Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reverse Psychology - Run The Other Way

Run the other way. I'm learning I say that to myself.

There is such a tendency to pick up your bat and ball and go home. It's natural. We get our feelings hurt. We feel discouraged. We want to give up.

And wow. Isn't that our ultimate demise in achieving any great pursuit? Giving up or giving out robs us of victory.

Sometimes we see our losses and close our hearts. "I don't want another puppy" as we bow our heads and decide love and dreams will never grow where despair and hurt reside. It's too heavy. It's too hard.

Yet, when we fall to our knees and unpack those bags of hurt and pain and loss at the feet of Jesus . . . what consistantly happens is from behind His white robe He extends a warm hand, holding a newborn fluffy yellow chick. A new dream. A dream that needs us. A dream with a future.

And He asks us to stay and nourture it and love and grow . . . and He trades our filthy rags and clutter for that baby chick.

And we don't want to run anymore. We want to participate and be needed and make a difference.

God has an irresistable influence in our lives by the way He changes us when we want to run away. Running is OUR nature. HIS nature is the opposite - He draws us out by our bigger desire . . . to be used in the hand of God.

Wanting to run away in your life?

Hold out your hand.

God gave me a little yellow peeping fluffy chick to give you . . . smile. God knows you. And He knows in your heart you don't want to run. You want to stay. You want to love. You want to grow. You want to be amazing. It's as easy as holding your dreams as sweetly as you would this little baby chick.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Peace-Loving in the City

At night I love to open the blinds to my master bedroom window and fall asleep watching the lights of the city twinkling on the horizon. It is a peaceful feeling that is comforting in a way I can't quite explain.

In my bible time I came across a story in which a specific phrase keeps echoing in my mind. Here is the setting:

2 Samuel 20:14-22 Sheba was an evil wanted man. He escaped to a city called Abel and hid himself among the people there. Joab and his army was searching for Sheba. Recognizing that in their pursuit of Sheba, the entire city of Abel could be destroyed, a woman of wisdom came to the wall of the city and had a very straitforward conversation with Joab. "I am one who is peaceloving in this city. Why do you want to destroy us?" (paraphrasing)

To which Joab replied "I do not want to destroy your city. I only want Sheba."

The story concludes with the woman and her fellow citizens giving Joab what he needed and peace in the city was maintained.

In our relationships we often become defensive and build walls. We can feel threatened and frustrated when we feel attacked. This is normal.

What shows wisdom however is when we say what we need concisely, and find out what the Other needs. How can we maintain our city, our boundaries, our sovereignty, and also give the Other what they need? Is there a way to do both? Many times both parties are looking for resolve and peace.

Ponder the statement of that wise woman . . . "I am one who is peaceloving . . . " If your goal is to be at peace, grow peace, flourish in it, and nourture peace . . . stand in that place firmly and listen.

That is powerful holy ground. Find it.

Before I close my eyes tonight I will open my blinds and God and I are going to have a conversation. As I drift away in the glimmer of twinkling lights, my heart will be asked, "have you been peaceloving?"

God bless me to be that person today -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sky Is Falling

Our family went to Lake Powell for a few days last week. The weather was amazing and the water was perfect. We squealed as we tubed the lake, sweated as we hiked the incredible red rocks, and enjoyed friends and random silliness. We camped our tents a 20-minute boat ride from the marina and soaked up the scenery completely.

I'll never forget being awaken during the night by boulders pulling away from their settings and crumbling to new places. In all of my trips to Lake Powell I'd never experienced that. The thundering echoed like the cracking of a bowling ball into pin after pin - only louder - shaking the ground. In the dark we could not see the boulders cracking and tumbling but the reality left us all speechless. We were not in danger's way . . . but as the waves of breaking rock echoed, we all had a sense of awe and smallness. That night the landscape changed.

This morning I received a text from my daughter that a dear friend had passed away in the night. As well, the news reported that a handfull of homes had been lost to a tragic wildfire just cities away from ours. And on facebook I sadly noted two police officers were killed in their vehicles as they sped to help others. The landscape has changed forever overnight for many families.

To realize we are simply visitors here, that we are surrounded by forces we do not control, and that the landscape is always changing, ebbing, flowing, building and falling . . . it is powerful.

What is my part God? What DO I control?

We control relationships. That is all. We get to choose who we love and how we love on this journey. We affirm our character and our humanity by the way we reach out and encourage, bless, and carry those who suffer when the landscape does change.

Today the landscape is forever changed for someone. Be there.

It's all part of the big picture. In reality, that IS the big picture.