31 January 2014

giving no power to darkness

I had more than four decades behind me
before I came to faith, forty-three years
of directing my own story
comedy, tragedy, horror film
I laughed at the idea of sin, hell
didn't worry me, I joked
at least there I would finally be
warm

my dive into Jesus was fast
hard and deep
total submersion, much like baptism
even before I took that step 
of public declaration

acknowledgement of my filth
and forgiveness of the same
walked hand in hand
the exchange of my wretchedness
for His righteousness
a transaction solid and complete
abundant grace
that still brings me to tears

not because of who I was, or am
or will be, but only because
of Who He Is
nothing I can do to make myself better
but surrender to what He has
already done

so I need not think long about sin
I need not give too much power 
to the darkness, no
I won't deny His sacrifice
I instead choose freedom
choose light, choose life

But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21-24 The Message



Diana Trautwein - Living the Questions

joining Diana who asks What’s with all this talk about 'sin?'

 

30 January 2014

thrill ride


Reason and logic were always a large part of who she was and when she tried to step away from them, they pulled her back harshly.  She always wanted yet never seemed able to loose control.  Perhaps that what she was seeking in her love of thrill rides.  You buy your ticket and take your seat.  The straps are buckled, the chains fixed, and you are locked in.  There is no turning back.  With excited and shaking expectation you climb to spectacular heights, knowing all the while that you cannot remain there.  Slowly, too slowly, you reach the edge, and freeze.  Time waits.  You gasp, and it's too late to pray as you fall with increasing speed and you don't even know that the screams you hear are your own.  Rising and falling and turning too fast, the blood rushes in your ears, your heart beats a wildness you've hungered for forever.  If you could only live in that moment always.  So you ride again.  And again.  And again.


back at the pub for a shot of prose/poetry
 

heart journey

This week Bonnie asked:
How has God been touching your heart this month? Share what you see.
I have been dwelling close to the fire
letting His life spark, flame and melt away the chains
the heart of flesh He created is learning
to beat in tune with His
and ache for those things that move Him
injustice, homelessness, lack
blogger friends have been telling the tales
writing from Africa
the continent that claimed me
as soon as the red soil settled on my skin
it was then that this journey began
the prayers, the waiting
and now the call to prepare, to leave 
the Canadian prairies I now call home
to return to Africa with His heart
and the feet He gave me
to share His story, His love, His truth
and as I go, continue to learn what it means
to abide, beneath the shelter of His wings




jamming with Bonnie
 

29 January 2014

steam and spice

Canada breathes cold on the other side of my door
while in here I'm dreaming Africa
filling my house with warm
chapati, hot peppers, beans
coconut milk and curry
cooking and eating in solidarity
with those who have so much less
and so much more, than we
who think we have it all
in the steam and the spice
hope thrives

 

28 January 2014

wolves can wait

wind blowing cold
wild again
low moan background 
music to my morning

tension strums nerves
no whispering
breeze this clamoring 
wail demanding answers
I have no reply

curl up small
in fleecy protection
warm the wolves
can wait another day


back at the bar with the poets

25 January 2014

government of love

A new government of love will be established
    in the venerable David tradition.
A Ruler you can depend upon
    will head this government,
A Ruler passionate for justice,
    a Ruler quick to set things right.

Jumping Tandem
praising Him in community with Deidra
 

24 January 2014

garden of solitude

Solitude is the garden for our hearts, which yearn for love. It is the place where our aloneness can bear fruit. It is the home for our restless bodies and anxious minds. Solitude, whether it is connected with a physical space or not, is essential for our spiritual lives. It is not an easy place to be, since we are so insecure and fearful that we are easily distracted by whatever promises immediate satisfaction. Solitude is not immediately satisfying, because in solitude we meet our demons, our addictions, our feelings of lust and anger, and our immense need for recognition and approval. But if we do not run away, we will meet there also the One who says, "Do not be afraid. I am with you, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness."
Henri Nouwen

I come to the garden alone 
While the dew is still on the roses 
And the voice I hear falling on my ear 
The Son of God discloses. 
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, 
And He tells me I am His own; 
And the joy we share as we tarry there, 
None other has ever known. 
He speaks, and the sound of His voice, 
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, 
And the melody that He gave to me 
Within my heart is ringing. 
C. Austin Miles
 
still and quiet with Sandy
 

Less of me

Diana's question this week is:

 “What’s with this ‘more of Jesus, less of me’ stuff?”

This seems to be a phrase
that falls freely from our lips
without much thought or reason
we say it
we sing it
we pray it
I wrote about it
in 2008, in 2010, likely just days ago as well
Then all that I am is all that He Is. Is this possible? To my natural mind it seems impossible to die to myself completely, it is not a natural act or process however, it is supernatural and can only be possible because of the Holy Spirit that indwells and guides me. My natural man fears death of self while my spirit man hungers for the same, to be totally lost and then totally found in Jesus.
This then, is the losing and the finding I have been seeking. I cannot strive toward it, this releasing of all that my "self" struggles to hold. Had I known how fierce would be the battle would I have dared begin?
Totally lost, totally found, totally His.
To exist as a reflection of His glory and His love.
There is no harder task.
There is no higher call.
In knowing I can not
I take the first step toward possibility.
Totally lost, totally found.
It is the world in me that I want to replace with the Christ in me.
That I might have space to be the real version of Karin.
The daughter He designed with great skill and precision
Not less, but more.
Fractures healed, imperfect perhaps
but complete in ways I can't quite imagine.

So as much as I am able, I pray
Continue to help me to surrender to Your work, Lord
in me, through me
that my unique spice and flavour
would bring glory to You name.

Diana Trautwein - Living the Questions

joining Diana in the depths
 

23 January 2014

beautiful things

I see beauty fresh
wild
perfect in imperfection
 uniquely designed
by the hand 
of a Master
 intricate
impossibly fragile
yet strong
delicate depth 
to get lost in
silent space
to be still
and know
 Let be and be still, 
and know (recognize and understand) 
that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations! 
I will be exalted in the earth!



jamming with Bonnie about beauty

 

22 January 2014

travelling a new way

Rick and I ventured out to town for a meeting last night.  There were a few light flurries dancing about, but the forecast wasn't predicting any problems.

We enjoyed a time of sweet fellowship, prayer and planning.  My closing prayer was for safe travel home for all, mostly us, since we were the ones with a fair distance to cross.

As we pulled out of the church parking lot it was obvious it would be a slow trip.  The wind blew fierce, whipping the snow off the ground in waves of zero visibility. I watched the tension building in Rick's neck and shoulders as he concentrated on the often impossible task of seeing the lines on the highway.

I prayed that God would keep His mighty hand on our vehicle.  I imagined Him guiding us like a child moves a wooden car along a track.  The twenty minute trip took almost three times as long, but we did finally arrive home safe and without incident.  A chorus of praise and thanks rang from our hearts, spirits and lips.

We snuggled close in our cozy bed, grateful to be home.  And I dreamed...

We were travelling again.  Rick was on horseback, but at the same time he was leading a team pulling a cart.  I was seated at his right side, in a seat, not on a horse.  This seemed perfectly normal.  We were in an area we had visited frequently but noticed things we had never seen. High on hill tops I looked down and saw castle and village ruins and urged Rick to turn back so we could explore.  Filled with a sense of wonder and amazement, I woke, interrupted by the morning alarm.

When I brought this dream before the Lord, He replied:

you will be going a new way
as you slow down
I will show you both the future and the past
you will see what you have always missed before
in the time to come I will give you My eyes
this is part of the gift of My heart

 

21 January 2014

slice in the night

the other night, these words came
waking me
again and again

slicing watermelon
to find sugary
goodness
runs like water
to refresh

leave the knife
in My hand
allow Me liberty
to work as
I will
and trust Me
a touch of salt
to the flesh
makes the juice
flow sweeter

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT


hanging out at the bar with the poets

 

19 January 2014

pure and genuine

Pure and genuine religion 
in the sight of God the Father 
means caring for orphans and widows in their distress 
and refusing to let the world corrupt you.


I'm following the WorldHelp bloggers in Africa
come along here

Jumping Tandem
late to the party but singing with Deidra and the Sunday choir
 

17 January 2014

so much more

In the stillness 
I find my heart growing hot 
while I seek the person 
I have already found. 
God is so much more than I know.  
Eric Samuel Timm

too vast for my mind
to process
so I make the choice
to rest, breathe
simply believe

in the stillness with Sandy

 

obedience?

For the first dive into her series Living the Questions/Living into the Answers Diana talks about obedience.  What a word.

My Who Is HisFireFly page boldly states:
I desire to walk in radical obedience to His voice
but what does that really mean to me?

I have followed rigorous Bible reading plans
learned much, but often felt lost at sea
I sensed Him telling me not bite off more
than I could chew, to read less, meditate more
allow Him, not a schedule to lead me

I attempted to be faithful in prayer
yet never fit the pattern
of warriors and intercessors
who tried to school me
no list of requests for me
instead I simply seek His presence
abide, wait, respond
He said
when you're breathing you're praying
so I relax into that

a few years ago
I sensed Him repeating to my spirit
On assignment.  My work.  Stay close and I will lead you
This is how I choose to live each moment.
Obedience. Radical and real.
This is how I will walk into whatever He future He has planned.
His will.  His way.  Any plan I could imagine or create cannot compare.

Diana Trautwein - Living into the Answers

linking with Diana pondering obedience








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