Friday, November 21, 2014

When Words Don't Work

Psalm 90:17 "And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands."

A student today:  "I met this kid from China at lunch and I was trying to explain to him what 'stuffing' was.  It was hard to explain. He just didn't get it."

Finding the right words sometimes to articulate or describe something totally foreign to another person, doesn't always lend itself to a clear visual. How would you tell someone about stuffing, because it sounds...well, less than appetizing. 

You take stale bread, cut it in cubes then mix in some celery and onions and stuff it into the crevices of a  foul...oh,  and maybe add some herbs.  

Even as a writer, I rely on tools to help me bring my sentences more energy, provoke a feeling in a paragraph, convince someone in a blog. 

Words, words, words--not the only thing that communicates. 

I'll bet if my student invited this new friend over for a taste, for a demonstration of the making of stuffing, he'd see it, taste it, understand its power on the palate and the desire for a second helping. 

Sometimes, our words don't communicate. Nothing makes any sense. Someone needs a visual, a hands on demonstration and a taste of what is good before a revelation occurs. 

---And that, just might require us putting our own words in action, a step into obedience, a trust of the unknown. No more words. 

The Lord Himself did just that. He demonstrated love, by becoming flesh, living and ministering for 33 years and then continuing His obedience and God's salvation plan by going to the rugged Cross. His own blood sets us free.  How can we place that visual, give that demonstration, bring someone to the "table of His grace" so that they too can "taste and see that the Lord is good?" 

In this season of giving, of charity, of meeting needs, I encourage you to not just say the words, write the words, repeat the words...but demonstrate, provide a visual, sharpen your tools for hands on communication of the power of Love. What once you thought stale, God transforms into minstry, not only revealing insight but inspiration for your own soul as well. 

Lord, thank you for all the opportunities You give us to serve, to bless You, to bless others. In that, we become the visible love of Your servant heart. Thank You Lord, for those that have blessed me with hands-on love as well as their kindness in words. You go before us. If You so desire for our actions or our words to go forth, we only have to be obedient and trust You in our doing. Lord, give us that trust, give us that desire to see the opportunities and/or create the way to be Your hands and Your feet in all that we do. Confirm the work of our hands Lord, to know You and make You known. Amen. 

Reflection: How are you preparing to give to others this holiday season or seasons past? How can you continue to use more than words in every season?  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kisses from Heaven.

I Peter 5:10 "And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."

Writing a memoir about the journey through grief and healing, I find the experience of writing, recalling and reciting as spiritually affirming if not more so, than the remembered events and words I type out  in my word document. If I could begin to compare it to something, it's like walking into a very dark, lonely cave with a pen light only to have it transform into a Mag light, which leads into a beautiful cathedral, filled with stained glass windows and singing choirs of angels,  sunlit from up above. more thing, the angels sing to me while blowing kisses from Heaven.

Since the busyness of the school year and ministry started in September,  time to work on my chapters eludes me a bit. This week found me with 4 days off and I determined to spend some time with the keyboard, my memories and my work-in-progress. Sharing an important chapter this week with my writing group, I've been so blessed for their hearts to hear, to suggest, to seek to understand where my heart lies, then and now.  I found myself strolling through the cave-cathedral in both occasions and the beauty of these moments, overwhelms me.

The CATHEDRAL of His affirming plan in what I am writing, in what I am sharing in my writers' group; God confirms to me in such a miraculous way, a friend said, "how could anyone deny the Deity of Christ!"

The bond of the Lord through people, through experiences, does not leave one in a dark and lonely place of grief. God designed fellowship, whether for a few days or for a lifetime. When He orchestrates lives together, even in the hardest, most distressing of times, His grace and mercy etches into our hearts.  His light shines on it, and by writing, by retelling, God makes Himself known! That connection shines again. Nothing is coincidence!

Yes, I've left out the details here, and they just may be in another chapter towards the  end of my book. Just know, that I know, that God shows Himself in such wonderful ways when He communicates His love and affirmation. Read His Word, sing a psalm, write a prayer, tell a story. Expect Him to show you and when He does, the miracle continues.

I am in the process of writing about THE SUFFERING; in,  through and after.

The God of GRACE heals my heart.

I am sharing my writing with my writers group to PERFECT it.

God CONFIRMS me by orchestrating Incidences, His Word, His Creation, His People, to speak clearly in my preparation of this story.

In that, I receive STRENGTH to continue on, to give Him praise, to Glory in His Love for me!

I am ESTABLISHED  in His Will and empowered to keep pressing on towards the Promises of Hope!

Thank you Lord, for the work I am doing, for the confirmation in such intimate, personal ways that you gave me this week. For sending moments to me that prove your amazing, miraculous ways. I praise Your Name, Name above all Names as my Lord and Savior, the Giver of my strength and the author of my story.  I continue to proclaim your grace upon amazing grace. Amen.

Reflection for your own journal: Where have you seen a miraculous confirmation of God's will in your own life?

Friday, November 7, 2014

No Longer

II Corinthians 5: 15 "...and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose again on their behalf." 

We sort of went the wrong way home from Chino Hills tonight, a little longer loop around the city. 

"That's OK, my husband says. We'll drive by the church and say hi!" 

It's Friday night. No one is there. 

We skirt around Peyton from Chino Hills Pkwy. and the property is dark. 

But Ted doesn't miss the opportunity. 

"Hi CVCC. See you on Sunday!"

I just smile and feel the blessing for a time existed when seeing or even stepping inside the church only happened for him on Easter and Christmas, maybe an Awana event. 

No longer.  

I liked reading poetry, great multi-chaptered novels and dabbled in my own rhymes, my own stories. I always took great notes. I kept a journal now and then.  Sometimes, my words spoke back to me and I felt God. 

No one will get this stuff. It's too personal. Maybe I'm just a crazy dreamer. 

"That's OK, the Lord says. Trust me and I'll do wonders."

I type out a few things, create a blog or two and I hit send. I enter a room in a library with other "aspiring writers" opening journals and sharing. I witness an amazing  community with other  "crazy dreamers" and God sits right in the center. 

I just smile and feel a blessing for a time existed when my heart felt heavy and my words messy, tripping along a very uncertain path. 

No longer.  


Thank you Lord for Your Resurrection and mine.  You are NO LONGER dead, but alive in me and through me. Never did You hold anything from me. Your sovereign plan allowed for times when I waited, I prayed, to find hope, and began to trust--a process of story, building up a faith and long-lasting joy in the outcome. No longer do I wonder if You are active in my life for You show Yourself everyday. Thank You, that I know that all things work together for Your glory. You Lord,  turn those "how much longer God?" moments into praises of glory, no longer doubting in Your plan. Help me to keep at it, no longer drifting as if unanchored. Show me everyday the way to press into Your plan in every thought and deed. Amen.  

Reflection for your journal: What is your "no longer?" praise to the Lord.  

Comments and sharing is encouraged.  Thank you.