Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The blind follow a lead......

Whenever reading some one's writing, I'm always curious to know on what authority do they speak.  I always say to myself I'm an open book.  But how comfortable am I really with this thing of exposing?  

I know what it is you want.  Will you trust me?  This is God, speaking of the desires of my heart.  And yet again it's the question of the trusting.  Is there something I'm missing?  Have I ever not really trusted you Lord?  

......So you're really going to go there?  I could always pretend not to hear you. .......and so it's time for a little more up rooting? 

But God, how?  I'm blind.  I do not see.  Please , please show me.  I'm not afraid of what it might look like nor where it might lead.  I'm afraid of stumbling, second guessing, my old insecurities.  -This is me, trying to sound brave as if I know where He is leading me. 

-So I offer a few words of truth, not to far from the surface, cause this is where we live, where we are protected.  So we would like to think.

This identity of uncertainty.  Who you say I am and my capabilities versus the smallness and weakness of me. 

-But there is an echo in my ear.  And it's my voice.  These are words I have never spoken, audibly.

"There is no reason for you to love me.  You should just ignore me like everyone else has.  There is nothing special about me."

-This is the bitter pill I have swallowed time and time again, so willingly.  But hearing it cuts me through and through.  God, it sounds as if I'm mocking you.  Is this what it is to grieve the heart of God?  Yes, I have grieved you.  I have mocked and cursed and devalued your creation.

Me, with my grandeur and self righteousness....  

You really meant to go deep.

None the less this has been my addiction.  This thing I hide from the light, that hoovers always in the far corners of my mind.  A numbing belief that you could not possible have any use for  me.  Which I have disguised as a defense mechanism; shielding myself from further disappointment.  It's easier to believe that I am nothing than it is to get my hopes up and be further disappointed.

No, no I do not trust you with matters of the heart.  Why should I trust you with my desires?  I've spent my life following your lead and I am no closer to what I want and where I want to be.  I hear this lashed out. 

-No, wait a minute this could not be me.  This is not how I truly feel.  This is one lie I will not feed.  The rest is true.  But God I love you.  And I will never regret following your lead. 

And then came a whisper, "Be careful of the things you allow your mind to entertain.  Like any guest, welcome, they will eventually grow hungry."

How did things get so misconstrued? 

Disappointments.  Yes.  
A lack of understanding.  Yes.  
But doubting you?  
This is about me.  This is about letting go, isn't it?  Letting go of the lies and the feelings.  And the sick comfort in the believing.  Always longing for an explanation to bring healing or a promise things are changing.

I have not wholeheartedly accepted your acceptance of me.  Simply because I have not accept me.  My acceptance of my self has been based on the frailty of how others receive me.

And the measure of your great love can only be comprehensible when I stop looking at the me I perceive to see through the eyes of those whose actions mislead me.  

Replace my conditional with your unconditionality!  

Forgive me.   

God I trust you even if trusting asks me to go deep.  To expose what you are exposing in me.  

What lies are you believing, that are not comforting but you have grown comfortable with, that are keeping you from stepping into all that God has for you?

Monday, August 27, 2012

I need Grace, not a road map....

Today is one of those days that I must see and I must know more of His Grace.

I think of those times when I'm driving and I need the use of my rear view mirrors, only to find that some one has gone and messed with them.  My line of vision is now askew.  I can't see clearly to reverse, change lanes or exit when I need to.   

Sometimes you do need to look back to see where you have been, just to get your bearings again.  All of this becomes impossible because you can't take your eyes off of what is in front of you, to turn around and look back and you can't just stop dead in your tracks.  

You must make a few minor adjustments.  

Grace is the adjustment I need.  I need it to clearly reflect the terrain that lies behind me and navigate me past the dangers that lie beside me.  

Grace is the ability to see the where and accept the how of God's workings, when the whys just keep formulating.

Grace is what opens my eyes to God's Sovereignty.   If I can see and know His grace, then I can accept that He is sovereign.

Isaiah 40:26

 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Jeremiah 51:15
It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. 

 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more; And its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To those who keep His covenant, And who remember His precepts to do them. 19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Your lament, what it is producing.....

Lamentations 1:2

2 Each night, bitter tears
    flood her cheeks.
None of her former lovers
    are there to offer comfort;
her friends[a] have betrayed her
    and are now her enemies.

 This too shall past. 

 It is but a season, preparation for the soil. 

God searches the soil, seeking to remove all that is hard; abrasive, all that might hinder its tilling.  

He says it time to plant.  

Will you accept His seed?

Whatever God plants succeeds, flourishes and multiplies.  He tends to His garden, provides sustenance to bring it to life.  

He labors long, removing that which creeps in set to destroy what he has declared "Beautiful".

Psalm 126:5-6 

They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.
He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

 This is another of His promises.  

Rich.  Bursting forth in shades of precious jewels.  Tis sweet how God colors our world.

And it only gets sweeter!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who doesn't need a word of encouragement...

You are not alone.  Right now in the middle of whatever it is that you are facing, you.. are.. not.. alone.  There is a presence, even now, you can sense it.  Don't question it. Just welcome it.  Let it settle.  Relax into it.  He has heard your cry, even those things that you have not verbally uttered.  Don't let your mind wander.  He is there to be your comfort, not to judge.  He is there to love.  Yes, believe it.  He is not there to tell you how to live your life, unless of course you want Him to.  He is not there to tell you how you should feel.  He is there primarily, just to be with you.

You might be asking, how can I be so sure? Well, because I've been praying for you.  So not only do you have God but you have me too.

 As David declared in Psalms, Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!

As did Moses in Deuteronomy, 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.

We find this declaration in Joshua, Jeremiah and again in Isaiah; When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

These promises are for you.  Take a small step of faith.  Acknowledge them.  God will work on the trusting and believing. 

Christ has identified with you in your suffering.  He knew all too well those things that you have been feeling.  Take heart now, He suffered for you so that you might know peace and rest in all that you go through.

John 12: 27
Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say?  Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]?  But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it].

And one last thing, please hear me.  You are so loved and so cared for that even your tears are not wasted, as we are reminded in Psalms 56:8.

That overflowing outward expression of what is taking place on the inside is something so precious to God that He sees the need to collect them.  Not only does He see your pain and your grief but He stands there with you, in the middle of it.  He catches each tear as they slip from your face and bottles them up all because  He really does love and He really does care.  

Everything you think, everything you feel, everything you experience, you release in a moment; in the form of a tear.  This is how much He cherishes you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


As a young girl only five years of age, I had a heart for the world and all it held.  Africa and the mission field; all the small hands that I wanted to touch and feel; to share the love of Jesus that makes all things heal.  

Compassion was my dream.  I only wanted to be like Him.  A friend to all, one that picks you up when you fall down, that listens to all your questions, who loves with a love that drives out all your fears, who holds you close when you can't fight back the tears.  The difference I knew and understood that He made, was something I wanted to share; to give away. 

These visions never left me and at the age of 18 I set out on an journey.  I packed my bag less than a week after my high school graduation.  I boarded a plane with a bunch of strangers.  I marvel to myself, what took me so long, I loved this thing of flying.  No one would have guessed that this was my first time in the air, first time out of the country and first time this far away from home and mama and daddy.  

Africa awaited me and there was no slowing my heart down. 

Now fast forward, say 20 years later.    

I awoke this morning missing Africa.  What a strange thought.  It's been years since I really was reminded of her and how deeply she once was laid on my heart.  But everywhere I turn I keep hearing about this place and its playing once again on my heart strings.  

So I asked myself, Why?  And to this I found myself saying, God it's really You that I miss.  Seeing You in all those beautiful faces.  Being reminded of what my place is.  As a representation of what your love and your grace is. 

Then this twinge struck my heart.  God why does it take far away lands to remind me that This has always been the plan.  It doesn't start with Africa and it won't end with Africa either.  

It starts with me, daily conforming to your image, taking on your very nature.

There are needs all around me that I could walk blind to.  God, I don't want to be grieved by inadequacy, focusing on lack; for I know You and surely I know what it is to be kept.  Don't let me be foolish, make excuses and keep You to my self.  

Daily, wake me to the world around me.  Cause me to act more and more like myself.  The me you created, for such a time as this.  For Lord, you know what day it is and what plans you have made for me!  Cause me to know them as well.

Psalms 139

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!(E)
18 If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You.


Monday, August 20, 2012

When its that kind of day....

When everything that can go wrong, does.  And it is working on  that "last nerve".   Even in these moments it is possible to hear God speak.

Fear of failure.....there is no fear, for I am failing; failing miserably.  Everything seems but a distraction.  One to which I want to shout "Go away, just go away. Leave me. Let me be", but rather I hang my head and let the tears fall ever so softly.  I internalize because I do not wish to jar the feelings of a mere child.  

Why all the distractions?  Why the irritation with it all?  Why have I cursed the very things that sustain me in their own perpetual ways?  How can my joys so easily strike me like sand paper some days?  What have I removed for this equation to turn the table thus so?  Do I dare look deeper into this gray heart of mine?  

Shame on me for my ungratefulness.  This selfishness that speaks of entitlement.  Who am I?  Who am I to think such thoughts?

Psalms 51

6 Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
17 My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

God speaks in many ways.  In what appears to be our own thoughts some days.  Other days He can speak to us with a direct scripture.  This particular day I heard both.

 When God speaks so directly to my heart, I usually find myself at His feet with an offering.  This time it was a prayer.....along with a lot of tears.

Take my thoughts captive oh God, with your love, rebuke me of my trespasses.  Do not allow me to stay in this place.  Your grace provides freedom, for by which with my sacrifice of praise, I am open to receive.  Lord, God continue to teach me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Routines are necessary.  And so often their foe is an interruption.  But what if God is the culprit behind some of those interruptions?

This morning in the midst of our routine, something caught my eye.  I watched as the trees' shadows danced on the kitchen wall behind me.  It was ever so striking.  I could not draw myself away.  The way their leaves moved in rhythm with the mornings gentle breeze.  The way the sun hung just so to cast these shadows.  My heart swelled as I held back tears.   

In our home, we call these God sightings (thanks to this year's VBS "Fly").  The evidence of Him is all around us but He has a way of getting my attention with little gifts to remind me that He is there. He is always speaking and listening.  

Thank you, God, that you are teaching me a different way to be moved by interruptions.   

And to think if I had not stopped then I would have missed it.  Five minutes later this sight could no longer be seen.

Isaiah 55:12 
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

I imagine this is what those trees where doing!

May your day, today, be full of worship for He is worthy of all!  May you be reminded that God does speak through interruptions.  And He is faithful to teach us how to slow and rightly respond to them. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sweetly Broken....

In one way or another, we are all broken.

This doesn't mean we are weak and always falling apart.  It's that we all have pieces missing.  Either lost or stolen.

To be sweetly broken is to have come to the knowledge that God uses our brokenness, that with His love and His care, we can grow from here.

We awaken to the awareness that we have an even deeper need for him. 

Sweetly broken is that place where we let his love shine through, allowing it to warm our numb emotions and thaw out our  frozen heart.  It's where we learn to smile in the midst of pain.  Give him our praise and learn what it is to truly be thankful.

When nothing goes as planned, understanding has long since passed, God's providence is sought from a trusting gaze rather than a hand, reaching, extended; when we are sweetly broken.

This is the place of great discernment; soul and spirit can not be confused because only peace can be heard in one that is sweetly broken.

So often our hearts have been used, abused, and badly beaten.   Believe it or not, there is such a thing as healing.  The anger, bitterness, resentment, scorn and the need to get even must be surrendered. 

I know that sounds like a lot to ask; surrendering that which you do have a right to feel, but God desires to replace those feelings with a tangible measure of His love, His presences and His power.  Experiencing those three things far out weigh anything you could have hoped on receiving from the ones that have inflicted your pain. 

What He has to offer you, nothing else on earth can begin to compare too.

Sweetly broken is a place where you and I are safe to work through all of our issues, to tell God how we really feel with the understanding that at the end of the day, His thoughts and feelings have not changed. 

We are Loved. Wanted.  And this Love is Real!  Oh so much better than any fairytale you or I could have concocted!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Because I said so....

We all know that as a child the given response to the question "Why", was one time too many "Because I said so.".  It was never the response we desired. 

For me it served to be an invaluable lesson in trust and acceptance.  And today, in my shortcomings, my failures, my unbelief, and all my questioning; I'm hearing this once more. 

Why trust?   Why accept?  His love.  His promises.  To this, He gently whispers,

"Because I said so.  
I have written you a book that proclaims my love and the depth of it.  
I have sought you out and continue to pursue you.  
I take every opportunity to demonstrate the degree in which you move Me.  
You must know that you are LOVED.  WANTED.  
Need you any further explanation?  
Why not trust Me."

The hardest struggle to accepting and trusting is the contradicting lies of deception.  The deep seeded words or actions that have left gaping wounds.  Wounds that leave us trembling, broken and in shattered pieces spread about the floor.  I know you know them.  You can name them and probably remember just when they pierced you.

We pick up the pieces, realign them, try to make them fit.  But like any vessel that's ever been broken, as with clay, there is no such thing as a clean break.  There are jagged edges and slivers that seem to have just disappeared.  The vessel is damaged, not beyond repair.  Repairs however will never restore the vessel back to its intended use.  It will never be filled without leaking.  

This leaves us with only two options.  Reconstruction or Deconstruction with the intent of rebuilding.  Either result in the same outcome.  


We must give God permission, trusting in His abilities as an Artist, famous for His passion and the most tender of hands; accepting He really does know His craft.  We are in need.  Filled with so much longing, to experience sweet relief from these depths of our despair.  

Freedom comes with our response to trusting and accepting God's love that has always been there.

Forget about the process.  He's got that covered.  Just be still and know that you are LOVED and WANTED!

The link below offers a free download of the song in the above video.