Category Archives: God thoughts

The Waiting Room

Do you ever feel like you are in ‘the waiting room’ in life? Misty’s song “I’m here in the waiting room// waiting on unanswered prayer” has been going through my mind a lot lately. 

It sort of gives that picture, of the times you just have to sit and wait… and wait… and wait. Waiting on what the Lord is going to bring to pass. Promises He has made, work He is doing in us, etc. Yet, today it just seems as if the fulfillment of the promise or the fruit of the work is as far out of our reach as the moon is from the earth. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday IHOP!

I totally forgot to say!

Yesterday was IHOP’s 9 year anniversary. May 7th, 1999 we began prayer for 12 hours a day, then on Sept. 19th, 1999 we went 24-7. 

It was a good day. Nothing crazy happened in the prayer room, but we pressed in for healing again, we finished a 3 day fast, and it was encouraging to know that we have been doing this 9 years. 

August will be my personal 3 year anniversary of being at IHOP. It’s been a good journey. 🙂

(IHOP, a.k.a. The International House of Prayer of Kansas City)

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He is the Potter

A few days ago I was reading a book by a well-known Christian lady. She is one of the ‘mothers’ of our faith, a woman who stood as strong for Christ 50 years ago as she is doing today. I was struck, in a very timely way, about a certain aspect of her faith.

In our churches today we hear a lot about Jesus as our personal  Lord and Savior, about the God who cares, about loving our neighbor and so on. But we (or at least I) have heard very little about Jesus our personal LORD  and Savior. I love the bridal paradigm, Jesus’ passionate love for the believer, and the father heart of God. But we simply cannot forget the areas of holiness, obedience and the fact that Jesus is our Lord. God is our master. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we are now slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6) God is the potter, and I am the clay.

 I have been struggling a lot over certain changes in my life-circumstances. I don’t like them. My job is shifting a little bit, and I liked things the way they were, not how they are becoming. In the last few weeks, my conversation with God has mostly been talking to him about my pain, about how frustrating the situation is and so on. In reading the above-mentioned book, I realized something. God has made the change, and I need to be reconciled to it. His purposes are fairly clear; it is stirring me up, forcing me to bring my mind, my will and my emotions into submission to God. It is a struggle that is teaching me to die to myself and live only to christ. A needed struggle. A necessary exercise of my faith.

John 15:2 Every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit.

 This verse has been a description of my life the past few months…So many scriptures have come alive to me lately.  

My Brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2-3)

But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

I think we need to remember again that God is The Potter. He chooses our giftings, He chooses whom to anoint. (Yes, there is an aspect of investing and cultivating our talents, but He is the one who decides which and how many we are to have) It is our job to seek His will, and then bring our mind, will and emotions into submission to Him. Not an easy task by any means, but the task of Love. If we say that we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strenth, then our actions should show that to be so.

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Radical Trust

The phrase “trust in God” has become almost cliche in Christian circles. One of those ‘christian-ese’ terms that we so frequently are accused of. The reality of trusting God however, goes far beyond what we in our comfort-laden society conceive of. 

Psalm 91:2 – 3 says “I will say of the Lord… in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you…” This passage can be literally painful for those of us waiting on unfulfilled promises. That promised healing, anticipated relationship, necessary financial provision; the list is endless. It boils down to the fact that we expected something that the Lord promised, and it did not happen. What then? How do we live in the tension of believing His Word yet seeing the promises still waiting, collecting dust on the shelf per se, bringing pain and the rending of our heart-strings. The temptation is to simply say “I trust God” and then sit back, believing that ‘what will be, will be’ and there is nothing we can do about it. To cease hoping, praying, and pursuing the fulfillment of the promise. Yet to set the promise aside is to cast aside trust and live a lie. It is saying on one hand “I trust” but living entirely different. 

Trust truly is radical. It is choosing to remain in the pain. It is choosing to not be offended with God because he has delayed what he promised to do. It is pressing in with prayer, giving of finances, asking for healing and believing that God is going to answer. It is in that place of being torn between what we see to be true and what we believe to be true that our hearts learn what it means to hope. Our hearts learn what it means that God loves us in our weakness. We learn to love, because we are learning to trust. 

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Thoughts from the chronicles…

Do you have a favorite Narnia book? I think the standard fav is the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – or to Narnia fans – LWW. 🙂 However, for many years, my favorite of the series has been The Horse and His Boy.

It could be because the central character – Shasta’s encounter with Aslan – the Lion (a.k.a. Jesus figure of the stories) is the most marvelous, in my opinion in the whole series.The story is generally about this young poor boy escaping slavery through many adventures, only to arrive in Narnia and find out that he is a long lost prince. Yes, very fairy tale ish. 🙂 

Beyond the idealism (which does apeal to my INFJ personality type) however, is the underlying perception, the feeling of ‘unbelonging’; which as I understand was intended by C.S. Lewis. Shasta is an impersonation of the term ‘stranger in a strange land’. He grows up longing for the ‘north’. Like Abraham sought for a country, Shasta leaves the land of his childhood and searches for more.A very similar longing aches in my chest. Not for a new country, but for a new creation. Truly for the “city who’s builder and maker is God”.

Sometimes I run from this longing, sometimes I bring it to God and find relief. As my friend is at this moment singing in the prayer room “I was made for so much more than this, I know”. This is a longing that is only satisfied in Jesus and only satisfied when he returns. Oh how long?!

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God’s mercies are new every morning

Most mornings, my preferred Bible reading is the psalms. They make my heart come alive, and I love the ‘waking up’ feeling in my spirit, as I digest these beautiful portions of scripture. Today I read Psalm 106, which is primarily about Israel going astray and God’s relentless pursuit of her. I think it must have been confounding for Israel, in the day this song was written, to sing these words. They are a clear wake-up call, cycling between God’s mercy and Israel’s rebellion.

One specific phrase jumped out to me. Israel “tested God in the desert and He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul”. Leanness into their soul, I have felt those effects myself. There is nothing more miserable then that leanness. The hunger is overwhelming. God’s mercy is so good, I remember back to specific seasons of my life that were characterized by leanness. God hedged me in, driving me into His embrace. And you know what? I am grateful for those seasons. They have taught me to embrace leaning on my beloved instead of the leanness of my soul.

And in return, I find a new compassion in my soul for others who are in a season or place where they are experiencing leanness. If I had not experienced for myself, my own weakness, I know I would have turned around and judged others. And now, I find a new tenderness for Israel herself. It is misery being in that place of leanness when you are trying to run away from the Lord. And so I can pray for Israel with a little taste of what she has experienced, and it draws me closer in a personal way to the real men and women of the nation of Israel who are in rebellion against God. I can pray for their salvation with tenderness. God’s ways are powerful and his mercy surpasses my understanding.

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Celebrating Advent

If you have not heard yet, and the odds are remarkably in your favor that you have, I am teaching advent to the 3 & 4 yr olds. 🙂 One of my endearing traits is that when I am excited about something, most people know. lol.

Well, to give the details. If you have not heard of advent, it is the tradition of the more conservative Christian church to celebrate the christmas season by celebrating advent. In the tradition of advent, each Sunday of December focuses on a different part of the Christmas story. Not the christmas story with the red rider BB gun. Nor the one with the fat jolly fellow and the many frisky reindeer. Nope, the real one with angels, shepherds and a miraculous birth.

This past Sunday, the focus of our lesson was on ‘Hope’. Hope of His coming, both his first advent and his second advent. Despite some mis-management on my part of getting the craft materials, it turned out to be a lot of fun. We will follow with a week on love (Jesus’ birth), joy (the shepherds), and peace (the angels).

 As I have prepared for these lessons, reading and researching, and digging for a craft that 3-4 yr olds can do in a classroom. Not as easy as it sounds.  I have been struck with how epic the Christmas season is. Often I wondered growing up why after christmas day, life seems bland and empty. One reason (of many), I think, is that for a month or two, we are blasted with the ‘most wonderful time’ and other sort of christmas songs. Somehow promising excitement, something new, something amazing, all climaxing on Christmas day. This does play havoc with my idealist personality. Of course, the songs and anticipation is not necessarily innapropriate. After all, we are celebrating the birth of the God-man, Christ Jesus! The bringer of hope and life and light. His birth, death and resurrection were certainly of  ‘epic’ proportion.

 Yet, this season, promises something dramatic now, and here, and on a real December 25th! And so, though we enjoy reading Luke 2, often it seems like a bunch of hype and commercialism.  Consider it, we decorate our homes with colors and shiny things, the outside is covered with twinkling lights. Seasonal drinks, songs, cookies and more are overabundant.

But it is not lost if we keep Jesus’ first and second coming in perspective. His first coming was not just a historical event, but something that dramatically impacts me every day. Because of His sacrifice I have life, and life abundant. And his second coming, is not something that is merely mythical or fantastical. It is a reality that is coming soon, and it will be a joyous event for the faithful. So, I propose that this christmas season we keep all of the hype in perspective, not tossing it away as some sort of ‘humbug’ as all the christmas stories decry. Nor becoming so immersed in the season that our heart grows dull and it just becomes an excuse for gluttony. Rather keep Jesus in focus, meditate on the joy and wonder of both the first advent and his soon to be second coming. That is the way of life.

Merry Christmas!

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