Monday, February 27, 2012

"Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale" Hans Christian Anderson

 February 27th. The last day of my stay in Baltimore area - yes, I do come back here on March 11th, but that stay will be completely encompassing the move back to Germany. So in essence, this is my last day here.

What am I doing this last day?

My friend and I are finalizing all of my packing and shipping to Germany.

You may ask: So what will she be doing then when she returns from Texas?  I will be finalizing the travel of my sweet Ebenezer. The travel with him back to Germany has only increased in red-tape and cost since I arrived in the USA in January 2011.

At first, I was incredibly overwhelmed with the issues. Then I remembered: it is all impossible! Of course God, who is the God who Sees, brought me to Sarai and Abram and their impossible. They had so many.

Impossibilities are the things that God delights in. Why? Because He is the only one that can accomplish the impossible. Living within the impossible allows me to know that nothing I do or say can be claimed as my doing or saying. I am not capable of doing or saying the great things that have been done. They are only done and said by the God who sees the impossibilities and makes them happen.  I cannot receive any glory for impossibilities - they are humanly impossible.

This year held many impossibilities - and God saw me through them.

I return to Germany where I live into the impossible daily. And God does it. He gets all the glory and all the honor and all the praise for amazing daily miracles.

I look forward to what He will do in the future of this ministry. I am excited to watch.
There is a quote that I like:
"Every man's life is a fairytale written by God's fingers." by Hans Christian Anderson.
Yes, I must agree with Hans: "Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale." Hans Christian Anderson Danish author.
May God be glorified in the wonder of LIFE itself.

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You are the Holy One of God.

I am heading into a hard time. I have learned over the years that the cycles He has placed me in should be honored. There is a reason for cycles.
We have several cycles He set into motion:
  • bodily functions / birth-death, sleep-awake, hunger-satiation... 
  • day and night
  • seasons
  • festivals of the Old Testament
  • Lord's supper
and then those that the Church at large set up:
  • Christmas
  • Lent
  • Easter
  • The Ecclesiastical Calender
and then those that we set up:
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • ...St. Valentine's Day
I have learned over the years that I have cycles of hard times and cycles of celebration times. I am a fall and spring person. I celebrate those two seasons. Winter and summer however, are harder for me. The reasoning behind these 'feelings' vary, but they are what they are. They don't define me anymore, but I do have to address them. I have a strategy - I pray in advance!

And then there is Leap Year. A calendar phenomenon. That year when we take one day to catch up on all the other three years. That year that throws us off a bit - or maybe not. Maybe before 1980, Leap Year was simply a 'fun' year to be living through.

Not so much since then for me.

In the Leap Year 1980 my father was living and working in Saudi Arabia. He had been there for a while. He was the Project Engineer for the largest natural gas refinery being built in the world in Dhahran.

He was working there and I was in school, then married, then with child, then had my 3-month premie (1977 only a few of those neo-natal units available ... another tough time), and then putting a husband through university... good character building stuff! Lots of stories to tell my grandchildren.

In the Leap Year 1980 I got a call from my mom. My father had been back in the states for a while. He had experienced heart problems in Saudi. Aramco flew him home in one of those Learjets and he had been met at Houston Int. by Dr. Debakey  

I was told he would be entering surgery the following morning and not to worry.  I shouldn't have to worry right? I mean the best doctor, and I quote 'Greatest surgeon of the 20th century' was operating on my dad. The man that invented the procedure he was going to have - The Head Honcho - The Meister - The Great!

My dad died under Dr. Debakey's knife. Yes, on the table, during the surgery, under his knife.
The knife that had saved so many lives.

I did make it to Houston and my dad on the morning of the surgery. I had about 15 minutes with him after not seeing him for a while. I was able to say goodbye. I was able to hug him and tell him how much I loved him. He was able to give those words that mean so much to any young woman with a new life and a new baby. He said to me, "Baby, I am so very proud of you." He called me Baby... well because I was the baby of the family and because well... he just did.

Many people thought my mother should have sued Dr. Debakey because the over-site on the X-rays of an aneurysm on the side of his chest that exploded upon the entry of the knife. Could have/would have/should have...

Fact is my dad died - and God is in charge of the living and the dead. I can't say whether it was the right or wrong way to decide. I can only land on the side of what is.

And what is?

A girl of 22 began walking around without a dad. Was my dad a perfect man? No. But he was my dad.

This Leap Year I stand void of several things I thought I would inherit from my dad. I have had to grieve in a different way this year because of this. This year - all memories of him will not be given tangibility in my future (whatever my future might hold).

This Leap Year I stand at the door and knock on my Great Father's Door - I ask Him in. Please do settle me in this cycle of Leap Year that I thought I had figured out.

Cycles and Rhythms and Schedules and Disciplines...Cycles and Rhythms and Schedules and Disciplines...

I write nothing important in this blogspot - I simply log here for future travelers to know that the road is narrow, it has holes, there is not an easy way to follow the God Who IS.

But even though I do not understand why He has me here, why the road can be so heavy on certain days, in certain seasons - I stand with Peter:
'As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” John 6: 68,69

Because He IS the I AM, i am
mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Have you heard your Manifesto from God? I have...

The Lion Chaser's Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of  the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live life today as the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what is wrong with you keep you from worshiping what is right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you are not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the Lion!
Quote from: Mark Batterson - In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

In Genesis 13 Abraham finds himself in a pickle. He has left his family, left his home, traveled into foreign territory. He has come into a dangerous place (great famine in the land) and instead of trusting God used his own resources and plans. (i.e. Tells Pharaoh that Sarai is his sister/ Pharaoh takes her as his wife and God punishes Pharaoh).
Consequently, Abram and his family and all his belongings are escorted (I would imagine not so pleasantly) out of Egypt by Pharaoh's men.
So Abram went away from Egypt and back to Negev "as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the the place of the alter, which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord."

Interesting that the very next thing that is written is about Abram's fall-out with Lot.  It looks like Abram is answered by God with another problem. Another relationship problem. There is strife between Abram and Lot's herdsmen. Separation was discussed. Abram desired to separate instead of create dissension between one another. And then he gave up the choice land to Lot because Lot asked for it. And they end the relationship for peace.

And then God adds to His original promise that He made to Abram.

And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him. "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." Genesis 13 14-17

I think this was Abram's version of the Lion Chaser's Manifesto...

"and there he built an alter to the LORD." vs. 18

What manifesto / life-stance  have you heard from God? Have you been listening? Have you built your alter in remembrance? Are you returning to the beginning and finding out?

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Manifesto: A Manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as a 'creeds'. Manifestos may also be life-stance related. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Question? life story

I'm reeling a bit -
I just found out this morning about a movie.
Praying as God brings forth stories, produces fruit and allows us to bloom in this family, right where He has called us to be.
Prayers coveted.

May God be glorified.

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

ps flight back to Germany in one month... YIPEEEE!!!!!!! .... sorry... just had to stop and do the happy dance for a moment C:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Am I still wearing the fig leaves? Or have I got on a fur coat?

Entering into the Word this morning I was drawn back to Genesis 3. That horrible chapter that began it all. That chapter that separates us from the relationship of innocence and intimacy with the Most High God. That fatal moment when Man determined his own way and cast himself into uncharted and unprotected waters. That moment when everything changed.

I remember watching one of my favorite movies "Riding in Cars with Boys" - there is a line in the movie that quotes the book the heroin has written about her life. I cannot remember it word for word, but the jest is something like this: Have you ever noticed that all of your life can be whittled down to just a few major decisions you made in a moment?

Another movie that I love that deals with this is "Sliding Doors" - I think I can relate to these thoughts because that has been my own life.  Often when walking down the roads of life, even to this day, I must stare stark into the reality that my life would have been different if I had chosen differently. I don't grieve those choices as much as I did in my younger years, but I still must acknowledge them and recognize them - in fact much of ministry oozes out of them. These are learning curves, decided moments of life and character building choices. But that said, they are hard lessons, can be destructive, and often destroy our character instead of build into it.

I think my choices lead me down a path of acceptance only because of this particular reality found in Chapter 3 of Genesis.

After choosing such a horrendous way - a way of disobedience and death - Adam and Eve hid themselves. God calls out to them and encourages them into relationship with Him by asking, "Where are you?" (as if He didn't know already! guffaw!!!!!)

Then you know what comes next: The couple clothe themselves in fig leaves, come out and Adam plays the blame game with Eve and God curses both the serpent and the woman. Then he turns to Man and heaps a curse that we all deal with today - HARD WORK and not taxes, but Death!

Then Adam, as if saying he is sorry to his wife, gives her the name 'Eve' because she is the mother of all the living! Some might say that he should be angry with her because she talked him into doing the deed that results in the fall. But then we get into the reality that #1 God gave the direction directly to Adam not to Eve and #2 God put Man to care for Woman not be controlled by her. Man's job where women are concerned is to care, protect ... ohhhh I can't get sidetracked on this one - that is another entire other lesson to learn.

And finally my thought:

God reaches down and slays a lamb for these shamed individuals. He does this. He spills the blood. Such a foreshadowing of the covenant of covering Sin through the cross. The Sin that separates us from relationship with Him. The Sin of our rebellion.

He spills the blood of the lamb and places the wool over these two shamed - shamed - running away and hiding shamed children. He replaces the uncomfortable, inadequate fig leaves for the luxurious fur coat.  The fig leaves that would soon dry and become sticky and then decay, for the wool that would stay and be covering in beauty, softness and warmth - as well as durable.

He looked past the shame of Adam and Eve and chose to give them more than they could give themselves.  After admitting their fault, after coming out from behind the trees and owning up to their disobedience, He comes in and in His quiet Love surrounds them with blessing over their wildest imaginings! He covers them.

I am wading in His warmth this morning. I am overwhelmed with the Quiet Love that only He can afford. I am thankful this morning. Because of this spilling of blood, the Christ Jesus, I can exit a life of shame and enter a life of wonder!

Thankful for my life. Thankful even for the choices I have made. Thankful for this relationship He pours out over me.Thankful for His forgiveness, His protection, His provision. Thankful for His quiet Love. Thankful.

Because HE IS the I AM, i am
mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Friday, February 3, 2012

Preconceived Ideas

Our culture – or should I say the Human Culture struggles with preconceived ideas. We have preconceived ideas about the people we meet. We make huge assumptions about their personality, their likes, their dislikes, and even their doctrinal belief systems.

I am reminded of an opportunity I missed several years ago, because of a preconceived idea about me!

The Rocky Mountains beckoned me from my 'red chair' haven. They called to come, and I went. I settled into Denver for a few days visiting with my dear friends, and scheduled a day trip into the mountains with another friend that had moved to Denver from the Dallas area. Right before the day we were to travel over the pass, his car needed repairs. He called me the night before the planned event, “Well, I thought I was going to have to cancel out on you. I tried to find someone that would be able to lend me a car; I don’t know if you will be OK with this, I got a Jeep!”

“A Jeep? How fun!!!!!”

After a second of surprise he continued, “Yeah, the only other thing available was a friend’s motorcycle.”

Disappointment escaped my lips, “Oh, now that would have really been exciting. Traveling over the pass on a motorcycle! WOW!”

“What?” shock escaped his, “I would never have taken you for a motorcycle girl.”

We went in the Jeep and I was happy. We stopped and gathered water from springs, escaped into several hidden scenic spots, and I was even able to capture a wonderful pastel drawing of the sunset. Do I wish I could have experienced the same day sitting on a motorcycle! Dang Skippy! – I am a wild woman! Giggle ;-)

Pre-conceived ideas!

We come with pre-conceived ideas about God as well. We determine what He looks like, how He is, what He does, all by what WE think He looks like, acts like, IS like! We like to think that we can control who God is.

Without digging into His Word, we make assumptions. Or we find one or two scriptures, remove them from context, and determine who He is from those. Whole doctrines have been built on these pre-conceived ideas.

Now, the real purpose of this blog spot is a thought that crossed my mind in the wee hours of the dark comfort of the night. This thought was confirmed after I read Oswald Chambers this morning, so I thought I would share…

We even come with pre-conceived ideas of ourselves!!!!!

Now, what do I mean by that? We are reared by fallible parents, trained by less than perfect teachers, and chided by more than cynical peers in our formative years. We make assumptions about ‘who we are’ as people.

God desires to be the filter through which we see ourselves. He made us, knows our frame, our strong points, our weak points, our foibles -- as it were. By seeing ourselves through His filter we have a better understanding of ourselves. Our gifts are designed by HIM. When we understand that we are transformed at the moment of our salvation we enter into the New Covenant that allows us to be who He designed us to be – getting rid of the tapes that roam through our heads of our own pre-conceived notion of who we are, is a life-long endeavor.

The Truth is, when we accept the free gift of salvation given us on the cross, God sees us completely whole and holy and we enter into relationship with Him! This is the Good News! He has come to Redeem the world. The problem with the world isn’t sin – it is the heredity of Sin; the heredity of Sin has been conquered for each and every one of us. The problem in the world is that we as individuals have not received the free gift that was offered at Golgotha, and those of us that have, still live like we haven’t!!!!

“Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power.

The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took upon Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of Sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint. All through the
Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world by identification,
not by sympathy. He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in
His own Person, the whole massed Sin of the human race – “He had made Him to be
sin for us, who knew no sin,” 2 Corinthians 5:21 and by so doing He put
the whole human race on the basis of Redemption. Jesus Christ
rehabilitated the human race; he put it back to where God designed it to be, and
anyone can enter into union with God on the ground of what Our Lord has done on
the Cross.

A man cannot redeem himself; Redemption is God’s “bit,” it is absolutely finished and complete; its reference to individual men is a question of their individual action. A distinction must always be made between the revelation of Redemption and the conscious experience of salvation in a man’s life.” – Oswald Chambers

Am I walking and talking in my own pre-conceived notion of who I am? Or, am I walking and talking as the woman that God made me to be! A saint, wholly cleansed, firmly planted, and amazingly gifted BY HIM! May GOD be glorified at this miracle that He has done.

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn more about that, I want these tapes of Redemption roaming around in my head!

May God Be Glorified in His Redemptive Power!

Because He IS the I AM, i am,
a mutating missionary

This is a reposting of a post I wrote on October 7, 2005
It is a good reminder to me as I stand at the doorway of my returning to live, work, testify, mentor, and do all under the humble recognition that He has redeemed me. I am Redeemed - The death of Sin has lost its sting. Even in my daily life - I enter in.

Because He IS the I AM, i am,
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Can you be interrupted?

"Any miracle that Jesus did was when he was on the way somewhere and got interrupted by somebody. Make time for other people in your life." read this on Facebook from someone quoting Joyce Meyers.  
"I myself have found that the moments in life are stitched together by my Creator and my observance of His handiwork allows me to be party to the stitching of other people's lives." RREubanks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Listen, Hear, Observe, Worship in Wonder

"Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for He is aroused from His holy habitation." Zechariah 2:13