Tuesday, November 27, 2018

be still

Finish this sentence: "Be still and know that I am God..."

If you are like me, it is likely that you responded, "Period."  After all, most of us don't know, or don't remember, that there is much more to that famous sentence than just the part we so readily quote off the top of our heads.  And ironically, the part we don't remember is actually key to accomplishing the part that we do remember.  Being still and knowing that he is God is not an easy task.  In fact, for many of us, stillness is something that feels darn near impossible.  Why is that?

That's where the second part of the sentence comes in: "I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)  What a great reminder from God: "Me being exalted is not up to you.  In fact, I will be exalted just fine without you.  And until you truly believe that, you will never be able to be still and silent before me.  The salvation of the world does not depend on you, but on me.  You are not as necessary in the grand scheme of things as you'd like to think you are.  That is not meant to diminish or demean you, but to set you free.  So be still and know that I am God.  That is not a suggestion or a recommendation, but a command.  I will be exalted among the nations; and I will be exalted on earth.  I will be exalted in your family and in your work and in your neighborhood and in your world, and even in your ministry, with or without you.  After all, it is not your life and your ministry, and even your world, in the first place, but mine.  So be still and know that I am God.  I've got this.  And if you do not fully believe that, if you do not fully believe the second part of the verse, then you will never be able to experience the first part.  And I want so much more for you than that."  

So let us pray the words of this ancient prayer.  For maybe if we are faithful to pray them over and over again, we will one day come to believe them.  And then maybe they will begin to take shape and take root in our hearts and our lives.

Monday, November 19, 2018

abba's song

zeph. 3:17

shhh
hush my child
listen
can you hear it

it is the song of 
delight and affection
i constantly sing
over you

this noisy world
and your fragile heart
make it hard 
to hear

but it is there
always there
it never stops
echoing 

slow your pace
and quiet your soul
and you will
hear it

once you do
you will never
be the same
again

for it will
awaken you
deep within
and bring you to life

in a way that 
makes you 
unable to live 
as you once did

for you will 
have heard the song 
from which and for which
you were made

and now 
all of life is 
a continual quest
to hear it again and again

so hush my child
be still and listen 
to my song of love
sung over you

love
abba

Friday, November 16, 2018

sean



Remembering a remarkable and courageous young man today.  Amazing how spending just a few minutes with someone can have such a dramatic impact on our lives.  Apparently Sean did that to a lot of people:) I need to remember that in every encounter and conversation I have today.  Prayers to the Karl family, thanks for sharing Sean with us.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

wait

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord. (Psalm 130:5-7)


Waiting is no easy thing.  In fact, it takes quite a bit of effort.  But effort in a much different way than we are used to.  There is a letting go that is necessary in waiting: a letting go of control and opinion and agenda; a letting go of strength and power and adequacy.  Waiting is the place where we have to come face to face with our inability to make things happen for ourselves.  Thus, it can be an incredibly humbling process.


But waiting is not only about letting go, there is also a taking hold that is necessary.  We must begin to embrace—rather than deny—our own vulnerability, dependence, and weakness.  For the scriptures clearly tell us that “When we are weak, we are strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10)  Waiting puts us in a place where we must confront our own nothingness and find that it is not an enemy, but a friend.  It has something of incredible value to teach us, if we are willing to listen. 

Therefore, waiting is never passive, but always active.  It involves the movement from clenched fists to open hands.  For clenched fists can never receive anything.  And, in the end, waiting is always about receiving.  It is about realizing that we cannot control or contrive or manipulate God into giving us anything, we must simply learn to wait with open hands to receive whatever he decides to give, whenever he decides to give it.  Thus, our hope is not in our own efforts, gifts, and abilities, but in his grace alone, which is always sufficient.

Monday, November 12, 2018

his kiss

let him kiss me
with the kisses
of his mouth
~song of songs 1:2


if it does not
start with a kiss
it starts awry

passion dries up
and turns to chore
affection deteriorates
into obligation
and romance 
becomes duty

therefore
let us first
receive his holy kiss
let us know
the intimacy of
his divine embrace
let us be captured
by the depth of
his great affection

and let that alone
determine
everything else

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

note to self


Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought.

Don’t try to sound like you know more than you do.

Live your life quietly and share your life humbly.

Be like a weaned child with its mother.

Don’t overestimate your own importance.

Don’t exaggerate your own significance.

Don’t promote your own indispensability.

Don’t fall in love with your own opinion.

The world will get along just fine without it.

The world needs your care and your presence

More than it needs your words.

So say less and love more.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

something, nothing, everything

why do i 
keep trying to 
become something
when you
ask me to
become nothing
so that you might
be everything