Here’s mud in yer eye

Remember the story of the blind man that was brought to Jesus so He could heal him? And Jesus spit on the man’s eyes? He asked the man if he could see and the guy said he saw “men like trees walking.” So Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes again and they were opened and then he could see. I feel like I’m stuck in that moment in between.  Right now I see men like trees walking. I’m not totally blind anymore, but there’s so much I don’t see. I’m in desperate need of some clarity. 

I know my Father loves me. I can see that He sent His son to be the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. I know by His stripes we’re healed. I understand I’m a joint heir now and when God looks at me He sees me in Christ. My hope of glory. But there’s more. I’m metaphorically color blind. The detail… the glorious shades of His love – I see men like trees walking. Lord, I need You to place Your hands on the eyes of my heart one more time, so I can see You and Your love 20/20.

(The story is in Mark 8:22-25)

Published in: on August 6, 2016 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shepherding

I had to move a goat today. Baby Bap, our sweet little black pigmy goat. He was staying in a pen and very unhappy. And hot. It’s 105 degrees even if you don’t add in a heat index. He didn’t have shade. He didn’t have anything much to browse on. So I got it in my head that he needed a better life. So he needed to be moved.

We don’t have a fence yet, so our goats, Baby and Barbie, are tethered in the “backyard.” Is not optimal, but they’re ok. I put “backyard” in quotes because it’s not like a yard you could sit out in or let the babies play in. It’s mostly brush and little trees sprouting up from where the big trees were cut down a couple years ago. Perfect for goats. It’s why we got them. But like I said, Baby Bap was stuck in a pen. No leaves or trees to nibble. Just hay and grass. It wasn’t terrible but in my head I wanted him to have more! 

So after work, in 90-something degree heat, (probably about 99 percent humidity) I started working on getting him moved. 

His tether thingy is one of those zip lines that you tie between two trees, with the lead that slides back and forth between them. Meant for dogs, but it helps keep him from getting all tangled, like his big friend Barbie does. The tether had to be moved, so I dove in. Ha – feet first into the most lush growth of poison ivy I think I’ve ever seen. If you know me, you know I thought about going inside and changing out of my flip flops. But I was too focused on the goal to actually do that. I picked my way thru that and the briars cuz – I was on a mission. Save Baby Bap! 

I struggled with this plastic coated wire, tippy-toeing in poison ivy, getting scratched by briars, all to make this goat more comfy. I got him attached to his lead line and out of that pen – a sweaty mess. Then I stood with him in the sun while he dove right in to the green grass he couldn’t get to while he was incarcerated. That’s when the Holy Spirit said: 

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

That’s all. 

But it brought me to tears. 

I went out of my way for that little goat, so he could have a better place in life. I faced my arch nemesis – poison ivy. I was scratched by thorns. I stood in the heat, patiently melting (ok, not real patient, but I tried) while he grazed for a while. Cuz I thought he was hungry and needed to fill his tummy. 

How much more patient is God on my behalf? I stood there fancying myself a goat shepherd… but how much more does my Father wanna bless me? Give me better grazing? Lead me beside cool fresh water?  

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul, and guides my path in righteousness for His names sake. Tho I walk thru the valley if the shadow of death, I will not fear – you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup’s overflowing. 

Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever and ever.

https://youtu.be/IMUQEI0CLQM

I love this ^^^

Sung by Keith Green. And part of my soul since the early 80s. 


Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Everybody knows

That verse : Jeremiah 29:11. Even if they don’t know the exact address, they know the words: ‘”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”‘ It’s good news – but it’s even better if you look at the really big picture.

Jeremiah is a hard book to read. You think people pick on Christians now? The people hated Jeremiah. False prophets had him thrown in very bad places all because he told the truth. It contradicted what the people wanted to hear. God’s word at the time wasn’t happy. What Jeremiah had to say was not well received, to say the least. I think his two books are the saddest, and darkest of the OT.

But there it is. After skimming thru – I mean reading – 29 chapters of God telling His special people what awful destruction was coming because they turned their backs on Him.

A light in the darkness.

Idk – it just inspires me that this verse, so well known, was written at such a dark time. We’ll never know the persecution of the person who left it for us. But if it’s a promise first spoken in the depths of that kind of despair, surely it can give me and my little problems the encouragement needed to keep moving on…

One more thing about Jeremiah, and the other OT books that fortold of the destruction of God’s people: look what the sacrifice of Jesus saved US from! There will be none of that for us New Testament believers because as Isaiah said – He was wounded for our transgression. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement needful for our peace with God was laid on Him. And by His stripes we are healed.

Published in: on July 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m jelly

I was driving to work today, as usual, all in my head, using the 30 minute commute to rehash and replay every problem I’m thinking I have, when the Holy Spirit told me “I’m jealous of all your problems. You pay more attention to them than you do to me.”

Umm, ouch.

God’s word says to magnify the Lord. Make Him bigger. Not your cares, and not your worries. Nothing changes that way. I don’t want to focus on the problems to the point that God is jealous of the time I’ve spent looking in the wrong direction and thinking on the wrong things. He deserves so much better! 

I’m going to magnify the Lord.

Published in: on July 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

That word…

For the past few days there’s been a word tapping around in my mind. One simple word: Acceptance. 

First I thought about it in the context of accepting life the way it is. Accepting and acknowledging my surroundings, my blessings, where I am in life right now. Accepting that it is what it is. The good, bad and ugly. That it is what it is for a reason. And that all things are working together for my good. 

But today that word burrowed down a little deeper. It showed me there was more I needed to think on. 

Number one: I need to accept people just the way they are. I need to stop trying to force my loved ones into the cookie cutter I created for them, and stop being angry because they don’t fit. I have to accept that they are autonomous beings who have every right to live their lives their own way. I can do what I want. And so can they. They are free to do things I think are stupid. They are free to do things that are destructive. God doesn’t chastise me for eating too much cake. He’ll let me go right on with that til I explode, if that’s what I want to do with this life that He gave me. But I have to accept that He’s given that grace to every other human being on the planet as well.

Number two: I need to accept myself. Exactly as I am. Right this minute. I must accept that I am worthy of good and better things. I accept God’s unmerited favor. His Good News. His “exceedingly, abundantly above” love, and His plan for me. 

I have been resistant for a long, long time. Resistant to everything but my idea of who people should be, and how things should go. Of my plans for myself and my loved ones. And my need to control things! 

Resistance is the opposite of acceptance.

God is calling me to stop trying to control. Stop resisting His goodness. To love people just the way they are. And pray His best for all of us. To open up to the many possibilities around me and accept that there is more to this life than what I see right now. To embrace and accept the beauty of it all. The order and the chaos. With arms-wide-open acceptance. 

I am accepted in the beloved. And so are you. I’m going to keep meditating on this one word. 

Swing wide you heavenly gates. 

(In acceptance)

 Prepare the way of the risen Lord. 

Published in: on July 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

I get it

Finally. The thing I absolutely dread about getting into my own business. It isn’t hard work. I’ve done that. It isn’t the chaos, compared to working at a job where everything is right where you can find it. It’s the frickin self-promotion. I have always hated that. Putting myself out there for scrutiny and judgement every time I make a cake for someone out of my home. There are no excuses from here. I raise the bar so very high that it becomes stressful and exhausting and guess what? Nobody can do their best work when they’re feeling that way. This I know from experience. Even tho at home I’ve created great things, only to deliver them to someone’s card table to sit beside an open bag of chips. I strive for this perfection that’s ridiculous and only makes things harder. Then I see cakes other people do and I notice the flaws and imperfections – but people adore them anyway. I think that’s something I’m new to. The imperfections and “flaws” are what make these things one of a kind. They’re part of the art. And in truth, nobody sees them as clearly as I do.

I gotta get past this or it’s never gonna fly. I have so much experience under my belt. I know how to do this and do it well. I’ve earned the right to promote my craft. I can’t keep hiding my shine and settling for a 10 buck an hour job in the back waters til I can quietly retire. I don’t wanna do that anymore.

Published in: on June 9, 2016 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

New thing.

Walking. This morning. At the lake.  Then standing at work. 8 hours. I feel like I’m 80, hobbling out to the car. I’m so out of shape. And I need new shoes. But I also need to get some of this blubber off me. Then maybe my knees wouldn’t hurt.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

Not a diet. Not an exercise video.

Christ in me, my hope of glory. 

Amen

My hope is You.

Published in: on June 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

This

My hope is built on nothin less than Jesus blood and righteousness. Period.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Published in: on June 6, 2016 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  

A day late

A dollar short. And 2500 miles to far away. Hmmm.

If I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that every little thing is gonna be alright.

Maybe coming thru the darkness into the light will help me be a light in somebody else’s dark.

Maybe I’m way more ahead of this game than I thought I was.

I’ve learned: to focus on the positive. To soak in the blessings and revel in the light. To stop being anxious and trust God’s plan and timing. To shush myself when myself needs shushing. My ship is changing course for calmer seas. But I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t talked to someone still stuck there. In the dark. I want to encourage. Not gloat. To be patient instead of rolling my eyes and wondering “why don’t you get it?” I want to be a help cuz I remember how the darkness feels. Just 2 weeks ago I was begging for someone to talk to. For someone to listen and understand. Now I need to be the understander.

These changes… cashew milk, B6 and turmeric? Someone to talk to? Accepting what is and enjoying right now?

I don’t know. But I like it.

Published in: on May 22, 2016 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Remembering

That’s what I came here to do. Remember the battle, the weapons, the insights I’ve gained. I didn’t even know the will of God when my world crashed in a year ago. Can you imagine? I didn’t know where I stood, what I should pray. Which is sad. But fixable. And God didn’t mind one bit – opening His word to show me. I had a breakdown when I read about King Jehoshaphat. He was surrounded by three different armies. And God told him to be quiet.  He said, “take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord Who is With You. ” (2 Chron. 20:17)

I’ve felt overwhelmed like this before. But the men of Judah got up from their fast and began to sing. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever.” Top 10 hit – it worked on the walls of Jericho too.

I made the mistake of filing the old testament away as unimportant. But I was wrong about that. There’s so much to learn about God by reading the history of his people.

Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment