Friday, May 25, 2012

Harvest of Dreams

We sow.

And smiles.
And laughter on the wind.
And conversations that have nothing to do with gardening.
We sow little moments stitched together.
With our time fast running out.
And the dogs watch, and the sun turns us darker still...
And these are just little things. Just the seeds of this life.

But you know, if we take time to plant,
(--such a tiny part to play,)

Jesus brings the harvest.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -
Leaning on my rake midway down 170 feet of row, I tell my sister dear with a wink that
"If this is a hobby, it's gotten a little out of hand."

She straightens up, all smiles. Cocks her head a little and tells me in no uncertain terms
"This is no hobby. This is serious business."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

He Knows

So the next one will be in five years... And they can tell you month, day, minute, and second.
And it won't be late or early. I take comfort in that...

"Like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path
God's purposes know no haste
and no delay."*

So what if He doesn't tell me month, day, minute and second... All I need to know is, 

He knows.

Desire of Ages, p. 32

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ruthless Transformation

"This the power of the Cross-
Christ became sin for us..."

I rub the creases in my forehead, my eyes all squinted shut. 
Three days I've tussled with those words-- 

Arms folded in the morning sun by french doors; watching sunrise through the ambulance windshield; on my feet, at the kitchen sink; on my back, late and early; in my seat at breakfast, in my seat in the office, in my seat in the car... On my knees.

And I don't understand

I don't understand how that Jesus could suddenly be that which was completely opposed to His nature. How He could be so thoroughly, so ruthlessly... What? Transformed? No... yes.

I don't understand, other than what the verse says...

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, 
Who knew no sin; 
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
II Corinthians 5:21

That is to say, the Father made His Son to be sin for us, though (even while!) it was completely foreign to His beautiful heart, 
that I might find freedom, which is totally foreign to mine.

I don't understand. 

But I hear this little question, ringing through the halls of my mind:

If Light was willing to be made dark to accomplish God's purposes in freeing a race,
should not smiles be willing to be made tears?
should not fullness be willing to be made hunger?
should not rest be willing to be made sleeplessness?

Should not I be willing to be made anything? 
Anything Providence desires?

Even if it is entirely contrary to my nature?
Even if it is a ruthless transformation...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Gift of a Song

It was more than 25 years ago that my brave mother and father decided that their boisterous urchins would learn the art of song...

And we sang alright. Wailed, in fact.

Lots of times...

And the noises could hardly be called music at first.

But we've fallen in love now... And we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Maybe that's why our house is full of boisterous urchins from across the county every Tuesday.
(If you telephone, don't do it on that day.)

Not really.
We think they're angels... :)

Spring Recital - on the lawn
neighbor girl
They don't all fit in the living room any more...
teacher's violin
unfortunately, photographer doubling as pianist, the performance photos are thin.
that's the musical genius behind Sweetwater Musical Institute. 
love that hair!
neighbors and beyond...
more neighbors

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Of Bok Choy and My Bible

Lettuce I can do.
Broccoli I can do.
Kale I can do. (more please?!)
Kohlrabi I do. Radishes, turnips, parsnips, parsley, and fresh asparagus.
Yep. Do, do, do.
Like, all.

And I like liking everything. (everything good.)

You cannot imagine my horror when I woke up one day and found out there was one I couldn't do...

.  .  .  .  .

My screen comes to life with a swipe.
My thumb dances, my eyes dance. My feet dance all the way up the stairs where I almost blunder into Natasha in the kitchen. I tap the icon with the little red "10" on its corner. Off in my own little world...
But not really...

No, actually, not at all.
I share this world.
I share it with who-knows-how-many other people. 100? 120?
And it's not the facebook app, (don't have that one, actually) and it's not the G+ app, and it's not the mail app, and its not Messages.

It's ScriptureTyper.
Typing scripture makes my eyes dance. And I wander round and round the kitchen island dodging Tasha and a huge bowl of hummus, and the wheat thins leftover from recital night, and the rest of the lunch fixings.
And I pound the table with my fist, and she enters right in, and we laugh together...

"You know what I LOVE???"
"I absolutely love the Ethiopian! Here's the guy, sitting in his chariot, puzzling over Isaiah."
"And Philip arrives from nowhere, and expounds,"
"And he's like: 'See,

"' is water! What doth hinder me to be baptized?'"
(She listens to the same bible I do, so our intonation comes out perfect in unison.)

What a concept. What a beautiful, fresh perspective...
"Yeah... And Philip..."
"Yes! and then they come out of the water and, poof!"
"'And he went on his way rejoicing...'"

Ha! I would have to....
I would have too. 

I'll be honest, even at the start of this thing I never dreamed that memorizing could be this much fun.
Now, I've given up guessing. I'm just rejoicing.

Some of you were on to ScriptureTyper right from the start, before I'd ever heard of it. Well, I've heard of it now. And it's a fixture... I'm totally hooked. Hooked most of all because those that have joined our group in the last week can be just as much a part as those who joined months ago... And we can push ourselves, and encourage each other, and pray for each other... 1,385 prayers and counting.
Even if we're not (and we're not! :)) all at the same spot...
And then there are the other emails I get... The other blogposts I read...

And friends from Young Disciple who have developed a full set of first-letter bookmarks for the entire book of Acts, (for download or purchase) so you can take your chapter anywhere... (click here.)

God is building something far beyond our dreams. He's putting in His children an insatiable appetite for His Word...

Oh, you don't have time?
No, actually, you do. Perhaps you don't have an appetite.
But that can change. I promise...
.  .  .  .  .

Remember my horror when I found the greens I couldn't do? (Apologies to my Asian friends.) 
Bok Choy and I don't agree... There's a violent (and I do mean violent) chemical reaction when I put it in my mouth.
But you know, I'm not giving up hope yet. After all, the people who grew up on the stuff. . .

Wait a minute.

You chose what you'll grow up on.

Go delete all the games off of your phone and computer,
and then go get ScriptureTyper. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why We Live

Identity determines purpose.

In other words, who you are determines what you will do.

*  *  *  *  *

I have a question for you. A question still ringing in my ears from a secret spot on a sunny hillside at Sweetwater...

Can you tell me, in 10 words or less, why you're alive?
I mean, are you living today for a reason, or are you just breathing, working, studying...?

Let me tell you a little secret:
Identity determines purpose.
Satisfaction is the fulfillment of that purpose.

I'm blessed to be surrounded by some deep, beautiful people...
You know what we've been learning of late?

Just living isn't enough.

Let me gently remind you who you are.

You're the King's son. The King's daughter...
You're the broken little lamb that the Shepherd keeps charging into the briers to rescue.
(That's His blood on the thorns, not yours.)
You're the pinnacle of God's creativity.
Yes, you.

And you were created to identify with God. And for God to identify with.
And you've been broken, and bruised, and horribly disobedient.
But you've been redeemed.

That's who you are.

So now: Your purpose... Your motto. 10 words or less?
Choose them carefully. Because in the end, they'll be the reason why you breathe, work, study... Live.

Can I tell you why I live? Why I love, preach, blog, breathe?
Why I want to finish Nurse Practitioner and spend 6 months of 12 in a dark land?

"To Make Men Free."

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Anointed


I love that word.
David says they're the strong ones, and the free... (Ps. 28:7, 8)
The kings and queens, and priests... Royal. Privileged.

I personally can't get over the fact that they've been touched, prayed over, blessed by God Himself.

The rabbit trail I took through Strong's landed me in a familiar place, quite possibly the single most memorized chapter in scripture.

But familiar words took on unfamiliar meaning as I saw in them the God that is everything, increasingly (the everything that has no end) to me.

I know the words in english. But if Strong's is correct, (my soul believes it is) then those words are deeper than our contemporary use of them, by far.

I read them, speak them, love them. Eyes flit back and forth between the open page, and the Strong's app. And my heart sings something like this--

The LORD is my Shepherd;
And He? He is absolutely everything I need.

His home is my home. 
He leads me (literally: "to run with a sparkle") towards peaceful waters.
He returns my soul to joy...
He walks right with me in the path of righteousness, 
because that's the kind of Person He is

And even when I walk through this deep abyss--
This deep gorge where death lives and reigns,
I fear nothing. Absolutely nothing.

 Because God is here too. And He never leaves.

Because of Him, because of His comfort and support,
I thrive even in the presence of my enemies.
He anoints my head with oil,
while my joy overflows...

But not for a throne. Not in this verse.
This one is a relatively rare word, used 12 times, and only translated this way once.
Go look it up.
The reference is to ashes... Ashes, and fat. And "acceptance"...

He prepares me for sacrifice,
And all the while, my joy overflows.

Surely... Surely, this is the best life. 

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