But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Saturday, May 25

She Called me Liebster!

So apparently cool bloggers give out awards to other bloggers, and I know a cool blogger!

This particular Cool Blogger (one Ellie Jackson by name) has awarded me before, so I guess she must like me. I hear that "Liebster" means "Dearest", which makes sense, based on what little I know of German. You probably don't WANT to know these random things about me, but it sounded like fun, and the name of this blog is Droll Digression (humorously getting off-topic), after all. So here we go!
I. Post 11 Facts About Yourself

Okay... here we go...

1. I've recently discovered that sometimes Fairy Tale Dreams DO come true. <3
2. When I was young I learned that God is perfect and powerful and good, like nothing in this universe, and that He created everything, even me!
3. I learned that He made the world perfect and good.
4. But then I learned that His most special creation (people) decided to destroy the perfect and good way, because they thought they knew what was better for them.
5. I learned that from that moment Death and badness spread into the world and infected every atom of the beautiful, good universe He had created.
6. Then I learned that God cannot even look at the Death and badness that goes against His perfect way, and He hates it and all those who make it grow (wouldn't you?).
7. THEN I learned that He still loves his most special creation, and had a plan to save them from Death!
8. I learned that He sent His most precious, perfect, loved Son (who was Himself) to live in the World Made Ugly and take all of the blame of His people who worked against His perfect way.
9. I learned that when He took the blame in Himself, God killed it forever by killing His Most-Loved Son.
10. And then I learned that God is so much greater than the badness His people had made that Death could not keep Him dead, and He came back to life!
11. Best of all, I learned that some of the blame that He took on Himself and destroyed was mine! I learned that He loves me! I asked Him to fill my life, and He has been my good King ever since. :)

II. Answer 11 Questions from your Nominator

1. Why did you start your blog?
Hmm... that's a good question! I think I thought I had something to say. I wanted to be a writer, and I figured a blog was a free publisher.

2. Why did you name it what it is?
I always liked alliteration a lot, and like a lovely artist, aspired to an amazing... title for my blog.
Actually, I had just learned the word droll, digression was one of my favorite words, I didn't want to give the impression that there would be anything serious here, and I really do enjoy alliteration very much. :)

3. Where do you find inspiration for your blog?
Life, I guess. I don't usually find inspiration, inspiration finds me. :)

4. Is your blog for you, or for your readers?
It used to be for me, but now I try to make it something that my readers will be benefited by.

5. What was your favorite birthday gift?
Wow... um... that's tough! I think maybe my Book of Wisdom. :)

6. What song always makes you cry?
I don't think a song exists that always makes me cry. There have been many songs throughout my life that had that affect at different times. I remember Gollum's Song making me pretty depressed for a while.

7. What movie puts you to sleep?
King Lear. It's just so miserably long and slow! (Some Shakespeare lover, huh?)

8. What is something you've wanted to show someone but didn't dare?
My bedroom. But that someone actually liked it, which I still can't believe and get a little dizzy over sometimes.

9. Which personality type do you find more approachable, quiet or talkative?
Definitely talkative. I'm a pretty good listener, but I am terrible at starting and maintaining conversation, especially if I don't know the person. I'm trying to get better, but it's been a long, hard road, and I've only just begun.

10. May it Be or Into the West?
Into the West! May it Be is nice, but Into the West is one of my favorite songs. It makes me pretty excited about Heaven. :)

11. Which smiley do you use most? (^_^)

III. Nominate 11 Other Bloggers
No. :)

Saturday, April 20

If you're lucky you'll never make it out alive, and that's a good thing!

"So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the LORD. And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the LORD who sanctifies you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD." Lev. 22:31-33

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward You are serving the Lord Christ." Col. 3:23,24

It isn't what we do, or how we do it, it's Who we do it for.

Leviticus is full of really hard laws. Everything in the tabernacle must be done just so. Absolute perfection is required of both the sacrifices and the priests who serve. Now we know that perfection was needed because it was a picture of the Perfect Sacrifice and Perfect High Priest, but that wasn't quite as clear to those who had to keep the laws. I can imagine the priests listening and thinking, "How can I ever keep all of this straight? Is it even worth it?"

In a similar way, the Law of Love is hard. Patience, humility, counting others more significant than ourselves... seriously? Our culture and our selfishness insist that a life like that is crazy. Why would we work toward those goals? I mean, sure, living at peace with all men sounds great, but not if that means living a life of inconvenience and pain, right?

And so God gives us a reason.
You're not working for people who will take advantage of and disappoint you.
You're not working so that you can check off everything on a cold, impersonal checklist.
You're not working to make yourself look or feel better.
You're not working to be accepted into a group or organization.

Most likely, as you work all of those things will come about in some way or another.
But none of these are the encouragement that God gives us.

We work and die to ourselves because the One who loved us when we were unloveable asked us to. We work because the One who rescued us from Egypt, Who called us out of Chaos into Order, has asked us to. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, because the Perfect Sacrifice died for us!

We're not working for them. We love, because He first loved us. Because His Spirit is in us, enabling us to follow His example. Our True Love is helping us to have all of the character traits that we love and admire in Him!

He loves us, my siblings, and He's gone to great lengths to rescue us and prove that love to us. Now He asks that we follow His example and show the world how He loves us, and He gives us the ability to do it. Is anything too hard when you know it will make your Beloved smile?

Be encouraged: HE is worth it!

Peace to you,

*Title taken from lyrics to "Love is a Good Thing" by Andrew Peterson

Tuesday, February 26

We dream in the night of a King and a Kingdom where Joy writes the Songs and the Innocent sing Them

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of  all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Revelation 8:3,4

Have you ever sat and watched incense burn? It's mesmerizing. The smoke swirls up, sometimes smooth, sometimes jerking around at the smallest invisible puff of air. Dancing slowly up and out, it hangs about you in a faint cloud, and then melts into a sweet, woody scent that stays with you long after it has all burned away. So far it's the loveliest, most peaceful way I've found to make my room smell nice.

This evening as I lit a stick of frankincense, I was thinking about how strict God was in his regulations on which incense was burned when in the temple. It made sense to me that God would want something so beautiful and sweet to be a part of worshipping Him. And then I remembered these verses in Revelation.

He enjoys our prayers like that! OUR prayers! Part of me wonders if He made the burning of incense such a beautiful thing just to show us what our prayers are like to Him. He probably had many more wonderful reasons that I'm not noticing, but it's a special thought.

Another thing I noticed about incense is that the stick itself gets almost no attention at all. I light it and it slowly smokes down to ash. All of the focus is on the pleasure that the product of its burning gives me.

That's me, you know? On my own, I'm nothing special. I look no different than the lame little punk you get to help you light fireworks, except that I've been coated with something that turns my burning into something beautiful.

Here I am, living a life that seems so pathetically insignificant. Every day the ember moves further down and more of my life is ash. And yet! And yet this lame life drives me day after day to prayer, and that prayer is more beautiful, more cherished than I could ever imagine! These prayers that seem so insignificant are swirling up before God, and He enjoys them!

It's a humbling, trembling thought that someone as unimportant as I could be pleasing to Him (only through Christ, of course)! Maybe right now He doesn't want me to be some bonfire of passion and action. Maybe He just wants a little incense stick to smolder her way to eternity and fill the air with the sweet scent of her prayers.

I can do that. By the grace of God, I can do that!

*Title taken from lyrics by Andrew Peterson in his song 'Carry the Fire'