Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Considerable Tent

To celebrate my two-year anniversary at A Considerable Speck,
I purchased this lovely original artwork for the empty space above my piano.
(Check out Willowgrass Designs on Etsy.com.)
Two years.  That's how long a young man serves a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It's also how long I've been living at my current apartment, A Considerable Speck.  This is the longest I've stayed in one residence, since leaving my folks' ten years ago.  I have called this little duplex "home" for over a third of the time I've been in Utah.  Some day I would like to move to a bigger place, capable of hosting groups more comfortably.  But for now this is home, as much as a manmade building can be.  I am here for something far more permanent than a two-year mission.

And so I find myself living a delicate balance: purposefully sticking around, putting roots down, building relationships, investing in long-term ministry here in Utah Valley; yet being careful not to grow too comfortable in a place whose very existence is a fractioned heartbeat relative to eternity.  For all the grandeur and rugged strength of these mountains outside my window, they will pass away at God's appointed time.  Meanwhile, I seek an Abrahamic perspective:

By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents [...] for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  (Hebrews 11:9-10)

A Considerable Speck, therefore, is just a "tent": a temporary residence on my way to heaven.

That said, I'm tickled that this tent comes with a carport and programmable thermostat.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Remind Me Who I Am

Who are you?

I am:
Daughter, sister, aunt, friend.
Public relations director, optician, Bible teacher.
Single.
Missionary.
Bible college grad.
Lip balm addict.

Sinner.

Selfish.
Phony, hypocrite.
Lazy.
Jealous, lonely.
Shallow, judgmental, ignorant.
Misunderstood.
Wounded.

But.
My identity is not wrapped up in my family or my vocation.
I am not simply the sum total of my personality and experiences.
I am not confined by the perceptions of others'.
I am not defined by my choices and successes.
Nor am I captive to my disadvantages and failures.

Sometimes I just need to be reminded who I really am:

Forgiven,
Beloved,
Hidden in Christ,
Made in the image of the Giver of life.
Righteous and holy,
Reborn and remade,
Accepted and worthy:
This is [my] new name.
I am new.

Thank you, Jason Gray.



It is worth noting that Jason does not address the question of identity merely from an academic standpoint.  He knows whereof he speaks: Jason has a speech impediment.  What would normally be considered a severe handicap to a career vocalist, has become an evidence of God's grace and an agent of inspiration.  It serves as a constant reminder that, for the Christ-follower, identity is not determined by Self, but by Christ Himself.

I'm the one You love,
I'm the one You love;
That will be enough.



"I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,'
and her who was not beloved, 'Beloved.'
And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them,
'You are not my people,'
there they shall be called sons of the living God."
(Romans 9:26-27)

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ...  (2 Cor. 5:16-17 NASB)

Who are you?