Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crossing the bridge: next steps

Hi I've been working on this blog and trying to get it up to speed with where I am at these days. It (the blog and me) is a work in progress that I would love to get your feedback on. Check out the links to the right under INTIMACY REALIZED. I am stepping out in faith, trusting that the Shepherd is leading.
I want to help people experience an abiding relationship with Christ so we can show the world His love, His mercy, His compassion and His salvation. I think I am ready to cross this bridge, to take these next steps. I'm kind of nervous, the shadows scare me, but the light draws me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

why the blog name change

I decided to rename my blog...mostly cuz I think I am the only one who reads it, and I like to think these are conversations I'd love to have with people as we lingered on my front porch swing. Now there's all kinds of social networking (including blogs!), but I can imagine how it was when life was slower...people sat together, worked together, walked together, ate together, played together and lingered together. Like Jesus did with His disciples. I resist all the change, but, it is what it is. So, if you ever have time...come, sit a while and let's talk about what really matters.

Why am I afraid?

This fall God opened up a very uncomfortable door for me. Every Tuesday morning I get to go to the Teen Challenge women's chapel and 'teach.' Sitting in the pews each week are some of the most beaten down sisters I've ever been around in America. It's the type of situation where I can't even prepare a lesson like I used to when I taught so crisply through outlines. No, this is the real deal. Messy lives, broken hearts, rejected daughters, bleeding hearts. It reminds me of when I went to the refugee camp in Congo and felt so inadequate asking, "what do I have to give them?" Well, the answer was and is NOTHING. But, Jesus offers living bread and living water. He offers the truth that leads to freedom, gift wrapped in grace through His own flesh. So, every Tuesday morning we are embracing Jesus in all His abundance. We are listening to Him say things like, "don't be afraid. just trust Me (Mark 5:36)". These sisters are facing giants in their lives and Jesus is the One and Only way to be free of the strongholds.

So, I drive away wondering to myself...what giants am I avoiding? Where does God want to give me victory but I simply look the other way? As I'm begging these precious souls to believe Jesus, that He wants to heal, He wants to bless, He wants to restore the years the locusts have eaten...I hear the quiet Voice ask me, are you trusting? Three giants of anxiety I often battle are future, family, finances...the three F's all wrapped up in one...FEAR. Lots of complicated issues around all 3 (or so I say). How freeing to know that Jesus invites me every moment to abide in Him, listen to Him, learn from Him and do what He says as He leads me. He is gentle and humble and His yoke is easy. Which now begs the question...if I am not living easy, whose yolk am I carrying?

Seek first HIS kingdom and HIS right way of living and all these things...the NLT nails it this way:

Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things?
Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs,
and He will give you all you need from day to day
if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today's trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:32-34

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where have I been?

The last year of my life with the Lord has been the most amazing EVER. I have not had any UNBELIEVABLE circumstances that showed me His majesty, in fact I've had some very difficult trials. No, it's been much more subtle and sweet than that. I've beheld Him in His sanctuary as David writes about. I am in the process of learning more and more about how He longs to be gracious and compassionate. He promises to lead and guide us, and He Shepherds us each step of our way. I am learning to simply pay attention. Where have I been? What took me SO long to see I was putting my life in  crazy boxes and waiting for the next new adventure box to show up!

Keeping in step with the Spirit all day long, eating His bread, drinking His water, being at rest in my heart is where I am living now...more often than not. All praise to God who by His grace transforms. We are always in process, always learning, always changing one way or the other. I long to change more and more into the image of our Sweet Jesus. Coming to Him everyday to rest, learn, eat and follow is the secret to Life in the Son. He invites us to COME. Are you?

Let's share bread! What has God been giving you lately? How is it with your soul? Are you more deeply in love with Jesus today than ever? If not, why not? Let's talk about it. He has SO much He wants to give you. I am praying for you today my friend.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I am Resting in the Son

I just learned a sweet chorus that goes like this...
I am resting in the Son
Resting in the work He's done
From His seed new life is born
By His power transformed.
Come Lord Jesus take me home,
I am yours and yours alone,
in your Presence, hold me safe,
now and forever I pray.

How is it with your soul? Are you resting in the Son, or are you striving? We are called to serve, but not strive. I've been learning to listen carefully to my thoughts, words and observe patterns that show strife, not peace. I am inviting the Lord to heal those broken places in me that cause me to strive and give me the power to surrender those places to Him and learn to rest in His Shepherding, His unfailing love, and His abundant goodness. I challenge you to pay close attention for the next 24 hours. Where does your mind get trapped? Will you let Jesus in there to unbind you and bring you to His rest? It takes intentionality on your part to go to the garden of your soul and wait on Him (see 30 Day Challenge), but the fruit of that resting soil is amazing! It is such freedom. He does the work! Are you resting in that truth? I'd love to hear how your journey is going as we walk together.

30 Day Challenge

The thirty day challenge is simply this: responding to Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28
"Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Come to Him with no agenda other than to learn from Him and rest. Come with whatever time you have.
This is your time to rest, not work.
Listed below are five simple ways to help you sit still.
Release: casting all your cares on Him (Psalm 62)
Rest: rest in the knowledge of His Sovereignty and love
Remain: meditate on a small portion of His Word, listening to His voice (John 15)
Resolve: make a decision to do what He says (James 1:22)
Review: before going to bed, take a few moments to think about your day;
recognizing His grace that carried you through. (Psalm 139)
If you would like to listen to the messages I taught leading up to this challenge, you can go to the
Hume website and click on podcasts; Spring Women's Retreat (