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Showing posts from 2009

Existing to be alive

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"I've been existing . . . I want to be alive" This quote stood out to me the other night as the family sat down for our weekly Friday night pizza and movie. It's from the movie Wall-E, which we had seen when it came out on the big screen but we were watching this time in the comfort of our own home. Thinking back, I remembered this quote, and all the spiritual connotations of the movie . . .how large and out of shape everyone up in space got because they had gotten comfortable where they were but it was all so much more poignant this time because that is what I have been feeling lately . . . I've been existing, but not living the abundant life Christ has called me to and provided for me. He says in John 10:10b "I have come that you might have life - and have it more abundantly." Christ is the very One who called us to abundant effective life and commanded us to splash in the cool waters of His love.

Abundant means plentiful, abounding with, rich, and ful…

Come Home

Come home

I make all things new

Come home

I wait for you



Come home

for here I wait

Arms extended

expecting you

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. LUKE 15:20




Caught in your Grace

"A thousand times I've failed, still your mercy remains; should I stumble again, still I'm caught in your grace" from the song From the Inside Out by Hillsong

Once again, I had blown it . . . I let my flesh rise up and out and there was that feeling of "Am I ever going to just walk the path without tripping over these emotions that sneak up on me like a rock or stump sticking out of the path while on a hike?" I was running on the treadmill, to get out the aggression, to spend time worshipping and getting my focus back where it needed to be . . . and those words came alive . . . stumbled AGAIN, still I'm caught in your grace . . .
The visual of a big net came to mind. The one underneath the trapeze artist who so gracefully swings . . . the safety . . . she does not go into this performance trying to fall into the net, yet it is there. Yes, she expects that she would at sometime in the learning process fall into that net, but now that she has got it down, t…

Pondering . . .

I have to ask the question - do you believe God speaks to His people today, in some form or fashion . . . to His children . . . to his children's children . . . our sons and daughters?

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. Job 33:14-16

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28

My youngest woke up the other day and the first words out of his mouth were:

"Wanna hear my song? They gave me a song. In my dream." And he proceeds to sing . . .

Down
It feels like the world's falling down
I want to see light in the world
All around

So I ask where the song came from and he says the same thing . . . they gave it to me in my dream.

But…

Little birds

There was a little bird outside my window today. He was sitting on the back of a chair, hesitating . . .

Lately during my quiet times early in the morning, I have the sense that I have company . . . noisy, little company. There seems to be a lot of commotion outside by the vent from the stove, which is across from my chair in the living room. I thought about how the last few mornings, I have seen several little birds flocking around there, close to the kitchen window. Surely they can't be flying in that opening - there is supposed to be a protective screen on it. So the other night when I was outside, I went to see if there was any way they could be getting through the protective screen. Sure enough there was a small hole . . . and the thought came to me: that's NOT a safe place to rest, that's NOT a safe place to make a home, that's NOT a safe place to camp out.

The Holy Spirit quickened within me . . . "And how often do you find yourself making a home, camping ou…

New jogging shoes

So I got a pair of new jogging shoes . . . and here comes the blister - inevitable it seems. A hot spot had developed . . . a friction point caused by intense rubbing on my skin. The back of my foot was NOT liking the way this new shoe fit. I know that eventually my foot and the shoe will work well together and we'll travel many happy miles. But for now, the top layer of skin begins to separate from the one below it and fluid filled the space to help protect the injured area. OUCH! Yet, I couldn't keep wearing the old shoes - they were worn out - if I want to keep going down the path and/or keep exercising my muscles, it's time for new ones - time for a new mode of transportation . . .

"That's it!" I feel like shouting the way Lucy does in Charlie Brown's Christmas when Schroeder finally play Jingle Bells the way she had envisioned . . . but that IS it: My Lord Jesus has called me to keep walking the path with Him . . . and I don't want to stop walkin…

Don't Touch the Crown - It's all I Have!

The life of Esther . . . oh the volumes it speaks in 10 short chapters . . . rich with lessons ... the unspoken speaks volumes . . . and then there is the most memorable verse part "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” And all she can think is "Don't touch the crown - it's all I have to hold onto right now!" As Beth Moore points out, the answer to every "who knows" question is God knows. Just look at how many times He reassures us in His word that "I know" . . . I know the plans I have for you . . . And He is your deliverer . . .

I love the lyrics from Chris Tomlin's "My Deliverer"
I will wait for You to move
For Your mighty hand to save
When the trouble waters rise
You are my hiding place

Your walls are salvation
Your gates are praise

My Deliverer
My Delivere…

Waiting . . .

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"Waiting on God brings us to our journey's end quicker than our feet."

The Thunderbirds were here for an open house performance the other week because the previous week's Air Show was cancelled due to a tropical storm/cyclone looming our way. So that was a miracle in and of itself - they were able to come back, the following week. Well, the weather was a bit strange the day of the Open House too - and just as they get in the jets with all the pomp and circumstance and taxi down to the end the runway, you can't help but notice the very low clouds overshadowing the sky. Of the clouds, there is no end in sight. The Thunderbirds are out there waiting ... can you image what is going through their minds ... the Lead has got to make the call - do we go or do we not go ... do we WAIT ... can you imagine how hard that must be, to sit there in that jet, all geared up and ready to go, not to be able to go anywhere until you have the clearance.

I remember praying, not my will…

Broken . . . my broken heart

Things are breaking around here . . . the dishwasher rack had a part break off so it wouldn't work properly; the knob to the temperature of the dryer came off - these just needed a new piece or a reattachment of the old piece. Then there's my make-up tumbling out of the cabinet and breaking into pieces, almost unusable; I'll have to get new ones. So what does this have do with life, spiritual life? Everything - you see there are pieces of my heart that need fixing or a new part. So I say:Tear down these wallsBreak through these chainsCome heal my heart again Show me my heart - am I willing to be broken and to walk in the bright light of truth about myself as God knows me? Recently I changed the backdrop for this blog. I picked the lighthouse because it seems so fitting now that I'm surrounded by water. And although there are no lighthouses here, I see how the brightness of the their light not only guides you safely home but exposes dangers along the way. The Lord is te…

Hermit Crabs & Habitation

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Once again, I am amused at how the Holy Spirit speaks to me . . . this time it was through a hermit crab.

Hermit crabs have a shell on them 24/7 - it's their habitation, their protection, their refuge. Their head and little pinchers come out enabling them to move around and do their thing, but they are never separated from their shell . . . their dwelling, it's part of who they are. The reason a hermit crab stay inside most of the time is that he is in desperate need of moisture and is all about conserving what he does have. He loves to come out in the rain to take full advantage of the moisture. This shell, this dwelling place, provides complete mobility, and protection. It has no holes to let danger in and the shell allows the crab to withdraw completely, to a safe place.

So what's your dwelling place? Psalm 91:2 says because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, your dwelling place, your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no plague shall come near your dwelling; …

Everlasting Arms

Deut. 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.

The Father's ArmsArms of the Father - the reigning great I AmArms that are eternal - without beginning or an endArms that reach out to hold you, as you are still running towards home Arms that never tire, strength so matchless, so unknownArms to roll the burdens onto, whether a big or a little oneArms that can hold it all together, nothing coming undoneArms that extend a gentle hand, wiping away the tears Arms that provide complete security, vanishing all your fearsArms that are beneath you, now matter how low you feel you go Arms that speak: "I love you" more than you could ever knowAnd so my response is nothing other than: just like a child, I run straight to your arms . . . Just like a child, You keep me safe from all harm. Just like a little child.The last few words came to me years ago and I couldn't let them out of my head - over the years God has used that same picture and spoke…

I lift my eyes up

The craziest thing happened the other week with my oldest son - he had spent a lot of time staring down at his little TV and basically, his eye muscles got strained from looking down for too long. It got to the point where he couldn't look down any more without pain or blurriness and he had to rest his eyes. He had to keep his eyes looking level or above.

It's comical at times, how God speaks through the circumstances of our lives. Both him and I have moments or periods of time where we are too focused on what is around us at the moment or what used to be (the whole looking down thing) and it was beginning to cause pain. I know there is a grieving process going on (like something died when we left California), but God was reminding me to look at the blessings that are right here right now and to look ahead to the plans He has for us (not just at the little TV). But I cannot remain looking down or just at the one thing. If I do, I will trip over what is right in front of me or m…

Almost drowning . . . Living from the Heart

We were at the beach yesterday, packing up to go home because a storm was brewing - lightening and thunder in rapid succession. I hear the panicked scream of a mom and another relative as a little boy got overwhelmed in the water, he was in over his head . . .

There is that moment of quick decision . . . "Do I jump in?" Do I stay?" . . . or the thought that "There are plenty of other people around, someone will help them" . . .but will they? Why am I here at this moment in time?So I jump in, fully clothed and about to be fully soaking wet, but what does that matter in relation to a life. Not being a lifeguard, it seems strange to me that this is the third time in several years where I've been in a situation where someone is "in over their head." God, what do you have to say about this?

There are many crying out to God to save them . . . to save their heart . . .
Save me O God, for the waters have come up to my neck! I sink into deep mire. There is …

Beauty of the Dusk before the night

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How beautiful the sunset is, yet it is the time right before darkness . . . I was pondering this when I thought of the "dark" nights that God leads you through . . . where only His light can illuminate. You may long for the bright light of the day, or even the beauty of the dusk, but now it is pitch black and you can only trust. The beauty now is that You know whose Hand holds you and guides you and that He is totally worthy of your trust - in fact He is the only One worthy of your complete (total) trust. Whether He pacifies the storm or beckons you to come to Him on the waters, He is your HOPE. Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation (deliverance, victory). He ONLY is my Rock and my Salvation, He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62:1-2

A Dark Night

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Beloved, I have gone before you to make crooked places straight and rough places smooth. It has been crooked and rough lately. It may not seem like it, but the fact is that it would be virtually impossible for you to navigate this spiritual terrain without My help.I am so bad about asking for help, even from my heavenly Father sometimes and He is pointing this out. He is allowing situations where there is nothing else to do, but ask for help, because I cannot do it on my own strength/ability.I am not surprised by the things that challenge you, nor am I worried that you will not come through, for I am with you to bring you to new heights.This is encouraging, because if I look at my feelings, I feel as if I will not come through, nor will the road get any higher.The path is narrow, and there is no other way to arrive at this level of spiritual maturity than the way you have come, says the Lord. Trust Me and keep pressing on." I trust you Lord, help me to trust you more. Isaiah 40:4…

Puzzles

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The kids have been into doing puzzles lately. I love how the Father speaks through the things of your life . . . to teach you, to lead you, to guide you and to remind you how much He loves you.

My life: your puzzle, your pieces, your timing. In a conversation with my Mom, those words came out of my mouth before I could even process them. I knew the Holy Spirit was trying to speak something to me. And it does seem as is my life is a puzzle; one that from my point of view looks like . . . a big unorganized mess. But You Lord, are putting it together, You hold the pieces, You know when and where each piece goes. You know what it looks like when it is finished and the beauty of a picture uncomparable to any other.

As a child needs help with a difficult puzzle, You show me how a certain piece can fit here or maybe there. As a child must hold the finished product in front of them, You show me how I must hold You and the wholeness of my life in You, in front of me always or I will get off cou…

Deeper Roots . . . Higher Reach

There I was at Starbuck's the other day with a couple of friends, waiting in line for the bathroom. A poster on the wall has a simple drawing of a tree and its roots and the caption says, "The deeper the roots, the higher the reach." Now there's some inspiration! Of course they had their own twist on it, but the principle is from the word of God.

God uses the picture of a tree to show us how the deeper we are rooted in Him, His word, and His love; the more stability that brings to us . . . and the higher our reach will go. Think of the tall trees in the rainforest or jungle that provide cover for the younger ones . . . think of the palm trees that bend and sway in the storm, but the strength of the wind is not stronger than their roots. What you can't see below them is their source of strength.

As the winds of life blow you around, you may feel like you are not steady or secure and you would greatly enjoy the wind to stop blowing, but we were not promised a life wi…

The Door

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Remember the children's classic story and song "Going on a Bear Hunt"? (Going on a bear hunt, going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, I'm not scared . . . uh, oh . . . mud, thick oozy mud. Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, got to go through it) How many times in life do you come to a door . . . and find this children's classic rhyme in your head because you can't go over it, you can't go under it, you can't go around it, you've got to go through it.


Funny thing about opening a door is that you don't know how hard you're going to have to push on it until you just start to open it. Sometimes it requires little effort and sometimes it takes all the strength you've got to get it open and go through. And the time factor - it might take a bit of time to push open a very heavy door . . .

So it is with pressing in to God or going to the next place He's called you. It's like a door before you. Yo…

Engraved on His palms

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See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:16


My friend and I were praying the other day and focusing on this attribute: compassion. Our Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. She read the passage in Isaiah 49 and as she read verse 16, I had to interrupt her and have her reread it . . . because I heard it . . . and felt it. Engraved. The nail scarred hands. I am engraved on the palms of his hands. I belong to Him. He claims me as His own.

Why do you engrave your name on something . . . because you want to keep it forever and you want no one to take it from you. And if for some reason it was taken from you, whoever finds it would know to whom it belongs . . .


This is how much I love you Your name's engraved on my hands This is how much I love you The nail scars remain This is how much I love you You've been ransomed by love This is how much I love you You belong to me This is how much I love you I claim you …

Smashing the Idol . . . of Efficiency

I like to be efficient - I think it's a good thing - it's productive, not to waste time or energy . . . most people would agree. Do you see where this is going though? I, I, I . . . this morning as life was not going efficiently and realized all the things that would take so much longer to do today because because yesterday was thrown off schedule and things got moved back . . .

Suddenly, the Holy Spirit reminded me (He's so good and gentle) of the problem with efficiency. Is it good? . . . to "be performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable" as Webster says. Probably, in and of itself. But like many things in our lives, when that thing or that characteristic becomes more important and brings us more satisfication that Christ himself . . . not so good.

So it broke my heart this morning that I had broke His heart by allowing efficiency to b…

I'm Willing because I Love You

Jogging . . . again . . . the lines of a favorite song (yes, I have many favorites these days) shouts out "My Lord has conquered the grave." And I have this thought: yes, he has conquered the grave. To conquer means to win, to master, to acquire by force, overcome, to gain victory. Since has conquered the grave, He has conquered death. Death is the ultimate thing, so He has conquered things of less significance . . . certainly many things are less difficult to conquer than death.
Then as only the Holy Spirit can, He begins a dialogue that goes right to my heart, right to my thoughts, right to my fears, right to my concerns . . . I have conquered the grave and I can conquer your son's fear of going to school and missing you so badly that he dreads it and cries. And I can conquer your other son's sickness. And I can conquer all the details of your life - the list goes on.
So I respond "I know that, my Lord Jesus - you CAN conquer anything."
And then the knife th…