Sunday, October 21, 2007

He Holds You

Do you see this beautiful picture? Really focus and take it in. This is you right now. No matter what you are going through, soak in the reality that your Father holds you. You think, "Jesus is holding a child in this picture." Yes, that child is you. When I saw this photo, I felt it was a message for those who are grieving. It is when we grieve, we lose all of our composure. The veil is removed and we are vulnerable. One embrace from our heavenly Father and we melt. We are safe to be. We are free to weep. This is for those who are grieving.

Grief is like being on the ocean when the waves are really rough. Or it can be described as a tidal wave which hits unexpectedly. Everything in you and in your life is suddenly changed. The loss of a loved one is as a violent storm.

Even if your loved one passed away a year ago or more. There will still be swells in the sea of your heart. There are triggers that cause the swell such as holidays, the anniversary date of the death, or even just seeing something in the store can trigger a swollen wave of grief. Do not be discouraged and feel as though you are not healing. We must learn to ride the wave when it comes. It is a healthy part of your healing.

Also when you are in the midst of cresting waves, guard your heart against condemnation. Other voices will come and whisper that you are not thankful for what you have. Grieving and experiencing sorrow does not mean you are not thankful. Sorrow means you are courageous enough to love. Sorrow means your heart is soft enough to hurt. Your Saviour catches you in the turbulence, holds you until you are still, and never releases His grip upon you.

Sorrows as a tidal wave crash upon
heart and chest as weights of unflinching steel
Pressing upon me as though I could
Never breathe again.

I cry, "Saviour, I cannot inhale.
I am fading, please save me.
This surge is cresting,
Do not let it over take me.
Are you here?

The inflaming monster approaches,
There is no relief in sight
Suddenly, I am caught
Beneath its unending vigor.

Black. All is black.
Will my heart beat again?
Yet I am alive.
Stillness. Illumination.

The crest has broken
Its violent intention
Push me upon the shore
Upon the bosom of the One
Who retrieves me
And breathes hope and life
Back into me

The next wave is bulging
I know of its plot
but I know His loving stance
To catch me after each shattering crest
And to replace my breath with His
Upon His eternal shore
Within His unending hold
I will make it through each wave
Until the sea is glass.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Life's Bare Necessity-Intimacy with God

As a little girl, I would flip through the same story book until the pages were worn. It was bound with Disney Classics of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and all of the well known fairy tales. Also, my grandmother had a box in her closet filled with fluffy dresses and high heeled shoes. She also would give me old tubes of lipstick that I would put on when playing "dress up" After donning myself with such "grand" apparel, I would proceed to the huge living room where my grandparents had numerous record albums of what we then called "elevator music". I did not care for the sort, but it had to do. I would spend countless hours making up dances and creating make believe balls where I was the princess.

In Staci Eldredge's book, Your Captivating Heart, she shares the same examples illustrating how God created our hearts as women to long to be the beauty, the princess, and to be pursued by the One who cherishes us the most. There are traces of evidence even from the womb, that God created us with those longings. He created us for intimacy.

Where there is intimacy there is fulfillment, joy and fruitfulness in our lives. May the concept of intimacy be redeemed in this fallen world we live in. The enemy of your soul does not want you to know the full definition of the word, intimacy, and how to thrive in your relationship with God.

In the Wikepedia, intimacy is described well. Here are some statements shared.

"Intimacy is linked with feelings of closeness, safety, trust, and transparency among partners in a collaborate relationship."

"For intimacy to be sustainable and nourishing, it also requires trust, transparency, and rituals of connection."

"Intimacy requires empathy-the ability to stand in the other's shoes."

"Intimacy requires identity development. You have to know yourself(know who you are in Christ (my addition) in order to share yourself with others.

Even though these statements came from an encyclopedia, they perfectly describe God's heart for you. He desires to be intimate with you and He longs for you to return that affection to Him. The voice of our Savior's heart cries out, "I want to be close to you so that I may show that you can trust me. You must trust me. I am asking you to come closer to Me so I may show you all that is in my heart for you. I know who I am, the Alpha and Omega, your All in All. However, you will not know really who you are until you come close and learn who I am. For you to know yourself, you must know Me. Yes, you may know of Me, but you must grow to know me. As you long to be known and understood, I too desire to be known and to share my heart with those I can trust. I stood in your shoes by dying for you. As my child you now are in right standing with Me and I wait for you to come closer. In return, I will draw nearer to you."

Psalm 139:13 says "You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb."
This verse clearly expresses God's intimacy with us before we were even aware of what affection was. Verse 15 shows us that our frame was not hidden from Him and He was weaving us together in secret. This was an intimate time; just you and the Maker. As He was forming your inward parts, He was constructing much more that your organs, muscles, and blood. The Creator of all the Universe was forming a living sanctuary within you where He deeply desires to dwell.

Within you is a castle where riches long to be buried. Within you is a Prince who fights for your soul and rides to the high hills to recapture your heart when it starts to stray into dangerous terrain. This King of Glory whose name is Faithful, paid a very elaborate price to be intimate with you. He is captivated by one glance from you. Stir the known and unknown longings within your heart and call to Him. He awaits your invitation!

(This was inspired after reading, Your Captivating Heart, by Staci Eldridge)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Passion and Purpose- A Great Couple

"I DARE YOU"!!!!Let's play truth or dare! No! How about we live the truth and plunge into the dare! I just dare you to fan the flames in your heart and jump on the hot road of God's purpose for you in this earth! I dare you!

I have been reading Joyce Meyer's newest book, "I Dare You". It is a powerful and encouraging writing that will confirm, reaffirm and stoke the coals of passion and purpose in your heart. This writing is also packed with practical wisdom in maintaining your vision with courage, discipline and consistency.
God has given you dreams and they are not something you just thought of. Once you were passionate about the dream and you dared to believe those dreams would become a reality. However the bad guy has lied to you and has robbed you of your heart's desires. What did you used to dream about? You need to go back and recapture those divine longings. Go into the enemy's camp and take back what he has stolen from you. You have believed a lie and it is time to take back what is rightfully yours as a child of the King.

I would encourage you to read this book. Joyce talks about passion and purpose. If you look at the photos above, you will see the illustration of the balance between passion and purpose. Many people have passion in their hearts for many things. However, passion without purpose can get out of control. Think of an actual fire. If a fire is not controlled by water, it will spread and do a lot of damage. However, a fire that is controlled can fulfill it's purpose. Having flames of the heart are powerful when they are combined with the water of the Holy Spirit.

The water of God's Spirit, keep the passion in line and on the road to purpose. On the other hand, if I have a great purpose with no passion, then there is no flame to spread that purpose. It is not catching and will die out eventually.

We also must make it a practice to stay poised before the Lord. (read more about this on the website under Heart Threads). Remaining fixed and consistently hovering over the promises from God's heart, in addition to thriving in our relationship with Him, are the keys to being victorious in being who God has called us to be. It is also vital for the dreams He has placed within you to come to pass. You have a responsibility. God will not drop your dream into your lap You have to fight for it.

Sometimes you will feel alone in your passion and purpose. This is not the time to give up. When you are alone, the enemy will take advantage of the moment and try to impregnate you with his lies, abort your dream and destroy your fire. In the seasons when you feel alone in your dream, you need to make it your passion and your venture to make this the most intimate time with your Lord. This is the practical way to overcome the adversary of your heart and dreams.

I encourage you to read this book. It is packed with practical wisdom for your future. Furthermore it will fan your flame of destiny. Keep pressing on and be courageous!! I DARE YOU!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Who is God Speaking Through?

A couple of weeks ago,my oldest son told me that I have a bad habit of interrupting people when they are talking. I was shocked and surprised he corrected me. However, it was done in a very respectful and loving way. I never realized I had this habit. However it took my own child to point it out.

The choice was before me to receive correction from my own son with humility or to pridefully reject what he shared with a pure heart. Over the last couple of weeks I caught myself doing just that. Someone was sharing something with me and I interrupted with something I wanted to say. Once, I even found myself finishing some one's sentence for them. It made me realize how rude I must sound to others at times.

I believe the Lord wants to break me of this habit and I am thankful He brought it up through my son. As parents or even leaders, I think we can become prideful in who we receive truth or correction from. We tend to choose those that we will allow to speak into our lives at times with a haughtiness that someone "less mature" than us cannot actually reveal something undesirable in our lives. This is a true test of humility. Here are some questions to ask ourselves.

As a parent, do I feel resistance rising up when my child says something about a weakness I have? As a leader, do I have attitudes toward others that they are not as "far along as me" spiritually, therefore I do not need to receive from them? We must always keep our hearts open to every avenue God wants to speak.

As for me, personally, I want to be a better listener. That means speaking much less that I listen. My heart is to help others work through their problems by pointing them to Jesus. Allowing others to finish what they are saying, and just being quiet is such a vital key in doing this very thing. The Lord listens much more than He speaks. How I want to be like Him.

Lord, Thank you for your grace and the loving way you correct us. You desire for us to be transformed into your likeness even in the way we listen and the way we relate to others in conversation. Help me to be more courteous like You Lord. Amen.