The Eyes of a King

A scene emerges in my mind’s eye…

A skater dressed in perfect white emerges onto a lake covered by ice and dense fog.

Her eyes can see nothing, but she can hear a sound…

What is this incense of sound?

Music,

Sweet music…

It surrounds her, calling to her, beckoning her to begin a dance within mystery for the Divine.

Impulsively she begins to move; the blades of her skates are sharp, she can hear them cutting and marking the ice beneath her.

She feels strong, like a Stallion released from captivity back into the wild, she cannot stop; her soul is on fire with passion for the One who created her.

Stroke by stroke her skates lead her deeper and deeper into the mystery of Eternal love and Truth. She is intense and free, dancing for the eyes of The King, her King.

The fog symbolic of what she cannot describe or see, the unreachable depths of the heart of her King of love.

The music, His gift to awaken her soul to His presence and life.

The skater moves unhindered, she is beyond grasp of stopping hand, the ice her borderless place of expression.

Freedom.

Beauty.

Passion.

For the eyes of a King, her King…

The King of the whole earth.

 

“The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting . Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth” (Psalm 50:1-2).

The Voice of God

Our cries to hear the voice of God must become less about our desire for sight and touch of the obvious and more about the positioning and conditioning of our soul to hear the sound and message of God’s low whispers.

“(Elijah)…came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him,”What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your alters, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And He said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, BUT THE LORD WAS NOT IN THE WIND. And after the wind an earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, BUT THE LORD WAS NOT IN THE FIRE. And after the fire the sound of a low WHISPER. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said…”
(1 Kings 19:9-13).

Language of Heaven

How silent the heavens would be if all the stars suddenly disappeared…

“To whom will you compare Me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up our eyes and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power NOT ONE is missing.” (Isaiah 40:25-26)

Today

The birds were all “twitterpated” today! It was as though the sunshine and spring blossoms pumped their wings and beaks with steroids! Their chirping choir was music to my ears! (I think birds must be part of the music of heaven).

There were no complaints comin’ from this gal as I trudged around my city in my oversized wool sweater, jeans, desert boots and back pack! My heart was so full of wonder and praise of my Creator; thankfulness was bouncing off my tongue like raindrops on a leaf.

What a gift one day is to an awakened soul…! Thank you God for life! Thank you for a sabbath day, for permission to lay work aside and celebrate a day like the birds!(Does that make me a “bird-brain”?).

Days like today serve as a tangible reminder of a few things (okay four)…

One: thankfulness and praise to God for the little things bring great peace and joy!

Two: A Sabbath rest is a commandment given by God and not a suggestion!

Three: Sunshine stirs a song in birds.

Four: The visuals of the earth giving birth to new life are symbolic of the hope of new beginnings (how do flowers know when it’s time to burst forth? How do leaves know when to “pop”?? Who set the alarm clock for the hybernating bear to awaken and make babies?).

Just some thoughts from my today!

I am so thankful that I am a created being; I was thought of and planned and designed; my life is not random “plop”, I was God’s intention for a purpose of His own shaping…how INCREDIBLE is that?

Makes me want to skip…or fly and chirp like a bird! (okay maybe not chirp).

I close off with inspired, life changing Words:

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; For He is our God and we are the sheep of His pasture, the flock under His care” (Psalm 95:6-7).

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness:
come before Him with joyful songs… (maybe that is what the birds are up to?)
KNOW that the Lord IS GOD.
IT IS HE whe made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100).

The Tomato Plant

I was sitting on our couch one sunny morning looking out our patio doors, when I noticed a peculiar sight.

A large ceramic planter boasting a very brown and dead tomato vine, from which hung 3 very red tomatoes.

How does that work I wondered?

The question motivated me to get off the couch to take a closer look.

Another question emerged onto the scene of my fuzzy morning mind: what becomes of the tomato if no one picks it from the vine?

The fuzz disappeared as my heart was jolted by the words of Jesus:

“Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is PLENTIFUL, but the laborers
are FEW; therefore PRAY EARNESTLY to The Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37).

In other words…there are SO MANY RIPE TOMATOES OUT THERE BUT NOT ENOUGH “PICKERS”!!

I was reminded also of what Jesus said about the ripened harvest in John chapter four:

“Do you not say, ‘There are four months, then comes the harvest’? LOOK, I
tell you, lift up your eyes and SEE that the fields are white for harvest”
(vs.35).

The harvest is ready…

Where is everyone?

What happens if there is no one to pick the fruit?

The hills are beckoning

Notes from my Red Canoe

Psalm 121:

” I lift up my eyes to the hills.From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; He who KEEPS you will not slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your KEEPER; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will KEEP you from all evil; He will KEEP your life.

The LORD will KEEP your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more.”

One of the dictionary’s meanings of the word “KEEP-ER” is: “a person charged with responsibility for the preservation and conseveration of something valuable.”

WOW! This whole psalm breathes this truth to me this morning, and I draw great comfort from it!

Think upon this; in verse two it…

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What Gospel Changes Me?

He’s dead.

In an instant his life was taken from us.

A tragic accident.

His life created waves of wonder and renewed desire to follow Jesus with abandon.

He had a resident fire in his soul; A fire that raged with love for Jesus…

And He was given a platform of influence from the Most High God.

He influenced me, impacted me.

His name?

Michael Yaconelli.

Recently I reread his book titled “Dangerous Wonder” (1998,2003 Navpress); Yaconelli quotes John Claypool as saying, “Those who are really serious about their religion and want to become the kind of person that God wants them to be are the ones most in danger.”; Yaconelli continues writing from his own heart, ” I am beginning to wonder if we modern followers of Christ are capable of being terrified by God. No fear of God. No fear of Jesus. No fear of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have ended up with a feel good gospel that attracts thousands…but transforms no one” (Pg.125).

…..
In reviewing my own personal journal from this past summer I have been reminded (though I didn’t need reminding as my journey’s footprints are still quite fresh) of this ongoing transformation…
Too quote my own words from an entry made on July 9,2014: (with a few added words from today!):

“Does anyone really know what it means to carry one’s own cross? Have we really understood what it entails to lay one’s life down to follow Jesus?

The gospel is so remarkably simple and yet the depths of it are like the ocean crying out to the deep in me to plunge into the waterfall of it’s truth, but that plunge is not an easy one to take.

O God it hurts, the flesh cries out for itself to be fed constantly with comfort and ease.

It hurts the flesh; It costs; Payment is taken from the places that are cherished and fostered.

To those who do not truly love, this sounds like the cruelest form of life and yet it is where living water springs from, it is where love abundant lives.

I am on an island; Away from my familiar world (I was in Hawaii at the time of this writing) and am wrestling with what I sense my future may ask of me.

Oswald Sanders in his book “Spiritual Leadership writes:
‘Jesus was too straight forward and honest to conceal the cost in the service of the Kingdom. For the fulfillment of the stupendous task entrusted to Him, He needed men and women of quality with eyes wide open, who would follow Him to the death’ (pg. 26).

And in the words of Jesus:
‘And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would SAVE his life WILL lose it, but whoever LOSES his life for MY SAKE and the gospels’ will SAVE it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his SOUL?’ (Mark 8:34).

What does it “profit me”? To gain what I will eventually lose this side of eternity?

Is is really a cost to me to trade in my life for the life of Jesus?

The One who died for me, because He loved me, so that He would LIVE in me? So that I WILL LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM?”

….

Can I encourage you to lean into the soul wrestle of dying to your will? Would you allow the Spirit of God to peel away the layers of your “deep” so that the power of God, His gospel, Jesus Christ, may live more fully within you?

I can testify that this summer was soul brutal for me as God revealed places within me that were not yet His (yet again!!), I spent many a sleepless night wrestling long into the darkness, fighting like the prince in the movie “Sleeping Beauty”, slashing away thorns that blocked my path to the castle, to the Lover of my soul…I would not be stopped, refusing to dabble in unbelief, so desirous was I that Jesus would have His way with my will.

Honesty goes a long way to encourage others, so I offer my honesty to you: It was “My” time, “my” grandchildren, “my” unwillingness to follow Jesus without reservation, and the fear of man that was entangling my soul, feeding the fight in me, and ultimately quenching the Spirit of God from leading me into the arms of Jesus.

Why did I wrestle so hard?

I did not want to give up “my” life; “my” treasures were “my” treasures.

These words sound so wicked even as I write them now, they sound like broken glass on a concrete floor, and the shattering brings a form of sorrow as I realize how easy it is to become daft to one’s own heart.

O Jesus YOU alone are my treasure.

“For WHERE your treasure is, THERE your heart will be also” (Matt.6:21).

“God, harden me against myself,
The coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joy.
Myself, arch traitor to myself,
My hollowest friend,
My deadliest foe,
My clog, whatever I go.”
-Amy Wilson Carmichael