Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Expectant Believer

I keep coming back to the Message Bible describing Joseph of Arimathea as an "expectant believer". He lived expectantly, on the lookout for the Kingdom of God.

Am I? Am I abiding in Him in such a way that I am expectant of His presence, of His promise, made real? Am I phoning it in, or taking the easy skimming way? Am I expecting to see Jesus in my life in real ways, or am I 'hoping He has time for me'?

In a world of negative, of looking for the worst, we need to be expectant more of God. It is an active faith, a living faith. One that seeks. One that searches. One that lives.

I am learning, slowly, that this walk of faith has so many layers. We talk about going deeper like we would the ocean, assuming there is a bottom. A depth where we stop. I think there is no bottom. The deeper is like going deeper into space - we keep going and going. Closer and closer to Him to be sure, but how can there be limits with a limitless God?
I rest in my faith, right now I have to.  No rock of 'a map'. Just Him. And taking the next step even though I can't see the one after. (and the planner in me HATES that sometimes, most of the time. But we are learning to trust.).
That not having a Plan B or Plan C, but going all in for Plan A terrifies and thrills me. Win, lose or draw I'm going with God. He has this. And I just need to saddle up and ride.

As our Pastor Kevin Weatherby of Save The Cowboy says, you have to choose to tie on hard and fast to Jesus. We can have a looser dally for somethings, but our faith needs to to tied on. Don't let go. Don't lose your stirrups or drop the reins.

And the post that got this one going is found here: http://www.joannfore.com/intimacy-with-god/ 
Stop by and have a read. And be blessed. Don't miss the great conversations happening in the comments.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Seasons and voices

So far I've written and deleted this post twice three times. I wanted to write a sweet tie up to our journey with Jo Ann and the amazing #VoiceBloggers.

But that isn't what God wants me to share today.

And the more I struggle to NOT share it, the more deleting and retyping I have to do.

Not everyone is happy when we find our voice. They don't like their comfort being upset by growth. By change. By something new.

Some are happy for the change. But not for us. They see our voice as something to use. To manage. To own. They are watching for us to fall back on old habits. Their quiet cynicism a sharp barb. They expect us to fall. We are fallen people.  

So they wait. 

And watch.

And sharpen their barbs.

I KNEW you couldn't keep it up. A tiger can't change it's stripes.

I KNEW you'd lose your cool.

Can't you just________________for once?

They miss the transformation. They miss the change in our hearts. The voice is only part of what we have found. 

I will mutter. I will growl at inanimate objects. I will probably take a computer crash personally. That isn't my transformation. That isn't my voice.

I will see where my voice is not needed, and speak love as I leave.

I will refrain from going to an argument I've been invited to, and speak peace as I walk away.

I will brush away the cynical barb and instead of tossing it back, I will give it to Jesus.

These stripes are mine baby. No one really cares if a tiger is black on orange or orange on black. 

I wrote a poem last week.  This is part of it:

I don’t know where we are going, or when, limbo is so strange.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t miss this adventure for anything!
Praying for broken hearts and praising in the hallway.
On the other hand we have much to be thankful for.
Thankful for what makes us stronger, what passes us by.
On the other hand I fight against that which I can’t change.
It’s futile, I know, running back to a closed gate.
On the other hand sometimes I can be a hard learner.
We are told to praise in the hallway, waiting can be so hard!
On the other hand He never said not to make windows.

I am not a pretty church girl from a poster. 
I'm standing in the hallway dreaming of a chainsaw to make some windows. 
To cut a new door. To move this thing along. 
I wanted to use my voice like a chainsaw the other day. I am so thankful God stayed my hand. Quieted my voice. Stilled my heart.
I wanted to know why I was no longer wanted. Why I was reduced to thanks for your interest. Why I wasn't worthy of more information. Better communication. I wanted to stomp my feet and toss some barbs of my own.
Ugh. Ugly, no? Yeah. But I didn't. That's the transformation. I didn't.
I accepted them for where they were at. I asked the questions. I left the answering to God. 
And walked away.  Unfollowed the page. Restricted their access to my life. 
Guess what? They haven't noticed. And guess what else? That's okay.  It isn't about me. It's about them. And God. And God working on them. 
Mostly though. It's about me. And God working on me. 
Come over and see what the other amazing #VoiceBloggers are sharing today on our last link up with Jo Ann. Don't worry though, there are more amazing things coming that we will do together! Promise.