Friday, December 30, 2005
"When the Son of Man comes again, it will be exactly like the days of Noah. In the days before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. They were not aware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again........."Therefore, be alert, because you don't know on what day your Lord will return." Matthew 24:37-39,42
"No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don't know. Only the Father knows. Be careful! Watch! You don't know the exact time. It is like a man who went on a trip. As he left home, he put his servants in charge. He assigned work to each one and ordered the guard to be alert. Therefore, be alert, because you don't know when the owner of the house will return. It could be in the evening or at midnight or at dawn or in the morning. Make sure he doesn't come suddenly and find you asleep. I'm telling everyone what I'm telling you: 'Be alert!'" March 13:32-37
" You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, "Everything is safe and sound!" destruction will suddenly strike them. It will be as sudden as labor pains come to a pregnant woman. They won't be able to escape. But, brothers and sisters, you don't live in the dark. That day won't take you by surprise as a thief would. You belong to the day and the light not to the night and the dark.
Therefore, we must not fall asleep like other people, but we must stay awake and be sober." 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1Corinthians 13:1-13
Love, real love, is an eternal matter. God IS love. It is the very substance of His nature, like his Holiness.I so desire to come to the place where I love because it is my DNA to love, just as it is my DNA to walk in purity.
Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12
"Ham, father of Canaan, saw his father naked. So he went outside and told his two brothers. Shem and Japheth took a blanket and laid it over their shoulders. Then they walked in backwards and covered their father's naked body. They turned their faces away so that they didn't see their father naked." Genesis 9:22-23
"Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer. Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins." IPeter 4:7-8
It is only in the secret place, on my knees and seeking your glance, locked into your gaze that I will have the grace to LOVE my enemy. Oh my Father bring me to a place where I can walk free from offence. So much so that your love covers the mistakes of others, freeing them to find safety and restoration in your presence.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
If I can learn to accept this and walk through this perhaps I will learn not to trivialize anothers grief. If it is true of sorrow, perhaps it will be true of joy. For if I am to find minimul delight in one person's true joy and abundant celebration in another's I have denied the first individual the full pleasure of experiencing your gifts Father.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I have wept much this week. My heart is heavy and unreleased grief has had it's way. Dreams pinched like a wick, smoke rising and trailing, taunting me to lose hope. Hurt that you would allow me to see your dreams. Afraid that I will be left behind. Feeling unworthy. Feeling forgotten.Papa come quickly before this pain takes root. Rescue me from despair, do not let me close up this heart. I do not know what to ask for. I do not know what I need. But you do, so I'm coming to you healer of my soul. You alone hold my future. I surrender, Lord help me surrender.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
"Pure Christianity lives between two dangers ever present: the danger that it will evaporate into a philosophy - philosophies of the atonement . . . and the danger that it will freeze into a form" (Dr. Scofield).
"So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer." Romans 12:1
"What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world." James 1:27
Saturday, November 12, 2005
And I have asked to be FILLEd with your HOLY Spirit!
Indeed there is a seperation.
Luk 18:17 Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."
Mat 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life.
Heb 11:1 To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
Heb 11:2 It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God's approval.
Heb 11:3 It is by faith that we understand that the universe was created by God's word, so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.
Heb 11:4 It was faith that made Abel offer to God a better sacrifice than Cain's. Through his faith he won God's approval as a righteous man, because God himself approved of his gifts. By means of his faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
Heb 11:5 It was faith that kept Enoch from dying. Instead, he was taken up to God, and nobody could find him, because God had taken him up. The scripture says that before Enoch was taken up, he had pleased God.
Heb 11:6 No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
Heb 11:7 It was faith that made Noah hear God's warnings about things in the future that he could not see. He obeyed God and built a boat in which he and his family were saved. As a result, the world was condemned, and Noah received from God the righteousness that comes by faith.
Heb 11:8 It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going.
Heb 11:9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the country that God had promised him. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who received the same promise from God.
Heb 11:10 For Abraham was waiting for the city which God has designed and built, the city with permanent foundations.
Heb 11:11 It was faith that made Abraham able to become a father, even though he was too old and Sarah herself could not have children. He trusted God to keep his promise.
Heb 11:12 Though Abraham was practically dead, from this one man came as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, as many as the numberless grains of sand on the seashore.
Heb 11:13 It was in faith that all these persons died. They did not receive the things God had promised, but from a long way off they saw them and welcomed them, and admitted openly that they were foreigners and refugees on earth.
Heb 11:14 Those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own.
Heb 11:15 They did not keep thinking about the country they had left; if they had, they would have had the chance to return.
Heb 11:16 Instead, it was a better country they longed for, the heavenly country. And so God is not ashamed for them to call him their God, because he has prepared a city for them.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Unlike Joshua and Caleb, the other Israelites followed the Lord's calling out from Egypt, but they did not follow Him into the land.
There is a leaving, and then there is a coming. It is the cry of the wilderness prophet: Turn from sin and turn to God!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
"We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey . . . Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large . . . We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we" (Num.13:27-28, Num.13:31). "And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes . . . "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us . . . Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land . . . the LORD is with us." (Num.14:6, Num.14:8-9)
Lord, the majority will always favor what is tangible and humanly capable. But choosing to trust in and fear man is a form of rebellion against You. I desire perspective that is based upon what You have promised and what You are able to do and Jesus, I have seen a faint glimpse of the milk and honey. I have seen the eternal promised land. By faith I choose to put to death the "nevertheless" in me and I choose to trust in and fear you alone no matter how strange, and unrealistic my steps of trust look to my eyes and the opinions of others!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
It is my (not so secret) longing to be a resting place for the King of glory, to house and release the fragrace and beauty of my beloved one; to be a carrier of His presence and life giving power to all who are thirsty and in need. I pray that Jesus, in me, will compel others to leave the broken cisterns of earthly pleasures and abandon themselves to the joy of knowing Jesus in the beauty of His holiness through worship, prayer, his word and ministry to the poor and weak, the window and the orphan. This is want I long for. This is what I want to live for.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
"Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good; his love is eternal!" Repeat these words in praise to the LORD, all you whom he has saved. He has rescued you from your enemies and has brought you back from foreign countries, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in the trackless desert and could not find their way to a city to live in. They were hungry and thirsty and had given up all hope. Then in their trouble they called to the LORD, and he saved them from their distress. He led them by a straight road to a city where they could live. They must thank the LORD for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. He satisfies those who are thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Some were living in gloom and darkness, prisoners suffering in chains, because they had rebelled against the commands of Almighty God and had rejected his instructions. They were worn out from hard work; they would fall down, and no one would help. Then in their trouble they called to the LORD, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of their gloom and darkness and broke their chains in pieces. They must thank the LORD for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. He breaks down doors of bronze and smashes iron bars. Some were fools, suffering because of their sins and because of their evil; they couldn't stand the sight of food and were close to death. Then in their trouble they called to the LORD, and he saved them from their distress. He healed them with his command and saved them from the grave. They must thank the LORD for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. They must thank him with sacrifices, and with songs of joy must tell all that he has done. Some sailed over the ocean in ships, earning their living on the seas. They saw what the LORD can do, his wonderful acts on the seas. He commanded, and a mighty wind began to blow and stirred up the waves. The ships were lifted high in the air and plunged down into the depths. In such danger the sailors lost their courage; they stumbled and staggered like drunks--- all their skill was useless.
Then in their trouble they called to the LORD, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the raging storm, and the waves became quiet. They were glad because of the calm, and he brought them safe to the port they wanted. They must thank the LORD for his constant love, for the wonderful things he did for them. They must proclaim his greatness in the assembly of the people and praise him before the council of the leaders. The LORD made rivers dry up completely and stopped springs from flowing. He made rich soil become a salty wasteland because of the wickedness of those who lived there. He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into flowing springs. He let hungry people settle there, and they built a city to live in. They sowed the fields and planted grapevines and reaped an abundant harvest. He blessed his people, and they had many children; he kept their herds of cattle from decreasing. Then God's people were defeated and humiliated by cruel oppression and suffering, he showed contempt for their oppressors and made them wander in trackless deserts. But he rescued the needy from their misery and made their families increase like flocks. The righteous see this and are glad, but all the wicked are put to silence. May those who are wise think about these things; may they consider the LORD's constant love. Psalm 107:1 -43
Friday, November 04, 2005
There is no place I can not go that He will not also come, that He is not also present. I am beginning to recognise His life in me, His presence in me and His favor over me and I am beginning to see that rather than hide from the darkness, it is my inheritence to invade the darkness with the light of Jesus. Rather than shrink from the presence of evil, I have the pleasure of being commissioned to carry with me the presence of the Holy One.
It's not easy learning to love the wounded, bitter and needy one. It's downright painful. The glamour of the mission leaves. The reality becomes more clear, and the clarity is messy. Interesting that Jesus should consider the outcasts his priority. Interesting that he should spend his time loving them often, loving them deeply. Calling me to do the same.
"Jesus says to his disciples, and he says it with love: Come, and follow me. And so we start to follow him. But where does he lead us? To a comfortable place? To great security? No. He leads the disciples where? To the people who are sick with leprosy. He brings them close to the woman of Samaria. He brings them places where they will meet with the woman taken in adultery. He'll bring them continually to where there is brokenness. Jesus isn't bringing people into a world of dream. Jesus is not helping people to fly away into theories. Jesus doesn't want theories. He doesn't want dream. He wants the truth. He wants reality. So as we follow Jesus, he will bring us into a world of pain. But then we'll begin to see how he doesn't reject pain, but there's going to be the whole mystery of the transformation of pain, that he'll bring light and love into the pain and it will be transformed. And then as we continue to follow Jesus with the disciples, what we will discover is that Jesus is not just the powerful messiah, but he's somebody vulnerable. . . . "(Jean Vanier)
Years ago God gave Heidi Baker a vision of the chariots of God circling the globe. The hearts of the riders were transparent, pulsating with the heart of God, and the only one holding the reigns of the horses was the Father. She also shared that what God was doing in Africa would come full circle and be released here in Canada. Interestingly, one of marks of the Holy Spirit's work in Africa is that children are preaching, and ministering with signs and wonders following on the streets there.
Are we listening? Are we teaching our children how to listen and making room for the Holy Spirit?
It comes to mind that Jesus *rode* under the mantle of humility, in signs, wonders, and Kingdom reality (Isaiah 61) just prior to the time of *His* dark hour.
Even now I am struck that it is time our prayers increase for our children. Even now I am convinced more than ever in their position alongside us. I pray that we, his beloved ones, will together be firmly secured and rooted in the Father's love. I pray that we will be abandoned to His presence and His preeminance, walking side by side as generations, willing to lay EVERYTHING down so that He has complete possession and authority.I pray that we will be willing to trust, follow and GO where and when He leads. I pray that we will take up our cross and be willing to bear the cost together of the fellowship of His sufferings.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Theology will be exalted above revelation;
Intellectual education above character building;
Psychology above discernment;
Program above the leading of the Holy Spirit;
Eloquence above supernatural power;
Reasoning above the walk of faith;
Laws above love.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
And yet, something is always reminding me otherwise. I get wounded, I cry, I hurt, I bleed. I find myself falling again, stumbling, ashamed. I fight sickness. I shrink in fear. I'm growing older but not always wiser.I try to be strong because I know the truth. I speak it, declare it -renewing my mind, gaurding myself from the enemy's deception of the temporary as reality. And I hate myself for forgetting whose I am.
And then He comes and loves me as I am. Human. I've seen and felt enough of 'human' for it to prey on me like a vulgar word. I've had enough of a taste of glory to ache for eternity.
I fight it. Shrink from it. I want so badly to stand in the truth.But ironically my Father, the King of the kingdom from home invites me to embrace this humanity....this place of brokeness and weakness where He first found me.
And then He reminds me that He too left His kingdom, His glory and strength and embraced humanity in all it's fullness. He too endured rejection, hunger, lonliness, abandonment, abuse. He did NOTHING of his own accord. He too was vulnerable, dependent, in need. He voluntarily made himself nothing, a servant of mankind. He bore the weight of the guilt and torment of sin and the judgement on sinful humanity. He completely identified Himself with humanity. Human was not an ugly word to Him. He sees something beautiful in Humanity. He creates her, adorns her, crowns her, pursues her, comes to be near to her, bring hope to her, express his affection for her, protect her, lay down his life for her....like a lover He is forever after her.
To embrace MY humanity is to embrace and itentify myself with humanity, standing with Jesus in the fellowship of His sufferings. To walk in fellowship with the suffering of my brother's and sisters. To remember my own bondage and know my own weakness and see the world through rescued eyes. With compassion not judgement. Holding Daddy's hand and grabbing another along the way - walking together, leaning on one-another, remembering that the Kingdom of God is still within me.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Things are quiet in my heart. That's new. I am fully aware that God is working in me. I am blown away that He has placed some simple things in front of me..and that's it, that's all. So now that I've decided to stop checking my own heart, picking at it for more and trusting the Holy Spirit. I'm enjoying life more...enjoying God, enjoying me, enjoying my family and my friends......
That is just it...love enjoys, it doesn't just tolerate. And here I am entering into a peek of your pleasure over me and all of creation. Mmmmmm.....feels good Pappa.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
"One evening as I was worshipping the lord was singing a song over me and he kept saying "wild and free, wild and free, wild and free." It was really beautiful and I could just see myself in an open field under a dark stormy sky, with the wind blowing on my face. I was in a white dress and I was twirling round and round and round and round. I was soo free!! Later I asked the lord what he meant by wild...Why would God want me to be wild.. And the Lord said--I don't want domesticated christians!! Wow!! That blew my mind as I thought about everything that we as humans domesticate. And the lord brought a bird to my mind. Before humans domesticate birds, birds are free to fly in the skys, they are free to sing their own tune, they are free to eat fresh food everyday, they are just so free. Then when they are domesticated they are put in cages, to sit on a stick, to eat the same food for a week-the same water, to sing what they hear. The Lord showed me that christians have become caged up--put in cages of tradition of men, doctrine or men, fear of men, depression--the lord showed me that there were many cages that kept people from freedom.......and it's as if we sit on the same stick all day--not free to explore what the Lord has for us--and always eating the same food---until we become dull---dull just sitting on a stick. And then the lord showed me how birds just sing what they hear and the lord showed me how people just mimic what they hear in church and never sing new songs to him--he showed me the danger of familiarity. SOOO,,,,,, Don't be a domesticated christian--Be a WILD CHRISTIAN....Be free to fly, to sing, to twirl, to spin, to dance, to be held in his arms...just know his freedom and break loose of those cages--the lord is opening the doors of the cages!!!BE WILD!!!"
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I know that the desert places are a time of growth and wooing and consecration. But I am realizing too that in this place I have been struggling with his voice, with the call to come up and come in to the heart and ways of the Lord. The way of trust and rest.It's dark and painful.
It is completely silly but it is like I am trying to get through a dark tunnel on my own. I could simply depend solely on one candle which another holds but I think that it would be far more superior for me to get through it by sheer determination and intuitivness. What stubborness, pride and craziness!
Jesus said: "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
There is a sure way out of the darkness. My struggle and resistance are what keep me in the dark. So if I hear his voice and trust his voice, leaning and resting on him as my only source I will no longer be lost.In his mercy, he uses this place to strip and mold me. He loves me unconditionally in this place until there is finally a YES cry! But Oh that I would always have that yes cry first and trust Him as my light, my only hope, my life.
"As long as we think WE can, or even if we think God will enable us to do it, we are still striving. We must cease to do, and allow Him to do.....We know that Christ was tempted in all areas like as we are, yet without sin. He is over all things, and there"s not a single temptation, situation, problem, or circumstance that He has not already mastered. We do not worry that Christ may stumble, or sin, or be taken advantage of by the enemy. Why? We trust in His Life; we know the Man; we believe He is sufficient, nay, more than sufficient, to answer any and every test, trial, and temptation. Since He lives in me, and I am a vessel which contains His Life, why can I not trust in His Life working through me as much as I would trust Christ on earth? Is it not the same Spirit? Decidedly so!
"Trust in My Life," that Spirit urges. Cease striving, trust Me, watch what happens." (Chip Brogden excerpt from "Trust in my Life")
Saturday, September 17, 2005
An unknown brother named Chris sums it up: " Perhaps the simplistic answer to all this is that we are in the now and not yet. We, the church in the West, are caught between what has been, and what will be. How Frustrating!!! "
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
When the doors were shut…for fear of the Jews, came Jesus— John 20:19
This was a very memorable Sunday evening, one of the most memorable that history has known. The grave was empty; Christ Jesus had arisen, and slowly the glad truth was reaching the disciples. First had come the tidings of Mary Magdalene, then the thrilling experience of Peter, and now the two travelers to Emmaus had come in and had just finished telling what had befallen them. Can we not imagine what a conflict of emotions surged and throbbed in the disciples' hearts? Some believed instantly; some could not crush their doubt; some passed in swift alternation through glory and despair. And it was then when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, that Jesus came and stood in the midst of them. How exquisitely fitting was His first word, "Peace!" Peace was the very thing which they lacked that evening. We may always trust Christ, in His unerring tact, to say the right word at the right moment. But the words I ask you especially to consider are these: "when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews." They suggest to me two lines of thought which I shall ask you to follow for a little. The first is, we may close the doors on Christ unwittingly. The second is, though we close the doors on Christ, we do not shut Him out. May God grant us His guidance as we proceed.
We May Close the Doors on Christ Unwittingly:
First, then, we may close the doors on Christ unwittingly; that, you see, is what the disciples did. When they shut and locked the doors of the upper chamber, they never meant to bar them against Jesus. They were afraid of the Jews, the Gospel frankly tells us—and there are few books so frank as the Bible is. They had not been born yet into the heroism of Pentecost; they had not been baptized with the Spirit of fearlessness. Had they heard the trampling of Jewish feet upon the stairs and the beating of Jewish staves upon the door, I daresay they would have thought that all was lost. So they made fast the door for fear of the Jews. That was their only object when they barred it. Yet you and I, reading the story together, detect that they were doing more than they imagined, for unwittingly they closed the door on Christ. Now there is a lesson in that thought on which you and I do well to ponder. It is that we may close the door on all that is best and worthiest, and yet we can honestly say we never meant to do it. I do not think there are many who have deliberately resolved to shut out Christ. This is an age of such uncertainty that most men are too uncertain even to be skeptics. But there are doors we may close, never thinking of Christ Jesus; there are lines of conduct in common life we may pursue, and we never dream that we are raising barriers between ourselves and the highest and the best. But in the end of the day for us, as for the disciples, it will be found that we have done more than we imagined—we have closed the door unwittingly on Christ..........I beseech you, see that you are not living and acting as the disciples did upon that Lord's day evening when for fear of the Jews they shut the door, and unwittingly closed it on their Lord.
Friendships and Choices May Shut the Door on Christ:
There are many ways in which men commit this error. Think for example of the formation of friendships. Many a young man is ruined by his enemies, but more young men are ruined by their friends. It is amazing how easily some people form their friendships, how they make them on the line of least resistance, how they fail to realize what is implied in that mystical and mighty name of friend. So friendships are lightly and improvidently made, and slowly and secretly character degenerates; until at last that friendship (unworthy of the name), begun in the comradeship of some light-hearted hour, closes the door on a hundred noble things, and among them on the beauty of Christ Jesus. Or think again of the choices that we make—and we exercise our noblest prerogative in choosing. Every morning that we rise and every day that we go forth, our choices make us or our choices mar us. Someday a choice more momentous than usual comes. We are face to face with one of life's great decisions. And we have not been living on high levels, and so we choose amiss, for a man's whole life is in every choice he makes. Then the days pass, and the issues show themselves, and the choice works itself out in life and character, and a hundred glorious things are tarnished and are tainted as the result of one disastrous choice. We never meant to shut out power and purity, but they have receded into the dim distance ever since. We never thought to grow heart-weary and world-weary, but that may follow from one mismanaged choosing. Like the disciples beset by some poor fear, unwittingly we have closed the door on Christ.
Levity Can Close the Door on Christ:
But perhaps the commonest of all causes of this great error lies in the spirit that will not take things seriously. I would never ask a young man or woman to be solemn, but I would always urge a young man or woman to be serious. We read the parable of the marriage feast, and we note how the invited guests made light of it. Do you think these guests had been serious and earnest men up to the hour when they received that invitation? God does not tamper with character like that. No man begins to be frivolous by mocking kings. When they were children they had made light of home and had thought little of a mother's love; when they were youths they had made light of purity, for they thought that to be immoral was a manly thing. Now comes the invitation of the king, the crowning and decisive moment of their lives, and in that moment all their past is concentrated, and Scripture tells us they made light of that. One thing is certain, they never meant to do it. They never thought that it would come to this. Thoughtlessly they closed the door on reverent feeling, on devoutness and on chivalry and on purity. But the curse of such levity is that it involves far more than we shall ever know till the years have unrolled their story. In tampering with the least we touch the greatest. We begin by closing the door on little decencies, and unwittingly we close the door on Christ.
Though We Close the Doors on Christ, We Do Not Shut Him Out:
But now I pass on (and I do so very gladly) to the second and evangelical message of our text. That message is, though we close the doors on Christ yet we do not shut Him out. That night in Jerusalem the disciples found it so. Suddenly, though every lock was turned, Christ was among them. They had closed the door on Him not knowing what they did, yet for all that they did not shut Him out. In studying the life of Christ on earth I have often been struck with that note of the inevitable. Men tried to escape Him—adjured Him to depart—yet though all the doors were shut, Jesus confronted them. I think of the Gadarene demoniac in the tombs. He was an object of terror so that all men fled from him. He had shut out his nearest and dearest by his wildness, but for all his wildness he could not shut out the Lord. "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God—art thou come hither to torment us before our time?" He could escape from his chains; he could not escape from Jesus. Lo! he is sitting clothed and in his right mind.
For the Jews, Christ Was Unavoidable:
Or I think of Christ in relation to Jewish history, and I feel once again that He was unavoidable. For the whole struggle of scribes and Pharisees and priests was to close the door on Christ and keep Him out. They refused to acknowledge Him and they would make no place for Him; He was a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber; not this man -but Barabbas! Everything that malevolence could do was done; everything that spite could suggest was swiftly practiced to discredit the name and sully the reputation of this prophet who mourned with tears over Jerusalem. Did it succeed? Was the door really shut? Was Christ barred out from the destinies of Judaism? Ah, sirs, every page of Jewish story reveals the futility of that endeavor. The most potent influence in Judaism is Christ Jesus. He has determined its fortunes and its fall. He is inextricably blended with its blood and anguish. He is the daystar of its only hope. They closed the door on Him—beat Him off—said He is done with now: but for all that they could not shut Him out.
You May Shut the Door, but Christ Can Still Reach You:
If that was true in history I want you to believe that it is true now. For weal or woe, whatever walls you raise, Christ passes through them all and gets to you. There are deeds that we did long since, perhaps twenty years ago, but to this hour unexpectedly they rise and meet us. There were moments of exquisite happiness in our past, and even today their memory is like music. You cannot shut out the thought of intense hours; no change of years will prevent them winning through. And like the ineffaceable memory of such scenes is the presence and the beauty of the Lord. Christ is inevitable. Christ is unavoidable. I want that thought to sink into your hearts. Close every door against Him if you will; the mystery is that you do not shut Him out.
To Avoid Christ Is an Impossibility:
Sometimes He comes through the closed door just because all life is penetrated with Him. We talk of the Christian atmosphere we breathe, but the atmosphere is more than Christian, it is Christ. This is the Lord's day—who then is this Lord? We may have closed the door on Him, but He is here. We cannot date one letter in the morning but we mean that so many years ago Christ was born. He meets us at every turn of the road, in every newspaper, and in every problem. Our life is so interpenetrated with Christ Jesus that to avoid Him is an impossibility.
We Meet Christ through a Genuine Christian:
Sometimes He meets us in a noble character, in a man who is a living argument for religion. And though we have resolved to have nothing to do with Christ, yet we feel in a moment that Christ is by our side. Creeds may mean nothing to us; we may have left off church-going; the dust may have gathered thick upon our Bibles; but accidentally we meet some man or some woman, having the hallmark of the genuine Christ, and through the shut door we know that Christ is here.
We Meet Christ in Our Moments of Sorrow:
And sometimes it is in our deeper hours that He so comes. It is in the darker and more tragic moments of our life. It is when the sun has ceased to shine, and the birds have ceased to sing; when we are baffled and broken and disappointed. We closed the door on Him when we were strong and vigorous, for we did not want the intrusion of the Cross; but when life's deeps are uncovered then it is God we need, and through the shut doors Christ is in the midst.
Christ Can Break Your Hopelessness:
In closing let me say this single word: am I speaking to any whose sin has made them hopeless? It may be there is someone who seems to have closed every door upon Christ Jesus. Have you been living for years in secret sin? Or has one great sin besmirched and blackened everything? The result of it all is that you seem utterly callous, incapable of faith, cold as a stone. My brother or sister, things are not utterly hopeless. Even now you may have the benediction. Through every barrier—in the teeth of every obstacle—that presence which is life and power may be yours. Christ is a spirit—nothing can hold Him back.
There is no road-maker in all the world like love. Cry out, "Thou Son of God, come to my heart!" and though all the doors have been shut, He will be there.
Monday, September 05, 2005
We are nearing no less a crisis (though different) than Paul's day, here in the Western culture. And so I pondered what Paul could mean. And then I saw that it was plain and clear.I believe the issue is one of TIME. There is so much "stuff" in daily living. Especially the stuff that is so important to us. And yet the Lord is calling us....with trumpet sound, to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Awaken me. Prepare me. Cause me to be watchful and attentive to Your need Lord and not so focused on me. Time has been a familiar call but I've let it slip away to attend to the many things. Will I lay down my time...Will I give you what is really yours. Do I believe that you hold this world in your hands, that time is really YOURS? Will I throw off the encumberence of false timetables that mean nothing in light of eternity?
Friday, September 02, 2005
Thank you for giving my honey to me. Increase your favor over his life. Pour your love on him lavishly. How extravagently you are FOR him. I love you sweetie!
Thankyou for blessing me and believing in me...knowing that you would give me all that I needed to nurture them in their destinies as son's of the King. I declare that you are warriors. Open Heaven over them Lord! May they know you more and more and have a heart after you. Keep exploring boys....Seek and you will find!
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Favor's mantle. A son's reward.
A lover's passion,
Season of lonliness.
Where destiny is nurtured,
In the midst of death and resurrection.
Slow, painful emergence
between what is by faith and what is;
And you, not worried, not hurried.
I wrestle and weep.
You love and listen.
I choose trust.
Your life, your blood
coursing through my being
Strengthening this frail frame.
Forming me in your image
"And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He alone was on the land. And seeing them harassed at rowing, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." And He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were greatly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened."-Mark 6: 45-52
The disciples have just witnessed the heart of Heaven. The love and passion of the Father, the immeasurable maginitude of His Kingdom has been manifested, as Jesus feeds a crowd of five thousand with five loaves and two small fish. And now everyone is convinced that Jesus has come to be King over Israel again, and as human beings often do, in our own understanding, in what we THINK God is trying to do, we miss the point all together. But Jesus is OK with that. So He sends the disciples off, because there is more to accomplish, more revelation of the Father to reveal, and as He often does, He withdraws by Himself, after He sends the disciples across the lake. The disciples now are heading across the lake, but the wind blows against them, and as they struggle and try to fight the wind, Jesus sees them from the mountainside, and comes out after them... walking on the water.
Recently, I've felt like God has withdrawn from me... Like He's distanced Himself, and I find myself like the disciples. My numb dumb heart has been hardened. I've been so quickly to forget what He's said, and what He's done. I don't think it's un-natural for us to respond the way we do, when God withdraws... In fact, God spoke to me about when He withdraws... "Son, you're getting so busy... when I withdraw, it's because I want you to withdraw with Me.... It's an invitation, it's not a rejection."And so that's what this is all about... The first time Jesus is led out into the wilderness, it's because the Spirit leads Him out there... I don't think much changed over the course of His life... But why is it that when He withdraws, we miss the invitation and think He's rejected us... and we find ourselves striving and trying again? Working to earn His affection... I know the theme of identity has been preached to death by the millions of pastors and preachers out in the world today.... Surely when it feels like God withdraws, when it feels like life is falling down all around us, that it's just the cup the Father has set before us now. That in this season we need to withdraw to the lonely places with Him? You know, as I listened to Jason share the story of the tornado in Tulsa, the Lord spoke to me and said, "if you only knew how much My favor rests on you... If you only knew how much authority you have... if only you knew how much I love you." I have this theory, that when Jesus was talking about faith that moves mountains, He wasn't talking about the "prophetic mountains that hinder us from our destiny..." I dont think His audience would have deduced that from His message. I think Jesus sent the disciples out ahead of Him, so that they could withdraw. He knew they would be alright. In fact He was so confident in this because He intended to walk right past them as they were rowing on the lake... It wasn't confidence in the disciples... He was confident in the favor He had on them...You see, what happens is when God withdraws, and He invites us to withdraw with Him, He knows we can handle life. Not because of ourselves, but because we are His son, His daughter, and His favor rests on you and I. If we only knew the favor God had on our lives, and the authority He's endowed us with. I believe that God doesn't want us to be independant of Him, but He wants us to be His companions, so He entrusts us, and gives us favor, and authority, and He has confidence in us as Sons and daughters. You see, Jesus walks right past the disciples while they struggle against the wind. I think He was going to wait for them on the other side. But when they see Him coming, and they cry out in fear, He stops and gets into the boat with them, and then the storm stops, and the wind is calm, and the water is calm. See I don't think that Jesus wants us to be independant, but He wants us to have a revelation of the love and favor of the Father on our lives... The confidence of the Father on us to overcome, and to be a church that overcomes, even when we don't overcome. Father, may I have such confidence in Your favor upon my life! See the disciples were left in awe because Jesus calmed the storm. But they still didn't get it... They forgot the favor of the Father, the love of God that we cannot be separated from, the provision of God to feed five thousand plus hungry people... the compassion of Jesus that will never let us be tempted beyond what we're able, but has to help us to find the "able" in ourselves. So when God withdraws, and the winds beat and blow, it's the Father's invitation. When water floods your boat, and the winds beat against you, pushing you the opposite direction, don't forget the favor of the Father. Who said, "because you have favor with Me, because you have relationship with Me, and I can trust you, speak to the storm, and watch it dissipate. Tell the mountain to move, and watch it get up and move, tell that cancer to die, and watch it shrivel and die, dont forget, it's the favor of the Father on His sons and on His daughters. "
Indeed there is power in our words....
It is time to sing over the barren places and speak to the wind, the waves and the mountains.
Father let the favor that rests on me pour forth from me.
Monday, August 29, 2005
The desire for more children has been growing in me. I grieve when I remember I put a stop to that. I was afraid. I didn't trust in Your providence and provision. I didn't trust in your strength. I was afraid to fall. Afraid to fail. I didn't know who you are. But this desire is crossing every portion of my being. I am empty of relationship, connection with believers and heart outpoured for unbelievers. This desire for intimacy and for fruitfulness grows....aching...crying....like Hannah, I am not satisfied.
And then you exhort me with this promise:
"Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle- even then, I will be happy with the LORD. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.
The LORD Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains. " Habakkuk 3:17-19
I don't know how, or when.....but I give it all to you.You know my heart. Your desires once lay as a seed when the ground was fertile. Did I miscarry your dreams? Did I abort your promises? Did fear stop your flow of life in me?
"My beloved put his hand through the keyhole. My heart throbbed for him.
I got up to open for my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, and my fingers were drenched with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away. He was gone! I almost died when he left. I looked for him, but I did not find him. I called for him, but he did not answer me."
Have I wounded you? Neglected you? Lord, draw me back to your feet. Let me see your eyes. All I ever wanted was to be fully yours. All fruitfulness flows from intimacy.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Listening for your voice
Speak your word over me
and my soul will live
Great are your mercies Lord
new for me everyday
You faithfully parden Me
I hear you say
Come to the water
Come to the river
Come to the well
Come if you're thirsty
Come if you're broken
Come and be healed
As sure as the rain comes down
As sure as the snow falls from heaven
your promises are fulfilled
I hear you say
Come to the water
come to the river
Come to the well
Come if you're thirsty
Come if you're broken
Come and be healed
Come and drink from the Saviour's cup
Come and be cleansed by the Saviour's blood
Oh I will go out with Joy..I will go out with peace...the mountains and hills sing praise
I hear them say:
Come to the water
Come to the river
Come to the well
Come if you're thirsty
Come if you're broken
Come and be healed
Kate Miner (Come to the water)
Saturday, August 20, 2005
This struggle between structure and freedom is unnerving. I've longed to know life lived naturally, uncontrived ; not forced and mandated. Life that is not based in obligation but in passion. But when you've lived in that for so long, it feels safer than the world without the boxes. This one is unfamiliar territory and I feel frozen in terror. My tongue is tied. My mind fumbling.
In the beginning was life. Without ritual or structure. Just the Father and his children in relationship. In the Son we see this lived. Jesus did not 'go to church' for life and fellowship, he communed with the Father and brought life to the lost and the broken. Jesus did not attend a school, he was taught by the spirit of God. Jesus did not impress his authority on those who followed him, he simply carried it. Jesus did not require submission from his followers, he inspired them to it. Help me see you more. Help me hear you more. Help me live unhindered...ready to fly. Teach me your way.
"Scientists say if you help a butterfly escape its chrysalis, you actually kill it. God designed the process so that the struggle itself actually strengthens the butterfly so she will be able to fly away when she is finally free. Our struggles accomplish the same thing. They are part of what God uses to invite us deeper into him."
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Jesus answered him, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
This is the greatest and most important commandment.
The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'
All of Moses' Teachings and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."
Monday, August 15, 2005
If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.? (Galatians 1:10)
"God's nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises-what it considers to be nothing-in order to destroy what it considers to be something. As a result, no one can brag in God's presence. "1 Corinthians 1:25-29
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Wondering, asking, learning.......What does it mean to be a friend of the bridegroom? How can I prepare the way for you my King? How can I facilitate your presence?
Friday, July 29, 2005
Even a stubborn fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent.
He is considered intelligent if he keeps his lips sealed.
"We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says he is a perfect man able to keep his whole body in check....... The tongue is a small part of the body but it makes great boasts. Consider how a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell...... With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be. No spring of water pours out sweet water and bitter water from the same opening. " James 3:2-11
"...Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Isaiah 6:5
Shaming, Wounding, Bitter, Cutting, Critical and ....just completely thoughtless and careless. My words more often than I want to remember have been filled with a poisonous sting. Words are powerful. The tongue indeed has the power of life and death. We bear the fruit of what we have sown. And every word counts.
Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life but a decietful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not go back again, but gives water to the earth, and makes it fertile, giving seed to the planter, and bread for food; So will my word be which goes out of my mouth: it will not come back to me with nothing done, but it will give effect to my purpose, and do that for which I have sent it. " Isaiah 55:10-11
How blessed I am that your words to me are words of life! How treasured and protected I am. My Jesus, you lift me from the ashes....you strengthen me and heal me. You kiss me to life. Restoring me. You refresh me, you soak your love into those dry and barren places preparing the ground of my heart to recieve the truth. Truth that is growing. Truth that you are nourishing that one day there may be life to give the hungry ones. Oh Jesus how I long to be like you. How deaf I have been to your song for so long. How much damage I have done! Have mercy my Lord!
"Come my children, listen to me;I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever loves life and desires to see many good days - Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." Psalm 34:11-13
There is only one truth and it exists in You, my God. To intimately know You is to know truth.To speak of you without knowing you is a lie. You are so pure that my veiled glimpse is but a muddy proclamation. I speak lies when I say that you are something that you are not. I tell lies when I know not the preciousness and worth of those I meet and those I live among, the ones you love. To honor is to speak of and speak to You and others with love, respect and admiration. Take these words that dishonour You and dishonor your loved ones. Touch my lips with your burning coal. Consuming fire burn in me. Cleanse me of this dishonour.
"The good man out of his good store gives good things; and the evil man out of his evil store gives evil things. And I say to you that in the day when they are judged, men will have to give an account of every foolish word they have said. For by your words will your righteousness be seen, and by your words you will be judged. "Matthew 12:35-37
Faith sees past the external. Faith sees what God sees, so faith is the truth. To speak the truth is to speak with the language of faith. All else remain lies. So my mouth must refrain from speaking if it is not speaking from the perspective of truth. When I speak with doubt and mistrust , when I grumble, complain, slander or critisize - I particpate with evil. I join hearts with the accuser.
I cannot go. I cannot speak. I cannot be your vessel unless you cleanse me and fill me with your words alone!
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Psalm 19:14
May my cry come before you, O Lord, give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you. Deliver me according to your promise.May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. Psalm 119:169-172
"For this cause I will make my name clear to my people; in that day they will be certain that it is my word which comes to them; see, here am I. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who comes with good news, who gives word of peace, saying that salvation is near; who says to Zion, Your God is ruling! The voice of your watchmen! their voices are loud in song together; for they will see him, eye to eye, when the Lord comes back to Zion. Isaiah 52:6-8
"Let the words of Christ be in you, in all their richness live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel eachother.Sing hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus"..... Colossians 3:16,17
A wise man's heart guides his mouth and his lips promote instruction. Proverbs 16:23
The Sovereign Lord has given me an intructed tongue, to know the word that susatins the weary. Isaiah 50:4
Oh Lord, may it be said of me " Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride, milk and honey are under your tongue. " (Song of Songs 4:11)
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Let me say again that I need you
let me say again that I'm thankful for you
every breath I have is yours
do what you will
Now say again that you love me
say again that you're so proud of me
tell me you'll never leave me alone
How will I know it's you?
Will I recognize your face?
It's been so long since I have sat at your feet
Will you recognize me?
I know I've let you down
Then for repentence, kindness is measured
but I'm thinking I should lie in ashes
Then I remeber you are the faithful one
and you remember I'm so well intentioned
and your grace pours out over me again
How willI know it's you?
Will I recognize your face?
It's been so long since I have sat at your feet.
Will you recognize me?
Kate Miner (Prodigal Martha)
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"Why do you call me Lord but don't do what I tell you?"
Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. (MSG)
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
".....The shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger. " Luke 2:15,16
Blessed are those who mourn.
Blessed are those who are gentle.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's approval.
Blessed are those who show mercy.
"If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it. For what profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Indeed, what can a person give in exchange for his life? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the holy angels in his Father's glory." Mark 8:34-38
My desire to control my life with my ideas, my agenda, and my way of getting there only keeps me in bondage to fear.....the way of self is the path to death. My desire to fit snuggly into man's ideas, man's agenda and man's way of getting there only keeps me in bondage to sin....the way of humanity is the path to death.
You will be comforted.
You will inherit the earth.
You will be satisfied.
You will be treated mercifully.
You will see God.
You will be called God's child.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to You!
Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
Thursday, June 16, 2005
" Who may go up the LORD'S mountain? Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart and does not long for what is false or lie when he is under oath. This person will receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from God, his savior. This is the person who seeks him, who searches for the face of the God of Jacob. Selah"
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Will of God
I’m tired of living in this world of sin
Tired of living in this game we’re in
Been to town and now I’m back again tired of living for the lust of men
And the world may think I’m crazy when I don’t run with them
But it’s just plain idolatry, when God can’t have all of me
I want to live for the will of God
Oh Lord, I want to follow
With all of my mind, all my heart and all my soul
I want to follow you Oh Lord
How much time will I keep wasting?
How much cheap wine will I keep tasting?
Been to church and now I’m back again
Tired of living for the pride of me
And the world may think I’m crazy when I don’t run with them
But it’s just plain idolatry when God can’t have all of me
© 2002 Jason Upton & Key of David Ministries. All rights reserved
A Song of Ascents. Of David. O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.