Saturday, May 23, 2009

Think Orange

I know many of you have been driven crazy with my new "orange" obsession. I've received e-mails, tweets, and facebook replies asking me, "what the heck is 'orange' and why do you keep talking about it? You're driving us all crazy!!" ( the last part was my own addition...I've only gotten very polite questions asking "what is it?") Well, for all of you who are still wondering, spending endless hours pondering this thing called "Orange" (probably not...indulge me) is the post you've been waiting for!

But first let's back up to a little over a year ago. Our children's director, Amy, went to the Orange Conference last year, and before any of us knew any better she caught the bug that is orange. (She invited me to go at that time, but for some reason I wasn't available) Around that time we started the "First Look" ministry for pre-schoolers, and the "252 Basics" ministry for Elementary School aged children at church. At the time, Amy was doing the "main event" worship service for both of these ministries (along with all the other aspects of her job), and she was stretched to say the least. It occurred to me that she needed help, but I didn't know how to help her. I decided to pray about what I could do to help out, and get back to her. Shortly after that our Education Pastor, Tensley, gave me a call and asked me if I would be interested in doing the worship time for our pre-schoolers. Talk about God answering a prayer request specifically! I'm not even sure I got the job description before saying "yes"!

Fast forward to now.... I've been doing the pre-school worship time for about a year, and I love it! In case your interested, "First Look" worship time consists of reviewing the story (in a fun way), learning our monthly bible verse (using fun hand signs), singing songs (complete with dance moves), and either playing a game or doing a craft. And during that time we use all of those things to focus on three truths....God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever. (In case you're not interested, just forget you read it!)

Well, since I'm involved in the pre-school ministry, I got an invitation to join Amy this year at the Orange Conference. If Orange was a virus, then I caught it! And just like that, I was hooked on all things Orange (just to be clear....I am still very much a Univ of South Carolina fan, and I'm NOT changing to Clemson just because of my new love for orange). Now, what IS Orange??

Orange is what happens when you mix red and yellow. LOL.

No, is.

Yellow represents the church. And because I can't say it better than the author, Reggie Joiner, here is a quote from the book:

" The church exists to shine a light in the darkness, a light that highlights God's goodness and reveals God's son, in order that the world can understand and know Him." (p.30, Think Orange)

Now ALL of this post is VERY simplified to make this explanation shorter, but the book Think Orange is FULL of amazing tidbits, and the section on the church and how it is the lamp stand (where the yellow comes from) that should show others Christ is absolutely no exception. Just to be clear, my very simple explanation here cannot possibly cover everything the book does. My advice? Read the book! It will answer your questions way better than I can!! But for the sake of my simple explanation the church is the lamp stand and therefor represented by the color yellow.

Red represents the family. Why? Because when we talk about love and caring, we normally think red (for the heart). Now, families by design are not perfect. Writing that makes me feel like I've just dropped a you're looking at those words saying...what do you mean families aren't perfect? Isn't your family perfect? You're saying YOUR family has problems? And truthfully, openly...I am saying just that. That we are not perfect. That we do things wrong. That we get frustrated with each other. BUT regardless of not being perfect ( one is) we love each other and we are a family. And because we're not perfect God uses us to display His love and grace. Another quote from Reggie:

"God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. Never buy into the myth that you need to become the 'right' kind of parent before God can use you in your children's lives. Instead, learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God." (p. 48, Think Orange)

Let me ask you a question.... How would God display His goodness and grace through a perfect person? He can't. (Except of course for Jesus). God uses imperfect people to show you and others that it's really Him working and it's not of ourselves. (Look up Ephesians 2:8-9). I am not perfect, and if anyone knows it.....for sure my kids and my husband do. But God (because He's totally amazing like this) takes what's imperfect about me (loves me regardless) and uses my imperfections to show His love and grace. I wish I could supply you with a great example here, and maybe after I think about it a couple days I'll come up with something :oP HE is using us! Imperfect people to tell His story of love and redemption! Isn't that just amazing?!?

Think Orange....I dare you....think it....

No comments: