Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nightfall..Spirit Fall

When I was younger I used to get really intense anxiety about certain things. The most fearful time of struggle was always that hour or so between late afternoon and early evening-as the sun was going down and everything got shadowed and dark. I used to sit in the living room, close my eyes tightly and try to ignore the shift towards nightfall.

Every so often this feeling comes back. An anxious, depressed, heavy feeling. Tonight was such a night. It usually happens if I have too much time to just sit and think. If I don't turn my attention and affection towards God in that time, lifting my fears up in prayer, then inexplicable anxiety floods in. I don't know how to describe it. Like a constriction of my heart, sharp breaths and a tangible weight on my chest and shoulders. Again, usually inexplicable.

Tonight I couldn't pinpoint a specific fear or worry. That makes it difficult to pray against, because Jesus named the demons. He cast them away by name.
I am thankful to have this as an outlet to share, even if I don't have it figured out entirely. There's such power in a community to surround myself in.
Choosing to enter rest, expectant and prepared to receive divine comfort.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Temporal vs Kingdom

I have been preoccupied with very temporal things lately. School, finances, learning how to sell and buy a car, budgeting, planning. It seems a waste to dedicate so much time to issues that have little or no spiritual, eternal value. Some of these things must be done.

But they should be done differently. 

  • How can organizing and budgeting my finances serve the Kingdom?
  • How can the way I sell my car glorify Christ?
  • How does the way I view the future display Christ's character and freedom?
  • Does my life scream that I live for someone greater than anything in this world?
  • Does my life squish itself up against God's side, so that he covers me with his feathers as I rest under his wings (Psalm 91:4)? 
  • Am I so close to Him that his heartbeat resonates clearly to my heart and out towards others?
Ah, such difficult questions. I guess the answer rests in taking hold of every redemptive moment, as Darin so aptly describes it.
Let us pray that more than our words proclaim the reality and nearness of the Kingdom of God.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I still can't get over Matthew 6:6-this idea of being filled up by God in our secret-place meetings with Him. The premise of Henri Nouwen's book is obviously to live in the present moment. But that "present moment" is completely, radically, powerfully altered if we are continuously being filled by God.

"Something that reminds us of God's love-put in the center of our inner room, like a candle in a dark space. As long we we keep the candle in our dark room burning, we can return to that light and see clearly the presence of the one who offers us what we most desire," (Nouwen 23-24).

But I don't want just a candle. I want a blazing fire. Love lit on fire. If I spend my quiet time in that inner room, pouring out to God and allowing Him to pour into me, I believe it will be as Jeremiah exclaims:

But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. ~Jeremiah 20:9

God, I welcome you to be great in my life. Be extreme, beyond what I expect and beyond what I can even prepare myself. I don't want to be satisfied with a lack of God. To this call we give our whole lives.

Heaven is filled with absolute confidence in God. My life is often filled with doubt or disbelief. But now may my whole life mirror Your reality, Your face, Your thoughts, to usher in the reigning of Your Kingdom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

100. To do list

I have a life's to do list. It is organized by category: Spiritual, Outdoors, Travel, Altruism, Creative, Learning, Silly and a general "Life."

Number 100 is the last on my list, but it seems to be gaining an ever-increasing amount of importance on my heart and in this season.

100. Write a letter to everyone I love

Sounds simple, a 7-word sentence. But I am afraid of number 100. It would take up my whole heart, entirely.

I reminisce on this list because tonight I got some shocking news. My great grandma passed away today. She was 96 years old. Jean Forbes first inspired my love of travel. She has been to over 100 countries, and helped my buy my first international plane ticket when I was 15.

She experienced so much in her long life-probably more than a list of life to-do's organized by category could every portray.

But there is some controversy surrounding her death. I don't want to be graphic, but these details are what have shaken me the most today.

My great grandmother was found at the bottom of a cliff, near a creek by her home.
She suffered from dementia, which could easily explain a lapse in judgment, lack of coordination or just a blatant unawareness of her surroundings.

The deeper part of my heart believes she was absolutely incapable of taking her own life. Such a life of adventure, wonder, experience and love could not be commit such a crime. But the other part of my mind needs prayer. Prayer to get such an image out of my mind and heart, because it has no place there.

 I will forever remember my great grandma as a beautiful, stubborn, sweet and funny individual. She traveled, she lived, she saw, she recorded her stories in journal upon journal.

My heart aches that such a lovely person is gone, in such a tragic way. It makes my whole being shake with the desire for my whole family to know the power of Christ's love. Because he has changed my life, forever and ever.

My perspective is eternal, stretching to encompass a God who sent his son to die for ME and for YOU and for US. He died for those who love Him, and for those who turned away from Him, and for those who never took a second glance at Him. He loves the sinners, the broken, the lost, the found, the orphans, the pastors, the homeless, the joyful and the confused.

So, in honor of my family, may the strength I have been gifted from God give me the ability to transcend this earthly understanding.

Because I have been found by Christ. And that love surpasses all understanding.

101. To attempt to grasp the height, depth, width and breadth of His LOVE for us.