Tuesday, April 24, 2012

my understanding

trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  
be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 
it will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  
proverbs 3:5-8

change is not an event that i pursue.  most often, you will find me escaping it's clutches in any way possible.  but as life is life, the inevitable arrives and i must come out of hiding from this thing called change.  from time to time life is pummeled by change.  it is in this sort of pummeling that i find myself today.  

as i consider the changes that lurk in the near future, i do realize that the majority are good and blessings that God has given me.  for instance, we have been given the opportunity to buy a house, which is most obviously a gift that many do not receive.  God has given us a great gift in being able to do so and i praise Him for the provision of a house.  along with buying a home comes the great "fear of the unknown..."  i laugh as i recall our home inspection a few weeks ago and the weight of responsibility that comes with owning a home.  as we have gone through the process of buying this house God has given me great reminders.  my heart has been strengthened in knowing that as much as do love this home, it is not my final destination.  this house is not so much my ultimate and final home, no... it is a place for now, even if it is where i spend the rest of this current life of mine... if it is not perfect, if it has problems, my world is not crushed because all that i am is not entrusted in this current dwelling.  God has called to mind the unseen when so much of my life at present is about the seen.  "...as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen..." (2 Corinthians 4:18)

change is hiding out in the shadows of other things to come for us as well... i won't bore you with the details, but instead a few thoughts i have been mulling over.  my default, when facing change or events that cause me to worry, is to figure out all the facts and how we are going to make it all work out.  i try to understand all i can so that i don't have to worry anymore.  this morning was a morning of worry and anxiety.  my plans for life just weren't working out quite right in my mind and i was definitely not clear on how God was really going to make it all work out either.  i kept trying to understand.  if i could only figure out the plan and how it would all come together smoothly then i could get on with life and forget about this badgering anxiety.  

i paused for a moment and tried to recall verses about trust and worry.  the first that came to mind was the one above.  trust in the Lord with all your heart... trust in the Lord with all your heart... words i have focused on often.  however, this morning the second part of the sentence overwhelmed my heart... do not lean on your own understanding...  simply, that is ALL i had been doing ALL morning.  leaning on any kind of plan that i could figure out... and as i wasn't coming to many conclusions i wasn't leaning on much.  i also was not acknowledging Him and trusting in the truth that He will continue to make the paths and plans of my life straight... even when in my own understanding, the paths seem very twisted and curvy (for some reason weaving mountain roads come to mind, complete with a hairpin turn here and there...)  

quite simply at this point i do not understand how all that is in the future will work its way into a straight path.  however, as a child of God who is called to trust, i cannot and i will strive to not depend on how i understand the situations at hand.  God's plans work outside my complete understanding.  i must not be grounded in how i understand the future.  my comprehension falls so short of the mind of God.  security and assurance are not found in my preparation, but in our Creator who has had it all planned out from the beginning.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

resounding melodies

God is working.  as i have blogged on this site on and off for several years, something great has taken place in my own heart and mind.  the theme of longing for home has become not only a post or two online, but a challenge to my pursuits and perspectives.  more and more i am confronted with this longing for home and how it affects and pervades all that i do and run after.  i praise our Savior for this great and continuing work in my life.  something i know is that so many others are out there doing the same, seeking first His KINGDOM and not the one that we currently find ourselves enduring.  something else i know, and experience, is the lack of our accountability and conversation about this pursuit.  

i was considering the thought of being attracted to the things of the world... so often our current dwelling is full of alluring items and activities.  as these can be quite hard to leave on the wayside, usually, though not always, we are able to choose well and make decisions that portray our heart that longs for home.  what i have considered, however, is that while it can be easy or hard (depending on the day) to put aside the things of the world, i usually have a much harder time if i find my brother or sister tiptoeing in such waters.  my thoughts go where any human, sin mangled mind would and i begin to make excuses for why i should take part as well.  everything about living in this world and the alluring affairs in it's possession work their way into the nooks and crannies of life.  they sneak into the sneakiest parts and affect our friends and those with whom we walk this narrow road.... and as we all know from too much experience they affect us, our lives, our choices and our relationships.  

i don't want to make someone else long for anything in this world.  i want to cause them to long for Jesus... i want to challenge them to prepare themselves for the moment they will finally be united with Him, in full completion.  sadly, i know there are so many times where my conversation is full of much that would cause my companions to want our current kingdom.  tainted and stained, imperfect and lackluster, rusted and moldy.  my actions and what i pursue must at times cause others to pursue the incorrect as well.  i want to point people to our Savior.  to give up this waste filled dwelling for one that exceeds even the best of our present residence.  the comparison is palpable and prominent.  why i so often toss aside my Sacrificial Savior, as i scrape off scum from this earth, is beyond me.  and even more so... as i consider my responsibility and the way my actions and conversation could possibly affect another one of Jesus' children... the burden becomes so very real.  

may my works and words sing out with longing for the eternal...
as they resound may the melody be caught in the ears and hearts of others...
sing loud so i can hear you too...

Friday, December 23, 2011

the longing of Simeon...

I love the expectation and longing of these verses, and even more so of Simeon's life...

...Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Luke 2:25-32

Merry Christmas...
Praise God for the hope that He gave us in the birth of His Son Jesus....
May we long for His return even more so as we remember when He first came to us...

Friday, December 2, 2011


yesterday, as i considered the fact that there are only 25 days till christmas (um, YAY!)... i had this thought:  what were people doing 25 days before Jesus was born?  were they even thinking that He could be on earth in 25 short little days? (what a crazy thing that would be to know!)  now, yes, i know that the 25th of december is not the exact day of Christ's birth, but that's really not the point of all this... it was more like, hmmm... what an interesting thought...

just as we wait today for our Jesus to return, individuals way back then were waiting for the Messiah to come and deliver them.  they waited in expectation... we wait in expectation... and i guess that's more along the lines of what i was thinking... what did their expectation look like 25 days before the Messiah's birth?  and what does our expectation look like, not knowing if Christ will return tomorrow or in years and years?  and sometimes i wonder, do we even expect Him to come?  or even more so, are our lives affected by this feeling and motivation of expectation?  are we excited?  do we really long for His return?

i am sure that Jesus' birth was a surprise to many... i mean, we kinda know it was right?  the shock of the shepherds, the erratic and fearful behavior of Herod... so as much as they waited for their King to come, the surprise of His actual coming was shocking and life changing... i guess what i just hope is that our lives are being changed in our expectation of His coming.  yes, i know there will be shock and surprise at the moment Christ returns to save His people, but i do not want to only be affected AT His coming, i wanted to be changed AS I WAIT for His coming.  

i was reading "the Jesus storybook Bible" last night... i love love love this book and there is one part in particular, just in the introduction, that i especially love...

"...the Bible is most of all a Story.  it's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure.  it's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves.  it's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!  You see, the best thing about this Story is - it's true.  there are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story.  the Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.  it takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.  and at the center of the Story, there is a baby.  every Story in the Bible whispers his name.  he is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture."

i LOVE how at the very beginning of this Bible, written for children, such a revolutionary and life changing truth is made clear... the whole Bible, the words of the old and new testaments, some of which people used as their Scriptures before Jesus came as a baby... these words all pointed towards His coming.  and in His coming and in His work, all these stories, all the pieces of the puzzle came together.  i want to view life from such a perspective.  how is the day to day preparing the way for Christ to return?  do i look for the ways God is working to prepare for His return?  how i am acting and working to prepare myself and others to live and wait in expectation?

because... He is coming... He came several thousand years ago... and He will come again...

Emmanuel, God with us, will once again, BE WITH US.

Monday, November 14, 2011

...as Thou hast been...

as someone who has had a couple homes... and both being quite far apart, sometimes that "feeling" of home is hard to find.  i know that i have mentioned this before, but today as i was thinking about that homey feeling i had such a good time praising God for the "HOME" that He is for me.  it's not just about getting those warm, fuzzy home feelings, it's knowing that in Him I belong... in Him i live and move... in Him i am satisfied... in Him i do not need to seek for anything more, for because in Him i am home and have found everything...

i have always seen God's faithfulness in my life.  there may have been days or moments or weeks or months where this steadfast quality was not as apparent as other points in time, but as it often is, looking back His faithfulness was and is crystal clear.  how is it that so much can change and so many things are wavering in the wind like the last leaves on the tree outside my window... and yet, God is so consistent?  to know this consistency and to see it manifest itself in each moment of the day... this is what i want!  may we not move throughout life's seconds missing it.  i want to pause in the madness of the day and settle in on the clarity of His faithfulness.  and in these "pauses", i am sure that i will find freedom.  freedom from my worries, freedom from demands that i put upon myself... because in these "pauses" i will see Jesus working.  i will notice that His faithfulness has been consistent not to bring me to a place where i can just move on without Him... but instead a place where i can depend on Him in the craziness and not be motivated by anything but Him.

life continues to meander, to places i enjoy and places i fear... and yet, in those places, both good and bad, the faithfulness of God is true and real and steadfast as it has even been.

"...as Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

words of the wise...

...a couple of quotes from some old guys long gone...
...who, by the way, are no longer longing for home...

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, 
the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
C. S. Lewis

"We must meet the uncertainties of this world 
with the certainty of the world to come."
A. W. Tozer

Saturday, November 5, 2011


for the last several weeks we've had a few things break.  i mean... it's been a little crazy.  the other night i listed verbally to shawn everything that we have had break and we were both surprised with the amount... nothing really of value, it just seemed like everyday we were finding something else that was broken or messed up... first it was our oven.  it just stopped working.  one day i went in to pull out some potatoes and i was met with a strange cold feeling when i opened up the oven.  next it was the dvd player in our room.  (like i said these things aren't a really big deal, it just started becoming an odd trend...)  more recently we had our carbon monoxide alarm go off (which we thought IT was broken and IT was not... therefore something else was... yes a little crazy, but it's all fixed now... no worries.... mom. :)  the other day i was trying to learn more about photography and somehow encountered a massive virus that, at the moment, i thought destroyed our computer... which it did not... though i don't know if it will ever be it's old, cheery self again.  meanwhile, we have also had our other dvd player break and then the pipes in our house freaked out and decided not to drain.  

needless to say, it has been a lesson in brokenness.  not brokenness of spirit, but brokenness of things.  things that won't last... things that won't even last for my lifetime... things that won't even last for a small part of my lifetime!  and while the consistency of things breaking has at times been quite frustrating, it sure has been a reminder of what i can depend on and what i can not... what is important and what is not... it's also been a lesson in entitlement... when i was frustrated, even with the bigger things, like the CO alarm going off... i was most definitely reminded that many do not have a home to even have a CO alarm go off in... or that i have the safety of an alarm that tells me such things.  i am not entitled to any of the above things that broke.  and as i found myself frustrated, i was quickly reminded that these things are gifts and not needs.  

sometimes it's the little things that bring you back to a place you need to be.  something silly breaking can pull you back to realize that you don't even really need that thing.  and a long list of things breaking or just one thing can remind us that these things should not be invested in.  as we long for home may we truly do so... not longing for things.  these things seem so unimportant as i consider our future with our God.  unimportant is not even the right adjective... more like, irrelevant... expendable... worthless... i do praise God that He continues to pull my heart towards eternity.  moments where i find myself caring less and less about things and more and more about people and moments that are eternal... these are changing my life.  i love the process of God changing us - of seeing how He continues to alter my focus and change hearts of others.  i'll take the broken any day... only to be reminded of the complete wholeness accessible through our Savior Jesus.