died TODAY June 26, 2009

Ed McMahon. Neda Agha-Soltan. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson.

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   Neda

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   michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this week, I was attending a conference and hadn’t been keeping up with the news when another attendee breezed by me casually mentioning, “Did you hear Ed McMahon died today?” Sad, I thought, but I’d heard the former Johnny Carson Tonight Show sidekick had been ill for a while. Hope he knew Jesus. After a few more days of media isolation, I “re-entered” to an ongoing stream of worldwide reports from Iran about the post-election protests there and the death of Neda Agha-Soltan. Tragic — and how many more are we unaware of, I reflected. The stories about this young woman reeled and re-reeled for hours with people from all political points of view positioning about her death until at last I thought, OK…enough. Then, yesterday, Farrah Fawcett lost her fight with cancer only to be overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson. The woman whose look guided my 70s hair choices and whose posters sprawled my brothers’ walls had about 6 hours of media attention before the “King of Pop’s”  heart broke for the last time. Coverage of Michael Jackson’s death is pre-empting programming still — a full day after his passing. Today I’m wondering, whose grandparent, parent, sister, brother, friend has also died in relative obscurity. Famous or not, all of us are a blip on the radar of time. Which brings me to my point:

Who will die TODAY? — And, who will really live?

 

Want an adventure? Let me know what you think: Who do you know who is truly grieving for someone right now? How can you enter in to support them in this process? Why do people care about the “big names” mentioned here? What can we honestly learn from their lives? What does the media focus on each say about the health of our culture? — our world? Is the collective grieving process helpful or obsessive? How long will people talk about him or her? Really think: What what is the substance of his or her legacy? In light of that, are you really living?  Pray for God’s compassionate perspective to come into focus through these lives and deaths, as well as your own. Romans 6

 

timing June 25, 2009

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.

~ Voltaire

tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick

 

Black_and_white_clocksAlmost a month has zoomed by since the last time we ventured this way along I-70 through Kansas (we just passed the wind farm again). A streaked Midwestern thunderhead is shadowing the road ahead, the earthy cleansing of raindrops splattering on the windshield, and I am looking at the road behind, thinking of Voltaire’s quote and all that has transpired.

In this stretch of time I’ve crossed the innumerable climate zones of seven states by car; pensively waded the waters of the Florida Gulf Coast; walked the steamy San Antonio Riverwalk; and winged my way to Arkansas by plane. Between time, the dear hearts whose paths I’ve crosssed and connected with have combined with the miles to quietly “wow me”. Strengthened by the landscape of tremendous and contrasting beauty within our borders (the history it recalls and the mysteries it reveals), these experiences have left me in awe of the clockmaker, the clockwork and God’s timing.

— Can I pass these moments and these miles without a heart of overflowing gratitude?

 

Want an adventure? Consider the last month. How has the clockmaker shown himself to you? What has ticked by? Put on a timeline, are you impressed with all that has transpired? What has the clockmaker created in this time? Has time seemed to fly by or drag? Why? What mysteries of his workmanship have surfaced in your experiences? What are you grateful for?

Live blessed in the moments of this time.

 

Real Questions June 24, 2009

Filed under: Creative Christian Adventures & Encouragement — Amy Pierson @ 9:38 am

“I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask the real questions”

~ Elie Wiezel

Want an adventure? Pray that way. Listen. What are the questions before you this day? Once asked, what are the answers — or empty spaces — God offers in response. What will you do with what you’ve heard? Journal.

 

MapQuest and the prophetic June 19, 2009

“NOTE: Like any driving directions/map you should always do a reality check and make sure the roads still exist, watch out for construction, and follow all traffic safety precautions. This is only to be used as an aid in planning.”

tx-map

I’m working in a foreign land (Texas) for a few days and needed some materials and information to get the job done. Once I knew my destination, I turned to MapQuest for help getting from point A to point B. At the bottom of the page, after the graphic map and written directions, was this disclaimer.

  1. I’ve never noticed this before
  2. I’ve never seen anyone use the words “reality check” in a serious way
  3. It reminds me of the prophetic.

You see, for all of its nuances and “dangers,” I am a big fan of the prophetic. Since I believe God is speaking all the time and in a variety of ways to each of us, I like to think of myself as one of those UN Tourguides with the little flag, leading the “listen to what God is saying” tour. People on the tour may have different upbringings, traditions and languages — but all are interested in learning more about what God is saying and doing.

To me, it’s all about paying attention; paying attention to the ongoing conversation and relationship He desires with us — and we with Him. But “paying attention” never should come at the cost of common sense. I John 4:1-3 talks about testing every spirit to be sure it comes from God. Reality check.

As I’ve been taught, a prophetic word must be tested against these standards: It is always for the purpose of edifying, never contrary to scripture, and must be personally taken before God (the source). We need to “take precautions” so we don’t end up at a dead end in the middle of nowhere. Even though the map says the road is there, the reality may be different — there may be construction detours (parts of our character being rebuilt before the word can be accomplished…or parts of the word that may be a little off).

In any situation, God is the ultimate reality check for us to respond and prosper with His Word and the word He gives. Clearly, His Word says to desire the gift of prophecy — that means through our lives and in our lives. Expect it…watch for it and allow for the wisdom and blessing it will contribute to your journey.

Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophecy ~ I Corinthians 14:1

Having then gifts differing according to the gift of grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophecy in proportion to our faith ~ Romans 12:6

 

Want an adventure? Where are you feeling undirected — or perhaps, misdirected? Ask the Lord to give you a word through another person about the situation. Intentionally seek out someone who you know believes the Holy Spirit speaks to us today and who is established in their Christian faith. Ask them to pray with you. Watch for what God “quickens” to your Spirit through His word. Find friends who are interested in knowing this part of God’s heart and make a concerted effort to regularly seek Him this way.

 

No longer at this address June 17, 2009

If you are not as close to God as you used to be, who moved? ~ Anonymous

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Want an adventure?Let your spiritual compass/Holy Spirit help you determine your location on the road to God. Have you moved? Have you not moved? Are you lost? Does it feel like He is? Spend some honest time journaling your feelings about where you are. If you’ve moved away, ask Him for a relocation plan.

 

burger king? June 16, 2009

Sea of Burger Kings

Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce 

Special orders don’t upset us

All we ask is that you let us have it your way…

Can you imagine the Trinity singing this catchy, old marketing jingle to us as we drive through for our daily blessing? Yet, honestly-speaking, all too often this captures the essence of my attitude in the time I spend with God. He’s more like plastic fast-food royalty (and one of many, at that) than He is my Creator King of the Universe.

I want. I want. I want. Now give it. (But, I’m not spoiled or anything). Truth be told, in our over-indulged western Christian culture, we’re running around giving off the entitled-nouveau-royalty vibe way too much; caring way too little about what The King-of-kings wants for us and for the World.

Truly, how often does my heart burn for what HE wants? How often in my day do I take HIS order? (You know they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Does my heart break when His needs are not met? Do I care to feed His heavenly soul by feeding those around me who are hungry for His love?

 

Want an adventure? Let God “have it (His) way” today. Ask Him what that would mean for the day ahead. And, when the day is done evaluate your service. (Hopefully, now even driving past a Burger King will remind you of Him). Watch for the sign.

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Matthew 20:28