Posted in Spoken Word, Uncategorized

Hope-Filled

A few words from the economy of Hope
A soap box not often stood on, but as we put on this New self
We find a wealth of words worth reminding, binding us to our Father
In ways we’ve needed for longer than we’ve confessed.
Because even though we’re blessed, it seems we’ve so long stressed the destination
While leaving behind the relation. The Love that has pursued,
We’ve misconstrued as judgment waiting, anticipating that moment sometime far off
When we’re invited into Heaven’s gates, or worse,
Meanwhile the curse of sin seems something we’re left to bear
And His Love finds us there, people trying so hard not to despair, but to declare, Hope.
And at the end of rope, we’re found, as children now being unbound as His Spirit arrives
We find our lives are not just a passing whim, because we’re actually known by Him


The Fathers eye hold us in His steady gaze, as Jesus prays on our behalf, we hear the heart
Of Love that will never depart. And as we start to believe, we receive a New Name
Only scratching the surface of why He came
But as we struggle to remain we hear already the whispers of doubt
Accusations of the rubble strewn about like so many collapsed walls
These halls that are no longer, we wish we’d been stronger, as we examine the pieces
Each stone a word of what we thought would be, we see with our own eyes
The debris of a temple demolished before it could be filled
And it has instilled in us a sense of foreboding, as if floating just over a sea of chaos
Threatening to swallow, and in these hollow ruins we receive the hallowing grace
As the Spirit lifts our face to meet His own, the Father on the throne
Yet also with us, here. Drying every tear, and releasing us from the fear
That these pieces of what could have been can be, should be, will be renamed
Reclaimed as foundation for tomorrow, borrowing Hope where there’s plenty to be found
A solid ground, soil rich for planting, His Kingdom granting our roots
Access to Life of the age to come
Love revealed in the Son, shining with such Love and glory, that we find our story
Has become a reflection of His own, that we are not alone, as the Narrator places one more
Stone upon another, we discover redemption so full that there is no exemption
No place where shadows may remain, no corner that we can’t explain,
for the Light of Love has flooded the whole, and our Soul, Body and Spirit
Are transformed, re-formed by the pulse of resurrections heart
We start to believe in what our Father speaks
That He is not waiting, but seeks our embrace
Time spent face to face, attuning to His ways, that here is Love that stays in the room
Here is grace we can always presume will be, whether on bended knee
Or meeting us on the run, inviting us to come ever nearer, making clearer
The Newness of the Kingdom that is coming, in which all running can cease
For peace can now abound. We who have found ourselves re-storied with a purpose
Making the darkness nervous, as Light gains new ground, all ground,
With rebuilt walls that surround and loudly resound with His praise
Spending our days now, together, united as we read,

Words rebuilt as walls of how we’ve been freed, and how the seeds of His Love
Bear fruit for the healing of the nations, those whose relationships have shattered,
Those scattered into exilic wandering, still pondering whether their story has been written
Those snake-bitten, invited now to see, Love revealed in His suffering on a tree
And You and me? Transformed together to be, outposts of His reign
Unable to contain what has occurred, but by His Living Word
These healed wounds from which blood once spilled
Now proclamations of a world becoming Hope-filled.

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Posted in Spoken Word

Matthew 24:36-44

Matthew 24:36-44

Lord, when You finally come return
Fully revealing Your redemptive plan
When all of creation, swallowed by Love
Including every woman and man

Up until that day, none will be counting
As if they’re knowing the date
Some will have lost all awareness
Yet You call us to actively wait

There will be a disturbing encounter
Love itself meets those living opposed
All false selves will be dissolved as You come
All Truth is then fully exposed

May we be those who remain in Your coming
Love, the very mode of our being
Not blinded by the glory of Your Lordship
Well practiced in such ways of seeing

Make us so aware of Your coming
That here even as we await
We are not those slumbering or watching clock
But those who actively participate

You’ve begun to arrive by Your Spirit
By the ways You’ve already revealed
May we not remain desperate for healing someday
But come as those now being healed

Posted in Different Scriptures, Different Thoughts

powerfully weak.

In prayer with my friend and pastor this morning, we were challenged by these words of A.W. Tozer: “Part of the successful operation of that (unhealthy) church depends upon (those) with business talents and part of it depends upon (those) with natural gifts as salesman and politicians. I say that a Christian congregation can survive and often appear to prosper in the community by the exercise of human talent and without any touch from the Holy Spirit! All that religious activity and the dear people will not know anything better until the great and terrible day when our self-employed talents are burned with fire and only that which was wrought by the Holy Ghost will stand forever! Through His Spirit, God is waiting and willing to do for us or for any church what He waits to do for the entire Body of Christ!

It is a generous mystery, this dichotomy we’re invited to enter into.

On one hand, God has given us each gifts for ministry to be used for His Kingdom. If you’ve never discovered what yours could be, check out this easy test that highlights the 5 primary ways Jesus has gifted people to serve the Church. It’s good for us to discover where all our strengths are, and to be faithful stewards of the gifts God has given us. Part of the important work we do as a church is helping each person to discover how they’re gifted, and how they can join the Kingdom of God being revealed, proclaimed, and experienced. I also believe each of our homes, and each of our local congregations are gifted and shaped in particular ways to reflect and offer the healing presence of Jesus to our neighbors and our communities/world.

On the other hand, we have examples in both scripture and real life where people proclaim/experience God using their weakest areas in order to bring Him glory and do transformational work for the Kingdom. Where we are weak, we are forced to depend completely on the Holy Spirit for empowerment, instead of getting by on our own natural talents/abilities. As Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

So what should we do? Perhaps we could have a season of investigating our weaknesses, and invite everyone to serve only in those areas to ensure we’re always depending on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to arrive? Obviously not.

But we can purposefully seek practices of humility that invite us to both confess our desperate need for God, while offering our brokenness to God in ways that invite His perspective and redemptive use for the Kingdom. We should regularly be seeking ways to empower others and listening for God through them, instead of assuming God only wants to do what He has done through those He has already used. We should be willing to invite new people into service in ways that offer grace to experimenting with new skills – as a way of affirming our dependence on the One who must be our foundation and guide.

One thing the pandemic offered us, was a chance to strip back all the “extras”, and examine why we do what we do. Many have already lamented that the church, anxious to return to what was, may have missed an invitation and opportunity to be revived in ways we cannot on our own strength. What are the foundations of who we are, and what we’re seeking to accomplish as we gather, and as we are being sent out each week? Perhaps it’s good for us to completely “unplug” or “re-arrange” what seem to be our natural talents/resources on a regular basis – to light a candle, pause in silence, and orient ourselves in the presence of a God who promises He will always be found by those who seek.

What might that look like in your life today?

What might it look like if we sought such empowerment together, confessing by prayer and fasting that our own appetites and abilities to feed them will never reach that which God pours out freely?