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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Desperation #2

When I was reading "Desperate for Jesus," there was something else that jumped out at me. "Desperation" is something that's I picture alongside emotional drama, heart-wrenching, "emo" people. The kind of people who seem to always be having massive emotional victories and spiritual epiphanies, solely due to the fact that they're always off on the other end having emotional battles and private soul-searching. I don't think this is the way the Word is encouraging us to be. But I don't think we should write off "desperation" and be passive Chrsitians.
Desperation is something that we need to hold on to, in whatever form we can. Not only desperation for Jesus, or for souls, but desperation for whatever it is we want to do. Desperation for our projects, desperation for our business ventures, desperation for our friends, desperation for our families.
I know many people who are perfectly balanced humans, without any huge emotional swings, but who manage to get desperate when they need to get desperate, who will get on their feet and take a wild plunge into something, who will flail a fist in the air and tackle their own dragons and the dragons left unattended their less desperate co-workers. We need to have more of that in the Family. More willingness to be motivated by the small things, to get inspired and let the little man inside of them jump up and down with excitement. To go and start a dumb, make-believe project just for the sake of getting better at something. To say, "I want to be on the CGO board someday!!" and not have people raise eyebrows at them and think, "Hello? Don't you know that saying you want to be on a board is too obvious? You've got to chill out and strut your CGO skills in FRONT of the CGO people, but when they ask you if you want to be on the board, act like you never wanted to, because the Family loves reluctant leaders." WHAT IS THAT?? Someone tall and scary stand up somewhere and say that's ridiculous!
Okay!?

Desperation #1

There's a lot in the Word, (Look up "Desperate for Jesus" if you want a quick example) about the importance of being desperate--seekers of the spirit. Thing is though, it's easy to read them and only hear the difficult standard of desperation. "Needing Jesus at every hour of every day of every minute, and knowing you can't go a single day without him." I don't know anyone who feels like that.
We were reading this for JT Word yesterday, and I got a little stuck on this part. I didn't really want to read it to the JTs. "Okay kids? Do you get the point? You need to actually feel this way or TRY REALLY HARD to feel this way!!"
I don't know how I managed to miss getting that impression from these descriptions of desperation that are spotted all over the older GNs. I know one of my friends, before he left the Family, told me that was his dillema, that he didn't feel the desperation for Jesus that he knew he was supposed to. I don't remember exactly what I said to him, but I think I tried to explain what desperation for Jesus meant to me.
And after JT Word was done, I wrote out those things for myself.
1. It means knowing Jesus is there and snuggling up with the idea of Him, even if I don't feel warm and cozily tucked into His presence.
2. It means living the way He's asking me to live, serving Him and others (and myself, when I need to), because I KNOW He's real, and it makes a difference to Him.
3. It means sometimes wondering why you feel disconnected, and sometimes making an effort to seek, but not getting hung up on it and not feeling like a failure if things continue as normal.
4. It means opening myself to others, to change, and to the truth, because I find that He cannot be where selfishness, stagnation, and falsehoods are.
5. It means not being okay with the idea of never feeling Jesus in my life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sailing Home

"Heart to Heart" are definitely some of my favorite people. I only get around to reflecting on this fact because their awesome album Sailing Home is finally available for everyone to download off the MO site.
James and Philip are two of the most amazing men that hail right up there with any of the best Family musicians. Philip has always been an eccentric musician, and James the more down-to-earth of the two, I guess. It's a huge treat to be able to see them perform, and I love their banter between songs. It's the best thing in the world.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Sylvie, but I love the way she does it all--it's the best I've heard of her voice yet. That probably goes without saying, since the last thing she recorded before this was years and years ago.
John does a great job with some pretty silky mixes. We need more of this stuff in the Family.
Thanks for releasing your album for the Family, guys. I love it all, and it smooths over the rough stuff these days.
When I opened the credits (as I tend to like to do) I was surprised to see my name there, and then I remembered that John had gotten me into the studio one busy day at the HCS to sing some random backups throughout the album. I can't hear myself, but I guess I'm in there! PTL!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slaying The Dragon

Today's rest day, and apart from sleeping in until 4 (in anticipation of a long week of ballooning at Enakyo), I have been doing very little. I am realizing how much I'm acting like an old woman these days--perfectly satisfied to go to another home and play with the kids, happy to be alone sipping little delightful things and flipping through my quote book. Can't see the screen without glasses and limping around with a super-sexy knee problem that won't heal. (The only time my knee problem made me feel sexy was when I was limping through Narita airport and looked like a criminal hijacker who'd just been shot by Dennis Quaid and was trying to make a stealthy escape.)
So in 10 days I'm another decade older, and I'm not going crazy thinking about it. I now live in one of those massive homes where we don't make a big fanfare out of individual birthdays; we have a party once a month for the "Virgos" and "Librans". We did have our first birthday shindig here, and that was a surprise party that Mom and I organized for Dad, because he was turning a milestone 60 and we wanted to do something special. But I don't expect anyone to be doing anything like that for me on my birthday. I'm just turning 20, it's not the sort of age to need cheering up on.
I just kinda wish I wasn't so stuck in my head, that's all. I wish I could hold off on a birthday until I actually felt like a new person, in a new life, opening the massive doors to all the new and strange creatures that would crawl inside and shock me with revelations and happenings. But I feel like the same Florence that I sometimes want to get away from.
I need to go get some coffee, fry some eggs, and wake up. Wish me luck with my monster PNPs.

Friday, September 11, 2009

PTL for FDTP

You know all those little things you want to praise the Lord for and tell other people about, but...they all happened in such rapid succession that they're strung like beads and and you feel like there's no other way to relate them but in a run-on sentence...? (Or in point form, as follows?)
  • I got to go to FDTP for a week.
  • I got to work with some of my favorite people ever, and
  • Do some of my favorite things, ever.
  • I got to pick up the most delightful FDTP attendee from Taiwan, and we had a long train ride to Tateyama together.
  • I got to, not only sing at, but help organize, LJ night, which is almost my very favorite thing to do in the whole world.
  • I have so much love and respect for the Hartingdon brothers, Robbo and Stevo. Robbo, with whom I share at least 5 things in common, and Stevo, who is a bundle of all of life's best things. Australia must be awesome.
  • I got help from a very sweet man named Josh when I was at my wits end with a desktop that I had to drag home. The hero used his handyman skills to pack me into one of his suitcases, and it was QUITE a breeze to take it through the trains. Thank you!
  • Cryssy is the sweetest. Working with her was better than I thought it would be--so easy to build up momentum and want to do more and better.
  • I am realizing, for the first time very clearly, some amazing things about the Change Journey and Jesus' will for me. Things that are only now making perfect, golden sense. What a thrill.
  • I got to teach layout classes, which was quite new and interesting. I had no idea how it was going to turn out going in, whether I'd be way over or way under everyone's heads. But it turns out 17-year-olds in the Family are an easy crowd, and they spurred me right along in giving it. It was a big fat chewy treat.
  • I got a BAD BAD knee problem the day before I was to go through a bunch of train stations to the airport and Tateyama, and had to get ahold of the Lord to see if I was okay with not going. My knee was half better overnight, and even though I wasn't able to walk properly on it for the next couple of days, it was good enough that I could get around at FDTP. I love Jesus.
  • I got to listen to Michael Fogarty give some of the most motivating and down-to-earth Word-times ever.
  • I got to sing "Some Nights" for "Story Behind The Song" night. I wasn't too thrilled about coming out with it, as it's one of the heaviest and honest-est songs I've ever written. But handsome boys (and men) were telling me for days afterward that they loved it and that it made them cry, and THAT is something I love doing. (Making...men...cry...?) It's funny, the things that you will do when you're carried away on the Spirit.
  • I got to see Angela, who I am so thrilled is still around and still the same as ever.
  • And I'm feeling like doing a mad amount of something. I've gotta find out what that something is.
Check out the Japan + Acton FDTP blog.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Hurrah Of Joy

You have no idea how great I feel.
I'm home from FDTP after lugging two suitcases through 8 train stations between Tateyama and Ryugasaki, and I am the best kind of wiped I've ever been. I jumped right into a meeting with the landlord, and I'm processing the home's orders, and I am still the best kind of happy.
I love you. I will see you soon for some personal time, oh blog that I love.