delight

Delightful. I have been trying to use this word more often. Mostly because I get stuck on words, and start annoying myself when I use it often.

I started over-using ‘beautiful’ to describe things, and now every time I say it I cringe inwardly.

I was stuck on ‘stellar’ once. Now it only appears every now and then.

I am a word person. I love words. I get stuck on words. It’s just a fact.

I also love to dissect Bible words and find what they meant in the original language. Seriously, I really do annoy people with words.

For months…ok, still…I go on and on about the original definition of ‘mercy’ in Micah 6:8. There is most likely a post somewhere in my archives. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t mean grace.

What I love about the word delightful is the image it brings to my mind. For whatever reason that word brings a sense of freedom, and genuine affection towards something meaningful. Maybe it is the way it rolls off the tongue. It even sounds pretty.

The actual definition is ‘causing delight or charming’ with the synonyms being ‘pleasant, enjoyable or lovely’ according to the ever accurate Google.

The word ‘delight’ and ‘delightful’ are used in the NIV Bible 105 times.

But it is not just used as describing something. Several times it is God speaking in being delighted by his people.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. [Psalm 18:17-19]

I love that God finds delight in me. It takes the pressure off to try and fit an image every day that he would find accepting. Of course unconditional love is thrown in there, too. There is just something freeing in knowing God not only loves me, but also finds me delightful. It is as though he sees added charm in me…cherishes me.

What image does ‘delight’ bring to your mind?

As I rest in this today…I sincerely hope that every day I return the favor by finding God just as delightful as he finds me.

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation. My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.” [Psalm 35:9-10]

help

So this blogging every day thing for the 40 days of lent was actually 46 days long, who knew. And today I could go with the whole, ‘I am really bad at asking for help…’ blog post, but no. You are getting something else!

This blogging idea emerged when we saw a photo that Rethink Church put out for a photo-a-day during lent to connect Methodists on Instagram. Rethink Church is a part of the United Methodist Church and is a message that challenges not only seekers, but the thinking of the church as a whole. Their goal is ‘to encourage a global spiritual dialogue both within and outside the church.’ And if you’ve been reading our blog posts using the word from each photo-a-day, we’ve definitely been writing on topics that feed those goals.

There are 5 of us that decided to add something to Lent, while some still fasting from other things as well. What any of us will tell you is that this Lent has been one of the most vulnerable, discerning, powerful and completely full of the Holy Spirit. I think we’ve learned more about each other in the process as well, and that is always a good step in the right direction among your community.

One of the most intriguing things that have happened is how many different perspectives we’ve had on the EXACT SAME WORD. Even when we are technically writing on the same perspective, we say it completely different. I’ve had a hard time forcing myself not to read someone else’s before I wrote mine so we preserve our own views.

Shawn Franssens makes me laugh all the time with his witty writing. I love that he is willing to be honest and insightful, yet drawing us to something bigger to challenge us all…as all Pastors should. Some days I even go running, literally running to his office, in excitement about what I saw.

I am enamored with Lindsay Evans and her poetry. She is such a talented writer and sees things in very unique ways. I love her honesty, and of course the hilarious stories about her kids seep through, too. The bottom line is she loves Jesus, but she’s not going to push and judge you if you aren’t quite there yet.

Sometimes, I admit, Brian Swanson’s writing style drives me batty (I don’t think he’s reading anyone else’s blog anymore, so he probably won’t see this)…but there have definitely been days that I love how God is working through his views on scripture. And, you easily see what he is passionate about through his views on the words we’ve blogged on.

Last, but most certainly not least, there is Heather Kostelnick who has grow so much in her sent theology in the last year that every single thing she writes down is a Spirit-filled testament of how God is working in her life. She has a beautiful perspective on what it looks like to integrate mission into your everyday life. You hear her struggles, and you hear her victories as she puts Jesus at the dead center of not only her life, but her family as well. And her enthusiasm is contagious!

For me, it’s been good to the point of giddiness and it’s been bad to the point of I wanted to throw the entire blog out the window. I’ve been in some interesting mental and emotional places while I’ve been blogging for 43 days. Many of the words have forced me into self-examination I didn’t necessarily want, but I am not in the habit of telling God, ‘No!’ The most amazing part is how much I’ve dug into the Bible again. This time for me, not for work, which is a very uncommon act in the last 5 years. I have gotten on a prophet kick that I’m not sure yet where God is going with it, and I have a renewed excitement about what the Bible is saying. A great thing to come out of Lent, right?

Mar. 27 - helpAll this to say, help us! Pomogite! As Shawn reads that one he will definitely raise his fist in the air and say it in the Russian.

Help us to continue to grow. Help us to continue to be challenged. Help us to continue to seek our Savior in different ways.

With the end of Lent, we’ve run out of words and there are so many more that would provide a fantastic opportunity to grow, be challenged and seek Jesus.

Please comment on this post, or reply on one of our Facebook links to help us to set up a word for each month that we will all write again on the same word…but with five different perspectives.

Friends, if you are with me to keep blogging a word together, share this on your Facebook page or reblog it on your blog.

This Lenten journey has been amazing, and honestly, I don’t want it to end. I just need a break.

Help us!

love

‘Love is patient, love is kind…’ Blah. Blah Blah. Yah, it’s absolutely true…but do the people that quote it at every wedding really buy in to the actually gritty truth of love?

Love is hard. Love is pain. Love is loss. Love is your heart being taken out of your chest, stomped on and put back inside.

And.

Love is beautiful. Love is sacred. Love is loyal. Love is sacrifice.

Love is hard to explain.

People make such a big deal out of ‘love.’ But lately I’ve found they are overusing the word. And I’m guilty of it, too. I LOVE this book. I LOVE this music. I LOVE this friendship.

Has our overuse of the word love taken the truth out of it?

Jesus didn’t overuse the word love, he meant it. Crazy, die-on-the-cross meant it.

I asked a student what she thought the word love meant yesterday. She said, ‘That you would die for someone.’ My response? ‘Okay, have you really thought out what dying for someone means?’ Her response? ‘Not really.’

AlyoshaWe don’t give a lot of thought to the words we use. But we should. They can be hateful. They can be accusing. They can be sarcastic. (Guilty.) They can be loving. They can be compassionate. Actually, you can say one thing, and then the tone it is said in makes it heard in a completely different way than what you meant.

Love can make your heart expand a million times bigger than your chest. I have experienced the blessing of that in Russia with the kids I have connected with in the orphanages we’ve worked with. I actually wrote about it over a year ago in ‘reminiscing’ talking about the first person I really fell in love with, warning…it’s long. Check it out if you haven’t, because it easily fits my definition of love.

How do you define love? What do you use it for?

Jesus said love God, love others. But how many days out of the week do we actually accomplish that for him?

I believe love does conquer all, but if I believe that I should probably stop saying I love dumplings…because I’m pretty sure dumplings don’t conquer all.