Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Aqainted with grief

There are many who have experienced tremendous pain and loss. My sorrows are trivial in comparison. I have measured their significance by the scale of the multitudes who fare worse. My heart longs to bear the mark of acceptance,to choose humility. Acknowledging that you are God, the potter, the painter - and I am but made of dust, your clay, your canvas. I am recognizing though that pain is still pain and loss is still loss, no matter the depth. And as much as I compare and size it, it won't go away. I still own it, or it owns me. Enslaved to a pain and a loss that I keep claiming is nothing. Trying to deny the pulse beneath.
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.

"weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice"

Mark 14:32-36
Isaiah 53

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I believe, Lord help my unbelief.

"Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water. What I feard has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil."
(Job 3:23-26)

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.

"Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress, my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief." (Psalm 31:9)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Identity in the making

As we get closer and closer to the return of our bridegroom King, our identity is going to be alot less about our temporary attachments and earthly comforts (the things we are known for, our place of residence, our possessons, our abilities, ect. ) and much more about the simplicity of a child and a bride in relationship. And so now He is shaking everything that can be shaken. Removing all that we think defines who we are. Until there is nothing but Jesus. And when the world sees us, they can only identify us as 'those who have been with the Lord'.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pure Religion

“To bring social activism and faith together is very complex, lots of things begin this way, but gradually they become exclusively spiritual and say goodbye to the poor, or it’s all social activity and the faith disappears.” (Jean Vanier)

"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

The burning to be Holy Given

Holy - set apart, consecrated, not for pagan or common use

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

A voice in the wilderness

"Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb . . . and Joshua . . . for they have wholly followed the LORD." (Num.32:11-12)

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

As in Noah's day

"When the Son of man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered the ark. People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of man returns."

"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

Leaving broken cisterns

I am finding increasingly that there is a direct connection between the revelation of the grace of God over my life and the consuming passion Jesus has for me as His bride and the level of faith that is ignited in me to freely abandon myself in trust & obedience to Him. This is changing everything! I see the word of God through a different lens now. I see the corporate bride through the adoring eyes of Jesus and I am beginning to see the wounded, broken and captive sheep that are missing from the fold. There are new aches in my heart and new prayers on my lips and worship that exists in groans and sounds that cannot be explained because I can not always find the words to voice my hunger and delight.

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

Selah - consider His love

No matter what place we find ourselves in Lord, your pursuit of humanity is relentless, extravegant and shocking. You amaze me Jesus with your beauty! From the most depraived, and rebellious of heart to the most self-righteouss sinner there is no distinction in your glance. There is no favortism in your affection, no withholding of your generosity and delight. Your desire is for all. Your heart breaks over even one who does not see or know your intense passion - so much that you will leave the ones who do and seek the glance of the missing one. I hear my lover's voice. He comes running over the mountains, racing across the hills to you, son's of Adam, daughters of Eve. My lover speaks to me. Come then, my love; my darling, come with me. Do you hear how He calls you so sweetly? You are like a dove that hides in the crevice of a rock. Let me see your lovely face and hear your enchanting voice. Oh humanity how you are altogether lovely, created in His image and etched apon His heart forever. Consider how He loves you. Let him love you.

"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

Light belongs in the darkness

"..... even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you."
Psalm 139:11-12
"Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world"

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.

"Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just. "
Psalm 112:4

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)

"There is nothing, there is no-one that the blood of Christ cannot redeem!"
(Stacey Campbell)

Come away my beloved ones

Two years ago, my daughter (7 at the time) had a dream in which the Lord Jesus himself came into our then church riding on a white horse and He gathered the children who also got on white horses. She related to me that they then left the church building and went to the streets of the earth. Whenever and wherever the horses stopped, the children would get off and preach the gospel.

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.