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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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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#AfterShow-COMMITMENT, or What Do You Intend to DO About it?

“Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.—Leviticus 26:5 (NLT)
...A new year is a tempting time to run after increase by the world’s standards, but God promises we’ll be blessed with abundant life when we chase Him alone—the Giver of all good things"

A few weeks back this was my morning devotion, and it spoke as much to the New Year as to the new season I am entering in my life. I’m going all in this time, saying “Yes” and trusting God like my life depends on it (it does). No bargaining, no deals, just trust. As usual….God’s timing fascinates me.

I am evolving in so many ways, my health and wellness in the wake of the Today Show is just what everyone sees. So, the question occurred to me….what do I intend to do about it?? Lately I’ve been participating in an exercise where we examine one word per week. It never quite comes out like I intended, and that’s a beautiful thing.

The week’s word challenge was COMMITMENT. Instantly I went to my health and wellness changes and whether I was willing to commit to them for the long term. To what are you committed? It then occurred it me….there is only one commitment, and that is to honor God.

COMMITMENT originates from Middle English and Anglo-French, and means to connect or entrust. If I am committed, then it all matters. What I choose to say and not say. What I choose to do or not do. How I present myself to the world-whether anyone is watching or not.

COMMITMENT is about all the choices you make, collectively, across every single portion of your life. Being committed is a lifestyle AND, once you commit, that action takes hold in all you say and all you do. I no longer believe that you can be committed to some things and not to others. 

Commitment is a discipline, and while you may focus to a greater extent on some things than others, your level of commitment does not change.

I recently read something that has become a milestone and mantra for me.

Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.
Thich Nhat Hanh

I am not suggesting that you must be fully aware and committed across all areas of your life, but I am learning that the discipline does spread. You start where you are, and do what you can. Your commitment will become your lifestyle, and that is when change occurs.

Let's do this thing. Let's commit to more, and trust that 

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion...Phillippians 1:6

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My son, your fear will make you strong…a lesson in faith and trust (or first feeling broken and then redeemed)

            For God is not the author of confusion but of peace ... 
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)

My Beloved let me sleep late this morning. It is one of the many gifts he gives...rest. I committed to resting my temple today, I promised my mother I would, and have mostly honored that agreement.

Tired. Nonetheless, I arose thankful to see another day. Feeling overwhelmed, off put by brutally cold weather, and in desperate need of an infilling, I thank God that I no longer fight this feeling. I have learned to embrace still and quiet rather than snapping (or worse) at people I love. So, once I stopped being petulant, I remembered that quiet, that stillness is one of my deepest aspirations. I have often prayed for just this…Lord, I desire quiet closeness with You.  

I have made peace with uneasiness, I have made peace with my fears.  Formerly on days like this, I’d wallow and then determine to power through. Wiser now, armed with family and friends who lift and encourage me, I sit quietly with my discontent, even with my fear, letting it have its way, listening it its lessons. 

I am frequently afflicted with what I came to know as Jennifer Pastiloff’s  “the imminent fear.”
The imminent fear. Of drowning. Of people not surviving. Of what others think. Of breathing. Of living. Of dying. It’s everywhere, really. If you look. 
It’s as big as the ocean and beyond, and it will get you if you stop paying attention. 
Pay attention.
Listen: that is your breath. Listen: that is my breath. Listen: that is the wind.
Listen. This is your life.

When faced with fear, for me, there are only two options, fight or flight-and here’s a clue to my personality...

I don’t run.

The last few years have represented my embrace of the journey called Life through Fear. Hear my declaration, Be Afraid, sometimes fear is prudent, but NEVER Lose Faith.

Yes, this feeling is that thing-my fear; your fear The imminent fear. But listen to me my son, when you are afraid…naming your fear steals its power. Your fear is biggest when you fail to call it by its name. And then there is the thing that Jennifer didn’t  write, the thing that fills my soul, that draws me out of myself, not out of my stillness but away from my fear…

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.

God is not the author of fear, but of peace. He created us for joy. He created us for praise. He created us to step out in faith, to walk towards God-sized dreams he planted deep within us. He created us to succeed. So, hear me, now and always, embrace the lesson, even when it’s hard. Accept with grace your imminent fear, and the resulting lesson in faith and in trust, and learning to see the success just beyond your reach. At first you may feel afraid, you may even feel broken, but finally redeemed.
Now, go change the world, wrapped in God’s and my love.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

#AfterShow~ On Temptation (and not what I was originally thinking)

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  Romans 6:17-18 (NIV)

Been thinking a lot about what God wants me to do with my Divine gift of Grace. I know part of my mission is to encourage restoration of our temples, but I am only beginning to realize how large a charge that is.

Temptation? Not today, Satan. 

Thinking about temptation, something occurred to me this morning, and it’s not what I was originally thinking. On some level, temptation is about ceding your power to the voices in your head instead of God. As are all things, it is about #Trust. It is having the courage to fully Trust God, Let Go, and hear His Voice over all the other noise in our lives. I even picked up a catch phrase…. “Not today, Satan.”

God teaches me in unique ways, meaning that my lessons often come from places most folks might not recognize as His Voice. This morning it was an article articulating (and refuting) the reasons why natural African-textured hair is unprofessional-subtitled for my own purposes “another reason why America will try to convince you that you are not beautiful AND why they are dead wrong.”  Not today, Satan.

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

C'mon. Follow along. Please?