Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The song of the Bride is both a dirge and a shout of triumph...

There I said it...

I remember back over a decade ago.. When this one friend of mine and I stepped into a moment.
It would become probably one of the most honest conversations I had ever had and one of my all time favorite conversations of my life.

We asked the very hard questions. We were truly honest with one another. We discovered that neither one had what the other one thought that person had, and we laughed and we cried and we discovered true love and friendship.

I'm back upon a journey at a new height. It isn't a circle around a wilderness, it is a journey up a steep mountain and I have just gotten some new rope and new courage and instead of laboriously tromping up the beaten path, I'm scaling new heights.

I have looked fear, rejection, betrayal, sorrow, loneliness, pain, and that list can go on and on... and said.. “You are going to walk with me. You are going to be a part of my life.

What I do with you is the key.
You are always going to be around some corner.
You are always going to be right in my face.
Your voices are real and yet there is one who amplifies them and taunts me with your ills.

So I look at you.
I look at you square in the face.
I say.. come along traveling companions.
Come along.
Because I know something that the one who taunts me doesn't want me to know.
I know that if I let you, you produce amazing realities inside of me.
If I don't let you torment me, but I allow myself to be formed through you, I will be formed BY Another.
You see.. I will be lonely. I will be afraid. I will be rejected. I will know sorrow. I will feel pain. BUT I WILL NOT KNOW DEFEAT. Through all these things I will overcome. NOT because I am strong enough, or resilient enough, or have it altogether.
More times than naught, I want to say YOU WIN.. YOU'RE RIGHT, I'm the fool to believe otherwise...
The voices that scream.. You aren't wanted, You aren't needed, Nobody cares, You are the fool for believing otherwise. Those voices.. those taunts.. that only equals DEATH. They might EVEN BE RIGHT.
Maybe I'm not wanted by those I want to be wanted by..
Maybe I'm not included by those whose company I want to keep and whose friendship I thought I had
Maybe I'm not a million things..
But for as much as I am NOT.. HE is the GREAT I AM...

So while I am lonely, He whispers.. Lo I am with you even until the end of the age
So while I am hurting, He comforts and speaks I will never leave you nor forsake you
So while I am grieving, He weeps with me and upholds my hand
So while I am scared, He smiles because He knows the most bedazzling of secrets, and mouths the words for me to not be afraid, as He stands towering over me so that I can rest in His shadow. He stands over me declaring me as “MINE” the reality that I am HIS thunders throughout all Creation.
He teaches me His ways of joy and laughter and leads me quietly beside still waters even during the most turbulent of times.
So while I am weak, I am learning the magnificent Kingdom reality that I am strong, because He strengthens me.

The taunting and reality of this life, this world, and spiritual darkness is such to have me wear masks so I am accepted and play strong so I am wanted. The song of the Kingdom is to unmask and with unveiled faces behold Him, and let His love transform all those places in us that would receive the lies and taunting of this world.
Of course I am wanted.. I was thought about before the Creation of the world
Of course I am strong... Because regardless of what I can “perform” He is with Me, and His rod and staff strengthens me...
Of course I am loved... His passion took Him from the Heavenly realms to a straw bed in a manger to a wooden cross...

So I will walk in this world with sorrow, I will walk weak at times, I will touch pain and rejection, betrayal and loss... But I will through grace walk .. more like it LEAN... and keep my eyes upon Him as the winds and the waves try their best and when the wind and the waves win, I will take a hold of the out stretched arm that will always be out stretched for me... I will know joy, laughter, delight, peace, compassion.. because I know Him and because He brings the best of gifts...


It all entwines to become a majestic symphony and it's melodies are the most phenomenal sound of all creation.. It is the song of the Bride being birthed and formed and fashioned for a wedding and a banquet that has been guaranteed.

Come walk the narrow .. high passages with me .. as we cross over to meet the One whom my heart loves...


Saturday, April 19, 2014

I need to call Him Lord... but then I don't get my way... THANK GOD

I'm an extrovert on a meditative journey.  The first time I wrote those words in my journal I laughed. How true.  But those words seemingly are at opposing sides.

This season has shown me all I would want to believe about God and His ways are true. Places within me have been confronted ever so deeply at how much I have been a person of the world and its ways.  
The ways of the Lord are utterly counter culture to the ways of man.

Rest and trust and leaning are really the postures that advance the Kingdom of the Lord.  What the world would perceive as weakness and foolishness are actually the hidden gems that we must learn how to search out...

Then this week, I was lead to this most perfect verse in Exodus... Exodus 14:14 "The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

I have found that has I have leaned and leaped or stagnated and pulled away, that His ways are so majestic and so thoroughly the way upon which my life needs to be lived. 

Rest and trust are not laziness and inactivity.  They are the powerful force of the Kingdom.

I have trusted in horses,chariots, men and proverbial armies.. I have trusted in the wisdom and strategies of this age instead of the ways of God.  I have wanted the 32,000 of Gideon and only found myself reduced to the 300.  But in the reduction I have found the victories of God and they are oh so much more satisfying.

I could gain the whole world but lose my soul and I have watched as people in the world and people in the ministry have done such things,  I know not the direction my path is taking.  I know not the next steps beyond the day.  I know not what the future looks like. And that is terrifying and disquieting, and rumble in my soul.

I don't come to weakness easily, I don't come to trust easily, I actually hate vulnerability and transparency even while I embrace it.....  I have found that there is no other way.  Or let me restate that .. the other way, I can not embrace.  I can not embrace a poker face. I can not embrace while I want to, "an I don't care or it is FINE," mentality.  I want to close down my heart and lock it up behind a dead bolt lock and live BUT the problem is that isn't life and the death that causes (AND that I have tasted) is a far worse death then the life of walking admitting my need, my weakness and waiting upon Him to renew my strength and to heal my heart...

I am a child of another Kingdom... and its ways and its law of love must be branded on the interior of my being in such a way that forms me out. To live contrary to that is to not live a life of fidelity to the one I call Lord, and I NEED to call Him Lord.. but then I don't get my way.. THANK GOD

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Free 8 Week Stir The Water Webinar: Stirring the Waters: Cultivating a Lifestyle After the Heart of God.




It has been a year of discovery. A place where in some form or facet there are questions being asked, quotes being quoted, dialogue concerning Him, His ways, and His passions. Not just dry and methodical theological discourses mind you, but a searching out of His heart. It is the coming together in coffee shops, kitchens, car rides with a brother or a sister and talking about Him, and what does it mean to walk with Him and love Him and serve Him in the 21st century.

In that I began to discover and rediscover what my heart's desires have been since I came to know Christ over 20 years ago.

 I have always relished the words of God, when He speaks out about being our God and calling us His people. I have always loved.. I MEAN LOVED Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God.

 I have always loved the fact that God still spoke. I have loved the mystics of old and the brothers and sisters of today who find the path of contemplative prayer and live there.

So where that brings me is this...

 I am an extrovert on a meditative journey.


 I want to do this with people.

 I want to create spaces for people to discover or rediscover (as I have been doing) themselves and the Lord.

 I want to create spaces for people to tune into the depths of who they are and who God is; as to form out their life in a way after God's own heart.

What does it mean to walk the pace of Heaven? How does prayer become an adventure? What does it mean and how does one invite God into each and every minute of the day? How can the disciplines become a dance and a delight and not a method to prove my worth or perform? What should I meditate upon? Where does creativity come in? How can my senses awaken and how can I more thoroughly understand what I perceive through them? What are these dreams? What do they mean? What are the mysteries of the night?


If you know me at all you know I love words. I wanted to encompass all that was upon my heart and ask you to join me, walk with me along this path... let's talk together and discover alongside one another the immense delight we can have in knowing and being known by our God.

So tongue in check but not really... Here is the very long title I came up with when I was day dreaming about starting this time together.....

The would be not so glamorous but utterly amazing lifestyle of a dreamer, seer; person who loves the revelatory heart of God being expressed through time and space and humanity. Or more simply put and fitting into the space for the title of the webinar.. Stirring the Waters: Cultivating a Lifestyle After the Heart of God.

I began to think of the Karate Kid. I thought about “wash the car,” “sand the floor,” and “paint the fence.” I am always thinking of how can I become a person who has an interior that is formed out and fashioned by the Lord and how do I become a person who walks intrinsically after the heart of our God. What are the tools? How can I live a life in this modern day world that exemplifies the passion of my God but not perform it and exhaust myself BUT really live?

Join me for a Free series of webinars where we examine:

  1. Inviting God into each minute
  2. Words of the ancients
  3. Prayer becomes an adventure
  4. Disciplines become a dance
  5. Creativity becomes a choice
  6. Revelation is Everywhere
  7. Awakening the Senses –The Seer
  8. Understanding the Mysteries of the Night – The Dreamer


So starting on Monday, April 28th and running through June 23 (skipping memorial day) we will meet and spend a week on each topic, at 9:30am (est)
Here is the Link Registration Web Link: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/356435022


Look forward to Being together on the journey.


The pages of a journal upon a night when sleep won't come..... Lord, I am Achan..

The pages of a journal upon a night when sleep won't come.....

Lord, I am Achan... I have taken things from Jericho that were never mine to touch.
Lord, I am Thomas... I have doubted
Lord, I am Peter... I have denied
Lord, I am Judas... I have betrayed
Lord, I am the multitudes... I have walked away
Lord, I am the Laodicean's... I am luke warm
Lord, I am the ones who fell asleep when you needed a friend.. I am slumbering and not prayerful


But while I am all those things, I hunger to authentically call You, Lord.

I see something..

In the shepherds that beheld you...
In the young virgin whose willing heart received You into her womb...

I've fallen in love with the Marys, the Zacheaus', the Thomases, the lepers, the centurion, the children, Nicodemus, the wise men, the Samaritan woman.

I have the rich young ruler in my heart and yet I'm the girl breaking the vile of perfume upon Your feet.
I am the publican and yet in the same breath the pharisee.
I am Noah building the ark and I am Noah drunk and naked.
I have created the Ishmaels but have also been willing to sacrifice the Isaacs.
I have hit the rock like Moses.
I have hidden in the wine press like Gideon.
I have rejected the calling and have become embittered like Jonah.
I have boasted like Joseph and landed in a pit, only to become a slave and a prisoner.
I have wandered around and around and wept and travailed and hidden and interceded.
I have seen Your wonders and stood alongside You, watched multiplication and deliverance.
I have worshiped
I have rejoiced.
I have loved and been loved.
I have lost.
I have found.
I have trusted.
I have doubted.
I have seen.
I have heard.
I have been blind.
I have been deaf.
I have been and not been so very many things.

I repent for I have tried to hide all my shortcomings as to present myself to You, instead of letting the Christ present me.
I have tried and exhausted myself in attempts to prove my worth.
I have played the part of the fool.
I have labored instead of rested and tasted the defeat of vanity and seen too many half built towers.
I have walked with You like Adam and Eve and then I, too, have hidden from you; afraid and full of sin.


In all my inconsistencies,
In all my frailties,
In all my foolishness,
You have loved me well.

You have remained consistent.
You have been faithful.
You have covered my nakedness and healed my disease.
You have never forsaken.
You have called me Your own.
You have redeemed me.
You have taught me.
You have healed me.
You have ransomed me.
You have led me.
You have instructed me.

All the things I can't do and all the things I can...
All my successes...
All my failures...
All my weakness...
All my strength...
All my sickness...
All my sorrow...
All my loneliness...
All my joy...

You are in all ….
You are the Great I Am...

I know not the journey before me
I know not the path that tomorrow brings


But it is to You that I desire to lift up my soul towards.. I have lifted my soul up to many an idol... they have left me naked and ashamed but You have clothed me with righteousness and called me to walk unafraid...


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.