Next Generation of The Church…

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I truly love my daughter’s generation (thirty somethings), well I don’t love all of their music (I can’t believe I am my parents)…I have enormous respect for their mantra…”I don’t have all the answers and neither do you.” I love how they can smell a “fake of any kind” within seconds! They live in a culture that isn’t buying into Christian consumerism, they are not for sale. They do not want to be entertained at Church (God knows there is enough entertainment in social media). They want to know God, experience His real presence and find worship in their own hearts that is not manufactured for one day a week on a stage. I just love that! I will say it absolutely terrifies me as well. The shift in our world to “postmodernism” makes me feel like I am floating in slow motion in water through a world I recognized but it is slipping away. Part of this exhilarates me and part of it so uncomfortable that my heart races, I am anxious, and will wake in the middle of the night and pray. I pray that they won’t throw the baby out with the bath water in some kind of reverse Dogma.
This tension is a must in the relationships of life. The relationship with the God who made us right down to the people who love us for better or worse. The thing is Jesus and “tension” go hand in hand. If we study his life we will see that His “absolutes” were few but man were they TENSE! So simple yet so “in your face”…”hear the word of the Father and do it and love others and forgive everyone else”…are you kidding me?
God intensely loves my children’s generation. No one wants more for our kids than God does! I believe that. For me it is evident in the women my girls have become in spite of me. Their grace and graciousness continue to astound me.
So when I feel alien in a postmodern world I look at them. At the Jesus in them and I take a deep breath and I know that Jesus made a way for every generation to find Him, to come to Him, and that through Him they will find the presence of God’s peace. So when I am not panicking or praying I am cheering them on with all my heart, my love, and my being to “press on” to love Jesus, love others and forgive all.

Reversing Thunder

lightning on the sky

Photo by Ayu Shaky

 

You were fascinated by my  turnings

Women chatter in the market place

I’ve now  gone further than your worries

See the lines upon my face?

 

I need solitude to  write I said

I’m lacking the academic brain

It’s so hard not to steal the moments

before they fly off into space.

 

I speak your promises back to you oh God

Reversing Thunder by your Holy Word!

There is no other Truth to stand on

this sums up all I’ve learned!

 

 

 

Summer 2013

hand chocolate dessert sweet

Photo by Tookapic 

 

The summer sun is baking the side walks and streets.
The Texas horizon looks like a melting mirage.

Summer solstice has arrived and a few things never change.
Even in the shade it is one hundred degrees.

My grandson has begun his love affair with the sprinkler and popsicles.
In his backyard with his parents.

And wonderful cool sheets for his afternoon nap.
And all is right with my world today and I am grateful.

Once on Heroin

person wearing red hoodie

Photo by sebastiaan stam

 

She opened the door, called out his name

he lie there dead, a needle in his vein…

the devils’ been round, staking his old claim

now nothing is ever gonna be the same…

 

oh God we try to make it right

deliver us from  evil, deliver us from night

it seems there is nothing good

nothing that remains…

 

another child dead

another sad song

one try of heroin

another child gone…

 

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

 

Saving Judas…

 

bank banking banknotes business

 

The Judas friend, we each know one

So sweet to the face, so easily won

the Judas friend, we’ve each been one

for thirty pieces of silver

the sweet ties of friendship torn…

 

 

Yet never a day “twas recorded

when “saving Judas” was done

 so reflect on this while you journey

when upon your Judas you come…

gypsy

architecture black and white dark door

 

a handsome rouge

I bought his candy rhyme

he said, “ooh baby we’ll be together for all time…

 

a gypsy rogue roams

he wanders far and wide

he always says he loves me, he loves to drink my wine…

 

dark wee hours bring despair

when I awake and he’s not there

a gypsy man cannot be true

he’s the same man I just saw dancing with you…

Jesus and Women, the oil of Joy…

selective focus photo of bottle with cork lid

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Side bar, just a short one I promise… (This sounds like theology 101 but fear not…it is not boring! It is absolutely fabulous for women.)

  • In the recorded life of Jesus we can clearly see that he never assumes there are rules in following Him designed for women only.  Jesus treated women as unique individuals. Nowhere does he condescend to flatter women, he rather demands as much from them as from men.

You have been anointed by the Holy One and you know the Truth. 1 John 2:20

Jesus’ approach to women is revolutionary considering the cultural norm of his day. When we hear the “Woman at the Well” story in the traditional exegesis, so much is made of the fact that this woman had multiple marriages and is in quite a predicament of living with a man, even as she speaks to Jesus, who is not her husband. Not only is that issue not the focus of this conversation with Christ but he actually gives her an apostolic role: Once she believes and is made a follower of Christ (disciple) she call others as Jesus called the twelve. She says “come and see” and others believed “because of her word.”

I love this declaration of Jesus’ first “evangelist move.” It clearly frees us of any cultural or theological hang up that women are NOT messengers of “The Kingdom of Heaven” that Jesus came to establish.

“Exposure to Jesus and His Kingdom are not  related at all to being male or female. The Gospel of Jesus is about receiving the testimony of the Spirit and embracing the hope of the gospel.”  Don’t you just love that? (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Jesus will not be “pimped out” for us…

 

affection board broken broken hearted

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A pact forged in eternity passed, present, and future between the three persons of the Godhead. Heavy stuff you say? Not even the tip of the iceberg…think on this a while… An eternal agreement in which The Father God sent the Son of God on a mission that he (The Son, Jesus) gladly obeyed to every jot and tittle so that the Spirit of God could come and reveal all to those who believe…

Jesus does not need for us to SAVE people (he does that alone and without help from us),  manipulate people, abuse people, shame people, destroy people and/or ourselves. He cannot be bought for a “book” deal, a “mega” church, or even for “good” charity….

In spite of all you’ve said
it’s never been in your hands
So let us speak a farewell eulogy
over all our plans

Light the match that burns the bridge
that doesn’t lead to Grace
Now I clearly recognize
I am a stranger in this place

Every street I’ve walked upon
had to be redeemed
The places where I lay my head
never felt like home it seems

Light the match that burns the bridge
that doesn’t lead to repentance and Grace
Light the match that burns
the alters and idols we have made

It is a Lover’s dream we all have to tell
It is a Ship of Dreams that never did set sail
I wander in and out of a sleepless fog
Hearing peaceful song that draws me to the Throne of God

The Cleft at Rock Bottom

“Your fierceness has deceived you, the pride of your heart…”

mountain view

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I hit rock bottom. For me it wasn’t an addiction that spiritually bankrupt me. It was me, my desire to be my own god that brought me to the end of my self.  At rock bottom someone was waiting for me. He had been there all along. At rock bottom I remembered like the younger brother in the Prodigal Son story that I had a heavenly Father who was calling out to me to come home! I love that the Father’s heart has not changed toward his Child and I love that the son’s heart has deeply repented (changed) regarding his actions and his deep regret of his rebellion and sin…

With the daily news full of young and old stars overdosing or ending their own lives makes me ponder what is “Rock Bottom” for us all?

who’s at the bottom of the bottle?

who’s at the end of the needle?

who’s there after the divorce?

who’s there after the empty nest? 

who is there when the man comes to you and tells you you have cancer?

who’s there when you have all the money in the world or none at all?

The Cleft at Rock Bottom is the only the One who delights in us. The only  One who counted the cost and yet charges us nothing. If I have learned one thing in life it is that the Refuge I have found in God through Jesus Christ is the only Refuge that is offered freely.

He gives an open invitation to come and be sheltered in the dwelling of God, The Most High. At rock bottom Jesus is the cleft in the rock. I encourage anyone who might read this post to come! Come and abide in the Cleft of the Rock that is Jesus Christ.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: My God, in Him will I trust.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is the root that leads to fruit…

green tree photo

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It’s the root that lead to fruit.  When you dig down about two knuckles deep under a fruit bearing tree you will expose the gnarled bumps on the bark. That is where all the nutrients and energy are. The thicker the branch the older the tree. Ah, there is a metaphor in there somewhere. The more foliage to wood ratio means the tree produces less fruit than their offspring but the older tree produces larger, heavier fruit with more strength, oil, and taste in it.

Being grounded and rooted like the Bible talks about does have to do with maturity as in age.  Psychologist and author Dr. Hud McWilliams states, “Maturing is the weakest link in the Christian walk. You can spot immaturity by how much gratitude, joy, and dimension the believer has. God is NOT one dimensional.”  In other words, God is not just into let’s say “healing” people. He is about the whole person.

“The infinite dimensions of God are what marks His being as different as ours.” Yes we are made in his image but we are human. We are finite. We are created to be finite but our spirits are what goes on into those other dimensions that man cannot fathom. We were created to bear the mark of His image which is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  patience, and self-control. These are the fruits of being image bearer.