Friday, March 16, 2012

Daily Bread

I make known my requests having waited awhile,
Asking for "our daily bread,"
Surely the time has come for my blessing, Lord?
But you show up and speak to me, instead.

"I have asked you to serve me (not I you)
Waiting upon my voice and requests,
So why must you nervously worry,
Busy heart refusing to receive rest?

You've been called alongside as a servant,
He doesn't live to serve you,
I AM your bread and your portion,
Look to me, I'll carry you through.

You thought surely now conviction would fall,
You'd be lifted up, exalted, relieved,
But in my delay, your pride is revealed,
Trust my ways, seek my face, and believe!

I'll get to him in my time,
Don't you worry, I'm not yet through:
I'm using this journey to make you BOTH holy,
There is work to be done in YOU, too!

I will do what I have promised,
But not in the timing you'd prefer,
Meanwhile please bask in my presence,be a blessing, laugh more quickly,
To my mysterious ways, do defer.

And when I say the right time has come,
You'll have no reason to doubt,
I'll get things done to the praise of my glory,
And won't even need your help, you'll find out.

So hope against hope and sing praise to my name,
Relax and trust in me to get things done.
Be thankful, and follow my Spirit as I lead you,
And for now, get yourself outside- go run!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Word play of the day

“One person who doesn’t know everything chooses to believe, anyway. Another person who only trusts what he knows, and since he doesn’t know enough to believe, chooses not to believe. In between these two minds are people who have questions about this trusting God.”  –Richard Brown


“One person who doesn’t have personal experience (of) everything chooses to believe, anyway. Another person who only trusts what he personally experiences, and since he doesn’t have enough personal experiences to believe, chooses not to believe. In between these two minds are people who have questions about this trusting God.” 
Choosing belief, without personal experience (perhaps synonymous with “knowing” in the truly biblical sense?) is amazing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adventures in trust...

There is a special someone in my life who can totally capture my
attention with a twinkle in his eye, a certain tone of voice and an
invitation for adventure with him hid behind a  grin.

Clothes I can move in, extra cash, a spare key, a swipe of lip gloss,
and let’s roll, dude- I’m ready. Y’know why? I really like him. I
don’t even care so much where we’re going, because, I’d pretty happily
sit by his side and watch paint peel off the side of a barn-but know
him well enough to know that’s probably not on the agenda. So I’m out
the door on his heels, stopping to ask only if there is anything
special I need to bring along- and then we’re off.

Usually, I’m pushed past a comfort zone in my physical skills trying
to keep up. He reins himself in a bit, I hustle, and we both know it.
I’m humbled, but grateful. He gives me a hand, I recover, he shows
off, makes me laugh.

We’ve always made it home.

Those moments are precious perhaps because of what I didn’t say:
Where are we going?
Can I handle it?
How long will we be?
Is it dangerous?
Will I get dirty?
Are you strong enough to get behind me and push if I need it?
Will you mock my weaknesses when they’re exposed?
Somehow, I forget to ask, and follow.

“Follow Me…”

Where are we going?
Can I handle it?
How long will we be?
Is it dangerous?
Will I get dirty?
Are you strong enough to get behind me and push if I need it?
Will you mock my weaknesses when they’re exposed?

“Follow Me…”

Oh! Oh.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Of silver pants and superheroes

I spend a lot my day with a little boy who spends a lot his time
acting out what the Lord has worked into him: He is an adventurer,
intense, curious, physical, happiest in the thick of things, and
shirtless (to better display both his muscles and scratches obtained
while wrestling tigers).  He hasn’t had a whole lot of exposure to
meeting conformational expectations, and has not been shamed or put
down for his expressions. It brings me a lot of joy to watch him live.
Lately, his exuberance has been expressed by punctuating all sorts of
daily moments with snippets of soundtrack and sound effects.
Entrances, exits, play time, galloping up and down stairs- all have a
bit of score attached. It’s marvelous- and I really do sit and marvel
at it.

I went out shopping last night and had an odd experience. I didn’t
really realize what happened until later. Being silly, I tried on a
pair of very tight, very shiny, silver pants. Then a fairly miraculous
thing happened: I exited the dressing room, with the pants on, and a
grin on my face. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in that instant,
I forgot to be scared, or ashamed, I wasn’t worried about my job,
finances, hopes deferred, expectations, insecurities, the opinions of
others or the way my backside was being emphasized. I think I may
have, unconsciously, hummed a few bars of soundtrack as I exited the
dressing room to model for my friend. It was rare moment, I was having
unencumbered fun!

I didn’t buy the pants (they really just didn’t match my cape), but I
treasure the experience, and hope to recapture more moments of freedom
like that in the future. I was reminded of the verses in Zephaniah 3
(a mash up of translations),

        The Lord your God is in your midst,
        A victorious warrior.
        He will take great delight in you,
        he will quiet you with his love,
        he will rejoice over you with singing/with shouts of joy.

These verses suggest the Lord is joyfully singing His soundtrack over
me. The little three year old man, in living his life as he does,
might have it exactly right- an unseen reality more tangible to him,
and living as a believer (in some ways literally demonstrating those
verses) more faithfully than I.

How desperately I need to be quieted by the love of the Lord!
One of the best things we can do for our men is to listen to the right
soundtrack of our lives, to hear the Lord’s sound effects, and let His
score drown out anything else.  Then we can joyfully sing along with
the Lord over the lives of our husbands and sons!

        Crown him with many crowns,
        the Lamb upon his throne,
        Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
        all music but its own.
        Awake, my soul, and sing
        of him who died for thee,
        and hail him as thy matchless King
        through all eternity.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who sits at your table?

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You
annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows..."   Ps 23

That verse went round and round in my head last night, so I told the
Lord I'd write it out in the morning, and may I please go to sleep
now? And He was gracious, and so I did.

So often, the vehicles of our weaknessess are a humbling place of God's
blessing, amen? Today, we're talking about food and self control, and
for me, it's a literal application, but I want to cast the net a
little wider, and see how often the Lord prepares tables for us, where
He welcomes us, but we feel the tension of being surrounded by
enemies. My hope is to encourage in you a sight to see his blessing
and welcome, even when it might not be relationally and
circumstantially evident.

A loaded table is challenge to my self control, in a very obvious
sense- I just like to eat a lot.  But that is not when it's hardest.
The following of the Spirit (for that is what self control IS) when I
am surrounded by my enemies before a loaded table is most challenging.
A loaded table is an interesting analogy for blessing-consider your
own application, as I explain (one of) mine.

The Lord has blessed me with certain domestic abilities- I can cook,
bake, keep house, etc. He has blessed me with the ability to prepare a
pretty nice literal table. I'm good at that. And the Lord has placed
me in a place of setting the table in the presence of my enemies- not
the physical people gathered at the table, but surrounded by the unseen
things, equally as real. Perhaps the people sitting down to eat what I
have prepared have hurt me, and never repented- there are spirits of
pride  and shame there that are my enemies, and here we are, sitting
down together. Sometimes I sit to eat, even by my myself, and I dine
in the presence of temptation to gluttony, self pity, destruction,
selfishness, and comfort; All of my enemies and I, sitting at the
table. But the Lord has laid the table for my joy and His glory, not
the triumph of my enemies!

What about you? What tables has the Lord loaded up, in the presence of
your enemies? What gifts and provisions has he laid out in your life,
and what challenging people and enemy spirits rush to sit down at the
table? What words of condemnation do you hear at the table of your
blessings? Do not let them steal your oil and drink from your
overflowing cup! Rather that see their opposition to the good gifts He
has placed before you, can you hear the Spirit's invitation to dine in His presence anyway?
Can you receive his annointing, and not fear the enemies who sit in
such close proximity to you and the Lord, and who talk so loudly and
seek to consume the food that has been lovingly given for your

May we be able to say with Jesus, "My food is to do the will of him
who sent me and to finish his work" in whatever arena has been set
before us. May we have the self control to receive the annointing of
the blessing of the Lord, even in the presence of our enemies, knowing
that he who has annointed us, will bring us to the day of appointing,
and will finish the work he has started in us.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Use your words

Blessed be the Lord , my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge....(psalm 144, a psalm of David)

How has God made you to serve him? What gifts, talents and abilities
has He given you, and is He training you up in to use for His service
and glory?
David was a warrior king. Much of his life was spent literally running
from men who wanted to take his life, leading his men into dangerous
and life threatening situations or surrounded by many enemies. David
knew the strategic advantage of the right gear and resources for
battle. It is likely that a shield saved him from death many times on
the battlefield, and a fortified tower kept him safe on more than one
occasion. David praises the Lord using many analogies from his own
life, and praises the Lord using words for things that he really
values. If you were to write the Lord a psalm from your own life, how
would you describe the Lord? Use the words of your giftings, passions
and most triumphant life experiences to praise the Lord!

And there was joy indeed...

After receiving a lot of  encouragement to this end, I am going to post a series of "conversation starters"--writings about being in motion, boys and following Jesus. The goal is to be an encouragement to you as you encourage the men in your life as the seek to follow Jesus.

One major application point, if you are looking for one: I would strongly suggest these be incomporated into life "as you are going" with the going part, being taken very literally. Grab your boys, read the verses (or memorize them, and then you are even more mobile!), and then find a way to ask questions, think thoughts together, and plant seeds while moving. There is something very Spirit-like about meditating on the word of God while in motion. I believe that it is worthwhile to engage in habits of structured play, exercise, or training in an intentional way. Seek out the opportunity to be in motion, build relationships, and follow the Spirit together.

As in all things, listen to the Spirit, and respond to him. If you'd like to respond and talk with me about these things in more specific contexts, drop me a note at