Break Down or Build Up…

change

In the face of major, unexpected change…

whether within a significant relationship, a place of employment, within a family…

in the midst of all the emotional turmoil and chaos that results…

one is asked…

Will you be a part of the break-down or the build-up?

As Christians we are called to build up the kingdom…those who persecuted Jesus chose to be part of the break down.

In this world of unpredictable change and instability…have you asked yourself…

Am I part of the break-down… or the building up?

What does that look like?

“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3: 14

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Emptiness turned Openness

empty

As Lent continues, I am coming to a deep understanding…

the giving up creates room in my heart…

an emptiness…

So many of us live in a culture of such fullness within our hearts and minds…

Have we become like the innkeeper who shouts, “There is no room here!” shunning the Lord?

To know God requires an emptying of self and yet cannot emptiness become openness?

It’s in the way we envision it…emptiness or openness.

Emptiness transformed by grace becomes an openness in which the fullness of praise can erupt.

Lord, I seek you in my emptiness…and I find you Lord in the openness.

Restful Waters or Turbulent Tides?…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Beside restful waters He leads me…” (Psalm 23)

I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.

Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.

You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.

Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.

Put Out Into the Deep…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

Jesus said to Simon Peter…

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”

Isn’t Lent about deep water…the depth of conversion?

Putting out into deep water calls for a deepening of faith…a journey into the unknown…a powerlessness that leads to a more complete dependence on God.

And when we lower ourselves in humility into the healing presence of God…

we are caught into His loving arms and are more deeply connected to Him who is our Savior.

Lord, grant us the courage to head for the deep waters, the humility to be immersed into the depth, the trust that You are with us and long for us to be more completely in union with You.

This Lent may we all hear the call to, “Put out into deep water.”

In the Reaching Out…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

The Parable of the Man with the Withered Hand has always intrigued me. The healing comes from Jesus’ directive, “Stretch out your hand.” How often we go through life with withered hands…hands that pull back in selfishness and self-absorption. What begins with withered hands soon affects our hearts and our minds as we shrivel into a “my way” view of life.

And yet in the reaching out there is healing. In the reaching out there is a  re-connecting…in the reaching out there is a re-attaching to the Body of Christ in which His love and strength infuses the souls of His people.

Yes, in the reaching out comes the healing from within.

We are meant to be a people connected.

Getting Purposely Lost…

image: from the heart of j

image: from the heart of j

Who gave permission for the “should be’s” and the “should have beens” to rule my life? The “should be’s” propel one into the future and the “should have beens” chain one to the past. Hushing the holler is key to living in the present…in the here and now…in the wonder of the moment…within the Great I Am.

Recently I had an appointment in a nearby, small town. I had had a week of the “should be” “should have been” sing song. Straddling between the past and the present is exhausting! And in the noise, I had misread my planner and arrived an hour early. And so I thought…what would it be like if I got lost for an hour…purposely lost?

And so I did.

I noticed the humorous names of stores, observed whole flocks of birds flying overhead, learned about the town’s large but friendly squirrels, smiled at all the dogs lounging as if it was Saturday, read interesting historical markers, and marveled at all the people walking about.

The more lost I got…the din of the “should be’s” and “should have beens” lessened.

Purposely getting lost ushered me into the wow of what’s  happening and the simplicity of the scene before me.

There is power in the present…It is there we find true peace. Getting purposely lost from time to time must make God smile…getting purposely lost was just what the Divine Physician ordered.

Leaving Ourselves Behind…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“We must leave ourselves behind if we hope to have even a glimpse of our true potentialities. But this surrender of self is the thing we find most difficult and so rarely succeed in. To the modern mind it makes no sense…Only by voluntary unreserved surrender to God can we find our home…” Fr. Alfred Delp

*Please stop by my professional blog where I post on Wednesdays…”Sticks and Stones and Names that Hurt us” at http://www.lifelinesmobile.org/blog

‘Lil Bits Become Lotta’ Bits…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

Our ‘lil bits become lotta’ bits…

United with Him.

He magnifies…He amplifies…He maximizes…He expands…

That ‘lil bit smile, that ‘lil bit hello, that ‘lil bit prayer, that ‘lil bit way…

You magnify…You amplify…You maximize…You expand…

and our ‘lil bits become lotta’ bits…

United with You.

May I be generous with my ‘lil bits, so they become lotta’ bits for others.

Epiphanies…in the Here and Now

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Upon you the Lord shines…and over you appears His glory…”(Is 60:2)

This seems such a beautiful description of heaven…and yet if heaven is in the here and now, then the Lord is shining upon you and me…and over you and me appears His glory.

In the here and now…

You, me, all of God’s children…

In the here and now…

“Your heart shall throb and overflow…” (Is 60:5)

For truths such as these are the epiphanies of life…when it’s as if we bump into the eternal love of God and our hearts swell through Him, with Him and in Him.

In the epiphanies of life we more deeply discover what it means to be His Beloved.

My Lord, give us eyes that see and hearts that soar!

Blessings on this Feast of the Epiphany …to you and yours…in the here and now.