28 February 2011

Stepping into You

Jason prompts us this week to write about being hidden in God.

I recalled that last March I journaled about a dream.  I share that here first before the poem the Lord will pour out:

Lord, You gave me an ongoing dream through the early morning hours.  People were being sorted by age, usefulness, health, etc.  Then group by group, each person would speak their name.  If they had multiple word names they would speak only the first, then the next person would speak - this was round one for the group.  Next round, the next name would be spoken, and so on.  Once someone had spoken their final name, they were made to walk through something like a large picture frame that contained some kind of invisible force that would not only kill them, but cause them to disappear completely.  When group one was gone, it was time for the next, and the next, etc.

I thought perhaps the dream was a call to prayer about nations that are moving toward and legislating euthenasia, where anyone less that perfect could be chosen for death.  But I sensed in the dream that even the "perfect ones" would be walking through this death field, even if they were the last group to go through.

So I ask Lord, is this a picture to remind me to "die to me"?

Think of all the names you carry, little one.  Not just your given name, but labels; words both of praise and judgement; the things you call yourself.  Smart.  Shameful. Creative. Ugly. Determined. Unworthy. 

Yes, the list is long.  In your dream, as the words are verbalized, one by one, they are gone.  All that you think, shapes you.  And finally, as the last is relinquished you are able to walk through, death to self.  I know in your dream you could only see the death, the ending, the disappearance of self.  You could not see what life in Me will look like for you cannot yet imagine.

Go back to My Word.  Back to Colossians 3 again, where I tell you how to live after you die.  My Word will serve you well.

Thank You, Lord - I shall go there now.  Colossians 3:3 says I died and am hidden in You. Hidden, so is that why I could not see the people after they stepped through the frame?
Step through, step in
the door is open
for I have been knocking
long and low
and all who hear
are welcome.

Drop your chains

all the names
that hold you.

Hidden in Me

what the world cannot see
what the world does not know
so afraid to let go.

It's freedom that waits

the promise of place
secret and safe.

The door is open

please come inside
at last, abide.




Stop by Jason's Connecting to Impact for more warrior poetry

26 February 2011

Sunday prayer


I walk in a world still coated white, recalling the sacrifice, the price that was paid to cleanse us. 

I ponder the command given by our Father:

And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine. Leviticus 20:26 NKJV 

Lord, we cannot be holy as You are holy until we get rid of ourselves.

Yes, it is hard to die.
Daily we struggle to hold on to those things that You would have killed and buried.
The struggle distracts us from Your purposes.
And people see the struggle instead of seeing the peace.
And people see the fighting instead of the love.
And people see the sin instead of the purity of heart.
Wash us Lord God, and teach us how to walk in the cleanliness You alone can provide without letting our natural selves cast dirt and filth over that which You have purified.
Teach us what "holy" means to You.
Teach us what it means to walk in "holy fear" of You.
Help us to die to all that we think is good within ourselves, that Your goodness would break through like the morning sun, in Jesus name.

25 February 2011

Stepping out in the cold


Words and more words are swirling about in my head, but I haven't the time to trap them just now.  I'm stepping out today, meeting with a friend, to share and explore what God has in store around the next bend.

Back later!


24 February 2011

Crushed to renewed

We walk as ones created to be perfect
through a world that suffers from the fall of our perfection
banging into one another
in ways intended or accidental
leaving bruises, cuts
wounds that leak bitterness, anger, fear.
Hearts once fresh, open and pliable
all at once, or little by little
become brittle, crushed, diminished.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven  Luke 6:37 NIV

Believing the words of the Son
we strive to be pleasing
to the Father
as we forgive
in all the feeble ways
our flesh allows.

We open again
our crumpled hearts
smooth out the creases
mend the holes, the torn places
yet wrinkles remain
memory triggers cast shadows.

Why do we hold on
trying and trying again
when He promises
in His great love
not patched up, beaten hearts
but scars forgotten
renewed by His Spirit
total restoration.

Take all this then, Lord
that I have attempted to fix
by my own hands
it leaves an empty space
You best know how to fill.


FaithBarista_UnwrapLoveBadge

Jamming with Bonnie and talking about forgiveness as we conclude a month of unwrapping love




Stop by Emily's as we share imperfect words

23 February 2011

Dancing with my mustard seed

Ruth St. Denis in Scherzo Waltz. The encore wa...Image by New York Public Library via Flickr

We've reached the end of our time exploring Richard Stearn's The Hole In Our Gospel with Chapter 26, A Mountain of Mustard Seeds.

Have I the faith to believe that anything I could do might impact the lives of others in need?  Faith as small as a mustard seed?

Richard leaves us with the voice of the Lord, quiet, almost a whisper: 
You, Me, let's go.  We have work to do, and it's urgent.  Join Me...
And my heart says "yes"
my heart says "when?"
my heart says "where?"
but my heart does not say "how?"
because it knows
that anything that I can do
is only because of the One Who lives in me

It is time for my ears to hear
It is time for my eyes to see
and if you can't see my vision
if you can't hear my music
than dance to the tune He plays for you

I may do a slow waltz today
and a samba tomorrow
a jig or a mad break
to a funky beat
but know that I am listening
obedient
with eyes wide open
fixed on His glory.



Joining Sarah and Jason HERE for this final week of discussion and praying that we all have been changed.

22 February 2011

What little I have

I sort, sift,
inventory all
that I once held dear.

Scraps, fragments
bits of nothing
scattered crumbs
that leave a fine dust
across the surface
of Your love.

What then
can I offer?

What counts
as sacrifice, to One
Who released, devoted
everything?

Can all
that I once held
dear and holding still
though nothing
yet shine
when surrendered
broken in Your hands?

Take then
what little I am
create, if You will
what You desire.


Stop by Peter Pollock's where today's word is sacrifice













Join the rest of the poets at One Stop Poetry for this weeks One Shots








21 February 2011

On, In and Around Mondays - Frozen tears


Today seems to be day of breaking, again, yet again with things that grieve the heart of God.

He cuts through the hardness my heart builds as protection, and asks me to pour out in tears, in groanings beyond my understanding.  Through the day my spirit hears the faint cries of sheep; lost, wild, confused and lonely, tired of life wild in the world.

And like the icicles that flow jagged from the tin roofs of the old out buildings on our land, I freeze, thaw, refreeze.  Each time more fragile, more brittle, easier to shatter.

Will my prayers then, when the melts of Spring at last arrive, soak into soil made fertile by these tears of intercession?

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. Psalm 126:5-6


Stop by L.L. Barkat's Seedlings in Stone as we look at the world around us today.

20 February 2011

One Body


There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 
Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV




19 February 2011

Saturday morning word from my Father

The days come, the days go and still I remain
the same, ever and always.

Laughter, tears, I Am there
when you spill them all
as you mourn, as you rejoice
never alone are you.

I strengthen your legs to stand
and I, yes I, weaken those legs so you fall into Me.

I give you My heart
will you carry it as tenderly as I do yours?

Will you allow Me to teach you to see Me
as well as I see you?

Transformed, bearing My mark
will you walk as light, as love?

Shine.  Breathe Me in and shine.

Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!
Matthew 5:15-16 The Message

18 February 2011

Pleasantly disturbed on a Friday?

I know that today is the day after Thursday, but this seems to be a day to pull random strings together into one post, so I am pleasantly disturbed on Friday.

I'm thanking and praising today over at Everyday Testimony Project and praying that many others will grab hold of the joy that arises from testifying to the greatness of our God!  Stop by and shout out your own thank you, for He Is more than worthy of our praise.

As a blogger for Compassion I am blessed to be able to particpate in monthy blogging assignments.  This month we have the opportunity to help send Emilda, a sponsored child  to the World Special Olympics. 

Emilda lives in a squatter community in the Philippines and though she has the mental capacity of a three year old, she is very fast on her feet!  In 2009 Emilda competed in the Philippine Special Olympics and won a gold medal, two silver medals and a bronze medal in track and field.  This performance qualified her to compete in the World Special Olympics in Athens, Greece this Summer. But she needs your help to get there.

Emilda's parents are unable to pay her way to Greece and neither is the Philippine government. Her need is $19,857.
You can find more information about Emilda here and your donations can be made here.

One year ago today my father slipped from the grip of this earthly life.  Today I reflect back on the struggle surrounding his last days, a time I wrote about here.  I pray that he is resting in the arms of Christ, like a contented lamb, knowing the sweet peace that comes from walking with the One true shepherd.  I pray that same outpouring of peace for all of my family.  I miss you Dad, I love you still.

This morning, the Lord reminded me to keep a cup of cold water filled, prepared to share it in His name.  If you're in need of refreshment, give me a shout, I'll pour out.

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.
  Matthew 10:42 NLT




Stop by Helen's place and visit the rest of the random gang.

17 February 2011

Beyond my grasp

What kind of love can this be, far beyond my ache to comprehend?

It is beyond my knowing, this One Who says here that yes, He counted the cost and I was worth the price.

My blood beats fast in thrills and rushes as He calls me to set myself apart, for who am I to be beckoned with such fervency?

My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!
 Song of Solomon 2:10

I sit, I wait, I linger in His presence.  He asks me to remain prepared, for surely a wedding approaches, and I begin to sing a song He gave to me years ago:

In the garden, in the spice grove,
I am waiting for you there
In the garden, I will linger
I am waiting for you, My bride to prepare

Make yourself ready, make yourself ready,

Make yourself ready for Me
And for all you cannot do
My Spirit I send you
Make yourself ready for Me

Oh the fragrance of the garden

Love everlasting and free
I will give riches of heaven
To the one who surrenders all unto Me

Make yourself ready, it's time to get ready

Make yourself ready for Me
For My bride must be pure
And My bride must be holy
Will you be ready for Me?

I am calling, from the garden

I am waiting for you here
But the time is growing shorter
And My message to you right now must be clear

Make yourself ready, make yourself ready

Make yourself ready for Me
Make yourself ready, you need to be ready
Make yourself ready for Me.

What kind of love is this, that asks me to surrender all that I am, yet gives me more than I can hold? What kind of love, that swallows me yet leaves me freer than the world's captivity?

Will you hurry with me to the garden?  He waits there, rejoicing over us in song, loving with the love that never falters, never fails, beyond what our earthly minds can embrace but our spirits thirst to taste.

The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing  Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV



Bonnie asks us this week to write about the love of God - stop by and see what others have shared.




also joining Emily and more writers of imperfect prose here.

15 February 2011

Plumb Line


Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight.  Amos 7:7 NLT

Joining with others as we look at the idea/word importantStop by to see what's being shared.


Heartstrings

Chord C


A heart once bound
wrapped with cords
unholy
soul to soul connections
never prompted
by the Father
is breaking free.

Each string
as it snaps, tears
calls out in wails unique
a song discordant
too long overdue.

Tie me then
only to You
pull the strings
direct my steps
and let this heart
all at once
healed
shout
not in pain
but words of praise
and glorious love.

Draw me still
and yet again
closer
with each gentle tug
till all I am
is all You Are
hearts united
now restrung.



Linking up at Jason's Connecting to Impact where the Warriors are writing about heartstrings




and joining others at One Stop Poetry for this weeks One Shot.

12 February 2011

Shower revelation

ShowerheadImage via WikipediaWhile in the shower, where the mind has nothing practical to busy itself with, I wandered back to memories of trinkets from my past.  There were shiny things to hang upon my walls, books, bedspreads and other ornaments.  They all suited me perfectly because I knew what I liked and had picked them out myself. 

"Yes, I bought them for myself" I was thinking.  "I'm not sure that they were worth the money."

Then I saw the image of Jesus on the cross, arms outstretched, bleeding.  I stood with the water from the showerhead pouring over me and I began to weep, for He said:

I bought you for myself because I knew what I wanted. And yes, you were well worth the price.

What a powerful reminder of His amazing love.  Have you accepted what He purchased for you?  He offers the gift of Himself to all who will receive.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
  1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV



11 February 2011

Valentine letter to Jesus

St Valentine's Day card, embossed and printed ...Image via WikipediaThis year I wrapped a Christmas gift for Jesus, so it seems right that I also give Him a valentine.  Here then, is a love letter to the One Who Is Himself love:

My dear Lord Jesus,

It feels odd to be writing this letter to you. I don’t know if I have the words to express all that is in my heart. You Who gave everything for me, a lost and bitter woman, how do I thank You?

How do I describe You? Glory beyond glory. Someone beyond imagination, in fact so far beyond imagination I struggled to believe in You. What a day it was when I surrendered that first time, giving You entry into my life, knowing that things had to change. And change they did indeed! Because of You. Because of Your love. Because of Your patience.

I have lost so many desires for the things of this world. They have grown tasteless. And those that still retain a taste, it is bitter and unpalatable. It is You I seek. It is You I desire. I want to soak in Your fragrance, the sweetness and spice. You spoke to me once about waiting in a garden for me and that I was to make myself ready. Are you still waiting? I couldn’t bear to think You had already gone.

I love You, Lord Jesus, even as I am not sure I know You, I love what I know. And I love what I have imagined. I love knowing that you searched for me as a lost lamb and hold me gently in Your arms. Oh, to feel those arms around me. Perhaps I am afraid to come close because once in Your presence I would never want to leave. Help me to surrender again, all that I am and all that I have, so I would have no fear of leaving something behind and can fully get lost in Your presence. Perhaps then I can take that presence to others who do not know You.

Here I am, my Lord, my Savior, the only One who could redeem my life. Here I am waiting. Help me to come into Your arms. Help me to love as You love. So when I say “I love You, I love You, I love You” it is with the love that You Yourself taught me.

Don’t you know you are already in My arms? I have not for one moment ever let you go. There are times that you feel I am distant, but it is you, not I who’s thoughts wander away. My thoughts are for you, not against you, always and forever. The forces of the enemy and the forces of the world you live in would have you imagine there is distance between us, but that is not the truth. There is not even a breath between us. If you could really feel how close we are, you would feel cradled and warm. Not a thought of yours escapes Me. I know your thoughts before you do, My dearest one. I know when you will be misled and I ache until your thoughts return to Me. Yes, I still wait for you, will forever wait for you. For even as I have you, I want more and more and more of you. The same hunger that you desire to have for Me, already burns within Me for you. You are the one I bled for. You are the one I died for. You are the one I claimed as My own when I rose again in victory.

Is it hard for you to understand My ways? I spoke to My disciples in parables. But let Me be clear now. My love is here and My love is true. Nothing will change My love for you. It was and is and ever will be, just as I Was and Am, and evermore Will Be. Learn to rest in that truth and shut out any voice that tries to tell you otherwise.


And yes, you are questioning if your love is good enough for Me. That makes Me giggle, it tickles Me. Who do you suppose instilled that love in you? It is already My love living within you, My dear. But if you want to give Me more, then give Me more, I will receive it!


Oh Lord Jesus, how I thrill to hear of Your unfailing love. Yes, let me love You more! Let me cast away thoughts of unworthiness, for indeed I am not worthy, but it is not about me. I am Yours, now and always, and righteous in my Father’s eyes because of You. Oh if I could I would kiss You!


10 February 2011

Pieces of love along the way

I knew nothing of love, real love, until I allowed the heart of Christ to resonate and surrendered my own heart to Him.  The desire for marriage did not come until after this and I am ever thankful that this also was by His design.

What I now know of love I have uncovered, like shiny trinkets once buried along the path I walk hand in hand with my husband.

Could I once have thought that marriage was a 50/50 proposition?  I have learned that each must contribute 100 percent, all for all.

Could I once have thought that a husband would complete me?  I have learned that what we must do is offer our broken selves to our Lord, and in His hands He knits us together with Himself at the centre.  That it is our incompleteness that drives us again and again into His arms, right where we belong.

Could I have once thought that marriage was about receiving love?  I have learned that I feel the most joy when I am able to fully give love.

Perhaps the prayer attributed to Saint Francis can best express the sparkling gems of truth the Lord has allowed me to collect.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Broken, yes, but in Your hands, I thank You Lord for the man You chose to walk with me along a road that brings us ever closer to Your heart.  Splintered, fragmented even shattered at times, still I have found unspeakable joy.

Jamming  this week with Bonnie as she asked what we wish we had known about marriage.




and linking with others both broken and imperfect at Emily's.

09 February 2011

God knew this weeks topic

I finished reading Richard Stearns Hole In Our Gospel quite a long while ago and wasn’t at all sure what chapter we would be discussing today nor had I looked at the book or posts from others who have joined in these discussions.

Imagine then, my delighted surprise to find that what God spoke this morning in my journaling time was on point, to the topic at hand. Glorious, amazing, all knowing God!

More and more I hear My people trying to discern the times and seasons. This is good, for even I told My followers to have open eyes and ears. But to what end?

Is it merely to show your ability to solve puzzles and answer riddles and sort events to match prophecy?


Or does it spur you on, compelling you to action?


You can not say you know Me and love Me if your thoughts are only of yourself, for My thoughts were always for the broken, the weak, the lost and despised.


I Am the answer to all of their needs –


In the way I touch their their spirits and heal their hearts by My Holy Spirit and ….


In the way I work through My people, moving them to care for the physical needs of those who cannot help themselves.


Don’t say to Me that you do not have enough, instead offer what you do have, recalling the loaves and fishes. For I can take what you give willingly to create the miracle of sufficiency.


Yes, I feed the hungry, house the homeless and clothe the cold and naked – through you!


Yes, time is short. What are you doing?


I am left then, with this question – will I be the hands and feet of Jesus? Can I set aside fears of my own inadequacy and offer myself, trusting that He will provide whatever I might need to finish the work He requires?


Stop by Jason’s Connecting to Impact where this weeks discussion is Chapter 24 How Many Loaves Do You Have?



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