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