It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Organ That Produces Beautiful Music.......

Desire lives in this organ. Relations flow from this organ. As the Key Player magically runs their fingers across this beautiful object the sound that comes is amazing. Each sound is different. Each echoing a sound so personal that to each ear it is different but yet beautiful and moving. This organ invites us to close our eyes and long for tenderness, gentleness, fiercely captivating us and those around us. If we let this organ resonate within us it is alluring and genuine and it draws a sense of peace that invites others to wonder how they to can hear this beautiful music coming from their organ.

Sadly though many have tried to squelch the sound of this beautiful organ. Often this sound is misunderstood and abused and often we abandon our organ due to the pressures of those who can not hear and feel the peace and joy it brings. Yet we continue to long for that sound, that beautiful music. We carry on trying desperately to fill the emptiness, the silence, seeking and searching trying to make sense of the chaos around us when really all we want is to once again hear that deep and true rich sound bellowing from the organ.

And so we embark on a journey to restore the music, to heal the emptiness from the silenced sound and to feel the joy the organ brings when the Key Player is gentle and intimately touching each part of the organ. With each touch a sound the organ begins to pour out its beauty. The organs purpose is being sang and the listeners are being moved. This time there is more listeners and more people coming in order to see how the Key Player is producing a beautiful piece through the organ. Once again the one who owns the organ feels alive and and full. The music is freeing. Desire is awakened and relations restored.

May your organ produce beautiful music and your desires dance with the music as it speaks to the ears all around you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Where Are You At?

Are you on the pew?
Are you on the pavement?
Are you in turmoil?
Are you in a season of grief?
Are you in a storm?
Are you in a season of harvest?
Are you running down a road?
Are you in a coffee shop surrounded by people but feeling lonely?
Are you in a home sharing life with your friends?

"Running with a Friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."

Are you running the race?
Are you running with a Friend?

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Faithful Follower or Pharisee

This week has been a week of inner turmoil. A week in which I was digging deep and mulling through my story. The story of why I believe what I believe and how my story has been written over the course of my life. There were two things that kept revealing themselves to me. I was not sure how they were connected or which paragraph of my story they were but I felt compelled to think and write and write and listen and mull and churn and this is what was spoken to my heart. You see I like you have a story. A story of how God won my heart. How He revealed his mighty power to me. How he went before me and how He showed me His Grace.

I was not "churched" growing up. My parents did not dress us in our Sunday best each week and take us to church. My dad was connected to a church but did not attend. It was 3 very distinct early years experiences that are burned in my memory. These memories are what I recall as the events that won my heart.

*The very first memory of church for me is of a white stereo typical church on the corner. It was just down from my uncles home (brother to my dad). I remember going there for Sunday school if we were at my uncles and sometimes going to my uncles just to go to Sunday school. I don't remember the adults taking us I remember them sending us....It was only two houses away so certainly we would not get lost.

It was through this church that I met Melanie and Martha. This was the church where my middle brother would memorize and recite the books of the Bible. To this very day I am proud that he could do that. I can not tell you that he is a believer or follower but I can say...God has resonated his heart and so the seed is still there.

Melanie and Martha would be my first people to influence me. I still have that very King James thou shalt Bible Martha, Martha Flamingo gave me in 1982. (I don't have it here with me so it may have been 1984)

These people would be ones whom I grew to look up to and who started my hunger. They were kind and gentle and loving and you could feel the Lords love radiating off of them.

*The second person to influence my journey was my uncle. Yep the one that lived right next to the church. You see...him and my aunt were born again. The sinful life they lived as teens was now thrown to the wayside and they had arrived. They knew (and still do) the Bible inside and out and for anyone that didn't well...I am sure you can decided what happened to those people. I was one of those people that did not know the Bible like they did. Unfortunately as a child I did not understand what shame was and so these people who were lovers of the Lord or at least the law would be my major influences in knowing Christ for the next long years of my life. It was here that I began to believe God was a God of meanness and shame. My uncle that claimed to be of the Lord would stand over me and use power and force to make me feel lesser and comply. Yes you got it....I did not want any part of feeling this way and if he represented thank you!!!

*The third person to influence my life was my aunt. I will share her name with you because it is now as the Lord has spoken to me that I can see the beauty in the ashes.
My auntie Ro'Blane (my dads sister) was a believer. See her beautiful smile in this picture. There was no mistaking this. Everyone in our small town knew this. She attended church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening and was always involved in events with and through the church.
You see this family was broken. Broken relationships broken marriages broken spirits. But my auntie Ro as we called her had a sweetness about her.
Many complained she spent to much time at church. This did not stop her. She humbly went about serving the Lord. She was a woman who worked hard for her children as if she was working for the Lord. She was a faithful servant, a loyal friend and mother.
This is what it was about my aunt Ro that fills my heart. She was not a Pharisee. Yes she knew the Word. She hid it in her heart. She met Yahweh in the most intimate places. Her relationship with God was hers and it was a heart thing. She was not one to Bible beat or enforce "rules". She lived her life humbly while fulfilling the calling placed on her life by her True Love.
I must tell you that I was not close to her. I did not share me with her. Remember I was not wanting to know this God that was mean and shaming.

There are two things I remember about her other than the green chair in her living room that I loved....

I remember that in her bedroom always beside her bed was her Bible and her study "stuff". She loved HIM and she desired to know HIM more and...
I remember her blue tambourine. You see we attended (for me later in life) a charismatic church and she loved to worship Him. She sang out and praised Him while shaking that tambourine in a way that made you want to dance. Aunt Ro actually should have been singing next to Travis Cottrell or Paul Brandt or even singing in a quartet next to her brothers. They all love to and can sing....
Even as I sit here and write I can only feel and see a humble woman in love with the Lord...never for her glory...always for HIS.
My auntie Ro'Blane died of cancer. Through her battle she always believed if God wanted her to live, life He would give. If He wanted to take her home she would dress in the best wedding gown of white and look forward to the day she would meet her Bridegroom and go home with HIM. And she did...dressed in white with her blue tambourine she met her Bridegroom.
I can not wait to see her. I know she will be singing and praising the Lord shaking that tambourine. When I see her I will thank her for unknowingly showing me what
John 5:37-40 means.....
And the father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Aunt Ro'Blane had nothing false in her. The pharisee was not in her. It was through her humbleness that I was attracted to my LORD and SAVIOR Jesus Christ. She painted a true picture of Him. She had a heart felt love for Him...and she did not even have to tell radiated off of her. She was a faithful follower.
Who are you? Are you a Faithful follower or a Pharisee? What are you communicating to people about Gods love for us?
Lord I Pray that I am a faithful follower and that through me others can see your love and beauty and promises of abundant life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Whom Then Shall I FEAR

A feeling , an emotion that grips us in a negative gut wrenching way. It is a feeling that holds us back from moving forward in a direction of peace and abundance. It is a voice in our head telling us we are not worthy…something negative is going to happen to us. It is a word that can take us in a spiral downward to a place of hopelessness and despair. It is a word that can impair us!

Fear presents itself in many forms…
Fear of LOSS
Fear of HARM
Fear of DEATH
Fear of CHANGE
Fear of TRUTH

Fear is bondage that holds us from knowing God more intimately. It holds us captive to thoughts of unworthiness. These thoughts often thrust us into a place of despair. It takes us to a place of uncertainty when what we really long for is absolute assurance. Assurance that we will be loved, that we can pay the mortgage, that we will recover from our ailments, that we will live to be 100, that when we hurt we can share our hurt with the person who hurt us without being rejected.

But He was in the stern asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:37-41)

Friends I encourage you to embrace courage to run the race set before you not in fear but by taking a deep spiritual breath and rest on the assurances of the Lord. Fear is not of the Lord.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba Father.” (Romans 8:15)

Now and for all eternity we as believers in Christ Jesus can live not trouble free but fearlessly by His grace. The invitation is there for all even if they have never heard of God (Eph. 3:6). All people can embrace His offering for abundant life experiencing a life of freedom from fear. Do not allow fear to creep in. Rest in His promises.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalms 62:8)

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
(2Thess. 3:3)

Friends do not give weight to your fears. We can not conquer our trials on our own. Cast all your cares upon Him and allow His power to overcome the fear that binds you. Allow Him to show you abundant life found only through a relationship with Him. We must stay true to and live by faith, holding fast to our trust in the Lord. If He is for us who can be against us?

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. (Psalms 27:1-3)

Who holds your heart? Who are you in relation with? Where does your faith rest?