Friday, September 22, 2017

Don't be a Moopet!

What does a Muppets episode with Fozzie Bear in a dive bar in Reno, playing in a seedy-looking Muppet tribute band called "The Moopets" have to do with Church wounds & godly living?

I have walked through & thought this would be a private journal entry, but here I am posting this.

You see, so many of us here in the West who profess the name of Jesus, have not learned yet what our brothers & sisters in the #persecutedchurch around the world have known...we no longer have the luxury of dabbling. It is quite a joy to share in the power of His resurrection, but we often forget that this is preceded by sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings. Only in walking through these things do we discover who Jesus is, & come to love Him for Himself, & not what we thought He was obligated to do for us.

We forget that we are in a war, & for many of us, as the bullets were flying & chaos ensued, the smoke & dust cleared, & it wasn't an enemy standing at the other end of the was a fellow soldier. So we don't necessarily leave the faith, we just moved towards the Borderlands. And the weariness & the wariness, previously foreign to us, begin to reflect in our social media feeds, our eyes, & our lives. Most of the people I have observed & spoken to who are living in this place right now are not new Christians. They are seasoned soldiers, long-time saints, pioneers & forerunners who have given their all for Jesus. And then it happened. The Tipping Point. It could have been a divorce, a betrayal, a ministry fracture or faction. And suddenly the starry-eyed innocence is gone. At least that's how they feel.

You see, I'm convinced that the issue here is not so much worldliness, but woundedness.

We forget what it says in the book of Daniel, that the enemy's tactic is to "wear out the saints of the Most High God." So off to the dabbling of the outskirts we go. And the thing is we don't even "do" the world very well. If Christ is in you, the hope of glory, then when we try to back off from going all out with Jesus, & try to look like the world, we still stick can tell there's something not quite right...Like those off brands at the dollar stores that are shaped like the real thing & colored & logoed similarly, but you can tell there's something off.

Like a Muppet living in Reno, playing with a mean-looking tribute band.

The good news is that particular Muppet episode has a happy ending. Fozzie Bear's friends find out where he is living, and they go and get him out of that place and help him remember his true identity.

So this is a gentle message to those who find themselves living in the Borderlands... Please come Home.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Even If

I just was praying and weeping over shattered dreams and impossibility in my life, and as I ended, this song flooded my heart and mind, and flooded my eyes with tears:

To whomever is reading this right now, please know that you are not alone.  Jesus is for you, and desires for you to know Him.

I love you and am praying for you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On isms and ologies

A recent foray into the ugly world of social media and all of the supposed Christians out there who call themselves by their different, and often opposing man-made "isms," slinging mud at each other to the exclusion of Jesus and the simplicity of the Gospel has nearly convinced me to quit all but my work-related instagram account.

There is a saying that the "devil is in the details," but I think an accurate update would be, "the devil is in the distractions."  If he can cause professing Christians to obsess over the extra-biblical teachings of men, with an almost cult-like fervor, then maybe no one will notice that Jesus is missing.

And yet what did the apostle Paul, an Hebrew of Hebrews, a brilliant debater and highly educated man, find important?  He considered everything else "rubbish" compared to simply knowing Jesus.

And this beautiful Saviour is so worth knowing!  But He admonishes us that we must humble ourselves and become "as little children" or we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Corrie ten Boom reminds us,

"The churches do not lack great scholars and great minds. They lack men and women who can and will be channels of the power of God. They lack that which was accessible at Pentecost."

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. 
Acts 1:8

Let's not let isms and ologies keep us from the King of kings!  As my friend Dorothy Valcarcel recently penned,
"I believe that in our world today, filled as it is with so much turmoil, strife and hatred, the gift of hospitable kindness has sometimes been relegated to the bottom drawer of Christ-like service and love. 

Way too often, when generosity of spirit could potentially work wonders, healing wounded hearts and broken lives, we choose instead to resort to the pedestal of Pharisaical righteousness to try and prove how right we are, or that God is on "our side," when we should be freely spreading the balm of blessing in a world so desperately in need of a vision of how Jesus treated the sinners He met, even when they had 5 previous husbands and lived with someone they weren't married to. 

May we never forget that over a request for a cool cup of water, the woman at the well in Sycar was transformed by Jesus into a mighty evangelist who brought her entire town to the feet of her Saviour. 

In some of the most tender words penned by J.R. Macduff, 'a wandering star was, in the course of Jesus memorable journey, to be reclaimed from its devious orbit, and a glorious testimony was given as to how God's sovereign grace can triumph over all obstacles.'"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We've Got a Bicycle!

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. - Mark 11:24

Today's post is a sweet reminder from the late Dr. Robert A. Cook via "Walk with the King."  It's only a few minutes long:

In the top left, for broadcast number, type in 6377 and then enter or go.

Now, press the Pause/Play arrow at the top right, and not only will this bicycle photo now make sense (LOL), but your faith will be encouraged and refreshed by the wisdom of God's Word!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He is risen indeed!

Here's a video we saw in church today:

We adorn the cross every Resurrection Celebration Day.

It starts out ugly...a wooden cross covered in chicken wire.  As the pastor said, the Cross IS offensive, because it reminds us that we can't do it on our own.

We're then invited to bring our flowers and each one represents something in our lives that seems empty, hopeless or dead, and to come in hope, and surrender that to Jesus.

Here are my flowers, the cross being adorned, and the final result.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

It Is Finished!!!

The Law was given by Moses.
Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The Law says—This do, and thou shalt live.
Grace says—Live, and then thou shalt do.

The Law says—Pay me that thou owest.
Grace says—I frankly forgive thee all.

The Law says—The wages of sin is death.
GRACE says—The gift of God is eternal life.

The Law says—The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Grace says—Whosoever believeth in Jesus, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Him shall never die.

The Law pronounces—Condemnation and death.
Grace proclaims—Justification and life.

The Law says—Make you a new heart and a new spirit.
Grace says—A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.

The Law says—Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Grace says—Blessed is the man whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute iniquity.

The Law says—Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.

Grace says—Herein is love: not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The Law speaks of what man must do for God.
Grace tells of what Christ has done for man.

The Law addresses man as part of the old creation.
Grace makes a man a member of the new creation.

The Law bears on a nature prone to disobedience.
Grace creates a nature inclined to obedience.

The Law demands obedience by the terror of the Lord.
Grace beseeches men by the mercies of God.

The Law demands holiness.
Grace gives holiness.

The Law says—Condemn him.
Grace says—Embrace him.

The Law speaks of priestly sacrifices offered year by year continually, which could never make the comers thereunto perfect.

Grace says—But this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever . . . by one offering hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

The Law declares—That as many as have sinned in the Law, shall be judged by the Law.

Grace brings eternal peace to the troubled soul of every child of God, and proclaims God’s salvation in defiance of the accusations of the adversary. “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment (condemnation), but is passed from death unto life.”

“Whence to me this tranquil spirit—
Me all sinful as I am?
Is it thus descends the merit
Of the sin-atoning Lamb?

Grace, all power to deliver,
Gift of a Creative Giver,
Like a full, refreshing river,
Ever flowing.

Over all my course of sinning
Spread its waters without bound,
Cleansing, fertilizing, winning
For the Lord the barren ground.

Lavish from the heavenly treasure,
Fountains of a Father’s pleasure,
All the marks of human measure

Not my virtue or repenting
Earned the precious boon for me.
Thine, my Saviour, the relenting,
Thine the pangs which set me free—
Gift of grace beyond all knowing,
From the heart of Jesus flowing,
Ever flowing, overflowing,
Flowing freely.”

Taken from “Sovereign Grace” By D. L. Moody

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Resurrection and the Bride

What do Passover, the death of Jesus on the cross, and the bodily Resurrection of Jesus have to do with weddings?  Well, in context of the precious holiday that we who love Him celebrate this weekend, everything!

Not only was what is often referred to as "The Last Supper" a Passover Seder, but also a beautiful revelation of ancient Jewish wedding customs:

When I was in my starry-eyed 20's I wrote the following poem/prayer for my future husband, a very normal and Biblical heart's cry and desire for something that, though as yet unfulfilled, I realize is really a mere shadow of a longing that is so much greater.  Maranatha.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Are you thinking of me right now, my love?

Do you hold my phantom form close to your heart at night, aware of the bittersweet ache of being only half of something more; of longing to praise God as Echad, and yet being alone in your finiteness?

Are you whole in Jesus, like me, and yet acutely aware of the dull pain over your heart, where your rib has been removed?  It’s a little like that for me too, you know, only I am missing the whole ribcage, so my heart feels vulnerable and exposed.  I need to fit somewhere - I know that I do; but for now, I am forced to stand alone.

What is your name?  Is your laugh hearty, filled with the joy of living that Jesus brings?  Do you smile when you think of me, not even knowing my name, yet knowing who I am?

I pray for you every day - that God will keep you strong and encourage and uphold you as you walk with Him in every way.  Sometimes I can almost see you, and your gentleness touches my heart.  I know when we finally meet, I’ll recognize you by our joy!  I’d know your smile anywhere - even if I’ve never seen your face.
I pray that Jesus will enable me to be the woman that you need - a delight to you and an honor to your name.
Sometimes in my dreams of you, I am nursing our first child, and the look of tenderness that crosses your face when you see “your little treasures from God” stirs my soul.

Truly, Abba has blessed us, and our love is a prayer of thanksgiving and a testimony to those we minister to.
Oh, Father in Heaven, You who sent your Son to become flesh to atone for our sin and Who is acquainted with all our ways, please hear the prayer of these two hearts, and may we serve You, as one, all of our days.

Are you thinking of me right now, my love?