Monday, December 16, 2013

Simple Song - Unfathomable God // Part lll Prerequisite to Power

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty,
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

Nothing. This defies defeat. Reason, sight, gravity, all come to a crashing halt before the God of the impossible. He makes beautiful the things which are not. He finishes what He began. He is not limited by our limited comprehension of Him. 

He moved the sun backward…
…and made it stand still

He made water pile up on itself… 
... and an axe to float

He made people to walk on a lake... 
...and He fed thousands with one person’s lunch


The sun may appear to have set in your life, but God can make it move backward.

Life may seem to be drowning you in it's tide, but God made dry land in the middle of a sea, and iron to swim in the Jordan river.

If your heart is a gaping hole and you cannot satisfy it’s hunger, remember that God who fed thousands with one lad’s lunch, can feed one with the resources of all heaven.


There’s nothing my God cannot do...

This is hope enough for me. 

But He waits. Hungering as only a Father can for His child's heart, He waits. With longing, knowing that He has the satisfaction for every heart cry of humanity, He waits. For an invitation. A choice. A decision cast in the solitude of the soul. A surrender laid deep and whole. A simple word in answer to a simple question.      Will you let Me be your God?

In one word.

Yes.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Simple Song - Unfathomable God // Part ll Of Strength and Mountains

My God is so great…

Really now! Mental image pops up: wide-eyed, awestruck youngster, stretching his arms wide for all he’s worth. My daddee's bigger dan dat! The words ring with finality, perfect confidence, perfect trust. 

Yup! Buddy, you’re right. Far more right than many who are rich in years. For that simple, that child-like faith knows: My Father’s bigger than that.

MmmHmm. And it doesn’t end there.

…so strong… Yes?

When my thoughts take to flight like an army of horses, I need a strong God. When selfishness rises up as an unconquerable mountain, I need a strong God. When love must come out of my most unlovely heart, I need a strong God. 

You do too. I don’t know your mountains, but I know your need.  

Courage my friendA horse -even an army of them- is a vain thing for safety, but God is our refuge and strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary when climbing high mountains, but they that wait upon the Lord… shall mount up with wings as eagles. Even the strongest in this life cannot conquer the grave, but love is strong as death.*

And God.is.love.

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Psalm 48:14

Simple song...

Unfathomable God...


...to be continued...

* Ps 33:17, Ps 46:1, Is 40:30-31,Ecc 8:8, Song of Solomon 8:6


Monday, November 11, 2013

Simple Song - Unfathomable God

      There are certain childhood lyrics that ought to stay in childhood, or perhaps never make their mark at all. But there are those words that still come to mind, after however many moons, richer with meaning, fuller of thought. 

My God... Stop.

      Whose God? Not Paul’s God. Not Peter’s God. Not the God of the faithful Daniel, the immoveable Joseph, the meekest man Moses. Little, timid, me. My.God. 

...Is so great. Stop again. 

      Is what? Understatement if I ever heard one. He who placed the sun where it would keep the earth from turning to ice, yet not burn it to a barren waste; the One who directs atoms, yet space cannot contain, language cannot describe, and time cannot limit; He to whom mountains are small, and oceans as dry land to walk upon, He is great. Exactly

      The Same, took the form of humanity, lived upon this spec of matter called earth, bought us from darkness by His own Light, and bridged the chasm between nothing and everything. Yes, that One. 

Words so simple, so small, but so utterly broad.


My God is so great…

Simple song. 

Unfathomable God. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Normal Life

Two months and five days later to be exact. Normal life is returning, both faster and slower than I care it to. “Restrictions” sluggishly carry on for two more weeks: no lifting, pushing, or pulling more than 20 lbs. (which basically equals no work.) No running, and definitely no jumping. No ladders. No scaffolding. No violin. 

At least singing isn’t forbidden. Chewing is permitted as long as it doesn’t hurt. :)

The post-surgery pain is gone… almost. Exceptions arise on a walk, an obstinate pile of rice, a bumpy ride, and sometimes no apparent reason at all. Those squishy blue gel-packs from the freezer still feel heavenly. 

Mostly though, things are normal. Pause.

What is normal? 

Far too many have never known a pain-free day. The world is saturated with crippled, hurting people. Who is going to help them?

The abundance of kindness and sympathy given me is a royal waste if it’s not passed on. Whatever blessing you or I receive, gives it’s truest gift, as we put it in the hands of another. Simply, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

And this, I know is true. The self-sacrificing work, is the only satisfying work. Whether grateful eyes look deep into yours, or you hold only the consciousness of right doing, that. is. satisfaction. Why?

Because we were made to give. We were made to be like God. And He gives.

That means… 

       …God meant giving to be normal.

Then that's the normal we want...

Rubber bands: day and night for ever and ever.
.  .  .
(Until they're done, you understand :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reflections on His Heart

Though disease obeyed His voice
And the blind received their sight,
Though the deafness had no choice
But to hear without a fight,
Though the waves of Galilee
Could not rise against His word,
Yet their minds refused to see
What the lake itself had heard.

Though He took the servants' role
Grasping not for wealth or fame,
And though while a King paid toll
When the crown, His right to claim,
Though His kingdom was not of
Earthly prowess, strength, or throne,
Yet rejected was His Love
For it "seeketh not her own."

Though He read the traitor's heart
Though He knew that base design,
Yet He bore it from the start
Yes, both Judas' sin, and mine.
Though He saw His love refused
As a millstone in a stream,
Yet He chose to be thus bruised
That some soul He might redeem.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Remember


Let distractions, delusions, deceptive delights, and disarming duplicity be forgotten. Despite the cost, there is but one Desire worth desiring. That "one thing" the psalmist sought. A closeness with the Man of Sorrows, the Master, the Redeemer, the Conquering King.  

"...Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great." Revelation 19:5.

•  •  •  •  •  •  • 

When afflicted for My sake
Remember Me.
When oppressed and soon to break
Remember Me.
When rejected on this earth,
Don't forget to Me you're worth
Every cross I bore from birth.
Remember Me.

When your duties seem severe
Remember Me.
When like mountains they appear
Remember Me.
When your burdens are too great,
When they have a dreadful weight,
Then My own cross contemplate.
Remember Me.

When you'd shrink from the ordeal
Remember Me.
When too great the pain you feel 
Remember Me.
For I live to intercede,
I, who answers human need,
I, who also in this lead.
Remember Me.*

*See the book, Desire of Ages page 659.2


Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Son-beams Perspective


Perspective: that powerful placer of situations and stressors. These spectacles are neither rose-tinted, nor mal-adjusted. They simply put life in it's proper sphere. 

As wonderful as it may be, perspective does not change the object of attention. It expands the picture frame. Cloudy disturbances may float their way across life's screen no matter how big a frame you hammer out. 

Therefore, look higher. 

      There are still Son-beams in the sky. :)


There's one cloud in the sky-
A little one at that,
And yet it draws the eye
As if a flying cat.

How often what we see
Is where we choose to turn.
Our view may be cloud free
If only this we learn.

So turn toward the light
And catch those golden gleams.
For clouds are even bright
When glowing with sunbeams :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weimar Board Weekend: "Now"...

      Is it possible for "Now" to be past tense? :) It is in this case...


The lights are on...

...and the doors are open!

Recently positioned seats in the new (old) building

From the back

Miracle: occupancy for one day in Echo Hall. 


The King of all the ages
Could grasp eternity,
Yet traced redemption's pages
In deepest poverty.


With joy and gifts abounding
What's given is not lost,
But blessing comes surrounding
The sacrifices' cost.


Now therefore let us follow
The path that Christ has trod-
To give up all our living
Should it bring one to God.


•  •  •  •  •


Behold the riches given
And let your heart reply,
My Jesus gave all heaven-
Now, all to Him give I!



Taken from 2 Corinthians 8:9-11




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seedtime and Harvest


Leaves sprinkle themselves outside. Trees are showing twinges of red. Why talk of planting when Autumn is nearly here? 

The lessons of seed sowing are timeless.  

•  •  •  •  •

Year by year the farmers take
The best of all their seed,
And by appearance make mistake
Discarding what they need.

But only when the grain is cast
Into the field of needs,
Is there preserved and saved at last
A harvest of more seeds.

Just as the grain is thrown away
Christ came to earth to die,
And yet His faith beheld the day
When more would meet His eye.

For He saw then, as we must see,
The great joy to be had.
When all to God is given free
The harvest will be glad!



Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Gift of Pain

There is so much of it in this world. Rare is the day when a patient answers me in the negative. Huh? No pain? I croak. If they only knew how uncommon they are.

Two weeks have given me a taste of where the world lives. Small taste for sure. Nonetheless, it paints a different color to life. Endure. Get through. Look beyond. 

It's a gift- the pain. When a middle-aged patient is sobbing right there, moaning in distress, what is this 21 year old supposed to say? Maybe these last weeks will help to answer that question next time. 

Seems superficial though. The pangs of the world are too deep for human compassion. 

So the gift. Much bigger, as God does things. Musculoskeletal aches,  and tingling nerves aside. My pain by proxy on His back. Broader, deeper, sharper than anything etched in language, heavier than anything we can lift, is that burden. Willingly He shouldered what would have... should have crushed us. I can't relate to their pain, but He can. Therefore, He can gaze into the eyes of a hurting world, and say, I know. I felt that anguish times infinity.

So here's the call. Their pain is an opportunity for His love. Jesus doesn't just remove our burden of pain. Rather, He gives a burden of love in its place. It's a love that's willing to hurt, to pound with the pangs of the human heart. 

The aim is not in the hurting though. It's in the healing. Eternally. No more pain- for the former things are passed away. 

Let us be persuaded. There is a Balm in Gilead. Nothing shall separate us from it. No depth. No height. No throbbing ache. No nothing. The pain He took was deep, but His heart of love was deeper. 

Still is. 

Marvelous Love. Marvelous Gift. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Gospel According to the Third Floor of Kaiser



August 27 dawned about as spunkily as a yearly event that you know is coming, but always shows up before it ought to. No, it wasn't a surprise, it just came quickly. 

There were about ten bleary seconds in the OR to my consciousness, and then it was recovery. Honestly, the mandibular osteotomy, a.k.a. jaw surgery was the easy part. 

I do not wish here to turn anyone's stomach, just to send the message to your heart that came to mine. :)

Up three stories for a night's stay in Kaiser. The bleeding had not completely stopped, evidenced by the formerly white cloth at my neck. In fact, the tail was told down to my socks. There is something starkly soiled when that vital red stuff is on your clothes. Maybe it's just me. I'm not terribly bothered by my own blood (and coming out of anesthesia, not bothered by much at all), but something wastes no time to cry "unclean" when it's landed on cotton. 

So there I am. Unclean. Still bleary. Awake to very little, yet groggily aware of the dirtiness yours truly was in. And Into that collection of shadows she steps. A total stranger. Cleaning my face. Changing my socks. Taking away the defiled garments. For.ever. 

It's not the nobility of nursing. Not the commendation of cleanliness... We're leaving regions of ice packs and hospital rooms. It's that Someone so clean would deign to take away the filthiness of someone so dirty. That One who is known and worshipped by seraphim and cherubim would wipe blood off the face of a stranger.

It would be enough to be clean. Pure. Holy. Justified. But the blood that stains the children of Adam, is not primarily their own. It's His. 

Right. 

He bleeds from the wounds I have made. But in His blood is the DNA of purity and holiness. Both to will. And to do. In place of stained socks He gives the preparation of the gospel of peace. In place of a filthy garment, His own. 

Jesus stoops over a bleeding world. His precious blood, mingling with His tears, drips faster. Then looking into eternity He sees a people, clothed in pure and white linen. He sees the palms, the crowns. He sees cleanness of heart. And He begins to work. To wash. To clothe. To restore. To purify. 

Soon the faith of Jesus will be rewarded. Soon He will claim His own. Soon He will dwell with those who have clean hands and a pure heart. Face to face. For.ever. 

Made white, a.k.a. clean, in the blood of the Lamb. For.ever. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One life. On fire.


      The faint smell of smoke greets me as my alarm informs of the time. It smells like camping, like a pine-wood fire way up in the mountains. A fire that somebody didn’t quite put out last night.

      I leave the house and walk into a haze. The smell is stronger outside. After a very few minutes, the smoke convinces me that exercise needs to happen somewhere else today.

{Up to the greenhouse. Out to the road.}

There it is. A plume of smoke bubbles vertically into the sky. As though something of honor, it is christened with pink and gold of morning. 

I don’t really know what is happening over there, but I know. I don’t see the fire. I can’t see the fire. No one I know has seen it. But there is not the shadow of a doubt, it is there. 

This makes me think. 
          One life. on fire. Huge impact. 

That one fire can touch areas so far removed from itself, that you cannot even know what -whom- is burning. 

The smell is in the air. It effects the way we live. We can see the evidence. 

One life. On fire.

May that be you. and me. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

love.Me.more


{John 12:24-26, Matthew 20:28}

My English: {With help from Strong’s Concordance}

This is very true: A Seed of wheat must fall into the earth and give away its breath, its life, or else that Seed will remain alone. But, by yielding it’s existence, the seed is multiplied. 

(Self-sacrifice is really self-preservation. Self-serving is self-destruction. The seed that protects itself has no fruit at harvest time. Only in giving is there gain.)

If you are a friend to your own life, if you fondle over your breath, you will smother it. But if you love temporal life less, you will be preserved. You will guard, keep, and save your breath for the place, time, and purpose of eternal life. 

If you are My friend, come walk with Me on the road I travel. Accompany Me. Be My servant. Wherever I go, My servant will go and do there what I ask of them. If you are My friend, your breath, will be prized by My Father. He will hold it dear. He will honor it. It will be beloved by the One who gave it: the One who also calls you to love it less. 

In exactly the same way as I ask you to love your life less, I came. I was born with the face of a human on this earth- not to be accompanied or served, but to perform menial duties, to serve, and to give up My breath, which means freedom for you. 

That’s the way I am.

    I gave My life to the soil of humanity. Will you?

        I walked through life as a servant. Will you?

            I gave My breath for you. But will you give yours for Me?


Whatever the cost, whatever is lost, despise not My cross,

love.Me.more


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stream bed


The cooler temperatures of morning awaken my senses. I drink it in. The sky is exquisite. Light and dark, blending, shading, fading. The clouds are what really get me. So beautiful, but so soon never to be again.

Heaven's tapestry of blue and gold will fade. Soon the sky is the hue of day. Soon the clouds disappear.

Then it hits.

It's a gift about to be opened- poured out upon the earth. It's highest purpose is to bless the ones who thirst. From cloud to stream to lake and ocean, ever giving, ever given. Though the substance that quenches thirst, it changes the dry, thirsty places into streams of living water. Living because it's giving.

"No one can live the law of God without ministering to others." - DA 584. But we can only give another what Heaven gave us. We are merely the stream bed. He is the Water. He is the Giver.

Take it. Give it. Drink it. Live it.

Thank You Lord for pouring out Yourself upon the dryness of the earth. For making fountains where before was thirsting desert. For giving, and giving, and giving.

Thank You.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

An ever flowing fountain;
A well that's never dry;
Like rain upon a mountain,
Whose stream will never die;
The love of God is ceaseless,
It's end cannot be found.
It's Source has more than excess,
To quench the thirsty ground.

As palm trees shading Elim,
And rushes in its sand,
Our life may draw a pilgrim,
To Water near at hand.
For when a thirsting trav'ler
Sees life in desert waste,
It beckons to that wond'rer,
"Don't leave this place in haste."

For still the quenching river
Flows from the smitten Stone,
Salvation to deliver,
In depths of love unknown.
And those who taste it's value,
Not only will receive,
But take to give its virtue,
Another to relieve.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For the Love of Sacrifice


Too often, it is reduced to a cotton-candy fluffiness. Nothing to satisfy. Nothing worth the price to gain.

Yet, it’s most gripping revelation is in sacrifice.

Where there is no sacrifice, there is no love.

But where there is Love, can it be called sacrifice? For the one who loves, nothing is too much to give. The genuine stuff doesn’t shrink at the word “all”. Love delights in it. Beyond the point of pain, Love gives. And loves to do it. 

The soldier’s sacrifice? It’s as nothing. For the King has taken pain from the hands of death. The scaffold, the fire, the dungeon, the most inhumane atrocity cannot sever one soul from His love. 

But at the cross, mystery. Love cut off from Love. Sacrifice beyond measure. Beyond comprehension. 

He gave, yet said, I delight. 

I give, and call it sacrifice. 

Oh, for the love that shrinks at nothing… and gives because it is it’s greatest delight to do so. To know no sacrifice save His, because mine has faded into absolute nothingness in the light of the love of the cross. 

Oh, to love sacrifice, because I love His love. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Backpacking, Experience, Expression


“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life;” 1 John 1:1. 

The sun is warm. A gentle breeze plays catch with the leafy shrubs. Birds fill the air with melodious choruses and anthems. 

I sit atop my favorite perch so far, a gray, rounded rock. Across the lake, a thousand diamonds of light frolic as if in sheer happiness for the day. Sabbath. Backpacking. Delightful combination. 

My reading pauses indefinitely. That… which we have heard… 

John, that beloved apostle, who braved all kinds of things we can’t even relate to, had an experience with Jesus. An authentic experience with the Author of true experience. He had heard the voice of Jesus, had seen His face, had looked on it for untold hours, even touched the very Desire of the Ages. Can you imagine?

Christ ascends. John’s experience continues, deepens, broadens, until he can say -years after Christ has gone behind the curtain of space, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” 1 John 3:1. Because John did, he could say “Behold.” Why tell your friends to study a painting of which you have no knowledge? 

You can’t. 

That experience, is what I want. To know, not suspect, or surmise, or fancy, or imagine. To know and see with the soul, and not just the eyes. To look unto heaven and behold as if He were as close as my heart is to my eyes. That is what I crave for you.

But for John, it started with hearing. And in order for the beloved apostle to have heard, somebody had to tell him. 

A word, a look, a life as an expression of the God’s love, someone who did their duty as unto the Lord: somebody. told. John. 

The question burns in my mind: What am I telling John? Is it a testimony of Jesus, or temporary trifles? Do the words speak volumes of Life? Or death? Are we, like a pebble in a lake, dropping words which will reverberate in a blessing shared over and over and over? Do they bear the fruit of genuine experience in another? Another, who then goes a drops a pebble, in a lake? 

The appeal is to tell. Tell a tale of truth. Of Christ. Of Love. Of sacrifice. 

Tell it to be told again. 


GF Backpacking breakfast

Glow works as well in the woods...

Our lightened burdens ready to go home



Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sacrifice Shines


      The early morning light awakens me. I turn to prayer. Time passes, but the natural golden glow of morning is missing. Something is strange. 

      Finger finds phone: 1:47. No wonder. I drop to my knees before the window which illuminates my room. What I find is obviously not the ruler of the day, but that of night. A halo of brilliant light, hemmed with pastels, encircles the glowing sphere, full and beautiful. I gaze in admiration for the Creator of it all. 

      All of a sudden, my eyes see something beyond the circle of light. Beams pierce through the dark of night in a veritable cross-roads of light. The giant reflector is not only surrounded by a circular glow, but in the center of a cross of light. The lines are distinct. I blink, but it’s still there. My gaze continues. 

Gentle voice: When you behold Me with your full face -just as the moon is full-, that is when I am reflected the best in your countenance. When you are on the cross, that is when your life shines the brightest of the cross.

“On the cross? ...we’re supposed to pick up our cross and follow You.”  We wouldn’t be on the cross then, right?

Again: Did you expect to take the cross and never die? What is the ultimate end of crucifixion?

Thoughts swirl. The darkness of death begets the brilliance of birth. The Prince of life took His cross to the place of death. A cross borne after Him has but one end. 

Quietly: Sacrifice shines. If you want to glow like the sun, stay in the center of the cross. 


Sunday, June 23, 2013

A rhyme for the time: NEWSTART Health Summit


Good Nutrition, Exercise,
Water, Self-control;
These things make one strong and wise,
In body, mind, and soul.
Sunlight, Air, and peaceful Rest,
Trust in Heaven's care,
For our health this is the best-
Above, beyond compare.
Take these principles of health,
As your very own;
You will find them greater wealth,
Than anything you've known.
If you want it with your heart,
There is One who will impart,
You can have a brand NEWSTART,
But only this in Him!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Every Word...


Do you have a burden you can't carry?
Do you have a sorrow you can't bare?
Look to Jesus, not your adversary,
Even sparrows do not lack His care

Do your problems rise up like the mountains?
Do your questions seem to never cease?
Rest you case beneath the living fountains,
For they overflow with heaven's peace

When your daytime seems as black as midnight,
When you cannot see a way to go,
Turn to Him who's brighter than the sunlight,
In His time your pathway He will show

• • • • • • • • • 
Trust in Him, whose goodness changes never,
Take His word in calmness or in storm
Every promise given, stands forever,
Every word He's able to perform!

                      Every word... ;)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Heaven's Mending Basket



      I looked in surprise at my bedspread, needle and thread in hand. I knew it was coming apart, but not quite that much! :| The ever so small section of a separating seam no longer was. All the more reason to mend it, I mused. 

      Mending is a task that proffers ample opportunity to think, and as duty called to the former, I settled in to do some of the latter. 




      First of all, I knew the condition of my bedspread. It had had a hole. Yet this knowledge was not sufficient stimulus for correcting said deficiency right away. So finally, priority has uncovered it. How often do I wait for a more convenient season to attend to a hole in the soul? How often do I brush aside the knowledge of my flaws with the self-assurance that it will be okay for today? ...that it is "good enough"?

      Secondly, I did not know the condition of my bedspread. The true state of its disrepair might as well have been a mystery. What's startling about this is that the hole was right under my nose. Literally. Top blanket, middle section, as plain as stain. Getting worse all the time, but yours truly was in complete oblivion. Let me just say that naturally, I am conscious of such things... all the more reason this comes home. "Because thous sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; (my blanket is practically fine, really!) and knowest not that thou art wretched” (your blanket really is not fine). - Revelation 3:17. The holes may be unknown or ignored, but that by no means alters the reality of their presence, or the progression of disintegration. 



      Lastly, I know the condition of my bedspread is better than it used to be. It had had a hole, but no more. “…He which hath begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” - Philippians 1:6. There is a solution to the pollution of a soul. We don’t have to remain in stained, hole-ridden garment. There is a robe to be had of one piece, purest white, no cuts, no stains. But we have to buy it. There is a price. It is costly. Obedience, not ours, but Another’s obedience, molded out of our life. The Amen, the beginning of the creation of God, the first and the last, the I AM, He, humbled Himself; the One who was, and is, and is to come, He, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” - Philippians 2:8. … so that He could give us a garment without holes… a character that won’t fray… an obedience above compromise.  Amazing doesn’t begin to tell it.

      Well, the stitchery is done, but the character is still in the making. In the mean time however, praise God for heaven's mending basket! :)