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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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Thursday, October 31, 2013

THIS was our worship (for my sister-dreamer ARH learning that holy boldness can be dangerous, in the best way)

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
John 13:13-17 (ESV)

I met a God-given sisterfriend for coffee today. I know she’s a friend because a)we’ve only met in person twice and yet she really gets me (martinis, cuss words, and control issues included), b)we go DEEP when we talk (conviction, rebuke, tears and all), and c)she’s either giving language and lessons to what I am experiencing or in this case, I’m giving the language and the lessons to her.

God was all up in the coffee shop
this morning…
THIS was our worship.
We met in a bread and coffee shop. I should have been more sensitive because she’s gluten-free. We talked about desiring bread, and agreed by the time we were leaving that we’d both had our fill of the Bread of Life. God was all up in the coffee shop this morning, and spending time with my friend, sharing faith, fears, and hearts without reservation or embarrassment…THIS was our worship

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cutting a path to Joy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 (ESV)

I’ve been trudging uphill emotionally lately, feeling like my groove got away from me and I’m needing to get it back. It’s a multi-step process. I began by admitting that I was off, but what else to do? Cutting a path through the wilderness requires enough vision and faith to believe that a clearing lies ahead. What do you believe?

The Epistle to the Romans contains the largest single collection of Paul’s guidance to the early church, teaching doctrine and encouraging faith. Just like a battery in need of a jump, I sought the words of Paul to get back on the jungle path.

“May the God of hope fill you”
That’s enough. Don’t we all need an infilling? Do you feel as though you have enough God in you? I loved the declaration in Mary Mary’s recent gospel hit “God in me

You think I'm so fresh you think I'm so clean
You think I'm so sweet It's the God in me
What is it you think you see? It’s The God in Me
Imagine being so full of His Joy and Peace that you are diminished as He is enlarged in you. That’s the weapon I’m using to cut my path. I’m filling up, so much so, that I can’t even been seen except hidden behind the Throne.

So, I’m off to the well to fill up. To immerse myself in the fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s Vein. So I can get my groove back. So I can cut that path through this jungle into joy. So that He shines through me until I almost can’t be seen.

Wanna come along?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easily distracted, but not for long…

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

I thank God for the courage He gives me to be bold and plain-spoken. It is a fleeting anointing, impermanent like the miracle of sunrise. I make every effort to be honest in a caring and thoughtful way. However, it is those moments of deep honesty and fearless bravery that I am reminded that I AM NOT FULLY THOSE THINGS on my own. (But God.)

Here is what we should understand about the enemy.
"He’s all about making noise and fuss 
to distract you and me from God’s plan…"
Today I experienced the precise intersection of messages from God in order to declare “I am easily distracted, but not for long.” My writer friends inspire me in so many ways.  So often, it is not about the writing but in the living that they do so. One is undertaking a brave series on life’s battlefields, while another wrote about distractions from seeking God. Only because I had just noted my congratulations to one on being brave enough was I sufficiently emboldened to be so myself.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Out of order, but finding my way back…

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Psalms 37:23-24

"Finding my way back"--that is the theme for this season. Last year when my beloved was ill, our life got turned on its head; we were out of order. Now in so many ways, I am finding my way back. Back to school, back to regular routines, back to regular writing (which I have desperately missed), back to dance (whose missing I am paying for in sweat and sore muscles, PRAISE GOD). Lord, I humbly apologize. I have been out of order but I am finding my way back.
Every now and then I reread something God poured into me as though it came from somewhere else. I know the words belong to God…He speaks to me and I am healed by His Word and the lessons they teach me, like this…
I must learn and remember to stay empty. I must learn and remember to choose not to let things, let people, let attitudes (my own, or those of others) get between me and my opportunities to be the vessel.

David reminds us, in a Psalm written in his old age according to scholars, that our steps are ordered by the Lord, who delights in us. Charles Spurgeon in writing commentary offers the following on the life of one loved by God…
All his course of life is graciously ordained, and in lovingkindness all is fixed, settled, and maintained…In the trials and the joys of the faithful, Jesus has fellowship with them, and delights to be their sympathising companion. …Disasters and reverses may lay him low; he may, like Job, be stripped of everything; like Joseph, be put in prison; like Jonah, be cast into the deep. He shall not be utterly cast down. .. It is not that the saints are strong, or wise, or meritorious, that therefore they rise after every fall, but because God is their helper, and therefore none can prevail against them.

Faith does not make everything perfect. FAITH DOES NOT MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT. It does, however, remind us that we are never alone in our trials, AND that a path has been laid out before us. Our steps are ordered by the Lord.

I am finding my way back. This means pushing a little here and reordering a little there. My personal ninja writing coach sisterfriend Elise called me out with her admission that she’d lost her groove (yeah, she’s cool like dat) which made me examine my own. Truthfully, my groove was a little out of whack. Fortunately, I never get lost for long.

This morning while walking Sando, I found myself humming an old favorite-Order My Steps. Message received Father, and I love the way you make it plain. After breakfast this morning, I am writing. There are a couple projects to get back online, I have not tended to them properly. I will take some time to review new choreography, and perhaps practice some technique before Sunday’s rehearsal (we're ministering Praise At Your Own Risk. Ain't THAT a message!). One of the things I so appreciate about our liturgical worship ensemble is that IT IS NO JOKE. Having not danced regularly for over a year I am humbled by how hard I need to work to get back. And that is the beauty of discipline and worship. There is a lesson in Hebrews 12 that I try to apply not only to dance but to all areas of my life.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

 Lord, I humbly apologize. I have been out of order but I am finding my way back. Or, as Elise reminds me, I am re-finding my groove. 

Aw yeah…(head bop)

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time to live like a shark

Fear not, for I am with you be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (GW)

Sharks cannot swim backwards. In fact, most sharks can't even stay still. They need to be moving forward in order to force water through their mouths and over their gills. Otherwise they'll suffocate...

(This morning I bear witness to a dear friend burying without warning the husband she spent the last 18 years building a life with...theirs is an extraordinary love story, but that story is for another day. Learning these lessons saved my life, like suddenly being able to breathe under water rather than having to drown. This is the advice I will offer her humbly, later.  For now, I have only my presence, my love, and pound cake.)

When the scariest thing you could imagine actually happens to you, you are forced to make choices. You can let things stop you; paralyzing you with fear (I know fear is not of God, but we are forgiven, not perfect), or you can learn to live like a shark. 
Grace washes over us like water,
reminding us that although
everything has changed,
nothing has changed at all.

Sharks cannot swim backwards.  In fact, sharks must move to breathe as the action of forcing water through their gills while swimming provides oxygen. I do not believe that sharks think about swimming or not; they just do Remember Dory in Finding Nemo? You never know from whence your blessings may come. Dory had it right, just keep swimming. Don't think about swimming, just swim.  

Matthew Henry's conside commentary on Isaiah 41 paints a beautiful picture of the comfort provided by God,

God speaks with tenderness; Fear thou not, for I am with thee: not only within call, but present with thee. Art thou weak? I will strengthen thee. Art thou in want of friends? I will help thee in the time of need. Art thou ready to fall? I will uphold thee with that right hand which is full of righteousness, dealing forth rewards...
Isaiah's words acknowledge our frailty and fears, but we are more than that. We are fragile but fierce, and more important, not to be dismayed and never alone.

We will need to get our feet underneath us, but that will come. We will need to map out a plan, but there are people and resources to help us. Night will fall, and more importantly, the sun will rise on another day, and for many days to come. Days that will find us in the water, swimming like sharks, thriving. Grace washing over us like water, reminding us that even now, when the scariest things you ever imagined actually happens, even now, you cup overflows, your life is filled with abundance, and though everything has changed, nothing has changed at all. God is still good.


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OneWord 2015

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