Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kari's Twelve Days of Christmas Parody

So one of my friends posted this picture on Facebook.

Yeah.  Anybody else in that boat, you're feelin me, right?  So I thought....hey, what this gives me is an excuse for all the presents I buy myself anyway!  If we're honest, I buy myself presents all year long, but since it's Christmas, and since I am quite unattached....

I've decided this calls for a I'm rewriting The Twelve Days of Christmas.  These may or may not be actual items I have bought for myself recently....but it's a great little representation of the things that trip my trigger.  So here you go.  But you have to sing it.  :)

Kari's Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas I bought myself a gift....a hat with a panda bear face.
On the second day of Christmas I bought myself a gift....
How To Train Your Dragon, and a hat with a panda bear face.
On the third day of Christmas I bought myself a gift....
pumpkin spice latte, How To Train Your Dragon, and a hat with a panda bear face.
On the fourth day of Christmas I bought myself a gift....
jeans that fit just right, pumpkin spice latte, How To Train Your Dragon...
and a hat with a panda bear face.
On the fifth day of Christmas I bought myself a gift...
five pounds of chocolate....
jeans that fit just right
pumpkin spice latte
How To Train Your Dragon
and a hat with a panda bear face.

....aaand skipping on to the last verse....

On the twelfth day of Christmas I bought myself a gift...
pumpkin scented candle
purple glittered nail bling
new Aero hoodie
tickets to The Hobbit
coconutty lotion
seven purple gel pens....
New songs on Itunes
Five pounds of chocolate......!
jeans that fit just right
pumpkin spice latte
How To Train Your dragon....

Now the moral of this silly song is that I obviously like to spoil myself  a bit much....and although the way to my heart may be complicated, it most certainly involves chocolate and pumpkin.  :D


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ragged People

Several years ago, I visited Rwanda.  That trip was the birth of this blog!  One of the things I brought back as a remembrance of my time there was a small nativity scene made of African banana leaves. The leaves are skillfully twisted and wrapped to form a hut and the characters of witnesses to the birth of God.

Each year at Christmastime, I have set my African nativity out on the bookshelf in the livingroom. Over time and the antics of a curious little brother who can never leave things alone, the characters have become a bit, well, worn.  

Let's face it, they've been through some trials.  They've been lost behind the bookshelf countless times.  Played with, pulled on, no doubt tossed against some walls now and then.  One is missing an arm.  Parts of the banana leaf robes are torn away.  Joseph can't stand up straight; he has to lean on the edge of the hut.  These are ragged people.  So were the people who came to Jesus.  Shepherds. Fishermen.  Beggars.  Cripples.  The outcasts and refuse of society.  Common laborers.  Uneducated. Tax Collecters.  Shunned.  Lepers.  The dying and the dead.  People barely hanging on to the last shreds of hope.  Adulterers.  Children.  Unwanted.  Unimportant.  Hoards of people with ragged bodies....even more with ragged lives and ragged hearts.  Holding on to the tattered shreds of the life they once dreamed could be theirs.  These are the ones who came to Jesus.  And He came to them. Wrapped Himself in their skin.  In their tattered rags.  In their obscure lives.  Because He wanted to make them whole.  

Today we can feel a bit ragged, worn almost clear through.  And Jesus is speaking to our hearts something like this...."I came for you.  I have always been coming for you.  My wounds make you well.  My brokenness makes you whole.  My death makes you alive.  My surrender makes you free. Come to Me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens...they aren't yours to carry.  I will give you rest.  I will be your rest."

So come, all you ragged people.  Because in Jesus, in our Immanuel?  You are whole.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanks Living

I write in on my arm in permanent marker Thanksgiving Day.  Because I need always to be reminded.

Eucharisteo.  It is a Greek word that means "giving thanks".

It is a compound word made up of the adverb, "eu", which means "to do well, to prosper"....and "charisteo", meaning "to give freely, to give in favor toward".  The root word of "charisteo" is "charis", which means "grace".

In Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts, she delves deeper into the meaning of eucharisteo.  In Luke 22:19, when Jesus shares the last meal with His disciples before His death, we read,  "And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them..."  In the original language, "he gave thanks" reads "eucharisteo".

Eucharisteo holds the Greek word for grace, but it also holds its derivative, the Greek word "chara", meaning "joy".  So we see then that grace and joy are inseparably woven into the fabric of thanksgiving.

On that night when He was to be betrayed, Jesus took the bread and gave thanks.  Knowing this bread was a picture of His body, this wine a picture of His blood, of His life broken and poured out, spilled out for us.  He took this offering of His life, in all its suffering, as a gift from God, as "charis"....grace.  Seeing the "chara", set before Him....the joy of our redemption, of the claiming of His pure and spotless bride.  And He gave thanks.  Eucharisteo.  On His darkest night, Jesus gave thanks.  He opened his eyes and His hands to grace.  He received joy.  And then He told us.

"Do this to remember Me."

Do what?  Eucharisteo.  Give thanks.  See grace.  Find joy.  The only way to live fully right where you are.  The way of those who live in Christ.  And we live in Him because He offered Himself up as our bread, and He gave thanks in His own breaking, and He saw the gift of grace in His pain, and He embraced the coming joy.  This joy our Creator chose for Himself....the restoration of unbroken fellowship with us.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set aside one day a year as a national holiday of giving thanks for the abundant blessings of God on this land and its people.  And it's a fine thing to celebrate with a special day of feasting, fellowship, and worship.  In the Old Testament, God gave the Jewish people special festivals of celebration throughout the year, as times of worship and remembrance.  Sadly, for most Americans, I fear Thanksgiving Day has become a day to celebrate food, football, and the biggest retail holiday of the year.

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus sat around a table with His closest friends, those who did the will of His Father and were thus, as He said, His mother and brothers and sisters.  They shared a special meal of remembrance together, and they passed around the common, everyday elements of bread and wine, symbols of life....and Jesus proclaimed that "as often as you do this....remember Me."  1 Corinthians 11:25.

As often as you eat and drink.  Every day.  Remember.  Every day.  Give thanks.  More than a tradition or a ritual.  It is life to you.  Every day is a day of giving thanks.  A day of living thanks.   And if we don't live our thanks every day?  We aren't really living.

Charis.  Grace.  Open your eyes today and see the gifts, the grace, the undeserved favor of God all around you.  Name them.  Write them down so you'll remember.  On a page,  On a screen.  On the wall.  On your arm.  Count to one thousand and keep going.  Don't stop.  Let the naming of grace, the giving of thanks, be like breathing.

Eucharisteo.  Give thanks.  Wherever you are today.  In the midst of your mess.  Give thanks to God simply for being God.  Give thanks for His life giving you life.  Offer your life back to Him in this moment, even in brokenness.

Chara.  Joy.  The miracle of deep, abiding joy always comes through the embracing of grace and the offering of thanks.  In the presence of God there is fullness of joy.  Psalm 16:11  Joy is God's life.  Joy is your life.  Augustine said, "Without exception...all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy".  God created us for joy.  And we receive that joy when we live fully in Him.

So have a joyful thanksgiving day.  A thanksliving day.  Remember.  Offer.  Celebrate.  Eucharisteo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reflections From The Outlaw Chronicles

I'm reading the Outlaw Chronicles by Ted Dekker.  One of my favorite authors.  He is a master of intrigue and suspense with an unbelievable imagination.  I simply don't have time or words to fittingly describe his writing, only to say that he has connected with me in a way that is helping me see things differently, particularly in this series.  He has a gift of planting deep spiritual truth in mind-bending stories.  I highly recommend his work!

The introduction is just so you can make a bit of sense from what follows.  This is my own reflections and working out with God the reality I'm learning to grasp through Dekker's story.  If you happen to have read the books, you will understand where I'm coming from.  And if not, it just might awaken an appetite!



I am Outlaw.

Dead to the law.  Dead to sin.  Dead to the world.

Alive to the ever-present now of my Father.


My true self is unbound, not held to the flesh or the restraints of time and space.  My true self is seated with Christ in the heavenlies!  I am held in Jesus, He in me, in this eternal now!

I can never be closer to Him than I already am.

He will never let go, never cast me out.  Nothing can ever separate me from Jesus.  I am safe.

I only wear this body, this costume, for a little while.  Time is nothing to my Father God.  The mind of insanity, my dead mind, would keep me blind and deaf to reality.  It screams that my Father does not love me, does not see, does not hear.  That I am of no consequence to Him.  It would keep me ensnared to this flesh and the madness enmeshed in the skin of this world.

But I am Outlaw.  Dead man walking.  The insane self is dead and I do not have to listen to her.  Most of my life, I have listened.  But I have a power that is supernatural.  Not bound by time, space, and flesh.  A power from my Father's dimension.  I can change my mind.  

I have the mind of Christ.  Truth.  Reality.

I am held in Jesus, one with Him in the eternal now.  Metanoia.   Repentance.  To change the mind. Let go of the insane, dead mind.  That one who keeps me confined to the costume.  Clinging to whatever she thinks will save her.  

Because in truth, I am safe.  Everything my dead self thinks is safety and security, everything she thinks she needs?  It's an illusion.  A mirage.  I can walk through any desert, and storm, any fire, any valley of death....and find it to be only a shadow.  I am safe.  Kept forever in my Savior.  Nothing can touch the real me.  Nothing.

I don't need to run into the arms of Jesus for comfort and refuge because I am already there.  In Him. And I can never be taken out of Him.  There are no limits of flesh her.  Time and space mean nothing to Him.  Only the forever now.

I.  Am.  Free.


I will forget.  I do forget.  Every day.  The mists of this world, of the Shadowlands, rise thick before my eyes; the demons scream delusions in my ears.  It lies heavy on me, threatens to drown me.  But only as long as I think that my costume is me.  Only as long as I listen to the mad babblings of my insane self.  

In TRUTH, in my Father's dimension?  I am free.  The troubled sea can only drown me if I allow it. 
I am Outlaw.  I can walk on water.  I can see a hidden dimension.  I can rise above this costume and walk free.

I live in LOVE.  I live in the LIGHT.

And I am light.  Love and light are in me, flowing through and out of me like a mighty river.  There is no dam holding back this river of life.  It is only an illusion.  The only release I need to let the river flow out of me into this to see.  Open my eyes wide, full of light, and see my Father.  See His reality.

The TRUTH will set you free.

Whoever the Son sets free is free indeed!  Free in TRUTH.  No strings attached.  I need only to change my mind and see that I am free.  Nothing holds me back.  Not in Reality.  No law, no costume of flesh, no mist of the Shadowlands.  I am dead.  Outlaw.  Outside the law of sin and death. This world has no power over me!  The evil one has no power over me!  I am with Jesus.  One with my Father.  One with the Spirit of Truth.

I am safe.  I am free.  I am Christ's.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Confessions From The Shadowlands


I'm not entirely sure where this is going today.  This is a spilling out of some of my muddled thoughts.  Trying to put some pieces together.  Aching to make sense.  But it may make no sense to whoever happens to be reading.  At this moment, I am writing because I simply need to write.

Something.  Anything.

Because there is so much inside crying out to be released.  To be opened to the world.  To be heard and to connect with some other heart.

Because I'm on a journey of so many unanswered questions and I'm wrestling and it's messy, like ink spilled all over the page, but writing helps me think.

Because maybe I need the accountability of writing something that someone will read, writing even when I think I have nothing to say, writing if only just to write.

Because it's time to probe the dark recesses of my mind and begin to form art from what lies dormant there, whether rational or irrational.  Something inside me is screaming to write.  It is time to stop pushing that something down and burying it under concrete chunks of doubt, fear, laziness, and this crazy whirl of life.  Maybe nothing makes sense now.  Maybe few will read or understand.  But someday something is going to click.  Someday the message the world needs to hear will come out.  God has put in me a fire that I ignore and squelch at my own peril.  I still don't know what He wants me to do with it.  But I have to do something.

And so I write.  If you are still hanging with me, dear reader, thank you for being so gracious.  Maybe these wanderings of my soul will connect with another soul today.  And maybe not.  Perhaps it will simply be the uncapping of a fountain that has been stopped up for too long.  It is clogged with dirt and dead leaves.  It may take some doing and a great deal of time, but the more the thoughts flow, the cleaner it will come out.  Eventually something of worth will be released.

So here you are.  Welcome to my mind.  I invite you to eavesdrop on the honest grappling of my heart with God today.

King Jesus, You are victorious!  You have overcome the world, death, and the enemy of our souls.

So rip away the illusion in which I live.

Show me how to open my eyes.  Show me how to see.

Help me let go.

I'm living in the Shadow Lands, held captive by illusions of my own greatness and yet, inexplicably intertwined, those also of my worthlessness.  Trapped in my own mind.  Bound by the entitlement complex.  Taken in by whispered delusions of the enemy.  Deceived into a ravenous desire for my own kingdom and glory.

But the kingdom and glory are Yours.

They have never been mine to attain.

Without You.....I am nothing.

Yet Your love chose to make me worth everything You had to give.
Your grace chose to make me a daughter of the Kingdom.
Your goodness allows me to play a part in Your story.

So show me the way to Surrender.  This letting go of who I think I am and what I think I need and what I believe keeps me safe.  This stepping out of my delusional boat of control and security to walk on water with You.  This living in Your is otherworldly.

What I see without faith is only two-dimensional.  Cloaked in shadow.

Jesus, Your reality is 3D!  It is more real than I have ever imagined.  And it is there for any who would see with eyes of light.  Full of light, liberty, and life in abundance!

This is Your kingdom.  This is my destiny.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Little Brother Tales

And now.....a little inspiration from the world of Justin!

Justin is my youngest brother.   My little buddy.  He just turned 9 years old!  He loves his immense toy car collection, his sandbox, the trampoline, Bible stories, playing soccer in the house, yogurt with frozen blueberries, green smoothies, hugs, tickling, and being silly.  He is also specially designed with Down Syndrome.

Did I mention that Justin loves Bible stories?  More specifically, he loves to act out Bible stories.  He is a natural little character.  One of his favorite games to play with his siblings is acting out his favorite Bible stories on the trampoline.  David and Goliath, Joseph and his brothers, Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, Peter and John healing the lame man.....the list goes on.  As a part of his daily school routine, Justin reads, watches, and sometimes performs Bible stories with Mom. 

With the delightful simpleness of a little child, Justin accepts these stories as the truth they are, and he figures, if something worked for Jesus, it ought to work the same for Justin!  Hence the interaction to follow.

This account took place recently on a wet day following some severe thunderstorms.  Mom and Justin had come home from town and were in the process of getting lunch when the lights flickered.  Justin immediately became concerned and asserted that they should turn off the lights and bring out the candles!  In a little bit, the lights flickered again and went out for a minute, then came back on. Now Justin really thought it better to turn them all out, and he went off to find a large flashlight.  Since it was the middle of the day, Mom and Alana assured him there was no need of a flashlight.  Suddenly, the electricity cut off again, and this time it stayed off!  And Justin had a brilliant idea.  "I am Jesus!" he declared, "I will calm it!"  He turned in the direction of the lights and said, "Calm down!"  When nothing happened, he said, "Stomping will help!" and proceeded to stomp around on the floor.  Of course that brought no results.  Mom began explaining that there are some things we can't do without electricity, but there is still plenty we can do, since it is the middle of the day and there is enough daylight.  When she told him he could still play the piano, he said, "The piano will help!"  He marched over to the piano and mashed both hands down on the low notes!  Unfortunately, this did not work either.

A short time later, as the family sat in the living room talking, Justin's mind lit up!  "I got it!  My brother David!  David can fix it!"  Apparently David can do anything.  But apparently he wasn't in the vicinity, so no luck there.

In time, the lights came on, and Justin proclaimed, "It's a miracle!"

At bedtime, Justin wanted to pray about the "lecticity".  So he and Mom said thank you to God for turning on the electricity so they could have lights, and cook supper, and use water, and wash dishes, and wash clothes, and flush the toilet!

I don't know if this story strikes you with the same hilarity it did me.  But oh, to have such simple, straightforward faith in the power of Jesus for today's everyday challenges, and the joyful delight in everyday "miracles", like electricity!  Justin has no concept of impossibility.  What a way to live!  After all, we know the God who makes everything possible!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Something To Hold On To

Hi friends.  It's been too long.  I have no excuses for not writing.  Only that my heart has not been in it.  Inspiration has escaped me.  And rather than working to develop the muscle for writing, I have allowed it to atrophy. 

I don't have a lot to say today, but I decided that writing a little bit is better than writing nothing.  And it makes for easier reading!

I just listened to a message from Seeing Grace ministries by James Barron.  He preached about the simplicity of Christ, reading from the book of Colossians where we see that everything begins and ends with Christ, and He fills all.  The Gospel is all Jesus.  He made the point that reality is a person.  That person is Christ.  If you have died and been raised with Christ, He is now your reality.  We are to fix our eyes not on what we can see, but on what is unseen.  The unseen realm of Christ and His kingdom is more real than this world we can see.  It is more real than all of our visible circumstances and pain and problems and pleasures. 

If you could get inside my head, you would quickly figure out that I have a disconnect when it comes to reality.  I am a child of God.  My real identity is in Him.  But lately I've been tangled up in the enemy's lies about who I am.  I've been so focused on my own feelings and my failure to measure up and my own shortsighted perspective on life that I can't see past my own nose.  I engage far more easily and frequently in virtual reality than in building intimacy with Jesus and learning to see His reality.  Allowing unreality to blind me to the Real. 

Some days, I lose my grip on reality.  But Reality, in the person of Jesus Christ, will never lose His grip on me.  As I begin to think about Jesus being Reality, and all that He came to be for us, I realize that He becomes all of our basic needs.  The things in our physical world are pictures of a deeper reality.  What are the basic human needs?  Food.  Water.  Shelter.  Oxygen.  Light.  Relationship. 

Jesus came to be the Light of every man.  John 1:9

Jesus is Bread and Water for our soul.  John 6:32  John 7:37

Jesus is our Dwelling Place.  John 14:3 and John 15:4

Jesus came to reconcile us to God and restore us to intimacy in the ultimate relationship for which we are made.  Colossians 1:20  John 15:9

Jesus is the source of our very being, the oxygen of our eternal spirits.  Acts 17:28

Jesus.  Reality.  All I need is truly in Him. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Some Days I'm A Haunted Soul

I pulled out this old favorite from my ipod yesterday, and it just perfectly describes where I am right now. I have nothing inspiring to say, so I'll let this song express my heart. Maybe someone else reading this is in the same place. I don't have answers, only these haunting questions. But I know that Jesus has never left me, and He longs to bring me into the place of rest with Him, and He's still lovingly, mercifully, persistently calling me to come and be captivated by Him alone.  I don't have the strength to let go right now.  So I ask Him to empty my hands.

I've got voices in my head, and they are so strong
And I'm getting sick of this....Oh Lord, how long
Will I be haunted by the fear that I believe?
My hands like locks on cages of these dreams I can't set free

But if I let these dreams die
If I lay down all my wounded pride
If I let these dreams die
Will I find that letting go lets me come alive

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
Empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
With You, with You Lord

Cause these voices speak instead
What's right is wrong
And I'm giving in to them
Oh please Lord, how long
Will I be held captive by the lies that I believe?
My heart's in constant chaos and it keeps me so deceived

But if I let these dreams die
If I could just lay down my dark desire
If I let these dreams die
Will I find You brought me back to life?

Cause my mind is like a building burning down
I need Your grace to keep me, keep me from the ground
My heart is just a prisoner of war
A slave to what it wants and to what I'm fighting for

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You

I need You now Lord

-Empty My Hands by Tenth Ave North

Friday, February 28, 2014

If You Thought 30 Was Exciting....

So last Sunday I hit 31 years.

Can I tell you the truth?  I don't like the sound of that number.  But can I tell you what redeems that?  It's only the age of my body.  My temporary home.  My soul?  It's ageless.  And so is yours!

So whether you'd like to turn back time to 1989, or 1960, or 1940....remember this.  We're not really getting older.  We're just getting closer to immortality!  Who needs the fountain of eternal youth?  Although according to my little bro, I must have found it.  When asked how old I was on my birthday, his answer?   A hundred!

But seriously, I'm looking forward to this year.  Because 30 was pretty exciting.  And I can't wait to see what God has in store for 31!

I thought it was a good time for a little remembering.  So here are some of the memorable moments from the past year of my life.

When I was 30, I.....

Took three months of Tae Kwon Do and earned my orange belt.
Biked and rode the train on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park scenic railroad and towpath trail.
Got my first stitches.
Spent three weeks in Romania!
Tasted homemade Romanian moonshine.
Sailed on Lake Michigan at sunset.
Wiped out on a wakeboard.
Wiped out on a horse.
Saw my first movie in a theater. Yep. Really.
Experienced the hot air balloon festival in St. Louis.
Did a 21 day media fast.  Which I could stand to do again!
Watched a couple of rodeos.
Worked with a new (to me) horse and gained confidence.
Moved from one state to another and back again.
Worked on a horse ranch and at two sweet little coffee shops.
Bought a car!

These are just highlights....all in all, it's been a wonderful year.  I've grown, and I've seen how much more I have to grow.  My life has been enriched with so many friends who have taught me things about life and God and horses and relationships and myself, and encouraged and enabled me in so many ways.

And I just have a feeling that now God is saying, "So you think 30 was exciting?  You ain't seen nothin yet!"

Bring it on!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Don't Act Your Age

"Act your age, not your shoe size!"  Have you ever heard this phrase?  I was talking to a coworker the other day, and upon finding out that I am celebrating my birthday this weekend, he asked how old I'd be.  He was surprised to discover I am much older than I look!  He then proceeded to ask me to guess his age, which I actually got almost right on.  Guessing ages is a tricky thing.  Some people look their age, and some don't.  I know people who look much older than they are.  Sometimes this is due to certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking or excessive tanning.  Sometimes it is because of health issues or stress.  It can even be the way they dress and wear makeup.  I also know people, say in their 50's, who look younger but physically act their age, or older!  Old age can take it's toll much faster if we choose things like unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, internalizing stress, or negativity.

As much as I want to be forever young, I can't stop the clock on biological aging.  But I have decided that I am NOT going to act my age....not even when I'm 50!  This is not an excuse to act childish, but rather a quest to rediscover child-likeness.  Jesus Himself said, Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven!

I've been listening to Chris August lately, and he wrote a song called 1989.  It talks about how life was carefree and uncomplicated when he was seven years old.  How it was to live in childlike faith.  And how he wants to go back to living that way.  I realized that I was six years old in 1989.  I'm not one of those people who can remember a lot of their childhood with clarity.  I remember bits and pieces, sometimes the most random and weird things!  I can't say I really remember what it was like being six.  But I know life sure seemed simpler.  And a lot more fun.  I still find ways to have some great fun, but we know that's not what life is all about.  But what if we could recapture the wonder of a child?

These days God is drawing me back to learn how to be a kid again.  I think He wants us to have that kind of wonder at Him and the things He has made.  If I take the time to slow down and fully experience the simple things, the little everyday gifts in life....I begin to find that wonder again.

Things like being mesmerized by snowflakes falling sparkly in the streetlight after dark.  Laughing at squirrels chasing each other up and down trees.  Dancing crazy to happy music.  Hugging a giant tree just to see how far my arms reach.  Making a snow angel on a walk through the woods.  Walking out giant hearts with my footprints in the snow in the park.  Diving onto a queen bed.  Twirling in circles at the bowling alley with my little brother.  And the other day, I discovered polymer sand....I spent an hour or more playing with it while talking with my friend....squeezing, squishing, letting it drop through my's the coolest stuff ever!  And we laughed and had the best time entertaining ourselves with this simple plaything!

I'm learning that when I slow down and live fully in the moment....when I take time to look and count all the gifts God has poured out on the day and to give thanks....when I find delight in the simple things, even childish things....when I let myself linger and wonder at the things God created and the ways He reveals Himself all around brings back an unadulterated joy and pleasure that feels a little bit like being a kid again!

I think Jesus said we must become like a child because only children have the eyes to see God.  And only children can trust without reservation.

"It is so uncomplicated with You make the person that I once was reappear
I'm sorry that I made it something complicated
I am ready now, it's not too late
Everyday I'm learning it's all about returning
I'm living my life with childlike I could
Turn back time and go to 1989
Where every day was full of chasin dreams
Yeah I may be grown up but maybe I should try
Livin like it's 1989"

From 1989 by Chris Augustt

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stop Chasing God

Today I just want to share some tender heart thoughts.  These are fresh, uncensored journalings.  The kind that are almost too private to share.  But I will because I have found a breath of freedom today.  And I want to extend it to you, whoever you are, taking the time to stop in on my musings in this moment.  I will not attempt to analyze or explain.  This is not a sermon or a well thought out message.  Just a heart-flow.  Take it for whatever it speaks to you.

I am the harlot.

You are the relentless Lover.  The reckless Lover spilling all of Himself.  The scandalous Lover who will stop at nothing to bring the harlot back to His embrace, to endless intimacy.  Taking her to a place she never dreamed existed.  To make her the Beauty she has spent her lifetime longing to be, trying to be, failing to be...yes, to make her even more than that be the Beauty who ravishes You!

The utterly worthless becomes a pearl of surpassing value over which You dance and sing.  The hopelessly broken transformed into unspeakable glory.

Recreated.  Cherished.  Wanted.

Thank You.  For wanting me.  That I don't have to chase You.  That's it's not about me wanting You badly enough....because You want me with an otherworldly desire.  Enough to create me.  Enough to rescue me.  Enough to win the heart of this harlot.  Relentless Grace.

I am the harlot.  I am both the beauty and the beast.  I am Cinderella.  Rags to Happily Ever After.  I am the sought-after, fought for, hard-won heroine to Your Hero in the Greatest Romance of Time and Eternity!

Charis.  Eucharisteo.  Chara.

Grace.  Thanksgiving.  Joy.

The whisper of hope in all this pain.  The clue that all is not as it seems.  The rush of air into gasping lungs, smothered by earth's smog.  The literal breath of life.  Bread sustaining my soul.  These could turn a whole day.  A week.  A life.  They could turn a world upside down.  Or right side up.

Breathe in.  Grace.  Breathe out.  Thanksgiving.  Feel the life flood this body, rush through these veins, awaken these dry bones.  Joy.  Dance to the soundless melody.  Reach out and touch the invisible.  Gaze on the unseen reality surrounding you like an ocean.  Walk on thin air.

Faith.  SUBSTANCE of things hoped for.  PROOF of things unseen.  To know that what I do not yet hold in my hand is MINE just as surely and solidly as the ground I walk on.

God. Is. Here.