Category: Random Thoughts (Page 1 of 7)

Meditating

Meditating on you, Lord, takes effort, I have found.
You are so… present in every moment,
Yet so far away from my thoughts.
How can I, small-minded as I am,
Keep refocusing on the greatness of you—
Your love, your grace, your mercy, your kindness?
I just want to be aware and sensitive,
So that when you move, I follow;
When you speak, I speak;
When you are silent, I wait on you.
There are no words sufficient to express
The magnificence of your intent towards us.
You beckon us to be part of your purposes in the earth,
While I just wonder if I can get through the day.
O Lord, forgive my self-focused attitude.
Help me to be more outward in my posture…
Loving you… loving my neighbor…
Remind me that it’s not “all about me,”
But truly all about you and your love for your children.
You reach for me, and I shy away in fear of retribution,
But I want to reach back in response,
Realizing you created me as I am—
To need your impetus to move forward.
You give me the faith to trust, and
All I can do is to fall into your hands again.
When my own efforts fail to remember you,
You still come to mind.
In the mundanity of my daily strivings,
You remind me that you still love me,
Even though I can never quite figure out why or how.
I am grateful…
And I still love you,
Because you loved me first.

On the Way

Holy Spirit, sometimes I despair that
I will ever find a deep, lasting change;
Then your hope rises up in me again,
Reminding me that this journey is just that—
A path from here to there.
I am not here or there…
I am on the way.
Change will come, because that is the nature of living!
Static states are only temporary.
They may feel permanent, but they are NOT!!
You are a God of transformation and power…
Stronger than my circumstances,
More powerful than my old nature.
I choose life once more.
I choose newness over and over—
Over all the stagnancy that surrounds me.
The surface seems still and unmoving,
But in the depths your vibrations trouble the waters
Until your mighty waves wash through me—
Shaking me up repeatedly,
Loosening all the crustiness of illness and depression,
Flooding me with joy!
Come, Lord Jesus, with your blood.
Wash me clean again.
Father of Lights, banish the darkness in me.
I only want to reflect your life to those around me.

At the End of Every Path

Countless times I am drawn again
To the matchless wonder of who you are,
Reminded over and over again that you are God—
The Father who spoke life into the void,
The Son who spoke life to a buried body,
The Spirit who speaks life daily to each heart.
No matter how my mind wanders,
I find you at the end of every path—
The rose in full bloom when I thought
There would only be a budding flower…
Because fullness of life is all that you contain,
From two cells joining to a fully grown human adult.
There is abundance in you,
Even in paucity of resources,
Because it’s all yours from beginning to end—
First, last, and everything in between.
O Lord God, be the all-encompassing presence
We need you to be in our lives;
But more than that, Jesus,
Help us to know your presence in every moment.

Prayer for Mercy

I find I cannot reach for words the way I used to.
I put things down only to discover it falls short.
What I want to say, I am unable to say,
So I keep on babbling in some vain effort to express
All the mixed up cauldron of mess in my heart.
Still, I can’t not write, so I press on
Hoping that sooner or later I will find truth.
Holy God, be the inspiration I long for.
You are the only reality I need.
Teach me your ways, like Moses,
So I can pen some kind of light to those around me.
Take me out of the deep water of confusion
I have lately found myself in,
In some way I fail to understand.
Show me your glory again.
Refine my mental processes somehow,
So I can once more express my heart for you.
Help me, Holy Father, to lean into you–
To find help, hope, and healing in your heart.
Above all, Lord Jesus, bring me into your mercy,
So that as I fall and fail, I learn still.
I need you, Lord, so desperately that
I have lost all words to speak the depths of my need…
Yet, still, I yearn, I long, I reach, for some kind of wisdom.
In my lack, I beg of you, God, give me grace,
Because I can only find peace in you.

Revival

In those moments when I feel a stirring that I can’t explain,
A fire coming alight in me, when I have felt so lukewarm lately,
All I can do is marvel at the mercy being poured out on me.
May it be so, Holy Spirit, that I am inflamed by the heat of your love.
This liveliness of soul feels so much better than
The dreary dullness of being that has seemed so all-encompassing.
How many times do I need to cry out, “Wake me up, Lord!”
Before I actually feel more awake and alive?
What is it I need to do to stay in the center of your living water,
Feel the bubbling stream of your essence around me?
I long to know beyond feeling, but feeling seems so real.
Let the yearning for intimacy with you, Jesus,
Become my constant companion in my spiritual walk.
I don’t like the compromises that douse the flames,
Yet I get so caught up in day-to-day living,
That it becomes easier to subside into routines and bad habits.
I need your life, alive in me until I can’t sit still.
I need your holy word, splashing up into a flowing river,
Touching all the people around me again and again…and again.
I need you, Lord God, overshadowing me with imminence,
Just so I don’t forget to tell you, thank you for the grace that lifts me,
As the Psalmist says, out of the miry clay.
Set my feet on your path of light once more,
So I can say with gladness, “Praise the Most High God!!!”
Indeed, I do praise you, Living God, Creator of the universe, and
I say still, “In you I live and move and have my being.”
Breathe on me, Breath of God, in newness of life…more and more and more.

Not the Circumstances

Sometimes You sleep when the wind and waves crash over me.
I wonder in my unbelief if I will be overwhelmed,
Because I am staring at the fury instead of at Your face.
Yet, I know in my heart of hearts that I can trust You.
It is only when I forget that I falter…
But I no longer know You according to the flesh,
Or the ways the world thinks,
Now, I know You in the Spirit—
The God who commanded light to shine in darkness,
Shines in my heart till my inner night is conquered.
…If only I could remember to gaze at You, and
Find rest in my own little boat beside You.
It is Your posture, Lord, that governs the outcome,
Not the circumstances in which I find myself.

Sweet Sleep

Sweet sleep come greet me soon
Before my mind wanders overmuch.
Let the still night hours wrap my thoughts
Till peace and quiet reign again, and
My body finds comfort in my familiar bed.
Let the angels fill my dreams with more…
More You, Lord… more grace, Father…
More rest, Holy Spirit, in Your habitations with me.

New Life!

The seeds of discontent go deep inside me.
I am restless, unsatisfied and no circumstance matters.
The status quo has grown old and stale, and
I am so, so weary of the same traditions
Regurgitated in far too many different ways
So they are palatable to the masses.
New life should be new LIFE!!!
We’ve spent our whole Christian lives
Trying to put on practices,
Trying to keep sets of rules,
Trying to look different,
When a moral agnostic looks exactly the same as we do.
The only difference is where we gather—
Churches with programs instead of
Informal parties and motivational meetings.

If God gives me new life, and His word says He does…
If His word says I am seated with Christ in heavenly places, and it does…
Shouldn’t I be able to operate freely
From a heavenly position…RIGHT NOW??
So, if I see with the eyes of my heart,
Speak with voice of my soul,
I can meet with Christ face to face in the Spirit,
Because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead
Dwells in me.
I am justified, sanctified, made whole by Christ’s blood.
Sure, my body is a long way from perfection, but
My spirit is made perfect in Him.
The Holy Spirit knows the heart of Abba God,
Helps us commune beyond the words of this limited physical existence.

Holy Spirit living water flows from inside us.
We toss that phrase “living water” around like nothing, but
Have we ever stopped to contemplate the aliveness of the Water?
Our God is a consuming fire!
It follows that the Fire is as alive as the Water.
They have voice, thought, God-inspired functions in us.
Water cleanses.
Fire purifies.
They both speak the holiness of Almighty God!
They both imbue us with aliveness beyond typical human thought,
Until the Life flows out of us to the world around us.

Jesus healed the sick, the blind, the lame,
Delivered the oppressed, raised the dead…
We can do this, too, but
We have so little faith in anything
We can’t accomplish by natural means.
If Jesus said we could move mountains,
Maybe we should have a conversation with the mountain,
Just like Jesus did with that storm on the Sea of Galilee, or
The fig tree that didn’t have any fruit on it.

I want to see beyond the mortal, fallen world around me
To the truth of the unseen, eternal realm within everything.
I don’t want to listen to the people who say
It can’t be done because it’s “super”-natural, or
Because it’s not part of the traditions
We’ve adhered to for the last two millennia.
There’s more than just saying a prayer,
Writing in a journal, attending a service,
Reading what’s written…

The first century believers didn’t
Have New Testament scriptures when they started out.
They relied on the Holy Spirit,
Read the Old Testament, had common union,
Shared their wealth,
While people like Peter, Stephen, Paul, and John
Had actual conversations with Jesus and angels…
AFTER the ascension…
Saw into the heavenly realms in their day.
John said he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”
As if everyone knew what he was talking about already.

Jesus told us that if we believe,
We could “come in and go out.”
That, my friend, isn’t a pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by proposition.
That is a NOW experience…
So what are we waiting for?
We already have the invitation, and
I am so tired of acceptance based on traditional behavior
Instead of grace and love in operation.
I’m not talking about negating scripture.
I am talking about moving
Into the next phase of our spiritual journey.

No Substitute for Time

In the process of preparation, there is no substitute for time. This is true, whether you are preparing a meal, preparing for a journey, or preparing for battle. I thought it this morning when I was trying to clean my cup from yesterday’s breakfast. To get it truly clean required that I let it soak in soap and water for a time. I tried to speed up the process by using boiling water from the coffee maker, but that only speeds it up some. I still had to let it sit for a bit. That’s when I had the thought, There is no substitute for time.

The addition of heat, or pressure, to the process can help it along, but without enough time, preparation will be inadequate. If you don’t let the turkey cook long enough, then it won’t get cooked all the way through. If you don’t take time to plan your route and prepare your suitcase or bag, then you will either have trouble finding your destination, or you will have insufficient changes of clothing. If you don’t gather enough supplies or train properly, then you will probably lose the battle you have to fight.

There is no substitute for time. When God makes us wait on things we don’t want to wait on, and we can’t figure out the reason why, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason. It simply means we can’t see the big picture. All these long months (or years maybe) of waiting have their purpose, even if the only purpose is to test our trust in God. Building character is something that cannot be done in a hurry. Learning patience only comes about through having to wait on the Lord. Beyond that, we have to realize that our finite understanding cannot comprehend the mysteries of God… like, why do I have to wait for my husband to get a job? As Jeremiah put it, why do the wicked prosper? Why can’t I have “___” when I think I need it now? Why did a perfect man like Jesus Christ have to suffer and die for other men’s sins? Why do children suffer?

These are unanswerable questions in the realm of reason. Sure, there’s the problem of original sin and how God is waiting patiently waiting for the wicked to turn to Him (Ez. 33:11); but, honestly, how does my waiting affect the world around me? I am reminded again that in the preparation process, there is no substitute for time. Time is probably the most important ingredient in any recipe, journey preparation, or in getting ready for any kind of battle. Perhaps, this time of waiting will produce a savory meal suitable for my God’s table, or maybe the next season will be one of change and travel… or maybe the next season will be a season of war, and I need to be spiritually prepared.

Whatever the reason is for waiting, Paul said, “I have learned in all things to be content. (Ph. 4:12)” This means that even in the times of waiting, he learned contentment. Truly, truly, it’s a long journey that we travel in this life. Sometimes we have to stay in one place. Other times we have to race as fast as we can to the next place. Wherever we are at on the journey, in the process, or whatever terminology you choose to use, there is no substitute for time and the only way to pass through time with any degree of contentment is to trust that God really does know what He is doing.

*I ran across this piece that I wrote in the fall of 2009. As far as I can tell, I’ve never published it anywhere, so here goes… 🙂 Maybe it just needed to percolate on the back burner for the past few years so I could really appreciate it, thus proving the point. I did make a few minor editorial tweaks, but for the most part, this is as it came out of my head in the first place.

True North

One’s moral compass should not be calibrated by the socially acceptable or civilly legislated standards of the day. True north is always, always God’s standards set in His word. When the Sanhedrin told Peter and John they should stop preaching Jesus, Peter’s response still holds true, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20) My experience, my heart, my changed life, tells me over and over and over again that I can trust God, that He is a good God, that His love shapes me for my ultimate good. Thousands of years of believers stand testament to this, so WHY would I have any interest in conforming to make others more comfortable?

Truth is supposed to make you uncomfortable; otherwise, you would have no reason to change. The goal is to become more like Christ—not some fictional, socially acceptable, wimpy Jesus—but like the Jesus who stood up to the Pharisees of his day and said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8)

Governments may legislate; Churches may decree standards (by democratic vote! …and where is that in scripture?); but God’s word reaffirms that when we stand before His throne, we will not be able to excuse our behavior by saying, “But they said it was okay!” We are accountable to God, and to God alone, for our own choices and our own actions. I leave you with the words of Christ in Matthew 10:

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell…. 34 Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

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