Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life As A Museum: P-booking Episode 3

I'm back again! The loose cannon has been tamed. Here I am, thinking about museums.

Hmmm. I've been to many. The Milwaukee Public Art Museum was pretty sweet, even if I only went because my sister's artwork was selected to hang there (so proud!).

Then we get the Waukesha County Museum...been there a few times. It's pretty small, but was homey; I liked it because it felt like you were there really learning about people's lives.

The wonderful Milwaukee County Museum is quite the show. My favorite part is the Streets of Old Milwaukee, where you take a trip down memory lane to see what life was like yesteryear - never complete without a trip to the old-fashioned candy store!

My dad would say that the Packer Hall of Fame should count, but I don't remember much from there except wanting to leave...sorry, I just think gymnastics is much cooler.

I went to Washington, D.C. on a class trip, and made a trip to Smithsonian road. There's so much history preserved in such a small area! Although I was quite jealous that my roommate last year went and saw Nastia Liukin's Olympic gold-winning leotard in the Museum of American History.

And last year, I myself was featured in Beloit's own Wright Art Museum. I felt pretty cool, even it was just poetry and it was part of Artletics.

All of my favorite exhibits told a story, they gave me a connection to the creator, or the person it was about. Perhaps this explains my fascination with people watching - you can see so much from the way a person carries himself, what his eyes are doing, what he carries, what he wears. This world is a museum, an ongoing exhibit of life.

This is pretty exciting to think about for me. We are God's museum. Our Creator made and formed everything on this planet. It's all one big demonstration of His love and creativity. Did you know that when the Lord had finished forming every mountain, every river, every star, every animal, every plant, He said "It is good" (Genesis 1:25). And after He had made the very first man and woman, He looked around and said, "It is very good"(Genesis 1:31) ? The Lord of the universe thinks that we are "very good". That is awesome! We were made for His pleasure and glory, to delight in who He is, King of kings and Lord of lords.

What are we a display of if not that of our Lord Jesus Christ? When He returns for His creation, we will not have our money, art, or fancy buildings. All we will have is our lives. Did we worship Him? Did we make Him look good? Did we make His name known across all the earth? (Matthew 28:19-20) I don't know about you, but I certainly want my Father to take pleasure in the exhibit I paint with my life. His Spirit dwells in me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and I'd better make it look pretty awesome!

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

Friday, October 22, 2010

Breaking Out On My Own: My Favorite Subject

I haven't written here for too long; I haven't had a prayerbooking prompt. Well I miss this, so I'm breaking out on my own, to talk about one of my favorite things in the entire universe, and it is certainly the thing I value the most.

I wanted to talk about grace, because God has been showing me so much the last few months. I memorized the book of Matthew, I'm leading a Mark Bible study, and our Christian Fellowship is doing Ephesians, I heard a story of someone truly understanding grace for the first time, I watched Fruitcake and Ice Cream, where I heard this phrase, "When you get grace, grace gets you, and you have to get excited about it". I read Six Hours One Friday and No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado, alongside Luke and John.

I wanted to share some quotes from the afore mentioned books:

"You make mistakes. God doesn't. And He made you"

"He is not on that cross for his sins. He is there for ours...such is the definition of grace"

"What does that Friday mean? ...Six hours. One Friday. What do you do with those six hours on that Friday?"

Here's what I say: In six hours, one man changed everything in the world forever. Jesus Christ hung on the cross for all of our sins. He died for me, for every lie I've told, every time I've hurt someone, every time I looked away from God. He got what I deserved. And now, I have a chance to thank Him with my life. Live a life to honor the God who gave all He had to make it possible.

"Jesus' love does not depend on what we do for him...You are valuable just because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are"

"To accept grace means to accept its necessity, and must folks don't like to do that. To accept grace also means that one realizes his despair and most people aren't too keen on doing that either"

"...grace doesn't have to be logical. If it did, it wouldn't be grace"

"It's not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance - much less someone who will give you a second chance every day"

"Look at the forgiveness in those open arms and take courage. And, by the way, never were those arms spread so wide as they were on the Roman cross"

The grace of God is this: He became a Man to bear the weight of all of our sin and transgression. He took our darkness and literally became our sins, nailed to that cross. And He did it with arms wide open. Nailed open actually. So even as we remember His blood pouring out, we know that He will welcome us lovingly.

There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

All I can say is thank You, Lord. Your grace is more amazing every day!

I am here, right now, living and breathing, because Jesus Christ gave up His life so that I could have mine. And now, all He wants is to know me, to have a personal, intimate relationship with me. The God of this world has created me for His pleasure, for His mission. I get to be a part of that! And it's all because of grace. God at work. God, not me, at work. I can't earn it, I can't prove I'm worthy of it, it's just there. It is God's gift to me, and all I have to do is accept it! Wow. I have, and I will continue to strive to live a life worthy of this gift, the best gift I've ever received.

But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift. Ephesians 2:4-8