Thursday, February 28, 2013

"The Room" by Joshua Harris

My daughter is the one who found this story and shared it with me.  After just reading it and with tears in my eyes, I feel compelled to share it also with you.

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. 

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.
I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.


"The Room" by Joshua Harris. Copyright New Attitude, 1995. You have permission to share. We only ask that you include this copyright byline and do not alter the content.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Intoducing "7" and Our Seven-Month Fast

As Crystal mentioned in a previous post, our Kagigi schedule has changed to include a book-study / discussion group once a month. Last Friday we introduced our first book – “7: A mutiny against excess” by JenHatmaker. Here’s what she has to say about our American Dream:

                “How can we be socially responsible if unaware that we reside in the top percentage of wealth in the world?...Excess has impaired perspective in America: we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer. We’re tangled in unmanageable debt while feeding the machine, because we feel entitled to more…The day I am unaware of my privileges and unmoved by my greed is the day something has to change."

 Thus she embarked on a seven month journey through seven areas of excess common to most Americans: Clothes, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending, Food, and Stress. For one month each, she significantly restrained, stopped, fasted, or altered her habits in each of these areas, journaling as she did. Enter in her raw, hilarious and deeply convicting book, “7.”  

                “Seven months, seven areas, reduced to seven simple choices. I embarked on a journey of less. It was time; time to purge the junk and pare down to what was necessary, what was noble. For me, 7 was an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through.”

 But like any good sanguine, she certainly didn’t go at it alone. “The Council,” as she called it, was a group of her friends who agreed to do this with her. “The seven of us conferred on all things 7. They were advisors, cheerleaders, decision-makers, counselors, collaborators, and brainstormers.”

If this creates a resounding “Amen” response in your heart, then won’t you consider joining our Kagigi Girl Council as we take up the challenge to conduct fasts of our own sorts in these seven areas over the next seven months? You don’t have to buy a thing. (In fact, quite the contrary. Stop it.) You don’t even have to attend our 4th Friday of the month discussion meetings. (But we’d love to have you – they’re from 11-1:30 at Erin’s house.) All you have to do is indicate through commenting below that you are In and commit to reading and commenting on the blogs I will submit each month with instructions on our next fast and reflections on our previous one. Oh, and one other little thing – you need to agree NOT to make decisions about “exceptions” on your own – we will ALL be holding one another accountable and The Kagigi Girl Council will approve any and all deviations from your stated regimen for each month. We will also encourage one another and cheer each other on.

Before we take off running, errrr, fasting – let’s prayerfully consider Jen’s advise:

                "It is supremely important to get your head right before a fast. Take as long as you need to work this out with Jesus. Fasting for the wrong reasons is just narcissistic. This doesn’t mean you need to have all your junk together – hardly! You can come a hot mess like we all are, but come for Jesus. Come for transformation. Come for worship. Come humble and honest, open ad listening."
Don’t feel this way yet? Pray for it. Ask God to prepare you and render your heart willing. Ask about those blind spots. Put it all out there. Jesus can handle every bit of your honesty.
OK? If you decide to join us (even if you have already told me as much), please comment below so we can form our list of Kagigi Girl Council Members. 
Keep a look out later this week for the introduction to our March fast – Clothes. ;-)

Friday, February 15, 2013


For those who haven't been privy to our newest updated schedule of Kajiji Girls, there are many exciting things going on!  Our month now consists of one prayer meeting, one workshop, one book club week and one topic-directed discussion week.  Since today was our first workshop, I'm excited to share with you what we talked about and learned.  Since it's all about Scripture memory, head on over to our blog dedicated to hiding God's Word in our hearts.  Oh, you didn't know we had one of those?  Yes, we do.  It's actually a couple years old filled with failed attempts at Scripture memory, but it's been reborn and reinstated to its original "glory".  So go check it out and see what our first Kajiji Girls workshop for 2013 was about....

Continue on to To Worship and To War blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Depraved Indifference Short Film

Every once in awhile I check back with one of my favorite websites called Ellerslie.  Occasionally they post  inspiring short films based on a sermon by Eric Ludy, one of the founders of Ellerslie.  You may have already watched this one.  Heck, I may have already posted this one before, but if so, I'm posting it again because if you're like me, you can always use the reminders presented in the messages.  Be challenged!

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