Thursday, December 31, 2009

Because He Exists....

I'm reluctant at times to blog. Sometimes I wonder why I do it at all. I express myself better through written words than I do through speech - I process my thoughts, feelings, and emotions much easier by getting them out on paper. Yet, once they are out, there is a sense that I have exposed a part of my soul - the deep part of me that I long to protect and hide. There is fear that I may not be able to survive the criticism. There is an uncomfortableness that too many people know "too much" of me.

Not sure why that is. Wondering still, at my age, why my impulse, my reaction is to put my arms up in a defensive position. I keep sacred, a part of me that only God and few close friends know - and even then, a part that only God and I share and talk about.

But I feel compelled to write. And I keep hearing this quiet voice whisper in my ear - "write"...

So because I long to please the one that whispers softly to me, I will continue to share the thoughts and insights that come to me.

Today I was reading "The Essential Henri Nouwen" and was challenged by some of his ideas.

Last year, I would often say to myself, "it doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter.... it is the way it is..." and somehow this enabled me to accept the circumstances or consequences that I would find myself in. In a sense, it was a relinquishing of the possibility of change ever happening. But now I realize it was still "self focused". It was not really "surrendering" but rather saying, "there is no hope, it is the way it is...." a response derived from self-pity rather than a belief that God is bigger than my disappointments.

Reading today from Nouwen, his devotional talked about that very thought ..."Instead of saying 'Nothing matters any more, since I know that God exists,' the converted person says, 'All is now clothed in divine light and therefore nothing can be unimportant.' " - so everything matters.

Clothing the naked, offering a cup of water to the thirsty, expressing kindness,... everything matters....

Then he goes on to say "The 'nothing matters' and the 'everything matters', should never be separated. What brings them together is the unceasing cry coming from the heart: 'God exists.' "

This changes everything. Everything that "is", happens in God. The meaning of all that I am comes from God existing. My understanding of this changes then how I view my circumstances, my future, my dreams, my relationships, ... everything I set my hand and heart to has to come from the premise that I believe there is a supreme sovereign God that cares for me, loves me and bottom line .... exists.

His existence changes my existence, ... therefore, everything matters....everything is important. Thank God, God exists.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hold our Speech

I read recently the Daily Celtic Prayer for December 27 and it reinforced in my mind the caution we must take over our speech.
"Words of complaint can be so destructive", that this should be our rule: "Silence, unless the reason for speech will bear the searchlight of Eternity."

It is far too easy to let our opinions be known, our judgments expressed and our emotions elevate to a point that wounding takes place. This could be wounding and deliberate attack on others we feel the need to put down, or it could even be self-inflicted wounding that destroys the inner person that God made us to be.

As much as possible we need to keep a watch over our lips - guarding the gates lest something slips out without notice.

Christ, the Living Word must be the source of our spoken words. As we seek to become more like him, our tendency to speak without hesitation and consideration of what comes out of our mouth is diminished. Our hearts are softened. Our words are few and selective. Our intent is to build up, edify, correct in love and honor one another.

The thought of restraining our speech until it bears the searchlight of Eternity is a daunting task.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's almost time to head off to bed and say goodnight to Christmas 2009. It was a happy day but I missed having my oldest daughter and her husband and my little granddaughter here for Christmas with us. They are in South Africa for this Christmas season visiting his relatives there and celebrating his grandfolks anniversary.

So, their presence was greatly missed.

I managed to get out for a walk during the day and use it as my prayer time. Trying to understand the complexity of God becoming human will baffle me forever, but forever I will be grateful. I serve a God who is able to understand and feel the tension and sorrow that I feel and the joy and delight that I also experience. He is a God who is familiar with pain and suffering, temptation and distraction. And yet, he did not sin.

My hesitation to come close to a God who is so divine that he is unapproachable, somehow disappears when I think of him as a fellow human of flesh and blood, dirt and grime, and full of emotion. It is then that I draw him close to me - or perhaps, he draws himself close to me. Whatever the case, his presence is felt as a real live human being standing next to me - or so it seems. Suddenly, he enters my world. Experiences and feels what I feel and experience. Limits himself to the "smallness" of a human, then proceeds to embrace authentic crucifixion and death so I don't have to and all of this, to offer me the gift of salvation, a hope of eternal life, and a relationship with a God who will never abandon me.

There just isn't enough time to think this all through and understand the significance of the incarnation. But I must try. I must try, for it is in seeing God as "human", that I see him as "Divine".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This Moment

This moment right now is all I have. So I must choose how I wish to live it.

Perhaps with grace and love, kindness and affection.

Maybe with discipline, courage and perseverance.

I can't make decisions too far in the moments I may never have, but right now, I have this one

And it is so important that I choose carefully, to live it for you.

Grant me the ability to take one moment at a time and make it count

and then take the next one and make it do the same

Hold me back from living in the future, today. And from living in the past tomorrow.

For today, for this moment, right now,

Help me to live fully alive embracing all that it contains

And to be grateful that I've lived yet another one.

Holy Potter, I am Wholly Thine

Longing to be ever more pliable in your tender, gentle hands, Holy Potter, I wholly give myself to you.

Surrendering, once again, my will to come into alignment with yours.

Push, twist, shape and hold me, till I resemble once again your image for me.

Fill me, equip me, and adapt me to be all I need be, to do the task you have set before me.

And when I am broken and shattered, dirty and worn down, ....

I give myself wholly to you, again, for your retooling and remaking of this lump of clay.

A Snowy Wintery Night

I ventured out for a walk this evening. Just needed to get outside for some fresh air and exercise and time alone to think and pray. What a beautiful night that spread it's beauty before me. The air was crisp and somewhat cold, but manageable for a winter's night walk.

The snow was gently falling, straight down - no wind to blow it around. It fell quietly, silently. Each bit of snow adding to the layer beneath it. And as it fell, it glistened and sparkled. The street lights aided in the sparkling. It seemed like I was treading on paths of radiant diamonds. I smiled within my soul and expressed it on my face. There is just something about falling snow that reminds me of God's great love for the world, for me. The snow diamonds are so vast, they spread a covering of white everywhere. All the unsightly views are covered over and everything is made new and beautiful. That's what God's love does - it covers our sins, and makes us new again.

The beauty of the season reminds me too, that in the cold and dark times, there is hope, and there is a promise that life will burst forth again, the sun will melt the snow, the earth will warm and cause the soil to be a womb for new growth. And the cycle will continue. Life, death, life again...

In every stage, season, event, circumstance and predicament, God is there. Watching it all unfold. Whispering hope, and instilling courage.

Thank you God for being a God who is involved in our most treasured and most difficult moments of life. Without you, there can be no life. No hope.

You are the Hope-Giver.