from death to life


Letting go.
Letting things die
so i can live..
so I can really live, again.

There is life, even in death
because some things need to die, so other things can live
like dreams

But why do we keep praying for clarity?
We are never promised clarity
But … but
we can walk by faith, and not by sight
we can choose trust instead of the questions

And somehow in the mess
there is beauty
in the ashes
and in the end
we may experience a joy that only comes from Him in the midst of the
madness, chaos, confusion and doubt..

and a seed of joy is planted
growing bit by bit
sprouting into a tree.  A tree of life.  Again.

the paradox

One of the greatest mysteries
is the revealed
and the concealed, in life.

We serve a God of mystery and concealment,
but also a God of revelation,
who longs to reveal himself
to us.

But life continues to be filled with the juxtaposition of paradox.
We live in the mystery.
We live in the concealed.
The veil.  We live behind the veil.

Life is simple.  We can choose to live in faith, or we can choose to live in fear.
One of the great paradoxes.
Because if we do not actively choose faith
by default,
we have already chosen fear.

Our world wants to live in fear.  In the “what ifs?” and the “maybes”.
In the “30% chance this” or “1 in every 8 people that”

But the truth is we are all dying.  One way or the other.
Every breath is a second chance.

I’m beginning to see life differently.
It wasn’t that I chose fear in other times,
but there have certainly been many times that I did not choose what I should have:

So, I choose to believe.
No matter what the outcome
no matter what the percentage
no matter what the cost.
I’m choosing faith.

Faith that HE is bigger than my humanity
Faith that mountains can be moved
Faith that HE is right beside me
Faith to believe HE has me exactly where I’m supposed to be

We walk by faith, not by sight.

holy moments

Each day, I find myself surrounded by holy moments.  Not because I work at a church.  Actually I think that’s the opposite reason I experience these moments.  It’s in working out things.  Talking to people.  Expressing pain.  Expressing beauty.  Expressing love, care and concern in whatever way I can.

I love passing along verses to people.  Especially lately verses that have been so convicting in my own heart and life, I just know I have to share them with others because they’ve impacted me so greatly.  I don’t do it to tell them they need to change, I just throw it out there, because I know it’s changed me.

I experience God in many ways, one of them is in running.  Another is in creation and the beauty of all that is around me.  And another, just as of lately, has been in people.  Now I don’t consider myself a total “people person”, but lately there have been many precious conversations that have caused me to just gently be reminded that God is here.  With me.  Holding my hand.  Wiping my tears. Giving me dreams again.  He’s here.  He uses other people to sometimes show me things I’ve never thought of before.

Holy moments.

Lately I’ve been taking prayer walks.  During the day, especially since it’s been so nice lately.  Walking around the apartments near the church and just praying fervently.  That our church would learn and see how to have compassion and love for these people… these broken people who are so different from us.  Who live with their boyfriends or girlfriends, who have many children.  Who have many tattoos.  Who smell bad.  Who cuss us out.  Who want nothing to do with church.  GOD… how can we love these people????  Our church has been put in this location for a reason.  Why are we not broken over wanting to see these people in church and praying for their salvation?

When I read the gospels, I see this picture of Jesus and I wonder… what would he do, now?  What would he think of our high walls, gates, and beautiful clothing?  What would he think that we are shutting the world out of our “holy” place?

Met with a friend yesterday who goes with a group of people to narcotics anonymous weekly.  She said that meeting is more spiritual to her than any other church service she’s been to.  Because it’s real.

Holy moments.

They are all around us.

In a smile, a warm touch, a friend, an enemy, in working through our bitterness.

Embracing the holy moments.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

I’ve been intrigued by many traditions of the Catholics and of practices of the Church year, and it all began during my college years at Simpson.  I wouldn’t consider myself to be quite as left as some of the “emerging church” ideas, however, I am in the same camp as many who believe that the church needs to be revived, and part of that revival will be reaching back to the old traditions and practices that were left long ago when the spilt began between Catholics and Protestants.  

Some Protestant churches do incorporate the pre-Easter traditions of Ash Wednesday and Lent, but my church was not one of those churches, so it was all completely new to me during my time at Simpson.  

I have practiced Lent in the past, and typically during Lent it is tradition to give up something in your life in order to teach you something about the suffering of Christ, but also to begin again and clean out our lives of the clutter we so often collect, both materially, and emotionally.  Catholic traditions require fasting of food on certain days, fasting of meat on certain days and so forth, but Protestants have historically chosen something in their lives to clean out and personally to attend to.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, and this year it begins next Wednesday, February 25th.

“Ash Wednesday is a turning point. On this day, the first day of Lent, we stop, take a good look at ourselves, and turn toward God. On Ash Wednesday, we begin again to follow Jesus Christ.” -from the “Upper Room”.

For many reasons, I have decided to personally participate in fasting from a few things beginning next Wednesday until Easter.  Lent is also a time of mourning as well, so as to teach us the meaning of saying “HALLELUJAH!” when it comes time for Easter, but also to teach us the true meaning of rejoicing as well when we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

Anyway, there is still a lot of depth about this time that I don’t understand fully, but I’ve done a lot of reading up on everything, and I believe this time will be a time of re-focusing on my purpose on earth, and to re-focus as I move back to the States, and see the LORD for his will in my life and for the future. 

The “Mustard Seed Associates” sum up Lent well by saying: “During this season, we spend 40 days meditating on our brokenness—the brokenness in ourselves, in our relationships with God, with others, and with creation—that Jesus came to heal with his death and resurrection.”  They are a good resource if you are interested in learning more about Lent, or would like to participate in a study during this time.  There is a free download, if you’d like to check it out: Lenten Reflection Guide.

Anyway, there’s definitely more I could say about the next few weeks, but I’m really looking forward to this time.  I may or may not blog between now and my arrival at home, we’ll see how busy things get!  I should be home around April 7th, for those interested!  Love you all!