Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It isn't "English"... It is "Language Art" and why it is so very important ..

I love language. I find it sad when my children talk about “english” class, I want to cultivate within them to talk about that field of study as “language arts.” Oh surely I might just be mincing words. Except I love the idea of those two words married. “Language” and “art” come together not haphazardly but in a formidable kiss.

Language:

lan·guage
ˈlaNGgwij/
noun
    1.
    the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
    "a study of the way children learn language"
    2.
    the system of communication used by a particular community or country.


Art:

art1
ärt/
noun
    1.
    the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
    .2
    the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance


So you tell me how can the simple word, “english” ever convey the beauty of the words, “Language Arts?”

Oh Mims.. what does any of this really even matter...

Simply put.. I endeavor to serve “The Word who became flesh,” with all my heart. So I take language seriously. I have learned some lessons concerning the power of silence, and controlling of the tongue. As an infant in this discipline, I have found that when I allow myself to enter into these places, a creative wholeness within my spirit erupts.

How often in our culture do we even take 5 minutes; morning, noon and night to practice such a thing?

And yet our very souls are so utterly hungry for the fruit of the depth of silence and quiet.

Exodus 14:14 ESV /

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”



In this season of my life.. I desire to see ever more the reality that the Lord is He who goes before me, I can truly cease striving and know Him as my God, and I only have to be silent and watch with my eyes the truth that the Lord is He who fights for me...



This my friends is why the art of language is so utterly important, with our mouths we bless, we curse, we speak life, we speak death.... We want the power of the Holy Spirit... We do not even slightly understand the creative force behind our words. Christ cursed a fig tree and it never produced fruit again... Are we ready? Are we ready to embark upon a life that demands the discipline of considering our words not simply as “english” but as “language art.”


Monday, April 14, 2014

Me too....................................................................






In multiple conversations I was quickly reminded of how careless we can be with one another. In one I was the offender and in the other I felt the brunt. Sometimes the last thing a person needs is more words.

I could hear myself speaking truth. Spiritual truth but truth all the same. When I felt the abrupt presence of the Holy Spirit and I knew to stop talking. In that moment I sank deeper into my gut, that place where the Lord flows forth from, that inner place where you know if you just pause long enough and let yourself drop; you will be less guarded.. you will actually talk from the heart.

As I did.. I had a picture of the moments when I wanted to take all my books and quotes and journals and throw them across the room. I absolutely adore all things Brother Lawrence, Madame Guyon, Fenelon, St Theresa of Avila, Frank Laubach and the list could and does go on and on and on.
BUT... While the truths of His presence and the practice of an interior lifestyle, to form out the depths of one soul and spiritual life, are powerful.. in moments their words sting. In moments their words sting, and it isn't necessarily conviction.

I recently read on Amazon a comment someone made regarding The Celebration of Disciplines, (excellent book by the way). It was brilliant and right on. They spoke about the incredible benefits of this book, but also spoke of how read in the wrong spirit it can be death. These things, spiritual disciplines and habits of practicing His presence, if done in a performance mentality will put weights upon the heart and death into one soul. These things are a life force. But handled capriciously the force pushes towards death not life.

So in that moment of conversation; I admitted concerning the times I just want to take all those things and chuck them across the room.

I was going to write, “sometimes,” but in reality ALL the time, what people need is to be met into the depths of their hearts. Sometimes it is by instruction, sometimes it is with prayer, sometimes it is sitting quietly together, sometimes it is encouragement to go and be alone with the Lord, sometimes it can be a lot of things BUT all the time... we must attempt to meet one another heart to heart.

I had felt the shift and then the need for instruction or insight was gone and what was needed was tenderness and understanding. I want to be the person that feels those shifts, and responds. I want to be the person who meets others heart to heart. That isn't always loosey, goosey emotional affection; sometimes what the person needs as a heart to heart meeting is a word of correction or admonition, silence, or one thousand possible things.

But to engage one another from a place of authenticity and from the heart takes courage. Courage to not guard oneself; understanding that at times placing oneself on the line and being vulnerable and instead of approaching as the expert, approach as a fellow human; saying, “Me Too.” I have seen where that stance brings more healing into the hearts of another, than any other action.

The grandest, “Me too,” comes from Christ.

Are you lonely? He understands
Are you afraid?
Are you feeling rejected?
Do you feel like there is nothing within you that would draw people to befriend you?
Have you felt the praise of men only to feel the sting of their rejection?
Have you known the need of the people and filled that need yet been left alone as your need brought you to your knees?
Whatever the question or emotion that you have felt, we have a High Priest in Christ, who says, ME TOO!”

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.


The rest the Lord grants is abundant and beautiful and strong. It is a powerful force. May you let yourself receive from Him in your places of need.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

No one left behind...................................

It is interesting to me the changes that occur when life gets absolutely disrupted. It is true what you focus upon you empower. In this season when I have focused upon all the things I can't do, well.. let's just say those are the days when I really shouldn't have any visitors. But there has been this interesting spiritual reality that has swarmed when I focus upon Him and His ways.

This one day when I was overwhelmed by all I can't do right now, and my emotions were beyond me and I felt left out of life and forgotten; the Lord spoke, “empower The Body.” I thought to myself, “How?” I couldn't fathom how in this state I could do any such thing. Except then it began. This morning it has only grown stronger.

I began to see pictures of people, churches, states within our country, other countries and people I knew. “Pray!”

I realized that while laying in bed, I was still part of The Body, still part of His Kingdom. I began to pray that He would empower His people to walk as they were called to walk, to hope as they were called to hope, to wait as they were called to wait. No longer did I see myself stuck in my room, trying to stop seeing everything in threes, and hoping that the world would stop spinning. Now I saw myself partnering with the heart of my Father, blessing the Body of His Son. And I wasn't being left behind or left out, I wasn't forgotten nor ignored. I wasn't missing out on anything.

Last night was really difficult. Much laid upon my heart. Despair was easy to touch and my emotions were all over the place. What I couldn't know last night was how thoroughly the Lord was setting all things up for me to receive truth.

I don't want a casual relationship with Christianity. To me it isn't about picking and choosing and convenience. I want wholly in. I want to be so thoroughly changed on the inside that in all the secret places of my soul I reverberate Him, and His thoughts and His opinions. I want my affections, my appetites, my passions, and all that I am to be a reflection of Him. I don't want to believe in His goodness iust when it is convenient. I want to thoroughly believe in His goodness when it isn't, when it is the hardest thing to do; when all would scream in my face that I am fool for still believing, and yet in those moments I want to be able to arise and be more full of grace and faith and love then I was ever before.

This morning through the words of a friend in an email, I was struck by a Kingdom reality that shook off the dross of fear and sorrow and reminded me of that interior plea. “Sheep to the slaughter,” those were some of the words in what was a heart felt and beautiful email full of truth and compassion.

Hear these words: 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.…

This morning I was flooded with grace. In those moments I saw how the power of His grace lifts us beyond our circumstances. In those moments I was reminded of the truth that The Body of Christ is ONE entity; many parts but ONE Body. In our society as individualistic as it is, it is utterly foreign to think upon our life, in pure military terms. To think of us as a whole, as a unit.. to think of ourselves as stronger because there is a unit surrounding us, to pray for the reality that we would awaken to that fact and learn to not leave anyone “man/woman” behind!

To be able to see when one part of the Body is flourishing we don't have to step into jealousy or envy because it means that the Kingdom of God is flourishing, the purposes of Heaven are advancing, the ways of the heart beat of Jesus are being spread.

Love triumphs. When we see as He sees, we can proclaim as Paul did  that even though there are those that would  preach for self ambition,  the gospel is advancing. That is what matters.  It is the name of Christ, not of any one person, nor any one denomination.. It is the heart beat of our Father exploding as Christ's name is lifted up.

It is empowering to touch the understanding of the strength and beauty and victory of the Body; it will be through this unit that the Bride of Christ is fashioned and formed. When we regard ourselves as part of this Body, then to speak out against it, to bring harm to it... we bring harm and speak out against ourselves.


Yes, these thoughts are so contrary to this world and so contrary to our modern day society. But the concept even if I thoroughly botched communication of it, is powerful and beautiful and empowering to all of those that feel insignificant and small. To understand that there is no place for the words, “insignificant” and “small” within the Body of Christ is revolutionary. To all of us who are a part, of this magnificent, vibrant entity known as the Body of Christ, would that we would be empowered to learn that Christ is who is at the head, and His heart would always, ALWAYS be that no man is ever left behind.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

There is weakness and then there is weakness.....

There is weakness and then there is weakness.

I'm grateful for those that have written and shared their stories. I have found comfort in reading Nouwen and others, they make me feel so not alone. There are days I can read their words and days I just get angry at them. Days where they make the most sense and days where I'm repulsed by the depths of their honesty. Instead of their honesty I want answers and understanding. There are days they offer comfort and days when they just sting with my own bitter tears.

While this journey of my life has gone from level of transparency to level of transparency, and the envelope of vulnerability has been pushed across my desk more often then I would like to account; I find myself bucking at the idea of the current journey. Desiring more then anything to wait. Wait upon the end of this season, when I can share in form of testimony and with a sigh of relief. Waiting upon when testimony and words of hope can mingle and form within them that which empower us all to overcome. For we overcome by the blood of our most precious Lamb and the testimony of the saints. Ah... what is the last thing that empowers us to overcome. And we loved not our own lives even unto death.

The current challenge becomes will I write from the now. This place, this testimony.. the place from where I would want to release more expletives then praise. Except I know better. I really intrinsically know better. I wish I didn't. There is no life nor true release in the allowances of the flesh during any season. In seasons like these that seemingly go from bad to worse and then find even the next level, even though the flesh would rage, taming it is is at times the one thing that a human is left with. Even when every other choice is seemingly gone. There is always the choice of how to face the minute, the moment, the day, the week, the month, the unrelentingly long season?

How do you tame the flesh?

Hhhhhmmm...

One sure way, the only way.... By putting it to death. And death in the Western world especially is hard. When what is plastered even in Christiandom is success and achievement, and the measurement and standard of it has more to do with the values of the world, then the heart of Christ. Death is awkward and painful and reminds all who see it of their own mortality, whether physically or spiritually. It can be long and drawn out or just happen in an instant. Death brings suffering to the front. Death and the dying can't be fit into neat little boxes, nor can suffering.

How can we overcome?

One way I keep hearing the Father bidding me towards, is this, “love not your own life.” John the Baptist spoke it in the words that he must decrease so that Christ could increase. Jesus spoke that we can not serve two masters.

Laying down our lives or not considering our life even unto death, is not always and very rarely within our society ever going to be in a glamorous one-time act of ultimate fidelity spelled out in martyrdom. Rather it is a daily examin. As of late I have all to abundantly had opportunity to choose a daily place of dying to self and holding the flesh in check. Some days have had great victories and other days have had great defeat. The condition of my heart is what is at stake. The condition of our hearts is what is at stake.

Brother Lawrence writes, “In these times of dryness and unclearness which bother our souls, there needs to be fidelity to Him.”

I might not have a lot of choice in life. But one choice no one can ever take is the choice of the placement of my heart. Again I will say, we overcome when we love not our own lives even unto death. When I am stuck in bitterness, disappointment, anger, hate, judgement and the list can go on and on, then the overcoming begins when I turn and say not only, no to those things but repent for entertaining them.

In repentance and rest will be your salvation, Isaiah's words have always been true but so very true for me now. Not pretty, not pleasant, not fun and painful, exhausting, and it will take an act of your will until your will has been trained more readily to put the flesh to death and make the choice towards life.
This world is truly passing away, it is on its death march... but I am of another place that will go on for eternity and so are you.. from where are you making your choices....

There is no short and sweet answers... Wrestling it out with God like Jacob takes a long time.

A friend of mine wrote this status today and it has struck my heart; these are some of the best questions one could be asking right now...

Some of The Better Questions to be Asking   By: Beth Wilbur  



I was reading 1 Corinthians this morning when something caught my eye: "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God ..." (1 Cor 4:19) As Christians, we love to quote verses about The Cross being foolishness to the world. (Which it is and there is incredible truth there, but that's a different thought train for a different time.) But this morning I'm thinking of the world's wisdom that is still ingrained in my thinking that is found as foolishness in the site of God. 



 What standards do I hold that I don't even recognize as worldly? Do I admire success or failure? Do I hold status or occupation above a persons heart, heartache and life? Am I seeking to gain in the world or in the Kingdom? Am I fighting for the lost or my own position? Am I looking for His loving kindness or am I looking for prosperity? Am I looking for Him among the "least of these" or am I looking to be seen by leaders? Am I seeking to love or just to be loved?


And what does He say about all these things? What does He see in failure, in lack of status, in the lost and in my heart? Where can I find places that need changing in me that will make me more like Him?

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Write a letter," He would say... and it would open my heart in ways that were so very beautiful..

Today I was drawn to the fact that even 2000 years ago Jesus spoke of His return. I was drawn to it but not the way in which you would think. I think Jesus would respond to much teaching about His return, as He did when the disciples were so excited that even the demons submitted to them in His name. I think He did and would always point back to the essentials and point back to life. Having said that today I also thought about the impetuous upon the believer to understand and know the times. But not just for the sake of knowing the times. 


We are called to know the times so that we can operate within them in a way that brings life to us and to others. These times are those times when the days grow darker, and we are called to not forsake the gathering together, nor are we to be negligent of how we are handling our own lives. Our lives are not our own, and we are stewards of things entrusted to us; maybe the Master has tarried but He will come back. We are called to not be haphazard with these things.


Early this morning I felt the strength and presence of our Father, and I felt this interesting request upon His heart... His desire was that I would write a letter, a letter to His son, my Brother. Write to your brother, He spoke; and I knew He was not speaking of my biological one. 



This morning I would begin to write:





Brother,




It is promised in Scripture concerning Your return. You, Yourself, spoke of it and said only Father knows when exactly. I can see these days and times. You spoke of an increase of evil and darkness. Oh goodness how these times are such.




You told us to be made aware; You granted us stories liken unto the foolish and wise virgins. You laid out instruction of how we were to be and walk within these days. Paul would write to the Ephesians and tell them to be careful of how they walked, again not to be unwise but to be wise, expressing the very fact that the times were evil. Within those same verses Paul would also speak of being a people of understanding and not fool hardiness. 




There is nothing new under the sun, and the world has known times as these before. I feel it ever important to remember that. The earth has groaned before. Does it get louder now? Or just different?




I think upon You. I think upon all the things that wait ahead for me. I think about holding your hand, and seeing in full. I think about your smile and your laughter. I think about knowing as I am fully even now known. I look forward to the days and times ahead. But even with those thoughts I think about these days.




I don't want to be foolish and not handle the matters of my heart in a way that honors You. I think upon the foolish steward and Brother, I don't want to be liken unto him, upon Your return. Of Your primary care is the house of my heart. May I steward my affections and desires well. May I call them by your graces and acts of my will to only ever mirror Your affections and desires. 




I think upon You, Brother. I think upon our Father. I think upon the days when these days will be those that are written down not being lived out. I think upon others that have gone before me and spoken of fidelity to You and our Kingdom. I want to be found faithful. You elevated me to co-heir. I want not to be haphazard with our Kingdom, as it is even while I am its ambassador here upon earth. 




What gifts can I bring to you, that matter? They are my choices in this age! My will... I am reminded of days long ago when approaching a very hard season, I spoke to our Father. I laid my will before Him, and prayed that regardless of what the days ahead would hold that I placed a “YES” before His throne, and that any “no” ever spoken within any moment was to be negated and only my “YES” remembered. I do that again, I want to do it often. I do not want to ever say “no” to the Holy Spirit or to You. It makes me sad to think of the times I have done so either in word or deed or attitude.




Empower me to bring all my affections and desires to You. Empower me to walk faithfully to that which You called me. Empower my eyes to see through the smoke screens of the world, and the temptations and lies of our enemy and not to fall for them. Empower me to walk in love, overflowing with hope, joy and faith... Empower me to always call to mind, the reality of our Kingdom and its strength. Brother, there are times that that is hard. I cling to Your promise when you said that you would be with us even until the end of this age. I hold You to that promise as if You needed to be held to anything. Your own heart languishes for our reuniting. 



For now I will end. But this I will call to mind and remain in hope, Your lovingkindnesses never cease nor fail.. This world is hard to transverse; the darkness of this age so tangible at times and yet light grows ever stronger. Empower hope in me, my family, my friends and keeps our attentions upon You in this hour and in the hours to come....

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Are you depressed?




"Are you depressed?"

I couldn't look the man/doctor in the eyes, my head was too heavy for my neck, literally.  A week after the car accident I was sitting once again in my regular doctor's office.  Staring down at the floor, I said, "I don't know, you tell me." But that wasn't all I said.  Still staring down at the floor, my heart lurched and I couldn't tell which hurt more the entirety of my whole body or my heart.  It all hurt.

"We moved here almost ten months ago, right after launching our oldest son into the next phase of his life.  Before we could even get acclimated here, major explosions were going off back from where we came from, things that were affecting some of the people I love the most.  My aunt is fighting the battle for her life and my mom is living each day with her, most anything I thought was a "given" in life has evaporated. And on top of everything I am now in immense physical pain.  So I don't know doctor, I really don't know. You tell me, am I depressed?"

I couldn't see his expression, but across my path a tissue was handed over.

We talked more and at the end of the conversation, he concluded that I was able to say somethings felt better, I had hope and belief in places and could speak of silver linings upon hard circumstances.  It was a very gentle and sweet conversation and answered a lot of questions for me and my heart.  

This morning, four weeks into this thing, I'm beyond tired of my head feeling like it is an orange being pressed into a juice maker.  I'm tired of the world having a fancy spin upon it and I would love to look outside without wearing sunglasses.  I'm tired of spending the majority of my days laying down, with the world spinning and blurry. 

I'm tired of the bombs that won't seemingly stop going off.  When the landscapes of life are full of rubble and nothing makes sense and there is no "normal" to go back to, and all it feels like one can do is duck and cover.  But waiting for all the bombs to stop falling and for the dust to clear wasn't getting me anywhere.  

Duck and cover wasn't working. And I was angry. Angry that life was continually spinning out of control. But really I was just angry. Angry at God and others. I felt betrayed and wanted to blame everyone and everything for all that was crashing in around me. I felt duped again. I felt stupid for trusting and believing people, the church, the Lord. I felt betrayed by hope and by my heart. I felt ridiculous for letting go of a realistic view of things, aka cynical view of things.

Every terrain of my life had the debris of the bombs that had hit it and I was angry, and scurrying for a way out. The way out was going to be painful. It was going to point the flashing bright neon sign, not at anyone else, BUT straight at me. A huge blinking and bright neon arrow was going to point directly at my own heart. And the God who I want to serve, not a god of my own making, was going to ask me, “Do you want to deal?” In the most amazing Fatherly voice, He was going to come and rip off the band aids with the most gentle of hands.

I hated that I had needs. I hated that when I said, “I'm fine,” or “I'm ok,” that that wasn't true and I couldn't will it to be true. I hated that my heart was betraying me and the needs that I had were screaming and leaking through every pore. I hated that I was weak and vulnerable. I hated that I cared. I hated that I needed help. I had embraced vulnerability and transparency yet had come to a place where I despised them more than embrace them. I had judged them to do nothing except show weakness, and everything felt fraudulent. I had been vulnerable and shared my heart and my life and had been left seeing or thinking how stupid the whole thing was.... I wanted something different. But the “different,” felt cold and even more fraudulent. I was angry at how stuck I felt.

I felt trapped. And those I had sought for counsel in the past felt gone. Each part, of the landscapes of my life, that I had thought I had, had been decimated. And right when it felt like it couldn't get worse, the car accident happened.

The reality was I had needs and I was vulnerable. Vulnerable to a world that is fallen and where really bad things can happen. Vulnerable, ie not in control. I was angry that I was not in control. And realizing how very little I really trusted the Lord. How very little I trusted anyone. Trust had been broken in so many places and each was like a shard waiting to stab at my heart.

But again the neon sign wasn't pointing at any of those events, it was pointing at me. And a slow, quiet, persistent battle would begin. It continues. What I have learned in the last four weeks of life where there has been no other choice but to rest, is the lesson of choice. I can hate weakness and vulnerability all I want, I can paint upon my face and will within my soul to close down and be whoever I want, BUT at some point... at some point, it will collapse. Maybe the charade can last longer in your life but not in mine. The anger and hostility and bitterness was only eating at my own soul.

So liken unto the situation Peter found himself in, I squared off with Jesus... and spoke similar words, “I have no other place to go.” Believe me if I thought I did I would be heading there... But I don't. I don't even believe as much as I once did that You will even really help, but I do know you care and I do believe that though things don't look at all like I would want them to, I do want to believe that You are working around the scenes and working all things for my good. I will believe that. I am willing to believe that.

He is so contrary to most everything of this world. His ways and thoughts are so distinctly different, higher... better.. full of life. This world is dying. It is passing away Yet it was this world and things of this world that I was letting and wanting to fill the needs of my heart. I had learned those lessons in the past. This turn of revisiting them were going to depths unseen before.

So now... Now, I still have not a clue. Still sitting amidst some of that rubble of landscapes torn apart by life or other's choices, situations and circumstances don't change at the drop of a hat, but a heart can begin to.

I want to know Jesus not for I would make Him to be; Judas Escariot, wanted Jesus to be the immediate deliverer of Israel against the Romans and had not a larger vision. I can fall privy to that. The multitudes wanted to be fed, healed and delivered but not told the harder lessons, OH, I am so like that... Martha complained to Jesus and in her bitterness spewed, “if only you had been here,” not waiting or trusting His heart nor His intentions.. how often that is me. It isn't my time table, you left me wanting, you didn't do what I thought you were going to, and the list goes on and on...

In that place He speaks, “Are you leaving too?”


I look up and as my heart honestly speaks, I do know better. I know there is no other place to go. I don't know how to walk here. I don't know how to know You, for who you really are and not an idol I would make you into be, but I want you to be my God. I want to trust you. I want to know you. From there we continue to walk together through all the rubble and the terrain filled with exploded bombs.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A cultured vulnerability... or better stated ...When one is empty...

I am notorious for letting my car run so very close to empty.  Just ask my oldest son who has had to rescue me on more than one occasion.  It drives my children crazy how close to empty I will drive. I knew our car, the Kia, that we had up until a month ago.  I knew that car so very well.  I knew how far I could push it and I would often push it to the brink of its capacity.  Now this wasn't done out of stupidity but out of busy.  HHHhhhmmm, ok maybe in second thought that is stupidity.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

I would see where that infamous red line was and think, "oh I can do just one more thing," or "I don't have to stop to tonight; I'm too cold, too tired, couldn't be bothered, just want to get home, to the store, to the meeting, etc etc etc...." And so it goes on and on. At times I would end up stranded, and yet, at other times,  I would just end up preoccupied. Thinking too much, and being in a nervous state of just  how low my tank was and would I be able to get to whatever destination. Would I be able to get to where I needed to be? Those thoughts would fill my head, instead of just taking the time, pulling into a gas station and filling up.  HHHhhmmm

I am a BIG believer in what realities present themselve in the natural, are OH SO INDICATIVE of those in the spirit... And that is how I was living my life...

As I have said before, it was once spoken to me that if I would be vulnerable and transparent that healing would come to others.  I mastered a cultured vulnerability. Oh don't even pretend to not understand what it is I am saying.  Our individualistic, pluralistic modern day society feeds at the troughs of feigned or measured out vulnerability.

It's the hip new thing... BE VULNERABLE...  People love that stuff; reality tv, reality church, reality life.. let people in.. Except people HONESTLY don't want to see the dark stuff, the places where you really struggle.. Be vulnerable but calculating and that, my friends.. is such a horrific and lonely place that only is going to be ending up in death...

Now I am not saying bare it all.. But when praise is attributed to you for being vulnerable and yet you know how much others don't know, YOU FEEL LIKE A FRAUD... AND in some ways you ARE....  Playing the part of the 21st century court jester in the pulpits and in life...

I know masters of it and  have been one myself.  You know, those who give you so much from the pulpits, the blogs, the articles, etc etc etc and yet you  truly don't know them.  They have decided what to let you into and so did I, walking with culture but being nothing more than a white washed tomb. Looking gorgeous and culturally relevant on the outside but perishing on the inside.

I know many exhausted people.  There is a tangible exhaustion in the spirit and yet a feverish push to keeping the mechanisms of ministry going.

In one of my last blog posts, I quoted Bill Johnson.. I will do it again:

"One of the side effects of losing intimacy with God is that at some point we stop doing ministry out of imagination and we begin doing it out of memory."

I also shared the picture of the empty clay jar with the black scum on the bottom of it, and how the Lord expressed to me that that was what I was pulling forth from.  It is no different than my car, or my feigned or measured out vulnerabilities, ministry (oh forget ministry.. LIFE), without daily resetting towards His presence and His heart is EXHAUSTING.

So when  my car has been on empty for longer than even I have felt comfortable with and I finally pull into a gas station, it takes a while for that car to be made full again.  What if I kept my car at full?  It is suggested in very cold places to do just that.  Then at every 3/4 tank I pull into fill; I pause my life and pull in to fill up, then it wouldn't take so long each time.

I have been on empty.  I have been on empty longer than I care to even think.  I have lost imagination and traded it in for my minimal expertise.  PATHETIC.  I know better.  I pushed myself further than I could really go but kept on running on fumes.  So as to what?  Not look empty?  To keep up and not get left behind... To serve God.. UGH... Obedience and not sacrifice is what His heart desires, and He certainly doesn't want His sons and daughters to be laying themselves on man made ministry alters exhausted and depleted beyond recognition.

SO.. Whether you are empty or not.... Begin to practice this, don't have room for one more thing.. Make room for this ... ASK God into every minute of your day!  Try to remember as much as you can throughout the day to pray things such as, "Father, into this moment I invite your presence, your council, your wisdom," "Jesus, be with me in this minute," "God, in this minute be with me."

Frank Laubach spoke of how doing just that for a month, your life will be different.  I am on day 10 and I can attest to the fact, that it is different.  A battle ensues on the insides, if not even more than before, but I capture each moment and draw Him to me and me to Him through invitation. And bit by bit gas/oil is refilling my tank.

So.. one last thing and then I'll be done for now, here is a piece of a journal entry I made today..."When one is empty, be empty!  Be empty and wait for Him.  Better to have not gotten to that state but if for whatever reason one is found in such a place, be empty and feign not being full.  Be empty with Him.  I must trust Him in my empty places that He will fill them.  Trust Him and lean not on my own understanding.  There is no keeping to keep up with and there is no keeping up with Him.  Rat races are rat races and I know better.  Each walk is so individual, no one is a copy.  I pause in this place to be made full, because I want you.  Because when people get me without You, it stinks and it exhausts all involved.  Just always remember children if they are tired and what they are like, they must take a nap or the afternoon is just to be endured, not lived and certainly not enjoyed."