Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Defining Parameters

I start with the premise:
God is who HE says HE is.
The second premise is related to the first::
I am who HE says I am.
All of life follows....
I hold these truths close.
Hide them deep within.
Bury them where fear, and doubt and pain and suffering and lies cannot assail them.
They are the bedrock upon which I lie down...when all strength is gone.
My standing...when I have done all to stand more of a prostrate position: face down....
Whom have I but you Lord?
We fill books with words.
We define and explain.
We extrapolate and pontificate.
We think. We know.
Just turn on the TV....
Just ask anyone...everyone has opinions about everything.
We think...we know...
We don't.
How much of this life is spent in the forming of opinion?
The presenting of that opinion?
The defending of that opinion ?
Challenging other opinions?
Paul said:

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or 
superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you, 
except Jesus Christ, and him: crucified. 
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, 
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power
so that your faith might not rest on men.s wisdom, 
but on God’s power.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, 
but not the wisdom of this age 
or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 
No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that 
God destined for our glory before time began. 
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, 
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared 
for those who love him”, 
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man 
except the man’s spirit within him? 
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, 
that we may understand what God has freely given us. 
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom 
but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come 
from the Spirit of God, 
for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, 
because they are spiritually discerned. 
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, 
but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
     “For, who has known the mind of the Lord 
                            that he may instruct him?”                            
 But we have the mind of Christ.

~~ 1Corinthians 2:1-16 NIV ~~

All is vanity save this.
Life as I know it is precarious.
One thin skin away from flying apart.
One breath from...not breathing...

Eternity is here....we are mouth to mouth with it...
It is a heartbeat away... it always has been.
So much of what we esteem and invest our time so empty.
So meaningless.
 All is vanity.
Lately I have been captivated by the story of Lot and his family...specifically Lot's wife.
That last look over her shoulder...the longing...the regret...the resistance... the resentment....
....the value of what was being left behind vs. the value of what was to come..
...what was being offered....vs. what was being required....
The elevation of her defining parameters over the truth...the goodness of God.
God was not enough.
She believed :Strongly.
Her opinion was obvious.
Her convictions: conveyed.
A Pillar of Salt....
Dead Sea.
Nothing grows...nothing lives...
How much of my life is spent in holding on to or figuring out how to have what I want..
...what I desire...
...what I enjoy..
...and God too?
Who defines what is good?
Who defines what is just?
Who defines what is right?
Who ?

I pray today that I can say with Paul: 

I seek to know NOTHING among you......but Christ.... and Him crucified!

I am in His grip of grace, I can survive nowhere else....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I call Shotgun !

I've had a lot of time on my hands lately.
I'm not quite sure if that is a good thing...but it's definitely a "thing"....'s "something".
The inside of my head is getting quite a bit of traffic.
 I have discovered, much to my horror, that when physical limitations are thrust upon me...
...I start talking to myself.
It's like some twisted sitcom is happening inside my brain.
"Who writes this stuff ?"
What a mine field.
It's pretty bad when you're the writer and you can't just shut it off.
Put down the pen and walk away...step away from the paper..
Walk away from the keyboard...
I'm stuck.
It's just
I am not the kind of person who enjoys being carried.
I like striding out.
Huge ground eating strides.
I don't think I have ever walked slowly until this Spring.
Of walking slowly.
I am tired today. So very weary.
Emotions roil at the surface of my mind and as I look over the edge..
...I can't see the bottom....
They are all there...swirling....generating their own super-storm.
I sit here in my North American home, with my North American Life.
My back and other parts of my central nervous system at odds with the rest of me.
My bank account responding negatively to the current scenario.
My mind grasping at straws.
Ways and means.
How is this of value.
The walking slow. The resting.The non-doing.
It feels Negative.It feels Wrong.
People are dying of horrible diseases.
People are starving.
Mothers are walking miles to get water for their families...for a day.
Women in India are being burned alive for not providing higher dowry payments.
Bombs are falling.
Children are being sold for $10 into Sex Slavery.
Bombs are falling.
And I sit.
And I cry.
And I pray.
It doesn't feel like enough.
Who set the currency on a life?
The value of a minute?
Why me here?
Why them there?
Oh my God.
Oh my.
I don't get it.
I don't know if I ever will.
Today...I 'm not driving.
Today is...all there is.
This is the gift of God.
The here and now.
This is my life: Precious. Ordained. Held.
God have mercy on the women in India...
...the children in Sudan...
...the Fathers in Indonesia..
...the believers in Pakistan...
God have mercy on my family in Eastern and Western Canada.. Denver, USA...
...Reading, UK...
...all across Canada....

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
but on what is unseen. 
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV ~

I see dimly.
Through a veil of human intellect.
I am like the blind man who sees: " men as trees walking." in Mark 8:24
I have to trust the One who can MAKE ME SEE.
The One who sees all.
The One who knows all.
The One who fills all.
He was. He is. He will be.
My life is becoming about agreeing.
 I see better when my eyes are closed.
Why is it that I think prayer is less ?
Because maybe...being invisible is one of the worst possible scenarios I can imagine.
I live in a society that thrives on accomplishment.
We define it. Describe it. Market it .Reward it. not a fame producing career choice...
Well it can be: when attached to the branding and marketing of a name or ministry.
There can be lots of money in that.
There were some of those in Jesus time...and what he said to them has me scurrying for the shadows of obscurity.
Today... in this new day...this miraculous rotation of the Earth on it's axis... with 7 billion other created beings...
I choose.
This day.
Whom I will serve.
I serve at the pleasure of God.
He wills.
I am.
He drives.

I'm along for the ride.
I call shot-gun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Answered Prayer

I asked for strength ~
and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom ~
and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity ~
and God gave me brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage ~
and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love ~
and God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ~
I received everything I needed.

My prayer has been answered.

~ Excerpt from Extreme Devotion by Voice of the Martyrs ~


Thanking God for answered prayer today,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Well... there it black and white.
Two words.
Transverse Myelitis.
So that's what all the fuss is about.
Twelve years ago it started and here I am again.
Transverse Myelitis.
That's the story my body is telling my neurologist.
What's amazing to me is the questions they ask and the tests they conduct and the trail of crumbs that lead them to a specific diagnosis. No wonder it takes years to become a specialist...How do they know what questions to ask? Most of the questions seem to have no relationship to each other whatsoever. While I am answering I am trying to follow the thread make the connection...but no...she lost me there.

It's the first day of summer and after a week of rain and thunderstorms the sun is blazing a path across a clear blue sky. Everything is as it should be in that department. My lawn is growing...and so are the dandelions.I am not sure how many worms drowned in this last series of rainstorms but if my front walk and the sidewalk are any indication..the worm population must be seriously threatened.
The rain...or should I say...the constant, pounding, endless rain...has bred a crop of mosquitoes that rivals anything I've seen in years....but Summer is here...and that's a treat this far north of the 39th parallel.

Seasons change.
The sun rises. The sun sets. The earth rotates. The earth orbits.

Two words. On a paper. Spoken. Received. Absorbed.

And it's a new day.
More tests to come.
More tests to come....
In more ways than one....

It is a bit strange when you think about coming into knowledge that God has had for quite some time.
The search for truth, understanding ...explanations..reasons...
We spend a lot of time pursuing these things...
Things God already has a lock on.
He knows.
I am beginning to understand at this stage of the game...
That the elusive peace we NOT actually found in the least not in the KNOWING of the INFORMATION.
The peace we crave....comes from knowing and loving..and pursuing..the Knower. my body does whatever it is doing...mysteriously and unfathomably..
I choose....other words to describe the situation and those words trump the diagnosis I got yesterday:

Child of God.
Joint Heir.
Saved by Grace.
Fearfully and Wonderfully made.

I am who he says I am.

That diagnosis trumps all others.

So today. I wait. Upon Him.
God breathed....
God willed......
God ordained.....

HE is my hope.

...and I wait....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sola Deo Gloria

He was born a year and five days after his older brother.
We had two sons in one year.
We were still technically newly-weds.
He caught up in weight and size within the first year, after which there were no more hand-me -downs.
His speech was slow...but he mastered chess at a young age.
He hated losing and battled being a poor sport.
Words didn't come easily to him.
He couldn't fly by the seat of his pants.
He stumbled around trying to share his feelings, but continued to remain open and transparent.
He is teddy bear and fierce defender.
Thoughtful and sincere.
He declares at a young age usually devoted to navel gazing by his peers:

" I am most myself when I am serving."
Slow and steady.
Steadfast and quiet.
A paradox.
At once insecure and needing affirmation...yet sure and rooted.
Not quick to grasp.... at first blush...but a thinking soul....working things through.
Seeking. Realizing.Applying.

He started a job almost two weeks ago, this son of mine....the one who wrestles with interviews...
Unable to break through to the interviewer and show his worth...
His boss swears and demeans, mocks and ridicules.
My son leaves in the morning with a smile on his face and gratitude in his heart for the gift of work.
He comes home still thankful but heavy in spirit.
He prays;
Thank-you Lord for work. Give me strength. Bless my boss.
Days pass.
He moves from simply working to intercession and worship.
The Lord is truth. Every man a liar.
My God is an awesome God. he loves us ...Oh....

Unable to even listen to his iPod..he sings and prays all day under his breath....
A life offered in seconds and minutes.

Today...after being soundly cursed in front of another employee. He quietly returns to his work and waits til his boss is alone...
" Can I speak to you sir for a moment?"
The man assents.
Shaking...heart pounding...fear threatening his power of speech he quietly states:

" Sir, I have shown you nothing but respect ever since I started working for you. You have shown me nothing but disrespect. I would appreciate it if you would give me the same respect I show you."

Shocked by the respectful confrontation the man replies:

" I was wrong. You are right. Please forgive me."

The night before I was waffling between the rage of a mother...and the knowledge of a disciple....

Bless those who curse you....

Today my son stood...David vs Goliath....
Spirit of God vs Spirit of the Age.
Greater is He that is within...
Greater works than this shall you do....
The Kingdom of God advanced.
Sola Deo Gloria
For the Glory of God alone!

This son discribed the battle for his mind and his words and his actions to me like this:

"Today mom, every time my mind complained I worshiped. I sang under my breath. I prayed: Every time!
My heart burned: and then I spoke.I shook. I was afraid. I spoke through my fear. God did it."

To God be the Glory.

The goal is not vengeance.
The goal is redemption.
Names written in the Lambs Book of Life.
His kindness leads us to repentance....
Mercy triumphs over judgement...
A soft answer....
We cannot fight hatred with hate...
Cursing with curses....
Pride with pride...superiority....

Lives laid down...
Submitted to the One...who lived submitted...
That is the example..the model...
Today I saw Jesus...lived out in my son.
The Power of a Spirit -filled life.

Sola Deo Gloria.

The Word

The Word was. The Word is. The Word will be.

This is my only hope.
This is Joy.
This is all there is.
From the beginning. For all eternity.
It is the answer.
HE is the answer.
What is the question, you might ask....
What ever question you have....
Any question.
He is what we need.
Do you believe?
Will you pick up your bible...
Fall in love with the Word of God?
The written word?
The living word?
Sustenance for your very soul!
Light in the darkness.
Lamp to the path.
Bread for your day.

Here's a little incentive..a little reminder...
A song by Sara Groves called "The Word"

Be blessed renewed in your love of The Word....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fixing My Eyes...

I am taken over.
After 43 years of walking the planet:
...of simply existing....
breathing, eating, sleeping...running, walking, playing...learning...working...
I can say....I fall asleep and He is last thought.
I wake up surrounded by His presence...a new day because He wills.
This is not a feeling.
Is is a knowing.
What amazes me is the awareness that : There is NOTHING else.
Everything I gaze upon is defined by Him.
By Him.

"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
~~Psalm 73:25-26~~

This life is His pen to paper.
His brush to canvas.
His chisel to stone.
Like the words of the song: This is the air I breathe...your very word: spoken to me.
"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters."
~~Psalm 24:1-2 ~~
I stumbled across a blog written by a Father Stephen and found this quote:

I think evil is always small, and that good is infinite. Evil closes itself to God and thus becomes even smaller; Good opens itself to God and thus becomes infinite. Evil cannot become so large as to fill even the universe. God became so small that He could fill Hell and then burst it asunder because it could not contain Him. Every good deed will have eternal remembrance, but even the largest deeds of the evil will be forgotten.

He fills all.
Truth fills all.
Love fills all.
Nothing else remains.
Nothing else is really real.
He is the story.
Good swallows evil.
Life conquers death.

Lately I have felt like a tuning fork..vibrating...resonating...
I fell on the Rock...Christ Jesus...and have been broken wide open...
But the music...the sound ..the beauty of His character..His nature...His ever-present-ness..
Has rocked my world.
It is like the word is ALIVE to me...every word filled with portentous weight.
I have been awakened....when I didn't even know I was asleep.
I am beginning to see what David meant when he penned Psalm 119
Distilled down: He loved God's word/his laws/his commands: more than life itself.
It is like he knew: there is NO life without God's word.
He was fixated.Obsessed.Consumed.
His bones groaned with the knowledge.
The truth: God's words are LIFE.
What God has to say on a minute by minute basis: matters !
He is the living word.

 So when I fix my eye on Jesus....
When I allow the Holy Spirit to dominate the landscape of my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs and then my actions.... I walk in truth.
All else is a lie.
There is NOTHING...beside Him.
As I am waking up to this truth..It is like I have become a living flame:
This is my reason for being: To know him
This knowing is such a gift...a working of His Holy Spirit.
This knowledge changes my living.
It changes everything.
The story....
I am NOT the main character....HE IS.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, 
but what is unseen is eternal."
~~ 2 Corinthians 4:18 ~~

This FIXING of my eyes...has become such an integral truth in my life.
What does it mean can I does this change my days?
 My heart pounds as I write this...I know the truth of this..I have experienced this first hand...
..but I am so humbly aware that it is NOT my doing... it is the work of the Spirit ..
He reveals Jesus...He explains the mystery...HE draws us forth into the light..
But oh... the wonder...the transcendence... of surrender.
I want Him.
All Consuming Desire.
I know it...every cell of my body knows it.
This broken body. This feeble mind. This breathing dust bag.
Knows it's maker for what He is: EVERYTHING.
He has FIXED my I can FIX my EYES....

And so today I say with Paul:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart 
may be enlightened 
in order that you may know the hope 
to which he has called you, 
the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints."
~~ Ephesians 1:18 ~~, finisher...of my faith...
He is my inheritance...
He is everything.
All I see.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I Have or Haven't Done....

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply,
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply,
 ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
~ Jesus ~  Matthew 25: 35-45
I read this.
Over and over and over again.
I am struck silent.
My heart burns.
My mind ...reasons.
But there is no out.
No back door out of this one.
God loved.
He gave.
Jesus came to serve not to be served.
And me?
I marvel. At mercy.
At the patience of a God. A Savior.
With me.
Friend of God.
Who tells the potter, just how it's going to be today.
My audacity frightens me.
My heart weeps and humbled I bow down.

I need my eyes washed.
I imagine Christ, stooping to dig in the dirt, spitting and applying the mud to my eyes.
I am the blind beggar.
Cause me to see.
Give me sight.
I need the miracle.
It is LOVE that drives me today.
To joyously anticipate serving.
Seeing what is in front of me.
Doing the work of my Father.
Moved with compassion.
Laying aside my comfort.
My status. 
To move beyond looking to really seeing.
Not passive but active.

I used to think that the least of these were somewhere other than where I was and I had to go looking. 
The truth is much simpler.
The least of these are right in front of you.
Those who have need.
Someone NOT me.
Someone who has nothing to give in return for the gift I have to give.
No payback.
No return on investment.
No accolades.
No glory.
Sometimes even seemingly undeserving.
Possibly an enemy.
What I have come to realize is the severity of the cost.
It costs everything.
According to Jesus:
My fate is decided by what I have or haven't done unto the least of these.
Because this is where faith in Christ is manifested.
This is where it is lived out.
The proof is in the life.
The is searched and known...
Light of the World
Salt of the Earth.
A servant is no greater than his master.
Who am I that I should elevate myself in such a way?
To distance myself from the:

I am to be like my Master.

Seeks not it's own.

I want to do what I see my Father doing.
I have to look. I have to see.
Active Faith.
Active Hope.
Active Love.

Because, I AM his.
He is the shepherd.
I am his sheep.
Where He leads, I will follow.
I will do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord.