Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Don't Forget

Yesterday, September 11th, was a day we don't want to remember, but we can't forget.
It certainly isn't a day that builds faith, as it appears. It was a day when heroes were made that didn't want to be, but had to be; and a day when grief, darkness, and blood seemed to cover the city. And I wasn't even there- I only watched by television.

Today, the sun is out, and I could forget that sometimes evil temporarily prevails. I could forget how some still suffer longing and loneliness because of those they lost. Lost loved ones and lost dreams are the things that shake us to our soul. What can overcome such darkness?

"But may they who love You be like the sun when it rises in full strength" says Judges 5:31b.

We will arise. All those bowed down can rise up with wings as eagles, as it says in Isaiah. The sun comes out. And the Son can never be hidden- even in darkness- for He has overcome the world. We shall too.

There's something about becoming a warrior, when you didn't intend to- I think that's when you really start to live.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My School

It's the first day of school.My two kids are off, and the house is quiet. I'm chomping at the bit to explore, sift through some thoughts and dreams I have, and contemplate where I'm at. I'm full of thoughts and ideas.

I love Barbara Sher's interpretation of the gifted, multi-faceted learner she calls a Scanner. She looks at this type of person as someone who soaks up all the wonderful things the world has to offer. I understand completely when she says in her book Refuse to Choose, "I just loved learning and wanted to keep on doing it."

1 Peter 1:13 begins with "prepare your minds for action..." I'm preparing, alright.

I'm fueled up, ready to explore and expand my borders. Barbara concludes her intro with this:

"I can't wait to see what you will do with that lovely brain of yours once the gates are thrown open and you're finally free to stretch out to your full speed and explore this big world that you love so much."

Stretching out, gates thrown open, full speed- I like all those words. I feel like I'm off to the first day of school- but this is a new kind of school. This kind of school you get to learn, take chances, make mistakes (anybody remember Miss Frizzle?!)and explore to your heart's content.

This is My school- I'm the Principal, I'm the only student, and I'm even the teacher. My style of teaching is to say, when I'm asked a question (from myself)-

"I'm not sure of the answer, but boy are we going to have fun finding it out!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I love it when Faith refuses to die. That's real victory. Grabbing hold of something and not letting go- like Jacob, who wrestled with God and said he wouldn't let go till he was blessed. That's a tenacious spirit. Call it the spirit of a warrior. Call it guts and hope mixed together. Call things that don't yet appear in physical reality as though they already exist. Faith.
I'm after that. I don't make any apologies about it. In a sense,I perceive myself as destitute if I don't have Faith. But with Faith, the life giving well of God's Spirit overflows in me, charges me, causes me to reach out and lay hold of bigger things, larger missions, impossible scenarios- to the human eye. But not to the eye of Faith.
I look out... and I see.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's the middle of August, and the new school year looms before me: I've got pencils and notebooks to buy, new clothes and back packs must be bought, and this isn't even for me! My two kids are probably preparing for the future in a minimal way; I, on the other hand, am racing to get them prepared, thinking of what they need, picturing the homework load that will affect our whole family- because if they have homework, I have homework!

Yet, I am in school too- the school of life, the school of "make your dreams come true- because no one else will do it for you". It's true- I'm piloting the boat, riding the bull, walking the path- whatever metaphor you want to use- and I've got to move myself foward, intentionally, towards the reality I want to experience: fruitful, productive living with all gifts and talents used, ignited, blazing.

I'm in the school of life, and it's not that I get a final grade at the end of my life (I do); it's that I also get a grade for each day I live. Today is going to be an A+ day- not because I won't make mistakes, or crumble momentarily; it's that I will not forget that all I do can be done in love, by grace, pardoned mercifully where I fail, and then touched by Him in such a way that I keep going, I keep riding the bull, holding on....for more than 8 seconds.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I have heard people say, at times, "I'm in a boatload of trouble." You can feel overwhelmed and beseiged by the burden of challenges and tasks that are above and beyond what you feel you are capable of. Rocky seas, a strong wind,and a storm-tossed boat do not make for a settled stomach and a peaceful mindset.

I don't like to feel like I'm in a sea of troubles or challenges, and I certainly don't like to feel alone in a boat. I love how Jesus' disciples in John 6:15-21 experienced the plight that is so common to us today- they were at sea, tossed by the wind, and waiting for Jesus to come to them. It was dark. We can feel like that- that all is dark and overwhelming and too much to handle. I don't think they were feeling faith-filled. But when you are in a boat load of trouble, you don't need feelings of faith, you just need FAITH that Jesus WILL come to you!

And He did. They saw Jesus walking on the sea. (Remember, nothing is too difficult for him!) They were overwhelmed and afraid. He was coming close to their boat, and He said "It is I; do not be afraid." But what happens next is the most reassuring faith-booster of all: they willingly received him, it says, and He gets into the boat, "and Immediately the boat was at the land where they were going." (Jn 6:21)In one instant, they go from storm tossed sea to dry land.

We can go from a sea of trouble, from being stuck in a boat in a storm, and if we invite Jesus into our situation, we can immediately be at peace-
Because He IS our peace.(Eph. 2:14)While we may have challenges still before us, we can immediately be on solid ground, because of Him.

If you are overwhelmed today by a task or a dream to fulfil something great for God's glory, be comforted, be assured, that if you invite Jesus into your situation, you can immediately BE THERE: your destination IS Him, after all.

Sail on.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Mother's Day to Remember

Mother's Day was Sunday, yesterday. How does Faith work in terms of preparing for a celebration?

Some People actually need faith when it comes to holiday celebrations- because believe it or not, it requires faith to celebrate. Often an important holiday falls on a day when we don't quite feel "up to snuff." Maybe you don't feel like being joyful when you're singing "Joy to the World" on Christmas Day. Or you don't feel victorious- and it is Easter Sunday morning.

Sometimes our faith needs a bit of tweaking. And it can happen in the most quiet and unexpected ways.

I enjoyed my two children showing their love for me yesterday, on Mother's Day. But I often don't feel victorious in my mothering skills. I can be paranoid that I am ruining my children for life with each misstep I make in parenting a preteen and a teenager. I'm not sure if I've put enough "good" into them so that when they leave our nest, they really will be able to fly, so to speak.

One child showered me with gifts, expressive as her personality is. She let me know how much she loves me. I was touched.

By the end of the day, though, I had not heard much from my teenaged son. I was riddled with doubt and sadness inside- maybe I don't mean much to him anymore. I stopped in his room to check on him before he went to sleep; checked to see if he had a temperature, as he wasn't feeling well all day. As I leaned over him, suddenly he reached up and hugged me, tightly. My heart flooded with love...and renewed faith. He loves me, I thought, as I returned his hug.

And Faith flooded my soul: I can do this thing called Mothering, I thought.
Yes, I can.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Faith may move a mountain, but a mountain will not move you. You must take charge of lighting your ignition button. You decide to allow yourself to be motivated, to be moved by your passion for knowing God and seeing His hand in this world. The beauty of being a human is the gift of free will. Will you use your will, today, for good?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From the wilderness can come fruitful vineyards. From discouraging experiences, that could produce despair, can come dreams that endure even through the "valley of achor".
From trouble can come triumph.

Today, your "valley of achor"- your valley of trouble-can become "a door of hope".
(Hosea 2:14,15)

And "HOPE does not disappoint" (Romans 5:5)

So whether you see a wilderness before you, or you already see the beautiful vineyard,
look for, expect, and keep hoping! That's the way to stay fueled with faith.