Friday, March 9, 2018


I've been praying.
Praying things heavy.
Praying things unknown by me.
Praying Colossians 2:1-10
Praying, that we, the ones who've called Him our God...
would have hearts that would be encouraged as a result of loving relationships with each other.
Praying that we would all continue to gather the kind of wealth that comes from confidence that we are on a journey of understanding;
and this journey will take us into a real and intimate knowing of Jesus.
Who He was,
Who He is
and in whom are ALL the other priceless things we long to know
and need to know
of what is true-
good and beautiful.
Again, the path to understanding what life is about
is in him.
I pray this -
to remind us not to be fooled, deluded
by persuasive argument.
For even though I am limited in time, in space, in my humanity
His Spirit in me and in you...
can grant the clarity we long for,
and in disciplining our minds
to be informed by our hearts
that must be informed by HIS Spirit...
we can be glad
so thankful
for the stability
HE grants our faith.
For how can we expect that minds and hearts formed in a twisted version of what is true, good and beautiful have any hope of discovering it through those same twisted sources?
Twisted philosophies
Twisted imaginations
Twisted reasonings
As we have received Christ Jesus the Lord...
(by faith not reason, philosophy or imagination or the most thorough liturgy)
SO walk in Him.
Continue on, BY FAITH...(the vision of what is physically unseen - but
of the Spirit), known through relationship with Him.
Our faith is not stupid, concocted foolishness
when it is rooted in the reality of love with Him.
Having been FIRMLY rooted, built up in Him.
Continue in faith!!
You've learned be thankful for all that groundwork!
See to must watch over your mind and heart and all the work that has been accomplished in you already.
If you are not diligent in your faith, nurturing and caring for your relationship, your heart connection with Him who made you,
you are susceptible to be swept away and captivated by philosophy
empty reasoning from empty hearts, fooled into reasoning away the Creator...
who set aside their origins by things passed down from other men
of limited and twisted understanding.
Human smarts will NEVER equal godly wisdom.
They are not one and the same!
Instead, look to the One who came to untwist us
our Savior, Jesus Christ.
For in Him and Him alone
ALL that is beyond us
greater than us
truer than us
lives in the flesh!
Redeeming all that our flesh was meant to be.
We do have an authority.
We do have a place to go for answers.
We do have a dependable final WORD.
And He and only He
will make everything right again.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Raised Eyebrows

I've spent the last two weeks staring at my grandson. His little face is so sweet and right now, he likes to raise his barely visible eyebrows.
My kids always disliked my eyebrows;
not their color, not their form butthe fact that my eyebrows were on a continual journey to my hairline.
My kids knew that if my eyebrows were up, my back was up and they would not listen to my words until those eyebrows made their way back down to where they belonged.
Did you know that only about 7% of communication is understood through words? This is disappointing to someone who enjoys words! What are the implications? The implications are that my words are almost entirely interpreted through the effects of my tone and my body language. Tone and body language are far more effective at conveying my heart than the words I choose. So while I may hope to control my words with wisdom...I cannot always control my fingers, my lips, my shoulders, my arms...
My tapping foot may betray my impatient heart while my mouth is speaking words of understanding. My narrowed lids may condemn while my mouth speaks forgiveness.
The thing is, our hearts are the instructors of our thoughts, and our hearts are in a struggle.
Even when we know our hearts may be wrong,
even when we are trying to get our tongues to behave,
our hearts are there to twist up what we are attempting to straighten.
I simply cannot say effective words (or write them) if I am forming them exclusively by ruminating in my inner world. Communication, in all forms, reaches out from the heart and touches others from tricky tangled wounds and limits.
"The heart is deceitful above all things...". Jer. 17:9
King David knew this!
In Psalm 139:17 he writes: "How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" but in verse 2, he writes: "You understand my thought_ from afar"
So, where God's thoughts are endlessly plural, a treasure adventure, a discovery; my thoughts are incredibly limited, singular and predictable.
David recognizes these truths about himself and God. Instead of treasuring his own opinions, musings and conclusions, he seeks the God who perfectly understands and loves.
This is convicting to me.
My heart IS a tricky and tangled maze of feelings. My feelings have developed through my own experiences...and as a result, I have limited understanding and my thoughts can be misleading.
That's why above all, I absolutely MUST find His thoughts far more precious than my own! His thoughts toward us come from His pure heart. His thoughts are endlessly wise and immeasurably good.
And while His thoughts are communicated to me through His Word, I interpret them through what feels like His tone and His body language.
The Church, as Christ's body-
is communicating Him through our "body" language.
We help or hurt each other's ability to know Him.
I have to ask:
Do our shrugs say "He is indifferent" while our mouths speak "He cares"?
Do our raised chins say "He is a tyrant" while we recite "He came to serve"?
Do our shaking heads say "He's done with you" while we quote "He saves"?

Christ's "body language" is emerging from His people and influencing the interpretations of His Word.
If I cannot trust the thoughts I form from hurt feelings and limited perceptions,
if my communication is screaming from deeper places than my intellect or carefully developing theology than my heart must be lifted to Him again and again and again
for His examination and correction.
The One who created my "inmost being" is the One who knows and the only One whose thoughts can be trusted.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart..." Psalm 139:23
show me the hurtful ways in me,
and lead me in the way that leads to You.

Monday, January 29, 2018

What’s mine, is Yours

My baby had a baby.
Every baby is a miracle;
 some arrivals make that fact a little more obvious.
She was sick.
He was stuck.
We were waiting...
But at 11:12AM,
They rescued him from where a baby cannot stay,
And her from what a momma cannot bare.
In another time or another place
Yesterday may not have been what it was...
And we are so grateful to live here
And to live now!
While I waited I mostly prayed for MY baby,
while she prayed for hers.
This is motherhood: baby
sitting, pressing, calling on your heart.
Don’t get me wrong-
My baby’s baby
Is beautiful, precious.
We already love him with swells and bursts and awe.
But my baby’s baby will make my baby’s life more difficult at times.
So I will first,
Think of the one who came first...the one I like to call “mine”.
What a day!
I don’t remember going to bed last night.
But I remember my dream.
I was was grotesque! My hair fell in a ring,
like a monk, around a circle of white fuzz on the top of my head.
...A scary little subconscious dose
Of the reality of mortality .
So today, I am so grateful to live here
And now
for the One who likes to call me “mine”...
As this life just keeps tromping along!

“Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord
Is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.
And His righteousness to children’s children.”
 Psalm 103:13,17
“I ask on their behalf...of those whom You have given me;
for they are Yours;
And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are mine...”
Jesus- John 17:9-10a
“This is eternal life, that they may know You,
The only true God, and Jesus Christ
Whom You have sent.” V. 3

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Welcome to the most celebrated holiday in the world! Last night we saw displays of excitement from cultures we never even think about, from intriguing to the bazaar, poignant to pointless. But all having this in common: humans wonder what's to come. 2017 may have left us fleeing into 2018 or reluctantly shoved...but we are all curious about what will fill the next 365 days.
This past year was a constant counting for us;
deadlines and due dates, furniture, children, the stuff of changes...bustling in and out, filling and emptying our house faster than I could sweep up the swirling dust bunnies.
Counting days began in the beginning -when God agreed to make Himself, the immeasurable...measurable and in that moment He made matter, matter.
Days matter. Days are meant to be filled.
After all, what is measuring and counting all about if not to determine fullness
and to evaluate the how and the when of what is spent?
Given all that I wish I had written about on the spending of 2017, I have a new journal for 2018.
It is thick and blank and green.
And I intend to fill it with the black ink of record-keeping, of the how and when my days are filled and drained and filled again.
Will this year be a year when long longings are filled or hidden ones are brutally exposed or when I am simply left to wait to understand the purpose of it all?
Ephesians 4:10 reminds us that Jesus came to "fill all things", even time itself.
Galatians 4:4 says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."
The purpose of time was for God to make himself knowable, tangible, seen and felt and the best representation of all He is and all He meant humanity to be- is Jesus. Jesus IS the purpose of every moment of every day of every year so that the whole earth would be filled with His power and beauty and love. Jesus' life was spent because ours needed to be set back on track, filled and spent on the more we were designed as His children.
I am so thankful for God's power and kindness in redeeming us and the moments of our lives. I'm so thankful for how Jesus emptied Himself so that we could "know the love of Christ which surpasses (mere) knowledge, so that we may be filled up (with the actual experience) of all the fullness of God." Eph. 3:19
I pray that our new days will become exciting displays of His love, power, and beauty.
May the redemption of our moments,
our stupidities and clarities
failures and victories
wanderings and findings
losings and winnings
takings and givings
count when they are counted.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Borrowed Wish

American Christmas comes and squeezes us; jangling our pockets and wringing the last ounce of our energies. Yet, in the art of ancients...we see a composed Mary bowed in admiration. An aura of fullness and wonder somehow still emotes through centuries, since that wondrous night.
Fullness and wonder
We are squeezed and wrung!
Mary's heart was waiting and wishing for the Promised One.
Mary's heart was humble and focused.
And when the waiting finally gave way to the Answer,
Mary's wish was granted and she rejoiced.
Here is what Mary wished for:
God's best wishes...not flimsy, ill-conceived, or poorly timed.
God's best wishes:
"His mercy upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him."
 Lk. 1:50
"Lifting the humble" v. 52
"Filling the hungry" v. 53
Performing "mighty deeds with His arm" v. 51
Deeds of protection and justice,
The Answer to Mary's wish, the coming of Jesus was the initiation of God's wishes for us coming true...
The first Christmas was the initiation of God toward humanity.
In America and all over the world we are still waiting to see His wishes for us in the fullness of hearts yielded to Him.
So I'm going to borrow Mary's wishes this Christmas-
That, waiting for Him to bring us all into the "great things" He has promised, will prepare our hearts in humility and focus so that when our waiting gives way to His answer, we are ready to rejoice!

Lord, teach us to wait like your faithful servants. When our days are full of freedom and space, guard us from sowing hope in temporal things, which have no permanence and make us hollow. When our days are full of strife and pain, guard us from despairing of your love. Teach us to wait like Simeon, who lived only to see the Son of God. Teach us to wait like Anna, who made her home in the house of the Lord. Teach us, the church, to say with one voice, ‘mine eyes will see the salvation of the Lord.”
Amen. JessamyDelling,

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Advent Invitation

Luke 2: 8 "And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace with whom He is pleased." 
What is “Glory”? “Glory” in some ways defies definition.
It reminds me of trying to repackage something back into its original box or wrapping a very large gift; just when you think you've got it all covered, you find another part.
By definition, this unwieldy word means profound honor, profound value, intense brilliance.
Glory is the “Big Reveal” of God’s magnificence. The “Ah-hah” moment of what is true about Him…
Physical manifestations of an unseen reality.
It is a noun... unparalleled beauty and power that belong to God alone.
It is also a verb meaning “to take great pleasure in, to revel”
“Glory” is God, cracking the clouds of our reality and inviting us into His.
Glory has to do with those inexplicable moments that seize our hearts and draw us into worship.
Luke 2:14 is one of those moments :
“Glory to God in the highest…”
The Angels called out to the shepherds. Verse 13 describes these angels as “Heavenly Hosts”.
What does a good host do?
A good host says: “Welcome to my home! Come in, share this with me...let’s enjoy it together.”
This call of the Angels to glory was an invitation for these unlikely guests to taste the deeper, truer, richer reality of their existence.
The call to Glory is an invitation to come and revel in the deeper, truer reality of all that belongs to God and because of Jesus, all that belongs to us.
Heavenly reality seems to lie always on the outskirts of our reality. It appeared to be outside the shepherds’ reality and outside of Mary and Joseph’s as well...until the Heavenly Hosts burst through the heavens.
God’s beauty and power are so great we literally can’t handle Him, in our present condition! We must slowly be changed into people that can handle our true “home”, our real-er reality. In the meantime, He’s given us invitations to visit with Him.
Our days are dark but there are moments when God provides sneak peeks of what is and what is to come.
Christmas is time when we are more surrounded by extra displays of beauty, peace, and love,
or a more profound awareness of the lack of it in the here and now.
It comes and goes and with it so do our moments of happy anticipation and great disappointment.
We all often crawl into January with a “not quite” residue in our souls.
But Christmas is an invitation for us to visit with God, to come at the angels call and revel in His reality a little more,
a little longer.
Jesus came, some despised Him.
Some competed with Him for His Glory.
And some saw it and were welcomed in like the shepherds.
Let us not despise this opportunity in cynicism and anticipated disappointment. But instead take time to really look for Him everywhere, in everything. Remember that Jesus Himself brought glory to God in the moment of His greatest pain.
And let us not idolize this opportunity, by staring at beautiful things and clinging to powerful moments for so long that our eyes never drift up to the actual source of the beauty and power. Only the source Himself lasts...all the rest,
all of those “sneak peaks” cannot last, they cannot satisfy because they are only meant to lead us TO Him.
“Glory To God In The Highest…”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

When Love Seems Cruel, Part 3

Death is the "darkest thing we know"...and this is where Jesus had to go to undo the work of darkness. He had to go into it. In His Holiness, He is the only One who could bear this moment of cosmic confrontation and win. But as He forged further and further into that darkness, the light of His Father's presence felt far, far away. That's what suffering does; it takes time and stretches it to unbearable lengths. Relief is so long in coming we wonder whether it is coming at all. But the beautiful Psalm Jesus quoted in his agony does not end as it begins. Psalm 22:24, "For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden his face from him, but when he cried to Him for help,
He heard."
Where was God the Father when His Son was suffering? He was at work undoing our undoing! And Jesus was and is the delivered deliverer.
Our Saviour's words of groaning from the cross were not whimpers of desperation, but roars of a conquering victor leading through the unimaginable struggle of battle.
  "Because our King has led the way—more than that, He has made the way. There was no way through death until He burst death open from the inside. Death swallowed Him, but it was like swallowing the sun: He was a burning light that could not stay obscured. Not even by the darkest thing we know." Jessica Snell,
Here ends, for now, my thoughts on Father God's heart toward His Son and toward us.
"How deep the Father's love for us
how vast beyond all measure
that He should give His only Son
to make a wretch His treasure....
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished..."