Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Thirst.

Obedience is His love language.   

Is that why I get so bent out of shape when the Holy Spirit gently lets me know the way,
 and I say in my inner most parts, that it's too scary. 
I'm not going there. Nope. Not doing it. It's way to hard. 
What then? 

I've been stuck in Romans the past couple of nights. Silent whispers on my heart that say.  "Read slow." "Immerse your soul in My words." So I do, if only because I know that obedience is His love language.  It's out of duty. It's abnormal. I understand very little and it gets so confusing.  I have become completely more comfortable in the Old Testament and it's stories of  people, who hear God through the prophets but seldom hear His direct voice.

My journey leads me  towards His words, and I must step. The words my Jesus said while He walked and talked on the soil He created. Word made flesh. Flesh that had to die, so that I could really live. Do you see how big of deal this is? There is nothing I could say or write,  in my own created flesh, that could ever match the wonder of the words that spoke life and healing. And I fear.

I fear the same things I have always feared. When did I unknowingly resurrect this fear? I laid it down there, at the cross. It died a death witnessed.  Am I a slave forever?

How can I fear what He has laid so clearly out for my steps?  Is He not the same God in the New Testament as in the Old? When did I become a wandering Israelite again clamoring for more of the God of the past than the God of the future? Can I love God enough to obey Him even in the hard?

He hung on the cross, that dreadful day so long ago. Apart from the Creator for the first time. Separated. Obedient. Face to face with sin itself, and in the last hours a cry from His very soul "I thirst."

The Word, wanted more of the Word in his soul.. he was thirsty.

I become like a child, at the foot of the cross watching his daddy contemplate the enormity of the simple.

Jesus thirsted so I wouldn't have too. Obediently I open my New Testament and begin drinking.

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
 by whom we cry, "Abba Father!"  
Romans 8:15

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flesh Living.

I did much better at keeping a straight face when he said what he said than my mother did.

He was hollering at the waitress for some reason for the umpteenth time this particular meal, and I gently warned him that he would be sitting in the van if he chose to continue to do that.  He looks up at me with those big brown eyes, and says, "I am deeply sorry."

"Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." 
Romans 8:8 

Yes, it was totally a flesh moment. Me, his mom, playing the part of God.  This particular world changer was crafty in his words.. but his heart just hadn't caught up yet. Therefore, it was impossible to please me. 

Abba Father,
      Thank you for the gift of children who remind us all how we are to approach your Throne.... filled with deep sorrow for our sin, and when we chose to come daily to You with our flesh you drench it in your blood, totally covering it so it becomes something You can use for your glory.  Thank you Father for this gentle reminder that the eternal consequences of not running to you daily with our deep sorrow overshadow the current temporary consequences that all sin brings. Thank you Father for your grace and mercy concerning this battle of the flesh.  For Your glory alone I chose to die daily.  I love you. Amen.


autographed takeout box anyone? 

by Trace: 
do you know about me.
my name is trace
I am 83
and i lived to be 900
do not read this.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the most effective way to win a battle.

Can I introduce you to my new found friend? He's a king, and he's dead, but I think you'll learn to love his story like I am. His name is Jehoshaphat. And just so you know, his first name isn't Jumping. He became a king at the ripe old age of 35, and reigned for 25 years over Judah. In all respects he was considered a good king because he believed and followed God.

As a king way back in the day, you knew when surrounding countries were out to wage war against you. I don't know how exactly, but if you have ever watched Lord of the Rings,  you kinda get some idea that it takes a long time to move into an actual battle with all your army stuff.  Jehoshaphat was made aware that his country was under attack, and being the strong young buck that he was... Jehoshaphat

"was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, 
and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah." 
2 Chronicles 20:3

We are talking about real humans here. This REALLY happened. Jehoshaphat's country was about to be obliterated by neighboring armies...and he was afraid. I love that this man of God was afraid, and that we get to know!  How many men of leadership and power admit to being afraid of a situation that surrounds them and that feeling of being afraid moves them into action towards God? Amazes me actually.

There is so much more to this true story in the Bible and I hope you take time to read it for yourself, it's that good, but I hate to leave you with a knee knocking king in front of his country, so let's hit the fast forward button cuz your not going to believe the battle plan that God gave him.

"And when he had taken counsel with the people, 
he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord 
and praise Him in holy attire, as they went before the army and say,  
Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever." 2 Chronicles 20:21

SERIOUSLY????  Can God HAMMER anymore into my very being the importance of PRAISE??? DID YOU READ THAT???? The pretty singers all dressed in their finest went BEFORE The army!!  HA! That's insane!! These are REAL people. with REAL families, ALL about to do battle against THREE countries with REAL WEAPONS!!!

I'm in awe of God and how powerful praise can actually be, because in the very next line of the story we read this.

"and when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush..."  

um... yah. THE LORD SET AN AMBUSH!!!  HA!! And after the singing stopped, there were dead bodies laying everywhere and the people of Judah got to spend the next three days gathering all the good stuff laying there on the ground! Rewards!!

All I can say is wow. wow.

If praise is on your lips, you have no room for anything else, and GOD fights your battles. OHHH that I would NEVER forget to praise!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

i love drugs, but not as much as Jesus.

I was born with bad teeth. Cavities straight from the womb I'm sure. I scrubbed and brushed just like my mom always made me do. I even had to take fluoride pills smashed up and melted in my beloved grape juice every morning. Sadly however, it just never did the trick and I was very familiar with the numbing needle that the dentist is trained to hide from you.

As I positioned myself in the laid back but never comfortable dentist chair yesterday, the Doc took one look at my X-ray and decided that "that tooth needs to come out." The lovely assistant quickly prepped me and the room for extraction. Mouth full of a goop for an impression, paper bib, needle full of the ultimate numb out, life was a blur.

My first clue as to what was about to happen started when the beloved needle bent while in my mouth. Does that even happen? The Doctor said, "that's a first."

Numb now, He starts the procedure, and wouldn't you know it..

ok so here's where I need to tell you about a book I'm reading with a few ladies. Long story very short the one line that the whole book is based on is.. " Eucharisteo proceeds the miracle." Which means.. well, again very short that thanks proceeds the miracle... easy right? Well, at our last book club meeting I was lamenting that this whole concept was eluding my everyday life.  Wow, did i even say that out loud?

I needed a miracle as the doctor all but had his knee on my chest willing my tooth to come out with a plier in hand. Grabbing my jaw, he even swore a bit. Top it off there was this lady in the next door exam room that was talk talk talk talk talking about nothing nothing nothing. Head in full tilt, mouth open, hands ready to punch the doctor, and tears on the cusp of falling. I remember that Eucharisteo proceeds the miracle, and I centered my thoughts on what the heck I was thankful for at the moment.

The booger free dentist that I hadn't punched yet.
Steady hands who knew what they were doing.
The air I was breathing
I wasn't wearing a skirt.. so I could contort my legs in positions that at least seemed to help?
A place where that lady could feel free to talk talk talk talk talk.

yah, really small stuff. But i'm telling you there REALLY wasn't much to be thankful for in that moment.

But God showed up, my whole body calmed and the blasted tooth finally came out.  Shoved full of gauze and prescription in hand to kill the pain of the next few days I head home. This morning, I'm super thankful for the drugs, but not as thankful as I am for how Jesus came and preformed a miracle in my soul while at the dentist.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Much Grace Required

Grabbing my sunglasses off the counter I immediately hear it. It wasn't an audible whisper like I have heard before. It was in fact, just a nudge in the pattern of my normal thoughts around this time of the morning. Normal being along the lines of,  "Go let the chickens out, got your shoes? homework? do you need that? you might need a sweatshirt, hurry up your going to miss breakfast,  wash your hair, you need to wake up earlier..."  Frustrated, filled to the brim with expectations that clammer to get out of my mouth. quickly and harshly. I become another person as my only goal is to get the World Changers to school on time,  because then I can get home and spend some time alone.

The past 10 months, I have gathered with strangers turned family to learn more about the God who called us to be His. It's here that I learn to give grace in practical ways. We are all fallen humans. We all sin. We all have stuff. We are all in need of grace, and I give it to this family week after week. 

I am also forced to learn to give my self grace as well, over and over. It's being wrong that scares me into not acting, talking, fear of saying the wrong answer.  Learning to give myself grace takes ten times more effort and practice, but in the family of believers grace is shown and given, and I learn over and over again to "give yourself grace sister." 

A nudge in my thoughts. Give Grace. 

I'm dumbfounded. When did I think that my home, the people that I live close to every single day didn't need grace? They have stuff, they have needs, they should be shown grace, especially from their mom. Tears wash the log out of my eye and I see. I see the mess my sin has created in my own home.

I am lead to the book of Luke where Jesus is speaking "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher." Grace has pealed back the blinders on my soul, and I know. I know that the journey to give grace to those who live in my home has begun. A focused effort to allow people to fail and learn and grow to be like their Teacher, without any side comments from a well meaning drill sergeant called mom who requires much grace herself.