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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Be who you are…

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Luke 3:9 (ESV)

There are times when one Word speaks volumes.  I came across an image online that tied to a sermon I heard a few days later, that shaped a comment someone shared with me during a conversation this morning. Clearly this is something I need to pray about…Be who you are

John the Baptist was not a diplomat. In preaching, preparing humanity for Christ, he had a frank perspective on this world in its current, sorry state. Matthew Henry explains,

Child of God, you must reflect His glory.
The light does not come from you,
but fail to let it shine
and someone seeking God in you
might not see.
The guilty, corrupted race of mankind is become a generation of vipers; hateful to God, and hating one another. There is no way of fleeing from the wrath to come, but by repentance; and by the change of our way the change of our mind must be shown. If we are not really Holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church, will stand us in no stead at all; the sorer will our destruction be, if we do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

It’s time to make a declaration of intent…it’s time to be who you are.

The length of our days is unknown to us; we should use them well. I don’t ever want to be unclear about that which I believe. As a professed child of God, I have an obligation to reflect His glory. The light does not come from me, but if I fail to let it shine, someone seeking the God in me might not see. We are called to the Great Commission. We have work to do. The warning in failing to do the work in Luke 3:9 is clear…the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I’m not ready for that kind of condemnation, so I’m taking the advice of an online image. I am being who I am; Whose I am.

Who are you?

On Mondays, I pray and play with friends here...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Changed by the flood

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.  Every living thing that moved on land perishedbirds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died..
Genesis 5:17-22(NIV) 

 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.
Genesis 9:11 (NIV)

It will pass quietly, this anniversary of sorts; the day the water level rose. The day a health diagnosis changed our lives forever; our own Great Flood. That time last year when everything on dry land that had the breath of life in it died. I would not trade my experience of the flood, though I would never have chosen it. I would never have been brave enough; that is the way of God.

We discover the depth of our faith not when things are easy, but when things feel impossibly broken, and prayer might NOT be the fix. Prayer often changes us rather than changing our circumstances, and this flood and those prayers changed me. I survived. We all survived, but only because God favored us to do so. He carried us through the flood as certainly as the Ark bore Noah. 

He placed our feet on solid ground. He restored us. We were made not whole but different; fortified by Grace. And now we are in a different place. We are weary but stronger for the battle we came through, and while I would never have undertaken this fight had I any choice, I am grateful. Grateful that this testing brought us to our knees. Grateful that we knew how to pray, and that we were known to Him.

It will pass quietly, this anniversary of sorts. I can fall into the arms of my beloved, assured, even as I see the rainbow in my dreams.  And because He was always with us, I will never stop chasing Grace and Peace.

Monday, September 23, 2013

We are merely moons…

He is the radiance of the glory of God the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his Power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High,
Hebrews 1:3(ESV)

Finally finished mulching the front this morning. It was cool (welcome Fall), but clear and beautiful. The sun warmed me as I worked, gospel playing in my ear. I began to think about all we try to do on our own, failing to offer every moment, every movement to God in advance. We plan. We move forward. We are confident that what we desire will come to us if we work hard. Where is God?

It occurred to me that we are merely moons. Matthew Henry’s commentary on Hebrews 1:3 explains the relationship of the Father to the Son.

In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, (John 14:7); the fullness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in Him.
Like the moon reflecting the sun,
Lord let me shine in the light of Your Glory

We are merely moons, and as such, derive our light, our energy from a place beyond ourselves. We have no light, no warmth, except by Grace.

When I found my right place, I needed to find the words to make my declaration.

Like the moon reflecting the sun, Lord let me shine in the light of Your Glory

Where is God? He goes before us that we might reflect His Light. So, in finding and learning to live in my right place, I am fasting my independence. I am fasting any notion that I have my own light. I am merely a moon; He is the radiance of the Glory of God, and I will chase the Light.

On Mondays, I pray and play with friends here...

Monday, September 16, 2013

This (at my picket fence) is my worship…

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalms 34:3-5 (ESV)

What does one say to a life turned upside down? Many things…but I say this…I Choose to Worship.

It’s been at least two years since we had the wherewithal (energy, resources, time, inclination) to mulch our front beds. Our friends mercilessly teased us when we purchased the home with the white picket fence, and in so many ways it’s a metaphor for the way people see our lives. However, into each life some rain must fall, and for all the sun that shone on our picket fence, we weathered storms aplenty. So….what does one say to a life turned upside down? It is time to worship. 

This was my worship today. Wess Morgan in my ear, I dug into the earth with my bare hands. I weeded beds yearning to provide beauty, a promise in every bright bloom. I tore out dead stalks, stray grass, and after dragging bags of mulch across the yard, gently laid it in by handfuls. This was my worship.

I choose joy. Despite storms passed and those to come, I will bless the Lord at all times, for, even though the rain, He has been good. There were times a year ago when I thought I’d never smile again, that I’d never again experience joy, that circumstances might strip from me the embrace of my beloved’s arms, the simple pleasure of worship at my picket fence…But God...

We serve and are loved by a God who delivers us from our fears, and is steadfast as we face them.  And even as I near the end of my Wilderness season (Lord, I pray it is so) I choose praise over sadness. I choose worship rather than complaint. While I await my deliverance from the wilderness, I will offer praise, confusing the enemy. I will not wait for hallelujah moments, I will create them.

One of my dreaming sisters, self-professed Mother of Knights, wrote something recently that rests gently upon my sometimes weary spirit…
“Watching those who tread a deep valley without losing faith, no matter how long the journey, is beautiful.”

I desire that beauty. I seek that blessing. So, at my white picket fence, with the days writing done, time on my hands and joy in my meantime, I choose to worship. This, at my white picket fence, is my worship. 

Selah and amen.

On Mondays, I pray and play with friends here...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Learning not to be an island…A call to community, a call to prayer (will you pray with us?)

Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
By joining the Circle of Faith, I dived heart-first into community. If you haven’t already, I am inviting you along. Join us, not only in the Circle, but by sharing your stories of prayer, and undertaking an earnest pledge to lift up concerns as a member of our CoF Prayer Team. 
Starting today we will be hosting a Facebook Prayer community; a place where we can join together to share our prayer needs and our testimonies of God’s provision. It is a forum for us to share what we are believing God for, so that we can knit our faith together. 
Please come join me any my sisters here to learn the rest of the story...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A lesson in discernment taught by a spider…

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
Philippians 1:9-10 (ESV)

I dislike spiders. A particularly large spider spun a remarkable web as I passed by while walking the dog yesterday morning. Sufficiently captivated by the spider’s industry, I doubled back to examine it. That was the moment of Grace where I discerned no fear. I appreciate the role spiders play in eco-systems and respect their right to exist. I usually put them outside when I encounter them rather than dispatching them to spider heaven, which I am certain must exist. 

I felt only absolute calm and curiosity as I stood. Matthew Henry considers Paul’s prayer for the Philippians writing,
That they might be a discerning people. This would be the effect of their knowledge and judgment: That you may approve the things which are excellent (Phil. 1:10); or, as it is in the margin, Try the things which differ; …that we may approve the things which are excellent upon the trial of them, and discern their difference from other things.
I felt calm and clarity as I observed, and acknowledged that moment as an evolution. I appreciated the moment of discernment. Having observed that moment, I wanted to remember that feeling, snapshot it for the next time it might happen.

Lord, I come thanking you for a moment of clarity; a moment where I could but briefly appreciate having the capacity to distinguish between what is within the depths of my soul, where I am most connected to You, and what the world might want me to believe (e.g., that girls should fear spiders). I desire more of this clarity, this connection. It is my prayer that You would permit me to see You, beyond my fear, beyond my foolishness, beyond distraction, Amen.

I still dislike spiders, but I desire to do them no harm. What’s next?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Surrendering to Time (where there may be NO question of obedience)

 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth.
 Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
Psalms 127:3-5 (ESV)

I struggle with surrender, despite regular confessions of my brokenness. Time is an unremitting teacher in learning to yield. You see, while we may want to resist God’s Will in our lives, we are often anxious to move when He would bid us wait. Or, we want to stay, to hold on, to slow time because the beauty of where we are, the exquisiteness of what we feel is so powerful that we are certain NOTHING will ever make us feel this way again. In every case, God moves solely according to Divine Plan.

Do you want to know the lessons Time has taught me about parenting and faith? Please join me at Finding Heaven Today, home of the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, where Jen Ferguson has kindly invited me to share my words. We tend to think parenting is all about our children; we got growing up to do, too. Would you join me for the rest of the story?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On Living Broken…

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
Psalms 51:17 (NIV)

You know how once something enters your life you can’t seem to escape it? When I finally accepted the reality of my brokenness, I began noticing consistent messages from The Universe about being broken AND that all would be well. I know that God speaks with many voices.  When you are present and paying attention, you might very well be surprised by from whence a message comes.

A couple days ago, I came across a poem by Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic sent straight from the Heart of God. In one of his poems is the line, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” BAM! 
Lord, please don’t fix me. I have embraced brokenness.  I need to know that
I could never be whole without You.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer’s End…

So do not throw away your confidence
; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV)

I had Sbux with our firstborn this morning (her treat), celebrating the end of her second year of work. Technically, our summer is at its end. We have a week before school begins to do the last of the shopping, the putting away of swimsuits and flip-flops; we let go of the old and prepare to embrace the new.

I cannot know where God will carry me,
but His Promise is that when we
have done His Will, we will receive The Promise.

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