Tag: faith (Page 1 of 2)

Posted on LinkedIn as a response to a recommendation to read

I’m a pretty avid reader (think 3-5 books a week), and I have been since I was five years old. The thing that trips me up about that is that I have found my time consumed by books that DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things, primarily because my favorite reading material is sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller/action books a close second. Those things are just stories about fictional characters, and it’s just another kind of addiction/method of escapism. I know this. I have known this for years and years.

I do read non-fictional books as well, although not as many. 98% of those are Christian in nature. When I do read those, I find God speaking to me in a lot of different ways… but even those have not helped me as much as the people recommending those books thought that they would, or that I thought they would (help me, that is).

What I have found, though, is that reading the scripture gives me an almost tangible sense that God is breathing new life into me. Even if it’s something I’ve read repeatedly hundreds of times in my life time (Psalm 23 for example). When I’m desperate for a touch from the Lord, I don’t pick up a book that some really anointed (no sarcasm at all here!) spiritual leader has written. I do go back to the basics and reread the book of Genesis, or Isaiah, or various Psalms, or the gospels, or some of Paul’s letters, or even Revelation (especially when I need hope).

I realize the value in reading, and it is a sorely neglected skill. DO read. Do read recommended books. Maybe something that spoke to the person making the recommendation will speak to you. But first and foremost, READ THE BIBLE. It was my favorite storybook when I was a child, and that’s exactly how I think people forget to read it. We’re always looking for something from God in a verse that we want to speak to us, relevant to our situation. We’re usually studying it to dig out deeper meanings or to find support for things we feel God has put on our hearts.

How often, though, do we just sit down and simply read HIS story? It’s the story of His glory… how often He showed up and moved or spoke or breathed into a situation and changed that situation by simply being there. If you can just take it in, over and over again, then without even intending to do so by human effort, you will find yourself hiding His word in your heart.

Today was one of those days when I woke up flat on my back and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry for a few hours. But when I talked to the Lord, the scriptures whispered back to me. When I said, “I can’t handle this, Lord,” He said, “My grace is sufficient.” When I thought of how dark my life looks right now, Psalm 23 wandered through my heart: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” When I just wanted to scream that despair was overwhelming me, I heard, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Even now, I keep hearing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reading matters. Reading the Word matters even more–not just to obtain something for a sermon or a song, not just to find an answer for an argument against Christianity, not just to find something that speaks to us when we’re looking for answers, but just because IT’S GOD’S WORD. When we know it well, He DOES use it to speak back to us when we need it, and He can use it to speak through us for someone else’s benefit in song, sermon, or just daily conversation.

Hope this has been helpful for someone.

The Miracle of Flight

The faith of a newly-emerged butterfly cannot be denied
As it stretches forth its wings and trusts to flight
Somehow knowing there is strength once they have dried.
Though it never flew before, it knows it’s made to soar,
So up… up… up… it goes without a second thought
Just trusting its inherent natural form.
I, too, was made to float on the wings of God’s wind.
It is my inherent nature; therefore, I will doubt no more,
But trust instead that I can do what He has made me to do
Without worry or concern that I might not be able to.
I can. I must. I will.

Brilliant Iris

I saw the sun the other morning
Peeking through a crevasse in the clouds
Like a brilliant iris of light,
(Too bright to see the color)
Staring through the vast, dark grey eyelids.
Even when the sun rose to its hidden place
Behind the upper mass of moisture,
The brightness of that spot drew my vision
Till all the last remnants of radiance
Faded to the jaded blue of the indifferent sky.
But bright hope kept shining within me…
Beyond the canopy of clouds,
Sun shone with all her beauty and
I felt touched by it, gifted with it,
As if I were a carrier of that light
In some supernatural, ephemeral way.
But no one else could see it, feel it… touch it.
So I curled the hope up inside me,
Snuggling with the joy already there
Until it blossomed into fresh faith.
Father sure knows how to paint a beautiful sky!

Wind and Fire

Upon reflection, I must disagree with you.
The Spirit still comes with wind and fire
To those who need His mighty touch,
Whether we are babes or long in the faith.
He is the I AM after all is said and done…
Great in power, mighty in deed,
Overwhelmingly here when He is manifestly present.
I will not dispute that He comes,
Quietly whispering peace to the soul’s distress,
But all of us need His unmistakable touch at some point,
To a degree that we cannot contain our reaction
Within some meekly restrained outward appearance of calm.
To rigidly constrain the Spirit as He flows through us
Is to quench the work that He is doing in us.

More times than not these days,
I find myself sitting still beneath His weightiness,
His unmoving, “I-AM-doing-something? presence.
I weep with the outpouring of His healing oil on me.
Even so, on occasion the sense of HIM, here,
Causes me to let go of my physical restraints
Till I am drunk with divine wine, and
He graces my soul with the joy of easy laughter.
Sometimes, the electrical shock of Spirit meeting flesh
Shakes me all over until my flesh submits and
The Spirit has His healing, life-changing way with me.

When He is done, I am more myself than before…
Just a little more light of heart, a little more rich with Him,
A little more deeply rooted in His all-sufficient grace.
There is no more refreshing experience
Than to be overcome by the Holy Spirit’s power,
But it is not the experience itself that is refreshment.
It is His explicit manifest presence and
My submission of self with all its flaws
So that I may know Him in the power of His resurrection,
As well as I am coming to know Him
In the fellowship of His suffering.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

1And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Sunshine

Today I feel like sunshine
Though it’s cold and wet and gray.
Inside my soul I feel fine
Though the storms of life hold sway.
It is odd but I can stand fast
Feeling rest and grace and peace
Never minding as I sail past
Other ships and harbors’ ease.

For the way of strength in Jesus
Is to know that I am weak
To acknowledge in my stresses
That His wisdom helps me seek
Past the folly of man’s goodness
Into truth and faith and love
And to stand upon God’s promise
With His new life from above.

Today I know just who I am
Though I sometimes forget
I am a child held in His hand
And should not grasp regret.
Repenting, I receive new life—
Confess, release, advance
Through Christ whose awesome sacrifice
Gives me a second chance.

Feel the Season Changing

I can feel the season changing.
Seems God’s always rearranging,
And I wonder what new strange thing
He is doing in my life.
As I look towards tomorrow,
I am hoping I that I will grow
Moving forward as I follow
Leaving worrying and strife.

I have learned so much the hard way
When I try to do things halfway.
Still there’s really only His way,
If I want to do them right.
Can I use what I’ve been learning
To obey Him without turning
And to use what I’m discerning
To trust God without my sight?

Faith is following His guidance
As He leads me in this romance
With the loving grace that He grants
When I’m stumbling along.
As I move into the next phase
He is changing me in new ways,
Giving mercy to me always—
He reminds me I belong.

In His everlasting promise
I can take each step with calmness,
Knowing He will hold me harmless
In the refuge of His wings.
He’s my dwelling place and fortress.
I will trust in His great goodness
Through the seasons’ steady progress,
Though I don’t know what they’ll bring.

Change

Interesting, Lord…
The way You do things
Never ceases to amaze me.
So many “suddenlies? recently
In my life and those around me
Teach me again that
The waiting is always worth it.
I never know when it will end
(And it always seems endless),
But then You turn my life inside out
Or upside down… or right-side left.

I never know quite how
Things will end up these days.
I can sense though that
One of those “suddenlies? is almost here.
I’m not really stressed about it—
Just pondering how different
My life will be in just two months.

It’s like the anticipation I felt on
The first day of every school year.
What new things will I need to learn?
What new people will I meet?
How will I feel when
The holidays come this year and
I am in a different place?

Knowing that change will come, but
Not knowing what change will look like…
This is a good thing.
My faith grows every day because
You did say, after all, that
Father causes his sun to rise
On the evil and the good, and
Sends rains on the righteous
And the unrighteous.

So I know I can rely on You to be
“My strength and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust,?
Whatever change and happenstance
Brings my way.

Wasted

I’m here again, Lord,
Wasted at your feet,
Spent in grief and sorrow,
Still clinging…
Somehow.
I feel like the woman
With the issue of blood…
Years deep in this insanity
Some would call my life.
I need you desperately!
This healing thing takes forever.
Though I reach for you,
Though I touch your robe,
It seems my faith is not enough.
I have cried;
You have answered.
I have fallen;
You have caught me.
Still, in many ways, Lord,
I feel as broken as ever.
What healing?
What faith?
What rest is there to find?
I wander the world
Seeking answers.
All I know is you…
You ought to be enough for me!
Please, Holy Spirit,
Refill me with your Living Water
As I am parched
In a desert place,
In a dark place—
The only Light within,
And yet…
I somehow trust you anyway.
I will cling and not let go
Until there is healing
For me,
For my children,
For those whose lives I touch.
Oh God, please hear my cry.
Pour through me
Your love and restorative power.

Sing A Song (1/5/11)

Sing a song, a pretty song,
To tell the world you love Me.
Sing it strong; sing all day long,
Sing “just because? and freely.

With great sacrifice, You saved us, gave us,
A wellspring of hope, You lift us, gift us
With faithfulness and mercy, Lord
With generous compassion, Lord
You work within us by Your Spirit.

Sing a song, a pretty song,
To tell creation’s story.
Sing it strong; sing all day long,
This gift of life from Glory.

O Light of our lives, we raise You, praise You
Love from above, we meet You, greet You
With everything we have to give,
With never ending awe we live,
For Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Sing a song, a pretty song,
With all you have within you.
Sing it strong; sing all day long;
Faith, hope, and love will shine through.

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