Thursday, June 29, 2017

I AM brave

You may read this and think this isn't a big deal. ...but it is. Trust me. This is no small victory.

I have dealt with deep fear in various areas of my life, for as long as I can remember. There are too many examples to even begin to tell you. Fears that make living inconvenient and even annoying. Fears that make me so anxious and tense that I ugly cry, get a migraine, and it just negatively affects my relationships.

This year I've faced two of those fears.
I drove on the highway.
I rode roller coasters.

The first I have faced to the point of not being anxious at all anymore. I don't even think about it...I just do it.
The second needs more practice. And some might say is not a valid fear that needs overcome. But for me it was. And in several conversations with the Father I hear Him tell me how proud He is of me.

There's freedom on the other side of fear. There's life on the other side. We walk through fear. With Him.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Now, see Me.

...That's not who I am.

That moment.
When you realize you've messed up.
When you realize that place you haven't been in for years is now only a few seconds behind you.
All too familiar faces of guilt and shame come and sit beside you.
It feels righteous to stay seated beside them.
It feels like what you're supposed to do;
Feel guilty.
Beat yourself up.
Hold back.
For you couldn't possibly be justified to give anything of value in this position.
To not feel guilty.
To not beat yourself up.
To not hold back;
Would be a statement that you believe you are allowed to do anything you want.
That what you do, say, and think don't have consequences;
Don't have effect on anything or anyone.
That in order to rid yourself of sin, you must put your attention to it.
That if you take your attention away from it, you'll find yourself in it's midst again.
That feeling is strong.
So strong that even an intentional look away still somehow keeps a part of you in that place.
It's ingrained in us.
That guilt and shame and pulling back are a healthy part of the process.

But that whisper...
I hear it.
I hear Him.
Something different is on His lips.
It's counter.
And it, in many ways, actually feels wrong.
But I've known it to be true.
Known it in a place much deeper than feelings;
in a place more real than feelings.

Pulling back.
Child, you know these aren't Me.
If you are feeling these things it just means you're trying to deal with sin outside of Jesus.
Stand back up.
As far as the east is from the west;
I've already removed them from you.
Now, see Me.
Just like that?
Just like that.
But that can't be the right way to process this.  Without giving this enough attention I won't feel bad enough about it; I will find myself right back in that place.
The problem isn't being in that place.
It really has nothing to do with that.
Your heart simply hasn't been fully turned to Me. 
Just come be with Me.
Sitting in guilt and shame does nothing for you or for Me.

Stand back up.
I need you.
I know your heart.
I know who you are.
How you respond here sets a precedent for those to follow you.
I don't want the next generation to be stuck here.
Now, see Me.

Mark 5:7
How satisfied you are when you demonstrate tender mercy [merciful to forgive]! For tender mercy will be demonstrated to you.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Go back.

The thought will come.
And I'll immediately dismiss it.
Not wanting to again know the pain or experience the feeling of stupidity that came with the event.
The dismissing actually masquerading as wisdom.
I thought--
the dismissing equivalent to not dwelling there.
But He told me to look right at it.
He told me to go back to that place;
to that feeling.
I can't just run.
I can't just ignore.
In the running;
in the ignoring;
I'm running from the importance of that moment.
From the Lord in that moment.
"No," He says.
"Go back there."
"Go back to that place.  Find Me.
Begin to associate those hard feelings with Me.
You must look right. at. it.
Ignoring this will only force you to face it later."
I. Feel. Stupid.
I feel stupid all over again.
Going back there will make me not want to step out again.
Will make me not want to take risks.
Will make me favor not wanting to get it wrong and be stupid over possibly releasing You.
"What if it doesn't matter?
What if it doesn't matter if you're wrong?
What if each moment you're actually seeding something greater?
Go back.
Relive the feeling of stupidity.
Relive it right there in My presence.
Relive it knowing and seeing Me there.
Relive it aware."
We can no longer be afraid to look our feelings in the face.
To stand in their presence;
to feel;
and to see Him.
Stop running.
Go back.
The importance of each moment;
it's too great.
When we decide to look away from the hard thing;
the painful thing;
we miss Him.
He is right there in the center.
We think we are actually protecting ourselves.
We think we are being wise.
We think we are preventing ourselves frin getting down.
Instead we are doing the opposite.
Go back.
Go back to that place.
See Me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I am important

I can almost hear them.
Debating what to do.
They want to get to Jesus;
But the crowd is so thick, 
There's no space squeeze through.
The paraplegic, in his state of great need;
Consults with his friends, I should wait my turn. 
My need is no greater than anyones in there.
His friends see through his humble excuse.
You are important.
You are worth it.
You deserve the attention of the King.
He is reminded of his value.
Not greater than any of those inside;
But not less.
If he wants to see the King,
He will have the King.
They start creating a plan to get past the crowd.
All the while trying to reconcile the idea of, who am I to make my way to the front?
No; I am plenty worth it.
Just as worth it.
Then one of them had a genius yet ridiculous idea:
The roof.
They crawled their way onto the roof. 
They dug their way through the roof, through the tiles.
And they lowered the paraplegic and his mat,
Right into the middle of the crowd.
Right smack dab in front of Jesus.
For a brief second the doubt rolled in.
Wasn't this terriblly selfish of me?
Who am I to place myself right in front of Jesus?
Bypass the crowds?
Who am I to think myself in enough need?
Who am I to think myself important enough?
Just then, Jesus' eyes turned to him.
His attention, directed full on.
"My friend,"
The paraplegic felt His love.
"My friend, your sins are forgiven."
I am important.
I am worth it.
My need matters.
I matter.
It's not about who matters more.
It's about that I matter.
That I'm important.
Holding the attention of the King.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This beauty that houses the Lord.

I used the word, "vision."
And I felt so stupid.
I felt like some wacko who believes aliens are walking among us and going to take over the world.
Like I see and talk to ghosts.
Like I was describing a foreign concept.
Like I was pressured to describe it differently;
Downplay how powerful and real my experience was;
Downplay how significant the object of your question is to me.
Because I'm afraid.
Afraid of what I'll look like.
Afraid of how others will see me.
Afraid of what they'll think.
Afraid they won't understand.
Afraid I'll be misunderstood.
Afraid I'll be identified as a Christian;
which means I'll be identified as a judgmental, bible pushing Jesus freak.
That's not me.
I love Jesus.
But it's real; raw; genuine.
It's beautiful.
It's different.
It's new.
It's not weird; it's beautiful.
I don't want to be misunderstood.
But I can't keep risking shutting up what's inside of me;
Cutting off a world that is so desparately hungry.
Whether they yet know they are hungry or not.
They are worth the risk.
The becoming of the Bride is worth the risk.
If I am perceived as weird and foreign;
if I'm misunderstood;
May the oddity that lingers be an opportunity for another to think on the Lord.
A seed of thought.
Not return void.
I pray they ask another question.
I pray they open another opportunity to expand my bravery.
I pray I see it.
I pray they allow me another chance to practice expressing my heart where Jesus and our beautiful Father reside.
I pray they knock;
Open my door;
And see.
May I learn to respond to hunger with the beauty that is me.
This beauty that houses the Lord.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I found Your Love in the open fields

The Father Himself.
Holding the giant sheet above my head.
Above our heads.
Before, we held it up together as a body.
Before, we held it up and filled in when others were feeling unable to lift their hands to hold it.
But now;
Now, He holds it.
And Angels.
At every entrance to the house.
They are holding it.
And we are all dancing under it.
Free to go and be.
For we have greater things to do.
And we can't be concerned with holding this covering.
They will hold it for us.
And as we dance beneath His covering;
The Angels watch.
They learn of His heart from us.
They see more of Him then ever before as we are released in freedom;
Not concerned with the weight.
And He smiles;
Watching us in our freedom.
Watching His Angels watch us.
We dance in Him;
In freedom.
We realize how big the field is when we lower our hands;
And let go of the weight;
And grab a hold of Him.

There's no shame;
In looking like a fool.
When I give You what I can't keep;
And take a hold of You.

More than words.
More than good ideas.
I found Your Love in the open fields."

Oh may My heart be seen.
This Love [this Bride] that carries Me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Alive in the dead places

I don't know that dead is really always dead.
We feel dead.
We see dead.
But what we feel and see as dead perhaps is really just new life.
If we would only blink.
To reopen our eyes and stretch our hands out again to feel.
To realize.
To creatively reconstruct our perceptions.
To allow Him to come stand in our line of sight;
to realize He's always been in our line of sight.
To allow Him to come cover the space in front of our out-stretched hands;
to realize He's always covered every inch of space in front of our hands.
To become more aware that seeing and feeling Him is not always what we've understood.

When we feel like we have nothing to offer;
Because we feel dead;
Because we see only the hard things in front of us;
Because the only thing we can manage to allow out of our mouths is discussion of the current death;
Maybe that is the very thing we have to offer.
Maybe death is life.
Maybe when we present our current offering;
maybe He's wrapping that offering in Himself.
Maybe our dead things are wrapped in Him--in Life.

Maybe EVERYthing is Life.
If only we take off the shades of shame; guilt; and expectation.
Maybe it's not so much right and wrong;
but more-so opportunity.

Despise nothing.
Despise no thing.

Maybe death is just a place.
And no place will ever define us.
Life defines us.
He defines us.
No need for shame.
No need for guilt.
No need for expectation.
Life resides in every place.
Life resides in our perceived dead place.

No worries son.
Alive in the dead places.