I woke up this morning and I remembered... it was five years ago today.
I’ve always been one for remembering dates. I love to look back at the journey You’ve led me on. It always leaves me in awe. This morning was no exception.
I remember being so awed on my baptism weekend at the ways You had worked in my heart up until that point. I remember telling a dear friend that I felt like a different person to the little girl I’d been a few years before. You were changing my selfishness into a love for right… my self-dependance into a recognition of my need for You… my little world of pretend missionary exploits into a realization that I could actually serve You in real life. I remember the surealness of that day and wanting to pinch myself into realizing that this was really happening… that You had really given me the courage to stand up and tell the world what You’d been doing in my heart in the years preceding. I remember the conversation around the piano that evening and how we had somehow started looking at our globe and the many countries that didn’t know anything about You. I remember listening to my friends’ excitement about how we could share our love for You and determining deep down that I wanted to be a missionary— whether that was here in the states or abroad. It really was the most special Sabbath of my life.
This morning I went back and watched the video of that day (if you want a quick glimpse click here). And again I was awed as I looked back. Five years ago I was amazed at the ways You had changed my little heart. Honestly, today I am even more amazed at the way You have changed my heart since then.
How could I have ever known that You would allow trials to come a few months later that I didn’t understand or know how to deal with but that in the darkness I would learn a deeper level of commitment than I ever could have learned in the light?
How could I know that our move away from everything that was familiar would stretch me far beyond my comfort zone but cause me to lean on Your arm in a way I had never done before?
How could I have expected the joy and love for people I would find half way around the world ministering with my family when sickness had half of us in bed?
What would I have thought if I had known that after my prayers to go deeper than ever I would be surprised with an illness recurring from when I was little that would leave me utterly exhausted and often in pain for seven months but teach me a trust in You that endured the most painful of days?
How could I have understood the contradictions of pain and joy that ministry would bring… of emptiness and fullness… and the ways You would lead me so gently to understand Your real purpose for me and that being a missionary didn’t mean half the things I thought and a hundred things I didn't?
How could I have ever dreamed of the way You would win my heart and my love beyond my wildest imaginations and that life would turn into a beautiful journey with my best Friend?
Truth is, I couldn’t know. And I’m glad. I think it would have been a bit much for my 14 year old mind to comprehend.
One thing I know now. Your plans were perfect and I wouldn’t have them any other way.
I look back and it strikes me how much I didn’t know. How much I hadn’t experienced. How much of Your heart I didn’t even know existed.
And I have to wonder where I’ll be in five years time. How much of You there is still to find that I don’t know about… how much deeper there is to fall in love than I could even dream right now.
I don’t have to know. I’ve seen enough to know I want to sign up for every last little bit of it.
That while my future may remain unknown, I can look at my past and see so many fingerprints of grace that there need be no fear for the future.
Whatever storms come…
Whatever valley floors…
You see them. And You see me. And You know. I don’t have to.
So Jesus, sign me up. Your ways are beyond my understanding. That you would want to take a little rascal and turn her into your little princess is beyond me. Of everything you have done in the last five years, your wild love and friendship to a girl like me amaze me most. I don’t understand it. Or why you chose to pursue me. But I love it. I love you. And you’ve won my heart lock stock and barrel. Here’s to another five years… to a lifetime together… no matter what darts the devil throws.
Because you first loved me.
Forever your little girl.
It seems like just yesterday that I gazed out my car window watching landscape speed by... moments ticking down until the first Family Retreat of the year would begin. My expectations were high, and so was my realization of my dependance on the only One who would give me grace for another season.
And almost before I knew it, I found myself on a plane headed home from the last FR of the year, amazed at all that God had done in the hearts of others and in my own.
It's been a year of blessings too numerous to count. And as my mind drifts back over all the avenues He has led me down in the process, I am filled with gratefulness for a God who is far more incredible than I could ever deserve.
Sometimes in the moment it's hard to see the gift that I have to be a servant... to travel, share, sing, pray, serve, listen, and love. But retrospect always makes that privilege more distinct, and my heart swells with thanksgiving.
I have a hundred special memories and beautiful faces etched on my heart...
The last six months have left me with a deeper realization of the pain in a hurting world... and yet, beyond that, I see even more clearly the power and beauty of hearts that will love the world the way He did.
After all... there is nothing the world craves more than love.
Addictions... crazy busy lives... obsession with fashion...
So often it is a cry for someone to notice, to care, to love.
And sure, we can tell them that Jesus is enough-- and He is--but aren't we to be His hands and feet? Aren't we to be the ones who demonstrate His love to the world?
How can they ever understand a Jesus that loves them so much He would give His life for them until they see our hearts beating with a love for them that is so great that we give our lives for them?
It's not an easy path-- to love the world like that. All of a sudden my neighbor's pain is not just his, but mine too. The griefs, losses, and joys of those we love become our own.
But when did He ever promise an easy path?
Not easy... just rich and full, and more abundant than our highest expectations.
And isn't that better than an easy life anyway?
Jesus, give me a heart like Yours. Fill it with love for a hurting world. And when I have no more to give, break me, and make me sustenance for a dying world. I just want to love like You...
I look back on OKFR with a heart full of gratitude for the blessings God poured out... He never fails to come through.
I praise Him for the privilege of service and of being His hands here on earth... for every precious individual He placed in my path to bless (and to bless me)... for every ounce of strength He gave... for all the smiles I saw on the faces of His children... for every song sung from the heart... for giving grace and words at the moments needed... for reminding me of His glorious plans for those yielded to Him... for proving yet again that He is faithful and true...
And most of all, for showing me afresh the joy of faithfulness, even in the hard things...
Friday afternoon found me sitting on a log overlooking the lake behind the cafeteria, and pleading with Him to give me the strength for the upcoming task. I was on for the next message and my topic was the beauty and power of trust even in pain.
I knew when I started planning this message several months ago that He wanted me to share the experiences I had been through with Lyme disease... and from the start, I had struggled with the thought of being so vulnerable as to share that with a whole congregation.
Now I knew in an hour I would be on the stage with 300 hundred eyes looking at me and expecting me to speak. And quite honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to. At least, not about this. But I knew what He wanted, and I knew that I really wanted what He wanted too. I was excited about sharing... It's just that this was out of my comfort zone-- by a long ways.
The question in my heart at that moment... Am I willing to do the hard things for my Master?
Sure, it might not sound very hard to you. And really, in comparison with the sacrifices He made for us, it wasn't. But at that moment, with the clock ticking down, and my heart beating faster, it didn't seem the easiest thing in the world to get up and share the deep things of my heart.
I knew my duty though, and with another prayer of surrender to His will, I left my quiet log, and went to action.
And I can tell you that when God requires something "hard" of us, He always gives the strength we need to perform it. He gave me so much freedom up front that I was actually surprised at myself for not being more nervous. He is good, always.
When the hour had passed and I walked off the stage, it was with a joy deep in my heart that only comes from the knowledge of obedience.
And since I'm not the only one who has ever been asked to do something outside of their comfort zone, let me encourage you...
The harder the task given, the deeper the joy when performed.
Here a few pics for the picture lovers...
for a bunch more, go here www.foreverafamily.org
His promise is the key
Freeze tag conversations are a blast. :)
Beautiful spot to pray
Singing with friends after sharing up front.
Let the little children come...
Sweet little guy.
Sweet praises from young hearts...
So harp is not a girls instrument after all. :)
400 or so on Sabbath
Thank you Jesus for another year...
44 years ago today...
Thousands of eyes watched the clock as the seconds counted down.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
A deafening roar shook the ground while a brilliant light illuminated the launchpad. All heads had turned upward to watch the fireball vanish into a mere speck, and then disappear from sight altogether.
And that vanishing speck? The Apollo 13-- headed for the backside of the moon, where no man had been before.
Only sixty years before, we still had no idea how to fly. The Wright brothers were looking admiringly at the birds, and longing to know their secret.
Now, a mere six decades later, we had been to the moon twice, and were launching this mission which was far more complex than any before it.
Somehow, back then, we were not content with one accomplishment, but were constantly aiming higher-- going deeper.
NASA had been spurred on a few years before by the inspiring challenge of President Kennedy...
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard... because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...
We were determined-- and to that end we bent our earnest efforts day and night. And true to our pledge, before the decade was over, we had landed a man on the moon.
Now we were in reach of another goal... to land two men in the mountains on the backside of the moon and bring them home alive.
Actually, Apollo 13 did not quite go as planned. An explosion onboard the ship destroyed 2/3 of their oxygen, which majorly depreciated the power supply. The moon was no longer the goal, but the saving of the three men stranded in space.
Mission control now had a challenge greater than any Kennedy had given to them. The crew which was currently 200,000 miles from earth must be brought home with only 1/3 of their oxygen and next to no power to run the ship...This was to be the most technically difficult feat NASA had ever attempted.
But the crew on the ground determined that failure was not an option. The men would be saved-- even if they had to use every last ounce of their strength for it.
After four days of extremely intense work for the ground crew and the men in space, Apollo 13 and crew splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
NASA had completed their greatest feat of all time.
And how did we go from the nation who had no clue how to fly, to the first to land men on the moon and bring them home safely after a terrible explosion in space?
We accepted a challenge to do hard things. We threw our heart and soul into the work. We labored night and day. We persevered. After each new victory or failure, we set higher goals and fought for them. We were willing to sacrifice, take risks-- to give our lives if necessary.
And something about NASA's thrilling escapades shakes me out of my "44 years ago today" reverie, and brings me back to the here and now.
We too have been given a challenge. Sure, we've not been called to go to other worlds, but instead to change this one that we call home. True, we've never had to bring three men home who were stranded 200,000 miles away, but we have been called to point lost souls to their eternal home. Yes, there is no need for hours spent in mission control, but oh, the desperate need for hours of time spent in the closet of prayer.
Somehow we look at our challenge as less glamorous. After all, our fathers had the same challenge, and our grandfathers, and our great-grandfathers...
And so we search for something better-- while the world dies for a revelation of Jesus.
Perhaps God is just waiting for a generation to pick up the baton and carry it to the end of the race. And perhaps we could be that generation...
Sure, a look in the mirror tells us that we are not good enough, old enough, experienced enough etc... Believe it or not, most of the men in mission control for the first missions were quite young-- and inexperienced.
And a look into mine own heart tells me that maybe it's not that we're too young or inexperienced. Maybe it's that our dedication does not go deep enough, our ambition high enough, or our trust strong enough.
Are we willing to throw our heart and soul into His work? To labor night and day? To persevere? To set new and higher goals after each victory or failure? To sacrifice? To give our lives if necessary?
He never said it would be easy... but that's okay because we accept His plans...
...not because they are easy, but because they are hard... because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...
I'm longing for something deeper. And I'm determined to spend hours in my closet of prayer until I find it.
I believe this generation can be the one to accept His challenge and change the world.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
MEN WANTED: FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY, SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.
-Sir Ernest Shackleton-
Quite a proposal. What would inspire a person to sign on to such a trip? What motive could possibly make a man want to leave his home and family for that? What if he did never come home? Could it be worth it?
Love does away with fear. In this case love of adventure...
Another quote comes to mind... this one from a famous astronaut.
"If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." Virgil (Gus) Grissom
And later he and two friends did give their lives. While testing the Apollo 1, a fire broke out in the capsule and all three men died.
Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee before the fire.
What could have motivated them to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?
Yet again we find love. In this case, not only love of adventure but love for conquest.
And it makes me think... What would motivate us to endure long months of complete darkness? What would give us the courage to live a life of constant danger? What would we deem a worthy cause for which to expend our life?
And the same answer strikes again. Love. This time capitalized.
Because that add was not just something written to inspire men to join an adventure to the South Pole. Someone much greater asks for similar courage.
And if hundreds of men could apply for that because of their love of adventure, shouldn't hundreds of Christians be willing to face the same for love of their Master?
If three men were willing to give their lives for the conquest of space, shouldn't we be willing to give our lives for the conquest of something much greater?
Shouldn't we be willing to face hardship this year?
Sometimes God uses hardship as the very means of our growth. And I say that with more confidence than ever before...
Dec. 31 2012
Lord, I want a year of growth-- if that means a hard year-- let it be a hard year. Take me out of my comfort zone. Send me trials. All I want is the year of greatest growth in you that I've ever had. That will make it my best year so far.
Little did I know what I was asking for...
After various trials and several months of fighting an unknown illness, and then being diagnosed with Lyme disease in August, I have a little more idea.The seven months of sickness and pain have been God's answer to my prayer in the above journal entry. And yet I wouldn't have that prayer unsaid, or those seven months "unlived" for anything. I can truly say that hardship was my greatest blessing.
Fast forward to another journal entry a year later...
Dec 31, 2013
...Though I now know more than ever before the heart definition of pain, I know also the heart definition of upholding Love. I may have known personally what it is like to be utterly weak, but I have also known the amazing power of sustaining grace. I might have known disappointments and confusion but it was only so that I might now truly know trust. I may have experienced darkness, but it was only so that I could now appreciate more the one true Light.
I now see my greatest struggles as my greatest blessings. Hardship is not our enemy. It is a gift the Master allows that we may be strengthened to fight our real enemy.
This year, I'm excited to see what new things He has in store. I know my Jesus doeth all things well. I praise Him that the last few weeks have marked improvements in my health, and the beginning of a slow, but sure, recovery.
And for the record, Lord, I am willing to endure hardship for You this year. I deem You worthy of risking my life.
After all, didn't You deem me worthy of risking Yours?
My brother came to me this morning with a blog post he had just written, with the proposition of posting it on my blog. :) So here is a post from Master Caleb.
What do you think of when you think about giants? Most commonly we all think of great Goliath, the tallest of the tall. We all know the story, how a young Israelite boy goes to face a 10 foot super man who no one has ever tried to tackle.
The giant is now probably laughing his head off as he sees his short opponent taking a few small stones from the dried up creek bed. But David is being guided by someone higher-- even than Goliath.
Now the giant is swinging his sword, making it flash against the morning sun. He sees short little David putting into his leather sling one of the stones he has just collected. Goliath, thinking he is well equipped for victory, decides that his helmet is not needed and tosses it aside. As he turns to meet his little "enemy" he feels it-- the stone that came flying from David's sling seconds earlier. He screams out, "Aahhhh" while falling helpless to the battle hardened ground. And there stands David looking at the giant, who God, through him, has conquered.
Has that ever happened to you? Do you have giants to face? You may say "No! Where would I find any?" But do you think there is a giant that is greater than ten thousand Goliaths? Have you ever thought that we face a giant every day? We all do. You may not see it, or even hear its roaring but it's as real as the air you breath. It is self. The thing that appears when Mom tells you that you're on dishes, or when Father says that we are going to get fire wood today. We all know this giant don't we? May we pray that God will make us victors.
The last several weeks have provided a lot of “think time” for me. Time that was not on my to do list… Time I didn’t think I could afford. I had plenty of plans and deadlines for this summer, but sometimes He blows our plans apart so that we will accept His much greater ones. I’m grateful He does.
And so instead of fighting Him, I’m choosing to make the most of the time He is giving me. I see already that He’s had a purpose in my unlimited “think time.” I’m learning lessons… far greater than anything I thought to learn in school this summer.
The lesson that is engraving itself on my mind and heart first came through our evening family story time. Let me share...
*He was an ordinary guy, only nineteen. He had felt God’s call to go and give his life to reach a certain Indian tribe for Him. So he left all he knew, home and friends, and purchased a one way ticket to South America. After years of seeking to get to them, he was brutally injured by an arrow shot into his leg by the Indians he came to love. But he did not give up. The work God did in him to reach the Indians was miraculous. Despite enduring terrible injuries and potentially fatal illnesses, he was faithful. And because of his efforts, God brought the whole tribe to a knowledge and acceptance of Jesus. The cross was exalted. Captives were freed.
In time, our young friend became engaged to a sweet girl who also loved the Indians and the the Savior. They eagerly looked forward to their future of service together. But the devil can never stand the exaltation of the cross. Their wedding day never came. She died in a heartbreaking car accident. Her fiancée received the telegram sent by her mother weeks later.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Indians were being threatened with the loss of their land or death, by the colonists. And it was our missionary's best friend and adopted brother, the first Indian to accept Jesus and the spiritual leader of the tribe, who was first to suffer. He was cruelly murdered.
In the midst of his heartbreak and dismay, our missionary friend went to visit one of the Columbian officials to report the death of his Indian brother. It was their conversation that has been burning itself onto my mind the last few days…
The Columbian official reminded our friend that the struggles and death they were going through were not in spite of Jesus but for Jesus.. They were because of the honor and exaltation of the cross. The devil was angered at the work done.
It was for this cross that they suffered.
The lesson imprinted itself powerfully on my mind. So often we find our willingness to suffer, in the knowledge that the pain is for our good. But is that the only reason for our suffering? Might there not be a greater reason, a reason that is far above our little lives?
Might it be that our suffering is for the exalting of the cross?
The devil is angry when we give our lives to be a testimony to the power of the cross, angry when he sees captives set free.
Could it be that we are called to suffer because the cross is being lifted high?
And might it be, that through our suffering, our Jesus wants to raise the cross higher still, by it’s visible power in giving us strength to bear our pain with trust and joy?
Could it be that our suffering is God's tool to break our self-reliance, so that He can then use us to lift the cross higher still?
I’ve noticed something lately. Many of us who are giving our lives fully to God’s work are facing trials. Sometimes its health challenges, or loneliness, days when it feels like the sun forgot how to shine.
But could it be that its for this cross?
The thought makes my heart leap. If this is the reason for our pain… Oh Jesus, send us more, that through it the cross can be lifted just another inch higher.
And when we suffer, more and more of the cross becomes our own. Jesus becomes dearer.
Paul counted his gain as loss, and his loss as gain. Think about that.
And so I’ve started praying a scary prayer-- scary because I mean it.
My plea is that I would be allowed to suffer more if the cross can be lifted higher by it.
That every gift I treasure most will be taken from me, so that I can gain more of my Jesus and His cross.
And that He will break me, so that I can be a more powerful vessel in His hands to uplift the cross.
Isn’t it worth loosing everything to gain everything? Even if we loose life itself?
I don’t know what will be the result of this prayer. It still makes my heart skip a beat when I pray it. But I'm convinced... Anything suffered or given up for this cross is not in vain.
I long to say with Paul,
…I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and so count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Don’t run from your trials, from your losses. Be encouraged that even pain, health challenges, confusion about your future, and lonliness are not your enemies, but tools in the hand of the Master. Count them as gain.
Through them you may lift the cross an inch higher. And you may make an inch more of it your own.
Oh Jesus, we’ll willingly bear anything….
…for this cross.
It was only a week ago. I lay on my hammock outside (my summer sleeping spot J) gazing up at the stars. Inside I knew my Jesus had something to say to me. Something deep. I’ll be honest, I’d been resisting it because I was worried He would ask me to do something I didn’t feel I could do. Now under the blanket of the starry sky I was ready to listen.
Child, are you willing to give up your dreams, plans, and yourself and be used up for the good of others? Are you willing to live your life only for the good of others? Will you let me use you to make a mark on this world?
Silence. Of course I had told Him before that I wanted to live my life for others, but somehow this time was different. It was if He was asking for something deeper.
And I knew He was asking for action. I am far too good at talking and dreaming, yet never doing much about it. Just a few days ago we were talking with some friends about what it is that stops us from acting on our talk. Fear of the unknown and lack of commitment. Ouch. I knew that He was asking for my answer to be more than words—He wanted a “yes” in actions. And I paused. Was I ready for this?
I looked up at the stars again. And then a thought flashed through my mind…
This little world that you call home, it is the only world that hast fallen. And yet all the riches of the universe have been poured out on it. The Maker of the Universe has trod here. Angels have poured themselves out for your little world. Do you count your life too much to be given?
My answer comes. No Jesus. No cost is too much. I give you my everything. Just pour me out for the good of others and I will be satisfied.
And this last week I have really experienced it, and it has been thrilling. He has changed my desires so that I really desire the good of others above my own good. That’s a miracle.
Sometimes we tend to think that pouring ourselves out for others can only be done in some desert Africa, but that can be a subtle deception. Sure I’d run all the way to Africa to pour myself out for all those starving people if I could. But I’m learning that there are starving people here too.
Even if the only place we can pour ourselves out is our own homes it is worth it. It is necessary. Every heart longs for love. We can fill that longing.
We can never touch the hearts far away until we touch the ones closest.
By His grace, I’ll love every individual He places in my pathway. And maybe one day it will be a starving African. But for right now I’ll be content with serving the people around me.
This Sabbath finds me lying on my bed, head pounding, stomach churning, back aching, and throat sore. But I’m not giving way to feelings of frustration. If my miniscule suffering can help me relate to the greater suffering of others just a little more, then it’s all worth it.
I turn on one of my favorite songs and let the words sink in. They mean more than ever before…
There is a candle in every soul,
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold.
There is a Spirit
Which lights a fire,
Ignites a candle and makes His home.
Carry your candle!
Run to the darkness.
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn.
Hold out your candle!
For all to see it.
Take your candle,
Go light your world.
Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to
Light his own candle, some other way.
See now your sister.
She’s been robbed and lied to.
Still holds a candle without a flame.
We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So lets raise our candles, light up the sky.
Pray to our Father
In the name of Jesus,
Make us a beacon in darkest night!
I would never have thought it was possible to learn such a deep spiritual lesson from the top of a castle in England—a lesson that has had my mind spinning ever since.
As we climbed up the spiraling stone stairs, my mind flashed back to the Apostle’s day. I could almost see them climbing stairs just like these, maybe to a prison cell. I’ve long dreamed of being thrown into a prison cell for my faith. I long to know the experience Corrie Ten Boom had… “You never know all you need is Jesus until all you have is Jesus.” And I’ve always thought I would be faithful even if they should ask for my life.
But I didn’t know what awaited me when we reached the top of the castle. I walked to the edge and stared. The distance to the ground just took my breath away.
And then the familiar inaudible voice…
Would you be willing to be thrown from the top of this castle to the ground far below if you were told it was renounce your faith in me or be thrown over the edge?
Silence. I could see in my minds eye those faithful soldiers—the Waldenses—being tossed over a cliff face because of their faith in Him. I gazed again over the edge…An answer was forming in my heart, but it was not the answer I wanted to give.
I don’t know Jesus—I don’t know.
How could I be saying this? I had always been determined to stand. I had even dreamed being a martyr for Him. And here I was, and all I could mumble was-- I don’t know.
That really bothered me. If I couldn’t say yes now, how could I ever say it then? Why was I suddenly fearful? Staring over the edge the answer seemed clear. It’s one thing to imagine giving my life when I’m at home in my comfortable room… it’s another thing in reality.
But I couldn’t be content with my answer. What would it take to give a whole hearted “yes” if the moment ever came? Another glance to the ground far below and I knew. Love for Him was the only way—deeper love than I had ever experienced. Perfect love casts out all fear.
All day that question spun around in my head. And all of a sudden I found another answer forming in my heart.
Yes Jesus. Anything to be faithful to you. But you’re going to have to help me. I realize how powerless I am. Please do whatever it takes.
And He has been teaching me far more than I could dream since that moment. Driving back to my grandmother’s that day He reminded me that it’s only by resisting every dart of the devil, now, that I will resist, then.
Ouch. That’s a weak point of mine.
But He has amazed me again in the last couple of days. It’s been awhile since He’s seemed so close that I feel like I can hear His heartbeat if I listen long enough. And it’s a experience like nothing I can explain. He’s teaching me… and I know if I am willing to learn He will help me be able to look over the edge and give a firm, unwavering, yes.
I was listening to a favorite song yesterday and one of the lines popped out at me in a new way.
If from His side we fall we’ve lost it all—for in Him all things are found.
We loose nothing if we are tossed over the face of a cliff because we will not leave Him. We loose everything by giving up on Him. So often we think we give up more being faithful, but could it be that we give up more by not being faithful?
Jesus, I plead earnestly that you will do whatever it takes in me so that I can give you an unflinching “yes” if it ever comes to it. And I ask for more than the courage to say yes to you then-- I ask that you would help me say yes to you every time now. And I plead that you would not work in my heart alone…
He's asking you too... What's your answer?
I’m tired of dreaming Revolution but not acting it. I’m tired of the complacency that follows me everywhere. I’m tired of the fact that it’s so easy to spend hours talking with friends, and yet so hard to spend an hour on my knees. I’m tired of reading those quotes about young people finishing the work, and not doing a thing different. I’m tired of having plenty when there are children starving with nothing. I’m ready for a change. Aren’t you?
I might not be going to Africa tomorrow. In fact I know I won’t be. But aren’t there people starving here in America too? Starving for love—starving for Jesus?
Isn’t it time for a change? I mean a real one. Not one that just begins and ends in our imagination; but one that changes us, our friends, and eventually our corner of the world?
Isn’t it time to pray like we’ve never prayed before? Not just for ourselves but for each other? To not even think twice about spending an hour on our knees, at any time, if that’s what the Master calls for?
And isn’t it time to put aside all foolishness? I mean, when was the last time we got together and our first thought was to talk about Jesus? And even if it was, somehow it wasn’t what came out. I’m tired of how awfully easy it is in the moment to burst out laughing at the end of a funny story and soon be on to one of my own, and yet how hard it is to keep a straight face and totally change the direction of the conversation. Where do funny stories fit into the Revolution?
I’m only sharing what He’s put on my heart. And I know it’s not just my heart He’s working on. Because this whole Revolution--it’s something we embark on together.
And yet somehow we’ve got to start living it, not just for a day, but for a lifetime. How? This is the question I’ve been pondering, and I’m coming to the conclusion that the only way is through a total heart change.
Because you know what it’s like. One morning I wake up all ready to jump out of bed and spend time with Him, and the next day I have no enthusiasm. That’s got to change.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has those times when I’m so close to Him that I can almost sense His heartbeat, but then a few weeks (or days) later I feel a million miles from Him.
And yet somehow, I just don’t think we can be living the Revolution one day and not the next. He’s got to change our hearts so that we get out of bed whether we feel like it or not, and fall on our knees. He’s got to place in us the burning desire to live in His presence, so that when He feels a million miles away, we won’t rest until we know our heart is knit with His.
And we’ve got to put aside our feelings and live by faith. We can’t just live it when we feel like it and just dream it when we don’t.
Luther lived revolution in his day. What was his key? Prayer. Bible study. He didn’t just read a daily devotional and pray a “help me be good today” prayer. It was hours of prayer, hours of time in the word. It’s what gave not only Luther, but the fathers of our faith their power.
And so, I am challenging myself, and I’m inviting you to join me. An hour of uninterrupted time on my knees everyday. Maybe you’re all doing it already, and I’m the last to catch on…
As for all I’m going to say on my knees for an hour, or how it’s going to fit into my schedule when I’m traveling, to be honest, I don’t know. But He does. And this Revolution is because we love Him.
Let me share a prayer from my journal this morning, and let me tell you again--I want to live this Revolution together.
“Revolution’s flame, begin in me. Put my heart and life aflame. More than anything this world offers, light my heart with loyalty. Self—let it be no more. Only the dead wood is ignitable. Take away my plenty; my all is Yours. Just let that fire burn bright in me. Bring the furnace seven times hotter, until I am pure gold, reflecting You. Change my heart—make it like Thine, until my life matches my words. No more dreaming about Revolution—let me live it.”
The enemy is waiting to knock us flat. But in my mind I see a battlefield with a line of soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder. The enemy tries to break through their ranks, but he can’t. Sooner will they give their lives than give him the victory. Their prayers are constantly ascending for each other. They stand, a solid line of soldiers--fighting together.
I’m ready for Revolution. Jesus, I’m looking forward to that hour tomorrow morning. And I’m thinking I won’t be the only one. Do whatever it takes to make us live Revolution. I’m in, if You’ll lead me.
Will you join me?
20. Lover of Jesus. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Servant. Fan of the kitchen. Graduate of Masters of Biblical Counseling.
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Hands Open. Heart Full.