The One True Thing

Come.

Sit.

Be present in My Presence.

Why do I avoid God?

Is this even the right question?

Perhaps the question should be: why do I put Him off?

Asked this way the question jerks my head around and I am forced to explain why I look at Jesus sometimes with a raised finger and  these words on my lips,  “Just a moment, I will be right with you…”

I have some burying to do. I have a field to plant.

I have my daughter’s graduation to plan for, a baby shower to throw and my son’s wedding to attend to.

I am like the teller at the bank who knows someone is standing in front of her and manages to say the “I’ll be right with you” words, but never  engages the person or makes eye contact until every last receipt is filed, every last document stamped and every last computer key clicked. Only then is she ready for face time.

Face time with the Almighty is always available through Jesus, but why do I  always find there is one more thing to be done.

One more dish to wash. One more check of the email. One more glimpse of facebook.

Putting off a King. How ludicrous.

Am I so naive  to think I can casually re-buff the One who holds my breath in the palm of His hand?

My flesh is a scandal to my purported beliefs. I am a contradiction.

I stand in the company of scandals. Our mouths so easily profess belief and yet we find our legs going in the opposite direction.

Peter rebuffs and denies. Jacob schemes and wrestles. David lies with a woman and lies with words and deeds.

All at one time putting off the Almighty’s Invitation to come closer.

All these and more were scandalous before the Inviting One and yet….

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

Who is the explanation of God it says in John’s gospel. The beloved’s words. Words written down by someone who knows.

The Explanation of God comes and removes the cloak of scandal from us and puts it on Himself.

It is He that gets to say, “Let Me do this One Thing. Then it will be Finished.”

He pushes through the lattice of my heart.

He invites me to come behind the gate.

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over mountains, bounding over hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or young stag. Behold he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…” 

My prayer today for myself, and perhaps you too, is that I will cast aside all my “one things” to remember His One Thing – that His death on a cross finished sin for me.

I am My beloved’s and He is mine.

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The Road Is Under There Somewhere

A few weeks ago it rained for three solid days. Where I live this amounted to over eight inches of water pounding  roads, roofs and and the lupines in the back garden. One purple majesty spike was struck down by the pelting.

The Androscoggin overflowed it’s banks and a family down the street needed rescuing from their flooded home. Children taken away by boat.

The road had disappeared.

No way in. No way out.

That’s how it is sometimes. You just have to stay put and wait.

Even when everything around you is rushing past, threatening to push the familiar aside. Or drown it.

I need a navigator in times like these. Someone who knows the way through. Who sees that I am afraid and isn’t put off by it.

Fear.

A head-turning spirit.

When I give in to it my head is turned and I am no longer looking where I need to be looking. At a Savior. A Rescuer.

Fear doesn’t let me rest in the waiting. It leads me to believe that it will churn and pound and never recede.

But I have learned there is a Navigator who is for me. A Navigator who knows the way of the raging river.

He sees the road underneath the spill over and He leads me beside still waters.

He holds a sword against fear and the clouds part and I can see my way through again.

He is the way. Jesus, my navigator.

Live An Intentional Summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summertime….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the livin’ is easy….

Janis Joplin kills this song.

Her vocals are raw and strained and the song a lament, a prayer.

I am transported to a place where the air hangs still and thick and the wildflowers are weighed down by fragrance.

Insects whizz and buzz in hidden places.

Heat shimmers over the landscape and it is the time of slow-ness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The place where I live the summers are short lived.

We wring everything we can out of a summer day before the leaves begin to turn in late August.

I find I must be intentional or I will miss opportunities to live easy.

I made a list recently that I shared at a women’s gathering; a list of summer intentions.

Perhaps something on this list will lead you to a place of refreshing.

Some Ideas To Bring A Refreshing & Re-charge To Your Life

1. Plant something

Pansies are happy and pretty

Petunias are fun and easy

Herbs are a delight

2. Find water

Sunrise on the beach

Sunset on the lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Put Something Sweet Into Your Life

Eat a s’more

Make Sun Tea

Go Berry Picking

4. Discard Something

Clean out & organize one space in your home

Give away really nice clothes you don’t need.

5. Get Summer Reading

“A Thousand Gifts”, by Ann Voskamp

“The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young

Anything by Brennan Manning

6. Hang Out With People Who Know Jesus and People Who Don’t

Get an ice cream

Have a BBQ

Go to a BBQ

7. Take A Nap

In the grass

On the beach


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Give Thanks

Make a blessing list for the summer

Start a gratitude journal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Listen to Janis Joplin sing “Summertime”.

     Enjoy the intentionality of living easy.

Fifty Shades of Red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red.

Red covers.

Red washes.

Red destroys.

Red preserves.

A scarlet cord hangs in a window and provides safety and mercy to a harlot who ends up in the geneology of Jesus.

A blood-smear seeps into the wood of door mantels and there is no death.

A  crimson named sea awaits instructions to part, heaving and churning upon itself to make way for a people shaking their fist at their leader because they are afraid God will not keep His promises.

Finally the red from the veins of the Lamb stains the thorns and spikes and crossed timbers to Finish It.

I am covered by the red of an innocent savior. Guilt and shame have been washed away.

My heart is pure because He poured the red.

Will I take the red that covers my heart, the red that has redeemed my life and grey it up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have seen and heard a clamoring, witnessed the excitement for an enticement of fifty shades of another color.

A color that promises titillation and arousal from another place that is not my own.

I am invited to partake of the forbidden, “to eat and wipe my mouth and then say “I have done nothing wrong.”

The grey of twilight. There is just enough light to see the path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But twilight can be deceiving. It doesn’t let you know how fast the sun is going down.

In the twilight, in the evening, in the middle of the night, and in the darkness…the God words say that is how the naive are led down the path.

What the naive don’t see is that it is progressively getting darker.

The twilight says it is okay, go ahead, the grey makes for a good beach read.

Soft porn under an umbrella.

Good story beneath subjection and pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do I say to my daughters?

That this is love? This is their freedom in sexuality?

Budding Beauties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do not want them de-flowered.

I want them flower-ed.

I want them to bloom in purity and clean fragrance.

They do not need to know. They do not need to know dark things. I do not need to know dark things.

We do not need to go the way of the old Eve who just had to know.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue…words, those spoken face t0 face and those written in books.

I want the red words. The Jesus words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Behold, I make all things new.

I do not stay away from the grey places because I am good, or because I have morals.

I stay away because I have seen the red.

Beautiful life giving, sin washing, heart restoring red.

I have learned through the stumblings and scrapings of life that my ways are not His ways. I have learned that Jesus bought all of me when the red dripped down.

I am learning that I am a gift and I have gifts to give and that my sexuality is a gift so precious that it is not meant to be covered in grey.

I am thinking of my girls. I am thinking about the world they must navigate as young women. I pray they will always know the precious gifts they are and the gifts they have to give are covered in redemption.

I am thinking of my sons. I am thinking about the world they

must forge through as young men. I am thankful that they have learned to love women tenderly and sweetly.

Shades of red triumphs over shades of grey. Mercy triumphes over judgement.