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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?

Tell Me . . .

Tell me.


Did you ever feel alone?


Tell me.


Did you wonder if my love was enough for you?


Tell me.


Can I trust You with my heart?


And He says,


"Tell me....

When did MY love
become not enough
to fill every void,
every empty place in
your heart,
every longing,
every desire,
every need."

"One touch of your love is more than a lifetime of a lovers."
 

Psalm 57 speaks of Your generous love:


7My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
8 Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.