Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Community

17 (9 of 10)

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

~John 17:20-21

There are shapes and sizes and varying realities of community…but it ever remains true that we are made to live within it, to be nourished by it and to touch the world through it.

I look at this so-journeying life that I’ve been called to, and while at times I have fought the desire to pull in, the nomad is all the more called to community than those who remain…I believe.  We are called to invest our heart in its truth and fight for it whether the situation is known to be temporary or we are so full of grief it is hard to fathom letting others in.

Community is a place out of which we live but it is also a place to which we come with our love and joy in the One who holds ALL things together.  Because of Him we weather its storms, we try again, we believe in a reality indestructible where the whole is infinitely more as the sum of its parts when Spirit and human hearts blend for the beautiful.

Community is the ache of the believer.  And I have seen the fledging faith of many either thrive because of it or die for lack of it.  We are nourished in the common bond of a Savior who has moved each heart to Himself and the passion and lives of those around us remind us of this One Great Love.  We see in each other His truth and we remember why we have come.

Community is the hill that we die on, and the dream that we fight for and the remembrance that lingers when all others fade…it is the path we must never leave in the long journey Home.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Bouquets of Heaven’s Flowers

bouquet of flowers

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For those of you who have been following our journey, you know that we are in the ‘countdown to departure’ {12 days!!} for our big move overseas.

These days are filled with packing and heads-spinning to remember it all, but the quiet moments are full of the big changes ahead and deeper still the partings and last memorable times with those we love here.

Today I share some perspective amidst these transitions that are an inevitable part of our calling to ministry, and more a life of surrender to wherever our Good God leads.  Yesterday, the pastor talked about those things for which there is ‘no skipping over’ in our lives.  For me, this is facing the grief of leaving those I love in such a way that neither denies the pain of it nor hardens the heart and plays the superlative martyr who wears her cross as identity.

I am privileged to share these thoughts at a blog and facebook community called ‘The Pastor’s {or Ministry} Wife’s Garden.’  If you are a pastor’s or ministry wife called to partner with your husband in the work of the kingdom {whether full-time or part-time}, I invite you to join this community on facebook and follow the blog.

Now, would you please hop on over where I share about Picking Heaven’s Flowers for the Journey?  Thanks for joining me and I pray that the LORD might show you something of your own heart’s journey in the transitions and changes I know we all walk through.

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SoliDeoGloria

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Together

Go::

Together has been the theme of this week.  One week of precious time with a most beloved twin, her children, my brother and sister and their families.  It has been a week to embrace what together means.

For all of the highs and lows of our journey as family—it remains that we have a shared journey.  We know that house with its crazy quirks that was our home.  We remember all of the stages of awkwardness, our respective adolescence and coming of age, we remember the glue of our family and we remember the wounds of a broken journey as we have walked this veil of tears as family.

I type together and as this flow of words weave into my heart, I hold deep and tight, that these intangibles of together while sweet and present when I am here, still invariably exist when we are apart.  This is the clinging to that must hold me fast to the path before me.

I leave in a couple of hours and have said two goodbyes to sister and brother and families, am clinging to the precious little time with my twin, BUT the goodbye is inevitable, because we move over the ocean a mere TWO WEEKS from today.

And yet together must remain a reality indestructible.  We all will pass through the 10 year anniversary of our beloved mama’s homegoing next month…and we will be separated by miles and also division, but together must be within us.

There is no one like family with all of our musings and laughter and hope and tears and what was our glue, our mama, for so many years.

And now we grow and follow God and though we differ in how we do that, we must believe that our together is real.  I must believe that.  I will not have the strength for this deepest goodbye to my identical twin unless I remember together in blood, journey of growing up, and a new kind of together as we follow the One Worthy of Everything in vastly different spaces and ways. 

And always, always, always, we remember the Unending Together that awaits our long journey home…and though grief is real at the parting, hope must bear the brighter light to shine in our todays and all of our tomorrows.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

we must remember…

Our lives are not meant to stand on their own.  We are designed to live in remembrance of those who have gone before.  Those who have lined the way of our lives and built into us are each treasures to be stored in the hallowed places of our hearts.

One of my favorite all-time quotes is by Rigoberta Menchu—a Nobel Peace Prize winner for her compelling life story that exposed the horrors of the oppression she and her indigenous people face in Guatemala—goes like this ::

“The moment that you think that something that you do belongs to you, you lose the way.”

As our little family is on the verge of a great stepping out & a great change & a great marker of an incredible journey, I find that I want to and need to remember.

All of my life has been a part of something much greater.  We live and learn and long for those most dear to be a part of us and for ourselves to be a part of them.  In no station or vocation or calling does this seem more true than that of mother.  We are constantly dying that our precious children might live.

My dear friend, Bevy first met me through Fan the Flame and later we met at church.Smile She shares her heart at Treasured Up and Pondered.  This week she began her own ‘Mugs & Muffins’ and featured one my classic posts, The Way of Mothers.  Would you please hop over to her place and hear what she has to say about the imprint others leave on our lives and meet her too.

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SoliDeoGloria

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Friday, April 13, 2012

On Good-Bye’s…the stuff of these days

 

more beauty...clouds&sunsets 058

Go::

Good-bye’s have become a way of life for this so-journer.  As much as saying ‘yes’ to God is saying Good-bye to those most dear.

In places beloved, new lives made, there has always come the good-bye.  The dearest friends that string this life hold in common one thing:: distance.  Those long ago lived by and those just now as good-bye’s take center stage in this eminent move overseas.

It seems like the most beloved mama’s…the hardest good-bye of my life…was a means of preparation for the days ahead.  These 10 years hence have proven to be paved by that one long tender intimate and heartfelt good-bye to the woman closest to this knitted-together me. The most in-tune with His work in me…

And now the good-byes they line my yesterdays, todays and tomorrows as assuredly as the calling it fills.  I sit here in my twin’s house for the week of relished time and the good-bye for now as it will be 2 years till these feet touch this soil.

I have not found a way to endure these good-bye’s but by thanks and Heaven. All is gift.  All is great grace, that grace upon grace.  Each treasured friend more than this broken one deserves.  Each family member, how we are bound in blood and more the redeemed blood that turns to heavenly gold…these are the hope’s strands that knit our hearts for eternity.  We are the people who journey this veil of tears and long for Home.

And joy of joys that Home is for real. And we have FOREVER with all who love Him and so we bear the good-byes here as we jump full into the that rushing river of grace of kingdom of calling or oh-the-time-is-short and there is ONE message that this world needs and there are lost sheep who don’t yet share Heaven but long too…

So we say Good-bye.  So we go to many hello’s and many new heavenbound ones He is preparing for the forever embrace where all good-byes are but a distant memory and it is only life and together that remain.

{a tad over 5 minutes TODAYWinking smile…for any of you who don’t know our story, we are closing a chapter as we have completed our fundraising for long-term overseas ministry.  Three short weeks from today! our little family will move to Budapest, Hungary}

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter’s Glow & How Now to Live?

So we are basking here in these days of glorying in the empty tomb.  The triumph over death.  The victory over the grave.  The passing through all of the thoughts of impossible to the reality of a power that makes all things possible.

At least that’s what I believe Easter; the Day of Resurrection; calls us to.  Don’t you?

We are the people that are defined by Incarnation and a God-man who came into the confines of time and the darkness of a broken world and spoke the Final, Full, Nothing-Held-Back, It-is-Finished work of Redemption and nothing, truly nothing is the same.

That is what my Empty Tomb remembrance calls me to and I would be living a lie to believe it calls me to anything less.  It is a yearly discipline that is like the yeast of the kingdom working through the dough of life so that instead of yearly it becomes monthly, becomes weekly, becomes daily, becomes moments upon moments, becomes Life.

And what does that remembrance look like when it meets here and now?  For me, it’s the peace and the power to live without being overwhelmed no. matter. what. comes.  When the to-do’s are a mile long and impossible to finish, to know the rest of His finished work and that perspective to cover and re-orient the important. To ask Him, the Victorious One over ALL THINGS, what really matters and what to let go.  To realize that it is often much harder to let go than to jump on life’s treadmill and work like crazy to do it all.  To embrace surrender as the radical with its subversive declaration against the powers and principalities that rule a first world life.

And when the things that require all our energy come, to know that there is no power greater than the one that raised Jesus from the dead, so we can experience a youth renewed like the eagle’s to persevere even as we rest in His feathers that cover and complete.

The Life of that First Risen Sunday is our everything.  There is no substitute for this motivation and power.  And when we are weary and weak and overwhelmed there is nothing else that will touch and heal and remind us of a Great Beyond that claims our forever. And as Heaven consumes our vision light shines upon the truly vaporish things parading as our worth, our necessity, our importance and shows them for the decaying flesh that they are.

Easter’s Glow is our hope today, tomorrow, forever.  We live in this light and as we step further and deeper in and join our hands the world will come to know the matchless power of this Risen Love.

Fan the Flame of our hearts as we behold You the Only One High and Lifted Up and purpose to not let Easter’s Glow fade and if it does, to always come back to the only place where we can be stirred again…

Amen and may it be so!

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SoliDeoGloria

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Friday, April 6, 2012

because the Light is all that lasts

Lots of this and that winter & early spring '12 028

it is not hard to see that most of what is heralded in the news and in the supermarkets and in the street corners is shrouded in the dark.

It is not hard to see when we look into the eyes of the lonely souls that there is a longing for hope.

It is not hard to see that our little ones face a world all the more captive by the dark forces of the heavenly realms.

But it MUST also be seen, though with the natural eyes, it is impossible, that the darkness DOES NOT, WILL NOT, CAN NOT HAVE THE FINALY SAY.

With the Redeemed eyes of the Light we are called to see with brilliant hope the possibilities of Redemption in all that is.

I have been called an optimist, even the perpetual one, or the hopeless optimist—though it is a bit ironic to call it such.

But, I know that this is a compliment even as I know, as well, that the Light longs to captivate more of me. The Light is meant to train our eyes, the eyes of the called and set apart and died for and new creation, to things unseen where wonder is the fuel of souls and the stuff of visions.

Lots of this and that winter & early spring '12 094We are made new so that we might know the imperishable to come.  So that eyes trained to the Light of Life will hold a perspective of things unseen.  For when the cancer comes, or when the cruel hatred consumes, or when the bullying doesn’t stop, or when the cynicism of friends and family shouts, we need the light.  Oh how we need the Light!

We do not serve a Pollyanna God, but an Exalted, Risen Savior.  Flesh and bones and yet transcendent with courage unmatched and healing in His wings to fly across every page of history and hover in these present moments even as the future is His and speak of Victory and Promise and What Remains…Forever.

And Forever for the people of the Light is receiving what our hopes cling relentlessly to in the face of all that stands against and shouts that darkness will win.  But Forever promises to right every wrong and in such a way that the wounds and pain of life will not only be forgotten, but become the jewels of heavenly crowns and the wings of heavenly beings and the songs of eternity for the beauty of their eternal transformation.

On this we stand as the bearers of the Light to the world.  Here we call to mind andLots of this and that winter & early spring '12 042 therefore have a relentless hope that Because of His Great Love we are not consumed…Great is His Faithfulness.

When we fall we rise in the sweet touch of the balm of Gilead’s eternal well that flows from the hands of the Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor come to live and die that we might truly live and never die.

We are the unwavering, the torch-bearers, the reflections of Eternity and we are this Light though 10,000 fall at the right and the left because we have been imprinted with the diamond-rock-solid unyielding truth of our Redeemed DNA that Light reigns…always, always, always & forever…there is no other truth.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

when the I AM is handed over…

when the I AM is handed over

the sum of all that was and is and is to come is given fully to the hateful, the proud, the self-righteous, the ignorant .

when the I AM is handed over

he who set the stars into space and sung the world into existence empties of power so completely that he will not expend so much as a word in his own defense, let alone the legions of angels and the full power as the Almighty he IS.

when the I AM is handed over

it is the purest and fullest expense of active passivity to resist all he eternally IS WAS AND WILL BE in the form of each movement, moment, emotion and thought pattern of his passion journey.

when the I AM is handed over

the eternal communion that defines love is broken at the climax of the perfect one’s suffering for all for all time.

when the I AM is handed over

he who has intimate knowledge of all that has ever been and will be allows the greatest injustice to be wielded upon all that he, as the I AM, is. all. that. he. IS.

when the I AM is handed over

in the beauty of only He who is full of eternity humbling himself, emptying all that he is in the conscious reality of time, releases that power to all who believe.

when the I AM is handed over

we find our way in the world.

we have interlaced in our heart of hearts the thread of redemption’s journey.

we received the distilled power of the I AM to be handed over.

to love when we are wronged.

to forgive the severest hateful enemy.

to walk in a golden gleam untouched by depravity.

to be raised up into new life that speaks

from the highways and byways of time

to the single extraordinary pinnacle of love

to the Savior whose divine paradox

has released the pure beauty

of a love that only eternity and perfection can hold

and only time and vulnerability can manifest.

this great cosmic scene that translates to the

hearts of all who behold and believe.

this is the fruit of He, the Great I AM,

being ‘handed over’…living His passion.

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SoliDeoGloria

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