Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the Waiting Room

I have a little dream...

And the little dream has a little sister.

I kind of packed them both away for long naps. I'd wake them up and play with them just a bit every now and then, but, as the time was so not right, I would tuck them back in and sing them to sleep for another season or two.

But now things are moving and there might be a chance for little sister to come out and meet the world. And, if little sister does...maybe someday the dream itself will follow.

But I really don't have much to do with whether or not it's time.

So I wake them up, dress them in their pretty Sunday ruffles and patent shoes, and wait patiently for a chance to introduce them to someone who will either be glad to see them or be completely not interested in what they might be able to do.

I have knocked gently on the door...I don't want to cause a problem or intrude...but now I'm wondering if my knocking is ignored or just unheard. If it's unheard -- I should knock louder. If it's being ignored, louder knocking would not be a good thing. Perhaps it's just not a good time to knock on the door.

If the dreams are sent packing at this stage, there's not much chance they'll get to come out again.

But...if they are real, God-given dreams, there should be a time and a place for them to come out and grow. If they are not real, God-given dreams, I am beyond disillusioned; where did they come from and why have I invested so much of my heart in them?

This is not just a test of the dreams, it is a test of my character.

It would've been easier if the time had just stayed obviously wrong; I could still hope. But when it looks to be sort of right...it comes to the moment of truth.

And I fear the verdict. But I wouldn't want these dreams to flourish if that is not His plan. If these are the wrong dreams...I need to find the right ones.

After I tuck these back into their boxes and say the funeral prayers.

But, you know, the prayer of my heart isn't that favor comes to my dreams...it's that, whatever happens to them, I honor Him in word and deed. Because I've messed this part up so bad before; I don't want to mess it up here again.

Who knows...maybe the whole point was to teach me the proper way to crucify my flesh and submit to authority. With the proper attitude.

If we substitute burial shrouds for the ribbons and ruffles, that's what I'll tell myself.

I keep reminding myself that it is not a people decision, it is a God decision. If this is the time, the favor will come from Him. If it is not the time, it is not the fault of anybody. It is simply not time.

But. Until I have a direction, we will wait to see if anyone else thinks it's time for the light to shine on a little dream's little sister...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves - Zephaniah

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When Old Testament prophets are mentioned, just kind of general, in a group, the collective image is, I'm afraid, of someone proclaiming doom and gloom and judgment. I don't think that's actually true of OT prophets as a group, but that is the stereotype.

However, it is somewhat true of Zephaniah.

And Yet.

Look at the declaration in 3:9:
Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.

Did you catch that? "Peoples?" As in, more than one people? Maybe, even what it says a few words later, 'all of them'?

I don't think this is talking about universal salvation; put it context and it's rather obvious that this is talking about everyone who's left after the judgment. But it does seem to indicate that there will be folks from ALL people groups who call on God's name and work for him shoulder-to-shoulder.

Personally, I think that's gonna be pretty neat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prickles on the neck

One of the ladies at work sent this little quote out via email to a number of her friends, me included. (I think this is the first time she's sent me anything other than work-related stuff...)

Kinda gave me goosebumps; it fits with the 'change is coming' feeling, although I don't think the changes are to my circumstances so much as they are to me, myself:

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns -- 6/21/11:

Many of you, My people, are approaching a turning point in which there will be a decided departure from what has been your accepted normal. When you are faced with change, I will give you the grace and guidance to move forward in strength and the power of My Spirit if you will trust Me. At this time you must be willing to let go of what was in order to grasp what is to be, says the Lord. Press on to obtain the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I'm gonna claim it as a promise; I certainly don't have strength in myself to give up comfortable, but I'll gladly take grace and guidance to move out of it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Habakkuk

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I love the book of Habakkuk. Can't spell it without looking to save my life, but, for anyone who feels discouraged or forgotten or doubtful, Habakkuk is THE BOOK TO READ.

So. Go read it. It's only three chapters. It'll encourage your spirit.

Today's pick...and there were several I wanted to choose...is the climax of the song that is chapter 3:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign God is my strength;
He makes my feel like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.
-Hab. 3:17-19a

Friday, June 10, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Nahum

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi.

The repentance of Nineveh that happened as a result of Jonah's reluctant evangelism eventually was forgotten, and about a hundred years later the judgment that Jonah proclaimed was echoed by Nahum. However, this time there was no repentance that stayed God's hand. I have a hand-written note in the margin of my Bible that states that the archaeologists did not find the remains of the city until 1842. Nineveh, as was prophesied, was utterly destroyed.

But the verse I have chosen to look at today is Nahum 1:2:

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

Over and over and over, Scripture tells us there will be trouble. BUT...and that's a big word right there...God will take care of those who trust Him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm not comfortable with that...

2011 is almost half way through. Can you believe it?

It has been an astonishing year...and that's just the weather.

The changes I felt coming back when the year started still have not fully manifested; I still am not sure what, exactly is going to change. But I told a friend at church last night that I refuse to hit December 31 and still be the same as I was on Jan. 1.

I don't yet know where I'm going, but I'll tell you what God's been doing.

He's been pointing out individuals to me who have had great doors opened to them, and he has shown me that those folks sacrificed much in order to devote themselves to the pursuit of God and the call of their heart's passion.

I'm beginning to wonder just how willing I really am to make similar sacrifices.

I'm finding out that I am quite the creature of comfort. I like the familiar, well-worn patterns...even if they're not terribly productive or influential. They are comfortable.

But it's becoming more and more apparent that, where ever I'm going, I'm going to have to give up comfortable.

And do you know what? My 'self' is Not Liking This One Bit.

Which is beginning to make me wonder if the one of the greatest enemies we have to overcome is Comfort. Physical comfort, emotional comfort, spiritual comfort...none of it is truly compatible w/taking up the cross and dying daily.

If I'm honest, the more I'm looking at this, the more I'm convinced that Comfort has very nearly been an idol in my life. And it's time to tear down that altar and make uncomfortable choices. How could I choose to stay where I'm comfortable and not draw closer to Him? Never *see* if I could walk in His presence as those who He has pointed out to me do?

Oh, no, I'm not comfortable with that at all.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Micah

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I was gonna go with one of the well-known selections from Micah today, but, as I read it through, what caught my eye really speaks to the 'I know I've screwed it up' feeling I've been living with of late:

Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness - Mic. 7:8 - 9

No, I'm not talking about gross, horrible sin. I'm talking about a daily selfishness...a lack of discipline...an unfocused spirit...that is keeping me from my Bible and my journal and my quiet seeking time. I am frustrated with it even while I seem to not be disturbed enough to do something about it.

Which frustrates me more.

And yet...I know this is a season. I'm not sure what it is a season of, but it is a season. If I can't discipline myself, God is faithful and He will discipline me.

True discipline may be painful, but it is a growth process and I am determined not to flinch from it.

I *will* see his righteousness!