Mystery

Here in the Quiet speak to me now 
My ears are open to 
Your gentle sweet whispering 
Break down the door, come inside 
Shine down Your bright light 
I need a lamp for my feet, I need a lamp for my feet 

I want to hear the thunder of who You are 
To be captured inside the wonder of who You are 
I want to live I want to breathe 
To search out Your heart and all of Your mysteries 

You were the first and You’ll be the end 
Time cannot hold You down 
Why save a wretch like me? 
No eye has seen, no ear has heard 
No heart could fully know 
All of Your mystery 

Your glory burns in the stars 
Shine down your light let it burn in my heart 
Bring me to glory, bring me to you 
Lord it’s your heart that I will hold onto 

Your glory burns in the stars 
Shine down Your light let me know who You are 
Jesus, Your glory burns in the stars 
Shine down Your light, let me see You, let me see You

 

 

 

One year.

One year.  A lot can change in one year.  

One year ago my Dad and I were on day two of our trip moving me across the country from Oregon to Texas. 

So much has changed.

Faith.  Trust.  Waiting.  Hope.  

My feeble knees have been strengthened, and my weary heart has grown strong again.  God has been faithful, and never once have I ever walked alone.  I say that with tears welling in my eyes, because there were days I doubted this, and heaven remained silent as I cried this past winter.  Yet God gathered my tears in his bottle, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, has come to my side at times when I just didn’t have the strength to face another day.

What does the next year hold?  I have no clue.  But I’m ready and expectantly waiting to see how God continues to meet needs and show himself continually faithful.

Summer, and updates

Hello new and old readers!

I just wanted to take a moment and update everyone on summer, and my upcoming trip to Nicaragua.

School.     Summer is well underway here in Dallas, with the temperatures to prove it!  I’ve been done with the Spring semester for nearly three weeks, but the summer session began as soon as the spring semester ended!  I’m taking just one class over the summer, The Gospels, online and so far I’ve been quite busy with it!  My work schedule has stayed the same so far, with our summer session of lessons beginning in two weeks.

Nicaragua.     Though my plane ticket has not been purchased yet, I plan to leave Friday, June 28 for Nicaragua, and to return July 6 or 7.  There are a few details to be ironed out still, and I’m in need of $600-700 more to be completely funded for the trip.  If you have more questions about my mission trip, please visit the Nicaragua tab here on my blog, and feel free to contact me by email if you have further questions, or would like to help support me financially to help with Vacation Bible School at El Padul in Nicaragua!

THANK YOU.     Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me for this trip to Nicaragua, and just through the past year as I’ve jumped into the deep end of my seminary studies.  God is so good, and I’m so grateful.  Thank you to everyone who has given financially so far, enabling me to go once again back to Nicaragua.  Words cannot say enough.

 

Meridith

…my soul will rest in Your embrace….

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Wrath.Grace [John 8]

The scene was not uncommon in the Gospels: Jesus teaching.  The audience also not uncommon: the twelve disciples, various other followers, and the skeptics: the religious teachers of the law.

I always image the religious teachers standing with their arms crossed in the back of the crowd whenever Jesus taught.  Yet still hanging on to every word Jesus said, to judge and find fault with him, or perhaps on the verge of believing he was more than just a teacher or prophet.

Then, a woman was “placed” before Jesus.  This woman, they said was caught in the very act of adultery.  “Such women” were to be stoned.

What say you Jesus?

The crowd eagerly listened.  Perhaps Mothers with young children scurried back to their homes, offended to be in the presence of this woman.  I always imagine her wrapped in a sheet.  However this woman was presented, I’m sure her face wasn’t unknown to those in the crowd.  They knew her, at least her reputation.  And now this reputation was confirmed as she knelt on the ground, weeping tears from the depths of her heart and soul.  Her sin was now exposed.

[Too bad the religious leaders were more concerned with what Jesus was about to say or do, and not this woman herself.]

The Old Testament was serious about sin.  Well, God is serious about sin, but read Leviticus for a new view.  It will bring perspective to the demands a Holy God.  He expected holiness from His people.  God’s wrath and jealousy for his people was that they have devotion to only Him, and that their actions reflect this devotion.

The religious leaders knew the Old Testament like the back of their hands.

“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10

“And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.” Ezekiel 16:38-40

Yet this picture in John 8 paints a different picture of God.

(AND, side note = where was the man she had been sleeping with?  The law also says he was to be killed too, but for some reason they only felt the need to condemn her.  Interesting.)

Next, Jesus writes in the sand.  Bible scholars have their own speculations on what he wrote, but truthfully, we really don’t know what it was.

Jesus then said: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

[Scribbles in the sand again.]

woman-caught-in-adultery

And one by one, they all walked away.
Every.
Single.
One.

No one condemned her.
No one could condemn her.
Not even the sin-less Jesus Christ, who knelt down next to her.

Friends, there is much to be said about these short 11 verses.  But tonight, I will not begin to say it.

We all are sinners in desperate need of God’s grace.  Good thing for us: God is in no short supply of grace.  He has lavished it upon us in ways we may never know.

So walk in grace today.  Wherever you are, whatever your situation, whatever your story is: may it be told with grace.  Lining every corner and crevice of your heart.

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Beginnings

My time spent away from blogging more than just songs or devotional thoughts quoted from other authors has not been without reason.  And definitely not because I don’t have anything to say.  If anything, I have more to say now than ever before in my life.  And it would probably be an incredibly beneficial act as a Graduate Seminary student to craft some of the Bible and Theology I’ve been taught into my own words.  I also am in a journalism class that will likely be a huge contribution to my stress level this semester, but could possibly transform me into a better writer than I’ve ever been.  The book we’re reading now continues to stress that it is important to write regularly, and blog regularly.  Both I have failed miserably at recently.

This is an attempt to change my silent, non-blogging days into days filled with words.

We will see how long this lasts.

Time is quickly passing, just life, and time tonight.  My mind always comes alive in the early hours of the night.  I continue to blame this on “never really getting off West Coast time.”

My simple thought for tonight comes from the book of Genesis, in the first couple chapters of the book.  My Old Testament Professor has spent the first three weeks of this semester carefully navigating the first handful of chapters of the Bible.  The experience has been one of beauty and wonder.

Examining the fall, in Genesis chapter 3, there are a great number of questions we can ask the text as we study and look at it.  One of the most perplexing to me has been: where did evil come from?  The enemy of God, the serpent in this portion of scripture, wasn’t “created”; it simply is introduced as a character in the narrative.  Many argue the “old age earth” position, saying that this specific description of creation was a second creation, leaving a great deal of room for imagination to step back and consider about all the possibilities.  

Regardless of where evil and the enemy of God came from, it is beautiful to see the relationship between God and mankind in the garden; simply amazing knowing God walked with Adam and Eve.  God provided for every one of their needs, and they shared in deep, personal relationship with Him.  

The picture painted of God caring for mankind, who was made in his own image is one I long for today.  Theologians speculate about the change that happened after the fall for humans.  Did our God-likeness change?  Relationships?  Diet?  Atmosphere?  Needs?  Some of those questions are addressed and answered as the narrative of Genesis is told, but the relationship between God and man certainly was no longer what it was in the garden, in the beginning.

At this point it would be easy to pull out the “Jesus” card and talk about Christ as our mediator in our relationship with God.  But.  I’m not going to.  I think it is important to ponder these opening chapters of the Bible and simply consider.  Ask questions.  Wonder.

Image

one thing

Higher than the mountains I face
and it’s stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
this one thing remains:
Your love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes
for it overwhelms and satisfies my soul
and I never ever have to be afraid
this one thing remains:
Your love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me

In death, in life,
I’m confident
and covered 
by the power
of your great love
My debt is paid
there’s nothing that can separate my heart
from your great love
Your love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me

love.

Perverted love is all the “love” this world knows
the kind that says now or never
a demanding lust that craves for more and more

This is our world

This is our reality

Sucking the life out of every young man’s eye
stinging every woman deep within her heart
knowing that the “love” she hoped for
doesn’t really seem to exist
this is our world.  This is my world.  This is 2012.

Does the kind of love exist that we all grew up thinking “love” was?
the kind of love worth sacrifice
the kind of love worth everything

because 1+1 didn’t seem to equal one anymore
in this world at least
the odds just don’t seem to say it can work
“statistics” say it can’t happen

every 1 out of 2 marriages will end
100 percent begin with love
50 percent end with hate
or resentment
or simply shattered hopes
does real love even exist?
does hope for this kind of love even exist?

the love of dying in the arms of the one your heart was made for
the love that is as strong as death
jealousy demanding as the grave
that many waters cannot quench
LOVE

what is love?  We ponder.
but the answer is right in front of us
right near to the touch of our fingers
GOD IS LOVE.

who is love?
God.
not lust
not demands
not fear
not skepticism
not ultimatums
not manipulation
not pornography
not lies
not dashed hope
GOD IS LOVE.

some of these things people might find offensive to say
but the reality of our reality
is that love doesn’t seem to exist anymore
and some people.  Like me.
ponder if it is possible.
and like you
wonder if it is possible.  Real.  Does it exist?
or like you, who continue to hope and never seeing
or you who gave your heart again and again only to see it returned in pieces
or you who placed every longing you have in a better world around you.

Real love does exist.
And it already belongs to you.

What if we don’t deserve love?
what we “deserve” is damnation.
we don’t deserve any kind of love
it is a gift.  A priceless, precious gift.

Love is sacrifice.
That love is what makes the love our heart longs for.
That love makes us believe again.
But it begins within yourself.
but more importantly, it begins with knowing
you don’t have the ability within yourself.
that comes only from God.
But makes real love, true love.

Does real love exist?
Does the sun rise every morning?
I must believe.

Quarters found

I can’t say off the top of my head how many blog drafts I have on my account currently.  It’s a lot. 

Silence doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say, it just means sometimes there is too much to say, so it’s better not to say anything.  Those who know me know what my thoughts and feelings are, so there’s no need to blast it out to the world.  Some things are sacred, some things are kept deep in the heart.

Often, I think about pivotal decisions in my life; turning points and forks in the road in which I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was calling me down a different path.  Those moments are few and far between for me, but it’s a familiar feeling.  They are moments in which when I look back, I wonder why I wasn’t scared shitless.  I wonder how in the world I felt so much peace.  And I guess that’s just it.  Peace. These moments are marked with peace, regardless of what the decision was.

Sometimes God speaks through other people, sometimes he speaks through circumstances, and sometimes, it’s simply finding a quarter.  (Weird, I know, but true in my case.)

I cannot say what the future holds, but all I know this life was meant to be lived, and that what God has for us is beyond anything we could dream up for ourselves.  Read Ephesians, it will change you.

This is a journey, not a destination.  This is about knowing God in a deep way, as we walk through seasons of life, and are drawn closer to him.  It’s less about being happy.  More about him.  Less about us.  Think about it.