Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Tender Mercies of Our God

There is something so tender and humbling about our experience of God.

“Behold, we count them happy which endure.
You have heard of the patience of Job,
and have seen the end (purpose) of the LORD;
that the LORD is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11)

When going on looks hard, look back, and remember. The Lord is trustworthy. How many distresses has he brought you through?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thoughts Today

It is difficult to sort through feelings, but I want to remember these times. Times of waiting and much angst in the background. These times of loneliness coupled with adapting to another new place with exciting new people. I love it. These experiences have stretched me, made me gasp and long for deeper communion with God. They expose my lack of self-motivation. I preferred solitude, then I loathed it, now I come to savor it again.

There is so much loveliness in the real, practical disciplines of the Spirit. I have never mastered them, but He has Mastered me. There is contentment, in either abundance or emptiness. This is the context we exclaim “I can do all things through Him Who gives me strength!” My circumstances are good instructors, but it is my experience of Father in this- and this- situation. Lean on the Spirit to do the gospel imperatives. It is rather important and humbling to remember how far, and in what ways He carries us. Anxiety says “We’re all gonna die!” Faith says “Yeah, but My Father has resurrection power!”

What is it that gives me hope for the future? This is the posted note I am pondering. I know the Truth, but why does it take so long to soak into our hearts? At various given moments my hope can be in other points of time. I have Hope for the future because I have Hope today.

My husband and I are at peace about the future, but these tangible things are unsettled. We find comfort in the fact that though we plan our way, the Lord directs our steps. It is exciting to dream what to do with these lives and these wild possibilities. We have our wants, but so much more a firm knowledge that His will is the best, and that our best life is not now. It is that expansive, eternal life we are living in Christ, or rather, He is living in us.

Pondering with degrees of awe:
How does God take the little things I am doing today and make them matter, for His glory?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

How Can I Keep From Singing?

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night He giveth.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am His!
How can I keep from singing?

Robert Lowry

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Free Verse of the Will

Whether or not our wills are free, they are ours, and they are weak.
Stubbornness is our only power of will.
Of whatever use our wills are to us,
They rarely affect much good to our souls.

Of what do we wish our wills were free?
Of what nature are they? We were glorious,
But we are wrecked glory,
And there is no boasting there.

The will to do good is present with me,
But how to perform?
Sin governs against the law of my mind,
Flesh fighting a willing spirit

But thanks be to the Deliverer,
Who cried “Not this will,
But, Yours, LORD!”
Your desires, intentions, Your fire.

And He gave us power to be sons of God
not of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man
but of GOD.

Romans 7, John 1:12-13, Matthew 26:39-42

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Life of Disciples

Jesus calls us to deny everything else to be His disciple. Nothing compares to the privilege of learning from God Himself. All my thoughts and energy are upon my Master. Nothing else can monopolize my time. Do I want to know Jesus enough that nothing in this world distracts me?
"So likewise, whosoever of he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
Sometimes I list my priorities with God first, followed by the sundry duties of life. Maybe it is more correct to rate Him as my only priority, with all other duties and obligations fulfilled in that one pursuit. As a way of life instead of another space on the list. 
          1. Following hard after my Father, (and because of this)
                   a. be a good wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister-in-Christ, etc 
because Jesus says that loving my neighbor is very much like loving God (the greatest commandment). 

We have responsibility to all people, whether to continue discipleship with other believers, or call unbelievers into it. Christ is the only Master. “I am the vine, you are the branches. Apart from Me, you can do nothing”. Without Him, we really are helpless. Anything my flesh aspires will rot or burn. In Him, even the gift of a glass of water is rewarded. 
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26-27).

If anything else in my heart could call me away from Christ, I am not worthy to be His disciple. This is sober business, brothers and sisters. Is He all I desire? Have I tasted and seen that He is good? He does not need flattery, if I do not know my need for Him, I am not one of His. This is how I know that I know Him, when I lay claim to nothing else. This is a hard calling, but He will complete His good work. His purpose is to bring many sons to glory. And is it unreasonable of Him? He is only removing the desires for these things so we will not be disappointed. In time, all these, our father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters, and, yes, our own lives, will be taken away. And what will we lose? Nothing really, we are heirs of God!
"The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master" (Luke 6:40).

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Business of Writing Words

Writing is sober business. Are my thoughts worth sharing?

Do my words speak life or death? Do they teach the ones who listen? Do they comfort the feeble-minded? Warn the unruly? May I never speak an empty word.

Writing is much like cooking. I use the raw ingredients of words, season them with grace, and present them to the partakers. I want you to savor the idea, to wince at the peppery truth, to delight in the harmony of flavors. I want you to taste and see that He is good. I want to lay out the cloth napkins of love and invite you to my table so you know you are welcome at His.

I wish to compose and garnish these words in a way that says Friend, you must listen! Do not stop with my words. You will be hungry for other meals, for novelties and sustenance. Go on, search the libraries of truth, but do not pass by the stories written on hearts, the ones too raw to scratch out in ink. There is a Word too supreme, too awesome, and much too enjoyable to miss. This Word is etched on hearts of flesh. It is printed on paper and shouted in the heavens.. Oh, don’t miss Him. The words, the bread and wine, the milk and honey, they all exist for Him and because of Him.

So I will put pen to paper and cursor to line, only because He sees, and I want to bear witness.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Beautiful Day at the Coast

This was many weeks ago, but it is always fun to share photos. 
Back in January, when hills were still green. 

Pretty shell, glistening in the sun.

Notice the pattern in the sand, tide receding.

Gorgeous blue sky, with airplane trails.

There is something so comforting about power under control. 
Waves breaking on a shoreline. A flaming pile of wood in a fireplace.
Isn't that what meekness is, strength under control?
Maybe I do not understand the beauty of self-control, temperance in the Spirit. 

Pink Camilla.

Fragrant Angel Trumpet.