On a Surprising Find and Running Whales through Colanders

I have been struggling what to write in this blog. It seems there’s a hundred things bound up in my heart, with all the words trying to come out at once but none actually succeeding, like a hundred whales trying to swim through a pasta sieve. And then, I heard this pastor speaking while I was driving my car and flipping through the channels. And he says everything that my heart is crying out for, desiring to know, to give, to understand, to put into words. Especially after the 9 minute marker, or the last 7 minutes, if you are in that much of a hurry.

Seeking Only God’s Approval (pt2)

I highly encourage you to take about 30 minutes to listen to this, especially if you seek help and encouragement on “how to die to yourself daily, live for Christ and develop a passion to reach the lost and dying.”

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Of Overwhelming Love and the Possibility of Creating More Frogs

As I’ve been reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah this week, the concepts of love and forgiveness keep blowing me away. God states all these things that were done by Israel, and that we all have done- not trusting Him even when we have seen so clearly that He is real and trustworthy, turning our backs on Him after He has provided everything we can imagine ever wanting plus some more, looking right in His face and denying that he exists or matters. And, understandably, He is upset about it. Like very upset. He is betrayed, denied, lied to, hurt, used.

Just like any of us would be in similar circumstances.

But He has the power to totally destroy us or turn us into frogs or make our lives horribly miserable or basically whatever He wants. And is totally justified to do so, and sometimes does. (Not the frog part though, I think….lol) And both Isaiah and Jeremiah are full of His threats to do so.

And there a lot of people stop, seeing only the “God of the Old Testament” (who is no different now, by the way….), lots of vengeance and war and things. And they totally miss the point.

Both books are at their heart, a call to repentance and a note of love. I cannot count how many times both books say
“I will restore you”
“Repent and I will enable you to overcome”
“I want to bless you”
“Your country will endure forever and all people will flock to you”
“I love you so much”
And that idea overwhelms me.

Think about it. You have an extremely close friend whom you care for very much. And they go through a hard time. So you give them everything you have- all your food, your clothes, your home. Not just to stay in or borrow. To own. Then they tell you they hate you. Things get bad for them again, and they come back to you, hoping you will help them. So you do. You give them all your savings, even that 401(k) you’ve been fighting to put money in for the last 20 years. They take it, of course, and run off. You don’t hear from them for two years. When you do, they just want more from you and don’t bother to even ask how you’ve been since they last saw you.

And you look at them and say, Yes, I want to help you and I will give you everything I can, but please tell me thank you. I love you, and I want to give you more. And I desire to be closer to you. And I forgive you.

Like that. How can you not love a God like that? How can you not be drawn to someone who will love you despite your open using and abusing of them, who still desires to be with you despite your failings?

Oh, God, how You love us!

When I first started this internship at Hope City, I was wanting to learn how to help others without enabling them. And I am learning that, it’s not about enabling someone or not in their problems. (Of course there are boundaries that need to be maintained. Don’t get me wrong. But I am becoming more convinced that those boundaries are more for that time period when the individual is seeking to overcome their difficulties. ) It’s about enabling someone to love. And the only way that can be done is by demonstrating love, lots of it.

Thank You Lord for the massive love You’ve demonstrated to us in the death and resurrection of Your Son, and the love that You continue to share!!! I am so humbled by all that You do for me.
Enable me to show that love better. Wake us up to our lethargy and wanderings from You and enable us to give as much as we have received from You.

On Borderless Oceans and Frozen

“Spirit take me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever You would call me.”

(Oceans, by Hillsong)

Lately God has been teaching me more and more about following Him, no matter what it looks like to me. It’s Him I’m following, and, as long as I can see Him, why should I worry about what’s in front of Him? To do so takes my eyes off of what’s really important and puts them on the things I can’t control anyway.

To walk where there is no borders. In a move that was very, very far from anything I had planned, I signed up for another three month internship at Hope City. While this was something that I did not really have a lot of personal desire to do, it has been made extremely clear to me that this is where God wants me to be for the next several months. For example, Bryce and I worked and saved for over a year to get the money for the first track of the internship, and still needed to raise support. This track, thanks to the generosity if a few people, has been totally paid for- both the internship itself and my expenses while I am here.

Speaking of provision, my husband and I just had the opportunity to attend One Thing, a year end conference and celebration put out by IHOP in Kansas City. Through a string of events that I can’t even begin to understand other than God providing, we were able to get our entire hotel stay and conference tickets and a very good meal for free. Without asking for any of that. While we could have paid for them if needed, it is a huge blessing, as it helps his budget stretch just that much further. Thank You God!!! He cares about even the little things!

I find through these experiences that I feel like my fear, my worry, my timidity is breaking off like shedding a stone cocoon. Or like Elsa shedding her queen finery in that famous scene in Frozen. (Yes, you may now sing “Let it Go” loudly, unless you’re in a public place. Then scream it 🙂 ) I feel like I am being reborn, exposed for what I really am. And that has lots of both good and bad things. But, I am willing to face the humiliation and the joy, in order to be closer to my Savior.

To walk on water, on a great expanse. With no concept of where the end point is, of where the next step is beyond the one that brings you closer to the Beloved. Is there any greater joy?

Lord, draw us ever closer to You!!!