Monday, July 25, 2005

Trouble

I'm stuck. No wheels. Not a good time to call people. Waiting for the real estate agent - selling my house. Questioning why the car has to act up right now.

Thinking...

Missionary? I've been one for as long as I can remember.

Missionary Defined -

Webster defines Mission - 4. The special duty or function on which a person is apparently destined in life; calling.

So...

aren't we who love God, desire to serve Him, enjoy scribbling ideas about Him, delight in singing praises to Him, aren't we --- missionaries?

Whether gardener, teacher, mechanic, home executive, student, doctor, and even/perhaps especially lawyer - those called to Him; aren't we missionaries?

Your land locked
mutating missionary

Complement - friend or foe?

I received a complement

One of those complements that sets you back on your heels. It fell upon me like a whisper – then a big gong!

It was a moment of sitting back and saying, “Wow, you thought that?”

And then, self came in and within another moment I was pretty heady over the thought that someone thought ‘that’ about my __________.

These were my responses.

"Oh my." "Oh giggle." "Oh what a hoot." " Oh my God!!!!"

I’m thankful for the process we sit in. We meet a complement, receive an award, or encounter a victory, and we are surprised by it. 'It' might be a wonderful surprise. Then, we get excited. Wow! We did 'it'! (Whatever ‘it’ is.)

Of course, if we are real with ourselves, we come to grips with the truth fairly quickly; ‘it’ was a gift from God. And finally, we fall on our face and cry Glory to the Son of God who might be able to use us in some amazing way. That process of grappling with our humanity is a good thing.

I wonder if the process of sanctification is simply the amount of time it takes for us to get to this point. I know that it used to take me years, now I am thankful that it doesn’t take me that long – hummmm I hope not.

I’m so thankful that Jesus is praying for me.

“When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify and exalt and honor and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You.

[Just as] You have granted Him power and authority over all flesh (all humankind), [now glorify Him] so that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.

I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.

And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed.

I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have obeyed and kept your word.

Now, [at last] they know and understand that all You have given Me belongs to You [is really and truly Yours].

For the [uttered] words that you gave Me I have given them; and they have received and accepted [them] and have come to know positively and in reality [to believe with absolute assurance] that I came forth from Your presence, and they have believed and are convinced that You did send Me.

I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.

All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me; and I am glorified in (through) them. [They have done Me honor; in them My glory is achieved.}

And [now] I am no more in the world, but these are [still] in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep in Your name [in the knowledge of Yourself] those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are one].” (John 17: 1-11)

I’m thankful that Jesus is praying for me

If you belong to Him, He is praying for you too!

Because He IS the I AM, i am,
a mutating missionary
the operative word here is... mutating :-D

Saturday, July 23, 2005

God goes before us

John 10:27...
...He goes before them
and the sheep follow Him
for they know His voice

I'm selling my house.
I love my house - it has been a source of encouragment, a safe haven, a bubble of love, albeit a money pit.
I love my house - He is going before me to move in ways that I do not understand. At the beginning of this journey I was only going to rent it.
I will follow Him
I know His Voice.
I trust
I walk
I cry
I sing
I know that I know, that I know, that I know.

"The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are One" John 10: 27-30


"and no one is able to snatch them (His sheep) out of My hand...and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand."

His sheep hear His voice.
Baaa - Baaaa - Baaa -

a sheep listening for The Still Small Voice

because He IS the I AM, i am
a mutating missionary
Yes, I am

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cause or Christ?

What am I sold out to?

Such an easy question, right? In retrospect I see that there have been times during my life where I thought more about the cause than Christ.

Similar to the statement that I have made many times, "I believe in the Bible"

When thinking about it, "I don't believe in the Bible. I believe in the person Jesus Christ, Son of God, one of the three combined in the Triune God! The Jesus Christ that the Bible teaches us about. He and He alone do I believe!" It is always important to lean the ladder of faith upon the Solid Rock. As God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - this is the God I desire to be sold out to. Not a cause, not a feeling, not a higher power --- GOD!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

some thoughts from my journaling

The Faithful Watching With Him

How can I watch WITH You, God?
How can I?
How can I?
“You can’t,” He whispers, “I can. Only with me IN you, can you observe life WITH Me.”
Life is thorny. It is wonderful, beautiful, glorious, and thorny. Watching life as a journeyer is something I enjoy. But what did it cost when the disciples were asked to watch with Him? I read of that fatal night in Matthew 26. The night the disciples swore they would never fall away from Him. That night He warned “before the night was done” Peter would deny Him three times. His request to Peter and the sons of Zebedee—“My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death, remain here and keep watch with me.” He returns after relinquishing His will to the Father to find them sleeping. He addresses Peter, “So you men could not keep watch with me one hour?” It does not read, could not keep watch for, but with. I am running to Him of late and crying out, “Oh God, how can she make this choice?” Entering into the grieving with Him for a sister is arduous. Without Him, I cannot do it. And yet he encourages me to pray for those brothers and sisters that are in dangerous places; to confront them in love; to grieve with Him over them. This grief is taxing, strenuous! But it is harder still to enter the grief of the cross; to enter the knowledge of the cross; the deciding moment of hell or heaven for man on this earth. My heart grieves for those rushing rapidly to hell. Individuals - refusing to look, receive, and accept the blood that was spilt; the life that is available; the only escape from hell. Praying now for the faithful, may we enter into the watch WITH Him.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Sheep

"The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are One" John 10: 27-30

I've been meditating on this verse for awhile. I encourage you to consider it,

Monday, July 11, 2005

Terrorism

So many things are roaming around in this noodle of mine. First of all, I have the need to scream -- LIBERTY!
I know that after sending my nephew off to Iraq one more time I am more aware than ever of our Liberty here in the U.S. - we are so willing to fight for it in the political arena, in the social arena -- But, what about Liberty in our Christian Communities?

We are not held under law. This is incredible news. I recently sat in a wonderfully filled church - a church that knows and praises God. This church, like my own home church, is well known for its grace theology. The pastor is world renowned and one of those speakers that every speech teacher could use as an example of a compelling, enjoyable orator. This place is fantastic. The love is so apparent. The sermon was taken from Galatians where Paul is questioning why the church has gone back to legalism. The pastor quickly makes it clear that we must not do that in our churches today, in our relationships today. We are not called to sit in judgment on others and determine what they need to do or not do. He used a little story to get the idea across. It struck me because it was a true story about a missionary. It appears that the missionary and his family had come home from the field due to some really sad interrelationship problems on the mission team. The family had always loved peanut butter and they had a friend that knew this from the states. The friend and supporter determined to send the family peanut butter monthly from the states as an encouragement to them. The family used the peanut butter on special occasions and enjoyed it. Well, news got out amongst the other missionaries and it was determined that this couple was not following God because they had peanut butter from America. It was determined that if they did not give up the right to receiving the peanut butter they would be unable to be received as spiritually mature and there were horrible problems that began to arise. The couple, not seeing anything in the word against eating peanut butter continued, but began to hide the fact. Finally, under so much duress the couple packed their family up and returned home. They were unable to fight for the right to liberty in their own home. Funny story, huh? Funny as long as it is not wine, or T.V. or movies, or dancing. or smoking tobacco, or any other of our own pet peeves. Not those things that are specifically mentioned in the bible - those things that we have determined to legalize in our churches.

Now, why do I bring this up? Well, just a few Sundays ago, my own pastor brought up the question of liberty in the church (better known as Grace). His point was also interesting. He said that he has always been a teacher of Grace. For the last 25 years his message has been the same. Years ago, he was received with one of two responses...
first - Oh my goodness, do you mean that God accepts me just the way I am, loves me, and desires to know me one on one? How can I please such a wonderful, loving God, all I want to do is please Him. -- This brought about an act of loving service.
second - Those that were furious about the idea had a tendency to be angry because they were held under the law and could not get past the idea that we as saints are completely covered by Grace and need only to accept Him and He will change us from the inside out. These people did not receive the information with joy. But today, he said that when people hear this information about Grace, their response is, "Oh, that's nice"; or, simply a shrug and a non-caring attitude. Why? He contends that it is because we do not understand who God is. How could we be concerned about being cleansed, overjoyed at the thought of being considered by God as holy, completely clean, when we don't even get that we are dirty?

Holy, God is Holy!

Once again I stop in amazement at the reality that God is God – we are not. God is graciously offering us an opportunity to enter into a relationship with Him. Finding out that He is who He says He is. This is the most exhilarating study in life.