Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fellowship of Suffering

We have discovered, over the years, a fellowship of suffering. It's a little like being a member of a club you never wanted to join. The other members are awesome - many broken, transparent, hurting, with a deep sense of loss, but nonetheless incredibly kind, loving, supportive, very solid people.

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. -- Michel de Montaigne

We have been through a great deal of suffering over the years. I responded to them in many different ways, but discovered early that suffering can produce what nothing else can in our lives. We have suffered the loss of loved ones who died so young. We have suffered through the loss of 3 miscarriages, and the emptiness left by the absence of those precious ones. We have suffered through pains, disappointments, realization of disillusionment, betrayal, and so much more.

For the past 4 years, we have been going through very difficult circumstances. Kim has been very sick during this time. There are many who want to label this as cause & effect, saying "there must be something wrong in your life for this to be happening to you", or "you just aren't having enough faith", etc. For some reason, some people feel they need to judge us and our circumstances. Thankfully, our Daddy holds us close, telling us He is at the heart of this, and will deliver us. We are also often amazed at those who come along side us, encourage us, and love us just the way we are. Some as a few miles away, and others are across the world, but we are nevertheless amazed at their love, caring, prayers, and concern for us.

I thank God for the fellowship of suffering. It is so good not to be alone when situations seem so very overwhelming.

I wonder if others out there have had similar experiences.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006


When I have been at the deepest times of shaky footing and even free-falling, during some of the most difficult days of my life, I can feel so totally out of control (as if I was really controlling anything anyway).

It's never comfortable, for me, being crushed, stretched, broken, transparent, vulnerable, naked, alone, destroyed, smashed to pieces, and left in a dark room.... I recognize the value of the process and the result, and that phenomenal growth can take place during these times, but it's still really hard to let go and fall. My tendency is to try to hold on with all my might, grappling for the edge of the ledge that is slipping away from me... until....
I find peace in the midst of the storm and begin to hold on to Him instead...
I think this sums it up pretty well...

"unknown" by Lifehouse

This doubt is screaming in my face
This familiar place sheltered and concealed
and if this night won't let me rest
don't let me second guess
what I know to be real
put away all I know for tonight
and maybe I just might learn to let it go
take my security from me
maybe finally I won't have to know everything

I am falling into grace to the unknown
to where you are and faith
makes everybody scared
it's the unknown the don't know
that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

I got nothing left to defend
I cannot pretend that everything makes sense
but does it really matter now
if I do not know how
to figure this thing out

I am falling into grace to the unknown
to where you are and faith
makes everybody scared
it's the unknown the don't know
that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

I'm against myself again
trying to fit these pieces in
walking on a cloud of dust to get to you

I am falling into grace to the unknown
to where you are and faith
makes everybody scared
it's the unknown the don't know
that keeps me hanging on

and I am falling into grace to the unknown
to where you are and faith
makes everybody scared
it's the unknown the don't know
that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you

And so I hang on and on and on.... as I fall into grace - safely in the arms of the Lover of my soul... the infinite One, who is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, and although I may not know what tomorrow holds, I know who holds me in His arms, comforting me, and wiping away every tear, as He gently binds my wounds, calms my fears, and deeply loves me. I am transformed.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Upside Down?

Are we living life upside down? I recently rediscovered a song (it was re-released on a new Russ Lee CD) that had meant alot to me in the early 80's. The words are just as pertinent today as they were then - maybe more so....

John has a new way of looking at life
He's tired of his job, his kids and his wife
He says the secret to his success
Was in leaving and finding himself
Now he's someone to somebody else.
And you say we've risen to a new age of truth
You're calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit
But I say, I say,

What if we've fallen to the bottom of a well
Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking we're heaven bound
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we're living life upside down.

We've got a program for saving the earth
While unborn children are denied their right to birth
One baby's blessed, another cursed
Have we made this world better or worse
Now that the life of a tree comes first
And you say we've risen to a new age of light
You're telling me what used to be wrong is now right
But I say, I say,
(repeat chorus)

What if we're living, what if we're living,
What if we're living life upside down.

The lines that particularly hit home today in our world are you say we've risen to a new age of truth, You're calling it a spiritual Godly pursuit and you say we've risen to a new age of light
You're telling me what used to be wrong is now right, and the chorus. Have we, as a generation, lost our compass of what is wrong and what is right? Perhaps things are not as they appear. I believe it's worth questioning:
What if we've fallen to the bottom of a well
Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain?
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking we're heaven bound?
What if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other?
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we're living life upside down?


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Daddy, I've Come Home...

This poem was written by Danny Steyne, shortly after his daughters were kidnapped in December, 2000. He recieved his answer in the miracle of a phone call from the FBI on February 2, 2006, letting him know they were found safe, and were coming home....
more can be found about the story at today, under News Extra...

I expect you
I look for you every day
My heart cries out for your presence
In the house that is your home
I expect you suddenly
To appear at my front door
Saying words I've longed to hear
Daddy, I've come home. . .

When I read it, several things struck me. The love of a father for his children - that ernest expectation of their return, the longing for them and the pain of thier absence. I hear in his words the longing to hold them close, to tell them he loves them.

I also hear in these words the heart of a Heavenly Father, whose heart is crying out for the presence of His children. He also ernestly awaits their return with expectation. Oh, how He longs for those of us who are so busy, so unavailable, so distracted and unaware, to appear at His "front door", saying those words He's longed to hear - "Daddy, I've come home..."

There Must Be More....

I thought of this as I was reading Kingsjoy's (David's) latest blog...
There is a song that has been a cry of my heart for much of my life...

"There Must Be More" by David Ruis
Lord I groan, Lord I kneel
I'm crying out for something real
For I know, deep in my soul,
There must be more

Lord, I'm tired

Yes, I'm weak
I need Your Power to work in me
'Cause I can't let go - I keep holding on
There must be more
There must be more

River flow
Fire Burn
Holy Spirit breathe on me

There is such a renewed hunger in me to know God so much deeper. I realize that this is an unexhaustable pursuit - I mean that He is unexhaustable, and though I know Him deeper and deeper, His depth is infinite. He is completely amazing and wonderful - the kindest person I have ever known. He is my friend, my God, the Lover of my soul, the Lifter of my head, my salvation, my restorer, my sin-bearer, my burden-bearer, my ISHI (husband), my comforter... and so much more.

Yesterday was one of those "Verse 2" days, from the song above. I was so tired, and so weak. Our circumstances sometimes feel so completely overwhelming to me. On those days, I really need His Power to work in me, to do what needs to be done, to love those around me through me, to keep me consistently kind and gentle toward those I love, and to express transparently my love for Kim, and really appreciate her fully, in a way that she can understand and enjoy.

Hosea 6 -

"Come, and let us return to Yahweh; for he has torn us to pieces, and he will heal us; he has injured us, and he will bind up our wounds.

6:2 After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him.

6:3 Let us acknowledge Yahweh. Let us press on to know Yahweh. As surely as the sun rises, Yahweh will appear. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain that waters the earth."

It is amazing how God has used our relationship to break our hearts, bind up the brokenness, lift us up and heal us. It is so humbling to be totally transparent - for nothing to be hidden from someone you love so much. For that person to see your flaws and still love and like you. Oh, how my heart has been ravaged. I am broken, the wound is bound up, and I know the lifting and healing is coming, but oh, how I long for it. How hard it is to wait. So hard to want so badly to be healed and restored, but to have to wait for it. It would seem cruel if it were not for the knowing that all things are working together for our good. Somehow, this is little comfort while walking through this time, and yet I hold on... longing for the day. I am in such need of "watering"...


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Questions and Answers...

An excerpt from the lyrics of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" by U2...

We thought that we had the answers

It was the questions we had wrong

How many times do we search out answers in our lives? Do we believe that knowing the answers will help us get to where we want to be? How many conferences do we attend, how many books do we read, and how many messages and sermons do we listen to, trying to find the answers to the questions that race around in our heads?

What are we going to do? How are we going to get out of this mess? What do I need to do to get healed? Why can't I stop doing that? What is wrong with me? Why can't my life be normal? Why do I have to go through this? and so on, and so on...

Have you ever considered that the value of the answers to our questions are entirely dependent on the quality of the questions asked? If our questions are loaded with suppositions, how can we be sure those suppositions are correct? What if those suppositions are negative, does that somehow sabotage ourselves? If so, are there questions we can ask that have positive suppositions instead? Does it even matter?

Is it ok to question anything? everything? authority and leadership? the Bible? even God?

So where do all of these questions lead? Are there questions that exist that, when answered, provide us with solutions and outcomes that we desire? Do the questions that remain unanswered draw us to deeper fellowship and relationship with God and others?

Perhaps the questions only lead to more questions... I don't have the answers, and I'm not even sure I have the right questions! But I do know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and I know God loves me - and that He likes me.

By the way, He likes you, too... He told me... ;-)

I'd love to hear what you think about this...


Soar with Me....

From Ras Robinson, February 4, 2006.

Soar with the eagles. All over the world I have given eagles to inspire My righteous ones. I tell you to catch the wind of My Spirit and lift off to the heavenlies every day of your life. You were never intended to forage, scratch and dig on the wilderness floor for your sustenance and blessings. Rather, you are to look up to the sky and the mountain from which comes your strength. You already know the joy of the Lord to be your strength. Receive My joy when you let the warm currents of the Holy Spirit’s love for you lift you heavenward. Lift your eyes. Soar with the eagles.

Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

So where are we? Are we scratching around the barnyard, afraid to fly, like a chicken? Are we making a bunch of noise, flapping our wings, and stirring up dust like a turkey? Are we feeding off of dead stuff like a vulture? Are we crowing about our circumstances or in judgement of others? Are we blind as a bat to what Daddy is doing?


Have we recognized that we are as eagles, and we can soar high on the gusts of the Holy Spirit, realizing that the strongest gusts come during the most difficult times, and only those gusts can carry us so very high that as we fly into the sun (Son), our pursuers and enemies lose sight of us in it (Him)? When it is time to learn to fly, the adult eagle first tears up the nest, pulling all of the soft feathers and straw out, leaving only uncomfortable thorns. Then she takes the baby bird on her wing and flies very high. Finally, she tips her wing and allows the baby to fall. The baby eagle rarely learns to fly on the first drop, so the mother swoops under the baby and catches it. Then she flies high again and drops the baby, over and over, until the baby bird begins to spread its wings and catch gusts of air and fly... Learning to fly opens up a whole new world to the baby eagle.

Has your nest been torn up? Has life become uncomfortable? Or maybe the you were flying high on a wing, and found yourself suddenly free-falling?

I believe I hear Daddy today saying, "Come, soar with Me... It's time to fly..."

I'd love to hear where you are in your flying lessons... I think I'm still in the "plummeting toward earth at an incredible speed, in disbelief that I was just dropped - again! after having the nest torn up and getting really uncomfortable" part... LOL


Monday, February 06, 2006

Who are You?

Who are you?
You might answer by giving your name. But your name does not define who you are.

Who are you?
You might answer by describing your job. That is what you do, but not who you are.

Who are you?
You might answer that you are so-and-so's husband or wife or father or mother or brother or sister or friend or son or daughter. These are all roles you may play, but not who you are.

Who are you?
You might answer that you belong to such-and-such a church or organization or have membership in a society or group. That's all well and good, but not who you are.

The things we do are not what defines us. Changing what we do will never change who we are. Knowing who we are, however, can utterly transform what we do. If we do not know who we are, the world will be happy to attempt to tell us who it thinks we are.


Our Deepest Fear...

I recently read this quote -

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson

This touched me in a deep way.

Who are we to deny that we are who God made us to be?

When our circumstances become more than we can bear, what will we do? What will we do when the pressures are high? What about when there seem to be no others who are going in the direction we know we must go?

Will we be afraid, or will be be bold? Will we stand or will we cower, afraid to step out in power and confidence in Him who made us, and in what He made us to be?