Saturday, November 19, 2011

We Have This Treasure...

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
II Corinthians 4:7

There are people and ministries that I admire from a distance.  Their examples inspire me in my walk with God.  But I know that if I were to get close to them I'd find out they are imperfectly human just like me.  Up close their flaws would be more evident.  That reality is a comfort and encouragement to me.  It means that God can still do great things through my life even though I am an "earthen vessel."  It means I don't have to be perfect to be effective.

The glory of the gospel is that God reveals Himself through us, such imperfect creatures that we are.  We have this treasure...  His power is made perfect in our weakness.

I am a cracked pot.  A broken vessel.  I have been marred in the potter's hands.  I have scars.  I have "issues" I'm still trying to overcome.  I still have struggles with weakness and battle temptations.

I am thankful for the people in my life who think of me more highly than they ought to.  They praise me for the good things they see in my life.  I need that encouragement cause I tend to get down on myself easily.  For those closer to me, I am thankful that they overlook my flaws and still love me the way that I am.  They have a more realistic view of the jar of clay that I am.  Yet, they love me anyways, thank the Lord.

Jesus was the only perfect man.  He will only always ever be the only perfect man.  So we fix our eyes and our faith on the Perfect One.  We worship Him in His perfect glory and our lives; our broken, scarred, tattered earthen vessels become a reflection of His glory for the world to see.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Power of Vision

I just got back from the Light of Life International (LOLI) annual banquet.  I am always inspired to be around the people of LOLI.  It is thrilling to be part of a cause that is bigger than myself and has eternal significance.  It is amazing what can be accomplished when people join together with one common goal and purpose:  To reach the world for Jesus.

A major part of the LOLI banquet is where Stephen Evans casts the vision for the ministry.  It is a big vision.  I like big visions.  Really, any God-inspired vision is a  BIG vision.  A friend of mine used to say something like, "God has no insignificant plans and no insignificant people."  I believe that is definitely true.  Whatever God has called you to do is significant because God never calls us to insignificance.  You may not be called to organize crusades in Central America.  But God's kingdom purpose for you, whatever that looks like, is SIGNIFICANT.

Tonight Stephen said he would rather take a risk for God and fail then take no risk at all.  That goes in line with something I feel God has been speaking to me this year.  Part of what God has been speaking to me has been inspired and encouraged by a few books I've read:

If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg
Reaching Your Dreams by Tommy Barnett, and
Launch Out Into the Deep by Mark Rutland (read twice)

I think I was drawn to these titles due to a deep longing in my heart to live a life that is significant for God and a deep dissatisfaction with where I have been at in my life's journey.  I want my life to count for eternity.  So often it seems I am caught up in the things of this world, distracted by my own problems, struggling with my own "issues" - in all of this I don't want to lose sight of the deep call of God.  I want to live out to the fullest all that God has called me to do.  "...Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14)

Part of our faithwalk with God calls for stepping out of the boat and taking a "risk" for God.  Could we fail?  Sure, we could.  But I have more confidence in God's ability to uphold and sustain because I know that a true vision from God brings with it His power to accomplish all He calls us to do.  

Perhaps there is a vision in your heart.  God gave you a picture of the possible.  Maybe it has stirred for years, but you have not sensed God's timing until now.  But now you feel the Spirit stirring your heart, prompting you to launch out.  May your faith find wings and may you soar with the Spirit!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sadness

father, I come here, I come here looking for you
mother, I’m longing, longing to hold on to you
sister, I’ve fallen, I reach my hands out to you
brother, I’m speaking, I want to talk more deeply with you
it’s been a long time, still waiting
for the dream of my heart to be real
in the sadness of these moments, I’m thinking of you
because it’s been so long since I held you
so long since I felt your affections
your lips pressed against mine
now I’m aching for you, longing to hold you
to feel your arms around me and you within mine
in a quiet, wind blown meadow
I can hear and feel the hush of the flowers
as silence is their companion too
I’m at peace, just walking with you
but in that moment of brokenness
I am like the flower that has wilted
the lily of the field that has been trampled
the daisy that has lost its petals
I cry out in my brokenness
that the mountains would fall on me
how can I speak?  how can I dream?
how can I make a sound but the sound of sighing
like the train that has come home
the only sound is the sound of the steam, released
release I pray, release me from this cage
to once again hear the sound of joy and laughter
may the bones you have crushed, once again, rejoice
may they know the love of the moment
standing under the waterfall
gazing quietly by a fire on the beach
drifting like the deer, gliding through the trees
in the stillness of night I gaze at the moon
in these mountains, I see, the stars are so close
my soul weighed down, so I pray
don’t let the moon fall on me, crush me in its grasp
I am here, but the world is unaware
I came here, alone, I wish I could say not lonely
I came here to find my heart, to discover my soul
my heart is like the ocean, deep waters
who can know it, who can find it
there is so much more there, than what lies on the surface
but so often it seems, the surface things are in control
is there a brand new repentance
like the fresh dew of morning
or the fading sunlight of the evening
like the sound of the stream, gurgling past me
I hear the wind is calling, calling me, to sleep
to find myself in another place, a distant land, distant shore
somewhere on the other side of the earth
a place where there is only peace

Prayer Equals Peace

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow...