Sunday, September 25, 2011

Psalm 150

Psalm 150

Let All Things Praise the LORD
1 Praise the LORD!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD!

Seems fitting that my psalm for the beginning of this journey would be Psalm 150; a declaration of praise to God, recognition of His sovereignty and greatness; His right to receive praise. Praise is a beautiful thing. It is not only a "gift" of sorts to my Father, who has done so much for me throughout the week, the most notable being that He kept me alive through all of the difficulties I have been having with my heart, it is also very uplifting. Fred Hammond was very accurate when he said "It's in your praise!".

It's hard, especially when we are in the middle of it all, what ever "it all" is, to feel like there is any "quick fix". In truth, there usually isn't, but there is a way to encourage oneself to hope. Something that God put inside us responds to our praises of Him. It's swells up. Where we felt desolate we feel encouraged. I know it is a simplistic explanation of the actual change, but bear with me here. It is nearly impossible to expound on feeling. As a Christian i am not supposed to be ruled by my emotions anyway, but to a point, I must be accept their intrinsic involvement in my life.

 God created me to respond in a very human and therefore emotional way. Being a "good Christian" doesn't dictate a disciplined, emotionless life. On the contrary; I am to be perfect as my Father is perfect (As He who calls you is perfect you also be perfect in all your conduct 1Pet 1), and my Father is passionate, jealous, loving, compassionate and so much more. Therefore, my emotions are not anathema to my goal of becoming closer to Him; a lack of control of those emotions however is.

There are many times in an average day where I struggle to control my emotions. There is hurt from my past, frustration with my 4 yr old, disappointment with my 16 yr olds choices, concern and even fear about our financial situations, but being a Christian, I have the tools available that are necessary to control, not negate, not quench, but control those emotions. God has never, in any way, said to me "Child, i want you to stop feeling..." this or that. Rather when I take my situations, my emotions to God He shows me, like through a magic mirror, the truth of the situation. He enables me to feel different. I don't always have time, in a given situation, to seek Him out and sit before Him while He instructs me. Because of this, when I see that I am losing it, I praise.

Praise opens up our spirit. It is a form of communication with the spiritual realm. It would be awesome if we could be open to the spiritual all of the time, and i am sure there are those who are far further in their walk with our Father than I who are. Never the less, I am not. I do not exist in a place where, at a moments notice, I can ask the Lord and hear His answer. But when I praise, when I speak my faith aloud or in song, I open that part of me that is spirit and enable it to drink from the connection to the infinite. Imagine it this way:

There's a woman in a room, it's an ordinary room in an ordinary house. Ordinary things are happening all around her, her children are being ordinary children. There is something so maddeningly mundane about the scene it makes you want to throw something chaotic in the midst of it just to feel like something is happening. Then something does happen; as she moves through the room color starts to drain from her. Not like she is sick and getting pale, but like she is somehow drying up, emptying a little with each move she makes. She helps this one with homework, gets her husband a drink, goes to the kitchen to make dinner, tells that one to take out the trash, all the while, as she serves and directs her little world she is becoming stale, brittle.

A child comes to her as she stirs the pot on the stove and she reacts harshly. The child walks away, but another comes to ask a question, she shoos this one away. Her husband says something and she snaps back. She steps over to the sink, turning her back for a moment on her life. You can see regret overtake her features. She is nearly empty now. There's a hollowness within that cannot be filled by the glass of water she now drinks. She stops and begins to whisper. The words are unintelligible to you, never the less, something begins to happen. Her words open a window to the heavens.

This is how I view praise and it's refreshing work in my life. No matter how one praises the Lord, genuine praise, thanksgiving, declaration of faith, confession of hope, these things open up that part of us that communes with the spiritual realm and enables us to more directly receive from the one who passionately desires to be our Everything. Praise the Lord :) from me to you....may your praise fill your soul to overflowing today

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I had this dream last night about an orb, a glass orb with swirling colors. I was an orb of enormous power. it was like a one wish orb, but it was granted by God. the thing about it was that i have no idea how it came to my little family. The power though was undeniable. I "knew" what it was we held.

We lived in a tiny little apartment. things in the world had gotten very bad, evil was everywhere. I feared for my children's lives every time they left the house. i could see the effects of the circumstances we lived in beginning to effect the thinking of my older sons. The streets were getting uglier and filthier by the week. it was a very difficult time to live in. we were still free to believe as we chose, but our beliefs had become so "unpopular" that we had to be very careful what we shared and with whom.

Our apartment was in an old building. it was run down and right next to a freeway that was built up so that outside our windows i could see freeway above us and that "under the bridge" ugliness below. I did not send my girls out alone ever. My sons had both had to defend themselves more than once. their faith was waxing. Talitha still believed as a child does, without question because it is so. Abigail believed but was afraid of her own belief because of the suffering that belief could bring her, never the less, she held onto her faith.

Deion worked long hours. we didn't see him much. times were so hard that he had to work constantly just to provide the most basic life for us. Obama was still president oddly enough. I'm not sure why that even matters, but in my dream, there he was. And we existed in a police state. The TV spouted nothing but bad news. The general idea given, not in the media specifically, but definitely from the government and passed through society, is that the state of the world is somehow the Christians fault.

I believe AJ and Jo together got the orb. I believe that i sent them to do this. i believe it was an assignment from God. When they had brought it to me they both had "ideas" of what they wanted to ask of the orb, of God. I don't believe either of them truly had faith that the power of the orb was actually from God or they would have not been so eager to ask anything of it. I think it was too much for their young minds to accept that for some reason God had allowed such a thing in the world, perhaps to test His people. Obviously to further His will and His plan, as does everything in some way or another. I knew that their hearts were weary from the condition of the world and that their minds were, not jaded, but not fully aware of the power or wise enough to be able to ask a good thing.

I understood the weight of the "wish" as it were. I could look at this thing which felt like a warm, heavy, glass marble about twice the size of a large "shooter", with all the colors of existence swirling within it, never steady, always in motion, and recognize the long term effects any word spoken in vain could have of all of us. I told my boys to give it to me, they hesitated only a moment, but were disappointed. There was danger, grave danger in holding onto this thing. They would find it, and soon. Not the kind of soon that leaves time for finding a good hiding spot. In the first place i would not allow this thing out of my grasp much less out of my sight for even a fraction of a second. In the second place, it was too valuable, too terrible a thing for them to not be on the trail at that moment, heading towards our little apartment, endangering not only the lives of my precious children, but the fate of the world as well.

I don't know what made me do it; i could hear the news, Abigail was watching. She was frustrated, by the war and suffering on the very streets we lived on. She felt it was impossible to be safe, to feel protected. She didn't understand why God was allowing this. She struggled with her faith. In that moment i decided to set everything to rights. I chose to take the responsibility of making  the "wish" myself. I don't know why i didn't consult God. Perhaps it was that Moses mentality. I felt my back was against the wall. As much as i love my sons i didn't feel like i could trust them. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that i could count on them, but with the power to make life as you believe you want it to be within arms reach, i was afraid of a mishap. I knew the enemy was coming for the orb and didn't have faith that could keep it safe. I felt my back against the wall and chose to use the orb to get out of all of it.

I wished, and i need to note that my sons were none too thrilled with me for it, for the beginning. I wished that everything God created to be put back in harmonious order as He originally had intended it to be at this point in time. as if man had never fallen. That the heavens, the universe, the planet, the seas the clouds, the atmosphere, everything be set to rights, remade in God's original image of the world and that my family would still be there when He was done. I had some image of God having to wipe clean the earth, perhaps even wipe it out. I saw darkness and light in my mind, the very beginning of the world as it was being reformed. That is what i was afraid might have to happen for my wish to come true, but, of course, i was short sighted as well.

Immediately things began to happen. The orb swirled with all the colors of the universe. I wanted to sit and watch it. I wasn't afraid of Gods power or of what i had asked for. The boys saw things differently. Outside, the winds picked up, the earth shook. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't think of what might happen to us during the destruction. I believed that since i asked that we would be there when it was all done that we would be somehow protected, in a bubble maybe, i don't know. But that wasn't meant to be. I wasn't really understanding the way of God. I was arrogant and foolish where i was was trying with an honest heart to be compassionate and wise.

i received a message on my ipad. i knew it was from God. It was a "How can Christians survive the last days" article that went week by week outlining what would happen at the end. It had tips for Christians on how they might escape discovery and how they might fend for themselves in a world that was going to become suddenly very hostile towards everything to do with God. I realized at that moment what i had done. I had not somehow reset the wonderful balance that i knew God was capable of creating in a perfect world. I had not removed the fears that we had about the escalation of evil in the world and replaced them with peace. I had simply been the catalyst to remove the pin from the end times grenade.

I kept the end times article open. I realized that i didn't even know where Deion was or how to contact him at that point. Storms began to come in. I could hear angry voices outside. I had forgotten that we were still in grave danger because the government thought we still had the orb, which in fact i did, but now i knew it's power was not available to us anymore. it was no longer a tool or a weapon, it was now simply a chronicle of what was happening. I helped Abigail get a sweatshirt and two jackets on and turned my attention to getting Talitha ready. We had to leave and i knew it. The boys were grumbling at me for what i had started. I knew that they would follow or not, it was now completely up to them, i could not carry them, or force them or even beg them, i could only lead them.

Azy was not in my dream. It wasn't as if he didn't exist, only that i didn't have to be concerned about him in any way. The interesting thing about that is , when the time comes i believe in my heart that the boys will have to make that choice for themselves and i can no longer be responsible for what choice they make beyond being an example of the right choice. Abigail i believe is at the turning point of accountability and my two small ones are free from that responsibility, or so i believed. From what my dream spoke to me both of my girls are at the place where they have to start making those choices for themselves or they risk their souls, but Azy is still too young. It is strange to think that in a dream such as this i could actually have a question posed from my own mind to my belief system. But rather than reason this one out on my own, i Will ask God what it all means.

When it was time to go, when we were about to run, Abigail was afraid to follow, but she did with these words "I'll go, then we'll talk!" She was willing to obey, but needed her questions answered. She was angry with me for making a frightening life even more frightening. She didn't want what little security she had taken away from her. BUT she was willing. She just needed to understand, to have the facts so that she wasn't so afraid or maybe so that she knew how to prepare herself for what was coming. i don't know. She is the one who stood out to me though. her inner strength, her determination to do what is right regardless of the fear involved. She is an amazing little human. What a joy and responsibility to be her mother.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Psalm 43

Psalm 43

Prayer to God in Time of Trouble
 1 Vindicate me, O God,
         And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
         Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
 2 For You are the God of my strength;
         Why do You cast me off?
         Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
 3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
         Let them lead me;
         Let them bring me to Your holy hill
         And to Your tabernacle.
 4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
         To God my exceeding joy;
         And on the harp I will praise You,
         O God, my God.
 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
         And why are you disquieted within me?
         Hope in God;
         For I shall yet praise Him,
         The help of my countenance and my God.

God never abandons us. Never the less it can sometimes feel as though we are alone in this fight to the finish line. Here the psalmist asks the question "Why do i go mourning because of the oppression if the enemy?". This is a good question to ask. If we know, even when we don't feel it that God is the God of our strength why does the oppression of a weaker enemy cause us anxiety, fear and grief? I think that this psalmist recognized that we sometimes lose sight of whats real for the sake of whats relative.

How did he get out of this emotional funk he had gotten into? He took his feelings to God. He came to God honestly, without pretense, and laid out how he felt to the Almighty. He did not reason it out in his own understanding, but instead reasoned with God and that's when the truth of the situation came to light. At that point he didn't wallow in his mistake or revel in the revelation, he put his understanding in to action and set by seeking God's way to enable him to break free of the irrational pattern of fear and hopelessness he had been trapped in by the enemy.

The psalmist cries out to God his Strength as the Leader of his rebellion against the enemy that would oppress him. He says "lead me..." believing wholeheartedly that if he asks such a thing of his God, his God will be happy to provide. God is all to happy to not only reveal the truth of our situation to us, but provide a way out AND enable us to get there! He asks God to lead him with His light, to show him the way out of the darkness that his mind has gotten itself into. "Give me light Father," he says, "so that i can put one foot in front of the other on the right path until i come into a place where i am before You, where You are all i see. Then i won't be complaining anymore, I'll be standing in Your presence praising Your name."

When we cannot find our way out of the maze that is our own minds, when reason and circumstance just don't match up with our faith and we are left feeling confused, lost and alone, we do not need to "get a grip" as the world may tell us to do. That is the time when we need to let go. Let it all go to God in prayer, reasoning it out with our Father so that Truth can shine it's light into my life regardless of what is happening within me or without me.

O Sweet Spirit, remind us what a Friend we have in Jesus. Remind us to give Him our all, even in our mess and ask Him to set to rights the confusion and darkness in our minds. Then i will praise Him. Then i will fly, run, walk to His side and worship at His feet saying "O God, my God."

The psalmists final words are of encouragement to himself. God will come. Help is on the way. Don't fear. Don't grieve over your condition anymore child of the King. Put your hope in what will remain; Jesus Christ and His grace. This is what lifts me up. This is what gives me strength to keep on. Bless the Lord!


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

For me this means that when I look at a situation that I feel is hopeless, or that I am struggling to see the hope in; a friend who is dying, a child who is on the wrong path, a spouse who is struggling with debilitating sin, I can be sure, God is at work. I can be certain that even when I see nothing, something is happening. Because my faith is in someone who is so much greater than the sum of all human knowledge, I'm not going to "get" it. I'm not. Trying to is ego at work. Being certain and being sure is what that faith entails.

 It's not so much a choice as a revelation. It's not so much that I have to choose to believe what I don't see, it's that it's there, and I can put my trust in it even though I don't see it. I know it's there. God has proven Himself to be faithful and true many times in my life. Why would He stop now? That's not what His Word says He will do. His word says that He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it. (Phil 1:6). My part is to remember the facts, not worry about the faith. Faith is a gift of God. He gives it freely, He wants us to be able to embrace the Truths He teaches so that we can enjoy both a fulfilling life here on Earth and then an eternity of joy in Heaven. It's the facts, having begun in the Spirit are we now being completed by the flesh? Of course not.

When I accepted Jesus as my Redeemer, when I recognized my sorry state as a slave for sale in need of a new Master, One who would not just use me for His pleasure, but care for me, protect me, lead me, I was purchased by the blood of Christ, not something corruptible or unstable in it's value. Jesus Blood payed for my soul. (1Pet 1:18-19) His Spirit began a work of sanctification in my life, changing my behavior, by changing my understanding of how things are. That wasn't done by any feat or reasoning ability of man. It was the revelation of Jesus by His own Spirit that began this amazing journey in my life. He taught me that I could rely on God, I could trust in His Word. I, who I am, who I will be in eternity, my true self, began with the instruction of the Holy Spirit in my life. How could I possibly be completed by any means of myself?
Faith is being sure that God cares about the hopeless seeming situations in my life and certain He is at work in them even when I don't see that work. I will and it's always worth the wait.