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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Abundant

Life Abundant.

Not just existing, not just eating, or breathing or going with the flow.  LIFE with a capital L.

What kind of life would it be if we were just here to go through the motions, and then die?  A pretty depressing and purposeless life if you ask me.

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John 10:10 tells us that Jesus did not come to earth to steal, kill or destroy like a thief.  But that he came to give us life ABUNDANT.  Life to the fullest.

“Dancing to the beat of God’s heart.”

Abundant life, in the way we life and move and breathe.  Abundant life in our meal times, as we eat and enter into community.  As we play and work.  Laugh and cry.  In our choices, how we interact with others.  In the mundane…as we drive, get gas, grocery shop, wait in line, wait at the doctor, get coffee, do the dishes, listen…

“Life full of the kind of freedom and love and courage Jesus lived himself and gave his community” (Dorothy Bass).

This type of abundant isn’t about “more.” It is not about more things, more time, more opportunities, more.  But about a full way of life, full of the Spirit, full of love, freedom, and joy.  Not in a cheesy o-what-a-nice-idea kind of way, but in a very real only-possible-from-God kind of way.  The more we get to know God, spend time in His presence, the more real this becomes.  There is peace in this kind of abundant living.

“Our hears are restless until they rest in You.” Augustine of Hippo

Love, Mycah

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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Christian love, musings

 

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Tapestry College Group Goes to Chick-Fil-A!

Tapestry College Group Goes to Chick-Fil-A!

Last night I took the Tapestry College Group to Chick-Fil-A! It was delicious as always 🙂 A few different people came up to the group and asked what we were doing (seeing our Bibles) so that sparked a few interesting and wonderful conversations. At the end of the night, one of the ladies posted this on her facebook:

“Bible study at Chik-fil-A tonight was pretty awesome. I got to be with amazing people and there were other people that noticed our bible study and talked to us. God has definitely demonstrated hope to me this week.”

Last College Group of the semester next Tuesday (16th) from 9-10pm in Hannah’s room in Page at Westmont. If you want to be a part of a summer college group, let me know by commenting below!

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Most Inspiring Person I’ve Ever Met in Real Life

“It’s a new dawn/ It’s a new day/ It’s a new life/ For me, yeah/ And I’m feelin’ good.”  –Nina Simone

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When I was in college, I had a good friend who went through a really hard time.  We used to talk every day, and after nearly a year of hearing about how she was tired of smoking what she didn’t want to smoke, drinking what she didn’t want to drink, in relationships that she didn’t want to be in, I started to get exhausted.  I just didn’t know what to do for her–she seemed stuck.  She didn’t like where she was, but she didn’t want to change.

Shortly after classes finished, I went to Egypt for three weeks.  A few days after I got back, she came by to hang out and welcome me home.  I readied myself for the conversation that we had repeated with one another for the last several months–“for I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do, this I keep doing.”  And as she made herself comfortable and I braced myself for what I was about to hear, she very simply said to me, “I’m done with all of that.”

“All of what?” I asked.

“All of it,” she said.  The partying, the painful choices, the addicting habits.  “I’m finished.”

I didn’t know what to say.  I knew I couldn’t tell her what I was thinking, mainly because I didn’t believe her.  After nearly a year of listening to her cry and yell and laugh and sob about the life she was creating for herself; no way was that gone in a matter of days.  I smiled politely and I told her how great that was, and then silently started the patient wait for the conversation that I knew was coming sometime in the near future–that same conversation that we had so many times before about failed resolutions, forgotten goals, neglected foresight.

But that future never came.

She wasn’t deluding herself…or me.  She never went back.  She changed her friends, her housing, her major.  She created a new reality for herself in what seemed to be the very center of her being and put all of her energy into living it.  And, to the best of my knowledge, she never went back.  If she ever slipped, it never stopped her momentum.  The old life had gone–the new had come.

Not so strangely, she changed me too.  Forever.  Permanently.  I had never witnessed anything like it before or since–to see someone just decide who she wanted to be and then do it.  Just change.  It was like one of those miraculous stories that we read about in blogs and Chicken Soup for the Soul books (or, at least I think so…I don’t actually read those books), but it wasn’t a miraculous person who had done it.  It was just my normal, messed up, broken friend.  It was the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen an ordinary person do.  And it changed my perception of this life forever.

At the center of the Christian message is the message of the necessity of change.  “The Kingdom is near…,” “On earth as it is in heaven,” “Repent!” (which literally means “turn around!), “I have come so that you might have life to the full,” “the old has passed away; look! the new has come.”  Throughout the centuries, this message of change has become cliche to many.  “New life” has come to be understood by some as “restricted life.”  “Life to the full” has been translated by others as Christian isolationism, filling our calendars and concerns with Christian labels to such an extent that we have not left room for life outside of those labels.  But that doesn’t alter the truth of that original message of Good News: Jesus came to change us.  And not just once, but continually.  Permanently.

New life is ours to have, so long as we really want it.

I took my friends example to heart that summer and I haven’t set it down since, both in regard to myself and in regard for the church.  As church after church asks me about how to change, how they need change to survive, how they must change to “reach the world,” I pose them the same question I pose to myself:

Do you want to change, or do you just want the world around you to change?

Because if it’s us we want to change, it’s as simple as a decision and a prayer.  And if the results of our lives aren’t different once we’ve changed ourselves, chances are we haven’t changed ourselves much at all.  Lamenting how the world has changed around us is more than just nostalgia…it’s and admission of our guilt in not living the Good News.

We have the opportunity to be the most inspiring, ordinary people–in fact, inspiration is in our calling as believers.  So the question lays not with “how” in “how do we change?,” but instead in “when?”

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”  –Mahatma Gandhi

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in New Life

 

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New Series: New Life

Even though Lent is officially over, Jessica and I would love to continue journeying with you all through this tapestry blog.  We will be blogging on Tuesdays & Thursdays and invite you to join in on the conversation!

“It’s never too late, to start the day over.  It’s never too late to pick up the phone.  It’s never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders.  And it’s never too late to come on home.” –Michael Franti

Growing up I would have some really bad mornings.  I wouldn’t be very nice, I wouldn’t get out of bed, I wouldn’t be grateful for my mom who made breakfast and lunch for me, or for my dad who took me to school.  Sometimes the mornings would be so bad, my mom would say, “let’s just start the day over.”  This was my invitation to take some deep breaths, get my feet on the ground, and start over.  From there, I didn’t have to finish my ridiculous argument with my sisters, or keep being a pain to everyone else.  I had a fresh start.  It was like a “get out of jail free card.”  I didn’t have to keep trying to defend myself, or have long conversations about what I shouldn’t have done, but from that moment on, the day was new.  My purpose was renewed.Image  Even now, there is a morning now and then that I just seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and after a little while, realize I need to just “start the day over.”

What if you could start over?  Begin a new life?  What would it be like?  What would you change?

What we celebrated a few days ago, Easter, the Resurrection of Christ, provides us with an opportunity to start over.  To being a new life.  We are made new by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and our decision to believe and follow Him.  I love the image above (taken yesterday at the Santa Barbara Mission) of the huge cross, covered with a clean white cloth, a fresh start.

2 Corinthians 5 explains this:

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them….

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

I included such a long piece of Scripture above because it is so significant and important … Jesus makes us new.  I pray that this incredible truth will become a reality in your life this week.

Love, Mycah

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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