Friday, April 27, 2012

Thought finished....Thank GOD! (part 2)

I want more- A LOT!

It never fails, I get into these sweet, intimate, moment by moment places with the Lord and I want more...

more than my daily manna...
I have been blessed to be in the company of some of the most AMAZING people, who continue to remind me of truth. God has given me my portion; he has promised to not give me more than I can take and He has promised to give me no less than He wants for me. I know every single day is designed that I may know God in a deeper, more profound, and intimate way than the day before...whether I am in the desert or not.
                                              But in these moments, I want more.....

I want to know about my future.....what tomorrow holds? Why I need to wait for guidance? I want to hoard todays manna for tomorrow.

(provided by google)


Right now, I'm in a circumstance that makes everyday an unknown. Every day I have no clue what I'm going to do about tomorrow...it is probably, singlehandedly, the most chaotic my life has been maybe ever but definately in the last 3 years. sometimes I don't know where I am sleeping tomorrow, and THIS is without doubt (most days) where he has me...
(provided by google)



It's not that serious for me....I have great friends. And community. But you get the point....ughhh I'm off track now.
Ok, so as I was saying, I am in a place of life that looks really different from a lot of people I'm around, but the heart condition is the same for us all....



Numbers 11:1-6
 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.  When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down.  So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them. The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!  We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong...



I hate, HATE being weak...
            See, my mouth is dry and I want something savory, I want more than just my manna for the day...these people were in the desert, with nothing and every single day without fail they walked out to this mystery food (that supposedly didnt even taste that bad) on the ground just waiting for them-providing for them eveyday and they had 2 responses...

  1. At first they wanted to hoard it for the next day, even though God commanded them to take just what they needed and promised everyday it would be there...but they would take more than they needed and try to store it, but it would go bad the next morning, and then there would be more on the ground.
  2. After a while, they didnt want it anymore so they complained "give me more God" despite the miracle they experienced every day.

You know what our problem is as humans?

we are sinful.
I am sinful.

which means when something as miraculous as manna comes along our sin manifests itself in..
selfishness
greed
complaint

And when a promise from God comes our way our sin manifests itself in...
doubt
fear
self-righteousness

When the faithfulness of the Lord comes at me like a ton of bricks, my sinfulness manifests itself in...
fear
 Anxiety
doubt
ungratefulness
Self Sufficiency
Arrogance and PRIDE

And I want MORE...
I want a surplus of faithfulness, I want a surplus of security, I want a surplus of knowledge.



Nevermind I have been given more of him already....
In the past two weeks alone I have been extremely blessed with faithfulness,
The Lord has done what he promised....
He has not left me
He has provided my every need
He has continued to open doors
He is deepening my faith reserviour
He has placed me in a community of believers that LOVE ME
he has graciously called me to be faithful
and he is softening me
He has proven himself GOOD and TRUSTWORTHY


YET...

I still want more! But more what?

I have been given everything I need, and lots of things I want, so when I say I want more- more knowledge and understand, more things, more security, more purpose....just more-- what is it that I think MORE is going to give me?


By process of elemination...let's work it out.

If I have more stuff= more security/significance
If I have more knowledge/understanding= more security/purpose
If I have more status, better job, my name is famous= more purpose/significance

Ok, so there is that...I want more security, purpose, and significance. I know this lie ALL. TOO. WELL. I know those things come only in an abiding relationship with the Lord, so to WANT MORE of these indicates there is another problem outside of Just finding them in false places.

So, I'll Break it down some more...

More significance, More purpose, More Security= ? (in my mind)

What more could I possibly gain than significance, purpose, security? Those things alone shape my identity, sooooo...more what?

More LIFE!

ahhhhhhh, there it is! MORE LIFE.

More life= the indication in my heart that there is MORE life to gain (this is important)

More life= The one thing that everyone pleads for more of...the reason disaster is SO devistating is because we have this never ceasing desire for More life and fear it will be cut short.

More life, and where is it found?

This is not a new question to humans/society at ALL....

For centuries man has asked the question,

"What is the SECRET to life?"


As believers, we know Life is found in Christ alone- his death and resurrection. But even for us, this isn't enough. (If it were I wouldnt want more...the four letter word that leads to destruction in my heart.) We still will beg, plead, and bargain with the Lord for more...we still place false hope on Earth for it...we still doubt that what we have is enough, and not just enough but that it is GOOD.

SO, what is the secret? and Where is it found?

Welp...

We maybe doubtful, but we aren't dumb...we know it is found in Christ- just what does that look like?

Scripture, here we come...
This is the example Jesus himself set.

1 corinthians 11:23-25 "For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people, an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”

We know from scripture and our own communions that the Bread and the Cup are symbolic of his death, SO Jesus, hours before he was going to be betrayed thanked GOD that he was about to be slaudered for our salvation, so we could have MORE.

hmmm....

1 corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?






I see the word Thanks coming up alot....
Like in the way we are commanded to live...


Psalm 100: 3-4
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.



Ephesians 5:20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Colosians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The way we are told to deal with hard stuff...

philipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 theselonians 5:8 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:4-5 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

IS life really that simple? Really? Could it be possible the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, the ends to every desire we are given, the rest to be found in this chaotic world possibly all lie in thanksgiving?

COULD there be a slight chance the answer to life lie in giving thanks? After all, life is the MORE we want.

ANN VOSKAMP thinks so...

"Thanksgiving, (Eucharisteo-in greek) giving thanks in EVERYTHING, is what prepares the way for salvation's WHOLE restoration. Our salvation in Christ is real, yet the completeness of that salvationis not fully realized in a life until the life realizes the need to give thanks- in EVERYTHING"

So we know Life is found in Christ, but we have still are lacking in Life and is it that the "lacking" is a lack of thanks? And our salvation? Is it really not full until complete thanks is given? It's a thought that seems so simple yet my heart wants to reject it- the idea my salvation is real but "lacking" because I am not thankful enough.

It makes sense....

I think about it in the context of my own heart- I don't want that to be true because that means I have to give thanks Always, when I don't want to, when I don't like what is in front of me, when what I'm supposed to be thanking someone else for- I think I own it or I deserve it.

Complete and utter thanksgiving is the acknowledgement that all things, people, circumstances (etc) in my life, I have no control over or entitlement too...EVERYTHING is given to me, therefore Everything, a gift.

Honest thanksgiving is total humility- it is dying fully to ones rights, it is being aware that I am unable to help myself. Saying thank you with a grateful heart means I come second. It means I acknowledge and accept that I am/have nothing of my own effort.

Thanksgiving before the Lord is complete submission, NOT compliance.

Eucharisteo!

Meaning, Salvation without thanksgiving is nothing more than accepting a gift then putting it away, and never using it....never knowing what it is or its purpose. Without thanks, salvation is nothing more than fire insurance- a "get out of hell" free card....

....It's like receiving clemency and then hulling up in a hole somewhere until you DIE-- instead of leaving the Court room screaming and shouting, rejoicing because you are now free to live a New Life!

Eucharisteo!

In being thankful for what I do have, and acknowledging it is by God alone I have it and I can do nothing to GAIN more, I am free from the WANT for MORE!
                  (^^  see, there is that Gain rearing its ugly head)
In being thankful for the hard things in life, I find Joy (chara- in greek) in the here and NOW! I am free from wanting out and free to live in present JOY, not just hope for future Joy.

In being thankful for my SALVATION, I have no desire to want MORE LIFE because I have come to the deep and inpenetrable understanding that MORE life is FOOLISH, Because I have been given more life and HOPE for a new home

So when life throws us DEVISTATION or DISASTER or DESTRUCTION or simply MORE UGLY....in thanksgiving, we CONQUER!!!!!!!!






JOY is in thanksgiving!
LOVE is in thanksgiving!
HOPE is in thanksgiving!
HUMILITY is in thanksgiving!
REJOICING is in thanksgiving!
PRAISE is in thanksgiving!
GRACE lies in thankfulness
freedom from more is in thanksgiving!
MIRACLES HAPPEN when thanks is given!




Hearts are changed in THANKSGIVING!





LIFE IS IN THANKSGIVING!!!!






Eucharisteo!




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stripping all dignity from british lives...

the title has little to nothing to do with this blog...

Its just a really great line from The Holiday, haha, and I've always wanted to use it...

BUT.

This is a stripping blog.

Let me explain...

Christ is teaching me to let go. simple right? wrong.

He wants me to let go of the phrase "I just don't know what it looks like yet" which I say entirely WAY to often. I am in a phase of wandering, which isn't abnormal, seeing as how this isnt technically our home and pilgrims/nomads wander until there is a development of some sort of navigation- than the wandering stops. Right now, I am a weary pilgrim (in the words of Dolly Parton) trying to navigate my way, and I need a Pocahontas. YET in weakness there is strength, and right now that strength is coming from Jesus holding me while he strips away layer after layer...

one way this is being done is conversations, friends blogs, my community group, being homeless, blah blah blah...and sharing the things I write, which is super super stripping cuz I don't share my "poetry" (i hate calling it poetry, it makes me feel like i should be in a coffee shop somewhere sitting in a dark corner alone, so i refer to it as writings from now on)

Anyways, my writings are deeply rooted with the desires my heart longs for, the sinfulness and shame I carry, and the emotions I feel at the time, but Jesus wants to strip me bare, down to raw skin, and part of that is letting people into the dark places...after all dark can't find light, light has to be shed on darkness...so this is me sheding light on my darkness...

I'm only sharing 2 but they are most recent and most descriptive of where my heart is...

here goes nothing.


An If In Return...(A response to if by Kipling)
IF I can tame my thoughts and focus them rightly,
when the world around lives in anguish and grief;
IF I can trust my heart and let it shine brightly,
While giving grace to those in disbelief:
IF I can live not captive to wanting,
hear- but not spread lies;
Eventhough the darkness of this World can be haunting,
I hold on to HOPE that never dies.

"IF I can dream and not make dreams my master,
think- but not make thoughts my aim;
IF I can meet both triumph and disaster,
 and treat these 2 imposters just the same:"
IF I am not down-heartened by misfortune,
IF I can maintain the truths I know;
Not forgetting my enemy is out to tempt me with false fortune,
and always remembering, Humans are not my true foe.

IF I can work honestly, without being decieved by success,
finding purpose in all my days;
Being sure to treat other fairly and with respect,
and never forgetting to give of myself along the way:
IF I can make decisions, never hasty,
treating all people say as a grain of salt;
Knowing too much talk is never tasty,
And in my dealings with people, the find no fault.

IF my speech is never unforgiving,
and my step always in line;
IF I can thrive in both loss and winning,
All the while, never straying from the VINE:
IF I meet both allies and enemies alike with kindness,
IF I can face the unknown with no fear;
Not forsaking faith for evil's blindness,
Nor meeting Love with a deaf ear.

IF I can embrace wisdom with humilty,
and foolishness with pardon;
Never taking for granted all God has given me,
and face death without my heart being hardened;
"IF I can fill the unforgiving minute,
with sixty seconds worth of distance run;"
IF I find virtue in LIFE, Christ has given,
Then I have learned all I can from the SON!

Brief intermission...

not at all the summary of my life....but the desires of my heart.
this next one is a little more accurate in that deparetment..
Back to the show...not.

Enjoy

Oh How My Heart is Cruel


Oh how my heart is cruel.
Oh how it tends to wander.
Oh how it feeds on trash for fuel,
and OH how often it causes blunder.

Oh how my heart is cruel.
How easily it is lead astray.
Its cavity, a dark pool.
How it loves to resist the Way.

Oh how my heart is cruel.
my fear is it will always be.
I pray it's relased from this fool,
and called to rise and follow love's feet.

Oh how Love's heart is not cruel,
OH, what joy has been found!
In love I've been called a jewel,
and for Love, I lay down my crowns.

OH, Even when time will end,
this lesson never lost...
All that is broken--love will mend,
And when all hearts were cruel- Love paid the Cost!


THE END




Unfinished thoughts... (march-part 1)

well here goes my attempt to organize my thoughts into what i hope will be a successful communication of my heart in a matter of paragraphs....

So the irony of where my heart is and what is being spoken to it, is that I look back at what ive been journaling, blogging, reading, and learning and Christ is teaching me the same things over and over in deeper ways, ways I thought I could never really understand...

mostly because I so often doubt if I am hearing the Lord or not...and I have a hard time trusting whats me and whats God.

I have decifered that partially my doubts stem from the fact that I talk WAY too much.

But then I have these moments...

these really intimate moments where I hear from him when Im not even listening. Like the other night I am in my new room, at this new apartment and I'm feeling so overwhelmed by all of the things that are hard, wrong, stained by sin, good, just, and sanctified and redeemed by Christ in my life and all I can feel is exhausted. but im in this new place and it feels so dry and the air feels heavy and everything around me is one big blur cuz its happening so fast and I cant quite process it all. But it doesnt matter cuz God is faithful....too faithful to let me sit in the midst of noise and not hear the sweet sound of his whisper. 

he is telling me to stop trying to hear him and listen, to trust in the things he has told me and continues to tell me...
Psalms 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you"

Listen Brittany, shut up and listen.

So i do, and I hear him telling me he knows the internal battle I'm fighting and He tells me that his grace cleanses all sin, even in the middle of it. He tells me to stop it. Just stop...that I have been prideful and judgemental...then he reassures me that he is God, and he has still not lost control. Despite all these things being true, I wanted more......don't we all.

unfinished thought.