Jan 28, 2015

Fear Is A LIAR...


fear is a liar
"Consider it great joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you experience various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance.
But endurance must do it's work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."
James 1:2-4

Friend ~ are you going through the fire?
When fear comes your way, recognize the author. It's not from above. 
It's a lie, from the father of lies and fear is his number one weapon. He shoots it from a cannon, not a BB gun.
But... it's still a lie. 

You live in the Light of the Truth.
The One who holds your hand, every step, every day.
You... are an overcomer.
Because Christ overcame sin... for you, for us.
He took your place... forever.
His Power and Spirit live in you.

He has given you His power to endure and mature.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and sound judgment."
2 Timothy 1:7

Find your joy in Him today and pass it on...
and remember,
fear is a liar!
YOU... my friend, are an OVERCOMER!
  


Jan 21, 2015

Make Sure You Have Sara(h)s In Your Life...


It's Tuesday night. Sarah is sitting in my living room, talking with my daughter who just got stopped in, on her way home from work. It is 9 pm. 
I am on the phone with my friend, another Sara. This one in Beaver Creek, one of my favorite places. Both Sara(h)s are friends of my daughter. 
Yes, I have a daughter who connects me to amazing people. 
We are talking Pacific Crest Trail hike and a way to raise money and awareness of women and children in slavery. 
This girl, the one we have called Beyonce for years because, yes, she has a personality this big and because she aint scured of nothing. 
I like that in a girl. 
When she comes to town she searches me out and we talk, we laugh, we drink beer.
 I love that she does this, because she doesn't have to.
I look forward to watching her life go forward. She's gonna be a game changer.

The Sarah on my couch and daughter are both social workers, fresh faced and ready to take on the world. 
A difficult profession, one that can leave you feeling you can never quite catch up, like swimming up stream during a spring flood. Exhausted at the end of the day, but you've been treading water... not really swimming.

Sarah and Ali met volunteering at their church's student ministry. Wednesday nights bring a couple hundred inner city Nashville youth to Crosspoint. They play games, eat, sing... hear Truth. Truth that they are loved by this church and also Jesus Christ.
I'm giddy inside about this place. 
Truth and transparency do that to me.

Sarah shared with Ali that she wasn't feeling well. She was worried. She seemed to know it was serious, even when others brushed her off.
Sarah was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins disease. Sarah is twenty three years old.

This is where I meet Sarah. Sarah, the pixie faced, darling girl.
 I imagine her mama raising her as a little girl, not much different than now, but for the ideas that spring from her, law school being next on her agenda. 
 She has a sweetness and insight you notice quickly. In one breath she beams the morning sun and in the next she shares a fear that reminds you, she is human, simply wanting to be done with this so she can go back to her life. Maybe marry some day, have babies, the picket fence. 
What's wrong with that dream... nothing my sweet girl, nothing at all.

Sarah and I meet when she is at chemo. It's a long day for her. She smiles the whole time.
She sent me a message once that said, "I look different, I cut my hair." She had been worried it would fall out, as most do going through this treatment. 
When I came around the corner I saw her in her chair, and her hair was darling. I asked who cut it. She pointed to her dad, whom I held my hand to greet for the first time. 
He had a big smile and admitted he did it. 
I thought I might cry... picturing this big guy taking scissors to his baby girls long locks, deciding how and where to start snipping. 
The reason could not be lost on him, and how hard it would be, cutting your sweet girls crown of beauty. The end result was charming, curly locks and my eyes were wet.

Sara texted me one day telling me she had a really big favor to ask. I thought. "Oh no, it's time, someone actually wants that kidney."
She asked if I would take her to chemo. Um, hello, Lord yes! I felt honored that she would ask me. She stayed with me for a couple days after. We lounged, slept, ate and watched gobs of Friends, Modern Family and Gilmore Girls. 

These Sara(h)s in my life... they remind me of my purpose. They point me to Be... this years word. If I am to Be, I must be available and willing. Open and honest, quiet, willing to listen and encourage.  "Be Still And Know That I Am God." Psalm 46:10

I struggle to BE. I'd rather Do. Doing isn't always good for me. I'm like that chicken. You get the picture. I'm busy, I squawk a lot and stomp around. It's not pretty.
When I BE, I'm quiet, thoughtful, purposeful and present. 

These Sara(h)s in my life... they point me to 
 the Biblical Sarah, who had a clear purpose and vision. She had courage and was a role model. She became the mother of a nation... even though she did not mother until her old age. 

Nothing was impossible for Sarah, for God's hand was upon her. 
The same will be true here. 
I hope you have Sara(h)s in your life. 
They make life rich. 
They are wise women and I look at them and they give me hope. 

Who gives you hope that you can share, encourage, be with?
Reach out. 
They need you... and you need them.






Jan 19, 2015

MLK... Ten Commandments Of The Movement



Martin Luther King Jr.'s Ten Commandments of the movement.
1963.
This pledge was a way to affirm the values at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. 
It is still true today to maintain safety, and be a witness for those who stand in solidarity against violence, abuse, and racism.
Shouldn't that be every single human?

"I hereby pledge myself - my person and my body - to nonviolence, peace, and justice for all people everywhere.

Therefore I will keep the following commandments:

I will meditate daily on the teachings of Jesus.

I will remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation - not victory. 

I will walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

I will pray daily to be used by God in order that all people might be free.

I will sacrifice personal wishes in order that all people might be free. 

I will observe with both friends and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

I will seek to perform regular services for others and for the world. 

I will refrain from violence of fist, tongue or heart. 

I will strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

I will listen with respect to those who love and teach me." 

These ideas, commandments, this is the way to live my friends. 
Let us remember those who came before us and led the way... to peace, freedom and salvation. 
Pass it on today.
Thank you Mr. King.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?"
MLK


Jan 14, 2015

TO BE OR NOT TO BE... WORD 2015


BE.

BE STILL.  BE OPEN.

BE GENUINE.

BE AVAILABLE.  BE A FRIEND.

BE FAITHFUL.  

BE ALONE WITH GOD.

BE.  THE WORD IS BE. 

2015... THE YEAR TO BE.

NOT TO DO MORE... JUST BE.

"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD." 

PSALM 46:10


This is my year to BE. Will you consider joining me, to Be His, right where you are? 
No matter the circumstance you find yourself this morning. Single, divorced, sick, well, sad, joyful, confused, unsure. Waiting for that baby, will it ever be yours? Cup overflowing or maybe at the end of your rope. 
He is there and He calls us to Him, bidding us come, resting in Him. He will show us how to Be, so unlike DO.
 We will learn to Be still and wait on Him.
This is where we begin to see Him, when we lean in, to Him, where He reaches for us, gathering us close. No more worry, no more care. He's got this friends. Let's BE this year. He tells us to Be still. We can trust Him. 
I promise and more importantly, He promises. 

Dec 29, 2014

Happy New Year... WORD.



Here it comes... The new year.
I'm wondering what it will bring, as I look back on a year that has left me mouth agape, collapsed on the floor in awe and joy, from people who have walked into my life.
When you talk about cups half empty or half full... mine has overflowed.

Looking back to January I think of that big, beautiful word I chose... Freedom and how it served me, enfolded me, wrapped me up like a Christmas gift, and gave me away. Isn't that what we do with freedom? We can't hold on to it. It must be shared, breathed out... spoken, acted out in liberty without hindrance. 
It showed me how to live and perhaps I have only seen the tip of the iceberg... so much freedom to grab hold of, If I am brave enough. Freedom to say yes please, when the Mighty God shows me more of Him and says, "Follow Me." 
Oh how I hope I am brave enough to follow...

I am thinking of my word for this year. What will follow on the heals of freedom? I want to hang on to that word and I will... oh, I will. We build on words, values, beliefs... freedoms.

I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes, becoming afraid... a word might be too big for me, what if I fall apart in the middle of my year, change course, direction, quit (Lord please no) but still sometimes I get tired. 
What if I can't finish my race well?
Do you ever feel like this? 
Like... maybe we finished the race, but we missed the line, didn't see the flag, and no one told us. 

I don't believe it works this way, but I do think satan prefers we believe this. 
Don't buy it my friend.
  This morning I reminded myself of the Truths found in a favorite book by Henri Nouwen.
  In The Name Of Jesus

He reminded me of the verse in the book of Matthew. In chapter six, verse thirty four Jesus tells us, then and now... "Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Do not worry. This is freedom friends. 

Worry about tomorrow. Been there done that, check it off my long list of control tactics.
 Freedom is where I live most of the time... yet many of us will claim freedom and still have moments of struggle. 
We are after all, flesh and blood, this side the veil of eternity, and there will always be a tension.
It's okay. I believe the tension is a gift, our reminder of the One in control, not us. 

And then I read by Henri
"I am convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. 
 That is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. 
The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God's Word and as followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life."
More freedom. 

I haven't chosen my word yet for 2015 but
maybe vulnerable.
Humble. Words that would challenge me in ways I can't image. But, thats the point...

I'm praying God will direct as He did last year. It was a red letter year for Freedom and I'm praying the same this year.
It focused and reminded me of my journey with Him this past year and I invite you to join me this year.
Find the word that grabs your heart, finds the tension in your soul and takes your breath away, making your eyes seek the heavens each morning, reminding you of Who controls each moment.
That's the start of a red letter year my friend. 
Just don't choose patience....
never, ever ask for patience.
Sheesh... Lord no.

Happy New Year Friends.