I join the Psalmist in saying, when my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the rock of Jesus, that is higher than I. All of my ways are insufficient without you, God. All of my strivings will fail, if not for your breath upon me, without your unseen hand to guide, and your whisperings in my ear. I need you, every moment, of every day. Help me to exist in each moment with you, planning for the future and living here and now. I am grateful for my life, and all that you have given me. You have been good to me. I no complaints God for yo have dealt fairly and righteously with me. Your love has never failed me. Turn my attention back to you, Dear Father, Dear Son, Dear Spirit. Be my constant companion. That is all that I ask or could ever hope for. For you have gifted me with your self, your Son, my friend, my guide, my love. Blessed be His name forever. Let faithfulness and peace be my footholds. My hope ever lift my head. Let joy ever fill my heart. For that is my cry this night. May your Spirit overfill me, overwhelm me, carry me….strengthening my hands to do the work that you have set before me. Enable and empower me, Sweet Savior, sweet friend. You alone are worthy of my praise. You alone God. And forgive my idle, and vicious tongue. Wring out the selfishness from my vain heart and replace it with your own blood. Refill it with grace and mercy that is, if just a sampling of your own great love. I am greatly in need of you. Help me to rest in living and moving and having my being in you. Moment by moment.

Selah.

I am in Costa Rica, and a more beautiful place there could not be. Read stories of Moses’ shining face and of the transfiguration of Jesus. And it reminded me of the Celts’ concept of thin places. Places where God’s reality invades our reality. How I crave God’s reality.

Every howler monkey, every brightly colored bird, every flower on every bush is a testimony to this divine reality. To God’s hand present in the here and now. Of God breathing on and shaping our reality. I will conform to it and flow with it. I will submit to His ways and His truths. I will attempt to be His hands and feet and words today. Glory to God who loves us and brings us new life.

God is moving through my life like a storm…and whispering to me all the while. Whispering of new birth and hope. Meanwhile, all around me are flashes of lightning and deafening peals of thunder. But God is here. He is here. So close. I can feel His presence. His peace protects me. His grace envelops me. He, the Mighty One of legends, is here.

So, I was going back through my archives and found an interesting prayer that I hope may be useful to some of you my artful friends (written by the very artful Ben Avery):

Creator,

Whose canvas is the universe.

Whose tale is history.

Who molded me in my mother’s womb.

Who made me in your image.

Draw me closer to you as I walk in your footsteps as a creator.

Guide my hand.

Open my mind.

Inhabit my heart.

Grant me clarity.

Honesty.

Humility.

And courage.

Clear my mind of my clutter.

Focus my heart on your Truth.

Free my hand to express your mystery.

Motivate me.

Energize me.

Inspire me.

Occupy my craft so that when others experience it, they might see your face.

Feel your hand.

Know you better.

And that when I experience it, I might do the same.

Amen

It is election day and once again there is more polarization in US and lots of messages that one man or another is going to solve all our problems. I’ve been frustrated with this message. I was recalling to myself this morning that this frustration is not new for me. In fact, this same thing happened four years ago. I went back and dug up my post from back then. And rather than rehash the same concern I’m going to allow my words from then to speak to now. So here it is in it’s entirety:

Ok…first of all…you are about to see something rare….I’m about to discuss politics (something I am usually loathe to do). Yeah, we all know that Obama won. And for the record, I didn’t vote for him. And I am still concerned about various things that have been revealed about his past and his general lack of experience. But regardless of who the president is…he’s just a guy. The Bible is clear, we don’t owe allegiance to any president above God. Iow, neither Obama or McCain can possibly have all the answers (despite political promises and public expectations to the contrary). Only God can rescue us from ourselves. That’s Jesus where comes in. 🙂

God is the true leader. He is King above all leaders….not any man. God raises up leaders and he also deposes them according to His sovereign will.

It was never in God’s plan that people should have kings (or presidents) in the first place. And it was not a coincidence that after Israel got the kings that they wanted that they started straying from God and doing evil. Biblical history went from people walking directly, face-to-face with God in the garden, to having judges, to having kings (yes I know there were stuff in the middle of that). So, no matter who is president, I don’t believe that it’s God’s best plan. BUT I do think he blesses it as part of his grander plan to get us back to his original one.

And regardless of what anyone thinks Obama is now our president. And he has one whopper of a job ahead of him. And I am praying that his heart will be yielded to the Most High and His directing. I pray that He will use the office of the presidency for good and not evil.

As aside (and since some of you who read this are potentially outside the US), I have been amazed at how involved other Countries in the world have been in this election. All around the world, people were rooting for one candidate or the other. And I understand this as the US has a major impact on the rest of the world. But it is still surprising to me to hear, say people in Europe celebrating that Obama won as though he were their president. I guess we really are a global society. We Americans can be so self centered.

End of political commentary. 🙂 Well, peace to you today fellow travelers!

Wrote a short poem just now, really just kind of a warm up exercise, but hearfelt none the less, no name just yet (Breath Easy Again maybe?):

I will breathe easy again,
Fall, I’ll get back up,
Though bruised and battered,
I’ll rise up, dust myself off,
and walk.

I will walk and not look back,
I will turn toward the bright sun,
Warmth on my face, a good wind at my back,
I will live, and not look back.

Though shadows seek to capture me,
Their cold hands stretching out,
I will not be deterred, I will not stop,
I will carry on, I will thrive.

I will walk into that bright country,
That abode that is untouched by darkness,
That place of refuge where the King of Joy reigns,
And yes, I will be breathe easy again.

The last week has been a blurr. I got called to go to disaster relief in Louisiana. And when the call came it was late last Sunday night and they said be at the office at 6 am. Phew. Any how, it’s been a whirlwind trip (no pun intended).

And, as is often the case I have been learning many lessons from this experience. And I am still processing them. But I think one lesson is, and it’s not new (really a reminder) is to rely fully on God. And I’ll go one step further to say that when we rely fully on God…we need to step out in faith and engage. We need to be like Jesus, people of action not just of word. I love the picture of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. All the time we see Jesus saying and doing, saying and doing. Word and deed, word and deed.

So, should it be with us. We need to be willing to roll up our sleeves and dive in. Granted this comes out of resting in God. But there is a time to sit and there is a time to walk and there’s also a time to stand (Thank you Witness Lee!).

So, I’m going to take Bono’s advice and put on my boots. I’m marching, not to war but to peace. Peace because these boots are beautiful on the mountain baby! They are made to move under the Kingdom banner. And wherever Kingdom is that is where the King is. And that’s right where I want to be.

God is close to the broken hearted we are told (Ps 34).  And both Isaiah 61 and 147 tell that God heals the broken hearted. That is very encouraging.  For at times, the sting of loneliness is almost too great to bare.  But it is the intimacy and trust in God that brings me through such times.  The stark emptiness of the lack of companionship is horrible.  But all the while God is there.  He is good and faithful.  He does not reject me.  He loves me with an everlasting love.

The loneliness is not all the time.  It just comes periodically.  Be still, oh my soul, and wait upon the Lord.

Church on Sunday was moving. Levi taught from Acts 1. It’s the passage where the disciples asked Jesus (paraphrasing) “now will you restore Israel?” and Jesus responded “It is not for you to know the time and hour”. This is often what God tells us “It is not for you to know”. It is hard for us to accept that message for we often really do want to know whatever it is that we are asking for. And I have found that to be true that God doesn’t always tell us where we are going. I do find that He often reveals things little by little, moment by moment. And sometimes it is very different than I have expected. And if I’m honest, that tests me. How much do I trust Him? Will I yield to Him?

Lent me, Lord, with abstinence from sin. In these ashen 40 days, may I crave only the bread of your Word; may I drink of the living Water; may I look to the coming Kingdom of the Most High; may I testify to the prophetic power of your name. May I not put your grace and mercy to the test.
– From a poem by Lisa Gilbert

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