Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Waiting




I’m not very good at waiting. This is the season of Advent which means waiting…waiting for Christ’s birth and for His coming again. I can wait with hope because I wait with Jesus, who is literally Hope Himself. I recognize that I need to let go of the outcomes I have pictured in my mind and allow His outcomes to come forth. His ways are not my ways. As John Eldredge says, look at the wild way Jesus chose to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth…through 12 ordinary men and through us. He gave three years of instruction then left it to us.

So Jesus… I need your faithfulness to me to create faithfulness IN me to persevere in prayer for what I’m waiting and hoping for, especially in my relationships, without giving up just because what I hope for hasn’t yet happened. Thank You for what I’m learning through this that I probably couldn’t learn any other way. I continue to ask You to bring your Kingdom into the hearts of those I love.


I invite you to awaken in waiting but with your eyes open, to be aware of what you see Me doing in the waiting…in you, in the world. BE patient but wait in expectancy, as a pregnant woman waits for her baby to be born. Knowing he/she will eventually come forth into completion and yet just beginning again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Crushing.....

So often I push back when something hard or negative happens to me...don't we all? But one day God gave me a different view of this....
My crushing produces the greatest gifts. When grapes and grain are crushed, they produce wine and bread. When I crushed My Son, that brought forth eternal life and redemption for all. When you are crushed, your false self is crushed to release your true self AND a more itimate relatiomship with Me.

I realize that God's ways are not my ways but because His intentions for me are always deeply good, He can be trusted no matter what.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Green Meadow Joy



Here's my response to Psalm 23...

Jesus, You really do supply everything I need. Not just food and clothes and a roof over my head, although I am grateful for how You have supplied that in abundance and I never want to take any of those for granted, but You also give all I need to thrive emotionally and spiritually too.

Your presence with me through thick and thin, through the ups and downs of life, sustains me in unimaginable ways. I love how You invite me to lie down with You in a beautiful green meadow, with beauty and life all around. You know how important resting in You is and aren't calling me to achieve and produce but to rest. I'm able to rest because You tell me "I've got this!" so I don't have to strive or control.

You lead me to life-giving waters, to those things You know will bring me life because You love me. You yourself renew me, make me more like You and that makes me strong and capable, even though I myself without You am weak and inadequate. You complete me!

You show me the right path to follow. All I need to do is be in Your presence to see it and then follow You. I don't even need to see the destination, the outcome. All I  need is eyes on You. You will guide me into the way that brings me life and You glory because, " The glory of God is man fully alive."  When we are at our best it shows what an amazing Creator and Father You are.

Thank You for always being with me, in me wherever I am. I choose to dwell in Your presence every moment and on into forever.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Detours

I asked God, "What am I doing wrong that I'm not getting the outcome I want?"

He said, "Nothing! I AM doing this, I'm doing something new that you don't see. Just gaze at Me, be open to what newness I have for you and you'll be ok. This may seem like a detour to you but on the detour, you see things you've never seen before. It is just a different way to get to the same place. Newness, a new way is always a bit scary because it is unknown. But trust Me and you'll be right where you need to be according to My plans for you."

We are always beginning in the spiritual life. When we think we have it all figured out, we are further away from the spiritual path. Humility demands that we always come to our journey with a spirit of openness, knowing there is always more to learn.

Each morning ask God where you need to begin and start there with humility, compassion and with holy anticipation.

I'm beginning again, laying a new foundation in every moment following Your instructions as best I can. I will return to You over and over and just keep showing up, being still, opening my heart up to You and encountering You and Your Holiness and Love.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

MapQuest Jesus or GPS Jesus...who do you follow?


MapQuest give us every step to read and follow and shows us our final destination. GPS gives us one step at a time.  Too often we look for a MapQuest Jesus...just give me all the steps and show me my destination and I'll take it from there....and we leave Jesus in the dust as we race off toward what we feel is His will.

I believe Jesus is more like a GPS Jesus where He shows us one step at a time and invites us to walk hand in hand with Him every day and just focus on where we are and possibly just the next step He is leading us toward. That way we keep company with Him along the way, building a relationship and not just following steps.  When we are willing to take the journey WITH Him, He will walk us right into His purpose for our lives without any striving. The bonus is developing intimacy with Him along the way.

Too many of us want to see the last step before we even begin the journey. Sometimes when we can't see all the steps along the way or the outcome, we never even begin.Often Jesus invites us to just take one step with Him, a step of faith, in order to find the path He wants us to be on.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

We all fall down.....



Here is my rewrite of the Genesis Fall story from God's perspective.

I've given you everything you could ever need or want: an intimate relationship with Me, a partner to enhance your life, food and water, a beautiful environment in nature to enjoy, animals to bring you joy. I even gave you a job that had meaning and brought purpose to your life. I blessed you and commanded you to create life as I did. The only thing I withheld from you has been evil, sin, death....and yet when the Serpent tested, tempted you, you thought you knew better than Me.

You saw beauty and desire it. You saw fruit that looked desirable and delicious. You thought more wisdom could only be a good thing, but that was false thinking. You believed the lie of the Enemy rather than the truth of your Father. So you "took things into your own hands"...you took the fruit and ate it  - hook, line and sinker. And then you drew your husband in too because sin always wants a companion to ease its guilt.

How My heart was broken that day because you no longer would be able to walk with Me in our perfect garden; now you knew evil first hand.There are no words for My grief over the loss of oneness with you. I always only wanted the very best for you, but you walked away.

The consequences I gave you for your actions were to remind you to not choose sin again and that only a blood sacrifice could bring life from this kind of death.That is why I covered you with the skins of animals that required a death and blood, as a picture of the sacrifice that was to come. You sinned and sin brings guilt and shame. Only I could cover your shame adequately. Fig leaves couldn't do it....your actions couldn't do it.

I banished you from the Garden so that you would not partake of the Tree of Life in your sinful state and remain in sin forever. Your banishment was My grace toward you, even though at the time it seemed more like punishment.

You had a choice. You could have chosen the Tree of Life instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I always give you a choice toward life. If you had only chosen that tree which was not banned from you, you would have lived forever with Me in Paradise.

So I prepared another Tree of Life. This time it was the tree that My Son hung on to give you life....the Cross. If you "eat" from this tree and accept My Son's death as the punishment for your sins, you will be reunited with Me forever. This is my deepest desire for you. Will you make the right choice this time?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Faith works!


Faith is:

  • believing Jesus is who He says He is
  • surrendering the control of your life to the One who is in control
  • following Jesus' leadership in your life
  • developing a real relationship with him by learning to hear His voice; John 10:4 My sheep hear My voice and know Me
  • is an action word. It is not just a mental agreement but change happens in your life as a result of your faith.


Works are:

  • the fruit of your faith
  • Real faith produces good works: Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship/masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 
  • Good works are those things God has uniquely made you to do coming from who He has originally designed you to be.
  • Our doing (works) comes from our being (true self).
  • We find out who our being is by being in relationship with Jesus. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 1:1-3
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.


Each of us who believes in Jesus is a tree that has been uprooted and replanted in Eden, in the soil of God's love. Our sin took us out of Paradise, but because of Jesus' great love for us, He willingly died in our place so we could be reunited with Him and bring us home.

Now we can flourish because our roots go down into the soil of His love for us. We can experience oneness with Jesus because He lives inside us through His Spirit. We will never be alone. We are one with Him and that oneness fulfills a deep desire to be loved and cherished, known and accepted. Out of that met desire we can then bear the fruit that our "tree" was made to produce. Each tee is made to produce a certain kind of fruit. We are created uniquely to produce unique fruit that fits our essence. This fruit is for your good and God's glory and to minister to others.

Jesus says:
I created you for intimacy with Me. The Enemy tried to stop that but I AM greater than all and wouldn't allow him to have the victory. It cost Me My life bu tyou are so worth it. I love you and have shown you My love in action not only on the Cross but every moment of everyday of your life.

My response is:
Jesus, my heart is ravished by Your extravagant love. You have my heart and I pray my life and love will be love in action back to You every day of my life. May I say "as You wish" to every thing You ask of me. Thank You for the privilege to live One with You, Jesus. 

Ephesians 3:17-21  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.




Monday, February 22, 2016

True Freedom



When I divide my life into what God wants me to do and having enough time to complete my projects, my life is not at peace. That's because this represents a divided heart. Simplicity calls me to a single laser focus on Jesus and that is where I want to live. To do that I recognize I have to live in each present moment, aware and focused on His Presence.

True freedom lies hidden in total surrender to God's love.   Henri Nouwen

Your will, Your way, always, Yahweh.

And so He asks me, "Are you willing to live that out even when it is excruciatingly hard?

Honestly, Jesus, I can't say I won't fail You there (or even if it is less hard than that) but it IS my desire to be totally surrendered to You because I know You are the only One who loves me totally and unconditionally. Your love is worth it all. I'll need Your help to say yes when it is hard. Help me come to You and pray as You did in the garden so You can empower me to live this out.

I will always be with you to help you obey and love Me first and foremost.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thankful

The Ten Lepers
As I walked with the other nine souls who were also unclean, a cohort of sinners, we could only keep company with one another. Our shame made us outcasts, hidden, not able to be touched by anyone, lest our "sin" be transferred to another. We covered ourselves so no one could see, but they knew . . . because you can't really hide that kind of stink. Alone, even among the other nine, I was isolated from life and love and relationship, desperate, dying from the outside in AND from the inside out. No hope, just going through the motions till the end, looking forward to whenever that blissful moment of release might arrive.

Then I saw Him, from a distance only, but He embodied hope. He'd healed others, could He possibly heal me? I called to Him, humbled myself, telling Him who I was, a sinner, and begged for His mercy to cleanse me, to make me whole again. Mercy...mercy...undeserved but so desired.

He called out, "Go, show yourself to the priest" as if I were already clean! I looked at my skin expecting it to be clear. How disappointed I felt when I saw the white spots were still there. But His voice was so powerful, so joyful, so hopeful, so compelling that I started to walk toward the temple as if I were already clean. His words had birthed something in me. Love, love born from hope, from an encounter with this Jesus, the Master some called Him. I sensed that just being in His presence was healing and so I went toward the temple, walked toward my healing, believing, believing in Him, believing He is the Messiah, believing He can heal and He intended to heal me... or why else would He send me to the priest to be declared clean?

As I took those first few believing steps, I noticed a change, first inside. The hopelessness was gone, replaced by a magnanimous love that filled my being to overflowing. He was on the inside, making me whole! Then I turned my gaze to my "outside" and miracle of miracles, it was changed as well! I was clean, whole, new, inside and out! My joy was indescribable!!! I turned and ran, ran to Jesus and fell at His feet and kissed them with my lips and my tears. He received my gratitude, it could not be contained. His words pierced my heart, "Your faith has healed you." My inner belief in Him and who He is, God, brought about a new heart and a new life. I will never be the same again, the old has gone, the new has come.

Unclean
Walking death
Shameful, undeserving, hopeless
Lord, have mercy on me
Healed

As I entered fully into the story as if I were that leper, I learned how important gratitude is. Focusing on where I've come from, that I was that leper makes me incredibly grateful for God's love, healing, forgiveness and makes me love Jesus more.

As I read Luke 17: 11-19, I saw myself as that leper with all my sin hanging off of me, stinking and ugly. I had no hope of ever escaping it. Shame and disgust were my constant companions and kept me isolated and hiding. I felt so "unclean." I wouldn't even really allow myself to come close to Jesus with this sin, even though I knew Him. But from afar, He called to me and told me to "go to the priest" to admit my sinfulness and receive the cleansing I so desperately needed. As I shared my shame with the one in charge, God began His healing process on my wounded and sinful heart. He met me in my healing prayer time with Him in such a powerful yet intimate way, I was never the same again. My heart was so grateful, I ran to Him! I thanked Him and it is my gratitude and love for Him that makes me different than the other nine that were glad for their healing but did not connect it in a personal way to Jesus. My love has grown because I saw this as an intimate, loving, personal touch from Him and I wanted more of this Jesus and I still do. I can't get enough of you Jesus!

And I am so pleased My Delight. Your falling at My feet in love, devotion, thankfulness fills Me with joy. You are always welcome in My arms. Come to Me, learn from journeying with Me. As you allow Me to travel the highway of your heart, I will continue to heal you and make you Shalom whole.

My shame hung tight, putrid -
An encounter with Jesus . . .
Healed, whole, grateful, loved


Monday, February 15, 2016

Stairway to Heaven



John 1:51 Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. NLT

Yes, I bridge the gap between Heaven and earth. Without Me there is no access to Heaven. Many follow but never commit to taking the first step of inviting Me into their hearts, of admitting their need of Me by recognizing their sin and not wanting to live that way any longer and knowing they can't change or save themselves, knowing they need Someone greater to do that for them. 

Before the foundation of time I called you, I chose you to be Mine. I am so glad you chose to respond to My calling your name and that you continue to respond. It is not a one time surrender but truly a life long surrender. Continue on the ladder that is Me. I am so please with you, My Delight. Your heart desires more of Me and desires to share Me with others. You are My unique child and you are completing My call on your life...who I designed you to be.

Jesus, I am so grateful to know You, be one with You, growing because of You and for what you've created me to do. It brings me great pleasure to be who You've made me to be. I adore You, Jesus, my Love, my Life.


Monday, February 08, 2016

I Will Find You



Psalm 139: 7-12 The Message
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.


Sin makes me want to run from You, just like Adam and Eve did as they hid in the garden once they disobeyed You. Also busyness encourages me to forget about You Lord. What I'm most fearful about is drifting away from You for choosing something over You that will cause me to leave You, like Solomon did. Interesting that it wasn't bad theology that caused him to do that, it was relationships.
But I know, becuase I just read that even if I do that, You won't turn from me. I can never get away from You, really! Even in my darkness, dark night of the soul, You re there because dark and light are the same to you. Darkness doesn't hide me from You. It's like You have night vision goggles that allow You to see just as if it was daytime. How I rejoice in this truth!

I can never escape from Your spirit because You reside inside of me and are never moving out. Even if I choose to not be aware of You, not listen to You, You are still there with me. You are the "with me" God. If I try to hide, ask the darkness to cover me (so to speak my sin covers, me, keeps me from You) You still find me.  Reminds me of Clannad's song from Last of the Mohicans: "I Will Find You" [click here to listen and think of God singing this to you  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdCbkbGtNO4]  

If I hide like Adam and Eve, You knew right where they were, what they did and You still conversed with them, inviting them back to You through their confession. Thank Your for the provision You've made through Your death and resurrection for me to have an eternal forever relationship with you. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude! Thank You that You will always be with me, even  in spite of myself. That's commitment, that's covenant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I drink You in.........

Psalm 36:7-10 The Voice

Your strong love, O True God, is precious.
    All people run for shelter under the shadow of Your wings.
In Your house, they eat and are full at Your table.
    They drink from the river of Your overflowing kindness.
 You have the fountain of life that quenches our thirst.
    Your light has opened our eyes and awakened our souls.
 May Your love continue to grow deeply in the lives of all who know You.
    May Your salvation reach every heart committed to do right.

You have found Me in  these verses for I am what quenches everything and anything you thirst for. I AM the fountain of life. My kindness has overflowed into your life. My love DOES continue to grow as you come to Me more and more, not that My love changes, but your receiving of My love, your capacity to know Me intimately grows, and therefore you experience My love more deeply. That is the outcome and goal of you spending time with Me. Just as shared experiences with Rob makes you feel closer to him, so do shared experiences with Me make you feel more connected to Me. My kindness wants you to receive ALL of My love and be fully Mine, fully formed into the fullness of My Son. Open your self more and more to Me. I am so pleased to bless you when you do.

Thank You Papa, for Your titanic love and grace and pleasure and kindness toward me. I drink You in......

Sinking Deep by Hillsong Young and Free 

Click here to listen to this song.

Standing here in Your presence
In a grace so relentless
I am won
By perfect love

Wrapped within the arms of heaven
In a peace that lasts forever
Sinking deep
In mercy's sea

CHORUS
I'm wide awake
Drawing close
Stirred by grace
All my heart is Yours
All fear removed
I breathe You in
I lean into Your love
Your love

When I'm lost You pursue me
Lift my head to see Your glory
Lord of all
So beautiful

Here in You I find shelter
Captivated by the splendor
Of Your face
My secret place

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Your love so deep
Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek
You are my everything

Jesus Christ
You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry
To know You all my life 2x

CHORUS



Friday, January 08, 2016

My Testimony from Jesus' Perspective

I was so excited the day you came to Me! I had been waiting for this day for 16 years….waiting but not inactive. You see, I had been showing up in so many little ways: through the stained glass windows in the Church by the Sea; through the gifts given on Christmas day, reflecting the greatest gift given that day; through the beauty of the flowers in your mother’s garden, and the stars in the sky. They were all telling of My glory and you noticed, you just did not know the whole story. Until your sister came along, my messenger, and shared the beautiful truth of who I really am and why I came….so we could have a relationship, and not just any relationship but one where I call you My Beloved! What joy that gave me that day when you asked me to come inside your heart….and I did! We become one that day, like a bride and groom, entering into a love relationship that would last into eternity. All the angels in Heaven were rejoicing along with Me.

Your initial enthusiasm for Me brought me such joy.  You were learning about Me and how to love Me. Step by step, word by word, practice by practice you walked the path of life with Me. But then you decided you knew better than I how to walk that path. My heart was so grieved and heavy because I knew where that broad path was leading, not to joy, peace and love like you hoped but to destruction, depravity and death.  Oh how My heart hurt for you….how I longed for you to return to Me, your first Love. It took 7 years for you to come back in full surrender, but when you did, you KNEW that there was no turning back. I filled you anew with My Spirit so you could feel My presence with you and you began to follow wholeheartedly.  Not that you didn’t make mistakes along the way, but there was a new depth to our relationship you had not experienced before.

And then there was the day when My Spirit opened your eyes to just how poor in spirit you really were and the result of that was not condemnation but conviction that led to a sweet repentance that opened up the door of amazing grace to you. That day was a game changer for you. You understood my love and sacrifice like never before and your heart was filled with such gratitude and love for me. A joyous day for Me and for you.

As you grew to know Me more, you trusted Me more with your wounded places. This opened up a space for an even deeper intimacy with Me. I came to you in a vision of power, love and as your Father God and filled up the hole in your heart. This began a journey of healing the deep wounds in your heart that led to you finding your true self…being My Beloved.

As time moved on, you sought Me and I answered with My Presence. You continue to grow into who I originally created you to be and that brings Me untold joy. That is my desire you know, to finish what I have started in you many years ago, even before the foundation of the earth when I chose you to be My own.

And so, My Delight, that brings us to the present moment, he one I want you to live into fully with Me. I will continue to gently grow you, lavishly love you because you are My Beloved. I can do no less. We are one eternally and I cannot wait until I see you face to face!

Your Lord, Your Liege, Your Love,

Jesus