Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's All Up to Me

Knip, tuck, squeeze, suck in, lift, reveal, plunge, low, shade, color, sleek, exfoliate, accentuate, reduce, lose, enhance, fight, shimmer, glow, wink, flirt...

Aren't you exhausted? Do you really have to control your hair, face, body, personality, and behavior in order to get his attention? Will he only notice you when God is univolved and you are in control of presenting yourself to him in just the right lip color, pencil cuts, and heels?

Pretending to be in control of attracting men IS exhuasting. Yet, I look in the mirror time and again thinking of how I should probably lose weight, cut my hair, change products, or bolster my personality in order to be more attractive. Waiting on God's man and for God's timing is hard. It means I have to learn to let trust sink down to the level of the everyday, mirror-gazing moments. Peace - I'm free to be pretty, to be me. God will help direct that man's eyes, even when sleek has gone frizzy for the day.

Christian women who shield their hearts from so much of the advertising barrage can still easily lose faith when wanting to be noticed by a man. With the mouth we recite the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but with our hearts and actions we reveal so badly how we want to ensure our own desire to attract that man!

We look into the mirror time and again, hoping it is attractive enough to ensure success. Yet, can God's place as the Lord of our lives truly be enough to help us in finding our husband? I've been reminded lately, that it is NOT all up to me. God has a place even in attraction.

Be you. Be pretty. Style it your way. But give God some elbow room to highlight your best qualities to that man. If he doesn't notice, then something better is on the way. Just ask Rebekah (Genesis 24).

© 2007 by Kendra Hinkle

Monday, July 02, 2007

Plumbline of the Heart (1 Samuel 26)

I’ve been sitting on 1 Samuel 26 for a while, feeling like a lump on a log. Reading, rereading, praying…not wanting to move forward without being able to speak from a heart of conviction. It’s simple for me to speak information from my head, but I want to learn more in communicating from my heart as well. Thanks for being patient.

* * * * * * * * *

My sister in Christ from Taiwan, Nadia, joined me this weekend for volunteering at a Christian music festival. In our down time she talked about a storytelling class she’s taking for her master’s program. Her interest in storytelling got me thinking about how the author of 1 Samuel lays out our historical account in chapter 26.

The book is a historical narrative, purposing to preserve the story of Israel for future generations. As a narrative, the history is recorded as a story with people and events that we can relate to or learn from. It draws us in and enables us to better remember their life lessons and the history of God’s people. We get to experience and watch David in this way.

To review chapter 26, word got out about David’s hiding place in the wilderness. Saul took 3,000 chosen men into the wilderness looking for David (Hmmm…David must be quite a threat to necessitate such an army). David learned of and prepared for Saul. Instead of mustering his best men and strategizing like Saul had done, David asked for one man to join him to go into the camp of Saul. Matching his leader’s bravery, Abishai joined David by night.

By the time David and Abishai made their way through the camp of 3,000 men to the center where Saul is sleeping, I’m holding my breath…waiting for someone to wake up and for David to be caught. Then, instead of eradicating Saul, David honored the Lord’s sovereignty to do for Saul what had recently happened to Nabal in chapter 25. David did not take vengeance, but would teach Saul a lesson about the Lord’s ways. By exiting the camp and waking them up, David gave Saul proof that they had full opportunity to slay the King. God was with David, and Saul needed to bow his knee to that sovereign choice.

The author chose to let us walk with David into camp, beside Saul as he sleeps, and then out of the camp, withholding until the end that the Lord enabled David’s plan to succeed by supernatural intervention. By doing so, our own thoughts as readers are shown for what they are – either lacking in faith or full of it. The author shows us the plumbline when he says, “because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep” (26:12 NIV).

From this recognition of the Lord’s unseen presence, I can begin to note principles about the character of God and the nature of man…to be compared with what He says throughout the rest of Scripture:
~ God works on behalf of the man of faith.
~ The sovereignty of God is not threatened by the plans of man.
~ Faith in a man’s heart reveals itself through works.
~ Sometimes we are required to act in faith, without seeing God’s protection ahead of us.
~ If God is for us, who can be against us?

Aren’t these great reminders, applicable to the challenges of our present lives?! I can compare several of my life situations to David’s experience, drawing upon the character of God for direction and encouragement. Sometimes I feel like Saul, pursuing after doors that I know the Lord has shut. Sometimes I am brave like David, pursuing plans and watching God work supernaturally to cause victory. Both men had the opportunity to listen and watch for God’s direction. Yet, only one man was listening and bowing His knee to the Lord’s sovereignty. Saul had hardened his heart and cycled in sin until there was no conviction even in murdering God’s chosen man.

May our hearts be like David’s - learning to listen, to act in faith, and to bow our knee to the sovereignty of God.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

© Kendra Hinkle 2007.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mudfest 2007

I spent the past four days playing in the mud with thousands of people. My friend Charis works for an organization involved with a large Christian festival, and I volunteered to help her out. Running the event was CRAZY!!! It stormed off and on the whole time. I got to go mudding in golf carts and then to push them out of the mud. Galoshes were the trendy garb of the event. You should get some.

During the event, kids were covered from head to foot in mud. Parents basically had to give up. The constant foot traffic brought all the moisture to the surface and mud was inches deep all over the field. The mainstage didn't go up completely until the day of...everything was sinking in the mud as they tried to build. I've not seen such a big event - and so many people - willing to embrace the mud for an entire weekend. Only in Texas!

Check this out...
I got a hotel room with Charis' assistant (Aurora), who I found out goes to church with my former pastors from Indianapolis (now in Texas). We know a bunch of the same people! Also, I brought to the event my friend Nadia, a sister in Christ from Taiwan who is studying in Texas. Aurora lived in Nadia's city in Taiwan as a missionary kid. We all had these really cool connections from the Lord and collided in one hotel room this weekend. It was so funny and refreshing!!