Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hope Arises

My eyes open to the morning glow of a new day casting light into my room. I lay still blinking back the sleep. I feel the quiet of my soul. Something has changed.
What is it?

Am I…
Is this peace?
Hope—I thought I would never feel you again. But here you are. Settling back in where the stuff of life pushed out.
And for the first time in a long time I believe everything is going to be okay…
...I believe I am going to be okay.

As the sun rises in your day, I pray Hope also rises within you.

Today let this melody of hope wash over you and together let’s us walk in His promise.

On the journey with you,
Walk in the Promise by Jeremy Riddle (Bethel Music)

Our souls wait in silence
In rest and in quiet for You, spirit
In trust and dependence

We walk in the promise of You coming
With hope and healing in Your wings
With fire and with wind, You fall on us again

Here we are waiting for this house to be shaken
For the boldness to carry Your name to the nations
Your signs and Your wonders to go now before us

For the weight of Your glory to rest as we lift You up
We lift You up, be magnified in us

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Bench

The door flung wide open. A little boy ushered by his teacher walked into the school office. Floods of tears accompanied his uncontrollable sobs as his chest heaved to catch his breath.

His face red and wet from crying he took his seat on the edge of the bench. He was condemned to time-out. My heart broke as I watched his tears stream down his face.

There he sat his head sinking lower and lower as the minutes ticked by. His 5-year old shoulders hunched over in attempts to weep in private.

His offense?

He didn’t obey.
He wasn’t responsible.
He couldn’t focus.

My heart broke for him. I desperately wanted to go to him. Not to lecture, but instead validate life is hard, but there is grace. I sat from afar holding him with my eyes as he cried it all out…

All the frustrations,
the pressure,
the expectations,
the fears,
the disappointment,

…and the shame.

I knew just how he felt.

Really, it might as well been me. Sitting there on that bench with my shoulders hunched in crying it all out. Even today I too have been at fault for disobedience, irresponsibility and the inability to focus.

But must he— or I —cry alone?

Who will come alongside this boy in life to validate his heart and tell him of the great grace there is for him? Who will accept him even in his lack?

Who will accept me even in my lack?


If you see me on the bench crying and my head hung low in shame for the wrong I’ve done or presently doing—please…

Please don’t let me cry alone.

Don’t leave me there on the lonely bench to sink deeper into shame.

Come to me. Hold me. Wipe my tears with grace. And sing to me of the One who loves me in spite of what I do—or don’t do.

And friend, I will do the same for you.

On the journey with you,

~What are you dealing with today that you need to just “cry” it out?
~Do you have someone safe who will accept you no matter what?
~How deeply connected are you to an authentic community?
Thank you for sharing your journey.

Relevant Worship
How He Love by Kim Walker-Smith (Jesus Culture)

Reflective Scripture
2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dead Leaves

Leaves brown and brittle crumble through the Blonde Boy’s fingers.

Tiny broken pieces float silently to their grave.

His hands reach for more leaves to crunch in his grasp.

There was no horror in watching the dead become dust.

The pale coloring and parched foliage gave evidence to the end of life.

Everyone knew it was time—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again.

One lone leaf green and vibrant sits at my feet.

The Blonde Boy’s youthful eyes spot it.

“This one won’t crumble.” I tell him.

There it lay green—full of life surrounded by the brittle and broken.

Life rests among the dead.

It fell before it’s time—

The boy’s hand inch closer.

“It’s green,” I remind him.

Life still thrives in it—today. Even just for today.

In spite of my lesson on colors and chlorophyll he reaches out.

He needs to touch, experience, and know the truth with his own hands.

His small hand squeezes around life.

I wait for his hand to open for the green foliage to return to shape.

But it doesn’t.

Instead…it crushes to a thousand pieces and falls flat to the ground.

How could this be?

It wasn’t time.

It still had life in it…

There at my feet life and death lie together.

It wasn’t right.

How many others had the life squeezed from them too soon. Even in these last couple weeks?

A little’s boy’s mother
A friend’s boss
A young daughter
A friend’s favorite uncle
A co-worker’s aunt
A student’s teacher
A friend's father

We knew their time would come—but not now. Not today. Not this year.

Its just not right.

“Why?" spills out of my heart, interrupting the prayer of peace for the ones who mourn.

If it is true He holds all things in His hands…Does He also hold death?

Can we trust Him to care for the heartbroken husband as he cares for his young son— alone? Can we trust Him to comfort the ache of a mother as she buries her little girl? Can we trust Him even in death?

Can we trust Him when He says it is—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again—with Me.

Can we trust Him to bring life to the dead?

My friends, I don’t always understand, but something—Someone urges me to trust…even in death.

God, stretch out Your grace across the many who mourn and say good-bye to loved ones.

This blog is dedicated in the memory of:

Elaine, a beautiful wife and mother of a 2-year old son,
Phil –who inspired my friend to live life to the fullest,
Little Emma whom I never met, but know if I did her 6-year old heart would have captured mine.
My friend’s favorite uncle-Joey,
Margaret, educator of many children,
Lydia's dear father,
And the beloved aunt of my husband’s boss.

Although I never met your loved ones—I felt your grief this week.
Praying comfort over you all.

Songs to Comfort

You Wouldn’t Cry for Me Today by Mandisa

No More Tears by David Nevue

Reflective Scriptures

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."  John 11:25 NIV
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. Jesus was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.  Colossians 1:15-17 The Message

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  John 14:6 NIV

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Something Brand-New

A new year brings with it the hope of new beginnings.

God is about to do something brand-new.

I can feel it deep within me. I believe it for me—and I believe it for you.

Please know as you read the below text that I have declared this ancient holy breathed promise over you…my companions along the journey.

This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,

The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then  . . .  c a n 't   g e t   u p;
they're snuffed out like so many candles:

"Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.

Be alert, be present.

I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out!
Don't you see it?
There it is!

I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
—the coyotes and the buzzards—

Because I provided . . .

water in the desert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.   Isaiah 43:16-21 The Message

Trust Me, Beloved. I am about to do something brand-new.

Believing with you and for you,

What are you believing for in this new year?

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey.

Relevant Worship

Hope’s Anthem by Bethel Church

Our God by Chris Tomlin

What Faith Can Do by Kutless

Reflective Scripture
Isaiah 43:16-21 The Message (posted above)