The Void will Pass

How the dread of night surrounds me, where hope might slip in a stone-blind twilight. Oh my soul! Remember night always grows darkest before dawn. Though I face this void alone, it will pass as a fleeting moment. For even now, the horizon prepares to bloom and earth hurtles on into another day, rising in silver hue, then red, then golden dawn. The light reminds my heart of promise and my sight returns, and Jesus – my Bright and Morning Star – commands His calm across every continental worry and stormy sea. I rise, a dread champion in daybreak, to celebrate my King in coming day. Hallelujah!

– Stephen De Silva (reference Proverbs 4:18-19)

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A “Dare” of a Song: “I’ll Stand” by Hillsong

Last night I went to the Prophetic Team Dinner at my church, Bethel Church. There I saw lots of people I had not seen since returning from Iraq December 22. They merrily asked about my trip. They checkered their wonder with sweet encouragement, “Did you feel like you were walking in your destiny?” “Did it confirm that is where your heart is?” “I’m so excited for you!” and I shared snippets of stories and smiles and breakthrough. It was hard. It was hard because I don’t know when I will be back in Iraq. There are a number of things in a state of “wait and see.” Moreover, as one might imagine, a semi-move to a war zone is not straightforward. So, I wait. I look for purpose in this time. And there is purpose. There is always purpose.

Yet, it’s been a really rough month since returning. The wait to return to Iraq has not been the worst of it actually, the worst of it has been the financial drought. I have felt disillusioned, frustrated, discouraged, and sad.  With these responses I have the opportunity to step back and realize emotions like this are not truth and they usually come from lies I am believing. (For example, “God doesn’t care about me enough to put this in order” or “I’ve spent 16 years praying and dreaming and ‘for what?'” or “God is not being faithful to me right now.”) I have to keep coming back to the truth of Who I know God to be, despite the way things “look.” I have to worship Him when I don’t feel like it. I have to dare to find purpose and vision in this season of my life despite the flickers of bitterness in my soul.

Mind you, there is a lot happening: I published two ebooks, I wrote an article for restorationliving.com, I’m writing three more articles for websites, I’m nearly done with writing my first print book, and I’m chatting with a publisher about that. I’ve also had opportunities to speak to people about my trip and to ignite hope for their own dreams to be fulfilled. On top of that, there are some other things brewing right now which are absolutely on my list of “Life Dreams” and I will do internal cartwheels when those things happen. My flatmates and friends are great at helping me see the GOOD things being accomplished. They remind me. Over and over again friends remind me. I’m so thankful. I’ve historically been fiercely independent, but what I have learned about healthy interdependence and the power of unity in the Body of Christ over the past few months has transformed my core.

All to say, when my friend James led worship last night and sang, “I’ll  Stand” it felt like a rebellion against apathy and self-pity, and it made me resolve, yet again, to stay close to my Beloved Jesus no matter what – including when I don’t understand His ways and I am fighting resentment. As I sang, the tears in my eyes were from the pain of choosing intimacy despite my want to “protect” myself from getting “hurt.” I know God doesn’t mean to hurt me, but it’s easier to accuse Him than to really transform my mind (at least it appears easier). So, there’s the truth: I am the one responsible for transforming my mind – thinking renewed thoughts. (Romans 12:2) God wants to help me with this, but I need to want it to happen. I need to get over my deadly blend of fear and control; and let love rule.

As my pastor Bill Johnson says, “If you want peace that passes understanding, you have to give up your right to understand.”

On that note,

“I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all”

“I’ll stand my soul, Lord, to you surrendered. All I am is Yours!”

Will you?

 

 

the wildest kind of enthusiastic optimist

“The triumph of the gospel is enough to make any man the wildest kind of enthusiastic optimist. the unifying of the nature of God and man is the crowning achievement of Jesus Christ. the reason for the cross was thus revealed, man in God and God in man, one spirit, one purpose, one effort, one power and one glory.” 

 

“When you and I are lost in the Son of God, and the fires of Jesus burn in our hearts, like they did in Him, our words will be the words of spirit and of life, and there will be no death in them.”

                                                                                                       – John G. Lake

worship from the last day of second year

These are videos from worship from the last day of my second year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) on May 11, 2011. As a friend said tonight, “You often don’t know how much bondage you are in until you really get free. Then you wonder how you ever lived with all that stuff.”  Really experiencing true freedom, the freedom Jesus paid for, has been a big part of my journey at BSSM. I highly recommend it: the freedom journey.

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

Free Jesus!: FREEDOM by Andrew Farley

Yes! Yes! Yes and YES!!!!!!! Live a life led by love and stop worrying about “the law.” Jesus PAID for our freedom from the law. We are free, free, free to live full lives easily being led by Christ alive inside us. Easy Jesus-y does it! 

Tell your friends, tell your family, WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. 

“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

the river rushes to the lowest place

I usually say I don’t believe in bad days, and I don’t – in that everyday with God is still guaranteed to be moving from glory to glory (even when I don’t observe that with my eyes); it is at its core, a GOOD day. However, rough spots happen. Personally, I’m terrifically exasperated and looking for resolution in the midst of it. I’m living in the divine tension of resting in knowing God is moving on my behalf, and also doing the part I am responsible for. I’m stir crazy and yet, I simply want to be still. I want to go somewhere wonderfully intoxicating like the Amazon and yet I want to simply be in Redding and drink the luscious stars in the night sky. I want to see whole cities engulfed by love and I want the homeless guy I passed today on the street to be engulfed too. In all that I am waiting for several major things to take flight. Like a housecat who sits at the door calmly waiting to be let in, and moments later is digging her claws deep into the door in frustration and eagerness – I am torn between patience and impatience.

These times are an opportunity to let love lead, not emotions, not circumstances, but the forever FULL love of God. For me they are a time to practice the fine art of rejoicing when I don’t feel like it. One’s soul, the seat of one’s emotions, is subject to one’s spirit, the part of you seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and thus innocuous to one’s atmosphere. God turns even exasperation into joy. Sometimes it’s merely about getting alone with Him in quiet, laying down, and chatting with Him – not for answers, but just to chat. It’s like having a conversation with a good friend – you don’t only talk when you “need” answers, you talk to get to know the person and to be known by her.

If you are in the exasperation zone, I declare NEWNESS to you today. Today is a day when mountains will move, peace will come, and HOPE will rise. God wants to meet with you. He wants to talk with you. He wants to share His heart with you. He LOVES you and accepts you fully. He champions your dreams. He is your GOOD Father.

the overwhelming preciousness

While worshiping Jesus at church today tears appeared on my face like dew on tulips in early morning. The sunlight’s tension yearning beyond the night’s cool, causing the droplets. My life’s hopes slamming into the embodiment of hope: Jesus Himself.

I am simply undone by the stirring brightness of Jesus. I can not fathom a better King, a truer lover, nor a deeper friend. I am infinitely thankful I know Him. For Him, I would do anything, go anywhere, and love anyone. My heart longs for the whole world to know Him, to really KNOW Him. He’s it. He really is. He’s the fulfillment, the treasure, the resurrection, and the life. And once you choose to follow Him, you are inseparable. A match made in heaven which will stay in heaven forever.

If you haven’t met Him, if you haven’t chosen to follow Him, you can decide to do so any time. Simply tell Jesus you want to follow Him and tell Him you are giving Him your life. You can talk out loud, if you want. Ask Him to tangibly demonstrate His love to you. Then listen for His direction. He’ll speak. Keep talking to Him- daily, hourly, constantly – chat with Him as you would a friend. He loves you. And the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. I recommend finding a Bible and reading it: starting with the book of John in the New Testament. It’s really scrumptious. The main thing is keep talking to God AND listen for His response.

(And if you choose to follow Him, let me know. I’ll throw some imaginary confetti and laugh with joy.)

“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss


compared to the possession


of the priceless privilege

(the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage)


of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord


and of progressively becoming more deeply and

intimately acquainted with Him


[of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him

more fully and clearly].


For His sake I have lost everything


and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs),


in order that I may win (gain) Christ

(the Anointed One)”

Philippians 3:8 (AMP)