Wednesday, June 30, 2010
today i was worn out. i was tired. i was exhausted. my mind kept going and going about how tired i was and i thought i was just ready for the day to be OVER with. but i think, as i was driving, i tapped into something deeper. something that i haven't tapped into in a while.
charlie hall's song, come for me, was playing and i found that i was singing my little heart out. and then i played the song again. and again. and again. [sometimes being outside city limits has it's perks...it makes car rides longer] today, in my exhaustion, i wasn't wanting to sit down. i wasn't wanting to put my feet up. i wasn't wanting a drink. i wasn't wanting any of these things. it was after singing the line a couple of times that i realized how deep the words were going.
"you'll come again with a shout, like a thief in the night you'll come riding on clouds...
and finally the Voice i have followed for life has a glorious face that is lit up with light"
somehow, past all the physical and mental distractions, my heart was aching for Jesus..to come, rescue my heart. to bring peace. in that moment, that is what i was truly longing for.
these things that i hear or read,
these things that cause a bit of [holy?] rage in this heart of mine,
these things that are realities that can't be avoided...
this thing i call my conscience actually isn't a conscience.
it's the voice that i follow. it's the voice i long for. it's the voice that leads me.
it's the voice of the One who is strong and full of all Good.
so today when i was worn out, i sang with hope.
knowing that one day, this voice will have a face.
all he will restore all things to new.
and hurt and pain and injustice will be a memory.
one day light will be shining and no eye will be able to look away.
and i look forward to that day.
until that day...we sing. we hope. we pray like mad.
we act. we advocate. we raise awareness. we proclaim beauty.
and we fight...because the hands and feet of Jesus need to spread wide.
p s a l m 97
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow
O the sorrow
And yet will He bring
Dark to light
And yet will He bring
Day from night
When shadows fall on us
We will not fear
We will remember
When all seems lost
When we're thrown and we're tossed
We remember the cost
We rest in Him Shadow of the cross
---david crowder band [shadows]
resting is really hard at times. it almost seems impossible at times for my heart.
not resting physically. i can do that i think.
but resting in all the things that God is. all the things that He has promised and given.
honesty: in the midst of the hardest, most challenging and most fruitful relationships [marriage, anyone?] i don't seem to fully know how to rest in the hand and ways of God and understand that my justification is NOT as important as grace.
i feel as though those closest to me would definitely agree with this word to describe me:
determined. if my mind is on something, i do. i go for it. why hold back?
i am determined -truly by the grace of God- to gain a better understanding of Gods purpose.
i am determined to CHANGE and heaven knows, it won't be on my own accord.
"I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me."
he's commanded that i be strong and courageous...
and sometimes courage comes in the form of denying yourself.
God help us all.
ps - who saw the Germans kick butt yesterday in the world cup?
here's my own little German...love him (:
Friday, June 25, 2010
i can't tell you how many times in a DAY God is saying to me 'don't you REMEMBER?? don't you REMEMBER how GOOD i was to then and how GOOD i'm going to be to you now? don't you remember when i've already done in your life...don't forget all i've done!
the disciples forgot so easily that just in the previous days God had turned a meager amount of food into enough to feed thousands. thousands. THOUSANDS. he fed thousands. i have seen God make a pot of beans seem quite endless in uganda. and yet often...i forget.
i don't want to forget the things God has done. i want to remember them, think upon them and be gracious. i want to have an attitude that is grateful. i don't want to be so wrapped up in the here and now and i forget the then and WOW.
i have been so challenged and inspired by the story of this woman:
here is the connection...one of my best friends, katie, is dating dave. dave is in a band. jonny is daves bandmate. [strange enough, jonny and i were in the same public speaking class my first semester of college]. jonny is married to a beautiful woman named amy. here is the story:
story story story
the strength and trust that jonny has in the Lord for the life of his wife is challenging me and taking me to a new level of understanding of the pure goodness of the LORD.
it brings my heart to my knees in encouragement and humbleness and conviction on a pretty much daily basis.
along with many others, i thank God for the continued life of amy.
it can only mean that greater things are to come for jonny and her.
their story makes me never want to take josh for granted ever again...
we have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. we have been wrong. we must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. and that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it. -wendellberry
things are happening.
not as important as the LIFE changes, i'm considering another tattoo!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
"that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea and large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
and He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow;and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
but when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
and others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. he who has ears, let him hear."
as i hinted at in my previous post, josh and i are being moved toward some life changes in the upcoming weeks...months...years? as i read these words that were spoken by Jesus to huge crowds, i came to a different understanding of this passage. these verses are often taught to be a parable about the message of salvation...the message of God's grace, the message of redemption. the different soils are similar to the conditions of our hearts, how readily we accept the Word...yeah? but yesterday, as i was reading...something different came over my heart.
[never downplaying the message of redemption towards God...] we receive many "words" from God in our life that stretch beyond salvation but very similarly we have the same options in front of us as to how we respond to these words. will the words and guidance God speaks over us be received on good soil? or will rocks and thorns be present? do we chose to hear, accept and obey that word or will we simply choose to 'coast' on the easier words of Christ and not do the things which we know we ought?
it would be one thing for us to ignore this word we've received from the Spirit. it would be one thing if we insisted that it "makes more sense" to stay here. [but trust us, it doesn't make more sense to us, as much as it doesn't make sense to this culture] it's an entirely different thing if we accept this word as GOOD and if we choose to, in obedience to His voice, follow it wherever it may lead. it's an entirely different thing if we choose and seek to have the ways of the Lord be played out in ways that require great faith and perseverance.
this is a step of faith. a big one. one that many think wouldn't come this "early" in our marriage but josh and i believe that there is a certain urgency in the world today. some receive clear words to stay in north america to be the hands and feet but if we are confident that we're being beckoned to a different land to be the hands and the feet of Christ.
as if our life hasn't been crazy enough in the past year, i think it's about to get a little bit crazier...a different kind of crazy though. one filled with much faith, anticipation, listening and believing.
"the ongoing narrative of each of our lives is what binds us all together. through the power of story, our hearts are opened to the plight of others and we are compelled to respond."
this is what josh and i are wanting to live out...
a healthy response to those around us in the light and love and motivation of Christ.
more to come...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
"act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life..."
i agree with this. writing makes me slow down, makes me think about what is going on...makes me think about the deeper things that are going on in my head, heart, mind, marriage, friendships.
confession: i have avoided writing lately for these reasons.
not wanting to face realities, not wanting to come to terms with the messy life that i call my own, not wanting to admit that sometimes weakness consumes me and that there are days where i can't seem to bring myself to look towards the Light because He's just too good. and then there are other days where i, with full force, look towards Him because He's just too good to look away from.
"He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm." psalm 40.2
i've been seeing this verse play itself out in a way that i've never experienced. i've been clumsily trying to figure out life on my own, with my own ways, my own strength. i have tried tried tried to be so self sufficient that it's made me a monster at times. in swoops God and shows me verses such as this. i made myself a pit, i placed myself in the clay and i cannot make it out alone. HE is setting myself feet upon a rock, HE is making my path firm.
my heart is realizing just how THANKFUL it should be...for God does not require my perfection. he does not require me to have it all together. he does not want me crap to disappear before i come to Him. i am weary and if i try to get rid of my dirt before i come to Him, i'll probably kill myself. so here i am. pretty much starting new. feeling like a small child, feeling inadequate but being filled with the knowledge and truth that not only does He accept me as i am, he DELIGHTS in me...he sings true love over me, day in and day out.
do you ever have moments when something just changes in you? those moments where life is going one way and then all of a sudden, sometimes literally in a split second, everything changes? God storms in and all is different. josh and i had that moment last night...
we looked at each other and kind of just knew that life will look pretty different, pretty soon. it's almost as if an unrecognized BURDEN was lifted from us and God immediately replaced it with EXCITEMENT and JOY. we've walked this road before, but not together, not in marriage. so many things are still unknown but we do know that God is desiring to move. we do know the urgency behind Scripture like this.
we are starting down this road...with almost no concept of time, place or length but we're walking it...
because you know...
sometimes i just think God wants us to throw caution to the wind.