Holy Week 2014

Easter week, a time to reflect on what Jesus did for us, for me specifically and personally with purpose, passion, honesty and thanksgiving.

Our tiny offering of reflection: To contemplate his triumphant entry, the Passover meal shared with his closest companions, broken bread, poured out wine, a Gethsemane night laden with loneliness, friends who turn away distracted by their own weariness, a kiss of betrayal, a trial without justice, the mocking and rejection, abandonment, smiting, spitting and tearing of flesh, the whipping, the scorn, the treacherous road to Calvary, the emanate suffering, the public ridicule, the agonizing crucifixion, humiliation, holy blood spilled, judgment placed upon the spotless, sinless offering, a final whisper of hope, the promise of paradise and excruciating surrender to death.

It is finished! Continue reading

Truth

2014-04-10 17.55.11Truth never changes, only our desire to seek it, our acceptance of it, our willingness to acknowledge it with our lives, its impact on our choices and the priority it is given in our relationship with God and others. We receive truth over time; it is revealed supernaturally, often in proportion to a heaven-born desire to allow it to have its way. Truth spoken too soon causes some to run or to lose heart. Truth not spoken at all causes us to wander and allows pride and self-indulgence to sway us instead of wisdom. Our innermost being is shaped by how much we believe in and yield to truth; not facts, opinions, worldly knowledge or interpretations but eternal, unchanging, holy, merciful, fierce, enduring, powerful, redemptive truth. While truth never changes our understanding of it and it’s implications on all facets of our lives does.

It Is Not Enough

It is not enough to be confident in the value of your life, the worth of your soul, the treasure of your heart or the beauty of your spirit based on the reflection in the mirror, the label on your clothing, the neighborhood you call home, the framed credentials on your wall, the strength of your body, the balance in your 401K, the number of friends in your contact list, the host of prospects vying for your attention or the success of your children. The foundation of our perception of ourselves, God and others must be rooted in something more substantial than the temporal props of time.

Each of these elements will sustain for a time, buoy is to the surface and allow is to float, but can never sustain. Endurance is found exclusively in the redeeming love of God. While there is nothing wrong with a life overflowing with material abundance, if the evidence of blessing and God’s pleasure in you are inseparably tied to the tangible, than your foundation is faulty and will be tested by time.

We all desire to be strong, confident, purpose driven, pleasing, wise, relevant and outstanding in our own right. However, too often we lean on the opinions of frail, flawed humans (including ourselves) to decide if those attributes are present in us or not. We walk with crutches of success or beauty. We hand the keys to our identity to the foolish, lesser gods of power, approval, greed, lust, deception, indulgence, acceptance and satisfaction. We spend our faith to fulfill the first-world dream of success instead of using our American freedoms to pursue our faith that causes us to offer our lives as a living sacrifice, for the sake of others, just as Jesus did and as he calls us to do.

I’m not always thrilled with who I am even when fully aware that my heart is filled with Jesus, let alone the girl I am separate from him. Over the years the reflection of my life has changed and no longer brings the reassurance that hope in my youth promised it would.

Yet, to know my creator, to hear him call me by name, to rest in the assurance of his active participation in my story, to enter into the hope of his return and the promise of his kingdom being fulfilled in me no matter how I feel today and the security of eternal love that never fails – is to have all things.

The giants that threaten my peace today, that surround me and continually erode my confidence will NOT have their way. They will be cast down and washed far from me. Not because I am better than others or because I deserve better than anyone else, but because he is my God, I am his child and I have cried out for deliverance. He will not fail me no matter how much darkness appears to be prevailing. If I must rally every day to get through, He is faithful and will not leave me in such chaos and hostility without purpose. He will indeed, step out of heaven, draw a line in the sands of time, standing as a witness to injustice, speak the word ‘enough’, work his love in my heart and set me free from the bondage of those who refuse to acknowledge him.

Such divine intervention is unqualified. It does not come only to the articulate, the beautiful, the poised, the highly educated, the wealthy, or the influential. He hears the unutterable groans for help and feels the burn of tears as the roll silently from the faces of those hidden in obscurity and races to the side of those who call upon his name.

He will either deliver or abide in the fires of trial; deliverance is at hand and a sense of well-being will return, enveloping, strengthening and providing wings to take flight. This divine confidence exceeds any and all other forms found in external sources.

Who Are “They”?

I don’t know who “they” are, where they are coming from or why they say and believe as they do. Nor do I know why we choose to give weight to the soundness of their words or not. I fail to grasp how we, as equally frail humans, with limited understanding, clouded lenses, double-mindedness, unreliable emotions and faulty foundations adequately interpret the validity of what others say, do and believe. No, I’m not speaking of “black and white” issues but the infinite shades of grey in interrupting life, love and living.

What others think, believe, say and do is not born from, or acted upon, in a vacuum. The source of their bravery, fear, soundness, irrationality, strength, weakness, wisdom and folly flows from the deepest places of mind and soul. Continue reading

T-Minus 2 Months

I promise not to be obnoxious about it but the count down to Arizona begins. T-minus (what does that actually mean) 2 month and counting.

You, peace that envelopes and transcends time, space and circumstances, through natural wonder in living color, texture and fragrance unlike anything created by man, are calling my name. You, adventure of a lifetime, are rising on the horizon. You, most excellent plan, are my help through the challenges that continue pressing in. You, nature at her best, in glorious breath-taking splendor that brings healing in every way, are just around the corner. You, the southwest, a place my heart always feels strangely like at home, are awaiting my return. You, God of wonders who shares these moments and creates these memories with me, are equally anticipating our journey. Thank you Lord for giving me the courage to not put my life on hold waiting for someone else to make it happen

hello Friday!

“God’s Not Dead”

So… here’s my synopsis of “God’s Not Dead”. (For those who asked and those who didn’t(.  It drew me in and held my attention. It is a movie written by believers for believers. It doesn’t appear to attempt to be an evangelistic tool but is certainly a tool to challenge believers to stand for their faith (not be obnoxious, self-righteous and rude) but to be filled with the spirit, passion and conviction at any cost. It is encouraging to see the gospel on the big screen, I won’t deny that. Although I spent the first 20 years of my life with little to no concept of God, let alone any genuine relationship with him, I am far removed from how embittered, hostile and cynical unbelievers can be toward anything related to God, creation, Jesus, salvation, sin, eternity or moral absolutes, most of which is rooted in pain. And, I have certainly forgotten how profoundly foolish many think we are. I can’t imagine a life without The LORD…It would have no substance at all. So, here’s to courage and hard choices, laying down reputations and even relationships that hinder or interfere with making the Lord our first priority. And here’s to those whose hearts are eventually won, not by guilt, shame, judgment, fear or condemnation, but by light splitting the darkness, as love disarms fear and storm of philosophy is quieted by the calm of grace, rending the veil between lies and the truth. Definitely worth seeing.