Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fight to the finish

Noah was teaching Liam how to have light saber battles today. It was a cute thing to watch.

At one point I admonished Liam as he was sitting on the ground, "get up son, the battle isn't finished"

Father God is telling me the same thing.

There is truly a battle in the heavens for the things that are happening here on earth and ultimately for our very souls.

I am picking myself up and fighting on,

God please help me to be fighting for what you desire.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

guard your heart

i am sitting here on a sunday afternoon without an agenda.  there are a good many things that demand my attention at home, work, and in my heart.  i find myself lost in the last one though.

this weekend i started to read a book by gary rosberg entitled "guard your heart".  early in the book it breaks down proverbs 4:23  the lexham english bible says "with all vigilance, keep your heart, for from it comes the source of life."

the breakdown was something like this...

vigilant - alertly watchful, especially to avoid danger
keep - preserve, maintain
heart - your inner true self.  the combination of your emotions, will, conscience, and desires

the other word that was here was in the book was wellspring, meaning source but in the lexham version that was already broken down for us.

so king solomon's charge here is for us to be watchful in order to avoid the coming danger so that we can preserve the condition of our inner true self so that we wont be cut off from the source of life

in this charge i find both sadness and encouragement.

i find sadness because the state of my family is because i did not do this (guard my heart).  sadness because even though i have pleaded with God for redemption, reconciliation, and restoration for my family i still, today even, allow my hurts to dictate conversation and interactions that poison and eat away at core of the very things i pray for.

oddly enough, the encouragement comes out of the sadness (beauty from ashes).  the brokenness that has become a part of me solidifies this truth in my mind because without it i would not desire to protect, understand, or listen to my heart.  i would not have thought i needed to.  the encouragement comes because i understand that i have a core that needs to be protected and i want to seal all the holes.  i dont mean protected from other people either, but from the enemy and is minions.  the encouragement comes because i am responding to the battle cry.  it is not something i am doing myself though, God has shown me where my defense is currently weakest.  they happen to be bitterness, lack of forgiveness, lack of patience, and lack of empathy.

i have found in the last year the more that i come to know myself and they way sin has broken me, the closer that i get to being what God knitted together in my mothers womb, the more that i live out from my beating heart, the easier it is to commune with and trust my Creator.

if it was just me saying it, it would sound a bit hokey, but i believe it is in our hearts, the core of who we are where the spiritual battles happen most often.  it is not just me though...solomon, the wisest man to ever live, thought this too, that is why he charges us to guard our heart.

Monday, August 06, 2012

What my eyes can't see

Tonight I am stressed to a migraine. Emotions are running full as death and loss invade my thoughts. Tears soak my pillow.

Tonight my heart wants to be with God like it was meant in the garden. It is there in that place where I hear "rest in my presence" and "trust in my promises"

But I keep looking at the loss, the brokenness, and the death that is coming. The permanence of it all that is looming just weeks from now.

And I can't see. I can't see to the point that I am asking how do I rest when death is so present, waiting to devour. I am asking how do I trust his promises when their looks to be no way, no hope, no future.

God please be my light in this valley where the shadow of death is so overwhelming.

Friday, August 03, 2012

thoughts about my grandpa passing

My grandpa Harvey passed away yesterday.  While it is true that his destination is an eternity with God, there is pain in the loss.

At some point in time yesterday a facebook message started where my extended family started writing their memories of him.  These special moments carried on throughout the night (thankfully I know how to turn notifications off for the night) and have been touching to read, so many great memories of his wonderful love.

That is where my pain begins though.

My memories of my grandpa are limited because of the brokenness of my past.  I probably have the least memories of my siblings, which probably all pale in comparison to my cousins.  And today, because my grandpa is dead, there is no chance to build any further memories.  There is no chance to redeem the brokenness.

However, because I am learning to let all my feelings have a voice, even the painful ones that reside in the brokenness, I have begun to see that God is still there, ready to speak to me, ready to be faithful to his promises, ready to make his might known, ready to show his glory.

It is in my pain that I am reminded that our creator is a God of redemption and reconciliation.  I am reminded that although there is a pattern of brokenness in the past, chains that have bound my family tree for generations, that there is redemption possible because of the blood of Jesus.  The power that conquered the grave is the same power that God can use to break these chains and create new patterns.

If you stop to think about it, it is the very story of the gospel itself, God’s redemption coming into our lives and touching the brokenness.

I think my grandpa would have smiled at that.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Getting my house in order

This is a post mostly for me and my restless heart, words I need to remind myself of because feelings can deceive and steal a heart away.

5 months ago I realized I wasn't ready to date anybody even though Kim had been gone for a while and I really wanted to have somebody. To people close to me I called myself an ineligible bachelor. I listed 5 things that put me on that ineligible list. They were the things I needed to work on to "get my house (myself) in order".

1) my finances.
2) personal healing.
3) personal growth.
4) becoming highly disciplined.
5) continual submission to God

5 months and little has changed. I only say little because although there has been much progress there was a great need. Such a great need.

This means 2 things. For starters, it means that I am not available ladies so you should stop wondering or telling your friends about me ;) but at the same time the man of greatness that is forming inside me will be worth the wait. (not joking with that one)

More importantly, it means the journey inside me through questions I have long ignored still needs to be made. It is part dying to myself and part trusting my Creator. There are books to read. Thoughts to ponder. Scripture to memorize and meditate on. Solitude.

Maybe 5 months from now some of these will be checked off or I will become much closer to a satisfaction point. I guess I will let you know at Christmas time