Thursday, March 22, 2012


This week’s Swallowed up in Light photo.

The moments when rays of sun dance around you. The presence of the Divine breaks through. Warmth floods. And we’re swallowed up in His Light.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The secret we must learn.

Haiti. Kenya. Uganda. The people, the places, the poverty, the love, the need, the hope. My heart is in these places.

I live in America.
[[I’m relearning how to live in America.]]

How do you live in Suburbia, USA faced with materialism, consumerism and extreme affluence when you’re no longer ignorant to the need and conditions of millions around the world? When you’ve held those bare-bottomed babies who have no parents? When the statistics and facts are real faces and memories that replay in your mind daily?

This is the situation that I’ve been given. This is the season I’ve been placed in. This is the challenge that I’ve taken. 

“Once I’m living and serving the Lord overseas, then it’ll be easier to be fully surrendered and focused on Him. Then I won’t be so attached to the things of this world. Then my life will be more honoring to Jesus.”
                  It’s been easy for me to think like this. Even find comfort and justification in this. But this is not what I am called to.

I’m learning how to honor Jesus by how I respond to my circumstances. I’m encouraged that Paul had to learn this too.

{I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:11b-14}.

These verses have been pure gold to me in this season.
We can see from them that:
a).There is a secret to living in both abundance and in need-->It's contentment.
b)Paul had to learn how to be content; it doesn’t just come natural.
                  c). Paul had to live this theology out practically just as we do. He had been financially well off, and he   had been financially needy. In both situations, he learned how to honor the Lord.
                  d) Learning how to correctly face “plenty” is just as important as responding correctly in our need.
                  e) Neither financial circumstance was more “holy” or “spiritual” than the other.

And finally, we see from Philippians 4:13, that Paul learned and lived these things by the strength of the Lord.
Sadly, we’ve taken this verse way out of context. And honestly, prior to studying this, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you off hand which verses came before Phil. 4:13 or the context that it’s in. “Many people take this verse out of context and use it to reinforce a “triumphalist” or “super-Christian” mentality, instead of seeing that the strength of Christ in Paul’s life was manifest in his ability to be content”, in abundance and in need.
It is possible to honor the Lord with our money. To not have it be our focus or even our concern. To not view it as our own but as the Lord’s. It possible to live detached from it, to truly only steward it.

{Labor not to be rich… Proverbs 23:4a}
{Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy… 1 Timothy 1:16}
{The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things…1Timothy 6:10-11a}
{No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24}
                  {For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
                  And having food and clothing let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:7-8}

It is possible to keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). It is possible to follow His Word and not the media. It is possible to not compromise. It is possible to really live as one in this world but not of it, as one merely passing through. It is possible to not always “need” something more. It is possible to be content. It is possible to not be distracted by these temporary riches, affections and comforts. It is possible to rely on Him and turn to Him and trust in Him, and not our resources. It is possible to be detached from “the American dream”. 
He will teach us, He will strengthen us. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the day i met you.

i like to think about the day i met you,,

there was nothing special about it, no excited expectation as i awoke.
it was just...normal.average.mundane. one more day to somehow get through. 
i put on that smile that masked my brokenness to the world,,
and somehow held onto that one little string of hope that i kept locked away deep inside--
that maybe something would change. maybe everyone around me would change. maybe i would change.

i wasn't expecting it. i hadnt planned it.
its clear now that you did.
sure, i had heard your name here and there,
everyone had their own opinion about you,,i had my own suspicions.

you were always around,, i paid no attention to you.
 i'll be honest- i just didn't see you.
i never thought about you. i never desired to talk to you. i never really cared. 
i never made the time. i never put forth the effort.
you weren't what i was looking for.

i like to think about that day,,

your timing was perfect. everything else since i could remember seemed to lead up to and prepare me.,
for this one day. this one moment.
you introduced yourself to me--you already knew my name,,who i was..
something about you brought down all my walls.
just being around you caused my heart to move within my chest. 
it was easy to breathe again. 
 it was as if you were shining. you were full of light. 
the darkness began to fade. 
i was starting to see.
 your intentions were pure. you werent trying to manipulate,, unlike every other lover. 
your heart was all love towards me. 
it washed over me.
i was a mess. covered in filth. you were covered in white, radiant.  
i had nothing to offer. you had everything to give. 
unconditional love was fleshed out before my eyes.
you held me. your hand was in mine. every ache and longing was suddenly satisfied and overflowing in your embrace. 
i just knew i was yours.

 our conversation wasn't long. you knew exactly what to say,, 
your words brought life.freedom.
im not sure if i even said anything back. 
you knew how i felt though. 

the moment ended. the tears did not. 
you had broken through.
my eyes had been opened. i was able to see you. 
memories flooded my mind,, 
every moment i had ever felt comforted, you were there. 
the days when i felt warmth and a genuine smile formed on my face,, it was because of you. 
even the days that were heavy and dark, you were with me. 
every moment that brought me to this place of brokenness was you.
all the little love notes you left me over the years were clearly revealed. 

my pursuer. 

i knew what i had to do. i couldn't go back, things couldn't stay the same. 
they didn't have to.
i didn't want to live another day without your presence. without your words. without you. 
i went after you. i followed. i began to run. only your wooing allowed me to. 

you pursued,
you enabled me to respond,, 
you continue to pursue,,
you continue to enable me to respond.
a couple years have gone by now,, 
and when i start to think that our relationship is dependent upon me,,
and striving takes over,
and pride creeps in to make me think i somehow earned your love, 
and when discouragement and condemnation lie to me, making me feel unworthy,
i like to think about the day i met you.

the day that things began to change forever--
the day i didnt see coming--
the day you planned all along--

 the day i met you, Jesus.