Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Just a quote I ran across today that has everything to do with my blog and my understanding of this life of faith...

"You...cling to Jesus! You...give your life to Jesus! It'll be wild. It'll be unpredictable. It'll be dangerous. But, man will you know how to dance!" - Mike Yaconelli (1942-2003)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Forgiveness Quote

"Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again." -- Dag Hammarskjold

Monday, June 25, 2007

Moving Woes...

Moving is the pits. I hate the packing. I hate the goodbyes. I hate the overwhelming feeling of it all. It is exhausting just to think about getting it all done, much less actually doing it! I am determined to get it all done before my movers (a.k.a. - the parents) get here on Thursday.

It is not looking good.

I took a fun trip to Arkansas this past week for a family reunion. While it was a great trip and a great visit with family, it was likely not the best decision I have ever made. Due to the whirlwind nature of the trip (and two other trips within the week that total at least 36 hours in the car), I have gotten nothing done. And by nothing I mean...nothing. I have no boxes. I have no newspapers. I just have a big, fat, overwhelming mess to deal with.

Commence praying for me NOW! More specifically, pray for my parents and for Jason who will be helping me. I tend to get just a little unpleasant during the packing process. This will not be fun for them...

Then there is the actual leaving part. This is hard for an emotional girl like myself. I have held it together pretty well so far. This is likely due to my lack of sleep over the last several weeks. It has little to do with my being exceptionally emotionally stable. I am due for a good cry about all of pray for that to be timely.

On the flipside, I am more than excited about my new place of residence. There's a yard and everything. Real, living grass...something I do not have at my current place (everything is dead and gray there...). My roommate is a friend from my sorority days in college (go ahead and laugh...) and she is a world of fun. My neighbors are old friends of mine, too. It is wild how it has all worked out. It is a great house in a great neighborhood near a golf course. Perhaps I will learn to golf. Who knows?!

The job that is waiting for me looks to be fantastic in every way. Great staff of people I already know and love in a church I know and love, too. Plus, I'll be miles from my little sister and an easy drive from the rest of my family. My little sister is already planning a big party for me...yippee!

So, if you think about it in the next several days...say a few prayers for me. Pray that I'll have peace in the process. Maybe even pray that packing will be fun. Pray for good goodbyes. Pray for safe travels. Pray for a good sense of humor in the midst of it all.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unbelievable and Unexpected

A friend of mine just sent this to me and just told me to watch it. I am asking you to trust me and do the same. Please take the time to watch at least the first of these videos. I promise you it will surprise you and make your day...

Paul Potts 1

Paul Potts 2

Paul Potts 3

Monday, June 18, 2007

Still Me

In case all two of my readers wonder if I have had any typically "Julie" moments in the last few months (since the communion debacle and/or the thumb incident -- see February and March posts). You'll be glad to know that the answer is a resounding, "Yes!"

I haven't fallen down much lately (I will probably eat my words later today because I just wrote that. Anticipate the post!). However, I have done some pretty scatterbrained things in the last few days. The biggest of which happened just two days ago.

I spent some time at the beach this past week. As a side was wonderful. I am not the best at resting and relaxing (who knew?!), but I did just that in Gulf Shores, Alabama for a few days. The weather was perfect and the water was incredibly clear. I loved every minute of it.

On our way home from the beach, I realized (just thirty minutes from my apartment) that I didn't know where my keys were. Um...I left them in someone else's car. And this someone was a good three hours from us at that point.

Yes...I was a gifted child.

Why I did not think to make sure I had them prior to leaving the beach I do not know. But, alas...I did not. Upon my discovery, I freaked out (also shocking, I know!). I was so mad at myself. My traveling companion (Jason) did not share my anxiety. He calmly picked up the phone, called his mother, and confirmed that my keys were with her. Without missing a beat, he determined that we would just drive there that night or the next day to get them.


Who does that? I thought he should be at least a little angry with me. This was a stupid thing I had done and it would mean us driving a total of six additional hours to retrieve the said keys. Had I discovered my ignorance earlier, we would have been able to meet up with his parents and drive on home. I am not that quick, this was going to be costly. The boy was completely calm, cool, and collected. I have never seen anything like it. I tried to give him room to be mad...he just wasn't.

I tell this story for two reasons:

a) Because it is a classic "Julie" moment. Who does crap like this at my age? Honestly.

b) Because the whole random, ridiculous experience really ministered to me. Who does what Jason did? I mean I was mad at me...I could not understand why he was not. This is how he is on a daily basis, though.

And this, my friends, is how God is teaching me a little about Himself and how He deals with me, too. I give myself little grace, but God gives it abundantly. I wish I could wrap my head around that...

I hope this post confirms that I am still me and fills your need-to-know about my little life. More later this week...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What is Needful for the Road

Something I stumbled across in my collection of quotes and prayers today. I am learning the truth of this in my life right now in a thousand ways...

"It is well for those who find themselves in the dark night of the soul to persevere in patience...Let them trust in God, who does not abandon those who seek God with a simple and right heart, and will not fail to give them what is needful for the road, until he brings them into the clear and pure light of love." -- St. John of the Cross

Monday, June 11, 2007

To Such As These...

Last night I offered a sermon about the text from Mark 10:13-16 where Jesus says the kingdom belongs to children. This brief discourse (also found in Matthew and Luke) has consistently challenged me as I have grown. What does it mean to mature in our faith and maintain our childlike love of Him? What does it look like for us to be utterly dependent on Him while seeking to be dependable to others? These and countless other questions swirl in my head as I read a passage like this. I know that mostly God is just asking me to return to the simplicity of childhood and remember how much I need Him (like a child needs his parents). I get that, but I am but a poor example of it.

I ran across these words from Frederick Buechner this afternoon. I really wish I would've found it yesterday, as it captures everything I tried to say last night. Isn't that always the way?!

"Two thousand years of homiletic sentimentalizing to the contrary notwithstanding, Jesus was not playing Captain Kangaroo. He was saying that the people who get into Heaven are people, who, like children, don't worry about it too much. They are people who, like children, live with their hands open more than with their fists clenched. They are people who, like children, are so relatively unburdened by preconceptions that if somebody says there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, they are perfectly willing to go take a look for themselves."

Friday, June 08, 2007

What about the rest of us?!

Take a look at these photos I have been admiring lately. The photos were taken by my friend Rob who is off on adventure in Alaska. The pictures he has taken of the scenery there will make you want to jump on the next plane so you can see it for yourself. In lieu of that, enjoy his photos. While you are there, take a look at the other albums. I am pretty sure Rob can make anything look beautiful (take a look at the album called "macro-tastic")!

In addition to being a fantastic photographer, Rob is also extremely smart, an excellent singer, unbelievably creative (In the third picture in "me," he's looking through a piece of art he made from paint sample squares!), a great speaker, deeply loyal, an expert practical joker, and a lover of Jesus (and good pizza!). He's so gifted, sometimes I feel like it is unfair to the rest of us. But Rob is also genuinely humble, so it is hard to stay jealous...

Anyhow, enjoy the photos!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Failing with Jesus

"I've been saying across the years that in the Cross is the Victory, and now I have to pick up that Cross in a new sense and show that it is the Victory! As I have said, I may fail, but I would rather fail with Jesus than succeed with anybody else, for to be with Jesus is the Victory. He doesn't defend the Victory; he is the Victory." - E. Stanley Jones

[These words appear in the book The Divine Yes, written by E. Stanley Jones after he suffered a massive stroke. The book is exceptional in its ability to both encourage and challenge any Christian seeking meaning and depth in their relationship with Christ and others.]

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


There is a framed card on my desk with a simple message. The card has little dots all over it and at the center is the word "beautiful." The card is from my little sister Jenny and serves as a reminder to me that God thinks I am inwardly and outwardly beautiful. It is also there to remind me that if God thinks I am beautiful then I should think that, too. This is easier-said-than-done most days.

I believe that beauty is so much more than a reflection in the mirror; it is a reflection of who we are inside. I believe that well for others, but I struggle to believe it for myself. I imagine many of you find yourself in the same camp. You know that beauty is about so much more than how you think you "look" on any given day, but living into the reality of that is difficult.

We blame it on the media and the emphasis they put on outward beauty. We blame it on the movies and how they idealize how she who has a perfect face and body gets the girl. We blame it on a thousand things outside of ourselves.

I think we're wrong.

Sure, I think the media, the movies, and other things contribute to our feeling less-than-beautiful at times. However, I do not think it is entirely the fault of our society. I believe it begins within. Real beauty looks more like unexplained radiance than perfect skin and the perfect body. The people I call beautiful are those who reflect God's love and grace. They are people like my sisters Jill and Jenny who are struggling to love God and love people as best they can. And inward beauty like that creates an outward beauty that is irresistible.

I believe it pleases God when we accept ourselves as "beautiful." I believe that seeking and following Jesus makes us beautiful. I believe the Spirit of God within us wants us to believe we are beautiful. I also believe it is difficult to remember these things day after day.

My challenge to you is to start to see yourself as beautiful. Cultivate a life that seeks to love and to serve God and others and you'll find yourself feeling more beautiful. When we are inwardly balanced, it always shines through outwardly. I also challenge you today to call out "beauty" in the lives of the people around you. Words are powerful and there are far too few positive ones out there. Be the source of spiritual encouragement for another person.

As a closing thought, I’ll share this quote from Khalil Gibran. His thoughts are sometimes peculiar to me, but this one really resonated with me. I think it sums up what I am struggling to say here...

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart."
- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Power of Prayer...

I just found out that a picture of the prayer board some Auburn Wesley Foundation students painted is in the current issue of Christianity Today. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a link to the article/picture on their website. I would encourage you to pick up a copy of the issue and read the related article if you can. The picture is clear enough to read the names of a few of the thousands of students who signed the memorial.

There's a link to an earlier article here.