Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
that He speaks through the details of life.
This week, He showed up in a CD.
Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More.
Thank the Lord for good words set to good music.
Nothing works so well at beginning the work of mending a broken heart.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
God has been showing me, ever-so-slowly, how mixed up is my understanding of grace. I continuously try to earn this gift He has already worked so hard to give me. In the back of my mind lingers the constant lie that I have to be perfect to be worthy of love - especially love so grand as His.
But this week (this year, really) God has been faithfully breaking down my misconceptions of grace and teaching me that all of my attempts to earn it are loading me down under a heavy burden of guilt.
what I do can never be enough. I am constantly failing.
In the midst of this lesson, God whispers to me:
sarah. accept my grace by offering some grace to yourself. it's ok. you are forgiven and cherished solely because I have summoned you. let it go. give me this guilt you have managed to bury yourself under and rest on my work alone. I paid a high price for you. don't brush what i did aside to try and earn it on your own. take grace. it's free.
rest in my work, not yours.
so then. once again i work to reorient myself. once again i do my best to teshuvah (turn, answer) towards what is true.
i can rest. i am free.
simply because I am His.
I am free by His work alone.
bless You Lord, for this yoke that is easy.
bless You, Lord, for the lightness of this grace.
Friday, November 26, 2010
-martin gordon, journal of jewish thought.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue,
and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher,
and if you are prepared most of all to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself,
then the truth will not be withheld from you.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
crashes into our reality
and makes itself known,
it is then that we remember
what is important.
When the spiritual realm
crashes into our reality
and makes itself known,
it is then that we remember
what to fear.
teach me how to pray.
if you want to get a glimpse of what He is like -
read Job 38 and 39.
How much care and pride God has for His world!
He is so wise, so sovereign, and so involved in its details.
Blessed are you, O Lord Our God, Master and King of the Universe!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I do not think it a coincidence that those days generally follow times of struggle - times when I have felt
Today, as I resided behind a shield of unexplainable stillness and peace, I was reminded that I serve a God who intimately knows my needs, who allows me to face only what I can bear, and who loves me with a depth that I have not even begun to understand.
Today, I rested in grace.
And for that, LORD, I am grateful.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Upon you rests the grace of God like flames of fire.
Love and serve the Lord in the strength of the spirit.
May the deep peace of Jesus be with you,
the strong arms of God sustain you,
and the power of the Holy Spirit strengthen you in every way.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Shame arises when we feel deficient, yes. But far more, we feel deficient and ugly when the god we (covertly and at times unconsciously) worship lets us down and reveals the foolishness of our idolatrous trust. Shame in not primarily an experience of feeling bad or deficient as it is the exposure of foolish trust in a god who is not God.
Shame exposes what we worship."-dan allender.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Prayer is a natural expression of love.
For example, during his farewell speech to the nation of Israel, the prophet Samuel says this:
"As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you." (1 samuel 12:23).
and then, while reading Job this morning, I found the following:
"Early in the morning he (Job) would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, 'Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' This was Job's regular custom." (Job 1:5).
It would seem from these two passages that
not praying = sin
praying = love, protection, care.
which means that I probably need to rethink/relearn why I pray and what I pray for.
I live in a city. Am I praying for that city?
I live with/near people. Am I praying for those people?
I am friends with people who are part of ministries far away. Am I praying for those ministries?
I know of people who are struggling in life and in faith. Am I praying for those struggles?
And do I care enough about the community I live in and the people God has placed within my reach to take a moment and bring them before the altar, before the Father?
If the answer is no, then that probably means that I don't care very much at all.
either that, or it means that I don't believe in the power of prayer.
And I don't want either of those things to be true about me.
I will pray.
and what blessed and life-giving communion it is!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
a witness asks questions.
religion says; this is what you should do.
a witness says; this is what He did.
religion fills up with knowledge.
a witness overflows with gratitude.
a witness is graced.
religion wants God.
a witness needs Him.
religion asks, God, where are you?
a witness says, LORD, Here am I.
religion is kind.
a witness serves.
religion holds God as a concept.
a witness beholds God as brilliant reality.
religion says, God is good.
a witness says, "depart from me, Oh LORD, for I am a man of unclean lips."
religion is calculated.
a witness is astounded.
religion worships with a song.
a witness worships with A LIFE.
- caroline myss.
"for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-DISCIPLINE."
- 2 timothy.
I've quoted this verse on my blog about a hundred times - and I do it so often because it's one I want desperately to sink in.
(faith by osmosis, right MP?).
I am convinced that we have the power to choose blessings over curses, growth over bitterness, and joy over mourning, every single day.
God gave us that power.
because no matter what, we always have hope.
And when we turn our hearts towards that hope - the hope in our ultimate redemption - we open our eyes to seeing God and His work.
and what better encouragement can there be than that?
...is this the kind of person you ask into your life to be your assistant?
question of the day: am I available to God, or do I expect God to be available to me?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
God be in my eyes and in my looking.
God be in my mouth and my speaking.
God be in my tongue and in my tasting.
God be in my lips and in my greeting.
God be in my nose and in my inhaling.
God be in my ears and in my hearing.
God be in my neck and in my humbling.
God be in my shoulders and in my bearing.
God be in my back and in my standing.
God be in my arms and in my reaching/receiving.
God be in my hands and in my working.
God be in my legs and in my walking.
God be in my feet and in my grounding.
God be in my joints and in my relating.
God be in my guts and in my feeling.
God be in my bowels and in my forgiving.
God be in my loins and in my swiving.
God be in my lungs and in my breathing.
God be in my heart and in my loving.
God be in my skin and in my touching.
God be in my flesh and in my paining/pining.
God be in my blood and in my living.
God be in my bones and in my dying.
God be at my end and at my reviving."
-reverend jim cotter, prayer at night.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
living with my parents.
Hm. I have a sneaky suspicion that God is trying right now to teach me about where my true identity, value, and security are found...
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
when i was made in the secret place.
when i was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
all the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be."
trying to get my heart to trust in this verse tonight. and wishing i could get a look at the next few chapters of that book.
i have no idea how to move forward.
which probably means that God wants me to keep
the problem is, i don't want to do those things anymore.
i want to move forward.
but the question of moving forward keeps getting met with
and so i continue to wait.
but in the midst of my waiting,
my heart can't seem to stop
asking the question:
Thursday, November 4, 2010
you can’t have a light + direct its illumining.
you can’t be above loneliness + experience intimacy.
you can’t be everyone’s best friend + a best friend.
you can’t live in the past + experience the now.
you can’t live in the future + enjoy the now.
and now, a few more:
you can find yourself in Someone else.
you can be in love and have a best friend.
you can have your love as your best friend.
you can ask. and ask and ask and ask and ask. for anything.
you can trust.
you can change."
claim it, sister.
It feels like falling in love.
Last night, I listened to a Tim Keller sermon about the shock and oddity of Paul's claims to the new believers that it didn't matter if a person decided to get married or be single or stay a widower - all ways were good.
Why could Paul claim this to a society whose lifeblood was the family?
Because now we have JESUS.
Jesus. lover of souls. provider. identity-maker. value-giver. protector. companion. the ultimate bridegroom.
On top of that, we get to be part of a community of believers that offers many of those very same things.
We are surrounded, on all sides, by love.
What blessing. What privilege. What comfort. What joy.
No matter our status or circumstances, we'll be ok, because God set up for us a community of people that takes care of each other.
We'll be ok because Jesus loves all of us more than we could ever need.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
“LORD. I choose today to believe that you are purposeful, that you are moving in the details of my life, that you are involved and that you are leading me somewhere.
help me not to be discouraged. forgive me when I fail to recognize You or give You credit.
give me ears to hear.
eyes to see.
a heart that understands.
Your works are wonderful LORD.
I KNOW THAT FULL WELL.”
a reminder I needed today.
God’s works ARE wonderful.
and they are constant, too.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
- dan allender.
will never be filled.
and even during the
we will know it.
we will know it
there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled
we will wait
but only in part
will never be fully satisfied
until the day when God comes crashing in
to this space
with the fullness of
His fiery and radiant redemption.
and that’s ok.
because redemption IS coming.
the LORD’s zeal
is bringing it to pass.
we do, in fact, wait in charles bukowski’s “space.”
but we do not wait for nothing.
we do not wait in vain.
we wait in hope.
we wait with vision.
we wait by grace.
until the day comes
when we will
and it is my hope
that from this day
to that one
I will grow
in the midst of my waiting.