The Adventure Begins

It’s been too long since I’ve written, and the words feel jammed inside somewhere. As if I need to get a few cleared out, and thoughts might flow a little better.

Changes. Changes full of beauty and a deeper love than I could imagine.  Terrifying changes. Changes that drive me to Jesus in utter dependency and a fresh realization that there is nowhere safer to be than in Him.

Since my last post here, a lot has happened.

The Adventure Begins

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning and headed into what seemed would be a normal day. A bit later, I got a terse text that said “Come to the chapel right now.” I’m sure tires were screeching as I careened through the neighborhood. An hour later I was purchasing airplane tickets for my Dad and two other men to go international on a mission to protect the innocent. 7 hours later they were headed to the airport and embarking on a journey which no one really knew what it might involve. I prayed I would see my Dad alive again.

During the week he was gone, we prayed, we stood strong, we excitedly waited for any and every little update we could find.

And, unrelated to anything else going on, we received an email from someone about a little girl here in the States who needed someone to care for her.

A week after he left, I hugged Dad tightly in our living room, so thankful for the Lord’s protection.

The next day, I got another brief text: “It looks like she’s going to be ours.” So fast. What was happening? I wasn’t sure, but I already loved this little girl whose name I still didn’t know, and I was ready to do whatever God asked.

Two and a half days later, I looked for the first time at the beautiful girl who was to be my little sister.

As I looked in her eyes, tears filled mine and I had to turn away before they spilled over. Desperation. Hope. Terror. Emptiness. Trauma. Excitement. Desperate hope. I saw her story written on her face as she turned away from all she had ever known and got into our car. She pressed her face against the window and waved one last time as we drove away before turning forward and allowing a deep sob to escape her chest. There was no stopping the tears in each of our eyes and hearts.

So young, so vulnerable. And ours.

I helped her make cookies this morning. I posed for her as she drew a picture of me. I watched the Sound of Music with her. I sat with my arms around her, her sweet head in my lap. I went shopping with her. I laid on my bed and ate pretzels with her. I whispered “I love you” over and over. I hugged her goodnight. I promised to be right there with her first thing in the morning. I watched my parents fall in love with their new daughter. Tears spilled over again as she excitedly yelled “Daddy!” as soon as he walked back in the front door from the gym.

For nearly 25 years I have been the youngest child, and paradigms are shifting in our family.

This little one looks up to me like no one ever has before in my life. We love each other deeply, and every time she snuggles up to me and wraps her arms around my waist and doesn’t let go, my heart aches a little more. Ever since this little girl stepped into our lives just a short while ago, tears have either been running down my cheeks constantly or hiding just around the corner ready to show up without warning.  How can I already love her this much? How can I be a big sister to one so desperate for love and a rebuilding of trust? What do I do when I see the hurt well up and she closes down and acts in the only way she knows how based on the things she has experienced in her young little life–experiences I can’t even imagine. How can I show her the love of her Heavenly Father?

Jesus. HE is how. Jesus is Who I must turn to. His heart is the only one that can handle such love and such sorrow.

This past several weeks has been life-altering in ways I could never have fathomed when I got up that Friday morning. It has been difficult. It has been heart-breaking. It has been exhausting…

…and it has been filled with JOY. It has been filled with JESUS. I can’t deny the beauty in seeing my own weakness and His utter strength. I’m enraptured.

Seeing the heart of God in my parents through these past few weeks has touched something in me that hasn’t ever really been touched on before. I can’t express how honored and humbled I am to be part of their lives and learning from them the way I have for my whole life–but especially the past few weeks. Their given-ness; their endless love; their pre-decided “YES!” to anything the Lord may ask of them; allowing the door of their life–physically and emotionally–to be flung open to the most vulnerable. Thank You, Jesus. You had a beautiful plan when you scripted the lives of my parents.

And the proof that You know what You’re doing? It’s inescapable. I see it so clearly in the way this little sister of mine came into our family.

It is with great joy and expectancy that I can say my life has changed and it will never be the same. Oh! the adventures the Lord takes us on!

Rest in HIM

The Lord is teaching me to say with the Psalmist, “I delight to do Thy will,” instead of the usual, “Well, I supposed it’s the Lord’s will so we’ll just have to put up with it.”

Oh, the delirium of consciously being in the will of the Master–what joy! And this brings a knowledge of His presence and this affords rest.

“My presence shall go with thee, and I shall give thee rest.”

– The Shadow of the Almighty –

Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God. – Jim Elliot

Oh, how much this quote describes my life. I have fallen willingly into the “easy life” of just being “normal”. But I claim to be hidden in the very life of Christ, and to have Him dwelling in me…how can I be “normal” while truly living that?

I was reading in Katie Davis’ book and this cute interlude between her and one of her children popped out at me (this is slightly paraphrased because I don’t have the book right here with me)–

‘One of my girls asked me: “If I ask Jesus into my heart, will I explode?” I laughingly replied with “No, of course not!” and then I rethought my answer: “Yes, if Jesus comes into your heart, you will explode.” That is exactly what we should do if Jesus comes to live inside our hearts. We will explode with love, with compassion, with hurt for those who are hurting, and with joy for those who rejoice. We will explode with a desire to be more, to be better, to be close to the one who made us.’ -Katie Davis

When we enter into Christ and He enters into us, it is an exchange–His life for ours. Our life for HIS. It is not a joining of two lives. God is not coming in and joining up with our old life. He comes in and ravishes our life and completely overtakes us….this is how it should be, anyway. We are to be dead to self–our old man absolutely eradicated. Exchanged for the life of CHRIST.

“But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto Him.” Psalm 4:3

Set apart: to be distinct, marked out, be separated, be distinguished
to be wonderful
to make separate, set apart

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

There are areas of life where in this world we are to be extraordinary–but in the heavenly realms, these things are to be the norm.

In our world, it is normal to worry about things that aren’t looking so great. But as a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to “be anxious for nothing.” In our earthly terms, to live this way is extraordinary.

In our world, it is the normal thing to do live a “good life” and just not do “bad things”. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to continually “examine [ourselves], whether [we] be in the faith” and to “be perfect as [HE] is perfect.” In our earthly terms, to truly live this way is extraordinary.

In our world, it is the normal thing to do get upset about things, wish our circumstances were different than they really are, to get discouraged at our situations in life, to shy away from pain and persecutions. As a new creation in Christ, set apart for Him, we are called to “rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say, REJOICE!” In our earthly terms, to live this way is extraordinary.

In our world, it is normal and even wise to have a backup plan, in case God doesn’t come through (although we wouldn’t actually put it in those terms). We specifically plan for “plan B” to kick in. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are to have Christ as our all in all–and once we put our hand to the plow, we are not to even glance back. We are called to extreme faith (“without wavering!”) in the One who has called us–“for He is faithful that promised.” In our earthly terms, to live this way is extraordinary.

In our world, it is the normal thing to do hold a grievance against another when they have specifically wronged you, we feel justified in holding onto our offenses. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to forgive, even as the Heavenly Father has forgiven us–completely and utterly, without even a remembrance of any wrong done. In our earthly terms, to live this way is beyond extraordinary.

In our world, it is the normal thing to do to become panicked in a time of crisis. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to “be still and know that [He] is God.” The disciples, when panicking over looking death right in the face, are rebuked: “…why are you fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” In our earthly terms, to live this way is extraordinary.

In our world, it is the normal thing to do to depend on ourselves and our own strength–we are so often specifically even raised this way in our culture. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to have complete and utter dependence on God, in absolutely every single aspect of our lives. In our earthly terms, to live this is seen as extraordinary (and is usually seen as stupid!).

In our world, it is the normal thing to do to take time for ourselves, to make our own self feel better, to have “down time”, to pat ourselves on the back for all the good we’ve done and reward ourselves with some time for ourselves. As a new creation in God, set apart for Him, we are called to live as if our lives are not our own–because, indeed, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are not our own. In our earthly terms, to live this is seen as extraordinary.

There are so many more such examples.

The point is that these things should not be extraordinary in the life of Christ–living as the life of God requires of us should be the normal for a life surrendered fully to God. But if the world looks at us as “normal”, we have much to be concerned about!

We are to be showcasing a new creation. A creation made exquisitely by the Master Creator Himself!

True godliness leaves the world convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the only explanation for you, is Jesus Christ to whose eternally unchanging and altogether adequate “I AM!” your heart has learned to say with unshatterable faith, “Thou art!” – Major Ian Thomas

If we are holding onto parts and pieces of our life for any reason, then we have not yet grasped the fullness of the Gospel. When we’ve truly seen Jesus Christ and Him crucified, there is no holding back from giving Him our all…but it should be completely outside of anything we or anyone else may personally receive–it is because this is what the life and death of Christ requires of those claiming His name: abandonment of self and all you once held dear.

And it is with great excitement and willingness that this takes place, because we have seen that He is worthy!

If there are still parts of us that are living “to and for ourselves”, where does full surrender then come into the picture?

Full surrender doesn’t come into the picture . . . it is the picture.

It is not ordinary to desire to be spilled out for the sake of Christ. It is not ordinary to be willing to be looked on as being a fool for the sake of Christ. It is not ordinary to get excited at the thought of dying for Christ’s sake. It is not ordinary to love Jesus more than life itself.

But this is what a life surrendered to an extraordinary God compels us to.

So, I say again with Jim Elliot:

“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.”

When one is captivated by and allows their life to be ravished and overtaken by so extraordinary a God, they become a “one-note wonder”. JESUS.

JESUS.

JESUS.

That is the cry of my heart. The refrain of my life. And I want that to be the only cry of my heart for the rest of my days–that every breath I breathe would proclaim

JESUS.

Make me ever more dependent on you, Lord. I need you desperately.

We are commissioned to represent Christ! To bear the very name, to bear the very image and reputation of God Almighty!

Don’t pray that God would teach you how to love like He loves; pray that He would fill you with Himself and that He would love in and through you. Don’t pray that He would teach you to have joy; pray that the living God full of joy would enter into you. Don’t pray that He would teach you how to be peaceful; ask for the God of peace, the Prince of peace to infill you. Because if you try to imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it is Him imitating Himself, and He is very good at being God. -Eric Ludy

Tonight’s Thoughts

Tonight is a night where everything is so still that I can almost palpably feel the nearness of my Jesus.

Tonight He is whispering to my heart with words of love and truth.

Tonight I am grieving over my own hardness of heart.

Tonight I am thankful for weakness and pain.

Tonight I am unable to sleep because of the aching in my heart.

Tonight is a night of peace and contentment; a night of longing and searching.

Tonight is a night of sweet worship in adoration of my beloved King.

Tonight is the sort of night I’d love to be taking a ramble in the woods, peeking up into the stars above between the branches of the trees, reveling in the majesty of creation.

Tonight, the cry of my heart is “Desiderio Domini!” (“I dearly long to be with my Lord”)

Tonight I am thankful. So very thankful.

Tonight I am realizing afresh my own unworthiness, and the utter worthiness of my God.

Tonight the tears are falling as I pray for my brother who does not yet know the reality of a life lived for Christ.

Tonight my arms are aching for the hugs of my dear kiddos in Africa, and the ones I’ve not yet met all over the world.

Tonight I am hungering and thirsting for more of my Jesus.

Tonight is a sweet gift from God.

the best news ever

The weather today is undeniably perfect in just about every way. At least, perfect in every way for a non-rainy, non-foggy day. Those are the best days. But for a sunny day, this is perfect.


It hasn’t gotten above 67 degrees today in the sweet little town I live in, the sun is slanting in through the tree across the yard at just the right angle to make me thrill with the knowledge that the earth is at just such a situation to proclaim “autumn!!” to this part of the world, I’m drinking Twining’s Earl Grey tea out of a lovely green mug that some dear girls gave me a week or two ago when I was really sick, I’ve gotten lots of things accomplished today in spite of feeling quite ill (I blame the crazy amounts of antibiotics I’m on–those things kill), and I got my camera out!

I’m one blessed girl.

Do you ever feel like you couldn’t love Jesus any more than you do at that very moment. And yet the very next moment you are filled with an even deeper adoration for Him. And you just want to fall down and worship at His feet, while simultaneously you are hardly able to contain yourself from shouting His name to anyone who might hear. And you feel like you’re about to burst, and you can’t stop yourself from talking about Him to everyone you lay eyes on?

That’s me today.

I wish I could say that that was me everyday. Why do I want to tell my curly hair secrets to every girl I see who has curly hair that could use some help, but I’m not willing to tell people I see who obviously don’t know Jesus about the One who loves them more than anyone could possibly love anyone? Why am I scared of what people will think of me? I look at myself sometimes and am ashamed that I’ll make a fool of myself for so many other reasons–I get the urge to sing loudly in the aisle of Wal-Mart, and you couldn’t stop me if you tried. I tell a random stranger at the drinking fountain “don’t drink all of it!” and they look at me like I’m crazy. I hug total strangers in the grocery store. I go weeks and months without shampooing my hair (curly hair secret alert!) and people think I’ve gone totally crunchy/granola. And I don’t care what anyone thinks of me in those situations. And yet I find myself unwilling to talk to the person in line behind me at the grocery store about the Love of my life. Why?

I refuse to continue on like this. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. If I am truly in love with Him, how could I help but tell everyone I know about the One whom my soul loves?

It’s been frustrating to me, because the desire is there to talk about Him freely to those who may not feel the same way about my King as I do, and yet I’ve allowed fear in this area to rule my life.

It cannot be.

I’m proclaiming to the world at large right now that I have found my soul-Husband. I have fallen deeply in love with the Creator of the universe. He is mine, and I am His. I want to be a fool for His sake. I want people to know that I’m completely captivated and have eyes only for Him. I don’t care what people think about me.

And I’m also here to proclaim to the world at large that the little town I live in better watch out. They’re going to hear about the One my heart is totally ravished by, because I can’t keep silent any longer! I want everyone around me to know without a doubt where my affections lie. I want them to personally know the One who holds the world in His hand. I want them to experience the love of a perfect Father. I want them to realize that there is victory! Oh, there is little doubt in my mind as to why the gospel is called the good news!

And yet I think there could be a better term for it.

The best, most exciting, awe-inspiring, beautiful, majestic, freeing, adoration-producing, life-changing news that ever fell upon human ear.

How could I not want to share that with every single person I come across? I have a treasure, and I want to share it.

This is what I need.

To be willing.

To be ready.

Prepared.

To be completely given.

Surrendered.

To never diminish the ache deep inside me that has been placed there by the heart of my Jesus.

To never live at peace with even one moment of apathy.

To look laziness in the face with a determination and a fight.

To fight.

To give up my hopes.

My dreams.

The things I think I deserve.

To love every single person I see.

To allow God to love through me.

Even those who are “un-loveable”.

The homeless man down the street.

The mom in the grocery store who can’t keep her kids under control.

The dad who ignores his family.

The man who threatened me last week.

And to love those who are easy to love.

To not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of unloved people.

The children.

The girls.

The elderly.

The boys.

The men.

The babies.

The caregivers.

Oh, Jesus.

Your heart.

This is what I need.

Unless ye become as little children…

It is so intriguing to observe children–especially when one observes them with the mind that we are to be as little children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Specifically in the area of intellect.

“…Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

A child trusts. They ask something of their parents fully believing it will be given–“Can I have some water?” And when something is told them–“We’re going to the zoo tomorrow!”–they go to sleep the night before without a doubt in their mind that they will indeed be going to the zoo the next day. When something is offered to them–“I bought you this toy!”–they take it, fully accepting that if told it is for them, that they can take it.

How unlike children we so often are! We reason and hem-haw about things, we don’t feel like things are how we’re told they are or will be. We lack trust.

God’s promises are true. The Holy Spirit bears witness of this–and in Him are all the promises of God “yea” and “Amen!” Unto the glory of God.

What God has promised will be fulfilled. What God has spoken is truth and absolute fact. What God has given us is indeed ours for the taking.

When God has given something for us to accept, it doesn’t necessitate hours of agony and wondering and questioning–it is there for the taking. We have but to rise up and accept what has been offered.

A quote from a story which I will add later really struck me today when I was reading it:

“As you took forgiveness from the hand of the dying Christ, take the [promises of God as fact] from the hand of the living Christ.”

So many people struggle with this–myself included. God has given so much, and yet we struggled to receive.

It doesn’t seem like those promises are for me. I don’t feel any different. It seems to easy.

God, make me like a child! A child willing to stand up and take what has been offered. To trust the One who is trustworthy above all else!

Here is the story I mentioned above. It is the perspective of a preacher of old:

I had been for a long time a minister in Leicester, with a large church and of considerable influence in the city, but very unhappy.  Conscious that I had not received the power of the Holy Ghost, I went to Keswick.  A great number of God’s people gathered there to seek and to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and they elected to have a prayer meeting from nine o’clock to eleven and onwards, to pray for the Holy Ghost.  A great many people were there agonizing.  I was too tired to agonize and I felt that God did not want me to agonize hour after hour, but I had to learn to take; that God wanted to give, and I had only to take.

Tomorrow your little girl will come down to breakfast.  She is very hungry, and the bread and milk or the oatmeal is on the table.  You do not say: “Little girlie, run upstairs and agonize, roll on the floor for an hour, and then come down.”  You say to her: “Little one, I am so glad you have a good appetite.  Now there is your chair; in you get, say your prayer, and start away.”
That is what God says to the soul.  Those whole nights of prayer for the Holy Ghost are principally necessary to get people who pray into a fit condition to receive the Holy Ghost; for when the people are ready, the Holy Ghost will come without agonizing.

So I left that prayer meeting, and crept out into the lane, and away from the town.  As I walked I said, “O my God, if there is a man who needs the power of the Holy Ghost to rest upon him it is I; but I do not know how to receive Him.  I am too tired, too worn, too nervously down to agonize.”  A voice said to me, “As you took forgiveness from the hand of the dying Christ, take the Holy Ghost from the hand of the living Christ.”

I turned to Christ and said, “Lord, as I breathe in this whiff of warm night air, so I breathe into every part of me Thy blessed Spirit.”  I felt no hand laid upon my head, there was no lambent flame, there was no rushing sound from heaven; but by faith, without emotion, without excitement, I took, and took for the first time, and I have kept on taking ever since.

I turned to leave the mountain side, and as I went down the tempter said: “You have got nothing.  It is just moonlight.”  I said: “I have.”  He said: “Do you feel it?”  “I do not feel it, but I reckon that God is faithful, and He could not have brought a hungry soul to claim faith, and then give a stone for bread, and a scorpion for a fish.  I know I have got it because God led me to claim it.”

When I was in Africa, I talked to the Mamas who worked at the orphanage where I was staying. Some of them had horrific stories of things that they had been through personally and with their families. Siblings being taken as child-soldiers and then killed. Parents who had been repeatedly raped and then left for dead. Husbands who had been shot point-blank in front of them. Children who had been electrocuted. And at the end of their stories, three of these ladies in particular ended with tears in their eyes, and the statement: “My God is faithful and good, and I trust Him!”

I didn’t sleep that night.

How could these women who had endured trials beyond anything I can even imagine still have more trust and faith in God than hardly anyone I had ever seen? I questioned them about it the next time we talked while folding laundry.

“What’s the secret?”

“I read the Bible and I believe it. My God is good. He has said He is and will be good and faithful. He keeps His promises. You should read the Bible and read His promises and believe them. Take them for you.

The faith and trust of a little child, no matter the circumstances around. It doesn’t matter if it feel like God is good. It doesn’t matter if it looks like God is faithful.

It cannot be based on feeling. We must base our trust and faith in our God on fact. Feelings and emotions won’t always line up–but what is more trustworthy: emotions or the Word of God? And once we experience the fullness of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and trustworthiness, emotions and feelings will definitely line up.

You won’t be able to keep from shouting the utter goodness of your God from the rooftops!

“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“[Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” Romans 4:20

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23

“Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?…” Genesis 18:14a

“…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25b

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly placed in Christ Jesus;” Ephesians 2:8

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Beauty In Pain

Sometimes there just aren’t words. This isn’t the case very often at all, I grant you. But, sometimes there just aren’t words.

But what I’m here to say right now is that my God is an awesome God.

What more really needs to be said?

The Lamb who was slain is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering!

He is worthy of praise, glory, and adoration.

Do you remember my post on finding beauty in that which drives me to the feet of my Saviour?

Beauty in pain.

I’ve had another experience of beauty in pain. Beauty because it did indeed drive me closer to my Jesus. Pain because news like we had is never easy.

My sister was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago.

It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been fun. We’re looking at a surgery date looming in front of us. Radiation. Separation during radiation. Loving on kiddos who aren’t old enough to understand.

But through it all, there has been an overwhelming peace. A peace that passes understanding. A peace that can only come from the knowledge that our God is mighty!

Beauty in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of sorrow. Giving thanks in less-than-desirable circumstances. Watching God use this to touch the hearts of those around us.

Jesus, You are our all in all!

God Takes A Prayer

(originally posted on September 17, 2010)

Faithful saint, on his knees
Imploring,
Fighting for the truth,
Storming the gates of hell.

Faithful saint, on his knees
Tells of his need to God
And God alone.
No one else knows.

Faithful saint, on his knees
Pleads with the King above.
He doesn’t know how
His prayer could be answered,
But he has utter faith
That it will.

Faithful saint, on his knees
Knows of a dire need–
To save a lost soul
From physical death and spiritual.
Perhaps a child.
An orphan who is dying.

God takes a prayer.
He hears a prayer
And stirs the heart of another
with the answer.

Someone across the nation
Who doesn’t even know
The saint upon his knees
Is even now feeling
The gentle nudging of Something Unknown.
The nudging of a Holy God
Who is answering a prayer.

God takes a prayer
And gives it to someone else.
Someone else who has the resources
To go themselves.
Or give.

A soul is burdened
With words to say
Right when they need to be said,
To someone they don’t even know.
“That was an answer to prayer!”
Comes the reply.

God takes a prayer
And orchestrates a happening.
To human eye
We can’t understand why–
But God is answering a prayer.

God takes a prayer
And answers it.

Faithful saint, on your knees,
God is answering your prayer.
Though you may never see
The outcome of your prayers,
Your Father in heaven
Has already taken your prayer
And begun to answer it.

God takes a prayer,
And a miracle occurs.
Circumstances are perfectly arranged
Outside our control.
Hearts are changed.

Sometimes we don’t understand
Why God would choose us
For a certain task,
Or why He would ask a certain thing of us–
God has taken a prayer
And is answering it.

God takes a prayer
And answers it.

(Keep in mind that anything like this that I may post is usually posted in its very raw form. I don’t write them–they write themselves . . . bear with me as I venture into a new road of expression. ;) )

Tuesday Evening at The Local Coffee Shop – #3

It’s that time of week again!

The only parking spot I could find this evening that was even remotely close to the coffee shop was still a fair distance away. I took the parallel-parking challenge and squeezed Louis into a spot just his size.

As I walked through the sweet little downtown area toward the coffee shop, I could look out across to the west and see the sun just then slipping below the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The steeple of a nearby church was etched into the sunset, and its bell was tolling the hour. An elderly man was on the steps of a nearby sandwich shop and he tipped his hat at me. It was a moment of serene beauty.

Anyway–that was all pretty irrelevant to tonight’s post, but I still wanted to write it out.

Tonight I tucked myself away into the most remote part of the coffee shop (my usual table was taken). Don’t get the wrong idea, though–nothing about this coffee shop is remote, so I’m still pretty much right in the thick of things.

Right near me there was a whole table of people who were of all ages, all walks of life, all sizes–various people joined and left the group during the time I was here. I never could really figure out what the binding factor was between them all, but they seemed to be a jolly crowd. Some were studying; some read comics out loud; one seemed to be here only for the company.

There are currently three young gents at a table smack-dab in the middle of the room. One is studying. One is looking at flash cards. The other is eating cheerios. Yes.

There are three ladies just beyond them who have taken up residence in the corner with the cute little antique chairs. They each have a craft project–one is smocking an adorable skirt! I want to go join them.

Two elderly chappies with ball-caps are having a good chat over some Dr. Pepper at a table near the bar. One has his guitar . . . and he’s wearing a shockingly pink jacket. The funny part is that it looks like he totally should be wearing a shockingly pink jacket–somehow he wears it in such a way that there is absolutely nothing odd about it.

Um. The barista who gave me a free drink when I got here is hovering around my table “just looking at the painting on the wall….above your head. There.” Mhmm . . . as if he’s never had a chance to look at that painting before.

The other barista is sitting at a table with who appears to be his girlfriend. He’s singing along with the music–and he said he likes being at work because no one yells at him when he sings here. At home he’s banned from singing–“because it’s bad. Really. Did you hear me just now?” His girlfriend nodded . . . but added no comment. Wise girl.

Ah, Cheerio Lad just got up and showed his buddies a karate move. There’s a reason I like this coffee shop!

 

And, in the midst of all of this, I had a very sweet time with the Lord–studying His promises. My prayer is to be as a little child who accepts the words of a loving father as fact without a second thought. Oh, Jesus, I want to be that kind of child to You as my Father!

My challenge to myself right now is to study the Word of my God with the openness of heart and mind to accept everything I read as absolutely true–and to apply it to my life and live in such a way as if I truly believe it to be true. I do believe the Word of God is completely true and without fault . . . but, I’ll be the first to say that I don’t live that way–and it grieves me to realize this. This has been made clear to me time and time again. The fears I allow myself to give into are not acceptable in the life of one who believes the promises of God. The attitudes I allow myself to indulge in at times are not ones that a child of God would find acceptable in the light of the nature of God. The things I choose to spend my time on, the words I speak, the thoughts I have, my desires–these are things that are to be examined in the light of the Word of God.

Open my eyes, Jesus!