Blessed are those that Weep

1623452_10155695601835277_4996576982935898503_n[1]I always believe words fail, specially in times of grief. I don’t think we can articulate the feelings and emotions that arise during great losses, and great joys. Words are to often soon forgotten and never really pondered. But when words are all you have, you have to make do.
We lost a precious soul out of our lives. We are still trying to figure out how to grieve. What was a staple, a sure thing, is gone leaving nothing to hold onto in its absences. For a brief time, a few short years, 5 to be exact, this woman came into our lives thru our best friend and “godfather” figure to our boys. She was the anchor that could hold up during the storm tossed years of my friends life. She was the sail that the spirit could blow into and push the ship in the right 293121_1495268959882_4486445_n[1]direction. She was the tie that bound everything together, causing us on different continents to be equally yoked together.

Her Passing has now left a big hole with lots of questions, fears, and doubts. Not that we have given up, but that for a time we are under some great dark storm wondering when the clouds will break and we will see the sun. Things have changed…

39279_4866780075768_1796011106_n[1]What I have seen, what I have heard, and what I have been apart of is something so great, so pure, and so beyond most understanding, I now try to write about. I am trying to pen that which is hard for me to understand. I am trying to give meaning to what I have experienced, or bring out the life and beauty that I got to see.

Her husband, a childhood friend, a missionary, a teacher, an actor, who seem to be on some epic journey all the time, now was apart of the greatest friendship he has ever known. He has now taught us all a lesson I hope we never have to play out. He showed us that even in this journey of a life time, things don’t work out like you plan them, as if you are on a stage directing.

1623452_10155695601835277_4996576982935898503_n[1]We watched as he cared for his bride like Christ did for the church. We all watched as he loved unconditionally thru sickness and in health. We stood in awe, as we marveled in how they fought the good fight of faith together thru all her trials, tests, and disappointments. We were able to rejoice in the small accomplishments, relish in the brief periods of health.

They took not only my wife and I, but also our kids, our youth, and those close to us on the journey with them. They included all who wanted to be apart. Never giving much detail, but always enough to keep the game afoot. See, they were on this journey, this adventure of a life time, together and were gathering an audience to watch it unfold. They spoke to those around them the word of life. They spoke to the hearts and souls of all who would listen, wither encouragement or rebuke……10155102_10201959115002806_963372281677186987_n[1]

Not having kids of their own, I believe they felt the life from ours and yearned to pass on the wisdom and knowledge they had gathered. And once they were in your life, they usually stayed there. Specially our house.. it seemed to be an oasis for them when they came to the states. Almost like a tourist attraction, or some great monument. They would have to come over to see everyone. Games would always be included in this session. Specially with our boys.

13173413_10201894580564350_2548772490487510419_o[1]Jason seemed to always take the boys somewhere special, maybe not physically, but mentally, and I believe hopefully spiritually as well. He would have these outlandish adventures planned in his head, stories to go along with them, as he would come by the house snag the boys and run off on what every awaited them. (Usually getting lost, or loosing something and always coming back with Poison Ivy!)

But now, the story has changed. The plot has taken on a different twist. One we13606979_10202146264496291_2514927556947693300_n[1] all knew was possible, but never believing it would happen. My friend loses the love of his life, to the fight of her life with cancer. We instantly feel the sting and tearing of our souls. The crushing weight of sadness clothes us like a robe, wrapped around our bodies, tied around our waist and the hood pulled over our throbbing heads. The looming clouds we once saw from a distance are now over head, and for this time we embrace the dark night of the soul.

The words we know are true, “this too shall pass,” but right now not willing for them to, nor asking for it. Right now we will dwell in the house of mourning, for it is better than the house of Joy. And we will consider it more blessed to weep.. For there is a time for everything under the sun, and right now we are where we are..

404248_3386226622857_1488557035_n[1]As I sit to write, thinking of the last year, all that has happened, all that we have been thru together, what I have witnessed and seen, I wonder if I can do it justice in writing.

I watched a husband love his wife, exactly like Christ loved us. I watched as he sacrificed time, effort, comfort, but not joy, to make her life better. I watched as he kept his vows of marriage to the letter! “Thru sickness and in health, till death do we part.” He stood by her bed, nurtured and cared for her every need. They would watch their tv shows, continue to read their book together, as if nothing was changing. As a husband, I feel this deeply, as a friend I admire and honor such sacrifice. (Though it’s not a sacrifice at all to be with the one you love.)

My friend has shown me so much of our Heavenly Father’s love. He has13735345_10208815375435323_1711023246_n demonstrated to us what it is to lay down your life for your friends. He has modeled honor, love, endurance, and a character that most people can only read about.

Romans 5 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope! And Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His Love into our hearts..”
This I know is true, as I have seen and bare witness to these thru this dark time. I know hope does not disappoint.. I know that her suffering has produced so much character and perseverance, and when you have these qualities you will never stop bearing fruit.

But for now, it is “Blessed are those that mourn, They shall be comforted.” Now is the time we understand, “Better to dwell in the house of Mourning than in the house of feasting.” For there is a time for everything under the sun, and now it is the time of Mourning. A Time of reflecting on the memories we have so taken for granted, the Times we have ventured into journeys that have swept us up from our lives here in Decatur and has taken us across the oceans many times.
1932395_10203556865870659_805101209_n[1]Her life was infectious and contagious. It was easy to get caught up in the journey they were on. Sometimes we would go kicking and screaming, but always it would end in great joy. She taught us to see the world. Her husband showed us how to love thru the toughest of conditions.. And these are never to be taken lightly.

We are molded and changed by the places we go and the people we meet. And when people like her speak into your life deeply, you are changed. We are changed. Forever and Always. We now will hope and hope doesn’t 404285_3386283184271_686674125_n[1]disappoint. We will hope for the day when we will all be free from this bondage of flesh and bone, to love freely. To celebrate once again with each other in the Great Eternity where death will be swallowed up in Life. And The Sting of Death will no more pierce our hearts..

We have this hope!

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Back in the States, Back Home

We are back from ou1525706_620665411392561_6960443412202265789_nr 7 month Mission Trip. We left pretty much everything to go seek God in a different context, in a different culture, to find more of His heart. Being back people have asked, “How was it? Good?” or they would make a comment, “Glad your back.”  Some have asked, “What is it like being back?”

These are meaningful questions, made in somewhat sincerity, but things are not that simple as to respond with one or two words. There is not a simple answer nor response for even the comment, “Glad you’re back.”  Our hearts swell with experiences, and thoughts that swim inside us. How can we let them out? Share them? Who really wants to listen and not to be just polite?

What was it like for Jesus to go back home? Ever thought about it? He was constantly traveling around the country10991152_829572157115485_3403580132156737247_n speaking, teaching, healing, and on occasion would come to his home town.. Was He excited to see those He knew and grew up with? Did He have friends He would see? School Buddies? What about His own family..? Here is what we ready about His own family.

When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, “He’s out of His mind.” Mark 3:2

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” Mark 6:4

10428493_357767687742531_2838769125749831671_nNot the welcome you would expect.. Not the welcome we would expect from those closest.  Isn’t it so true though?? Those closest to us are often the ones that misunderstand us the most.. Those who should hold our hearts the softest, feeding our spirits the most, providing that place of safety are often the ones to be the quickest to judge, condemn, cast the first stone, and be the most critical.

 “He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. “

Jesus knew this.. He understood it. But I am sure the pain is still there. For He was “Tempted in all parts as we.” Clothing himself in humanity he felt the pangs of betrayal, forsakenness, and loneliness.. And maybe, just maybe he walked these road willingly knowing that our hearts are fickle. Our passions are fleeting..

My heart is fickle.. My passion is fleeting.. I keep hearing this song, “If I give it all to You will You make it all New? 11030721_359721387547161_1543518241562160715_nAnd If I open up my hands will You fill them again??”  I am asking. Wondering, Searching.. I am holding out my empty hands, hoping they will be filled again.  I am giving my heart away, hoping it will be made new.  My passion is fleeting, and I look once again to the scriptures to make sense of my life, seeing that even now, I am understood.  I have one who was tempted in every way.

I will rest.. Not in the comfort of others, for they like me, are fleeting. Not in the joy of sharing my heart, for few who want to hear it..  But I will rest that somehow this will all make sense and the Author has not finished writing out my story/

The Gift and the Giver; The Wounded and the Healer

Greek Lexicon Dictionary describes, Poor:  Lowly, Afflicted, Helpless, Powerless to accomplish an end. Needy, Destitute of Learning, and intellectual culture which schools afford..

10410346_10203188301371697_2009518573677219694_n  This is the status Jesus says, “are Blessed for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  I am learning. I do not believe I have arrived at any great level of spirituality, or mastery of humility. I am a beggar.. At best I am one beggar searching, reaching out, telling other beggars where I have found my bread.
I am in Romania, and have been for a month. I am blessed to have a friend, (yes, I have a few) back in the States who sends me gifts of love, wither it be  calendars from our Wise County  Special Needs 10665673_4865517013977_1804372794240547433_nBaseball group, books, or money to get a coffee machine, (Which I am enjoying every day. With each cup brewed, a pray goes out, a song of thanksgiving is sung, and a praise is given with each sip..) And recently I received such a gift, A book, “Hope Rising”…  There is something more, more than just a book or a gift, this is a piece of the giver’s heart. A portion of the soul that has been silenced. Maybe a dream that has laid dormant, thought dead..at least in a coma.. yet life is still pulsating; for the giver has awakened! That which has been long forgotten, like the spring colors in harsh winters, now is being revived, and in doing so stirs my heart from the other side of the world.
The book is a collection of stories by Kim Meeder, who ran a ranch that rescued horses, and also the dreams of bruised and broken children. The stories consist of the rescuing of abused horses, some near death.. Nourished and loved back to life, she uses these horses, with all their flaws, scars, and hurts to touch the lives of children who have experienced the same. (Truly gut wrenching!  I fight back the tears from each story, yet some seep out anyways.)  How one woman, thru her tragedy, experienced a healing that she had never known was possible, in turn uses that to heal those even less fortunate than herself.. The Poor, Afflicted, Needy, Powerless.. 10603295_10203188313171992_8620116942370717594_nThose whom “belong the kingdom of God.” From the ashes of her childhood, came a strength, a love and a passion to heal others. (Wounded people wound people. Hurting people Hurt People, yet, thru healing, forgiveness, and love, one can become the wounded healer.)  It is thru our brokenness, our wounds, that we are able to heal others thru our comfort, our touch, and our words.
Sometimes it is in the small gifts that great things are given.  The small touches that healing begins.. Through the words, though few, breathe life on those who hear them.. feel them. When words are spoken breath is given, air flows, and from it springs life. Like the fresh ran on the hard ground, our word fall, bouncing off, running off, flowing down the streets and gutters, in what seems to be a waste of water. A Waste of Words.. A waste of touch, or  Action… But gradually the ground softens. The heart gives way to the life-giving flood.  Soon that which was hard, cracked and broken becomes soft. Becomes moldable.. Seeds take root. The words sink in deeper. The touch no long calloused, crushing the clods of dirt, but smoothing over the cracks and filling in where there is lack. The soil is now receptive. The soul is now available.
Healing begins..  I don’t rescue horses.. I am for the most part, afraid of them. I do not have a ranch to take in kids. 10629610_10203188303251744_7860442585774683149_n(Though this would be awesome.)  But like the horses, others, I do have my own wounds, hurts, scars, and the ground of my soil, soul, is pretty broken.  I Am Poor.  I am not looking to escape the reality of my poverty, only trying to find a way to allow my brokenness to be the healing for other dried and parched soils, souls….
I am in Romania.. I am in the land of Gypsies.. Not unlike other countries who have refugees, immigrants, the poor and destitute, those whom society looks down on.  I have been blessed, not that I am rich in any means.. But as Paul writes, I am “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing,  yet possessing everything.” To them, I am rich.. To them I am always rejoicing.. Having 10389478_10203188315132041_2286161059834442065_nnothing only that which is given to me, I give in hopes of making their lives richer, fuller, giving hope and life.
If I want to identify with Jesus, I must be willing to give.  I must become less, that they may become more. It’s ok for me to experience sorrow for now that they may know joy and rejoicing. I do not need to hide my wounds, for they are the doorway the souls of those around me can come in and find rest for their soul.  It is thru my poverty that I get to see the Kingdom of Heaven.  To see children the world considers unclean. Parched, dried, clay that can be brought to life, to 1385536_4913694738390_6930289569160502100_nform and purpose thru watering.. What others discard, abuse, wound, and curse, God takes and writes His story of Grace..
I am a beggar, like these kids.. I am no better.  If you give to me, to us, your gift of love is not taken lightly. If you cannot give more, or as often, we know the littlest gifts sometime have the biggest blessings.
I am a beggar, trying to work with other beggars, sharing my bread. I Am a Wounded Healer..  Sharing my heart I have received a blessing. I have received the gift of love, and gotten to see glimpse of a wounded soul who is using it to heal those less fortunate.

I am Not an Artist

321544_283459298331271_2144643561_nto bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”  Isaiah 61:3

I am not an artist.  I hope, maybe, for a short time the screen is my canvas, the words I write are strokes of the brush across the canvas. Maybe, my metaphors and analogies would be used to shade in the areas and highlight the changing of hues. However, I am not an artist. I am sojourner. A Wanderer if you will, a journeyman looking for the infamous “lost city of gold.”

Maybe, you too are on such a trek. You feel not lost, but not home, estranged. You may feel like nothing is 5272b6d8e34311e2bd6422000a9f12df_6familiar; your friends are not close, but at a distance. Your family, well, you’re just misunderstood. Life??  It’s not figured out, but one thing, for sure, you long for meaning.. It’s a journey.  Maybe like myself, you are a stranger, an alien where you are, looking for your place. Life is a journey.

All journeys have a starting point and often a goal, or end in mind. They begin with an idea of doing, going, or accomplishing something; the something is always the purpose and drive of the journey.  I think at times about my life, this journey I am on, this path I walk, it is toward a goal, it has a purpose. At times, I know that it seems to be void of purpose, unclear of direction, marked by failure and uncertainty.  I am not like Jesus who said, “I have been born and have come into the world for this reason”.  I don’t have the end written out before hand. I rarely know what is around the next corner, yet I do have a purpose, a reason, or at least an idea of what I would like to accomplish.

10440290_4384670593117_3432131131806411540_n  I am not an artist, but I feel like I struggle like one. Being expressive comes with being misunderstood, viewed with skepticism and uncertainty; being clothed with cynicism (doubt and mistrust).  I am not an artist, yet like one, I am marked by a loneliness even though surrounded by people. In a way, maybe I am like Jesus. Maybe He too felt the weight of the journey while traveling with others,( 12 disciples, among 72 others) but always knowing what it is to be misunderstood..  Knowing isolation even around close friends.  Peter, “followed at a distance.”

I am not an artist, per say, yet my life is my art. It is my poetry, written for all to read and feel. Maybe just in part, some a few verses.. while others in longer sonnets..  My ministry is my sculpture, that which I carve out what I see in others.  Where others see deadness, dull wood, or a lump of clay, I hope to pour freshness, to fashion that which it was meant to be. Like any sculptor,  I want to bring to life out of the deadness, to sculpt and cut away all that is not useful, and form something of beauty where others see nothing.  In all this, I pray that my walk leaves a melody for others to hum. A tune for some to sing. Maybe someone will see the beauty in the work.. a story from the art that is to be told in the hues of 10458352_4388181480887_7833496888818547034_nwords and the lives of those it touches.

I am a sojourner. I am here temporarily.  I am a stranger and an alien to most places. I am not home yet. I have not made it to the celestial city. The Painting isn’t finished. The strokes have not blended it’s colors to show the full picture, nor the clay been formed. There are words yet to be spoken.  Strokes of the keys to convey a sense, a feeling. The screen is my canvas. My life, poetry to be versed. My purpose?? To bring beauty instead of ashes…

Seeing Dimly

xxHbS-DvXKfZ_B8AOc48tQN27gZq4PoUWtRTCC5aubE1 Corinthians 13:12 “We see through a mirror dimly.”

Have you ever seen the Lion King? It’s a story about a lion cub, Simba, who is to be the king of the pride, but the king’s brother, Scar, kills the king, Mufasa, and tricks Simba into believing it’s his fault Mufasa died. So, Simba runs away in shame, and for fear, grows up thinking all along he is to blame and in doing so forsaking his right to be king.
Well, it’s after he has grown up that he runs in to a baboon, Rafiki, who knew his father, and tells Simba his father is still alive. So, he takes Simba to a pool and tells Simba to look and he will see his father. Simba leans over and in the moonlight he sees his own reflection in the water. He is let down not seeing his father, but Rafiki tells him to look harder.. When he does, something happens. Suddenly, his father appears.  What his father tells him changes the course of his life and the destiny of others. His father tells him,You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become.”
I believe this is us today. The Church. (The People, not the building..) We have Y5rbrAISndwEExU67KWC2SkqxxbTEzR4ZpwGlk_RyNMforgotten who we are, and in so doing have forgotten the King, whose image we bear. I think we have had our identity stolen from us and with that our future and hope. We were made for so much more than what we have become. I believe we need to go back and look in the mirror. I know we see thru it “dimly”, but if we take our hands, clear the fog that has so clouded our vision, and understand what has been given to us.. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world (2 Peter1:3-4)
For to long the theif has come and stolen from us, killed our hopes, and stolen what was promised to us. As Simba did in the movie so have we.. We have run away in shame and hid in fear. In fact it was Adam and Eve who were the first to run and hide. After Satan, the serpant, the theif, stole their identity and took their dominion, their promises, and their happiness away making them less than who they were meant to be. God came to the garden to walk and talk with Adam and Eve and when they heard Him they hid and God called out to them. Adam responded, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
 156264_2176707435418_1687645710_n  When satan came he took our identities and made us afraid and every since then God has had to remind us not to be afraid, who He is, and whose we are .. (the phrases “Fear Not,” or “Do not Be Afraid,” are used 365 times in the bible. Think that’s an accident?) We have become a fear driven people. We are looking for our identity in the kind of car we drive, the size of house we have, the type of clothes we wear, where we go to school, and who our friends are. We lean on all these things because we have forgotten who we are and whose we are. We are looking through a fogged up mirror and we can’t tell who we look like. When all along we have been created in God’s Image. Bearing His Likeness.. In Genesis 1:26-27 Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,and over all the creatures that move along the ground.So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
   This has not changed.. We have only forgotten. We have had it stolen from us. Romans 8:17 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” We have had our vision clouded. We have allowed this world and satan to tell us who we are. We have not seen ourselves with a spiritual vision that is required, because satan took it from us in the garden with Adam and Eve.. James 1:23-24 says For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”  We need our eyes opened. Paul writes in Ephesians “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope 389271_2176425668374_991331623_nto which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. And 1 Corinthians 1:24 “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”
   I think we are looking “thru a mirror dimly.” I believe we have looked at the mirror and “walked away and at once forgotten what (we) are like.” I think we are “more than what (we) have become.” I believe we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises that we may pertake of the divine nature.” I Believe God is saying what Mufasa told Simba, “You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me.”

Deep Calls to Deep

188772_1631520031209_5200802_nDeep calls out to deep ..all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalms 42:7
What is it about water that draws me? The sound of the waves rolling ashore? The crashing of the water on the banks when a strong waves rolls in? The Bible has a lot of references to water. Jesus walked on the water. He even bid Peter to come to him on the water. He calmed the storm, and the sea and wind obeyed Him.. Matthew 14 tells the story.

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land,c beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28And Peter answered him,“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on 425504_529386667071865_1504045061_nthe water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

There is a song “Not as Strong as We Think We Are” and there is a verse that goes
When you love you walk on the water
Just don’t stumble on the waves
We all want to go there somethin awful
But to stand there it takes some grace” – Rich Mullins

tumblr_metgdu0jBO1rxhzzpo1_1280I think we, like Peter, want to get out of the norm, away from what we are doing to go do that which God is calling us to do.. Or To be, which is with Him. To be Loved.
   What do you think it was like for Peter? It wasn’t day, it was night. The waves were crashing hard. It actually says the boat was being “beaten” by the waves. And Jesus comes walking on the water with all this and Peter does what any normal person would do, he asks “If it is you Lord, let me come.” What would posses a person to get out of a boat during a storm? What would make someone climb out of a boat to what looks like a Ghost walking on the water at night?
    Maybe, I don’t know, but maybe Peter was longing for something.. Maybe he was searching for an experience. Maybe he was wanting acceptance. Belonging.. Purpose. A higher calling.. Maybe we are a lot like Peter. Just maybe we feel we are made for something different than to just sit on the banks dipping our feet into the water. There is a longing that even wading in the water isn’t satisfying. Maybe we are even more daring and wanting to get into the boat and push away from the shore. Maybe the Deep is calling us. We are searching… Searching for the next thing, our purpose. Our Calling.. To be loved.
   This is true even in my pursuit of God. I believe I am called to do something. Something with in me is a 1004748_3239923215148_1553299472_nwanting, a wanting to get off the shore of just existing and onto the waters of God’s purpose and plan. I want to set my boat in the direction of eternity. I need Fulfillment. Purpose. Love. “The Deep calls out to the Deep,” and deep inside of me there is a hunger, a longing to be apart of something greater. God calls us out, and bids us to come. His love is there. This is why I believe Paul Wrote, “The height, depth, and breath of the love of God.” Solomon wrote about His love, “Your waves have swept over me.. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)This love is what some have called the “reckless raging fury, we call the love of God.” It is scary. How deep is it? Will the boat stay afloat? How big will the waves really get?
We all want to go there somethin awful, but to stand there takes some grace.”
   It is on the waters that we feel the fury of the wind. It is sometimes in the roughest waters we find what we are looking for. Pushed away from the shore of stability, away from the harbor of safety and comfort, we go out into the deep. It is the deep that calls us. There is something out past the banks, just something beyond where our feet can wade that we have to get away from, that which is sure and steady. To stand when the waves crash, here we learn trust. Few got into the boat, and only one stepped out of that into the unknown. Here we learn what it means to be that lonely sailor. Very few ever get in the boat. Some will wait by the shore for your return, some to jeer and others to see what happens, others to hear the stories, but if we want to know what is out in the deep we must go to where our feet can not wander. We will have to leave what we know for what is unknown, this is faith. This is what it means to trust. On the shore we have our own strength, but on the waves we are at the mercy of the One who Walks upon the Water, who calms the raging seas, and speaks to the storms to make them be silent. All of which would never have been experienced if on the shores.
420621_10151354021190153_730945152_23273302_1902306621_n    Maybe that is why the deep calls to deep. Inside of us there is a longing for more. We know we were created for something greater. Something of more meaning. Something eternal. Deep calls unto Deep..
   There is a song that has meant so much to me in the last few months and still speaks to me, Oceans-Where Feet May Fail, by Hillsong the lyrics are:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise; My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand, Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

My Heart is Upon the Waters

562862_2325855964038_224558256_n“The Spirit of the Lord hovered above the waters.” Genesis 1:2

Writing is a lot like fishing. I think sometimes we need to sit at the banks of the water with our bait in until something bites. To often we make a few casts and nothing really happens. We may write or blog a few times and nothing seems to flow. We don’t get any bites, so we pack up and move on or quit fishing all together. So this is me dipping my foot in the water, with my line cast out. I am sitting at the bank waiting for what is coming by, even as “the Spirit gives utterance.”
I love fishing. It use to be my favorit hobby. I was never great at it, but loved it. All the complexities of it. All the various methods. Trying to figure out how to catch each species of fish. Every weekend I would spend on a lake somewhere with my friends and family trying to catch fish. Sometimes it was successful and other times not so much. But each trip had its memories. Each trip had its lessons, and it is in these that made it a challenge and an invitation to return and conquer.
I loved being on the water. My spirit was on the water.. I didn’t mind the cold. I didn’t mind rising up early to go. I wanted to be the first on the lake. I wanted to get to my spot early. I wanted to claim my area. I wanted to be in the right place at the right time to catch the most fish in the peak time.
208625_1006683625554_2761212_n I didn’t mind getting wet. I didn’t mind the hours it took. I absolulely loved being on the water. When I was on the boat, time didn’t matter. My schedule of things to do seemed to disappear. Worry. Regrets.. Failures. The cares of this life all seemed to fade away. All that mattered was getting in the right position. Being in the right place. Making the right cast in the area I was aiming for. I miss fishing..
Jesus talked about fishing. Half of his disciples were fishermen. I can so relate to this. Fishing is an interesting metaphor. So many similarities in so much of life can be drawn by comparing fishing to life. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And such we are and such is life.. See, fishing requires patience. Knowledge. Fishing is a skill that can be improved upon. There are various technics, various baits, methods, styles, and types. It is really unlimited and as vast as according to the species you are trying to catch.
The one common theme in fishing though is you have to go. You have to do.. And in this is learning, developing technics, skill, and understanding. You start understanding where to go. What to use. What works. Which bait is preferred. So much to consider, it can be overwhelming. You can be bogged down in all the how to’s and what-nots that you lose the joy of the experience. Fishing should be fun.. Make sense?
I think Christianity is a lot like this. We are called to be Fishers of Men, and there is so much that this involves 377596_2325905485276_1672297566_nand so many methods that we can get lost in the details and understanding that we miss what the joy is.. The joy of going. The joy of doing. This is something that is not to be as much a chore, or drudgery, as much as it is time to spend with our Father, “to be about our Father’s business.” To often we have made it about knowing everything. Understanding all possibilities.. But all knowledge and all understanding will not bring us to the banks of the water and get our lines wet unless we go to where the fish are..
So it is in Going that we are actually doing something. This must be why they refer to this scripture as the Great Commission, “Go you into all the world.” You will never catch a fish if we never go fishing, if we never get our pole out, pack up, and get to the water.. We can have all the knowledge in the world. We can even watch videos, seeing people fish, demonstrating how to do it. Watching “professionals” do it for a living. We can even cheer on our favorite fisherman. But if we never do it we are only spectators, never actually doers and the Bible even tells us to be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” So often we look at the elders, the pastors, deacons, paid people, as the ones who are to “do”.. They are the fishermen, but Jesus calls us to “come”, to “be fishers of men.”
200053_1006683705556_7455236_nWe are to get wet. We are to brave the weather. We are to apply our knowledge and develop our skills so that we may “do”.. If we never “do,” we are mere hearers only and our faith is dead the Bible says. “Faith with out works is DEAD.”
Something interesting about fishing with children is.. When they aren’t catching fish, they start throwing rocks. This too is a metaphor, because when you start throwing rocks it scares the fish and those that are still trying to catch fish will not be able to. I think a lot of times, even we as adults, when we aren’t catching fish we start skipping stones across the water. Maybe not trying to be hurtful, but the results are that it is scaring the fish off. So let us drop our rocks. Let us not cast the stones of doubt. May we not skip the rocks of bitterness, gossip, or slander. Let us hold fast to that which we are called to do. “Let us not become weary of well doing for at the proper time we will reap, “catch” if we do not give up.”

My heart is upon the waters.cropped-392734_329213243755876_100000016098276_1354407_11803992_n.jpg