Tag Archives: Faith

For My Husband…

Author’s Note: This is based on the song, “Bless the Broken Road,” performed by both Selah and Rascal Flatts. I’m including a link to the Selah version here.

“Bless the Broken Road” in surround sound–
And I believe every word,
Yet the pain in the journey
Sears my heart and floods my eyes.
It wasn’t the North Star
Leading me to your arms.
It was the man
Your broken road shaped in you,
Blessed by Jesus.
But my road still isn’t straight,
And I can’t find the joy and strength
To bless my broken road.
Hold me close and don’t let me go
Until joy in the journey dries my eyes.
Bless me with your love.
Hold me in your arms and on my feet.

Love me
Until I can love you
The way you deserve.

 

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Eyes in the Mirror

I would look in the mirror year upon year.
Even as I aged I never saw me.
I saw his eyes,
And I wanted to cringe and look away.
His eyes: steel-blue and grey,
Crinkled from years of age and sun…
They flashed.
Wanted joy always replaced by anger.
Never girl enough, good enough, smart enough, right enough, perfect enough…
Never enough.

A few years back,
I softened and they changed.
They were my eyes: blue and green,
With just a hint of life.
Yet suddenly they’d become Abba’s eyes.
They’d see not good but worth His Son’s life;
Not smart but full of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge;
Not right but covered in Christ’s righteousness and full of His mercy;
Not perfect but pressing in toward the prize of Christ’s call on my life.
Abba saw me as I was and as He could make me.

It is enough in Him.

Hounding My Mind

I’ve shared before how this is the time of year when I seem to review my life, almost torturing myself with the people who aren’t in it and the places I can’t go any more.

I’m thinking of Miriam again. It was a fall day like this one when she quipped at some odd comment I’d made, “The Lord will win. His Holy Spirit is the hound of heaven you know.”

I was taken aback. It was such an irreverent, sacrilegious thought, comparing the Lord to a dog. I was not yet out of the denominational pew of my birth, so it was even more horrifying.

But maybe it was an attempt to challenge me to become more Biblically literate. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until years later that I would grow enough to know how to search the Bible, then devolve into chuckling and laughter.

Hound of heaven is nowhere, nowhere in the Bible. Even hound is a hard word to find. I found it in the NIV, twice (or the search engine on my favorite online Bible site found it twice). It was nowhere in the KJV, which was what Miriam quoted all the time.

I was both miffed that she pulled it and even more intrigued. At first, I thought she just created it, but the prideful, educated side of me scoffed. So I googled hound of heaven.

There is actually a poem by a Francis Thomson called “The Hound of Heaven.” I won’t republish it here; its 180+ lines  are far too many for a mobile app generation. You can visit the full text if you’d like.

The point of the poem is so encouraging. Although God is indeed a just God who will allow souls to choose Hell, He is also an infinitely loving God whose graces and mercies are new every morning and never fail.

Like hounds were used to chase foxes tirelessly, relentlessly, passionately, steadfastly, He loves every sinner and will tirelessly, relentlessly, passionately, steadfastly arrange the circumstances of the sinner’s life so that the sinner has every opportunity up until the last breath to choose Christ.

Show Me

Jesus, why is Jane Doe in my life?
She doesn’t listen.
She isn’t human.
She doesn’t care.
She isn’t my kind of person.

*silence with a slice of sighs*

Is she a soul My Father created?
Is she someone I died to save?
Is she made in Abba’s image?
Does she have worth simply because she is?
Isn’t that more than enough?

*silence with a side of remorseful sorrow and silent resignation*

Impure in His Presence?

I’ve written in the past about how I love worship and how God inhabits the praises of His people. I also love worship because I always believed that nothing impure could stand in the presence of God and if I could just get over my shame and guilt I’d be a little cleaner because of time with Him.

While it’s true that time with Him in His Word and prayer does improve righteousness, attitude, and wisdom, I was trying to find the Scriptural basis for the notion that nothing impure could stand in the presence of God.

After a few searches, I started feeling queasy. In Job, we see Satan goes right up to the throne of God (Job 1:6, Job 2:1) with the other angels (presumably those still following God).

Satan also approaches Jesus, who never sinned, while Jesus was fasting in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11 contains all the details. In effect, Satan was permitted to test Jesus three times over food, power, and proper targets for worship. Jesus of course passed.

Impure spirits were regularly in the presence of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. In Mark 1:25, an impure spirit challenges Jesus and tries to reveal His identity before the proper time. In Mark 3:11, the impure spirits are constantly bowing and trying to identify Jesus before the proper time.

Mark 5:1-20 describes another time impure spirits were before Jesus. A seriously disturbed man lived in a graveyard. When Jesus was passing by, he began to yell… or the demon began to yell. It tried to identify Jesus and accuse Him of coming too soon to torture him and his evil buddies. They knew His power–they begged Him first not to send them away and then to send them into some pigs. He obliged. They killed the pigs, irritating the farmer and related merchants.

Now Isaiah and Revelation do have some interesting passages. They do talk about the impure not being fit to follow the Lord and be in the presence of the Lord.

Isaiah 35:8 (NIV) — And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

Revelation 21:27 (NIV) — Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

As much as it would make life easier if these verses were immediately true in our here and now, both Isaiah and Revelation are prophetic books about a future that has not yet come to pass.

So, what I said is true in the future, but it’s not really true in the here and now. In the here and now, the impure can be in the Presence of Holy God. They are either infinitely rebellious or quivering, shaking, and uncomfortable.

And maybe sometimes they’re a lot like me, or am I a lot like them? The difference is that I can and have chosen Christ and I have His righteousness covering me. At some point, I will not be rebellious, quivering, uncomfortable. I will be perfected and changed in the twinkling of an eye, forever whole and praising the One I love.

Zombie Breaking Free

Author’s Note: Insomnia bites. I don’t even remember penning this one, but it’s in my journal in my own scribbling. I suspect on some level I was watching (and interacting with) a televangelist. Enjoy!

I was a walking zombie.
I was dead in the moment–
Always suffering the past,
Fearing the future,
Rejecting the present.
I wanted supernatural faith
Without seeing the Christ moments in spreadsheets and dish pans.

I can’t change the past.
I lived dead to life.
I didn’t love the process
So I couldn’t see progress.

But I am free.
This moment is mine.
Christ lives in me.
There is no excuse.

This is the moment God placed me here.
His will is to love from the pain.
He gives super joy in the boring natural.
Jesus resurrected my faith, hope, and love.
The past is my foundation for victory in the present.
Christ owns my future, and it’s not yet mine to see.
I will never be pain-free or perfect in this life,
But it won’t kill me,
For Christ’s abundant life is more than enough.
I belong to Him, and He manages progress, not me.

The Fire Keeper

The Fire Keeper actually sleeps at the powwow circle. His sole responsibility seems to be to just keep the fire at the heart of the circle going. Hour after hour, he watches. When the flame gets low, he carries wood and stokes the embers. The dancers stop all sound until he finishes. With added logs adjusted well, he returns to his post, the flames hungrily licking the air and dutifully scenting the circle of burnt wood (hickory maybe).

What if all Christians were Flame Keepers? What if we watched the flame of faith in the hearts of our brothers and sisters? What if we stepped in with encouragement and properly delivered correction instead of gossip and malicious thoughts?

And what of those who don’t personally know the faltering Christian–are they the dancers? They stop. They don’t spread gossip in the form of prayer requests. They don’t dampen the flame by expressing opinions that may not matter. They just stop and quietly pray.

Would our faith spread like the flames in the Philistine’s fields after Samson released the foxes with torches tied to their tails? Could we set our world on fire? Could we turn our world upside down?

Author’s Note: This is one of those “please-don’t-beat-me-if-I’m-wrong” pieces…especially since I observed on the next day that the dancers kept dancing and danced around the Fire Keeper.