Monday, March 29, 2010

holy experience

I found this project at another blog I frequently enjoy reading, A Holy Experience, and decided to undertake it for myself. Every Monday, I will list things that I am thankful for, blessings in my life, until I reach a thousand or even more.


1. Jesus Christ, my redeemer
2. My husband who is also my best friend
3. Five beautiful, healthy children at home
4. The opportunity to share Michael's life and see him grown, married and happy.
5. My parents, whom I didn't appreciate enough when I was growing up and I can't express enough appreciation for now.
6. In-laws who have always loved me like their own daughter.
7. A brother who makes me unspeakably proud
8. Sisters-in-law who have become to me the sisters I always longed for when I was growing up.
9. The chance to have known all of my grandparents well.
10. An extended family that has always managed to have more love than dysfunction
11. Overflowing bookshelves.
12. Children who think spaghetti is a gourmet meal and are thrilled when I make it.
13. Hot showers
14. The feeling of a baby sleeping on your chest
15. The promise of spring

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Our church hosted a revival last week. Eleanor called it "Rebible," which I thought was really cute, so I didn't correct her. The more she said it, the more I realized that her mispronunciation was actually a pretty accurate description of what revival should be: turning our hearts away from the things of the world and back to the word of God.

The speaker challenged us to not just be fans of Jesus, but followers. That really struck a chord with me. He used a sports analogy, but since I've never been a sports fan at all, I will use another example from my life.

Duran Duran.

Ah...Duran Duran in all their 80's glamorous-ness.

Anyone who knew me when I was about 13 years old will tell you that I was a fan of Duran Duran. I had posters on my wall. I had t-shirts and a silkscreen jacket. I had all their records, knew all their songs. I had dozens of buttons to pin on my jean jacket. I knew lots of interesting facts about them from scholarly publications like Tiger Beat. I could tell you their birthdays, favorite colors, musical influences, girlfriends/wives/ex-wives. I was a serious fan.

But even with as much as I knew about them, I never knew them. I've never met them, never even seen them in concert. And they certainly knew nothing about me. I had no relationship with them. Nor did I try to emulate them in my life. I didn't apply myself to musical pursuits. I didn't dress like them. I didn't take up their habits, which in fact were things I did not approve of, such as illegal drug use. I was a fan, but I was not a follower.

A fan is a supporter, a booster, an enthusiast. A follower is a disciple, an adherent, an imitator.

So, am I just a fan of Jesus, or am I a follower?

I definitely know a lot about Jesus. My parents had me in church every Sunday from the day I was born, so I know all the Bible stories, memorized the ten commandments, and I still have the King James Version bible with my name stamped in gold that I was given by my church. I have a beautiful gold cross necklace that Dan gave me. The radio station in my truck rarely is turned away from the local christian station. I like to decorate my home with artwork that includes scripture.

But that's all fan stuff.

To know if I'm a follower of Jesus, I have to ask myself, "Do I know him?" Not: "Do I know about him?", but "Do I know him?"

Or better yet, "Does he know me?"

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers." ~Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus did not call us to be his fans; he called us to be his followers. His disciples. I want to be a follower of Jesus. That means I must imitate his life, no matter how clumsy at it I will certainly be. I have to love the people he loved. I have to see the needs he saw, and meet them when I can. I must be broken by the things that broke his heart. How exactly that will look in my life, I don't know yet. I just know that I'm discontent with where I am now. I want to follow closer.

I guess I got "re-bibled."

St. Patty's Day

The O'Krabel family enjoys St. Patrick's Day. Our celebration usually centers around breakfast. Last year it was green pancakes. This year, green French toast.

Myhungry little leprechans wait for their breakfast.

Even the milk turned green!

Constance enjoyed the green toast.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!