what if we just did?

Hint: I’m reading Acts.

Acts like things you do. Actions. Movements. Speakings. It is not a passive thing.

I read about Apollos in Acts chapter 18 today. This guy’s special. He was from Alexandria in Egypt, and he knew almost nothing about Jesus.

So: ought not Paul to be remarking what an eager learner this fellow was, or how regularly he sought out teaching an instruction? Perhaps we should be reminded that this guy was always sitting in synagogues, at the feet of Paul, always listening and soaking things up. After all, he knew ONLY about John’s baptism of Jesus.

This is where God does his usual thing, which is an unusual thing. (God is not boring. Remember that. Your life maybe won’t shock you so much after.)

Apollos is known for teaching.

But –

No, you read it right. Teaching. Now, clearly there were some missing elements of his teaching, because Acquilla and Priscilla took him to their home and taught him all that he needed to know to more fully declare the beautiful gospel.

He started teaching way before that though. Can you imagine standing before a learned crowd that studied and memorized the scriptures from the time they were children, and explainng to them the ways of your Savior? Put yourself there: wrap your toga a smidge tighter so that when you gesture wildly in joy at the things God’s done, it doesn’t slip. And explain again how with a simple *dunk* John put Jesus under the water – so reluctant to baptize the Christ! – and when Jesus stood up with water dripping from his beard and off his nose and with his tunic stuck to him all wrinkly, like any human, the voice of His Father, God himself, opened heaven like soft praise and a Dove-Spirit descended down.

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Seriously, what if we did that? I know it’s scary. I know you won’t understand the Greek and Hebrew roots of scripture without deep and regular study. I know you won’t be able to contextualize every passage, understand the dual meanings of various prophesies, tear apart the insinuations of the beatitudes, etc.

Gosh, people. Does it take all that? Yes, it is beautiful and instructive and helpful and each of us should have a buddy in Bible School so that we learn better how to learn and what to learn. But does it take all that? Do you need to know each verse in order to tell people the offensive good news of the Gospel?

I don’t think so. Let me explain it differently.

Suppose I write a book. It’s a famous book. It’s the best selling book in the history of everness. That kind of famous. Now further suppose it is a life-changing book. So naturally, after I change your life, you want to help other people. (I happen to have an inflated view of my life. JK. It’s an example. Just keep reading.)

Naturally, in order to learn more about this life-changing-ness, you go to college:  you pick a school that writes books about my book and that teaches from my book and all the professors have read my book (most of them anyway.)

Or, you could phone me. Read my book, read it again, phone me again (I’m readily available. 867-5309… haaaaahahaha). Read it some more. Memorize a bit.

Really though. Do you think that the people God made – however Godly and wise and learned – can teach you more about his book than he can? But somehow, we take that arrogant view, I think. And not intentionally. But it can happen.

[This is a radical concept even to me. I kind of just discovered it as I wrote it. Somebody remind me to read this again in a while!]

You know, I have friends in Bible school and I highly commend them. For the longest time, I assumed they were better than me. They’re majoring in Biblical Studies and I’m in Literature. I majored in Literature because I love Literature. I questioned myself as to whether that was a bad thing. No, no I don’t think so. (Mostly that’s a discussion for another time.) But I tried to condone my choice by arguing that the disciples were loud, uncouth fishermen, and they understood the Gospel. If uneducated men working the “fall-back” career of the day could be disciples, couldn’t I? I get that my attitude wasn’t right about it. I felt guilty and I was trying to rationalize.

However. I think now that I found the correct answer in the incorrect way. If volatile, thunderous fishermen can be chosen ones; if self-saving wishy-washy Peter can be an agent of grace; if men who don’t understand what Jesus and the scriptures have been saying about his resurrection can be apostles; then by golly grace, so can I.

Below – Caribou Coffee asks: if you could talk to one historical character: who? Yes, you people. Yes.

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So let’s do it. Lets be out there and teach. Let’s explain the grace we do know instead of waiting for more. Let’s teach what we have and share what we’ve been given. We can receive more instruction and we should wholeheartedly seek it, but we should not let it stop us.

If all you know is the baptism, teach the baptism.

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to April

You said you were ordinary.

You did not know how spectacular your ordinaryness is. I want to tell you.

This post is to every woman; every ordinary woman. Dear April – for you are an April to somebody, probably several somebodies, – please know that people mean this all to you, just like I mean it to April.

to April: You thought you were ordinary. You thought you were skiing and snowshoeing and enjoying jokes and laughing heartily and being blessed and enjoying a snippet of winter. And sure, you were. But for each little “Darlin'” and “Lamb” and for each time you sat down next to me, or let me come skiing or snowshoeing; for each time you laughed uproariously and snorted that special, ridiculous little snort; for each time you frowned over a pine cone and saved it for later, when you had a pencil – your ordinariness was what I needed.

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I don’t remember the first time you called me Lamb or Darlin’. It was probably the first time I addressed you (which took a while; I was shy.) But you meant it, that first time. You still do. You mean it when you talk with anybody. That, my Dear Ordinary April, is the kind of ordinary we crave.

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I don’t know how often you snowshoed up here, or how often you took people with and how often you wanted to go alone. (I get that, by the way.) I don’t know how often you wanted to share the wonder of the woods with one of your darlins, but I do know that I loved it. I could hear – each time you mentioned how the carnivorous plants worked down in their Black Spruce Bogs, or pointed out the Leatherleaf sticking steadfast and up all through winter – I could hear how much you cared.

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We tramped (you tramped and I tripped over the super-sized feet I wasn’t used to) through the bogs and over the ridges and up the trickling gullies and you asked all about Colorado and my school and the things you knew I cared about. That’s the kind of ordinary that speaks, Love. April I don’t know how often you’ve spoken in front of a crowd, because you got all shaky and your little tears made tears on the rest of our faces too, but I know that you miss it here, and yet you went. You crave your winter and you humbly walked into a vacillating summer. You love those familiar bog plants and spruces, those carnivorous little traps and the frozen places you can only walk on one season of the year. But you left, because you care more about God than winter, and more about His work than familiarity, and more about God’s people than your people.

Bless you, April. You’re a quiet kind of ordinary. I don’t see you on stages, and we don’t chat about your Bible education because you’re not enrolled in any seminary. But for all the deep lessons I learn from great, God-filled sermons, and for all the new exciting teachings I crave at the hands of those being formally educated in things I may never know – for all that, April, your ordinary has made me laugh as heartily; it has taught me much love and how to snort a little when I laugh; it has taught me to care about people, not how they dress, but also how to wear fun colors (admittedly, “Jim”, you take the cake with color.) Gosh – I barely chat with you. Even here we weren’t talking all the time. Mama’s your best bud – you Lucy and Ethel duo.

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You didn’t know all this, did you? You didn’t know how deep you reach with that monosyllabic “Lamb”; you didn’t know tripping through brush on the banks of Black Spruce Bogs was a love lesson greater than any professor could cover in a quiz; you didn’t know laughing that singular laugh was gonna tickle me happy like life can go on, even when I’m melting in a place I wouldn’t have chosen to be. That’s your ordinary, April. That’s you just doing your ordinary thing. And you know what makes it extraordinary and spectacular and beyond anything I’d learn from a sermon or a classroom or a book? I see that you are ordinary and I can recognize that you have been with Christ.

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Now – you other Aprils. Sweeties, all of you.

Stacy: Psh, we still barely chat. But you let me pull you aside at church one busy night and ask you all worried and confused how one ought to do mission trips. And you, sweet seasoned veteran, helped. You told me what I needed to know, and you reassured me. Thank you.

Michelle: Gosh – when you walked through the front door (how terribly cliché the beginning of that sentence sounds!) I just kind of went “She’s coming! Yay!” and I honestly couldn’t even remember your name. I think you’re a little crazy. Your laugh just gets out there and makes a joke better. Still, you know how to lean in and look someone in the eyes and give deep true advice. Plus there’s a bunch of other things – like the whole crazy we-love-camping thing – that make you an epic lady. Oh: I am a lit major, so read that word “epic” for all that it is worth.

Esther: Them sweatpants though! Thanks to you, I was a few degrees farther away from actually freezing the … off.

Roxanne: Never once did you bring up that job I irresponsibly missed and here I was kinda shamed the whole time – but we just gasped and shrieked between the polar plunge and the sauna; we competed in broomball and whooped sledding down that supah-sketch hill – you just being all gracious and forgiving and forgetting and me just being all grateful. Thanks, lady.

Lacey: Okay, how do some people just kind of know what I need? Cuz we just practiced a bit that first night and then we came down the stairs and I did that little awkward walk-fast-so-you-get-away-without-saying-goodbye thing (gotta love my awkward, eh?) and you just said “Gianna,” and I turned around, “Thanks for being so flexible.” and you hugged me, and that was darned amazing. Yup. Do I sound like a sap? Anyway.

So, April and all you Aprils, Yeah. You’re ordinary. I’m ordinary. But people need your ordinary.

*I* need it.

Thank you for sharing your ordinary.

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colorado; because yes

If ever you wanted the shortest version of where hereafter and when, there it is.

Just that. Peeps, I ain’t even exaggerating.

It started two years ago when my brother went to Colorado for a semester at Focus on the Family. Mum and I visited him for two days. (I don’t take long to decide if I love something.)

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Then last year it dawned on me that I was a senior. In college.

Crap. Aren’t seniors supposed to have like… a plan?

Huh.

So I took Colorado and this whole “plan” thing and stuck them together in a mental stew and let them simmer. Actually, I just sort of slept on it for nine months. Legit. Then September rolled around and I was all “Hey, I should move to Colorado for a few years.”wpid-2015-02-24-06.07.02-1.jpg.jpeg

So that’s what I’m doing. Moving to Colorado. Don’t know how long. Don’t know who I’ll meet. Heck, I only know three people in the whole of Colorado Springs, and one in Denver. But they have mountains there, so I’m sure that will tide me over until I make some friends.

I do hope you don’t think I’m joking. Really, I’m quite serious. I woked one morning, and I was tired of thinking and contemplating and sleeping on it and freaking out. So hey. Why not?

Which became: So chyeah!

I think I’m ready. I’m ready to take this world by the toes and shake it out, just to see what tumbles out of the pockets. I’m ready to get my feet wet cannonball into the oceanous world. I’m ready to be brave, and burn my fingers a little. I’m ready to shade my eyes at how bright the future could be (Haaaaahaha sorry) and I’m ready to engage the tough stuff of being all by my selfie. With, of course, the amazing support of my family and friends and blah blah because I gots ta say it but it sounds dreadfully cliche.

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So. Here’s to wet feet and happy days. Here’s to climbing mountains and being a tad too flippant. Here’s to meeting the new crazies and warmer winters and good coffee and new adventures and more. If you want to know what more, come to Colorado Springs and I’ll fill you in, nice ‘n’ tip-top full. Yep. But you might have to sleep on the floor. Kitchen floor. Or the bathtub. Because I promise I will be paying a tiny rent for a tiny place. I am only I, after all.

Oh: the questions you’re going to ask me.

No. It is not a boy. I image if I were moving somewhere for a boy, you’d have heard about him already.

Why Colorado? Because Colorado’s awesome. Duh. They have mountains there, I hear.

I’m not leaving tomorrow. Or today. (Gosh that’d be sweet.) Not til summer, actually. Yup yup.

Ummmz. If you haz more questions, jes’ ask!