Archives For peace

Meditating On

April 7, 2014

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (I Corinthians 2:1-5)

It’s so easy to get caught up in the words, right? There are so many words, competing messages, and directions for our hearts and minds to take. We gobble them up, feed on them, sustain ourselves with them, and oh how hungry we go to bed every night. Don’t you? I do.

But Paul, truthful Paul, he drops those lofty words and sweet wisdom in the mud, crushes them with his heel, and says, “No, friends, I decide, I purpose, I war with my flesh, to know nothing, nothing, among you, except Christ.”

Oh, how my prideful, boasting, self-righteous, independent heart needs to hear the apostle say those words: it’s not of me, it’s of Christ and for Christ and about Christ.

 

The Keeper of the Peace

March 30, 2014

peace

There are all sorts of opportunities to doubt God’s faithfulness and His sustaining goodness to us. Financial difficulties, marriage or roommate difficulties, church difficulties—everywhere we look in life we can see reasons the world would give us for not trusting God in the midst of difficult circumstances or fearful endeavors.

In my life right now it seems in every direction there are opportunities for the enemy to whisper or shout, “You will not have peace!” Our home bears the weight of that threat, my relationships bear the weight of it, my mind bears the weight of it, even my heart bears it. It has been a hard year. I’m not complaining, I’m just confessing that I look around me right now and say with Job, ”I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes (Job 3:26).”

When I feel the lack of peace I tend to go hunting for it. I’ll turn over every rock and stone until I find it, but Isaiah 26:3 says that it is GOD who keeps me in peace. In all my grappling and grasping for it, He’s the keeper of it. All I do is keep my eyes fixed on Him, the author and finisher of my faith (Heb. 12:2).

Choosing today to fix my eyes on Him, not my circumstances or fears. Trusting today that He’ll keep me in perfect peace, like a good father keeps his children in clothing and food, keeps his home in order—this is the way God keeps me clothed and sustained in peace.

Make Myself at Home

February 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

For reasons better left to your imagination, I have never felt at home in this house. Moving away from my last house was wrought with too many lasts to count. Every meal felt like mourning and I cried, hard, when I went back alone one last time to close every cabinet door and sweep every corner. So much living happened in that house, so much loving.

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We moved into this house in the dead of summer, sweat pooling down our backs, and a piano to make space for. No one thinks they have that much stuff, but when every worldly possession (and a few of your old roommates ‘to store’) is jengaed inside a UHaul, you realize how tied to earth you are. Books, tablecloths, chairs, and that piano. I stopped counting boxes.

All our living stacked in a UHaul and hauled thirty-five minutes north.

I spent a day at my old workplace this week, driving on familiar roads to get there, greeted by hugs and exclamations when I walked in the door. Thirty-five minutes north doesn’t feel far until you haven’t driven it in two months.

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I have never settled into this place. There are many reasons for it and I have no regrets, but the fact remains that when I wake up, I wake up to strange walls and strange sounds. I am homesick for something that doesn’t exist anymore. My three roommates are building new homes with their husbands. Three years is the longest I’ve lived with anyone and they three are the deepest I’ve loved anyone yet.

Six months later may seem a pregnant amount of time for me to just be mourning it now, to just be settling into this home now, but I have my reasons, I do. And those reasons aren’t really important to most of you.

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This morning I made breakfast and coffee, washed a few dishes, lit candles while we ate. These are the exact motions of our every days, and I hope someday soon they will be the motions of one who loves her home. For now, though, they are the work of love—the tilling, the sowing, the planting that comes before the reaping.

All it really takes to love a home is to live in it, to work in it, and to do it well. All of love is work. It is piling every energy, resource, and belonging into one place, counting it with joy, and unpacking it, box by box until the work of love is natural and full.

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Pot, Meet Kettle

January 13, 2014 — 9 Comments

My first blog was on a Live Journal domain (remember those?). I took its name from a Burlap to Cashmere song that, to this day, I still don’t really understand the full meaning behind. I just knew I loved the three words strung together. The year was 2000 and my family was turned upside down in about a year. You name it, we experienced it in that year. I didn’t know where to turn, or to whom, and so I turned to anonymity.

I became a blogger.

In 2000 a blogger was either Jason Kottke, posting links to interesting content on the rising web, or it was an angsty teenager ranting about life. It was my last year as a teenager, so I fit nicely in the latter category. I wrote voraciously. Sometimes three posts a day. I didn’t care who read, or if anyone did, but I began to find a community of other bloggers. There was this brotherhood among us of sorts, people from all over the United States who stumbled on words not their own but which could be. I don’t have other words for it but divine. It was divine in the sense that it was almost otherworldly at that point. There were no dating sites, chat rooms were still a little strange, actually meeting someone in real life was rare and coated with suspicion. But it was also divine in the sense that it was a timely gift from God.

I spent years working out my salvation on the pages of the internet. By the time Sayable was birthed in 2008, I was one of the seasoned bloggers. My readership was still small by comparison, but in the annals of history, I was nearing mid-life at least. Every thought I’ve had about God has somehow been worked out on Sayable, or its younger siblings.

Writing is sanctification, if you’ll let it be.

This morning I opened my feed reader and read, as I do every morning. I find more and more often, I am just skimming. I open the posts with catchy titles or intriguing photos, so I am guilty of that which I complain of, I know. But I am so weary of the noise of blogging: the effort to churn out content instead of cherish the conviction.

One of my favorite quotes is by Lindford Detweiler, and I’ll never forget it. I love it so much that I screen printed it and it is the welcoming art as you walk into our home:

Music and art and writing: extravagant, essential, the act of spilling something, a cup running over…The simultaneous cry of ‘you must change your life, and welcome home.’ I’ve been trying to write songs again, and I’ve been hitting a maze of dead ends. I want the songs to reveal something to me, teach me something. It’s slow going. I’m not sure where I’m going. Uncertainty abounds. But the writing works on me little by little and begins to change me. That’s why I would recommend not putting off writing if it’s something you feel called to: if you put it off, then the writing can’t do the work that it needs to do to you. Yes, I think there’s something there. If you don’t do the work, the work can’t change you. (No one expects to change overnight.)

I’m weeping even now, as I read over that quote again by one of the finest lyricists I know. Here is a man who lets the writing do the work in himself. And I want that, friend and fellow writer, I want that for us. No matter what work it is that we put our hands to, I want it to do the deep work in us. The hard work, the cleansing work, the sanctifying work.

Blogging is hard work, I would never tell anyone otherwise, don’t make it easy by simply building a platform or gaining readers. That is not the point of blogging, and it is not the point of writing. We write to do the work in us, and God willing, in others. The publishers will use those big words about marketing and growth, but at the end of the day, those things will steal the soul of the writing you need to do.

Writing is sanctification and writing is God’s blessed gift to only a few of us. If you are a writer, don’t sell that sanctification for a contract or a deal. Turn your palms up, slow your mind, and do the upside-down work of the kingdom: your name always decreasing, ever increasing His.

My word for 2013 was rest and it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw the humor in it. I came into 2013 sleep deprived and exhausted. By the time I finished the year long theological training program in May (in which I needed to rise by 4:30am to make it to class on time), I wanted to swear off middle of the nights for the rest of time.

This year sleep has been my elusive friend and favorite companion. In other years I’d have said I was depressed, but this year was different. I honestly was tired. I was soul tired, heart tired, mind tired. I wanted emotional rest, yes, but really, I just wanted to rest.

There were so many times this year when I resented the sleep I craved. “What is wrong with me,” I’d ask myself. I’ve never been a snooze-button pusher and I would press it three, four, five times every morning. I’d keep myself up later than I needed, simply because the thought of more than seven hours of sleep sounded lazy, unnecessary, and entitled.

I know there are some of you who may roll your eyes at the luxury of being able to press the snooze button at all; your alarm clocks cry themselves awake intermittently through the night and early into the morning. It’s okay, there are other things you get that I don’t that are much nicer, so we’re even-steven.

As I reviewed my year, asking myself a dozen questions I ask every January 1st, I realized I’ve been given exactly what I asked for, rest, but I hadn’t seen it for what it was. God gives his beloved rest and sometimes that’s just plain shut eye. Sometimes what we seek is a haven, a quietness, a trust, and strength, thinking that will bring us rest, and rightfully so:

In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

But sometimes we just need to trust the times and sunlight and darkness, and just go to sleep.

I’m grateful I slept through 2013. It wasn’t the rest I thought I wanted, or craved, but at the end of the year it was the rest I needed. I can trust that because God never sleeps, never slumbers, always keeps watch over His children.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
Psalm 121

My word for 2014 is work. Let’s see how this one turns out ;)

Righteousness and Peace

December 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

I was reading Psalm 85 this morning and it spoke of how righteousness and peace kiss each other and I thought, “How beautiful.”

Under the reign of God, justice and peace join together, are for one another, perfectly complementing one another. There is no hierarchy of one over the other. They simply are, and then they meet, and they join in intimacy.

God, help there be more evidence of that in my life.

Silent Sanctification

August 1, 2013

still

I’ve written here for 13 years, about doubts, fears, concerns, questions, deaths, divorces, heartbreak, joy, moving, lessons, and learnings. In many ways this place is the very public working out of my salvation. Were you to peruse the archives you would find much poor theology and even more straight up narcissism. This page was my heart splayed out for anyone to read and I bled myself dry for it.

Last night I said to one of my closest friends that sometimes silence is the best sanctification, and I gave her a numbered list of all the things happening in my life right now that I can’t talk about publicly. At least not this publicly.

There’s so much of the blogosphere that lauds transparency and authenticity, but even that is rife with trophy stories and humble brags and I am strangled by the fear that I will join their ranks if I so much as whisper the numbers aloud. The truth is that even good things bring with them deep breaths and open palms. I do not know how this or that will turn out and I can’t even guess. And I don’t want to give you the opportunity to guess. Because I am selfish? Perhaps. Because I am fearful? For sure. But also because some things are best worked out in quiet, gentle, and still ways. Sometimes our rest is found there, in the stillness, in the mind’s sleep.

Sometimes writing in this place has been the best sanctification for me. But today silence might be my best sanctification.

In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

Speak What is True

July 26, 2013

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The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
Exodus 14:14

I cut my teeth on charisma, talk of tongues of fire and hands of healing. They said whatever I touched would be brought healing and it would be so natural I wouldn’t feel the power coming out from me. I have never forgotten those words.

It has been months now since I felt the power out from under me. Not that it ever came from me, no, but I have felt it like a rug pulled out from under me. My pastor preached a sermon a year ago about getting under the faucet of what the Holy Spirit is doing and I am standing in its stream, drinking and sputtering from the wealth of water and I am dry as a bone.

Powerless.

I ask not for your sympathy, though I covet your prayers. I do not even say this because it has been a very long, long, long time since I have written here and been fully honest. Nor because it must be said—everything true need not be spoken.

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Someone tweeted or retweeted this morning: Everyone tells at least four lies a day; one of which is usually, “I’m fine.”

I don’t know the scientific truth of that statement but I know how many times I said something akin to “I’m fine” today and it was more than four.

It is so common these days to always say what is true about self, to be honest, to be healed through telling your story, to be fully here, fully you. But I know myself to be the grandest teller of lies I believe. And if I lie even half as often to you as I lie to myself, then what does my story accomplish at all?

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Driving for a conference kept me in my car much this week and I listened to sermons and songs and tried not to use coarse language at street signs, my GPS, and other drivers. David Crowder sung a small refrain repeatedly: Here’s my life, Lord, speak what is true.

Tonight I’m overwhelmed with how much our culture, even our church culture, encourages us to speak what feels true. But—at the end of the day—He is the only one with the words of eternal life (John 6:68). He is the only one telling a story worth living. His story is the one that brings the power and healing and the hope. Tomorrow or next week or next month, I hope I will believe it more deeply. Until then,

Here’s my heart, Lord. You speak what is true.

A Life Full of Sabbaths

June 10, 2013

It’s Wendell Berry all this month. I drink in his essays, turning words over and over in my mouth. I read him aloud, even when no one is listening. Last night as she spreads cornmeal on wooden boards, I read her three paragraphs to give context to the quote written on the chalkboard: Though they have no Sundays, their days are full of Sabbaths.

He speaks of the cedar waxwings eating grapes in November. But he penned the poem The Peace of the Wild Things nearby then and poetry is meant to speak of the mysterious in the mundane and so he speaks of us, or the hoped-for us.

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This morning I read in Mark of Jesus healing on the Sabbath, the pharisees outrage, and the calm response of the Lord of the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

How we have forgotten that. How have we forgotten that?

She is leaving to get bread flour to bake round loaves in the brick-oven. Do you want to come with, she asks, dropping her prepositional phrase and picking up her purse. I am drinking coffee on the side porch and nothing could bid me leave the wild rushing of the river in front of me and the song of the orioles above me. This is my sabbath and I am made for it, I think.

The last time I was home was a year ago, in May, and I have waited a year for these few days. They are not exactly as I imagined in my mind, other duties and events capped its full breadth, but it is a few days at least of quiet and still. I was made for this week, I think. The coals burned hot in the brick-oven the other night and faces gathered around the tables, children everywhere, laughter lingering. A phone call from Malaysia from a globe-trotting brother: you always sound so happy when you’re home, he said, and it is true, except when it hasn’t been.

I have lived this year holding my breath, it seems, waiting for the mornings when I could sleep past 4:30 or when I at least didn’t have to hit the ground running, literally, as soon as I woke. I have lived this year waiting for Sabbath, guarding it with a fervor I didn’t know I had. If anyone came near it, I would square my jaw and shake my head: it’s mine!

I preened myself for my Sabbaths.

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Whenever I rest and really rest, empty my head of expectations (yours and mine), listen, really listen, I remember there is nothing of my doing in salvation; that salvation is one long rest in the same direction. There is work too, obedience and sanctification, moments of weakness and moments of strength. But at its core and its very marrow, the work of salvation is rest, Sabbath. It is to say, again and again and again, I rest in You, Lord of Rest. I find my Sabbath in you, Lord of the Sabbath.

The work of salvation is to live a life full to Sabbaths, even when there is no margin and little space, when there is demand from every outside element and every inside emotion. This is to trust that a God who rested when His work was not done—even when it was good—to set an example for His people: You are not done, children, no, but it is still good. And so rest. You are not made for Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for you.

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threeSomewhere along the way I forgot I had a story.

It is more accurate to say somewhere along the way I forgot I was living a story.

There’s so much noise these days and I don’t know how to shut it out and down and over and out. Our home is a quiet place, filled with simple things, but it is a small place, and there is no hiding from life’s noise. The coming and going, the phone calls with family, the boyfriends, the dishes piling, and the laundry. Some have said the single life is simple, but I dare anyone to say that to me who has had 32 roommates in a dozen years. As soon as I learn the rhythms and graces of one, she marries or moves and I plunge into another lesson with another girl. I cannot complain and do not: these girls have been family to me, each one of them slipping into her new life while I mourn her leaving, she has been family to me.

One and I are walking yesterday and the sun is setting, “You’re going to move with me?” I ask her, because we will close up shop on this house soon I think. She tells me she doesn’t know how to process the invitation that I would want her to meld her life with mine. I feel a sense of Naomi in that moment and she my Ruth: where you go, I’ll go; only I am the one saying to her: where I go, you come. (Ruth 1:16)

It is foreign to us both, the togethering that happens with strange people in a strange land. And we are all strangers, I think, we just haven’t awakened to its reality yet. Or life has been kinder to you than to me. Or perhaps, after all, it has been kinder to me than to you. We shouldn’t bother ourselves with such things.

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I am scrubbing the laundry room floor tonight and I know I ought to feel at home in this place, but it feels more a placeholder to me, a dog-eared page, a bookmark: Don’t Forget What God Has Done Here. And I don’t know if He means this house or Texas or this world, but it could be any and is all. We are all so enamored with making a place for ourselves when it is He who has made a place for all of us. His thumbnail is the sliver of moon, heaven is His home, the earth is His footstool, dare we even imagine we could build a place for Him? (Isaiah 66:1)

The air catches beneath the tablecloth as it settles centered, dust particles float, and I put the broom in the corner. The dishwasher and the washer both run, their steady hum sounding steady with the air-conditioner. It smells like lemon furniture polish and maybe the grapefruit in the bowl on the table. We have made a home here, placed ourselves in the center of our story. The doors revolve around us, the world revolves around us, and I wonder sometimes how little idea we have of His grandness and this home a vapor, our lives a breath, our whole story His.

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Link Love

March 22, 2013

Why We Need More Women in Ministry: “Second, male leaders can intentionally seek out female input. Women have an incredible wealth of wisdom, insight and parallel perspectives to offer the Church and the world—as men do.”

Should a Christian Dentist Fire His Too-Hot Hygienist? “At the root of this is, I fear, a kind of misogyny which identifies women themselves as the problem rather than one’s own lust and self-control. That’s not what the Bible teaches.”

Sanctification in a Season of Singleness: “I think that this regular emphasis on our roles as men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and so forth can obscure the one aspect of our identity that we have in common…”

In light of some blog-battles recently, regardless of where you stand on issues, we all ought to stand in goodwill and charity toward one another. It is not enough to simply admire someone’s level-headed in matters of controversy, without taking a cue for oneself. A few bloggers had some good things to add.

The Blogs, the Battles and the Gospel: “I commend these seven rules to my fellow bloggers and to all of us who engage in online discussion.”

Dude, Watch Your Jargon: “The easiest thing to do in a world where we get more air time but less ears is to nestle ourselves into a rut of discourse. We speak macro-jargon.”

On the Separateness of Preaching and Healing: “Some broken people you want to love, and other judgmental people (even though we know in our hearts that this, too, is a form of brokenness) you want to give a double-barrel of exegesis.”

And this week’s winner of all, Say Something Right Now, or Else! “Silence is not always golden. But the “say something, or else!” form of public shaming is frequently manipulative and the cries are sometimes best ignored.”

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What Love Is This?

March 4, 2013

Love is patient: it waits, it stills, it quiets before speaking.

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
Proverbs 25:15

Love is kind: it coats its words in gentleness, extending the hand of graciousness to every person, deservedly or not.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

Love does not envy: it finds contentment in today, rejoices with others who have what it wants for itself.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
I Timothy 6:6

Love does not boast: it brings nothing but the cross, it is built of humility and the knowledge that it is only a steward.

As it is written,
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
I Corinthians 1:31

Love is not arrogant: it assumes the best of everyone, deserved or not, never stops learning & is patient while others learn too.

I say to everyone among you not to think of himself
more highly than he ought to think.
Romans 12:3

Love is not rude: love holds its tongue when there is an opportunity to best or beat another with words.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19

Love doesn’t insist on its own way: it shows the best way is the way to the cross through the cross.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Love is not irritable: it doesn’t get annoyed, pissed, frustrated, or angry. It is not “owed” anything.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:9

Love is not resentful: it keeps no record of wrongs, when disappointed by someone, it forgives quickly, generously.

If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Colossians 3:13

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing: it weeps at the sight of brokenness, dissension, disunity, and gossip.

You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people,
and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:16

Love rejoices with the truth: it drops everything and sells everything to find truth instead of relying on what meets the eye.

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value,
went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46

Love bears all things: it upholds the weight others can’t hold, defending the defenseless and turning the other cheek.

But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn to him the other also.
Matthew 5:39

Love believes all things: it errs on the side of trust, not in man, but in God.

And those who know your name put their trust in you.
Psalm 9:10

Love hopes all things: it never stops hoping for the resolution and reconciliation of all things under heaven.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:18

Love endures all things: it holds up for the sake of the gospel, enduring persecution, gossip, slander, & injustice.

May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to live in such harmony with one another,
in accord with Christ Jesus.
Romans 15:5

Love never ends: it wakes up every day determined to do it all over again.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

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This is a series of tweets I wrote today based from I Corinthians 13. Mostly I was preaching to myself, but thought they might encourage some others. 

A blog-reader (and near friend) wrote me an email the other day containing these words:

l love the peace-speaking, life-giving nature of your blogs. You seem seized by your faith that the Lord can work out the differences in His Body—or at least help us live in peace despite them.

And then I read yet another diatribe about yet another divisive issue in the Church. And a biting tweet from someone who ministers effectively from an office about someone who ministers effectively from a garden. And then I heard someone snort behind me when a certain demographic was discussed.

Seized by my faith. Yes. But seized by my faith in a sovereign God. Yes.

Perhaps I’m simplistic, but I know how my brain works and the miles it runs every day, the questions it asks and the solutions it tries to find. I know how quickly I can survey the ground in front of me and how fast I can estimate the work to be done and the best way to do the work. So I don’t think it’s simplistic thinking that drives me to breathe deep at the factions, lift my eyes up and say, “But God.

We’re all so concerned with defending truth, or at least our best white-knuckled version of the truth, that sometimes we forget that God guards His truth and He will not be mocked.

He will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7).

Westboro Baptist Church may seem to make a mockery of Him, but then Fred Phelps grand-daughter comes out and extols His name.

Chic-Fila may have walked into a hornet’s nest, but then president Dan Cathy meets with GLBT spokesperson and puts flesh on the Gospel.

Mark Driscoll may tick a lot of people off, but Mars Hill Seattle is filled with hundreds of pastors who are on the ground, doing the work of the gospel and people are being saved.

But that’s not all:

I have pounded my fists in the air and cursed God’s name, and He still wants me.

He wants me?

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God will not be mocked and He will use arms, legs, hands, and feet shod with truth to take the Gospel to doubters and dwellers, skeptics and seekers, askers and atheists, pharisees and philosophers. He uses you and me—and all of us fools.

So the next time we’re tempted to write a blog post denouncing yet another brother or sister in Christ, or type 140 characters about how we know so much more about another person’s life or ministry calling, let’s take a second and a second look at the miry pit from which we came.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
Psalm 40.2

He wants you. And He might have used a fool or two along the way to get to you.

Because, don’t worry, He knows His sheep and they know Him. And His name is safe.

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s t i l l

January 4, 2013

It came to me over lunch, baby carrots, blackberries, and tiny purple potatoes. I was reading, underlining a sentence I wanted to think about later.

Later. When later?

I took a deep breath and took another bite, letting the blackberry jewels burst against the roof of my mouth and the sweet juice fill every corner. I always mean to be part of the slow food movement but my life doesn’t let me. It is enough that I am a part of the whole food movement and it has to do for this season. Slow food, like slow reads and slow moments, take time and time is a luxury in these days.

And it came to me then: still. I thought the word for 2013 was going to be ask, but what if God was asking me to stop asking and just be still? What if He was saying, “Enough already, I’ve heard you, you persistent widow, you poor and needy, I’ve heard you. I’m on my way. Now be still.

Someone told me once a quote he’d heard, “Single men run better with a heavy load,” and I couldn’t help but feel it was applicable to me. I know how long stretches of idleness go for me and they never go well. I run better with a heavy load.

But what if God is pulling off the heavy load I’ve piled on, and asks me to stand still while He does so? Will I stand, like the child getting her shoes tied or the old man getting his hair cut or the woman waiting at the window, still?

I think about Still all afternoon. It smacks of someone left behind, but in its fullness, isn’t Still also something that is constant and steady, still going, still faithful? Isn’t Still an image of beautiful life frozen in time? Isn’t Still the act of being calmed, stilled? I have never wanted to be left behind and it is mostly all I have felt my whole life (Those are honest words, but God is Still faithful to me.), but what if being Still is the way God brings something beautiful to me?

What if this year He wants to be the Deliverer instead of me the offering?

What if this year He wants to be the Servant instead of me the savior?

What if this year He wants to be on the move on my behalf instead of me on His behalf?

What if this year, Still?

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