“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” –2 Corinthians 10:4-6, ESV
This morning was amazing. I woke up surrounded by loving Christian ladies, and I had French press coffee for breakfast 😀 Oh, I have a confession to make…I really, really, really like coffee, which is terrible, because I’m not supposed to. Seriously, I had my first vanilla frappuccino the other day and I was like “what is the world coming to??” My dad informed me that I had crossed over to the dark side, and, after today, I think I believe him.
Anyway, I sat down on the floor of Jenny and Rebecca’s house with my coffee (it was chocolate truffle with vanilla creamer, French press…amazing…darn it, Hunter, stop it) and began my devotions. My emotions and fears and worries were trying to pull me down again this morning, so I kept repeating God’s truths over in my head: God has a plan for me, His word says so. God’s timing is perfect, His word says so. Another thing I had to tell myself was a verse from Song of Solomon that I remembered from forever ago, that I still use often: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (Song of Solomon 8:4, ESV). In other words, “swear to me that you will not awaken or arouse love until it’s proper time.” Satan has been trying to bother me with loneliness again, with fear of the future, with impatience. But I don’t want it. The only time I ever feel truly at peace about anything is when I let God do what He does best and guide my heart and my mind and just love me, and I don’t want to lose that again. I never have to worry about God losing me though, or about Him moving away from me and forgetting me, because my relationship with Him becomes rocky always because I’ve moved, not Him.
Anyway, as I read the verses in 2 Corinthians, I was reminded of how much power I actually have over my own thoughts, how I don’t have to let myself be pressed down to the ground by my fears. God has given me a divine power to destroy strongholds. The weapons of my warfare have nothing to do with what I can do on my own, but rather what I can do because God has given me the power to do it. This reminded me of the concept of spiritual offense. Too many times we as Christians feel like we have to hide behind a barricade of spiritual padding because we feel so overwhelmed by the “logic” and “reasoning” of the world. But if you look at a lot of the verses talking about how Christians are to live their life, they’re packed with action words like “take captive,” “stand against,” “destroy,” “extinguish,” and “wrestle against.” But these verses are never talking about other men, but are always talking about the invisible forces of Satan and the darker authorities in celestial realms, which just goes to show you that the greatest enemy of Christians are never other people, but rather Satan and his forces, because, to be a nerd and quote C.S. Lewis, “all men are brothers.”
This morning Pastor preached on fear, and Sam preached on trust during Sunday school. Then, in the afternoon service, Pastor preached on trust. I think God was trying to tell me something, maybe. Pastor gave a really good illustration. Trusting God is kind of like a trust fall. When you’re doing a trust fall, you can’t see the other person; your back is turned to them. Falling forward is always the favorable option, because you can catch yourself. Often times when God asks us to trust Him, we say “I can’t trust You because I can’t see You.” And God is all like, “It’s okay; I can see you. Just trust me; fall, I will catch you.” This was really cool, because it reminded me that God wants us to trust Him, not because He wants to see if we’ll do it, but rather because, when we do trust Him, He has something amazingly unimaginable in store for us.
Church in general was just wonderful today. I was able to talk to Melinda and Ray and Priscilla and Arial and it was really cool 🙂 I’ve missed all of them, which is weird because I literally just saw them last week. I guess the weeks feel longer because I don’t have Bible Study…well, now I’ll have two Bible studies 🙂 Cool. I’m really looking forward to women’s Bible study, and I know that I’ll get a lot out of it. I wanted to do it not only because I want to grow in my relationship with Christ, but also because it reminds me of home. My Mom leads women’s Bible Study at my home church, and I had done one Bible study with her and her group while simultaneously doing studies with her and my sister. It was really nice to grow in God together, even though things were a little rough every once in a while.
After church was completely over, Rebecca, Sherri (a newer girl from church), and I went to Rebecca’s house before going to the Brooklyn Commune. We were hanging out, talking about the Super Bowl and how none of us were celebrating it. I was thinking about how much I wished I could be with my family for the Super Bowl, though I knew it wasn’t possible. About two minutes later, my Mom skyped me on my iPod. She, my brother and sister, and my Pastor and his family were watching the Super Bowl. What a blessing! It was nice to see everyone and to watch them watch the Super Bowl for a little while, even though I couldn’t be with them. Thank You, Jesus 🙂
Now, we had originally gone for French press coffee and apple pie (which Rebecca said was life-changing). I had decided to splurge and let myself get apple pie and coffee. The nice thing about the Commune is that we know the owners and some of the staff (Rebecca knows them more intimately than the rest of us, but ya know), so it’s like visiting friends and paying them to feed us 🙂 As we sat there, however, the waitress brought out the French press, but then she also brought two white bowls followed by a large saucer filled with mussels and a spicy soup acting as a sort of marinade, sided with well-seasoned biscotti. She also brought out chicken bites seasoned with ginger. I asked Rebecca if she’d ordered any of it and she said no, which meant someone was sending us food. All I could think was, “this doesn’t happen in real life.”
As I looked at the mussels, my stomach began to turn. Remember how I said I wanted to be adventurous? Well, this was a struggle for me. The mussels looked slimy and gross and I couldn’t imagine actually eating one. I looked into the shell at the little body, making sure I couldn’t see eyes or organs or anything freaky like that. Rebecca googled the proper way to eat mussels, and I proceeded, after knowing what the steps were, to pull the shell back and use my fork to dig the critter out. It sat there, pale on my tines, and I didn’t know if I could get myself to eat it. I finally plucked up the courage and, like I was taking a shot of cough syrup, I popped the mussel into my mouth and began to chew…
Oh. My. Goodness.
It was amazing.
The flavor was perfect and the spices were superb. It wasn’t slimy or gross the way I thought it would be. It was fantastic. I’m not sure how many more I ate after that, but I was beginning to get full already. That’s when our apple pies came out. These things were huge! It was like a personal pie, not a full-sized, but a rectangular pie “with no nasty pieces,” as Rebecca described it, topped with whipped cream, all made from scratch that morning. It was delicious.
While we were eating the pie, our waitress brought out two bowls of roast duck linguini for me and Sherri and a salmon dish for Rebecca. It was sort of obvious then that the chef, Chris, was the one sending us the food. We weren’t sure why, but we weren’t going to complain. All of it was delicious. I had to take the linguini home in a box because I was so stuffed from everything else. But then, as we were sitting and chatting after we’d finished our meal, Chris brought out one final dish; fresh strawberries covered in pop rocks. I know it sounds weird, and at first it felt really odd in my mouth, but I thought it was rather clever 🙂
We were only charged for the pie and the French press; everything else was on the house and I was still in a state of disbelief. I just feel like things like that only happen in the movies, but I guess I was wrong 🙂 We spoke to the owner for a little bit afterwards and I was able to tell him how wonderful everything was. He and his wife are wonderful people 🙂
Sherri and I went home, I on the train and she on the bus. Charlene was originally supposed to come stay the night again, but she ended up backing out. But that’s okay 🙂 When I arrived at my dorm, I began packing, because I have to move into my new dorm room tomorrow after class. I’m glad I had the time alone to reflect on the day, just listen to music, not talk, and do my own thing. I like spending time with people because then when I get evenings like these when I’m alone, it’s much easier to appreciate them as a gift rather than a burden.
I got all packed and reflected on how much God had blessed me in the past couple of days. I also reflected on how much food I’ve eaten! Last night I thought I was going to explode. The food I had eaten last night for dinner at the Terrace Coffee Shop was far too big a portion. And then today, when I woke up, I was still full! I’m so glad I’ve never gone hungry, not for long that is. As I packed my things, I realized how blessed I am as far as clothing and other possessions are concerned. Today I was able to tithe, which was really exciting for me, because it’s an opportunity for me to see God work in my life in the area of finances. I’m just glad God has given me something to tithe off of. Today was just a cool day 🙂 The weather was even balmy and not as cold as it has been lately. I love how God blesses me even when I don’t deserve it; I love how sunshine and complementary food at a restaurant are like the sticky notes on the fridge saying “I love you,” or getting flowers at work. God just does stuff like that, because He loves me 🙂