Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Stuff!

II Chronicles 2: 5-6 "And the house which I am about to build will be great; for greater is our God than all the gods. But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him?..."

In the news, we've seen a lot of BIG things.

Surf's up in California and then some!  Early this week our local beaches brought every die hard dude ready to hang ten--only the experts brave enough,  and many spectators staying a safe distance with their cameras and toes dug in the deep sand.  Swells as large as 25' pounded our coastline. Gnarly!

Finding safe harbor down in San Pedro, near Los Angeles, an enormous (61') yellow vinyl ducky eases among the tall ships. Created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman,  she cruises the world hanging out for photos and selfies,  maybe hoping for some soap bubbles for her salty spa.  This just quacks me up!  

Did you hear about the baby born yesterday in China?

Just shy of 14lbs, this family's precious newborn made a huge entrance into the world!

Giant Panda Express!  

As big as some things get...and they do, God is bigger.

BIGGER than our bills, BIGGER than our job worries.

He is BIGGER than our cat scans and BIGGER than the results.

He is BIGGER than something unplanned and BIGGER than a plan gone wrong.

He is BIGGER than our fears yet personal enough to know us by name and see our heart's intentions from His heavenly realm.

His reach is endless, to infinity and beyond. His forgiveness of our sins stretches from the east to the west...forever.

He holds a big plan for you and me. Its construction began at the cross and continues to build towards eternity. All powerful,  wave after wave of His Holy Spirit washes us, refreshes us. Baptized in His love, we acknowledge Him before men as Lord and Savior. His promise is BIG, eternal life!

Lord, thank you for humbling me, for the privlege to worship you, in awe of how mighty and omniscient You are. Remind me Lord, when I begin to fret, that Your grace, Your provision, Your plan sees above my circumstances and that You remain always in control, big enough for my every need. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wait For It!

Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His Word, I do hope. 

My husband and I took a little trip last weekend. We traveled 3 and 1/2 hours through the desert in the evening time towards our destination. Taking some CD's along, we listened to a variety, but the last hour plus, "Mumford & Sons" serenaded us into our respite. My husband got a little bored of the same sort of sound but wanted to hear one particular song that he enjoys.

"Wait for it, Ted. It will come."

It did. The last song on the first album, which I reversed. We listened to the 2nd CD first.

Song title: "I Will Wait."

We go to check in the hotel, and playing on their MUZAK...

Mumford & Sons..."I Will Wait."

We laughed.

Last night I ran into a retail store to get some new sunglasses. I can't wait when I break mine, after all I live in sunny California.

While trying on different frames, guess what was playing in the store...?

Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait."

I either listen to Christain radio when I write or turn on my worn CD player which holds 51 CD's. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it gets tired and quits.

Today it worked.

About the 4th song in out of 51 CD's, Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait."

"I Will Wait"
Well, I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

But I'll kneel down,
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down,
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
Well, you forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way shake the excess

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind freed from the lies

And I'll kneel down,
Wait for now
I'll kneel down,
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

There are somedays Lord, I wait patiently. Sometimes... Being diligent to listen to everything and discern.  Do I listen to everything? Me? Diligent? When the right time comes and the Words are for me, I will know it. Do I obey?  

You always confirm things again and again,  and encourage us in our walk through many insights and encouraging moments. 

In our quiet times, when we invite You to come into our earthly presence and guide us to see You move and reveal Your purpose, you never dissapoint. 

I dissapoint.  

I don't wait.  I act in my flesh and absorb the consequences. 

 Yet You Wait For Me catch up, shut up and fess up. 

You Lord, never give up. You just LOVE!  In Isaiah 30:18 Your words speak: "Therefore the Lord LONGS to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you." Thank you for that promise. Thank you for always forgiving and waiting for me to shuffle through some upbeat moments and a lot of sleepy-self moments that look and sound the same. I want every song in my heart to be a favorite, bringing You glory. I pray that what people hear and see from me in my encounters reflects You, especially in my personal spaces with family.  My hope awaits in You for Your Truth in my life and for that, I am in grateful. Amen. 

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for You
                                          And I will wait, I will wait for You
                                          And I will wait, I will wait for You
                                          And I will wait, I will wait for You

Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm in the Band!

Psalm 81: 1 "Sing for joy to God our strength ; shout joyfully to the God of Jacob. Raise a song, strike the timbrel,  the sweet sounding lyre with the harp."

I stepped outside a little bit ago. Listening, I heard it in the distance, a sound, a certain beat that is celebratory. A sound that reverberates. It's an image the wind carries to my ears; my mind's eye sees it, the formations, the footwork, the reflections of the instruments as they turn and move.

 You know that sound.

Harkening back, it is the sound of team spirit, football games and school starting in the fall. It's a drum core, a horn section, xylophones, piccolos and tubas. Yes, the high school marching band practicing on a football field not so far away, I can hear it and it made me smile.


There is a rhythm in life all around us. Bees buzzing, birds chirping, rain pitter-pattering, wind rustling, dogs barking, a wave washing up to meet the shore. Nature's noise

The sound of letters being pressed on a keyboard, the beep of a notification on Facebook, the vibration of a cell phone, a CD changer--changing, the spitting out of papers on a copier. Techno tunes.

The screech of brakes, the back-up warnings of a truck, the jets overhead jetting, the train whistle, a subway sonnet, the gear change of a bicycle. Transportation tones.

The whir of a coffee being made by your favorite Barista, the sizzle of bacon on Saturday morning, the pop of kernels in the microwave, the slurp of soup, the crunch of a taco. Sustenance symphony.

The world makes a noise. Do you hear its groaning? Waling warfare, vociferous viruses, pontificating politicians, ear-piercing poverty, hollering hunger and thirst, the din of death without hope.

Turn it down!  

As a Believer, God gave us a voice, a command, to share the Chords of Christ.  With that voice, we combine with a section of instruments and create a harmony. Together, with the whole band, The Body of Christ, we can be a significant part of making a joyful noise. You may need practice, you may need to learn to read music, march in time, feel the beat, go to "Band Camp." The Director's got this; He's writing your part in as you continue to learn your song of purpose.

Turn the music of your soul up and sing His praises. God hears it from Heaven, but maybe your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends may want to listen to the way your heart beats, the sweet harmonies of Hope in the Lord God Almighty. The groaning of the world only promises to loom louder, more deafening. March to the beat of a different drummer; you never know when the hum of your heart harmonizes with another waiting to find their own song of salvation. Share the Music.

Lord, help me always to hear your voice above the noisy, clamoring world. To be a part of a grand orchestra creating beauty is a blessing. I am thankful to be a part of your "sheet music" ministry.  May I stand tall, in-line with Your Word, and use my gifts to your glory. Block the discouragement of the one who tries to trip me in my march, convince me I am out of tune.  Help all of us Lord, to listen with intensity for the part you've called us for and may it be made clear through the band members around us as we march through this symphony called life. Amen.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Equal Ground

I Corinthians 9: 22 "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some." (Apostle Paul)  

I went for my walk this morning.  As I approached the first intersection, someone across the street waved at me.  Halfway across the cross walk, I recognized a friend. I knew her from soccer years ago. Her son played on my husband's all star team.  I knew her as well,  from my job. We worked together when I was at Don Lugo, 6 years ago.

She changed her direction and walked with me another mile. We caught up on life, mutual friends, sad events, our families. Natural, friendly, passionate, a friend I hardly ever see, yet one mile of walking together and every step is equal ground, no pretenses.

I went to a reunion picnic a few weeks back. I've gone the last 5 years or so. For some reason, I am in charge of the "Memorial Board."  I added three pictures this year.  Some people go out of their way to come to the park once a year, driving several hours. I love my high school friends, all of them. Some I didn't know in high school!

We hover over the memorial board. No Homecoming Queens, no football jocks; those titles cannot still define us...we've grown up, experienced a lot. Now, it's knee replacements, recession recovery, adult children living at home, care of our elderly parents, a few pounds, ...The world as it was,  the world now gone stark-raving mad!  ...and the thought of that Memorial Board...

                                                   ...and we're on equal ground.

A grandmother, adopted her daughter's children, searches the Internet for a support group, for a walk for kidney disease. She finds NephCure and connects. Her 8 year old grandson suffers with Nephrotic Syndrome. She needs understanding, compassion, information. Interacting with people from all over the country, all over the world,  someone sends her my e-mail and she connects with me.

Full circle, she lives in my old neighborhood, in Chino! Three e-mails and then a phone call this morning, we are on the same page.  We start talking about the disease, share how she has the same pediatric nephrologist that we had out at Loma Linda.  She tells me of her precious one and my heart hurts for his struggle as I remember mine. The ground levels out and a chasm is bridged.

Every human being longs for connection, the ability to communicate without fear of judgment, for compassion, and shared hopes, to tell a story and to feel worthy. When we come to the Father, we receive this very thing. As part of the Body of Christ, and as a Believer in His Word, we should emulate that very thing in our lives. It is something that doesn't come natural for some but something to strive for.

So, wait for a friend, change direction and walk with them through life. Make connections with your past, you might be surprised about the healing it brings. Share your story, for you are never alone.

We'll all stand equally before Him in our sin and we'll all stand glorified before Him in our Redemption.

Don't you want those connections to be eternal?

Lynn's Garden
Water color by Coleene VanTilburg 
Allow Christ to build bridges, prepared in prayer to take some steps. You may find more in common than you thought. Equal ground is fun to stand on in your work boots, your flip-flops, your heels, or your tennies. Let's take our shoes off, grab a sharpie and draw a happy face on each other's toes!

I think I'll suggest that for the next class reunion!

Lord, thank you for helping us to see opportunity to serve you. We all have so many different circles of influence in our lives, so many opportunities to share our hearts. Lord you came for the Jew and the Gentile! You put them on equal ground and you died for all.  Help us to swallow, banish, discard our pride. Free us up Lord and give us courage to share our own stories of Your goodness.  We've all been underground, saved on equal ground, and grow towards that place called Holy Ground. Place our toes on your path and lead us towards compassion and love. Amen.