Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In The Beginning

I was roaming around in Genesis 1 today. With tomorrow being January 1, I thought maybe there was some nugget of truth about beginnings awaiting me in Genesis 1. And boy-howdy, was there ever.

All evangelical, Sunday-schooled, good old boys and girls can quote with me now Genesis 1:1;
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth".. BA-BAM

Honestly, I need not go much further. That's one of those stand alone moments that you can chew on, research through, and analyze with JC for days, months, years. It's like an everything kind of verse. It's one of those, "do not pass go" kind of fundamental moments in the Judeo-Christian beliefs. Let's just say it one more time before we move on,

"In the beginning God, SWEET-MAJESTIC, KING OF KINGS, ABBA FATHER, ALMIGHTY SAVIOR, MASTER HEALER, GREAT COMFORTER, FALL ON YOUR KNEES EMMANUEL.... GOD: Created the heavens and the earth." I added some color this time. :)

Verse 2.

I am ashamed to say I do not recall in my 28 years of running after Jesus, that I have ever read this verse. In most of my reading and most of my teachers, pastors, professors, etc..etc.. stopped at verse one, skipped two, and moved on to verse 3. But today the double wide started shaking as I started jumping up and down in my heart when my eyes beheld verse 2;

"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." BA-BAM

We are a measly 27 words into the precious word of God and He has something life changing, rock your core transforming, get up and give me a Wii remote and do a dance, AWESOME, that He wants us to know.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...


In the beginning, THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS MOVING!

He is not a Triune God watching apathetically from the clouds above, looking down in disdain and disappointment. He is moving over and in the dark, deep, waters of formless and void LIVES.

He is moving.

He is not a hands off, magic eight ball kind of God, just hoping we followers can pull it off in the fourth quarter and bring Him some left over glory.

Oh N to the O, not this God!

He is moving.

Unashamedly, unabashedly, with no need to apologize for the mighty miracles He is weaving into this formless void of an earth.

He is intimately acquainted with the darkness, unspeakable pain, heaviness, brokenness, torture, and injustice, that permeates His created. He has studied it. He has watched the deep,darkness for what seems like an eternity, and now it is the BEGINNING! Somebody shout AMEN!

He is moving with excitement, without restraint pacing over His universe. Step by step holding myriads of myriads of angels back until HE can come at just the anointed time to conquer the darkness and deliver LIGHT. He cannot wait to come for His own, He cannot wait to come for YOU! And HOLY MOLY, it is just the BEGINNING!

In the beginning, THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS MOVING!

And for 66 straight books (I had to google that number, I failed AWANAS)
And for thousands and thousands of years
We (you and I, a bunch of broken, formless, void, human beings) are witnesses to the movement of that Great God.

After that promise, who has time for resolutions?
After that good news, all I want to do is get out of the way and let my God do His thing in 2014.

O people of the risen King, your God is moving!

Have a blessed New Year, my dear friends and family!

Much, much love!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Wilderness

The death of Mark's sweet grandmother, broken internet, strep, flu, and the stomach bug are all the reasons my poor, poor, blog has been unfairly neglected. I have been so sick that even the smell of coffee has repulsed me. If you know me, you know we have hit an all time low. If one cannot drink coffee, one should not live on.

There is so much to catch you up on around here like; the day Lucy ran away from school, or when we watched FCA win the State Championship, or that time I spent 6 days in bed calling for Jesus to take me home, or that time when it was 9 days before Christmas and I wasn't even CLOSE to being ready. Or what about my soap box about how much greed and excess have taken away from this season and the ultimately diminished the message of the birth, life, and death of Jesus? Or that time Lucy sang in her Christmas program and I cried thinking about Sandy Hook, or that time little Bean had to miss her reading field trip to Frozen because of sickness, and she sat on the couch in tears because she had worked her little squishy cheeks off reading 180 books since the start of the school year. ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY BOOKS! Or that time I missed two important writing deadlines because life and death happens, and our plans quickly adjust to focus on what's really important.  Or that time Katie sat up late one magical night with Mark and I watched The Nativity, and I threatened in my heart to skip Christmas so we could get back to what really mattered; JESUS! Or that time Anderson came into my room whilst my temperature soared near 104 and he said with tears and nervousness in his eyes, "Mama, get better, I hate seeing you sick!" Then his little boy hands rubbed my back until he was satisfied that my breathing was consistent. Yeah. We could talk about all the stuff. It has shaped the last two weeks of our lives. But I want to talk about the wilderness. And well, since I write the blog, I guess the perk is determining what we walk about in this forum.

Luke 1 is the book and chapter.
Verses 78 to 80.

Props to Hunter Brewer for preaching from this passage a couple of Sundays ago. It caused me to revisit it and mediate through the fabulous meat.

'because of the tender mercy of God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into a way of peace. And the child (Jesus) grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel."

I don't know about you, but I am crazy about light. I do not function well in darkness. The first thing I do every morning is open up every blind in the house. I lose all manners when I am in someone's house and it is dark, I start scrambling for lights and windows. The darkness makes me claustrophobic. So this passage gets me.

"The sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death"
It feels like this last year has been mostly a dark night. The promise that the sunrise is coming gives me chills. I've heard grief explained like a sunset and a long dark night. Grief often runs after the sunset, only to never be able to grasp the remaining light, but a new day is coming. And the grief journey gives hints of that sunrise. It is quiet, soft, and slow. Not all at once, but moment by moment the darkness is pierced by the light. I love that my God came to give light to those in the shadow lands.

Why did He give light?
"to guide our feet into a way of peace"
I need someone to guide me. And not just guide me any where, but to sweet peace!

He gives light and peace. And He does this not in response to anything we have done or will do. He is not impressed by us, nor does He need us. He does this, "because of His tender mercy!" Because of who HE is. Because of HIS character. Because He can do no different. Because His DNA knows nothing else when He sees His children. Because He oozes TENDERNESS and MERCY! Hallelujah!

"He was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance"
The Savior of the World, Almighty God of the Universe, the very I AM, Abba Father, King of Kings, The Beginning and The End, had to do His time in the wilderness.

How many of you feel like you are wandering in the wilderness? Bewildered by the journey you have been asked to walk. It is probably not the road you ever imagined treading down. However, you are here now. You are trying to put one foot in front of the other. Maybe your crawling, just trying to feel around in the darkness. You are not alone in the wilderness. A breath taking babe entered this world and walked your road so that you would never be alone! The Creator became Created, and crept inside the womb of a virgin, so that your wilderness would be conquered by the cross.

The Sunrise shall visit us! It DID visit us in the form of a baby boy two thousand years ago. It remains with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, so that darkness and death may scatter and Light may have its way in this world. And PEACE will fill all the cracks and aches in our hearts, not only this season, but all year long!

Happy Monday!