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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time to Give Life



















Hope.

Tonight I give you My hope.

The lifeline
from heaven
flung out like a rope.

You were sinking
  in over your head.
Thoughts were swirling
  round and round
  filling you with dread.

But tonight,
I hold out my hand to you.

And I look you
in the eye,
with love,
with faith
and call you to rise above.

The words I placed within you,
It's time to give them life.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Posture Yourself

The heron.

(at least that's my best guess)

He stands there this morning.

The message.

Unmistakable.

POSTURE YOURSELF

I'm not really awake yet. I'm jogging around the pond, grateful that the geese are not blocking my path this morning - they are all in the lake.

And I'm painfully aware that I need reminders.

I use my phone to enter in anything I need reminding of. Before the phone, I had sticky notes all over the place - or a long list of "to-do's." Because if I don't write it down, it's most likely not going to happen.


So I shouldn't be surprised that I need a reminder. As if waking me early wasn't reminder enough. And this is how He chooses to remind me.

With a heron.

There is no arguing for me.


Every.

thing.

changes.


By starting the day right.

By posturing myself to hear from Him.

By positioning myself for the purpose of hearing His provision for the day.

My attitude.

My perspective.

I watched this play out over and over again. He doesn't mind that I'm half asleep. It's easy to rationalize the need for sleep, but quite honestly, I need Him and His presence more. The seven to eight hours of sleep can't compete with the strength & grace He gives.

So, when He wakes me up, I pray I will rise.

In the light of the dawn.

In the quiet of the early morning.

To posture myself.

Before Him.


Not that I don't need to keep posturing myself all through the day to hear from Him, nor be so wrapped up in the details of life that I miss His voice. But this is about starting the day right.

One of my favorite verses:

Let the morning bring word of your unfailing love (cause me to hear Your loving kindness), for I have put my trust in You. Show me (cause me to know) where to walk, for to you do I lift up my soul (give myself to you). Psalm 143:8

And I almost laughed out loud.

The way this heron stood there.

Arms open.

Facing the sun.

Soaking in the light.

On the edge of the pond.

Bringing glory to God.

All by posturing himself.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Walk With Me


Walk with me.


You choose to walk with me,
leaning on me as much as you need.


And why do I feel badly about needing to lean so much . . .
because it doesn't bother you, my Lord, at all.



This perceived weakness of mine,
This needing to lean on You,
Needing to cling to you,
Allows Your power to rest on me.

In fact, You rather enjoy it, taking delight in my leaning on You. As my husband takes delight in our daughter leaning on him.



Be blessed in the name of Jesus the Lord who is always with you.

Your strength is knowing God and shining His light.

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9b



Author of the world, walk with me
Ruler of the earth, walk with me
Calmer of the storm, walk with me
Healer of my heart, walk with me


How I need You
How I need You, oh Jesus
Walk with me
How I love You
How I love You, Oh Jesus
Walk with me


Light for every step, walk with me
Healer of my heart, walk with me
Giver of each breath, walk with me


How I need You
How I need You, oh Jesus
Walk with me
How I love You
How I love You, Oh Jesus
Walk with me


In Your presence Lord
There is peace, there is rest
In Your presence Lord
There is life that never ends
In Your presence Lord
There is joy, there is joy
In Your presence Lord
There is life that never ends

-Kim Walker Smith "Walk with Me"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9M5bD7PgGE

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding beauty . . .



Beauty.

It was there.

On the wrong path.

The one that I started out
so sure on.

But the farther I went,
the more I realized

It was not the right one.




Little did I know

That this path would lead me

Back to the one

I had intended to be on, yes,

But even more so -

Beauty in the journey.


That's the message. Beauty in the journey. Right where I am. The path I didn't choose. Or that was chosen for me. Or that seems all uphill. Or seems like it is going nowhere.


Look around.

Find the beautiful.

Right here.

Right now.

Because I might not be on this road again.

Monday, June 10, 2013

When the Water Gets Deep


When the water gets deep.

And it keeps rising

And you feel like you are in

over your head.




You are not.
A failure.
That is a lie of the enemy.

You are not.
Not wanted.
Again, a lie
straight from the pit of hell.

You are wanted.
You are loved.
You are more than a conqueror.
You are treasured.


And the only "thing"
that can change this mindset
deep within the core of your being

Is not a thing.

It's a "someone."

A person.

It's an encounter with Him.

Where you settle

These issues

that keep rising to the surface

when the water gets deep.
 

 
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

HILLSONG UNITED "OCEANS (WHERE FEET MY FAIL)"
 

Link to the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Protector

A baby goose

alongside his Daddy -

the protector.







The baby sees me coming
and moves one step closer to Daddy.

Daddy - he squawks at me.
There is no way I'm getting any closer to his baby.


The question is:

When it looks like trouble is coming my way,

do I move closer to You

or try to defend myself on my own?



How foolish it would be for the baby geese to try that!


As I press in to You,
so the troubles squeeze in on all sides.


Do I run to my protector
when danger lurks
when troubles surround

Do I move closer to You

or farther from You

because I think I am strong enough?


I will pursue you
I will pursue your presence

Our pastor recently shared a transparent message about his life and learning to live with Jesus as his protector.

What protects you?

Jesus was designed to
He longs to
be your one and only protector.

Not the shame,
nor the fear,
nor the "I'm not worthy."

It's one thing to understand
Because I can understand that You are my protector
But it is a whole other thing to live it out.

So what I am to do?

Run to You.
You are the safe place.
You are greater.
You settle me.

It's time to let go
of the false protectors.
 

Turn Around: Find Grace





Turn around.

There is grace. 

Right behind you.







The voice behind you saying,

"This is the way. Walk in it. When you turn to the right and when you turn to the left."                                                                  -Isaiah 30:21


Your ears shall hear the voice.

The word.

The one He speaks for this moment.



But how can You be leading me from behind me?

No wonder I am free to walk off on my own.


Turn around.

Right where you are.

This is where the grace lies.

With Me.

My Holy Spirit enabling the flowing of grace.


Turn and face HOPE
when I have none.

Turn and face the OVERWHELMING ONE
when I am overwhelmed.

Turn and face GRACE
when I am empty,
I can't give out what I haven't got
I need to be filled up with You and Your grace.



Come boldly
to the throne
of GRACE
to find mercy and grace to help
in our time of need


Not harshness
in my time of need.

Not sternness
in my time of need.

Oh, am I in need.

May I be like the plant, who responds to the light. It stays right put, but it turns to the light. It grows towards the light. (the scientific name is phototropism).


The following is beautiful quote from A Good American by Alex George, a book I read for a book club the other month (can't fully recommend it though). Lately, my life has felt like a long opera.

My grandmother’s life had been one long opera. There had been drama, heroes, villains, improbably plot twists, all that. But most of all there had been love, great big waves of it, crashing ceaselessly against the rocks of life, bearing us all back to grace.

 



As I turn
and look into Your face
I find grace
for this place


 
The story behind the photos:
The elusive cherry blossoms that I waited for in April. A strange spring. It stayed cold late into the spring and then became quite hot. One day, they were not in full bloom. A few days later, they were and it didn't last long. So, I tramped down to the Tidal Basin to capture a few shots . . . my heart sank when I saw that I had missed the peak. But I found a few and just when I was ready to pack up, I scanned the horizon. My eyes caught a glimpse of a hidden pocket of trees in full bloom! Grace.
 
And the bonus. These tulips in the Floral Library.
 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Didn't See That One Coming . . .

from March 26th

It's beyond the first day of spring.

So I didn't see that one coming.

Didn't expect that.

Didn't really want that.

Not right now.








And "that" is about a lot more than
the snow that showed up last Monday, March 25th,
and the Monday before that.


Are you going to enjoy it anyway?

The journey.

Even if it brings pain (like Brooke's elbow that got hurt sledding in the snow)?

The journey to healing.

Even when it is dark and you can't see the way ahead (the "Through the Fog" blog entry)?

The journey to wholeness.

Are you going to show mercy and kindness?

Zechariah 7:9, 10 NLT


“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other."

The journey to freedom.

Until the time comes to fulfill his dreams,
and the character is tested over and over and over
and YOU are the tool He uses?

Psalms 105:19 NLT


"Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character."



And what if your character is tested in the process?
Because He wastes nothing.

Two for one is His speciality.


The journey.




Friday, April 12, 2013

Through the Fog


The fog.

It covered the land this morning

Like the fog
covers areas of my life.

I can't see where to go.

I can barely see enough
to take just one step.




But that is how You designed it.

So I can lean on You,

and hold your hand,

As you guide me

One step at a time.










As we make this journey

up out of this valley

where the sun shines

and breaks through

and burns up the fog.








Blessing Your Spirit by S. Gunter:


Bless your sweet softness in hands of your Father when you don't understand what he's doing . . . your surrendered heart to look for Him . . . EVERY season has its beauty. Faithful steps of faith and obedience. Faith and obedience . . . with each place He takes you in your "not my first choice" circumstances, He draws you deeper into Himself . . . Seeing the fingerprints of the unseen.


One of my favorite devotionals, Streams in the Desert, for April 1:
"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."

This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.

Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.

You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may--winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers--no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus.
--Richard Fuller

Ann Voskamp from her A Holy Experience blog entry "Easter Monday Faith:"
Easter Monday faith believes that in impossible darks — impossible light sparks.
Easter Monday faith believes that the tombs places of our life — are but womb places for new life.
All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness.
And there is no other way.
 
There is no other way but the fog.

For now.

So I set my course on you, Jesus.

Turn ALL of me 
back to ALL of You,
as I am prone to wander.

Wander around in the dark.

Waiting impatiently.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Real Question

The question of Mark 11.


It appears to be:

Whose authority?


Whose authority do you have to be doing what you're doing?


That's what the leading priests and teachers of the law had asked that day.




"If John's authority came from heaven, why didn't we believe?"

That's what He'll say.
Because if we believe,
that changes . . .
everything.


"Dare we say that He was merely human?"

We are afraid of what the people will do...
because everyone believed that John was a prophet.

And if John was a prophet,
well,
that changes...

everything.


Jesus knew what they would ask.

And they knew what He would say.


So they responded with what seemed . . .

SAFE.




I DON'T KNOW.
 


Because either answer causes trouble for them.

So that's what they answer.

When truly, they did know.

But they miss out on the revelation of truth.

They miss out on having their deepest question of the moment answered.



The one question that is right here.

Right now.

The question that says with its full weight:

I can't go on until this question is answered.
Until this is settled in my heart and my soul.


They were scared of the revelation that the truth would bring.
And how it would change their beliefs,
which changes their day-to-day lives,
their thoughts,
their actions.


And so I wrestle.

With the question.

The one that needs answering right here,
right now,
before I go one step farther.

Because I know the answer.

I'm just not living like I believe it.

Because if I did live like I believed it - it would change EVERYTHING.

I've been saying what seemed safe.

I DON'T KNOW.

Hiding behind this, as if it protected me. The real I DON'T KNOW is that I DON'T KNOW if I can believe you - if I CHOOSE to believe - You - Your promises - Your character. Because somehow I've gotten my mind warped into seeing you in the wrong light. And I know what everyone else says - how can YOU be all that?

And how can You be all that . . .

for a sinner like me?


That's just it.

You are ALL that.

You, Lord, are a great God, the great King above all gods.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.  Ps 95:3, 6-7
 
 
 
And You are for me. And you love me. You view me through eyes of grace - I needn't be afraid of intimate awareness You have of me. And Your forgiveness, its at the core of your abiding presence.






The Watermark

Skimming through a photography blog,


Thinking I was going to get a great idea about photography.


But instead I get a revelation:

 

Watermark
n. a faint design made during manufacture,
visible when held against the light and
typically IDENTIFIES THE MAKER.
 
v. to mark with such design



He's writing on living tablets...



Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corin. 3:3


He "manufactured" me.

He made me by hand.

With raw materials. 

The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground. Gen. 2:7 


And when I am held up to His light,
then and only then,
is my Maker identified.


So along with St. Patrick, I pray:
 
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ in every eye that see me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ
Christ in every ear that hears me.
for I'm bearing the watermark of Christ


-St. Patrick's Breastplate prayer (of protection)
italicized wording added by me

 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Lost One

Lost and alone.

Wandered far.

Cold and hurt.

 
Too scared to receive love.

Too cold to think straight.

Too bewildered to find the way back home.




 
 
Caught.




Rescued.





By the love and affection of a girl and boy.

 
 
 
And he would have become theirs, had their mother not said, “One is enough.”


So the animal rescue worker came.

But he had a place in their hearts. And they prayed for him. And they wondered about him.

What was his name?

How did he get away?

Did he sneak out the door when it was open?

Did someone he loved hurt him?

Why could that happen?

How far had he wandered?

How could anyone let him go?

Without a collar, without a name tag to identify him –
to say HE IS MINE.

And we call the shelter – to see if he has been claimed. To see if his eye is healing.
 

Which reminds me . . .
 

That Someone else knows this feeling
way more deeply than they ever could.
 

And so He waits.

Watching.
His back never turned your way.

And He calls – gently.
"I’m right here – arms open, facing you."
 

Did you run?
Did you escape?

Did you think you were no longer worthy?

Did something out there
look so much better than right here
in My loving arms?
 
I'll remind myself
Of all that You've done
And the life I have
Because of Your son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
I am forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours
I am forever Yours

-Kari Jobe "Love Came Down"

R A D I C A L

Many years ago, this blog was just a baby. And I was so nervous about taking that first step. Publishing my thoughts. Yikes! How scared I was. And how I debated and labored over the name - Radical One.  Because at the time, I thought I was radical.  Going away from the norm.  You know, going against the grain of popular culture.  But just yesterday, I got this revelation. From my a favorite writer/blogger, Ann Voskamp. She was writing about being radical. And I realized I had it all backwards.

Radical is really getting back to the "origin."
 
The "essential."
 
"Of or having roots."

And don't we all want to be know for that?

Being radical.

Having roots.

No matter how the winds of the storms of life may blow. And you feel like you are going to topple. Or that you might become .... uprooted? And you want your roots to go deep. Deep into His love. Because that's what holds you together. That's what keeps you grounded. That's what keep you from blowing over.



"Blessed are you, the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
You are like a
tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream,
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8
 


 
  
 
radical (adj.) Look up radical at Dictionary.com
late 14c., in a medieval philosophical sense, from Late Latin radicalis "of or having roots," from Latin radix (genitive radicis) "root" (see radish). Meaning "going to the origin, essential" is from 1650s. Political sense of "reformist" (via notion of "change from the roots") is first recorded 1802 (n.), 1817 (adj.), of the extreme section of the British Liberal party (radical reform had been a current phrase since 1786); meaning "unconventional" is from 1921.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=radical
 


Double

My youngest turns double digits tomorrow.

I feel old.

Where did the time go?

But more importantly . . . .

what's the big deal about this milestone -
the double?


Pay attention to the double.

Did you ever notice what the writers did when God spoke something important throughout the Bible? The writers didn't underline. Or boldface. Or italicize.



He said it twice.

For emphasis.

For you to pay attention.





So twice yesterday, was this verse:

For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a Mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With His love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
 
 a] Greek and Syriac versions read He will renew you with his love.
 
 
Like this beautiful radiant daffodil illuminating the dull of winter, the double is there to get my attention! To get me to say "What do I need to hold on to in this message?" As one of my favorite verses, I pray it over the kids almost daily, but am I living it?

He is living among me - am I living like I believe that?

He IS a mighty Savior - yes, He WAS a mighty Savior, when He died on the cross. But He still IS ... daily, momentarily, a Mighty Savior. Am I living that truth?

He takes delight in Me, just like I delight in my child, even when he/she not acting beautiful at the moment - He takes delight in me, because I am His. Am I walking around with the deep knowledge and experience that I am delighted in?

Am I living the truth that His love will calm my fears? Because there is nothing in this world will calm them; if anything, this world will magnify and stir them up!

He is rejoicing over me with joyful songs . . . some days all I feel is the oppression screaming anything but joyfulness - yet He is louder.Will I be still and listen to the voice of truth? He shines brighter. Will I stop and behold the beauty?