Take Heart

We travel far and reach abroad

Endlessly searching for life

Step by step we soldier ahead

Numbed by a false sacrifice

The pain we endure in the journey

Gathered and kept in a vault

Secrets left hidden will hinder

And others are blamed at fault

Slinging and slander will follow

A soft fitted mask becomes real

It is vital to wake from the slumber

Before acting becomes the appeal

Check in with your heart and wonder

Remember the things that felt real

Under a canopy of kindness just wait

For the steps that God will reveal

When the path is dark and impossible

And no light ahead can be seen

Pause and breathe in His mercy

God’s love comes through in extreme

No matter the darkness or difficulty

If the way you are led seems true

Your heart can discern its Creator

Listen to the wisdom come through

Dismantle the overthought questions

Let peace in the unknown grow

Close your eyes and take a moment

To settle on what you know

Who I trust is Jesus my Savior

And His are the words that are best

His ways are beyond comprehension

Start here when put to the test

In this world he promises trouble

But take heart He has overcome

In hard times it is also worth knowing

That God’s good Word will be done

Thy Way

Standing before the ocean

The great and mighty sea

Waves roar and lightly land

Power turns soft at my feet

Deep and inescapable

As far and wide as my view

Wonder sinking to the depths

My God, my God, where are You?

Answers deep inside my chest

My heart can hear the calling

Thunder rolls in water crashing

Louder than my yearning

Trusting what my eyes can’t see

Open hands surrender

Breathing deep and grounded now

I know that I must enter

The Red Sea story beckons me

A miracle of parting water

He was in the unseen deep

Deliverance from the slaughter

I cry aloud with fear and praise

Trading bondage for His freedom

Arms raised high with surrender

Aware of how I need Him

Thy way is in the sea my Lord

Your paths are in the deep

I cannot see your footsteps

But my soul is Yours to keep

Faith steps in and takes my hand

My fear is slowly fading

I step in and find dry ground

The Promised Land is waiting.

Inspired by Psalm 77

“Thy way is in the sea, and your paths are in many waters; and your footsteps shall not be known.” v19

She Does

Blades of grass

Soft under her feet

Gift of a journey

A mission to meet

Called from the chaos

A moment of rest

Time slowing down

To gather the best

Her grip is loosened

Uncontrollable things

Falling behind her

Like butterfly wings

A gentle voice guiding

Faith is her strength

Joy is the weapon

She uses at length

Never forgetting

The battle at hand

Obedience leads her

To new spacious land

Aware of the darkness

Existing with light

Following her Father

Persevering with might

For now like Mary

She chooses the good

At the feet of Messiah

She does as she should.

 

“His love broke open the way and he brought me into a beautiful broad place. He rescued me—because his delight is in me!” (Psalm 18:19)

Inspired by Luke 10:42

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

What Love Does

When you give your heart away

There is floating in between

A place of honest giving

Trust in how it will be received

The truth in giving love

Is to draw from our Redeemer

The One who gave it all

To the frail and flawed receivers

Faded flower calling in colors

Take a second look before you pass

New does not always mean best

Return to the the richer past

Knowing and loving and being true

Words to solve a puzzle

Understanding why is not so bad

Soak into my loving nuzzel

The question of how does not matter

My heart has been rooted in God

Loving a man that is in a battle

Is a wife’s holy and graceful nod

Moving to the next me brigade

Is nothing compared to commitment

A vow to be what I could not be

Without my Saviour’s commission

A love was protrayed in agony

A sheep praying for her wolves

Nailed to a cross with a silent prayer

Sacrifice is what love does

Apekdechomai (Assiduously Waiting)

Shifting sand and pulling waves

I struggle to keep my balance

Longing heart desire craves

Recall the accepted challenge

Cooling water ebb and flow

Await the next relief

Timely answers held in shadow

Faith beyond belief

New year dawns with stealth approach

Creeping near my soul

Time has passed with tears and love

A healed heart becomes whole

Paused behind the starting line

Poised to take my stance

Anticipation for sound of blast

Strength builds to take the chance

How long before the race is won

Seeps doubt into my mind

Eyes glance up and see the Judge

Hope rests in His sacrifice

A love so vast and worthy

A man so real and true

Jesus came to lay the track

The Way to make it through

This banner raised above my year

A word for hope and wait

Patience with excitement brews

Apekdechomai is the gate.

Surrendered to Seeds- A Secret Lament

The battles and questions do not give way

When hope is spoken come what may

Years of prayer and faithful trust

Leave us in waiting, ashes and dust

With lifted eyes we’ve hoped to see

Our desires answered, binds set free

Betrayals and sickness, cancer and loss

Seemingly drowning like leaves under moss

We find a comfort in secret lament

Rich in darkness, soil prayers are sent

Surrendered to seeds despairing to grow

Silently pressed into earth below

Quieted language and resting in dirt

We learn of sweetness being honest in hurt

Sadness and tears soften the ground

Water and salt clears sight and sound

We listen for breathing and look for light

In passionate peace grows strength and might

Husks of hope will break open in time

We wait together holding, yours, ours, mine.

 

Written in honor of Scott and Kaleen ❤️

Grace Will Overwhelm- Thoughts on James 1:5

“And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and He will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures, but He will overwhelm Your failures with His generous grace.” (James 1:5)

Longing is birthed from the depths of our souls. A true longing for wisdom usually comes in time of trouble or need; a desperate want for direction or a way through the darkness. Questions of what to do, or how to move forward can feel like a prison when there are no answers.

The key to unlocking the door seems too simple, so we fumble around trying keys that won’t work. We struggle and wonder why we can’t get free. So much time is wasted using the wrong keys. All we have to do is “Look… [to God] and be saved…” (Isaiah 45:22) Turn to Him, and simply look, behold, acknowledge, and receive. Ask God and He will give wisdom. I am not speaking of knowledge, but the deeper wisdom that God gives. “Knowledge is raw information, but wisdom is knowing how to use it.” (D. Guzik)

Whether God gives answers or perserverance, His generous grace will prove to be enough. The more I have struggled on my own, the more tangled up in my own thoughts and actions I become. To rest, stop, let everything fall at the feet of Jesus is where my freedom comes. And my spirit fills with the wisdom of God because He promises to give generously. All I need to do is ask, seek, or knock.

Lord, Thank You for Your generous grace. Where I have gained knowledge, give me wisdom in how to use it for Your glory. Show me the way to Your peace that passes all understanding. Thank You for the mercy in my failures. Help me to walk in this humble knowing and be strong in Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Faith in Immersion- Thoughts on James 1:2-4,12

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 NIV

“If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!” v. 12 TPT

Trials reveal the strength of our faith. This entire chapter of James 1 is a plumb line for testing our faith. Failure is not where we give up, but rather a place to grow and become stronger. Trials will refine our faith, or it will reveal a shallow belief. When we pass through with tried and true faith, God promises a greater joy.

Sometimes my faith hasn’t passed the test. It’s hard to “count it all joy” when someone I love betrays me. It was hard to find the joy when my father died leaving so many things left unsaid. So much life still undone, and many questions unanswered. Hard to find joy, yes of course. It isn’t the crushing and breaking of my heart that is joyful. But while I was plunged deep into pain, God was there. I turned to Him with all the faith I could muster. He was there with me. He went with me as far as the darkness seemed to take me. My faith has been tested beyond what I thought I could handle. And yet, as I have persevered, the spiritual reality of joy as a result of God’s faithfulness has in turn strengthened my own. Being grounded and tethered to God’s mysterious ways is profound, and the unexplanable joy that comes is real and true.

Lord, Forgive me when I have turned away from You. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Strengthen my faith in whatever way You choose. Have Your way with me. I trust You with my heart and my life. Test me and refine me. I want more of the joy I experience with You. “Make me whatever You want me to be. Bring new wine out of me.*” In Jesus’ name, amen.

*New Wine lyrics by Hillsong Worship

Held and Content- Thoughts on Hebrews 13:5

“Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t He promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” Hebrews 13:5 TPT

“Being content means to be possessed of unfailing strength, satisfied, to be strong; [thereby] to defend or ward off.” (Strong’s concordance)

We are warned against being obsessed with money and what it can buy. The correlation of this contentment-seeking mindset and God’s promise to always be with us means we will be stronger when we fill our lives and hearts with Him.

Obsession is a buzz word I hear all the time. “I am obsessed with _____”, fill in the blank. Whatever our newest delight may be, we want to possess more. I recognize this as our trying to fill the empty places in our soul that only God can fill. I am guilty of it too. But, I am becoming more aware of the constancy of unrest around me. Obsessive talk in our consumer saturated world is so common place now. We have so much, but we always want more. God gave me a picture of this unrest and why my soul feels so unsettled at times. Think of a glass of water. If you tilt it toward something else to fill it, the water inside sloshes and splashes out. Pull it back and water sloshes out the other side. Constantly tilting the glass reaching for more and then pulling it back spills what what is already inside. We are the glass. Our body contains our soul, the water inside. When we let God hold us and fill us, our soul is at rest.

Dreams and desires are good, but obsessively reaching is not. Whether its an ambitious career move, or simply choosing what to eat for dinner, our desires can become addictions leaving us feeling empty on the other side of temporary satisfaction. Being content in God brings a more peaceful perspective. I am less inclined to judge when someone rocks my world at work. I am less inclined to let the taste of food drive me, and am more content to let nutritious choices fill my body with healthy things. I do not need to want what everyone else has, or do what everyone else is doing. I want God to direct my steps every day. I want Him more than anything this world offers. And He will enable me to give to others in a way that leaves a lasting, peaceful kind of love, and hopefully, a touch of contentment on their hearts.

Lord, Forgive me for my obsessive tendencies. Forgive me for using money to buy things when I feel empty. Forgive me when I alter my choices from Your best to worldly less. Help me to recognize the barren places in me before I fill them with anything but You. Thank You for showing me the strength that comes from contentment in You. Let my life testify to the peace only You can give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Painted

With each stroke of the brush, His heart is revealed

Majestic creation and hue

Covering canvas with life-giving love

He painted my life with you.

Scenes unfolding, a landscape of paths

Directions were laid in view

Treacherous chasms and blocks to our way

Wrong ways became what was true.

But a hand extended, to guide us the way

Turns icy decisions to dew

What seems like the end, gives a place to begin

He is making all things new.

This canvas of life, revealing our story

A record of all that we do

The brush is ready to make a new stroke

I will do what He asks me to.