Eden’s House

I am presently in a writing class at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Today we had ten minutes to “free write” based on a prompt. I wrote an anecdote from my childhood. My writing group adored it. So, I opted to post it here. May it awaken your imagination and your hope for Eden. Eden is a real picture of blissful union with God: chatting, walking in the breath of the day, nurturing creation, and co-reigning with Him. Jesus made the reality of Eden attainable to us. We can stroll in unbroken communion with our Creator and King. God longs for us to do so: to dream with Him, to create with Him, and to transform the world with Him. This partnership is the fruit of love. It will bring heaven and Eden to earth.

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Eden. It’s one of my favorite words. I love the sound of the long “e’s” – it seems to connote the very evergreen nature of that original garden of promise. Growing up, my backyard was quite Eden-esque. There were eight fruits that grew in our yard: apricots, grapefruit, oranges, apples, figs, plums, grapes, and, of course, the strawberry patch tucked next to the house. To my wide blue eyes, this made the place all-the-more fantastical, a veritable Wonderland of supply and self-sustenance. Adding possibility to possibility, there was also a two story playhouse which my dad and grandpa built for me.

That play house was my house in the sky, a spacesuit to my imagination, and my very own first home. There were cupboards, counters, a mini-kitchen, and stairs leading to a tiny upstairs bedroom with a wooden bed only a child could fit into. And then there was the balcony. The balcony came off of the bedroom. And it was so close to my parents’ own balcony which came from their bedroom; a seven year old’s legs could easily span the distance.  That distance was the gap between a reality my mom designated and a reality I designated. The one I designated was much more inventive.

And so, while my mom was usually occupied in the kitchen downstairs, I would make my escape from normalcy. I would pop downstairs to let my mom know I would be “reading.” Then I would read for 30 seconds in my bedroom, trying to substantiate my claim to be “reading”; and soon I would be quietly tip-toeing through my parents’ bedroom, out to their balcony, and from their balcony to my little playhouse balcony. From there anything might happen.

Sometimes I would stay in my playhouse, I’d curl up in the tiny bed just before a thunderstorm hit. My house, the chitty-chitty-bang-bang of houses, would instantly transform into a boat. I would rescue people from foreign lands and pull them to safety. At times, the bottom floor would begin to flood! In these moments I was left with no other option than to walk on the counter and even stand on top of the front door of the house as I pivoted that open door using my hands on the ceiling. (Good thing those hinges were strong.) Those were dangerous times. Being seven and knowing that the future of the whole world rests on whether you can get a green bowl of your last earthly provisions from the kitchen table without touching the floor, is very demanding (at first). Yet the thanks of entire people groups and animal families was always worth the risk.

Risk. I thrived on risk. I would create it perpetually: life and death scenarios, streams of hot lava, small children (and even babies) stranded on miniscule sinking islands. Nothing ever stopped me. When a fleck of hot lava burned my forearm, I pressed on. When a lightning bolt split my life raft in half, I kept going. When all the other humans and animals around me gave up hope, I hope-d still. That playhouse encased in Eden was my place of peace. There I established the reality. There I knew I was significant, able to save lives and transform the world. There, I created. Like God created physical somethings from nothings, I created somethings in my mind. Anything was possible. And I knew God was there with me, enjoying my creation and communing with me about our similarities. I was learning how to govern my own Eden. Next to the playhouse’s front door was a sidewalk, the sidewalk was marked with my handprints. “1983” and my hands. I was four years old when I sunk my powerful hands into the ready wet cement. I was learning how to leave my mark. And how to dream things into reality. I’m still learning. I still live in a world where the sidewalks are made of wet cement and the houses are expectant for my hope to give them purpose. I’m thankful I learned how to save lives so many years ago, standing on my playhouse’s front door, reigning over Eden.

This isn't my playhouse, but it is me and my sisters at Storyland.

My Sister’s Blog from India

Well blog-readers,

It has been a very interesting and challenging week – with the unexpected turns related to the story in my previous blog post. I’ve definitely been stretched. I’ve definitely found myself saying out loud, “God, what in the world is going on? What do you want me to do? Teach me how to walk in complete peace and not to be offended or defensive. Teach me new wisdom. Help me love better. Help!” I’m really thankful for those who prayed with me when I felt wearied and frustrated. And then I get the great opportunity to re-align myself with an expectation toward amazing redemption of a muddy situation. Thankfully, God makes castles from mud. haha.

And in the midst of that I’ve felt so much love for Brazil and for the nations – really wanting them to all flourish and be who they are designed to be. Even now I tear up, overcome with God’s love for the nations. I’d really like to love more like He does. And in this meditating on the nations I watched a documentary on ending the sex trade in India. My youngest sister is currently in India volunteering in a restoration house for women rescued from sex trafficking.

I wanted to share her blog with y’all. She’s an amazing woman and definitely a hero of mine.

http://pinkdor.wordpress.com/

Also, the women make jewelry and crafts as a means of income. Check it out here: http://www.ruhamah.in/

India, you will FLOURISH!!!!!! You are beautiful, colorful, and unique! Sex trafficking will come to an end! India belongs to Jesus! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

On a similar swatch of fabric, electronic fabric, some friends at BSSM recently put this video together:

I love the collaboration of people from around the world with a common goal. Like a little child in an aquarium, I’m in awe and I’m dazzled. “Oooooo… look at THAT one, Daddy! Look at all this glory swimming about!”

MORE! More glory!

More glory in the nations and through the nations!

hahahahahahHA!


Streeeetching past disappointment

 

Some of the most defining and determining moments in our lives are the moments when we decide how to deal with disappointment. We either get weary and leave open the doors of our souls for dissatisfaction and unbelief to come in OR we resolutely shake off the experience, close the doors, and move forward DARING to hold on to hope.

In these pivot points we set the tone for the rest of our lives.

Onward and upward is the choice of brave hearts.

Sometimes the discipline of choosing belief is excruciatingly painful. Eustace says in the latest Chronicles of Narnia film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when describing how Aslan (the God-figure) brought him in an instant from the transition of a dragon-body back to his human state, “It was really painful, but in a good way – like having a thorn removed from your foot.” It is in the choosing, despite the cost of comfort, that the great sloughing off occurs. It is in the yanking through a narrow spot that the refining happens.

It is in the conviction toward joy when it is expensive, that heavenly habits are formed.

I like heavenly habits. And really, I’m much too smitten with the Holy Spirit to hop out of the reformation-mobile and establish a “healthy” distance from the Holy Spirit. Yuck. That sounds entirely horrible.

The last few months ripe in growth, have also contained backroads of *ouch* and *aaaaaaaargh!* I’ve had thyroid disease since I was seven and though it is normally stable with medication there have been times – like when I moved to Israel in 2006 – that my body goes out of whack. I’ve been prayed for dozens and dozens of times. I know God heals. I know healing is easy from heaven’s perspective and healing is our inheritance on earth. In the journey of the last few years I’ve seen hundreds of people healed through my own hands. I rarely felt bitter that my own healing hadn’t come. I just love seeing people healed and happy; and I know my own healing is en route. Well, in the last several months I have really focused on healing for my thyroid and I’ve seen measures of breakthrough. I’ve also had powerful encounters with God: I’ve been tackled in my bedroom; I’ve spent hours on the floor outside the healing rooms at church after going out in the Spirit; I’ve had people approach me with profound words of knowledge and pray for me; I’ve collapsed under the power of His Presence here and there and everywhere.  And the healing has yet to show up on earth. In the interim I’ve walked through lethargy, facial swelling, intestinal issues, slow metabolism, and a litany of other not-so-pretty symptoms. In time a doctor’s appointment, a blood test, and a fresh prescription have brought balance and removed most symptoms, but I am still really excited to be healed one day soon.

I’m not sharing any of that for pity. I hate pity. Compassion is fine, but pity is unhelpful. I prefer advocacy and a heavenly perspective. I’m sharing because there is a long-held awareness in my life that in my honesty others find strength and inspiration. I’m sharing because as the New Year pokes through the sky tonight, we need to choose to let GO of the old and grab a hold of the new. We need to issue a rally cry to everyone that JESUS IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!! And we will flourish as we let go of unanswered questions, confusion, and fear; and dive into the syrupy Presence of the One who understands ALL. What an honor to have a best friend who knows everything, sees outside of time, and LOVES beyond measure!

Right now we could choose to focus on what is not. We could stare at lack. We could grumble. We could be self-focused. We could be fearful that we will be terminally disappointed. And we could miss the opportunities to love and transform the world around us. We could miss out on the great masterpiece our beautiful Creator is making.

Or we could celebrate every victory, no matter how small. We could fast negativity (as in commit to not say and think negative things). We could speak the truth of God over our lives daily: I am powerful, I am seated with Christ in heavenly places, circumstances are under my feet, sickness flees in my presence. We could make every day a party. We could let loose the shoelaces of our love, toss off our hindrances and dance barefoot!

I have to choose the latter. My heart must have closeness with God. Nothing else will ever persuade me of a greater worth. He’s it. haha. No need to search for the next best thing. He is the always best thing.

So, whoever you are, wherever you are. Shake it off. Whatever you negatively fixate on about 2010, blink it away. Stop thinking about changing your ways and just change them. Be YOU. You can do it. You were born to succeed! You were designed to live an outrageously wonderful life so full of love and power that the whole universe awakens in awe to your beauty.

Ezekiel 16:9-14 paints a gorgeous image of us redeemed and beautified by our Husband,

“I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

We have been lavished with salvation and beauty – so much beauty the nations are in awe. We have a choice of what to do with that beauty. In Ezekiel, the woman ( Jerusalem), squanders the love by throwing her attentions and her affections other places. Let’s be the woman who shows the nations their own beauty and lavishes them with the same love that brought us into salvation and wholeness.

Let’s stretch. Let’s grow.

2011, HERE WE GROW!!!!!!!

hahahaha!!!

I love all of you (even the internet wanderers who followed the yellow brick road here that I don’t know personally)!

I recommend listening to two teachings in the box.net on the left side bar of my blog: parts 1 & 2 of “Living Un-Offended at God” by Bill Johnson. ENJOY!!! Get radical with HOPE!

Happy NEW-EST YEAR!!!

You have a destiny and a purpose!

p.s. As my sister Dori is going to India in 4 days to work in a restoration house with survivors of the sex trade for 3 months, this form of slavery is on the forefront of my mind.

(Her blog: http://pinkdor.wordpress.com/ )

We must be courageous and set the captives free. How about Isaiah 61 as a New Year’s Resolution!?! Let’s eradicate disease, slavery, and darkness from the planet! As you link with heaven’s faith, here’s music to believe by: http://www.exoduscry.com/ I especially like tracks 3 & 10. )