Saturday, February 28, 2009

Uptown

We had a fun and unique experience last weekend up in the Bronx. A friend who lives up there invited a few of us up for lunch at a local favorite (and apparently a tourist attraction), Dominick's italian restaurant. The family style dishes (and rude waiters) really make it quite an experience!

After the lunch we strolled around the little area, known as "Little Italy in the Bronx", and had a great time exploring in the very authentic Italian neighborhood.

crafting cigars
yes, we ate one of these...

shrimp linguine Kristian got sleepy while others were shopping___________________________

Almost coinciding with our Bronx adventure was the beginning of the 40 Days of Prayer (or the Lenten Season) at church. We have really been excited about this and are praying for the Lord to move during this dedicated time.

Some thoughts about this season and what Lent is:
(from our pastor)

Lent begins with us saying, "I'm sorry," and our Father responding, "I forgive you."

This world will drown out our affection for Jesus. Lent is a time to aggresively, intentionally focus our lives back to Jesus.

What's controlling me? What's mastering me?

(me)
There are often wonderful and right things that pull my affections from Christ.
Am I making an idol out of my relationship with my husband? My family? My desired identity?

There are so many good and beautiful things that are intended to be good and beautiful in my life, but apart from Christ (apart from when they are laid at His feet) they are far from pleasing... they are idolatrous.

Our pastor lead us through Psalm 51:1-17-- the cry of David in his guilt after sleeping with another man's wife, and then having that man killed to cover up for it (always a good reminder of the great ways God can still use us sinners)...

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

So, I am praying for a broken spirit, humbled at his feet, ready for him to mold me into something new and lovely, like Jesus.

I'm continually overcome by the depth of my pride, the opposite of a broken and contrite spirit, and am praying that God will change this in me. My pride is what leads to my idolatry- when I exalt something higher than God because I think that I know what's best for me.

Pride will decrease as I recognize that I am not the creator and controller of my life, and I will never be happy as long as I'm trying to be. But in order to relinquish control I need to know God, and understand His love for me- really and truly understand it and REST in it. I pray He will so lovingly continue to reveal this to me and it will rock me at the level of my identity!

Father, for the sake of your glory, reveal more of yourself to us!
____________________________

speaking of love, a little Valentine's Day coffee break treat time...

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