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
“Your fierceness has deceived you, the pride of your heart…”
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’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.
She felt as if she had stepped off the very edge of the earth
Following the gull she tilted her head to its arc of flight
Her pocket filled with a beachcomber’s small treasure
Fingering each curve and dash of the shells awash with sun and sea
In the early evening light the sea shimmered and shifted gently
The tones of lapis and turquoise dazzled her vision
while the white sand beneath her feet cushioned the touch of the earth
Taking a deep breath of the salt air she wished she could live here forever.
A penny for the boy
A peony for the girl
Oh the losing and winning
The dying and living…
Cry for sorrows
Laugh for joy
Smile at the mirror
Frown at the noise…
I want to stay right here
In this mess called “life”
Scare it off the pages
And watch it sparkle in the light.
It seems to me that all people who I know, even those who don’t agree with me politically or spiritually, long for redemption in some form. They want to be heard. To have value. To redeem the things inside of us that hurt us and others. These automatic responses of “defensive behavior” which only seem to widen the gap in our ability to be relational in this world must be exposed for growth to occur.
We seem to mix up guilt and shame into a toxic cocktail that instead of leading to redemption gives us a false sense of entitlement or justice…”well, I have behaved like this because so and so was done to me…” Or, we fill up our “empty self” with something to make us think we matter…
As I grow older (63 in December) I have a passion for myself and the people around me to, as one writer puts it, “have the freedom to doubt, to have fear, to fail, to be overwhelmed, to be angry, to have passion…that is the dignity that God gives us…that comes from God living deep within me…This IS the Christian conversation.”
In my recent study (almost three years now) of Job’s life I am so strongly compelled by his (Job’s) conversations with God and his friends and family. Job experiences every grief, emotion, pain, failure, fear, and joy that is the human experience…He loves God, he gets angry with God. His friends support him AND forsake him…his family is taken away, his wife mourns without him. He is utterly alone and physically ill yet all the while he is aware that God is present and that THIS conversation going on is the one that all the other conversations (life) are perched upon…
The thing about Jesus and His cross of atoning death and his Resurrection is that it is for everyone! Anyone! Billions before us have known this is true. We are “invited” to come and see that the Lord is good. Then we are invited by his holy power to grow up an invite others. No one is not welcome at the cross. Never forget.
My friend, Dr. Hud McWilliams, who is a great teacher and thinker and counselor told me the most challenging part of his work is to convince adults that your largest part of growing is STILL TO COME. He said, “you should grow until death.”
Some deep thoughts today no doubt but this is the conversation of life that drives me…I am grateful for it and see it as a huge gift…something to think about…
My body is softer now. My skin has begun to drape like crepe paper. I do not have to wear glasses to read but I do to drive. I hope to gracefully age for my daughters, although a lot of my friends have had “work done” and while it is tempting, it is not me. I was voted “most like Mary Ann on Gilligan’s island” at a class reunion once. I like that title and will keep that as a compliment (I can’t pull off Ginger for sure) but I still color my hair. Just can not take the gray yet graceful or not.
Walking purposefully and briskly until death. I long to finish my life well. I do not know what lies ahead. I navigate and then I wait. I try to stay in the moment. I try to continue to grow. The alternative is death.
I know real Continue reading
Your Mama knew I loved you boy
before you ever did see.
She said I have a poet’s soul
I thought no one could see.
I guess I always loved you boy
though I never really knew.
When we’re young and wild
It’s a wonder that we do.
Where did all the time go boy
sand through the hourglass?
Young love they say is magic
just like splendor in the grass.
These small child’s handprints on my glass backdoor
the sticky applesauce and popsicle on my kitchen floor
I wouldn’t trade for all the mansions in this world.
These conversations with my daughter’s
the new territories in this journey
I wouldn’t miss for all the fame this world could offer.
These days I count as precious gems
to the road that leads me round the bend
I will simply give my sweetest Hallelujah.
I lift my eyes
from all that is broken
from the ashes of idols
from lies that are spoken
I lift my eyes
from this earthen vessel
from unanswered questions
from the unfulfilling morsels
I lift my eyes
the window of my soul
to the heaven’s Creator
to The One who has control
I lift my eyes
where my Faith will be made sight
at His appearing I will see
The Defender and Lover of my soul
has His eyes on me