31 August 2012

Hazardous Faith

I’m sharing the following previously posted poem about My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus.

Dreaming big and surrendering my will for His is the most dangerous thing I've ever done.  It can lead me anywhere, but never out of His sight!

To dream big dreams
and live them
instead of casting them aside
as foolish
or unattainable
this is walking with the Lord

To learn to silence
voices that hinder
voices that crush
voices that press in hard
voices that speak "can't"
this too is walking with the Lord

To breathe deep
dive deep
search out the deep
deep places
in a heart crafted
ever molded
by His hand
to know His heart
is deeper still
yes, walking with the Lord

To stand brave
in the rain of His revelation
I am nothing
and everything
in Him
every other dream
becomes brightly possible
in His light
and every other dream
fades and is humbled
next to the dream
of true abiding
walking with, beside
and in my Lord.

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.  John 15:4 Amplified

Come read more and share your own hazardous faith story at Ed's place here


30 August 2012

Keeping His promises

This week Bonnie cued us with the line:
God will make a way
I am busy in the yard and garden, but thought the following post from the past fits in.

I have learned
that man
can twist the truth
side step, embellish
using words
that falsify
or fantasize
but my God says 
that He is not
a man
that He should lie
I must hear
His Words as truth
receiving all He promises
He leaves no room
for doubt
says in this world
you will have trouble

Yes troubles come
with their sting
and in the moment
of catching breath
I must hear
His Words as truth
receiving all He promises
He leaves no room
for doubt
I will never leave you

Promises mixed
in eternal blend
I tip the cup
to drink them all

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?  Numbers 23:19 NIV

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

Joining in a cup of Bonnie's brew...


29 August 2012

Waiting for a storm

Hot winds blowing strong
how long
before a storm moves in?

Branches almost sweeping ground
how soon
before the sound of cracking?

Safe but almost numb inside
how deep
this restless need to fly

Humidity haze honey thick
how long, how soon, how deep 
will fall the rain?


Sweet play...

When it becomes work, 
I know I have stopped listening...

WordCandy Wednesday 
Joining L.L. Barkat digging into sweets today


28 August 2012

September draws near

Join the Compassion Blogger Network

September is Blog Month at Compassion, an opportunity for bloggers everywhere to let their voice ring loud with the heartbeat of Jesus as we strive to find sponsors for at least 3,108 children.

We will be given writing challenges to spark our posts, plus giveaways and prizes.  Read more about what next month will bring on Compassion's blog.

As for me, the greatest prize is knowing that in some small way I can help children know the love of our Lord through the hands and hearts of those who would choose to sponsor.

Stay tuned for more as September rolls in, and pray about how God would have you participate.


25 August 2012

Your paths

Show me Your ways, O Lord; 
teach me Your paths. 
Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness 
and teach me, 
for You are the God of my salvation; 
for You [You only and altogether] 
do I wait [expectantly] all the day long.  
Singing His praises with the Sunday Community at Deidra's


Mary Magdalene by Diana Taylor

I have often wondered about the life of Mary Magdalene.  What was the story behind the story we read in the Word?  What happened in the life of this woman from Magdala?

Diana Wallis Taylor answered my questions in her new book Mary Magdalene, a novel, putting meat on bare bones.  Though much may be imagined, the parts of the story that have been recorded in the Bible held true.  I felt as if I was reading an amplified version of the Word, captivated from beginning to end.

If, like me, you have wanted to know more about Mary and all that Jesus healed and saved her from, don't miss this fast moving page turner.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Inside the door

I have learned 
that we were meant to live outside 
the gate of the city 
and inside the door of God's heart. 
Outside is where the truth of the human condition is. 
Inside is where the joy of the divine heart is. 
The truth on the outside 
enables us to experience 
the joy on the inside without hoarding it. 
The joy on the inside 
gives us the strength to bear the truth on the outside 
without hiding from it.
Ken Gire in Relentless Pursuit

Absorbing the stillness with Sandy


24 August 2012

Tell the tale

My morning time with the Lord feels like a response to the letter I wrote to Him here yesterday, and surely a commissioning of sorts.  I am both excited and awed, but as always, in His hands.

This is what He shared as I opened my journal:

Your words are a song to My ears
I relish the taste, the sound
how you take what I show you and give it wings

Yes, your ears are listening, little one
and you turn what your hear into music
you share truth
transforming beauty into beauty

I, yes I, place the pen in your hand
knowing your heart of surrender

I will take your higher
and I will take you deeper
and you will tell the tale.

Sharing with Cheryl and those choosing to abide...


23 August 2012

What can I say?

This week, Bonnie asks us:
If you were to write a letter to God, what would you ask of him — what would you say?
I am in the habit of sitting with Jesus most mornings, journal open, asking what He wants to say to me.  I then write what I sense Him sharing. I am accustomed to remaining silent to listen, so to reach out to Him with my words feels odd.

Lord God
What can I possibly say that You do not already know?
Every beat of my heart, every breath was planned by You.
I know what I want
You know what I need.
I get lost and You are the One Who finds me,
again and again and again.
Your eyes remain on us all
even the wild one I wrote to last week
who denied You, turning instead to ways of the world
craving and seeking in dark corners
refusing the light.
What I can say to thank patience like that?

Can you fill me with that kind of love
love that waits
keeping eyes, arms and heart open
free from judgement and bitterness?

Lord God
help me continue to surrender
to let all things in me die that are not You
that more of You would live in me
that the world would know
and the world would see
for Your glory alone.

Joining Bonnie this week writing to our God


21 August 2012

Weapons at hand

I was created to reside in heavenly places
yet dwell here for now
footfalls on this earth

I must remember
it is dangerous, almost impossible
to walk unprotected

We are warned to wear protective armor:

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Ephesians 6:13 The Message

truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace
faith, salvation and His Word

the tools of war
yet I am so often weak

I strengthen myself with praise
as David did
and reach for my secret weapon
my private arsenal
opening the pages of journals
to feast on words He has spoken directly to me

this, then, is how I fight
eyes fixed on Him
this, then, is how I stand.

Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Ephesians 6:13 Amplified

Joining Peter and the rest where we're talking about arsenal


18 August 2012

Still but scattering

Allowing the fuzziness to settle in deep today
blurring life's harder edges
praying that even in this quiet
my life scatters seeds

Sow for yourselves according to righteousness
(uprightness and right standing with God);
reap according to mercy and loving-kindness.
Break up your uncultivated ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
 to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor,
till He comes and teaches you righteousness
and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.

Seeking the stillness of the day with Sandy

and joining the choir of praise in community with Deidra


16 August 2012

Letter to myself...

Bonnie is back with a new Faith Jam.  She asks us:

What would you say to your younger self – based on what you know now? At what point in life would you wish to speak to her– and what would you say?

I chose to reach back to a time right before I heard the knock of Jesus upon my heart, when I attempted to fill myself with anything and everything but Him, about fifteen years ago.

Dear Karin:
Are you alone now?
Are you sober, mind not altered by drink or drug?
I’d really like to talk with you.
I need you to hear me.
How I wish you could hear me.

I know that hunger drives you
a wide yearning place
you have wandered in for years
you think nothing can fill.

You have stuffed it with food
until the outside of you grew wide as the sea
yet still you drowned in the empty.

You cram in any sign of approval
striving to be smarter, funnier, the best at anything
believing you are the worst at everything.

You are deaf to the voice that speaks true love
how I wish you could hear Him.
He is patient
more patient than you or I
in His waiting.

Your parents named you Caryn
thinking to honor an uncle Charlie
but God’s hand was upon that choice
knowing the root meaning, from Katherine
means pure.

That is the way He sees you
no matter how low you sink
no matter how much filth you pour into your life.
How much it must hurt Him
to watch you want what you want
chasing the thrill of dirty
choosing lust, rejecting love
ever alone, unfilled, starving.

Hold on Karin
the darkness will scatter
there is One Who will redeem
and wash away the grime
rebuild, restore
and claim you as His own, His pure one.

This life you’re clinging to will crumble like dust
and so much pain will cut through
how I‘m sorry for that pain
but you have to walk through it
so your eyes will see the space you can never fill
and the One Who waits and will.

Your ears will at last be open to the voice of love
and the heart you think you do not possess
will burst with the wonder of Him.

We will worship together
you and I,
I and I,
He in us.

with all my love,

Me, you, His pure Karin

Still, I know that God lives—the One who gives me back my life— and eventually he'll take his stand on earth  Job 19:25 The Message

Thrilled to be back in the Jam with Bonnie

15 August 2012

Beyond the turn...

for there is so much more than we can see...

Joining L L and more sharing a bite of something sweet today


13 August 2012

Stiff wings...

I have been away from home. 
Not only on the road, but away from my centre even while present in my house.
Thoughts have scattered like sow thistle seeds, wild to the wind.
This morning, sitting silent at last, journal open, I waited for food from my Lord.
While His words today carried the sting of rebuke they shook me back to life.
Nothing is sweeter.

I, yes I, have given you wings and I, yes I, have given you the ability to see.

How long will you wait with these gifts dormant?

You were not created to be tied to this world My little eagle.  You are grounded only if you choose to be.

Yes, those wings may be stiff, sore from lack of use, it may indeed hurt to open and stretch them.  But it is the only way to catch the current of My Spirit.

As you soar the ache will ease and your eyes will take in all that My heart already knows.


Relentless Pursuit by Ken Gire

I had not heard of Ken Gire until I was given the opportunity to read Relentless Pursuit: God's Love of Outsiders, Including the Outsider in All of Us.

The back cover teases:
The Marginalized and the Ostracized; the Sinner and the Loner; You, Me... and Jesus.  We're all outsiders sometimes. Each of us has felt lonely in a crowd, or been passed over for a job opportunity, or been squeezed out by "friends." We've all spent time on the outside looking in. But take heart--Jesus will leave the ninety-nine just for you.
Now that I am numbered with the ninety-nine I sometimes forget the patience and passion Jesus spent to draw me and capture me.  As Gire shows us through tales directly from God's Word, Jesus, The Hound of Heaven (as portrayed by poet Francis Thompson) does not ever stop His chase.  Whenever there is the tiniest fragment of our heart that wanders the pursuit begins again.

I felt afresh the love of God as I turned each page.  I needed this book.  We all need this book.

Included after each chapter are questions to ponder that I believe would make for a great group study as well as personal reflection.

As I mentioned above, this was the first of Ken Gire's books I have read.  I will surely not be the last.

I was blessed to receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.


11 August 2012

Wherever the river goes...

And it shall be that every living thing that moves,
 wherever the rivers go, will live.
There will be a very great multitude of fish,
because these waters go there;
for they will be healed,
and everything will live wherever the river goes.  

Finding the stillness with Sandy

and happy to be back in community with Deidra