Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Arrow and the Roadblock

The thought occurred to me this morning, in only the way that God can lead my thoughts, that I have been given an amazing opportunity to influence people and encourage people. And I'm not alone in this - we all do.

Take a step back from your situation for a minute - & try to look at all that is in your life right now, job, hobbies, activities, relationships. Think about the people you come in contact with everyday. What if the purpose for all of it is to make sure you're standing by Joe at Starbucks on Thursday morning at 8:06 to smile and say good morning. What if it's about the people that God has placed in your life that are so difficult, that if you were to be honest, you try to avoid when possible - but what if there was purpose in those encounters as well - to mold and make you, but also to sharpen that other person by your lifestyle.

I just think that I miss it, being so focused on the details, that there is this whole mesh of events intersecting in my life to fulfill exactly what God wants to do - and it's my choice whether or not I'm willing to be used by Him, aware that its even happening, or to stick my head back into the sand of details and issues. Of course - there needs to be balance in this, but if you're like me, you just swing between extremes most of the times that that this is what I need to hear to re-correct my perspective.

But so often, I personally get caught up in my routine, being the detail-oriented person that I am, and get so focused on the obstacles and issues in my life that need to be worked out that I forget that all around me are people that I could be used to encourage, to challenge, to point to God.

What is it that God has uniquely designed you to do? Do you make people laugh easily? Do you draw people out in conversation by your willingness to listen and ask probing questions? Do you have this quirkiness about you that inspires others' creativity just by the way you express yours? It's not there just for you to enjoy - God's placed it there to connect you to those other people, to encourage and influence them for His purpose - and He'll use them if we let Him. If we're willing to be aware that He's already at work all around us, and is inviting us to join Him.

Scripture says that we long for Him, whether we see it as a longing to be comforted or to be rescued or to be affirmed- He is the sum total of all that we need and could ever want. AND when He uses what He has given us to reveal Himself to others, they will be drawn to us - and what will be give them in return? Where we will direct them from there?

In college, the analogy came to me of an arrow and a roadblock bench (is that what they're called - those things they set up in roads to block the path - like on all the flooded streets in GA at the moment). I was walking on-campus at UCF, which at the time was always under construction, and had been struggling with yet again another failed relationship. By this time, God had gotten a hold of me enough to have at least dated a Christian guy. But it just didn't seem to really have a different outcome than the rest - disappointed expectations, going in different directions, etc.

Anyways, as I'm walking past these roadblock signs, it occurs to me that this is what I felt was happening symbolically when I entered into these relationships, that as I'm walking with God and trying to follow His lead, I was getting distracted down these relationship paths that ended up at a dead-end, an impasse. And so being the black and white thinker that I am, I immediately concluded that this was God's sign to me that He was calling me to singleness in my life. (yeah, dramatic, i know) - But then He continued to speak, which is often my problem, i jump to conclusions before He's had a chance to finish communicating His thoughts to me.

He told me that I could find an arrow, someone that I could be in relationship with that would continually point me back to Him. That is wouldn't be about someone ever fulfilling all my needs, or me theirs, but that it would be someone that God used in my life to remind me that He is my Source, and if he chooses to use that man to meet some of my needs, great. But if not, He is still my Source and it's not the purpose of a relationship, anyways.

All this relates in that it's stuck with me - not just in the context of romantic relationships - but in who I want to be to other people, and who I ultimately want to be around. Those individuals that are used by God to reveal more of who He is, and then continually point you back to Him. It means that they don't go glory-seeking for credit, or try to even meet/fix your problems themselves, but they recognize their own depravity & need for Christ, and encourage you to go to Him as well. And it means being so filled up by God, allowing Him to teach me that my worth is in Him, that when I am used by God, it doesn't become a threat to me - that I don't start thinking that my 'usefulness' to God dictates my worth now.

So - that is what I want to be - an arrow - and that is who I feel challenged to be this morning, if God chooses in His infinite grace and mercy to use me to reveal more of Him to someone else, that it wouldn't really be about me at all - but just pointing people back to their Maker, their Lover, their Redeemer, their Friend, their Comforter - to the One that is able to meet whatever need drew them in in the first place.

And we have that opportunity, even today, to point people back to Him!

Ephesians 5:15-17 -
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I am feeling the need, with my lack of motivation/desire to do anything and nothing, to persevere, to remember what it was that God said last to focus on, and to do that faithfully while waiting for Him to reveal more of Himself. To stand firm in the things that I know He has asked me to do - be kind, faithful, generous, patient, loving - which could keep me busy for the rest of my life, and pray that He will complete these things in me as I wait.

I'm also feeling the need to cling to His Word, not because of its benefits to me anymore, but because it's Truth, it's solid, it's unchanging, it's my only Hope of maneuvering through this world with any purpose. So often I convince myself of the reasons why I should be obedient because of the benefits of said obedience, instead of just saying, "I love you, Daddy, and therefore I will obey. You are Lord, and have the right to my life."

I was challenged by this today from an email that I received through this online mentoring program that I get the blessing and challenge of being a participating in. The girl was telling me that she's heard all these reasons as to why she shouldn't have pre-marital sex, from God's Word, from other believers, etc., but even as a believer herself, she isn't convinced, not even by the Holy Spirit inside of her that convicts of every time she has sex with her boyfriend.

When did we make Christianity about our benefit and not about being obedient to what God's Word says? When did we make not have pre-marital sex more about avoid STDs than doing it because God says to honor the marriage bed? We accept His salvation greatly and gratefully, but we rejected His Lordship from the get-go with our attitudes of convenient obedience.

Maybe the 'we' really is just me - because I can only speak for myself - but I'm being challenged today, as Joshua was, to answer "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." -not serve my flesh, not serve my emotions, not serve my reputation or what others think of me - but serve the Lord, give Him my life, my time, my desires, my money - all of it.

"But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: "In the last days there will be people who don't take these things seriously anymore. They'll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts." These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There's nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit!

But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!

Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes."
- Jude 1:15-25

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I personally want to see God

So, God has been continually bringing my attention back to the issue of purity, specifically regarding the struggle today that people are having (Christians included) with pornography and sexual sins. This is definitely not a topic that I am comfortable with, with my somewhat shy, reserved nature, but when God gives you a passion for something and persists in leading you towards it, at some point you just have to surrender to it if you want to go with Him.

Anyways, I was burdened again tonight with the fact that so many believers seem so desensitized to the sexuality that they promote, the lack of clothing that they wear, etc., as though they have no idea what this does to men, even their brothers in Christ, or that they don't care. I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt that they have just been so exposed to the sensuality of TV/media, etc., that they no longer see the danger of it, and it just has slowly crept its way into their wardrobe and behavior.

But it burdens my heart for two reasons in particular. One, the immense struggle that people have, mainly guys, when it comes to being visually oriented, and seeing women wearing revealing clothing and acting in a provocative manner, especially when they are in an environment that is supposed to offer safety and shelter from this.

Secondly, it burdens my heart for these women, who for whatever reason, have fallen into the lie that they need to act this way for attention, or have just been so deceived into not seeing how it affects others around them. And in this, they miss so much of what God offers to those that desire and seek after purity of mind, heart, & body.

I've always been told that I'm 'too sensitive' and so often have felt as though this was a huge weakness personally. But I've come to see more and more of God's purpose in creating me this way, that not in my own righteousness do I have the ability to see this, but in the specific way that He has created me that enables me to be set apart by my sensitivity to these issues to see it more clearly. Lord knows that I have had my days behind me, and even some days more recently in terms of my heart's condition, that have been far from pure. But He has also blessed me with some experiences of Him that result from giving up certain things that were desensitizing me to Him, and once you have a taste of His goodness, you don't want to turn back.

Anyways, i find myself so often responding in my flesh to others' lack of purity, angered and frustrated by it, as though it's a personal offense. But the Lord is slowing changing my heart to see that so often we're blinded to these kind of things, and in the same way that I did not draw myself out of my own pits, others don't have the ability to either, except through surrender to God, that is.

And it was very cool because tonight He led me to some verses of purity that can better help me to pray for myself, my marriage, and others around me by speaking God's truth to it. He is the One that opens our eyes to reveal Truth, and the battle that we face is spiritual, so allowing myself to get frustrated or disappointed at individuals is just missing the point.

This is not to say that we, as believers, once we have learned the Truth that we don't have personal responsibility in how we respond to this. I believe that we are called to pursue holiness, which necessitates purity, with all that is within us, in order to walk in the Spirit, abide in God, and to fulfill the purposes that He sets before us through His Spirit. And I believe that we forfeit this intimate nature of fellowship, the higher calling on our lives, when we settle for a remote relationship hindered by the ways that we settle for the lesser, impure things of this world.

2 Timothy 2:20 - 21

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work."

Scripture says that if we pursue our own desires long enough, the Lord will give us over to them. We will no longer hunger for the things of Him and no longer remember what it was like to experience anything better. It's the anesthetic nature of sin - numbing us to the Truth for a while, but it never lasts forever, and we have to continue to go back to these broken cisterns to try to get another swig before we start to feel the pain and hint of emptiness in it.

consecrated - set apart, distinct from its surroundings

Does your life look consecrated? Does mine? Do we stand out like a light on a hill, because our purity and integrity speak so loudly for themselves, or do people only know that we're Christians because we say that we go to church, attend a Bible study, pray before a meal? Do non-believers even see Christians as different anymore?

I challenge you to seek out personally what God's Word says about purity - the promises offered those that pursue it, the benefits provided by those that abide there, and the dangers that come when we so easily forsake it. And until we can get freed from the bondage that this type of deception offers us, we're never going to be able to reach out to the world around us to offer them anything other than a sympathetic handshake and nod, because we know what it's like because we're right there with them. I personally want to "see God" (Matthew 5:8).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Isaiah 61

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."
-Isaiah 61:1-3

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inside Out - Part 1

I'm re-reading "Inside Out" by Dr. Larry Crabb, which I HIGHLY recommend! I read it in college, and believe that God used it as an instrument to open my eyes to not only more of myself, my tendencies, and why I was the way I was/am, but also my absolute love for psychology and being able to help identify these truths to help people recover, heal, and live as God intended them to live.

I don't have much time at the moment to go in-depth, but wanted to share a few quotes that I've come across so far that I feel are pretty powerful.

I do give fair warning that once you've read this book, there is no going back. It's a pandora's box of sorts, opening your eyes to things that sometimes are a lot easier not knowing - ignorance is bliss, as some may say - but in this case, ignorance is what keeps us from truly stepping into the Life that Christ offers. To know Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to be obedient...and how can we know, love, or obey without first hearing? without first being introduced to Truth?

Anyways - more to come -

"When we succeed at arranging our life so that 'all is well,' we keep ourselves from facing all that's going on inside. We rearrange rather than change, and in doing so, we never become the transformed person God calls us to be. We never experience freedom from destructive patterns of living."

"Biblical change never requires us to pretend that things are better than they are. Christ wants us to face reality as it is, including all our fears, hurts, resentments, and self-protective motives we work hard to keep out of sight, and to emerge as changed people. Not pretenders. Not perfect. But more able to deeply love because we're more aware of His love."

Much love,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sweet time

Definitely been a while since I've blogged - besides just being a very busy season of my life, I think that I've allowed a lesser outlet to take the place of my blog. I put it that way because I only realized it tonight - that God has given me this desire to write and sometimes I feel the closest to Him when I write - and it's like I've substituted challenging myself with this blog for the occasional revelation I can share via twitter in 40 words or if that is somehow going to make me feel connected to God, or all me to use the gifts that He's given me - the desire that He's put in me to encourage and share what amazing things I experience with Him, and to hopefully be a light for someone else to find Him just as irresistible as I do. It's like when I'm writing, He reveals things as my fingers are hitting the keyboard, and I walk away refreshed and renewed and enlightened. I pray that it doesn't stop there - that others can experience the same through it - but ultimately, you just gotta do what God puts before you and let Him take care of the results, right?

Anyhow - I'm saying no to the quick fix of twitter and facebook to appease my desire, my God-given desire, to share what He is doing in my life. So, no offense to any of you frequent fbers or those that tweet to your hearts content, it's just not enough for me anymore. :) I want more of His revelation in my life than just a 5 second tweet and then I'm off and running.

It's 11:30, & of course, I'm wide awake. God made me a night owl, and I'm never more awake and seemingly alive than when it's dark outside, but I'm in a safe place. But so often, it's not about my physical environment, but that sweet refuge that He offers, because there's something about night that opens up my heart. I don't know if its the same for most people, or women, should I say, but it just seems that I'm more in tune with my emotions at night. "In tune" is probably a gentle way of putting it - some may see it as emotional or overly sensitive. But I guess tonight, I can at least see the positive sides to it.

It's at these times that I feel the most alive towards God - an intimacy with Him, as I'm acknowledging what I'm truly feeling - what my busy day has hidden from me and what now comes to the surface because I have no more energy to expend to try to hide it or push it down. And it's in these times that His arms are wide open, beckoning me to come, sit back, and just be with Him.

I've run across an amazingly powerful worship song that I haven't heard in years - it was one of the first songs I can remember listening to in High School, when I was seeking awkwardly and frailly (is that even a word?) after the Lord, and it was one of those songs that just spoke of the passion that I felt, and the commitment that I desired to have with the Lord. It is "I Surrender All" by Clay Crosse.

I couldn't find another version of it online that you can listen except this one,

What is it about songs, about music, that just speaks to our souls? What is it about the gift of artists that can write lyrics that describe what you have never been able to put into words yourself, and you immediately know that if you could just sit down & talk with them for 5 minutes, you'd know that you could connect on such a deeper level than some of your closest friends...because they speak your language.

Anyways, so I've been having this really sweet time with the Lord, sitting in front of this laptop, listening to these old Clay Crosse songs, and just worshiping. It's one of those times where you just feel so sensitive and open before the Lord, and you just know that He's here, smiling and enjoying it as much as you are....I wish all days could be this fresh.

Ran across another song I haven't heard in a while - not a CC original, and actually never heard him sing it before - so I found another version. Check it out when you have a minute to sit and really soak it in!

I Will Not Forget You

Anyways, hope you enjoy them as much as I did tonight!

May God grant you eyes to see Him, ears to hear His voice, a heart that is sensitive to His Spirit and that yearns for His presence, so that you never settle for anything less than Him, ever!

Till next time,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Guest Blogging

So, a good friend called me yesterday and asked me to be a guest blogger on her site next week while she's out of town. I have to admit I thought it ironic that she wanted me to write for hers when I don't even regularly write on my own..HA, but anything for a friend.

Please do check out her blog. She's a spunky, creative girl with a heart for God and a love for people, fashion, truth, and coffee. You'll see why I like her.

So, I better get to work on her post - my deadline is Sunday PM, and will be posted (if I make the cut (eek)) sometime next week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Willingness -cont.

So, I'm still meditating on the whole willingness factor...and just seeing it more and more crucial in the life of a Christ follower. I'm just surprised that I don't hear more on it (unless this is just a given and it's only profound to me...but regardless, I'm enjoying this new revelation). I mean...willingness, the ability to choose to submit and surrender to God, instead of being controlled by your flesh, and it actually also insinuates an eagerness and joy with it! I guess you could put it under the umbrella of self-control, but I see it so much more as the heart of the issue than just learning discipline. I see it as truly surrendering to God as the authority of your life, allowing Him to dictate instead of self. Anyways, just love that word...willingness...makes me think of meekness and gentleness as well.

Which leads me to what we often after to submit or surrender to.....sacrifice.

I read something the other day about sacrifice, and we, as a culture, and I'm guessing as a generation, of believers have moved further and further away from the Truth that being a follower of Christ means that we will have to sacrifice our own lives - that we take up the cross (our impending death) and follow after Him with it - and then willingly crucifying our flesh whenever and wherever He directs. Oh yeah, did I mention daily?? Appealing, huh? Anyone want to be a Christian? No wonder we don't really include this as the selling point in our evangelistic pursuits, huh? :) much of our philosophy these days (for lack of a better term) is about how being a follower of Christ means that we're going down the right path, and therefore all things will go smoothly and succinctly (efficiently) and along this perfect time table that we know are able to determine because 'we have the mind of Christ.' But what life am I mirroring with this? Is this how I perceived Christ's life to be? Is this the picture that He desires to show the world through my life?

Really, if you look at that statement, it's pretty revealing of what Jenny values, and not necessarily God - comfort, smooth ride, efficiency, things happening when I want them's probably a good practice to test yourself, the next time you're describing things, to see if it's truly Biblical, or just your version of Jesus.

Can i just say that God may be and probably is efficient in some things, but that He is also extravagant and sometimes, if we were honest, we'd probably even consider wasteful at times? Look at His love, poured out, for everyone - even for those that He knew wouldn't receive Him??!!

I must admit that I used this example in an argument with my husband once. He had said something that was a little insensitive and careless, and his response was that he was just trying to be efficient (which I admire in him most of the time :)), and my response to Him was that love is not efficient. And it's is anything but efficient. Love doesn't just measure out the minimum in a particular situation, but it covers over a multitude of sins.

So, did I just contradict myself is saying that God is efficient if God is love?? Somehow, being God, I think He can probably do both. But I'm not claiming any new theology here! :)

Anyways, back to the point - labeling our walk with God has smooth, timely, succinct.

If anything, I think this speaks more of the call to perfectionism that the world sends than the call to the cross, where grace is extended for the imperfect. The world is the one that tells us that we have to meet a certain standard to be accepted, when God is the one that sent His Standard so that we could be accepted.

So much of my walk with Christ has still been about striving to be this picture in my head of someone that perfectly understands God's will for her life and doesn't live the way she used to, has her life things together. But I'm learning more and more of the liberating and motivating nature of grace, that tells me it's not about 'me' getting things right, but about receiving God's acceptance as I am. And then because of that, wanting to live differently for Him, through the power of His Holy Spirit- not pursuing acceptance, but pursuing a life that is a response to that grace, and is truly an offering, a living sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

Because when I'm striving to produce anything in my life, it's no longer about giving my life to's about me building my life, about me pursuing my idea of what my life should be like (often under the guise of following Christ.) But when I surrender my life and let the Holy Spirit lead, then I'm pursuing Christ and am truly transformed.

All this to say, I've been intimately reminded lately that often it's about the path God is leading me on that is the much narrower, rockier, harder way, and my willingness to follow Him down (or up) that path. But it makes sense if I exchange my value of perfectionism for willingness, and knowledge for trust. Because if God values my willingness and trust more than my ability to get things right, then it makes sense that He would choose these means to cultivate my character, not about me accumulating my accolades.

For example, let's say the goal or end destination is to get to the other side of a mountain. Our culture tells us to get there first, to make sure that we can capitalize on all that is there before all the opportunities are gone. So, if we're following this path and letting the culture dictate our values, then we'll probably just go around the mountain, anxious to get our share and make a name for ourselves.

And what if God seems to be directing us to the other side, too, but that He tells us that He has something on the top of the mountain for us, something special. Are we willing to value what God places value on? Or are we so anxious to get to the destination, which is ultimately the same as God's destination(right?), that we just say - I'll just go the easier, faster way?

But maybe we don't realize that, so often, going up the harder, rockier, narrower way, we ultimately gain a perspective that we wouldn't have otherwise. What if we were go trust God, 'forfeit' the world's calling to compromise by doing things easier, and go His path. I bet you that you'd find, once you got to the top of the mountain, that the destination on the other side wasn't what it was all cracked up to be, not from up here. And that the top of the mountains was so much greater than you could have ever imagined. AND if you hadn't climbed up, and built that endurance, you wouldn't be able to handle the thin air of the high altitude. But God, through His wisdom, knew that you needed the climb as much as you needed the mountaintop.

So, yeah - I imagine you get my point. This life is so often about something different than what it appears, and until we can see through God's eyes, we better just learn to trust Him and continue to pray for willing hearts to go the hard road despite the one that seems so much easier right in front of us.

And honestly, I think if there were more trusting and willing Christians out there, we might be a little bit easier to handle than a bunch of people that are striving to live perfect lives under the guise of following Christ. Because if we're pursuing perfectionism, we're not really pursuing Christ, are we?

A good friend once told me, in response to my honest question, "But aren't we supposed to be like Christ?"

"No, Jenny." he said, "We're just supposed to follow Him, and He makes us more like Himself."
- Kinda takes the pressure off, huh?

Be a Tree

Don't really have any coherent thoughts about this yet, but wanted to share some of the cool references I'm finding. I've always gravitated towards verses about trees, because I really appreciate trees (and the whole worship symbolism that I wrote about before), and so I'm loving this particular study.

Ezekiel 47:12, "And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."

I especially like the statement, "Spirit-filled and spirit-led Christians are the trees planted by the river whose fruit is for sustenance and leaves are for healing."

I love the idea that my life has the potential, through the Holy Spirit, to nourish and sustain the weary (Isaiah 50:4) and that, like leaves, I can provide a shelter and refuge for people to share their burdens, to get things off their chest, to provide healing through the Word of God, speaking Truth to their needs.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm assuming I'm not the only one, but I underestimate what my life can offer others when I'm surrendered to the Lord, available for Him to use me and saturated in His Word. If I could just soak in His Presence and His Word more, how much more sweeter and effective my life would be when it's wrung out for other people.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Solution - Hillsong United

This was the song that God used to really speak to me this past Wednesday, with all that He had already been showing me about His call to all who will follow Him - to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to bring Hope to the hopeless, and to fight injustice.

It is not a human right
To stare, not fight
While broken nations dream
Open up our eyes so blind
That we might find
The Mercy for the need

Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey now
As we hold to our confession

It is not too far a cry
To much to try
To help the least of these
Politics will not decide
If we should rise
And be your hands and feet

Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey Now
As we hold to our confession

God be the solution
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.
Yeah, yeah

Higher than a circumstance
Your promise stands
Your love for all to see
Higher than protest line and dollar signs
Your love is all we need

Only You can mend the broken heart
And cause the blind to see
Erase complete the sinners past
And set the captives free
Only You can take the widows cry
And cause her heart to sing
Be a Father to the fatherless
Our Savior and our King
We will be Your hands, we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
On the darkest place, we will be Your light
We will be Your light

We will be Your hands , we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place, we will be your light
We will be your light
We'll sing

God be the solution
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.

We will run we will run
We will run with the solution

Hillsong United Concert

Had the pleasure of going to the Hillsong United Concert in Alpharetta on Wednesday night. It was a very refreshing, worshipful evening! Loved being there with Jordan and worshiping together.

God has been talking to me lately about fruit, and how fruit comes from application of His Truth - faithfulness to do what He's called me to do, not just 'know' what He's called me to know. I'm recalling a morning when God revealed to me, via my life verse (Proverbs 3:5-6),
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
that when He talked about knowing or acknowledging, it's usually referring to an intimate knowledge - from a relationship, from experience, not head-knowledge or even a slight nod of our chin to signal that we're getting the idea. It's about the truth sinking into my heart, and then it has the ability to 'make my paths straight.'

And I have to ask myself the question, what am I doing with all that He has shown me and given me? Am I being faithful? Or am I just being 'thoughtful' - thinking and pondering and striving to gain understanding that can truly only come from stepping out and doing the thing that He's put before me. I am terribly analytical - really need to find a balance in that! God has been helping me with this, but there is definitely still a lot of that going on.

I wonder if trust ever involves analyzing? Because that is where I want to to say, as Mary did, "may it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38).

I've been slowly making my way through a book called "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver. It's been challenging me to really face how much I give into my flesh, into my feelings, and letting that dictate what I do or don't do...what I say or don't say. And to bring me back to the 'knowledge' - the intimate knowing in my heart - that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me - the same power that raised Christ from the grave! There is no truthful reason why I should be letting a bad attitude and other trivial circumstances dictate my actions and words. I am praying that God will continue to show me how to access this power more and more.

But I know a piece of it is obedience - again, being willing to step out and put feet to my faith - to do what He's called me to do - being patient when I'd rather be frustrated, to be gentle when I'd rather yell, to forgive when I'm rather sulk and be offended, to pray when I'm scared instead of backing up, etc., etc. It's not able the 'big' stuff right now - about feeling led to go to Africa and being scared out of my mind as to what that would look like, or even being willing to stay in GA when I'd have rather been in FL with all my friends. Right now, it's about my ability to, through the Holy Spirit, to restrain myself, and let Jesus live His life through me, every day of my life. For people to stop seeing Jenny...and Jenny to stop worrying about making anything of herself, and people to start seeing Jesus.

There's a quote in this book, which made me laugh out loud and I totally agreed with -
she was talking about how God will give you direction or a glimpse of what He's up to, and she (and me) have a tendency to run ahead and insert our own method.

"When you run ahead of Me, you end up doing what I've asked you to do in your own strength rather than Mine. Instead of being cloaked in the sweetness of My Spirit, your efforts are cloaked in your flesh. And sometimes, my dear daughter, your flesh ain't that easy to receive."

Amen! I'm sure we've all experienced being on the other end of it - but I'm recognizing more and more how much I'm the issue as well.

"I(God) delight in a heart that welcomes My work rather than resents it. A willing, teachable spirit is all I'm looking for. A life so surrendered to Me, I can do My work unhindered."

*emphasis added by me

Do I value, do we value, willingness enough? It's easy to admire talents and knowledge and strength...but what about just having a willingness to trust God enough in spite of our lack of whatever is needed to step out anyways, knowing that He is sufficient - and really it's Him doing the work in us regardless - if it's going to be of value. Can I get past my fear of what others will think and just follow Him, trusting Him with the results?

I thinks so often I read things about believers struggling with making something of themselves in a showy, 'look at me' way - and learning to really give God the glory and the front seat on things. But what about people like me, who would much rather be hidden in the crowd and not seen - what happens when God calls us to do something, to say something, that will draw attention to ourselves? Can we learn to trust Him and be obedient, to not worry what others will think of us, and just let Him use us as a vessel? That's what I struggle with...and I think deep down, it's the same core issue...just needing to keep our eyes on Jesus and be more concerned with pleasing Him than other people - whether we're trying to make a name for ourselves, or keeping our name hidden - because really, our name is His now. Our life is no longer our own, to build or stay hidden. We are to find that delightful balance in knowing our worth because we're children of God, but being more concerned about making sure people know Christ's worth!

Anyways, that was quite a tangent...this is what happens when I write without a clear purpose in mind!

another great quote from this book about Gladys Aylward - a missionary to China -

"Gladys once said, 'I wasn't God's first choice for what I've done for China...I don't know who it was...It must have been a man...a well-educated man. I don't know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn't willing...And God looked down...and saw Gladys Aylward..And God said - 'Well, she's willing.'"

Kind of changes my perspective on willingness....

According to 1 Peter, God has equipped us for all that we need for life and godliness - all that He desires to accomplish in our lives - so, that means all we really have to ever be is willing...willing to be obedient, willing to surrender to His plans (not necessarily our own), willing to wait when we'd rather be making 'progress,' willing to be quiet when we want to be asking questions and making suggestions (which are really subtle dictations anyways), willing to just trust Him enough to let Him lead the way.

I guess that probably has my own little slant on it...maybe it's easy for you to be willing in these areas, but harder in others - regardless, I think it's pretty awesome that all we're responsible for is our willingness. And even that He gives us when we ask for it. We just have to be willing to apply it. :)

"Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast, willing spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Fruit - the application of the Truth of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, available for others to see and taste and get hungry for the things of God.

May we live fruitful lives that give people a taste of something they can't get enough of, and a craving to find what they're missing out on!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The River by Meredith Andrews

Everywhere is the sorrow and the pain of empty living
You can't see it, look in their eyes
All the hoplessness of the world
But look closer, He is right there
In the midst of every fear
Living water is the offer, restoration is the call

And He invites us, can you hear Him say?
He invites us, hear Him call your name

Welcome to the river
Come drink, come wade, come find your very light
Welcome to the river of God
Where your brokenness is washed away
Welcome to the river
Come drink, come wade, come find your very light
Welcome to the river of God
Where your brokenness is washed away

Find your healing
Find your freedom
In the river of God
Find your healing
Find your freedom
In the river of God

Your healing here
Your freedom here
In the river of God
Your healing here
Your freedom here
In the river of God

Welcome to the river
Come drink, come wade, come find your very light
Welcome to the river of God
Where your brokenness is washed away
Welcome to the river
Come drink, come wade, come find your very light
Welcome to the river of God
Where your brokenness is washed away

Everyone is broken and in need of a Savior

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still by Watermark

The more I get alone
The more I see I need to get alone more, more
Cause just when I think that I'm alone
Your Spirit calls out to me
And even silence has a song
Cause that's when you come
Sing over me

Still, let me be still
Let me be OK
With the quiet in my heart
Still, I want to be still
I'm so quick to move
Instead of listening to you
Shut my mouth
Crush my pride
Give me the tears
Of a broken life,

Oh this world, it falls around me
And flutters all it's beauty in my eyes
But let me choose the solitude
Simplicity has always simply changed my life
Even stillness makes me move
Cause that's when my heart
Learns to dance with you

Still, let me be still
Let me be OK
With the quiet in my heart
Still, I want to be still
I'm so quick to move
Instead of listening to you

I'm your child
Tame my heart
To me impart

Hold me
Cleanse me
Change me, Oh God
Change me while I am
let me be still
And know that you are God
And You're always enough
Still, I want to be still
To take all that I am
And simply lift it up

Shut my mouth
Crush my pride
Give me the tears
Of a broken life,

Friday, May 8, 2009

I love this author!

About a year ago, I came across an author that God has just given the ability to speak right into my circumstances and to just be a timely message from Him. Her name is Frances J. Roberts, and she has written several small devotional books - which I HIGHLY recommend - first and foremost, "Come Away My Beloved." I've also read "Make Haste, My Beloved," "On the Highroad to Surrender," and "Dialogues with God" - from which this next passage is out of.

You'll notice the unique format - a prayer, and then God's response to that prayer (based on scripture and just Holy Spirit discernment on her part). It may not be for everyone, but God has used this author's words as His Words in my life so much that I just have to share!

This message came today, in light of studying about intentionally taking time to be still and reflect on God, His Love, and just being available to Him in my every day, every hour, every moment life. It's actually pretty amazing just how good I am at completely missing Him and the point of all this sometimes!!! But He's also so faithful to speak to me and lead me back to His green pastures and still waters to restore my soul!


Unfinished Tasks (The prayer)
"My Father, I am not capable of doing all those things that are demanded of in the course of a day. For every task completed, numerous other needful duties are left undone. This is not a complaint that life is over burdensome, but rather a cry to Thee for understanding and for wisdom to improve the situation: how to reach the end of the day with a feeling of some degree of satisfaction in a job well done. It is not restful to, as it were, sleep on loose ends - to be forever uncomfortably aware of there multitudinous tasks still waiting.

For as time passes, so much of what we have failed to accomplish can no longer be done at all. Surely there must be enough time and enough strength provided to do the vitally essential things. Dear Father, I not only fail to accomplish the task, but lose my sensitivity to Thy guidance, and in doing this, I soon have also lost the joy I would have had if I had pleased Thee."

Give Me the Firstfruits (God's response)
"O my child, do not bring Me the unfinished tasks. There will always be work to do. This also can be a snare of the enemy, for he would deceive you into feeling that all work is worthy in itself - that simply to be occupied is good. This is not true. To sit still, yes, even to have recreation, is sometimes just as important and ofttimes more so. If you were a hundred people, you would discover that you would have a hundred times more unfinished tasks!

Give Me a heart that has learned to become quiet and to rest. Anybody can do work. Few people know how to be quiet. being quiet is not being lazy. Most lazy people are never truly quiet. Those who do the least frequently talk the most and are seldom able to be still and collect their wits.

You must be able to collect yourself - to take time to absorb the Spirit of God. For to be freshly filled with the Spirit will bring the guidance and direction and wisdom and the will to do His bidding. The purpose of spending time with God is more than simply enjoying His Presence: It is to fit you for the labors next at hand. The Mount of Transfiguration was not a separate play from the deliverance of the demoniac. It was the first scene. Christ's words to the impotent disciples leave us in no doubt as to this (Mark 9:1-29:

So come to Me, as I have so often invited thee to do - heart open, hands uplifted and empty. Don't bring Me your work. Bring Me yourself. It is you that I love, not your enterprises. The more you draw near to Me in singleness of heart, the clearer will be your guidance on life's pathway and the less danger there will be of substituting human activities for Spirit-directed ministries.

Keep your heart tender, lest your work become destructive."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mercy and An Eventful Night

So - apparently I'm a lot more rebellious than I thought.

I was driving to meet a friend at Starbucks for our usual time of catching up and trying to figure out all the mysteries of life, and apparently didn't realize how anxious I was to get there. So, flashing lights behind me, I pull over, sighing and blaming my husband for frustrating me and 'making me drive fast' because I was frustrated.

And so the usual question - do you know why I pulled you over, etc., etc, and may I see your license and registration. So, I give him my id and then scramble in the glove compartment for the most recent insurance card. Sure enough, it's not there, but he offers to take the expired card and look it up on his computer. So, more ammo to throw at my husband - i call him, make sure he know that I've been pulled over, and that it's his fault that I don't have the current insurance information (that he confirms is sitting at his desk at home).

Then, as i wait on the officer to come back, it hits me. I totally deserve this. I don't have any excuses. I was speeding - I broke the law, and I was getting what I deserved. And on top of that, in the way that the Holy Spirit can be so untimely :), He brings to mind the passage about receiving the measure of mercy that I give out.

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!" James 2:12-13

And I think - oh man, am I in trouble! I had A LOT of opportunities before i left home to be merciful with my husband, to give him a break and realize most of my attitude was because I was just in a bad mood, not because of some things that he had forgotten to do lately. And so I'm thinking - here it comes. Big ticket heading my way with my name on it.

And then the officer comes up, and brings it to my attention that my license has been expired for almost a year - and did i realize that. I'm freaking out inside, not even sure what they do for that type of thing, all the while trying to stay composed in front of the officer. He asks if someone is home that can come get me. I explain that my husband and I only have one car and that he's at home carless. But I do mention my friend that I was on my way to meet, and he encourages me to call her. So, totally loosing it as he walks back to his car, I call my dear, sweet friend, balling my eyes out, telling her that they're coming to take me away and she needs to be here! :) So, she says she'll be right there.

And then - totally unexpectedly, the officer comes back, and tells me the verdict. Instead of giving me a ticket for driving without a license (which I guess they can do since it's been expired for so long), he just gives me a ticket for an expired license, and a warning for the speeding. He asks me to stay there until my friend gets there, and he leaves.

And I totally didn't get what I deserved! And then it hit me, again, in the way that God's grace just flows, that I don't get what I deserve every single day. I don't deserve God's grace and mercy, but He extends it from the cross 2000 years ago to me today. I don't deserve the blessings in my life, and yet it continually pours out His love and blessings on me. And I have the nerve to withhold mercy from the man that i love most in my life (besides Jesus) - just who do I think I am? How can I lose sight of this and go about my life, complaining because I don't get things my way. PRAISE GOD I DON'T GET THINGS MY WAY! Because my way, what i deserve, is death.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." -Romans 12:1-2

So, yeah - I'm a lot more rebellious than I thought - I was breaking about 5 laws without even trying - and didn't recognize my need for mercy. And how often do I go about life like that - not realizing my need for mercy, and not realizing just how much each day I break more and more of God's laws, His perfect standard of holiness. Praise God for Jesus Christ, my Savior, Who took my place so that I could become Righteous (rightly related) to God!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Need to Worship

Was reading last night about our need, my need, to worship -
to be reminded of my rightful position before a Holy God -
and allowing Him to dictate and replace me back where I'm supposed to be.

Repositioning through worship -
What a wonderful idea,
That as we gaze into His Presence that we're put where we need to be.
How completely simple.
And then, as if Him being totally worthy of our praise wasn't a good enough excuse,
He also calls us to come to Him, to lift Him up, because that's what we need as well -

His glorification becomes our Saving -
Saved from a life of self-promotion and self-consciousness and self, period.

Beautiful Savior,
Who calls me friend.

Unashamed Love
You're calling me to lay aside the worries of my day
To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place
Worthy, Worthy

I open up my heart and let my spirit worship Yours
I open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth
Worthy, You are worthy

Of a child-like faith
And of my honest praise
And of my unashamed love
Of a holy life
And of my sacrifice
And of my unashamed love

(not sure if Ten Shekel Shirt is the original author or not)

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Because of the cross
and what it signifies,
I am embraced.

Because of His death
and sacrifice,
I am embraced.

Because of His love for me
that wouldn't allows us to be separated,
I am embraced.

Embraced because His righteousness has set me free,
free from my death and sin and misery.

Free for a LIFE renewed and redeemed,
free to become who I was meant to be.

I am embraced - loved deeply and eternally,
adored and delighted over.

I am embraced.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Still He Walked

He could hear the crowds screaming "crucify" "crucify"...
He could hear the hatred in their voices,
These were His chosen people.
He loved them,And they were going to crucify Him.
He was beaten, bleeding and weakened...
His heart was broken,
But still He walked.

He could see the crowd as He came from the palace.
He knew each of the faces so well.
He had created them.
He knew every smile, every laugh, and every shed tear,
But now they were contorted with rage and anger.
His heart broke,But still He walked.

Was He scared?
You and I would have been,
so His humanness would have mandated that He was.
He felt alone.
His disciples had left, denied, and even betrayed Him.
He searched the crowd for a loving face and He saw very few.
Then He turned His eyes to the only one that mattered.
And He knew that He would never be alone.

He looked back at the crowd...
At the people who were spitting at Him,
Throwing rocks at Him and mocking Him.
And He knew that because of Him,
They would never be alone.
So for them, He walked.

The sounds of the hammer
striking the spikes echoed through the crowd.
The sounds of His cries echoed even louder,
The cheers of the crowd,
as His hands and feet were nailed to the cross,
Intensified with each blow.
Loudest of all was the still small voice
Inside His Heart that whispered "I am with you, my son",
And God's heart broke.
He had let His son walk.

Jesus could have asked God to end His suffering,
But instead He asked God to forgive.
Not to forgive Him,
but to forgive the ones who were persecuting Him.
As He hung on that cross,
dying an unimaginable death,
He looked out and saw, not only the faces in the crowd,
But also, the face of every person yet to be,
And His heart filled with love.
As His body was dying,
His heart was alive.
Alive with the limitless, unconditional love
He feels for each of us.
That is why He walked.

When I forget how much My God loves me,
....I remember His walk.

When I wonder if I can be forgiven,
....I remember His walk.

When I need to be reminded of how to live like Christ,
....I think of His walk.

And to show Him how much I love Him,
....I wake up each morning, turn my eyes to Him,
........And I walk.

-Author Unknown

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The wind proclaims Your existence,
The stars whisper of Your Word.
My soul cries out from within me,
And nothing but Your silence is heard.

But Your silence speaks volumes to me
And calms my heart with just a hint of Your love.
I cannot fathom the depths of our endless affection
Or grasp the tip of Your Holy Robe.

I long to sit at Your feet and listen,
Yet so often I run to the next task ahead,
Forgetting the awesome escape that I find
When my heart is still and my soul is fed.

Worry demands attention,
and distraction confuses my sight.
But I'll wait on You 'cause You're faithful,
But I'll wait on You 'cause You're faithful,
I'll wait until I'm filled by You,
and see Your Holy Light.


Branches outstretched,
longing for more of the sweet refreshing taste of rain.
The slightest bit of Your holiness
is enough for them to stand forever,
searching—longing for rain.
-a leaf-shaped tear,
a sign of a season passing, a season of my growth

-a silent smile,
a memory fondly placed in my heart, a memory of loss

-a solitary sigh,
a release of desire yet fulfilled, a longing still subsiding

-a perfect pain,
drawing the imperfect love to its completion,
complementing its limitations

Storm of Surrender

Clear blue eyes reflected the tossing waves.
Too many thoughts were going through his mind,
silent fears now threatened to be heard.
But he let her go -
into the arms of Someone who loved her more than he ever could.
Now she would finally know the love she had desired -
her brown eyes blessed the storm of surrender

Signature of Rain

The flower is the signature of rain.

Lord, send Your holy rain to wash us,
to clear out the distractions that prohibit our growth
and strangle our roots until we can’t discern that they are You.

We can’t shine with Your glory until you take away our stains,
with Your holy rain.
I thought you knew
I guess I assumed too much.
I don’t know how, but now we’re so far out of touch.

And I never planned,
to so misunderstand.
But what you needed you never asked me to give,
and I swear as I live…

I thought you knew my heart was yours
and that we were so together
that we would always be.
I don’t believe you leaving me is the answer.

I’m not asking you to let me rush back in and fail again,
I’m asking for one chance not to assume…so I can say and do
all the things I thought you knew.

So here we are
so far we’re still so far
from where we know we should be.
I’m searching for words
and you haven’t heard…

I thought you knew my heart was yours,
and that we were so together
that we would always be.
I don’t believe you leaving me is the answer.
I’m not asking for you to let me rush back in and fail again,
I’m asking for one chance not to assume,
so I can say and do…all the things I thought you knew.

I thought you knew….
oh God, I thought you knew.

His Glory

Growth is the path I must take,
discipline & pain the direction,
Your joy, my motivation,
that leads me to Your purpose.

The scars become my altars,
bittersweet reminders of my salvation
from a world that was never meant to be
to a life of eternal glory.

The claws of sin scrap hard and deep,
but His healing tears cleanse my wounds.
He’s crying with me.

Lost lifeless in utter separation,
He used death to unite us again.
A light that could not fade,
a connection He could not lose.

I was meant to be His glory,
precious and priceless in His loving gaze.
Grace has washed my feet,
mercy anoints my head,
and I can once again bow before my Lord.

So He continues to call me,

pursue me,
fondly transforming
my scars to beauty.
And the more I allow myself to rest
in His security and peace,
the more I understand my true worth.

His pearl,

washed and bruised,
eroded and refined,
caressed and cleansed,
will shine again with Him in eternity,
His glory.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Draw Me Nearer

Below are two seemingly contradictory statements - two songs that express how distant and how incomprehensive God is to us in our human, fragile minds and in our sinful, fleshly nature, and yet this promise that we can know God when we draw near to Him - and yet, they are both true. We don't know Him in all His Holiness and purity - and yet He beckons us to draw nearer, to desire and seek purity so that we can see Him (Matthew 5:8) and we will find Him, and grow in ever increasing knowledge and experience of Him! I love that God is so complicated - that we can't put Him in a box and figure Him out - I love that because He wants to be pursued in the same way I do - that's where I get that from - because I'm made in His image! He is ever the pursuer, and wants to be pursued....and I accept!

What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road is an example of how much we claim to know Him, when we've only caught a glimpse of one aspect of His character - and we assume that we, in our grandness, have it all figured out.

Draw Me Nearer by Meredith Andrews expresses our hearts deepest desire, whether we recognize it as this or not, that we long to find ourselves at Home with Him, in the arms of His unfailing love and His unending love. This was actually the song that God used to get me to start this blog - and contemplating naming my blog as Drawing Near - because I want to, I want my writing to be one of my attempts that I'm trying to draw nearer to Him, and finding myself in Him, new and recreated and redeemed.

What Do I Know of Holy
I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

Draw Me Nearer
For your nearness Lord I hunger
For your nearness Lord I wait
Hold me ever closer Father
Such a love I can’t escape

For your nearness I am hoping
For your nearness Lord I long
Have no need of any other
I have found where I belong
Yes, I have found where I belong

So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer Lord

In your nearness there is healing
What was broken now made whole
Restoration in its fullness
Lasting hope for all who come

In your nearness I take shelter
Where you are is where I’m home
I have need of only one thing
To be here before your throne
To be here before you throne

So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord

So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer Lord

And keep me here, keep me here
There’s nowhere else I rather be
So keep me here, keep me here
There’s nowhere else I rather be
There’s nowhere else I rather be

So draw me nearer Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer Lord
Draw me nearer my Lord

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I no longer want to be a scribe...

Excerpt from A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God" from Chapter 3, Removing the Veil

"God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is. Such worship - can never come from a mere doctrinal knowledge of God. Hearts that are 'fit to break' with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of the Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to nor understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the presence of God and they reported what they saw there.

They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen. The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen is a difference as wide as the sea. We are overrun today with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, bu the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.

With the veil removed by the rending of Jesus' flesh, with nothing on God's side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without? Why do we consent to abide all our days just outside the Holy of Holies and never enter at all to look upon God? We hear the Bridegroom say, 'Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.' (Song of Solomon 2:14) We sense that call is for us, but we still fail to draw near, and the years pass and we grow old and tired in the outer courts of the tabernacle. What hinders us?

The answer usually given, simply that we are 'cold,' will not explain all the facts. There is something more serious than coldness of heart, something that may be back of that coldness and be the cause of its existence. What is it? What but the presence of the veil in our hearts? A veil not taken away as the first veil was, but which remains there still shutting out the light and hiding the face of God from us. It is the veil of our fleshly, fallen nature living on, unjudged within us, uncrucified and unrepudiated. It is the close-woven veil of the self-life which we never truly acknowledged, of which we have been secretly ashamed, and which for these reasons we have never brought to the judgment of the cross. It is not too mysterious, this opaque veil, nor is it hard to identify. We have but to look into our own hearts and we shall see it there, sewn and patched and repaired it may be, but there nevertheless, an enemy to our lives and an effective block to our spiritual progress.

This veil is not a beautiful thing and it is not a thing about which we commonly care to talk. But I am addressing the THIRSTING souls who are determined to follow God, and I know they will not turn back because the way leads temporarily through the blackened hills. The urge of God within them will assure their continuing pursuit. They will face the facts however unpleasant and endure the cross for the joy set before them. So I am bold to name the threads out of which this inner veil is woven.

It is woven of the fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power.

To be specific, the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love, and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our nature to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins - egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion - are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually for many people, to become identified with the gospel. I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for popularity in some sections of the church visible. Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.

One should supposed a proper instruction in the doctrines of man's depravity and the necessity of justification through the righteousness of Christ alone would deliver us from the power of the self-sins, but it does not work that way. Self can live unrebuked at the very altar. It can watch the bleeding Victim die and not be in the least affected by what it sees. It can fight for the faith of the reformers and preach eloquently the creed of salvation by grace and gain strength by its efforts. To tell the truth, it seems actually to feed upon orthodoxy and is more at home in a Bible conference than a tavern. Our very state of longing after God may afford it an excellent condition under which to thrive and grow.

Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We may as well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment. We must prepare ourselves for an ordeal of suffering in some measure like that through which our Savior passed when He suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Let us remember that when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant, but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain.

To tear away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed.
To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all.
It is never fun to die.
To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful.

Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free.

Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life, hoping ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be care to distinguish lazy 'acceptance' from the real work of God. We must INSIST upon the work being done. We dare not rest content with a neat doctrine of self-crucifixion. That is to imitate Saul and spare the best of the sheep and oxen.

Insist that the work be done in very truth and it will be done. The cross is rough and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the Living God."

"Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' Name, Amen."