Thursday, January 24, 2013

Radically.... or normal???

There's been a struggle... ever since I came back from that place which now holds a very large section of my heart.

I can't run away from it.... and He won't leave it alone.

Particularly the last few days.

I wake up and pray like crazy all the way to work.

Then at lunch , there it is in my inbox, a post about the very struggle.

I share with a co-worker... who happens to be struggling too.

This idea that radical faith...... that, well, it really isn't so radical. Its the NORM.

Because a life transformed by the love of a God who so loved that He gave.... He gave.... so we too should give.

And if He gave His one and only... shouldn't we give Him our everything?

That maybe, since our lives have been transformed... that we should look, and act, and see differently.

So differently that to those in the dark our way seems foreign.... and maybe a tad uncomfortable.

Why do we look at those who give, who sacrifice for the needy, who actually live as though the words He wrote are true.... why do we look at them and call them radical? Is that not how Jesus said we should live? Is that not the way it should be for each of us?

 Or is that one of those not-to-be-talked-about subjects among those living a comfortable life sitting in a church pew talking about those radical people who have such amazing faith?

And what about me? Am I one sitting in the pew or am I one who stands out? Do I live the Word? Do I live what I read or do I simply tuck it away for a rainy day or for when it suits me or for when I have time?

Do I read the words and live as if He really does exists?

Do we read the words in Matthew 7 and just not understand or rather do we ignore it because the truth of those words make us realize that our life should look different then it currently does?

Because the Lord is very clear that the road is narrow and the gate is small... only a few find it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Praise in sorrow

The funeral was hard... Beautiful and yet ugly all at the same time.

The hurting hearts and the tears flowed and not a dry eye could be found. As brothers stood and laid out their hearts.... wide open for all the see. They shared memories of the past and hurts of the future.

Then the sisters stood and read words that went straight to the heart. Words that touched, words that stirred and encouraged and challenged. Words that broke my heart and challenged my heart all in the same moment.

The pastor spoke and reminded us that even in times of great sorrow He must be acknowledged and He must be trusted and He must be praised.

Then pictures and memories filled the screen and there were smiles and laughs and tears and a mom and a dad broken beyond belief and brothers trying to remain strong and sisters not knowing what to feel and friends mourning a loss and hurting for the ones that are without.

A hug to the youngest sister breaks my heart in two as she clings to me and as her tears flow yet once again unable to control them. Oh how my heart hurts for her.

What to do after a time like that is hard to know. A gathering with friends brings healing to souls. We sit and stare not knowing what to say to each other. Some cry, some hold. A game is played and laughter is heard. Talk of upcoming events starts to bring back smiles. We end with a guitar and broken hearts lift up their voices in praise to the One who heals, who comforts, who restores and who renews.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:29

Thursday, January 10, 2013

He is

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
Psalm 46:1-3

The earth sends rain. Sometimes it trickles down slowly, other times it rages down with a vengeance.

This world that we live in is a cruel place and our enemy is not asleep.

Sometimes he attacks quietly and in ways that often go unnoticed. Other times he sneaks up behind you and stabs you in the back, seeking to suck the very life out of you in one big swoop.

Thankfully the Father is there, there to bind up our wounds and wipe away our tears. 

He grieves alongside and holds the weary when they can't pick themselves up.

He stands in the midst of a group of youth as the tears fall and the hugs go around and when all they know is to hold each other while crying out to the One who hears all and is all and who understand all even when we don't. He sits in the room with the family who has lost the son... the brother... the friend and grieve a life gone way before it should of been. He is there amongst it all because He is God and He is and He has been and He always will be.

And sometimes that is all we know.... that God is God.

And it has to be enough because it is enough.

It is enough to know that the Almighty God is here and is in all things. Even if/when we don't understand He is. 

We were never promised an easy life, nor were we promised a life without pain and sorrow. But we are promised that we will never walk through a single second of it alone.

He is our refuge and He is our strength and He is our God.