Monday, September 28, 2009


living in community
did i ever say this is easy?
i had an idea coming in that i was taking a chance of God wrecking my comfortable world
the Westside itself is nothing compared to what i have learned living with a new family
people who are amazing,
but yet not like me
they don’t think like me
or see things the way i see them
or prioritize what i prioritize
and there shouldn’t be anything wrong with this
but it has been a difficult couple of days (if not weeks)
and the problem is probably my heart
i'm learning to understand myself and where i have come from
in order to understand why i can become so frustrated at times
and the more i spend time at home with my family (my biological family)
the more i realize how i love and how i feel loved
my mom and dad have loved me well
and they have loved my brothers and sisters well
and i have learned that love looks like acts of service
and words of affirmation
some time, an occasional gift,
but mostly the awareness to see a need and meet it without it being asked
i have had life so good
parents who work hard
and would do anything for their children
and i see how much they did expecting nothing in return
simply pouring out in selfless service
so that we will learn by example
and this is what Paul models too,
declaring his life to be a drink offering (Philippians 2:17)
given completely in love
and then his disciple, Timothy, says the exact same of his life,
learned from Paul’s example (2 Timothy 4:6)
the Old Testament describes a drink offering as something that is poured out on a sacrifice for God (Exodus 29:40-1, Numbers 28:7)
[so maybe pouring myself out on behalf of someone else is a way of interceding for that person’s life to become a sacrifice to the glory of God]
and this is the sacrifice that Paul demands of us in Romans 12, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
and the OT passages talk about an offering and a sacrifice as something that is “pleasing to God,” but Romans says, “holy and pleasing to God.” What changed? Why holy? Jesus.
because He changed everything.
and it is because of Him that i can love and i can pour out and i can learn to love with the humility of Jesus.
Andrew Murray says, and Jenn often reminds me, that the type of obedience that Jesus had is possible.
he wouldn’t call us to it if it weren’t.
1 Peter says that we were have been chosen by God for obedience to Jesus
and Jesus says that we will do the things He did and greater, but He only did the things that He did through obedience to God’s will
and this by the most sacrificial love

Monday, September 21, 2009


Art Prize at the Boiler Room
(thanks for the pic, Phil)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


i've realized recently that i don't update very often on things that explain life at the boiler room.
so i'll try to do a little better at that.
little stories here and there can always add to the ongoing story...

so here's a shorty:

a friend of ours from the neighborhood
(who shall remain nameless)
is a recovering alcoholic.
he was living with some other recovering addict-friends of ours
and a few days ago he fell off of the wagon.
and this morning i was on call
and two of these nameless friends walked through the yard.
so i talked to them for a bit
and we tried unsuccessfully to check their email
and we watched our artist friend as he painted
then i had to go to work.
and one of these two friends asked me,
"Tammy, if i get my life cleaned up, will you marry me?"
"Um, no," i answered him, "but i sure would be proud to be your friend."
"Ouch," he said, with a smile...
i laughed. later.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I was reading Jeremiah 2 last night.
And God started to speak.
And it was just the perfect moment.
It wasn't late enough where I felt like I could go to sleep,
but yet I was desiring God's Word.
So I took a minute to ask Him what I should read before just pulling the old flip and point system.
Jeremiah 1:5 came to mind, so Jeremiah it was.
And it is not even that there was anything so specific in those chapters that stood out.
It was just simply that I made myself available and, like David, sat before the Lord, waiting
(2 Samuel 7:18)
And He just had all kinds of truth to pour out,
its okay to struggle.
and i'm not sure how i ever got it into my head that i need to be at a place of complete contentment before He will give me the desires of my heart.
He was pretty clear. its okay to struggle. in fact, realistically, I'll have struggles until the day I see Jesus face to face.
Like D said, we'll never know fullness until we see Him, and we'll never be completely content until we're with Him.
And so I guess for the first time I can choose to embrace these struggles as things that make me human, things that constantly remind me that my citizenship is in heaven...


"Preaching the gospel to myself each day mounts a powerful assault against my pride and serves to establish humility in its place. Nothing suffocates my pride more than daily reminders regarding the glory of my God, the gravity of my sins, and the crucifixion of God’s own Son in my place. Also, the gracious love of God, lavished on me because of Christ’s death, is always humbling to remember, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the Hell I deserve."

"On the most basic levels, I desire fullness, and fleshly lusts seduce me by attaching themselves to this basic desire. They exploit the empty spaces in me, and they promise that fulness will be mine if I give in to their demands. When my soul sits empty and is aching for something to fill it, such deceptive promises are extremely difficult to resist.

Consequently, the key to mortifying fleshly lusts is to eliminate the emptiness within me and replace it with fullness; and I accomplish this by feasting on the gospel. Indeed, it is in the gospel that I experience a God who glorifies Himself by filling me with His fullness. . . . This is the God of the gospel, a God who is satisfied with nothing less than my experience of fullness in Him! . . .

Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for sin diminishes and the lies of lust simply lose their appeal. Hence, to the degree that I am full, I am free. Eyes do not rove, nor do fleshly lusts rule, when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus!"

“The deeper I go into the gospel, the more I comprehend and confess aloud the depth of my sinfulness. A gruesome death like the one that Christ endured for me would only be required for one who is exceedingly sinful and unable to appease a holy God. Consequently, whenever I consider the necessity and manner of His death, along with the love and selflessness behind it, I am laid bare and utterly exposed for the sinner I am.

Such an awareness of my sinfulness does not drag me down, but actually serves to lift me up by magnifying my appreciation of God’s forgiving grace in my life. And the more I appreciate the magnitude of God’s forgiveness of my sins, the more I love Him and delight to show Him love through heart-felt expressions of worship.”

"God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do."

[Some solid quotes from Milton Vincent]