Monday, January 29, 2007

Missed Opportunities

I was reading a friend's blog today and was made painfully aware of a missed opportunity yesterday. He was writing about how your bike makes for great conversation among strangers who are watching you. (He is a biker too! Although he prefers much faster bikes... we prefer to just cruise :)

His closing remarks were "If more people knew how great motorcycling really is, there would simply be more riders and fewer people who wished they were. If more people knew how great life in Jesus Christ really is, maybe there would be more followers and fewer who have no idea what they are missing!" As I was posting a comment to his blog, I began to realize I was blogging on his comment page, so I decided I would just post my thoughts.

I am almost embarrassed to even admit to this after my last post. I want so much to be "growing" on the vine, but I seem to continue missing opportunities God puts before me.

We were on our way to lunch yesterday after morning services, we came upon a homeless man at the stop light. I don't usually give anything to them and don't always even acknowledge them. I try not to be that way, but you hear all the stories about how so many of them are a scam. I have tried to just let God take care of all that and not judge their motives. That being said, I still don't stop that often. But there was something about this man's eyes that made me dig in my purse and give him the few dollars I had in there. He was very grateful, said thank you and God Bless You. I said your welcome and drove on through the light as it had just changed.

As I drove around the corner, I looked at Chris and said "why did I NOT just say God Bless You to that man?" He said, "I don't know, I don't do it either". I wanted to turn around and drive past him again just to say God Bless You, but there wasn't an easy way to get back to where we had come from. We began a discussion about why we don't say those words more often. Why is it so hard to say God Bless You to someone when it should be the most natural thing in the world to say. Especially from a Christian. Why does it make us (or at least me) feel so awkward when those words come out of my mouth.

It is so natural and easy for us to talk about the things we are passionate about. Does that me my passion for Christ is sorely lacking? It's a thought that literally scares me to death. If I feel so awkward to say God Bless You to someone, especially someone who seems to be in such need of God's blessings, what does that say about my faith?

I obviously have a lot more "growing" on the vine to do. I am ashamed of the simple opportunity I missed. If God can't trust me with something so simple, how will he ever trust me with greater opportunities in His kingdom.

I am thankful that God opened my eyes through a friend's blog to see what I missed that He had put before me. I pray that as I continue to work on my "growing" on the vine process, my eyes will be more focused on Jesus and His work around me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Living Connected to the Vine

We began a new topic a couple of weeks ago in our Wednesday night class called "Growing on the Vine". I liked the title but hadn't really pondered the title itself. This Wednesday night, the leader of the class asked each one of us why we had chosen this class. A lot of people said, "they liked the topic".

As I heard people say that, I started reading the topic over and over in my head and I started asking myself "What is growing on the vine?" While I know what it means to grow in Christ, I realized I had never really thought about actually growing on the vine. I have always thought about "clinging" to the vine, but not really about "growing" on the vine. While I do feel like I am always changing and growing in my spiritual walk, I had just not ever thought about "growing on the vine".

I love the word clinging because it gives me the mental picture of clinging onto Christ with everything I have. To me clinging means getting as close to something as you possibly can. I want to cling to Him and be as close to Him as possible. But the word growing has really caused me to constantly think about our topic over the last couple of days. As I began going over our handout from the night, I began to feel like I've been missing out by just "clinging" and possibly not "growing" as much as I can and missing out some of the blessings God has waiting for me.

While I still want to cling to Jesus as tightly as possible, I want to be more active about my growth spiritually in Christ. If all I am doing is clinging, I know I'm missing out on some growing opportunities. To grow means to flourish, to stand stall, to illuminate. I want to open myself up and while still clinging to Christ, I want to give Him the freedom to mold and shape me and to allow Him to "grow" me (pardon the grammar) into what and who He wants me to be. I want to illuminate Christ with everything I have and everything I do.

In order to continue to grow in Christ, to grow more spiritually and more intimately with Him, to look and smell more and more like Him, I need to cling to Him with a grip that allows me to actually grow to be more like Him. So while I still intend to cling, I want to give Christ the freedom to grow me into who He wants me to be. So that I will not only be connected to the vine, I will be growing WITH the vine.

As I was picking up some things in our office this morning, I found a piece a paper that I had written a quote on from someone. I don't remember now who I heard it from. I haven't seen it in years. It must haven fallen out of a book or something that had gotten moved. It fits perfectly with the direction I want my spiritual walk to take. I love it when God does that!! The quote says, "When the pupil is ready, the master will appear". I guess that pretty much sums up everything. I am ready! I can't wait to see what He is ready to show me!

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Most Exciting Week!!!

The past 7 - 10 days have been some of the most exciting days ever around the Moore household! After a canceled show on Saturday night for an ice storm that never came... grrrr.... They finally got to finish the last night of Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday night. The musical was AMAZING!! Jeremy's portrayal of the Beast was of course in our humble opinion, even more amazing :) He was on cloud 9 and so were we. I didn't know that I could be even more proud of him than I already was, but he was truly amazing. He went from growling around like the Beast to singing in a Beast voice and then singing in his normal voice... I really don't know how he did it! It was great! The last night all of his friends (mostly girls) from his youth group were there so he really played it up. I think Saturday night was everyone's best night. We really hated to see it end. Although I won't miss the late night rehearsals.

Here are a "few" pictures from the musical. We took over 300 pictures!! Not all of him... we took pictures of the whole cast. But of course the biggest part were of him :)

This last picture is of Jeremy and his theater teacher/director for the musical.
She was just as proud of him as we were :)

I am sure there are more pictures here than anyone cares to see! But it was really hard narrowing down over 300 pictures :) If I can figure out how, I'm going to try and see if I can upload a very small clip of the musical later. We'll see.

For now our life can get back to some semblance of normal... at least for a while! It has truly been a blast and a blessing! I can't wait to see what they do next year!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Opening Night!!!!

All I can say about opening night of "Beauty and the Beast" , is it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! This is one pretty proud family right now. We only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. Two of Jeremy's best friends from the cast spent the night and once everyone was home, we watched the entire musical again! (We recorded it :) It was so cool to watch them reacting to how the crowd reacted to them!

I will have more thoughts to post after the weekend is over. We have shows again tonight and tomorrow night. I will hate to see it all it end! Once it's over, I'll post some pictures. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might be coming. We are taking pictures every night. We took 130 last night!! So I'm sure I'll have plenty to choose from :)

I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!! We sure are!!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Week of Anxiety

Well, the week is finally here. The production of Beauty & the Beast begins on Thursday night for three nights. We are soooo ready!! In more ways than one :) We are obviously anxious to see Jeremy in his role of the Beast. He has worked so hard and we are so proud of him. No one gives more than he does when he is involved in something. He always goes above and beyond. And to that end, he has become somewhat of Beast around the house the last week :) He won't tell us anything about the show. He never rehearses in front of us or anything. He always says, "you have to wait until the show!" So I know he's very proud of the work he is doing. But he is also stressing, big time.

They had rehearsal last night until almost 10:00 p.m. and with the 1st show beginning on Thursday night, they will be probably be rehearsing until at least 11:00 p.m. every night this week. He is exhausted, getting anxious and excited all rolled into one! So you can just imagine his stress level. He is the type that not only worries about his performance, but he is concerned about the whole show. He's as bad as the director in wanting to make sure the entire show is good.

It's kind of ironic that I have been praying for God to help me relinquish control in my life and now I am watching my son and feeling horrible that I have passed on that control tendency to him. He is really a lot like me in more ways than I like to admit. Because I sometimes see in him the things I know I need to change in my own life. God really does have a sense of humor. We are always trying to work on our kids and get them to be the best they can be and live the life God has called them to live and then God uses our own kids sometimes to open our eyes to ourselves. And what's not so funny, is when you don't like what you are seeing in them and realize that's what they are seeing in you. It's scary!!

We prayed with Jeremy last night and ask God to give him peace and comfort about the week ahead. I know with each day that grows closer to opening night, it's going to be harder and harder for him to continue to give up that control and leave it with God. As we continue to pray for peace for him this week, I covet your prayers for peace for him this week as well.

Blessings to everyone. I'll hopefully get some pictures posted at the end of the week.

Monday, January 01, 2007

And So It Begins...A New Year

It's time to begin another new year. I cannot believe the year is now 2007! Wow!! Where does the time go? I have no idea, I just know it goes faster and faster every year. I still remember all the fear and panic of the world at the end of 1999 and what would Y2K bring as midnight hit and the year turned into 2000. That now seems like a lifetime ago as we begin 2007.

I have been thinking about the new year for the last couple of weeks and thinking about changes in the new year, resolutions, the things we all think about this time of year. About a week ago I came to a conclusion about how I wanted my new year to be or maybe not to be. And after hearing Tim's sermon yesterday, it just confirmed in my heart it was what I needed to do.

I have been thinking about all of the typical resolution type things, I need to eat healthier, I need to exercise more, I need to manage my time somehow in a better way. Basically the same types of things I think about each year. I began to think if I'm thinking about the same types of things each year, then obviously I'm not doing much to try and change these things in my life. These are really things I think about all through the year, so why do I think that because now it's January 1st, things are suddenly going to be different.

Everything in our lives basically boils down to our relationship with God, how He is working in our lives and more importantly the control we are willing to let go of to allow Him to work in our lives. So I have decided in my life to take a different approach to the new year. I'm sure I will still continue to try and eat healthier, exercise and all those type of things. But this year, my new year's resolution is to work on giving up control in every aspect of my life. Yes, I said every aspect, and even as I type the words it scares me to death. Being in control is my specialty, it's what I do best. At least that's what I like to tell myself. If it's what I did best, there would be no need to be typing these thoughts.

So, I'm working on giving up All control. I want this year to be different in that I allow God to do whatever it takes in me, to make me into more of the person He wants me to be. To actually allow Him to be the potter and for me to remain only the clay. To allow Him to shape and mold me after His will. It scares me to death, but I know it's what must take place if this new year is really going to be any different from the others.

I know that giving up the control is going to be harder than any other resolution I could make. But I also know that if I truly rely on Him to change and mold me and allow Him the freedom to do so, it will be the beginning of the Best of the rest of my life. And all of these other things will also fall into place as well.

Tim gave an awesome word picture in his sermon yesterday. He reminded us of how when we are children, we stand on the feet of our daddy's when we want to dance. We put our feet on theirs and then let them lead us around the room. That is the way I need to give up control of my life and give it over to God. I need to dance with God. To put my feet upon His feet and let Him lead. I may not know where I'm going, but He does. And if I continue to dance with God and keep my feet firmly resting upon His, He will lead me where He wants me to go.

So, I'm ready to dance! Have a very Joyous & Blessed New Year!!!