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."

Friday, April 3, 2009

today's thoughts

I recently revisited a lot of my old friends (my journals from college-on), and ran across this excerpt.

August 8, 2008 - "As I sit here, I can hear the light, yet consistent rain outside. Sometimes, when I don't recognize You in anything else, it's the faithfulness of the rain that reminds me of You. I know that sometimes that's due to my lack of spiritual vision, yet You continue to meet me where I am and draw me back to You.

Lord, I'm here. I recognize my need for You so desperately this morning, as the night longs for the break of dawn and the first glimpse of the sunrise - the reminder of You promise that Your mercies are new every morning, that I have a fresh start in You. Help my heart to hear and receive this Truth, for my mind to see and believe that there is grace beyond comprehension waiting for me just past my decision to let go and let You...

How can You feel so foreign to me when I've walked with You all these years? Have I never really known You, or is my heart just that forgetful and fickle? I see that things I despise in me and it makes me weary. Lord - help me get past this! Help me to see You again with new eyes and new vision. Spiritual vision. Kingdom eyes.

May the eyes of my heart be enlightened that I may know and comprehend that glorious inheritance I have with the saints. HOPE.

"Teach me Your will, O Lord, and I will walk in Your Truth. Grant me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. I will praise You, O lord, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. For great is Your love towards me. You have delivered me from the depths of the grave." - Psalm 86:11-13

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." Titus 3:4-8

Your Word falls fresh on me this morning - Grace, mercy, a fresh start, heirs of HOPE -
therefore, in view of this, to devote myself to what is good -

"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." -Psalm 5:1-3

God's provision that saves us spiritually through the lessons of suffering we endure - not about physical and emotional comfort.

In poverty, we find the true riches of our heart - blessed are the spiritually poor

Through loss, we find gain - whoever will lose his life for My sake will have true life

Through death, we find life through rejection of the world's embrace we're accepted into God's family

Through turning our eyes from sinful things, we find vision pure enough to see God's glory

Through pain-authored humility, we find mercy and grace, peace and love

-end of excerpt

Interestingly enough, in the way that God loves to do this in my life, He's brought this back to my attention as I'm re-reading "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer - and am reminded of the fact that God has ALWAYS been the one pursuing me - whether it was the lull of the soft rain outside my window that reminded me of Him, or His very Words brought back to mind when I'm having a hard time - He's always there, reminding me of His faithfulness and beckoning me to come away with Him - ever the Romancer.

I've been experiencing somewhat of late the abundance of answered prayer being so thoroughly laid bare before my eyes - the way that God even initiates a thought or question in me to speak to Him, and how quickly He's delighted in revealing His answer in one form or another. Amazing how much He delights to be in relationship with me...even now I just shake my head, but not in disbelief, because this Truth is slowly creeping into my heart, seeping into my innermost being - which He created and recognizes His signature - and I'm learning that He loves to love me - and just what an incredible Truth that is to live in. And that He loves to love you - the way that He puts you on my heart and brings you to my mind to intercede and to carry your situation to His throne of grace. Oh, how He loves to love...

And I love how this Love takes so many forms - joyful expressions of happiness and excitement and anticipation -and heart-wrenching tears of sorrow. I had a brief moment, about two months ago, where the Lord gave me about 5 minutes with Him to glimpse something that I'm not even sure I can really put into words. It was the fact that He allows Himself to be vulnerable to us - that He stands there, reaching out to us, asking us to Choose Him, the very ones that He came to serve and die for.

And I think of how hard it is, in some ways, for me to be vulnerable to Him - and yet He does it first. He puts Himself out there for us to reject Him every single day, and instead of backing up and closing off, He continues to stand there, open - waiting for the next opportunity to draw us back to Himself.

This glimpse came in response to a conversation that I had regarding what I felt called to avoid, in terms of not being exposed to certain types of media, etc., because of the effect that it has on my heart. God spoke to me some years ago about purity, and that when I allowed myself to listen to certain types of music, certain types of TV shows/movies, that I was becoming less and less sensitive to His Presence in my life. I was no longer focusing on the things that He was speaking to me about, but allowing these new 'messages' to lead and guide me and my heart. And so I was explaining that it wasn't some legalistic stance on rejecting anything 'mainstream,' but that when you put it next like this: I can either experience the Creator of the Universe, or enjoy a 30 minute show that is meaningless in view of eternity. There was no real choice.

And so this 5 minute glimpse came, and it was like I could see Christ standing there, every moment of our day, when we decide what we're going to listen to, look at, engage in conversation about - what we allow into our minds - into our eyes - into our ears - and into our hearts - and He's asking us to choose Him - choose things that bring Him to our mind, that encourage us in the ways that He's already moving in our lives. And just how often we don't choose Him....we choose the next fad musician, the 'cool, taboo' author that would rather compromise purity for relevancy...not realizing that when we forsake purity (of mind, heart, speech), we forsake vision and revelation of God -the pure in heart will SEE HIM.

And He stands there, exposed and open and vulnerable, asking us to choose Him, choose the things that clarify our mind and vision so that we can recognize Him there in our lives.

I just sobbed, sitting there on my office floor, humbled that He loves us so much - loves to love us so much - that He just stands there, waiting, asking us to Choose Him. And that He still stands there, after we don't, asking once again, Please....choose Me.