Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where Heaven and Earth Meet

I have been thinking about what it means to be a temple. Paul admonishes the people of the church of Corinth to flee immorality saying "do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have heard from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."(1Cor 6:19-20)
What is a temple? It is a holy place, a place where we find God. And where we find people. It is where heaven and earth meet. Inside me, a temple, heaven and earth intermingle. Holy Spirit and earthy me come together and His Glory is manifested. And God is pleased because, after all, it was His plan from the beginning that we would know oneness with Him.
So we must daily render our temples to Him that He might fill us up and then pour out of us so that as Isaiah 6:3 says, "the whole earth will be filled with His glory." And it all starts in you, where heaven and earth meet.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

One Thing

I have been asked on several occasions why I travel and speak other places but do not speak regularly in my own church. I believe the answer to this is not just that weekly pulpiteering is not my calling, but also that I really only have one message. The one truth that consumes me and that I continue to reach for in my own private life is intimacy. Intimacy with God should be the cornerstone of a believers life. There are many worthwhile causes and callings that a person could pursue, but our first and foremost priority, and the very reason for which we exist is deep, unprotected intimacy with the God of the universe. It is that simple.

There are many great heroes in scripture with whom I could identify, but the one person I go back to again and again is Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:38-42). Perhaps she was quiet, simple, and unassuming, but more than anything she was wholly surrendered and therein lay her obsession. Nothing captivated her as He did and what others thought of her relentless pursuit meant nothing to her. Her reward was oneness with Him and it was all that mattered to her. In her amazing book, Adoration, Martha Kilpatrick says this of Mary; "Mary moved in a relationship, comfortable and private, so intimate that He was her world, a literal realm in which she lived, secluded within His presence." I believe that we can be fully present in the duties and obligations of this life while at the same time live as Mary did, "secluded within His presence." It is my passion to get to that place of utter fascination, unguarded receptivity and unbroken gazing. I am far from there on many days, but always it is what I deeply desire. And it is my mission to corrupt as many other lives as possible, infecting them with a voracious hunger for this "one thing" that is everything.


Monday, February 11, 2008

How Can I, Lord?

There are times that the Lord requires something of you that you just aren't sure you can do, something that hurts you deeply even though you know that it is what must be done. I find myself at such a place and I ask the Lord to please give me courage when what I really want is a plane ticket to a nice sunny island somewhere far from this road of heavy responsibility on which I find myself. Deep in my heart I want only to follow my Father who loves me unlike anything I have ever known and yet there are times that I question Him and I make no apologies for it. It is okay to question Him, tell Him you are hurt with Him and wrestle with Him just as Jacob did. When we wrestle with Him, He is touching us and this is a good thing and maybe, just maybe, we will come away marked by the Lord of the universe, never to walk the same again.
William Booth once said that "the greatness of a man's power is in the measure if his surrender." To this I respond by waving my white flag that I keep in my pocket for days like this. I am His daughter and I am compelled to give in to His leading, but even so, there are times I don't like it and I don't hesitate to tell Him. I have been criticized for this and told it is irreverant but I don't believe that is true. Scripture gives many examples of those God called His friends that related to Him in this way that is often misread as audacity but is really authenticity. I don't want to talk to Him like others think I should--I want to talk to Him like I have been since I was a little girl and had no one to turn to but Father, my Faithful Friend. He knows me and what I have with Him is real and true and honest.
So, right now, in the middle of another hard place I ask, "How can I, Lord?" And He says what He has always said, "With the help of your best Friend."
Here I go....


Monday, February 4, 2008

Books, Beautiful Books

I must make a confession. I have an obsessive love of books. I always have and , though others have made fun of me over the years for my bookishness, the shine has not dimmed on my love of good books. When I was a little girl I would not stop reading even to walk to the car so my mom could drive me to wherever her errands were taking her. Granted, I ran into a few walls and fell down a few steps, but I was happy. And, while my siblings sat bored in the car or waiting room while my mom did what she needed to do, I was lost in a far away place and I never noticed that a moment had passed.
Someone once said that reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. This was certainly true of me when I was growing up. So what about now? Escaping to another time or place is still a pleasure for me, but books began serving a much greater purpose when I reached adolescence. They began taking me to a better me. I love books on leadership, servanthood, business, life, classice literature, and self-improvement. I am continually amazed at the number of rational, thinking adults who make no effort at growing as a person. There is just no reason to remain the same way day in and day out, year after monotonous year when, instead, we can embark on the miraculous and exciting journey to the self we can become. The self that God desires for us to become. Certainly good books are not the only road to "becoming", but when you don't know how to get that stubborn baby to sleep through the night, or that stubborn teenager to get up in the morning, why not dive headfirst into the wealth of wisdom and experience out there? If you aren't sure how you will survive financially when your working days are over, or how to communicate with your spouse right now, then, for goodness sakes, get some help!! Grow! Change! Become! Mark Twain once said that "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." We are without excuse in this land of education and prosperity in which we live. Let's grow up. Let's open a book and open up a whole new world of possibilities!