Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Love, Music

Death, Be Not Proud

What was meant for evil, Jesus has redeemed; what was meant to silence has incited a choir of joy. Who can ravage the coffers of the KING? It is finished.

 

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Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Love, Sacred Space, Surrender

Heart•Hurt•Hope

Heart: desperately desiring intimacy and connection, beating for love and the desire to be loved.

Hurt: a wounded heart, punctured in a vulnerable area–the desire to be loved. The realization of the pure desire for love being crushed into a thousand pieces. A distrusting heart.

Hope: a heart that has been crushed being loved and drawn back together. Being purely loved–a love undefiled and unchanging, changing what seemed unchangeable. Hope is faith in action; the knowledge/belief that Jesus loves you without end.

The hearts of the world have been wounded, their own desires for love mocking them as they become divided inside. Jesus sees and feels–even understands–the pain of the hearts of the world. By stepping into our realm of death, He was born a helpless infant–to mend the hearts of the world.

Contentment, Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Love, Poetry, Sacred Space, Surrender, Theology

Contentment

Your kindness threads into my story’s fabric of despair;
I weep, You whisper—I know that you are there.

Though the dark of night—it drowns my soul—Your flame, it never leaves;
I’m blind, but You know this—Your teaching me to see.

Grace upon grace is lavished and wasted,
Spilling over until I have tasted,
Your love, Your deep, deep love—and it’s enough.

 

Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Love, Sacred Space, Surrender

Becoming Whole

It’s been a crazy year–or couple of years. Through my ups and downs, my elation and my melancholy, I feel as if to be a different person. Or, a new version of myself. Remember when you were little, and you looked in the mirror to find that you looked different than you did the morning before? Yep, kinda like that. It feels like a habitual shedding of the person that I constantly have to get to know all over again. What I’m actually finding is that, through all the morphing into new stages of life and self, I am only seeing what was there all along, only covered by layers of “protection”. Protection for and from a broken heart.

When you look at a seed, do you see a well-watered, thriving shrub, plant, or tree? Hardly. You wouldn’t directly think of the lush greenery that hides inside the seeds protective casing. Before that seed can grow into a beautiful tree, it’s protective cover must die.

Before there can be resurrection, there has to be death first. I have found that I must die to my efforts of trying to be God, and surrender my “seed covering” up to Him. And slowly and gently, Jesus peels the layers of my heart’s protective covering away, so my vulnerability, hurt, sin, and self-rejected parts are exposed. I become a little girl again, weak, helpless, and wholly dependent on my Father. I realize that I am poor, in need of much care–like an infant. This is where the true healing begins. I am exposed. I no longer hold and hide away the things that bring me great shame, but, like vomit, they spill out into the light. But I find that in the light, there is kindness. I meet the gentle gaze of my Father, and I am undone. I feel His patience, and it steadies my anxious heart–a heart that is being healed, a heart that is being made whole.

Contentment, Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Love, Music, Poetry, Sacred Space, Surrender

All I Know

Broken, this shell that’s quickly passing–back to where it came;
Empty, this heart, it seems it’s fasting-from love instead of pain.

All I know is that I know what You’ve done for me,
All I know is that I know I’m here on my knees,
And You stay with me, You stay with me.

Hiding, the things I think will shame me–being someone I can’t be;
Running, far from where I started-but it’s running after me.

All I know is that I know what You’ve done for me,
All I know is that I know I’m here on my knees,
And You wait for me, You wait for me.

You know me, this frail, unsteady flower–like a fallen leaf;
You show me, every moment, every hour–how You’re loving me.

All I know is that I know what You’ve done for me,
All I know is that I know I’m here on my knees,
And You’re shaping me, You’re shaping me.

Christian Living, Contentment, Gentle death, Sacred Space, Surrender

Blessed Are The Poor

When one comes to the realization that they are poor, it is then that they are truly ready to receive all that they need.

When we realize that our “defenses” and false identities no longer work, then we are forced to see our poverty. If we become a barren wasteland, if we accept our poverty, then we gratefully receive the kingdom of God.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Christian Living, Jesus, Surrender

Simply Receive

My idealized life story:

  1. Graduate with multiple degrees
  2. Do something ‘grand and glorious’ for God, and see tangible change
  3. Marry man of my dreams
  4. Have amazing children
  5. Die with an extraordinary legacy

Now, I’m an expert manipulator, as are you. Like it or not, we use, and oftentimes  subconsciously, use manipulation to get to where we want to be in life– and to get what we want out of people. We do it to those around us, and we even try to do it to God. Even in wonderful, God-honoring plans of our own devising, we can try to manipulate our own fingerprint onto our lives.

In the list above, it would seem, there is nothing dishonoring to God. These are great dreams and goals. But, since these are my own dream and goals, I have become aware that, deep down, they partly exist to manipulate God into loving me and giving me what I need from him by what I give Him and do for Him. I’ll explain:

  1. If I work hard to ‘know’ a lot about the Bible and God, then I will grow closer to Him and He will be pleased with me.
  2. If I spend my whole life serving God and others, and laying my life down selflessly for Him, then He will love me more.
  3. If I marry a ‘Jim Elliot’, he will serve to help me get to numbers 1. and 2.
  4. If I have children that love God, then God will see me as successful.
  5. If I leave an ‘Apostle Paul’ type legacy, then God will see me as valuable and special.

At the root, these desires aren’t wrong. To desire to want God to be pleased with me, to love me, to see me as fruitful, and to see me as special is not wrong. It’s what I do to meet those desires that make it wrong.

As Christians, each and every individual has God’s full attention. There is nothing can do to make Him any more pleased with me than He already is. There is nothing can do to make Him love me more than He already does. God already views my life as a success, and He already sees me as a prized, special vessel–even if I never do anything to attain these things. Why? Because Christ is that for me, and He is worthy for me. He is everything for me and to me. Though I fail and fall, God will not love me less, because Christ is in me; and if Christ be in me, I am blameless–brilliant. 

In conclusion, It is His work, not mine. There is nothing I could give Him to manipulate my standing with Him. I have nothing to give, and He gives everything. Honestly, this is pretty revolutionary for me. What is revolutionary is the ‘receiving’ aspect about walking in relationship with Christ. Actually, to be perfectly honest, what’s revolutionary about being in relationship with Christ is that it’s all receiving. We really have nothing to give, which sounds edgy to some because we so badly want to bring something to the table; but we waste our time, for the table has already been set–the Lamb has already been slain. Similar to the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, we try to work hard to get what we want–what we really desire; we try to impress God when He is already knocked out by us. He says to us, “Sons and daughters, I am always with you, and all that I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31).

It is so hard for us to accept this truth: that we are the recipients of everything we desire in Christ, grace upon grace–gift upon gift. We don’t need to work for love; we must simply receive.

 

Christian Living, Contentment, Gentle death, Hope, Jesus, Joy, Sacred Space

Thief Of Joy

Thief of Joy

Envy, no more my heart entertain,
Separation, it selfishly employs;
For me and You gives mutual pain,
It robs us fellowship and joy.

Self-loathing takes me to a sphere,
Where, in God, many flaws I find;
My heart, it plays back like a mirror,
Contentment, losing strength of mind.

Thief of joy, your fault is found,
Your common but pretentious lie;
Your doubts now buried neath’ the ground,
Will help my fears to gently die.