Thursday, October 31, 2013

THE WARRIOR STILL BATTLES (a note for Lane)

To the warrior who has for four years with heart and soul and body accepted the charge of weekly battle to stand at the line and hold back the storm.  And the warrior tackled to the ground lying still will still stand at a line.  For his real strength was never just in his body rising to face the next play, but the strength of spirit he lead the team with in his never giving up his heart to play.  

His spirit still stands each game on the field  at a line, now fortified by the body and soul of another.   And now his heart for his team still stands strong at a side line with fist clinging fierceness to raise a banner that cannot be taken down, a banner that says I WILL STILL BATTLE WITH YOU BROTHER. He is our wounded warrior that continues to battle in spirit from the sidelines. You are the warrior that pushes those weak legs and hearts on the field with your yelling lungs and your leading spirit.    



He doesn't listen to well meaning pleas that football isn't everything. FOOTBALL IS EVERYTHING, for you have given everything.  It is waging a mental war within and physical war on the field.  It is no excuses, sacrifice, commitment, honor, brotherhood. It is forever. It is real, it is now, and today it is ALL.  It is ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL. 

For the one that got knocked down and out, you are NOT out.  


--- Holding the line with you Lane---Cherie Roberson
I know this is one mom's voice, but your team and their families stand with you!

Monday, October 21, 2013

ONE RIPPLE

You cannot know the future 

or even the


ripple effect of today.


A life well lived today 


matters for tomorrow.


One crowned King changes everything.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seeing the SECRET framed

A Secret 

What a great word--secret.
"His secret purpose framed from the very beginning is to bring us to our full glory." 1 Cor. 2:7  


It is hard to fathom that God frames a purpose for me in His heart---a path dearly held for me that He paved with his own bleeding hands, life breaths, and dance with the Dark.   He chooses this way for me, knowing me in His secret place, his heart, even when I claim He is dear but don't seem to keep Him very near.

His path is the invitation of a King, sealed with the emblem of His majesty.  His majesty's purpose is delivering His grace that draws me to His table. His secret is to converse and to weave hearts and minds and souls...a conversation...a conversion.

houseflippingschool.com


He speaks of  SEEing HIM and knowing what it means to live this abundant life he is calling me to...His abundant life...an abundance of Him...an abundance of His life...an abundance of birth...and then an abundance of death and fire...and then an abundance of rebirth...and the unending flame of His passionate grace continues to burn within a soul and melt its fibers to create anew...a masterpiece reframed.


His secret purpose in me today is SEEing and not being lured by the devil's secret deception to believe that more is needed for now, for today, for tomorrow, for my life. That I need to have more in my life or to be  more in my life, but rather He purposes that I would know His secret.  His secret is  to see  God IN my life and to know He is the Abundance, the Enough, that abundant living means knowing  what He has for me is enough. Can I see this path and walk on it even today?

The secret means seeing that I am not becoming a better version of me today, but He is filling me with His glory. He fills me with Himself---making me completely new in this process that is continual...sometimes painfully slow...sometimes slow pain... not one I can orchestrate... and sometimes two steps forward and one back.  

Seeing Him in me is seeing and knowing grace in me and that leaves room for the only other necessity to live this abundant secret-- great gratitude for His glory-filled life. 

"His secret purpose framed from the very beginning is to bring us to our full glory." 1 Cor. 2:7  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

AT ARM'S LENGTH IS CLOSE ENOUGH


Is keeping God at arm's length close enough? Being within arms' length is scary close; it is  risky close. No mediator need plead who I am to You. This close needs not eyes to search my face, for masks and disguises are discovered.

Oh to be discovered by the eyes of an embracing God.

For when my God sees me face to face, He is close enough to see my eyes fall or rise.

        Will  I  stay to face what He says about me?


close enough to raise my chin

        Will I believe what He believes about me?


close enough to count the breathes I hold

        Can I let go of what I hold tightly to my chest?


close enough to feel my quivers of sadness

        Can I release the sad in exchange for His joy?

close enough to rub the pain of bruises

        Will I stop remembering my trails of tears?


close enough to sense my confusion and wonder

        Can I ask fewer questions to hear Him speak?


close enough to hear quiet mumbled words

        Will he know my thoughts before I speak?


close enough to realize that avoidance begs distractions

        Will all that He gives be my satisfaction? 


close enough to be shaken awake

        Can I live a life that sees the beauty in the messy?


close enough to be held tight in place

        Will my begging heart be still?


close enough to command attention without words

        Can I rest in Him?


close enough to relay a whisper

        Will my words express all of my heart?


close enough to be overcome with emotion

        Will I let go of my control for His will?


close enough to be overwhelmed by desire

        Will I love without abandon?
        

close enough to embrace the allusion that He is not close

        Will I touch His heart so to live who He created me to be?


 close enough that escape is costly.

At arm's length, His crossed arms pointing east to west are never in denial of us. With our arms risen and hands open wide, we beg from arms length for Him to draw us close. The God that seems far away is close at hand; He drives our nails into His cross and binds our heart to purchase our pain. With His arms spanned, He exposes the distance of my life from His---- the cross is the arm length a God would endure to pull me back into his love. When His close heart beats and He encloses me in His arms, Heaven breathes deep. 


If I keep God  at His arm's length, I am enveloped in His life and that is close enough.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

...WHEN IT'S WHAT YOU CRAVE

Just last week, I saw a dynamic video after which small group leaders were to discuss provided questions.  Before my high school girls group could tackle the listed questions, it seemed a supposition lay beneath all those questions, which needed to be clarified:  Do you really believe that you are headed for destruction in this life?

There is always a Christ answer that lies beneath all the suppositions of my heart.

And the girls, slow to answer, admitted what I thought might be true for them, particularly at their ages.
 NO, they did not see their life headed for destruction.  And what are the ramifications of that answer?

If we believe that the road of peril isn't within our game plan, then we are blindsided by that late hit near the out of bounds line.  When we don't understand what the road of peril might look like for us, then we are frozen by its revealed disguise. When we don't realize what destruction does to us, we run toward its captivating offerings. When we don't see a need to run from destruction,  we cave to despair at a dead end road.

Christ died for always to be the hope in all despair at your dead end road.

And even in the our natural disarray of heart and soul, we are convinced that surely we are safe from harm's onslaught and weapons of mass destruction.  And even when the realization comes that we are surrounded by darkness, we posit to walk through, to cross the flames of fire that so suddenly suffocate and consume our minds, hearts, and souls?

Christ walked our dark cross journey to suffocate our pandering and become our all consuming fire.

And moment to moment  His life bleeds to the edges of our souls, and we believe for more beyond  the walls of damage and crisis and destruction and peril.  Yet, we trust in our own battle cry and surmount walls only to realize that disaster lies on all sides. And that is when we are fall to our face finished and the peril of heartache craves  freedom from destruction. 

And out loud I asked Do you really believe that you are headed for destruction in this life? 



What we crave will conclude the answer.  When we crave to avoid the damage of living this life, we cow to the corners of a small heart. What was the thirsty woman really drawing from the well?  What entrusted wealth of Christ's do we yearn for yet  bury deep and dirty inside?  Oh to have the vantage point of David's forfeited  fear in the battles of this life?


The peril of heartache causes us to crave  freedom from destruction. 

But hold still through the darkness for when our death ashes dust His crown, Christ clothes our  pleadings and passion.

So when my eyes are veiled to His sinking head, so when the nail pierced hands don't pierce my heart, so when the oils don't soak into the dry cracked wood of my cross, so when my heart isn't bled-dry filleted by His brokenness,  may I crave the heartache of the Man that destroyed my heart for His. 



Monday, October 7, 2013

...WHEN WANDER BECOMES WONDER

Picture from Chris McClarren and Andrew Reago
When a thought wanders days through my head and starts congealing like layers of colored jello,  creating sweet sense for the page ...  when a thought wanders like a music note that butterflies through an entire chord,   ringing a  melody for the page...   when a thought wanders like a blurred image that is honed to a detailed portrait...  I wonder as the drizzle becomes a solid deluge,   puddling in the soul to grow to life on a softened page. 

For essence is elusive, words are slippery through my fingers...  for the melody in my head clangs cacophonous in its reading...  for my mind wanderings journey to a sure knowing and holding in my head and heart...

But it is difficult  to transfer wonder through the fingers to the page. 

Yet when the Writer of Words whisper reads to our hearts, the strength of the solid truth becomes a wonderful masterpiece.




For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2;10 (NLT)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

THANKS FOR SNOOPING..."It's just flipping incredible!!"

One of my current favorite authors, Emily Freeman, encouraged her readers today in a guest post on Jeff Goins's blog (jeff@goinswriter.com) to use their art: 

"Courage is not the absence of fear. If you wait to feel courageous before you release your art, you might be waiting forever. The more we live from who we most deeply are, the more courage will grow."  (Emily Freeman is the author of A Million Little Ways and Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life).

And since I was probably in 4th grade, I was NOT courageous enough to label myself as an artist in a way I defined art then: painting and drawing.  Secretly, however, I knew I enjoyed writing.  I didn't really claim it as an art, however, until high school.  I never claimed to be good at it, but I spoke best from my head and heart with a smooth pen or pencil (Now, of course, I use my laptop because thanks to typing class in 6th and 7th grade my fingers can fly as fast as my mind.  What does that say about my mind?)

I have told others who have encouraged me to turn my art of writing into a book
(ahem: Mom, Chris, Peggy, Kim, Rick, Cindy) that I didn't have any idea what I would even write about.  I also added that no one would want to read my lacking authority on any particular topic and unofficial commentary.  I defended these  thoughts with anything that I had to say has probably been said before.

Then yesterday these words trickled into my head that I had actually spoken to my friend Laura on a walk in Terre Haute, Indiana, when she didn't see any need to attend a Bible study on a topic that didn't relate to her.  I remember telling her that she could never know when this information might just be something she would need to share with someone.  I told her that her perspective might just be what God would grow in her through this study that someone else might need. Obviously, I was trying to coax her into attending the study. She didn't see it as for her, but I was telling her that what she learned may not be for her but for someone else.  (Who knew these words from my mouth would be for my very own ears over ten years later?)

Emily Freeman added later  in today's post these words which totally resonated with the thoughts I had yesterday about my art of writing: "There is courage in connection — with your truest self, with the truest self of others, and with God. If practicing your art brings you closer to this kind of connection, if it allows you to be vulnerable in ways you weren’t able to be before, then your art has not been wasted."

Okay, so my art of writing certainly has made me feel vulnerable and mostly to myself because there it sits with hope, but HOPE for what? I have written from shaky fingers, heavy heart, teared eyes, stirred soul, anxious thoughts, irrelevant ponderings, and just about every emotion in-between. And to be honest, I don't know the answer yet to that question: but HOPE for what? But I have never thought hope was a waste, so I won't call my writing a waste.

I have written blogs that readers have commented have moved them.  Readers have even taken time to reflect and comment on their own world, many times with great passion and eloquence.  Some extended concern and worry,  wondering if I was okay after reading my thoughts.  And I would say that all revelation is good in honest writing, and if I am very honest in it, you may be positioned to peak beyond the wall into my vulnerable space. 

Some days that space you peer into  may be messy and others very clear.  For me, my writing helps clean the cluttered thoughts on the floor of my mind.  It helps to organize an sort the essential from the peripheral.  It infuses me with that vulnerable choice of courageous commentary or common cliches.

So today's blog is just a quick thank you to those who have been moved by my art. It seems weird to thank a person for being moved.  But being moved is an intimate, slow sink into the the words on my page, a soul resonance and connection with my personal ideas, and a discovering of self in my thoughts.  If my words do that, I am face on the floor thankful.



The idea for this post came from a couple commentaries on Facebook about my latest blog posts.  When reading it to my husband, he had the same reactions as I did, "Hey, that just may be your best critique yet." I exit this post with cheers to those who have been willing to snoop around my words and have encouraged my art.

Here are yesterday's comments from two valued readers.

Cameron Cornell:  Did you write this yourself?!?! It's just flipping incredible! Like, seriously!

Leslee Chambers: LOVED reading this tonight. Every word captured my attention and my heart. Thank you for sharing. Beautifully written.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

HELP! I'm trapped in JUMANJI! ------ ZULU!


Quoi zu zesa you? (What's the noise?)

The music I listen to while I write may not suffice to bring the peace of mind to write well today.  There is this outrageous noise that is blaring above David Nevue's piano inspiration, a confined rage spewing out of the back of my mind to protect my cubs from the dangers of the political hunters of this land.  My head is a jungled mess of tangled and overgrown vines. I can't bear the fiscal mess; I'm trapped in a game of JUMANJI and this is real life!



And danger lurks around each corner of my heart's house, springing to overwhelming life. Truly, for this dependent on government money, this game has ZULU! (many effects) 

Quoi zu zesa you?


Awakened to this white elephant sitting on the center of  my chest, I know it is useless, senseless, and  bizarre, but it sits expensively cheap because its placement center stage remains so far from my deeper desires for today. It has been allowed to flap-eared run through the calm and quiet, planting heavy cushioned feet, sinking mud worry into my soul. It's wrapped trunk squeezes my chest tight, sucking the air, hope. 


This elephant in the room must be addressed; it cannot be ignored as it will not disappear on its own. Dumbo, fiscal failure tramples through the job, the home, the budget, the life, the heart! This political poaching destroys families, depletes the homes' resources,  dries the landscape of hope for for our human resources, and sells threats to bargain for a life of hope.


ZULU!


And there is this monkey screeching from the counter, clanging plates together, laughing at today's one woman audience.  I hear the jeers and mocking and want to swipe the grin off its Everready battery smile. And I am just curious George--- what does complete, unwavering trust look like on the dinner plate, the college tuition, the gas for the car, the medical coverage?  I see evil in our land, hear evil on the t.v., and speak evil when I trust in the fantasy world of politics.


And then the monkey speaks, "Great idea, deciding not to return to your job this year."  And no matter the reasoning provided, the monkey speaks again, "You are an intelligent woman with a master's degree.  Why do you just sit there? You should hurry and do something about this. You can't keep blaming the government. Blame yourself. Get to work!"


ZULU!


And there is this David in my living room hurling stones from a slingshot at a Giant sitting in a chair at her laptop. The deep valley rug divides me between being a David or a Giant. Today,  I feel like a Giant mocker of my livelihood, arrogant and selfish.  My tamed whisper shouts of doubt at circumstances defy God's words of trust and obey, only to stir fear within my own heart.  I spear sharp, criticizing words against those who battle against me.


ZULU!


But the lie is I don't feel Goliath invincible; I am hit right between the eyes today, falling hard on the ground to my knees. Thankful that this head that is trying to control this heart is being cut off.  


I feel more like a David who suddenly fell upon circumstances beyond her control, with no special tools to battle the Giant of our land, but I propose to meet this Giant problem  and not cower in fear for today  but run wildly into tomorrow like David did in this solitary battle. It will require a certain death to self and victory in faith in a God who wages the entire war.


ZULU!


I can't answer the "how?" or the "why?" or even "when?"  all this fiscal battle dust will settle over our land of the free and home of the brave.  But it requires no special talent to get down on my knees for mortal men in battle and trust the plans of an all-powerful God.


ZULU!


And there are these directions in JUMANJI if you read the game plan all the way through:  "Do not begin unless you intend to finish."  Oh, the race sometimes seems seconds longer than a lifetime, but from God's vantage point, he has already won. 


I do intend to follow the directives of this life, of the magical bored game we are playing today, hoping at the end all the bantering pawns are laid down.  Yet, there will be other pawns that come along to play the game, not understanding the directives and cost to humane kind.

ZULU!

All the sides of the valley David fought in were steep.  And aren't the sides of the fiscal valley steep today, too?  Just like David, when we choose to leave our camp, once I choose to leave my side, it might seem like sure loss.  When the Giant fiscal hero of my worship is dead, I stand to gain the comfort and simplicity of trust, and that's the miracle of David worked in me today.