5.24.2012

I was kinda skimming along ann voskamp's latest and i didn't really get into it but then these words in bold stopped me in my tracks. SO VERY TRUE!! so where i am. heart attacks adn renderings and shards of self-will and desires splintering, all the while knowing there is good in the shattering and God is making beautiful things out of dust but sometimes not even caring just wanting easiness.

today is a strange day. today is the kind when i am very aware that there are different kinds of happy.  maybe satan is tempting me to believe the kind i have now isn't the best. but i'm not falling into that lie! today is going to be a day i believe life is beautiful-always beautiful, no matter the season. some just take more looking for that beauty than others. but if God is always good, there is always something to be grateful in. something to give ammo to the fight for joy. something to make hearts stop and breathe and smile with eyes closed for a minute.
anyway enough stupid talk. here's the boldness that made my heart stop with the gut-punch of truth. i'm reeling, a little shell-shocked. a little bit of wrestling been going on in this heart, i'm at a crossroads. the clearer the call on my life becomes, the clearer and sharper just what the cost may be, just what i may lose becomes as well. this just goes along so well with the scripture that stood out to me last night from 1 Corinthians. 

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him."
"You were bought with a pricedo not become bondservants of men."
"...but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ."
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."


Sometimes standing by Scriptural truth can feel a bit like surviving a heart attack.
But what can feel like the exploding of your heart might be the way Truth slams out of your chest like a fireworks of grace. 

5.16.2012

"To make a fighter you gotta strip them down to bare wood: you can't just tell 'em to forget everything you know if you gotta make 'em forget even their bones... make 'em so tired they only listen to you, only hear your voice, only do what you say and nothing else... show 'em how to keep their balance and take it away from the other guy... how to generate momentum off their right toe and how to flex your knees when you fire a jab... how to fight backin' up so that the other guy doesn't want to come after you. Then you gotta show 'em all over again. Over and over and over... till they think they're born that way."


"If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."


won't have time to write just why these resonate so strongly with me for awhile...but had to let a little swirling thoughts out.
staying alive. life is beautiful, Jesus is beautiful even when I can't see Him as such, and I have a crazy adventure to live. 

5.07.2012

"Don't Give Up"
by Jon Bloom

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints” (Revelation 14:12).
We all long for rest and refreshment. That’s a God-given longing that he promises to fulfill: “I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jeremiah 31:25).
And in a very real way Jesus gives rest to “all who labor and are heavy laden” and come to him (Matthew 11:28). But in this age, it is not the complete rest.
In this age, Jesus grants us the gospel rest of ceasing the impossible labor of self-atonement for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). But in embracing the gospel we find ourselves also drafted into a war — a war to keep believing the gospel and a war to spread it to others. In this age we “strive to enter that [complete] rest” of the age to come (Hebrews 4:11).
And wars are exhausting — especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Most soldiers who experience the fierceness of combat want to get out of it. That’s why you feel urges to escape or surrender. That’s why there are times you’re tempted to give up.
But don’t give up. No, rather “take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).
Don’t give up when that familiar sin, still crouching at your door after all these years, pounces again with temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
**Don’t give up when you feel that deep soul weariness from long battles with persistent weaknesses.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:8–9).
**Don’t give up when your long prayed-for prayers have not yet been answered.
And he told them [the parable of the persistent widow] to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).
**Don’t give up when the devil’s fiery darts of doubt land and make you reel.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:13,16).
**Do not give up when the fragmenting effect of multiple pressures seems relentless.
But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger . . . (2 Corinthians 6:4–5).
Do not give up when the field the Lord has assigned you to is hard and the harvest does not look promising:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Do not give up when you labor in obscurity and you wonder how much it even matters.
Your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:4).
Do not give up when your reputation is damaged because you are trying to be faithful to Jesus.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matthew 5:11).
**Do not give up when waiting on God seems endless.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30–31)
**Don’t give up when you have failed in sin. Don’t wallow. Repent (again), get your eyes off yourself and back on Jesus, get up and get back in the fight.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9); if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).
Jesus knows your works (Revelation 2:2) and he understands the war (Hebrews 12:3). “Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7). “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19).
Don’t give up.

this hits me so where i am, in so many ways... its encouraging when something written applies to me. its like oh, this is normal! this is how the saints walk. i am NOT alone in this war! it's not just my comrade and i back to back--there's a whole army of people. some who have gone before us, some who are fighting with us now. even when it looks like we're radical, or feels like we're the only ones fighting so hard to keep Jesus front n center. when it's impossible not to feel we're the only ones called to a higher standard of holiness, it doesn't seem "fair" (ha.ha. yep, that's how i think of it often) well. those are lies. we're not alone, we're not the only ones; and it will be worth it in the end. EVERY SINGLE LOSS. will prove gain--the things lost for Christ's sake, lost for keeping convictions He gave, lost for love of Him, lost for putting His opinion first. i will not have any regrets from obeying or fearing or loving God...i will only regret the times i feared man, the times i wanted friendship or good opinion or "fitting in" over faithfulness in seemingly small matters. He rewards His children. in the end. with Himself! hallelujah.

5.05.2012

"What do you do when the guilt doesn't cease the morning; 
after a fall, asking "Lord would you send relief, relief, relief. 
In Christ you will send relief
Constantly feeling down.
What's this really about? 
I'm readmitting the sins I feel most guilty about. 
I'm weak. 
Fearing you'll leave my bones, 
thinking now "I want holiness, but I don't have the power to live it out! 
That's why i gotta preach, cause the gospel has got to hit me -
 Jesus has died for my sin; there's no power without relief. 
Believe it! 

Oh, I'm letting go of my yesterday, 

grab a hold - free in your grace I live. 
There's no more guilt 
Hello new mercies/ Hello every morning
and every day I live, is another day I know that I've been forgiven...
KB hello. theme song.

"you are a child of God, hear me in this. God is not angry with you, he loves you. God is not sick of you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. God will not abandon you, he has adopted you. Yes, God might be disappointed in some of the things you were doing, but he’s disappointed in you because you were his child and he loves you and he has much more intended for you. There is peace between you and God. He is not against you, he is for you.
And friends, even when you suffer—hear me in this— God is not punishing you. He’s already punished Jesus in your place, and it would be unjust to punish both Jesus and you. There is peace between you and God. Sometimes our suffering is the consequence of our sin, we reap what we sow. Sometimes God does allow us to go through a hard season, just like a parent who loves a child will give them a bit of correction to instruct and mature them."

((from Part 80 of the Luke series, m.d.)) BOOM. take that guilt and condemnation 

5.01.2012

sometimes i've too much swirling in me to sleep, n i start writing; but its always when i'm already drunk from exhaustion...this is the result

there is an awful lot of beauty in life. there is grace in ick days.
even on one of those days where you suddenly realize with startling clarity that you still want things you thought you didn't want anymore.
mhm. yeah. cue mental: wait. what?! blank stark clarity. iiiiiick.
cue madness...sometimes my mind and my heart are two separate entities. they go at it like its the superbowl. your mind gets angry at your heart and all tangled up in trying to logicallize* heart things and convince you how stupid those emotions are, how pathetic to want what you can't have; especially if you really believe psalm 84:11. the heart is trying to say something about "whoa hold on a minute babe, i didn't say this was reality, i just said..." but oh no, the mind is spastic in blind fear of what it can't understand. its to proud trying to control to even know the heart has words. and goes off on fake God-centeredness. trying to reason that believing in a good sovereign God whom the entire universe revolves around, believing He has amazing plans you can't see, believing that it's not about you anyway; is going to be a magic wand to stop you from feeling. trying to come up with legitimate convincing reasons you don't have any voids and you really don't want that, we've been through this....

pre-march. this would have been a very. long. day. with an awful lot of the above. ridiculous amount of constructed arguments all designed to talk myself out of honest feeling. out of discomfort.
out of admitting my frailty. out of admitting that i am not the stone i would like to be, that the mask of nothing-touches-my-heart is a lie. only it's after march. it's may. i don't pretend to be stone, i'm not stone, and i never ever want to go back to a cold half-dying numbed heart again.
 i don't wear that mask anymore. in fact, the skin underneath is still smarting from the ripping & tearing; but its healing & it feels beautifully alive.

hooray hooray hooray. enter Jesus' grace. enter seeing that i am being slowly set free from the slavery of over-thinking, the functional god of logic and needing to be safe. i am safe. always. i got Jesus! boom.
aaaand the heart gets its' words in: "hey you. arrogant bastard up there? where you been? um. kinda blowin this way outta proportion eh? i mean...it's just emotion. just natural human heartbeat. i'm alive, i'm breathing, and i'm not really under your control. i'm gonna bleed. i'm not always going to be rational. and yeah, sometimes, i'm going to want things i shouldn't. but. i've already cast that on God. He's got a way better track record with change than you do. so. take a hike. i'm in God's hands, its k. i know reality. i see my anchor. we're good. chill. aren't you supposed to be the calm one anyway?"

such. peace. relief in knowing,
God's. got. my heart. i don't have to run from uncomfortable. don't have to run from pain, don't have to be afraid of being wrong and screwing myself over.

cause i stand on the rock of God's character. i'm looking at Him! can't really screw my life up if He's my focus. His plan is to change n grow me. which means sometimes, teaching me endurance. teaching me to wait for heart change. means giving me many days of thinking i'm free, maybe i even am; but then occasionally bringing me back to the mountain and putting a knife in my hand and saying "alright, there's isaac, bound on the alter, but will you lift the knife?"

i will. every time it's a little faster, a little easier. not because i am so good or strong or brave or in love with Jesus. ha. ha. i'm not.
but. He is good. stronger than anything in me, stronger than all my wrong kind of strength. He is bravery n gives courage. He is loving, n steals my heart to love Him.
kinda fantastic. wow. i guess this whole dying and becoming new is actually legit!! kinda love it. no seriously?! i can just say "hey God. thanks for the several weeks of greatness but um that void is back, and my hearts a little achy; i'm helpless. so. what are You up to? i know it's good, i know its to further the gospel somehow n glorify Your name while doing good in and for me...make me want you MOST, give me desires that match Your will. i'll be trucking on, fighting to keep my eyes on you n not think till you met me here, ok?" and He meets me. sometimes in minutes, sometimes days. rest is oh so lovely a place to live.

*logicallize, v. trying to take illogical, free, out of the box things and cram them into logical order so as to have some semblance of control to avoid any discomfort.