Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Yes

Easter

God, all Your promises are YES.
I still haven't found them all, but I'm still reading, learning …
and each one added to the rest if amazing
and they are all YES

God, did Jesus really pay my way? YES.
God, do I really get to live in heaven forever with You? YES.
God, You love me? You are with me? You give me Your strength for the battles that sharpen me? YES. YES. YES.

After I die I rise again? Just like Jesus?

YES!

(2 Corinthians 1:19-20) (rhtm)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday

God, I sit by the grave of this relationship, waiting for You to roll away the stone.

We need a resurrection.

My friend is entombed in lies from the enemy, carrying chains of past ugliness, lugging a load of guilt that isn't theirs to carry.
My friend can be free, but somehow, they aren't.
Maybe they don't want to be.
Maybe they like the idea of showing the world how hurt they are; it's their identity.
Maybe they are afraid of dropping it all, because they don't know what happens next.
Maybe my friend still has that teenage, rebellious heart, independent, “free”, not needing anyone, wanting to run away again, “there's nothing for me here.”

God, I know how it's supposed to work, I think, It's so simple and so incredibly difficult.
I listen. I realize. I stop, turn around and run to You. I confess and You give me peace; wonderful, healing peace. You hold out Your Strong Arm and pull me back to You and the road we are on together. It was hard for me and for such a long, long time I didn't take You Hand. I ignored You. I argued with You.

Somehow in that process that repeats itself over and over my pride will well up and yell, “No!” … but I don't listen to it anymore, because my pride is off the path I'm on with You, yelling from the ditch as I pass. Throwing stones.

God, break my friend's pride, pull it off and throw it in the ditch.
Bury it.
Entomb it.
Cast it as far as the east if from the west.

So that they can hear that still small voice. The one that calls them out of the cave …
… to You.
(I Kings 19:11-13) (rhtm)

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Good Day

Good Friday

Father, this day is a good day, today is Good Friday and it's the best day of the year and the best day to celebrate.

All my life I was forced to be silent on this day, introspective and full of guilt, mourning for someone I didn't know.

But not today.

All my life: no TV, speak softly, no playing outside.
“But what am I to do?”
“Go read a book or something. Just go to your room and think.”
The door closes. The discussion is over.
What did I do wrong?

And magically at 3 pm we are freed, my brother and me, to do what we want. But I can't shake the lingering oppression of guilt. I don't want to watch TV. I don't want to go outside. My joy is gone.

Father, I understand now. I know for whom I mourn. There must be a pause. There must be a searching of the heart. And today I will.

Father, I embrace the paradox of this good day. The best day. The worst day.

No words will ever be enough. The only thing I have is me, in worship and praise, in listening and wondering, in hearing and obeying …

My whole life this day will bring me joy!
(Mark 15:33-34)(rhtm)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lenten Forgiveness

Maundy Thursday

God, I am so glad that You love me
I'm in that dark place again – I need Your forgiveness
Please wash me clean, show me in Your word who I am in Jesus.

Forgiven

The old sins come back to haunt me, tempt me or accuse me – they are all lies

I am forgiven

God, You know me inside and out, You remind me of decisions I've made in haste and promises I have not kept

Forgive me

Wash me clean, scrub the stuck-on sins that keep coming back, point out the right path again – I have lost my way
Clean me, make me strong in You, give me a greater measure of Your Spirit – I want to be light and salt – I want to show others The Way.
God, I want to praise You, give me more words – I have run out.

Thank You, God, for when I am broken and run to You, You are compassionate, then I am healed and receive Your perfect peace. In Jesus precious Name I pray.
(Psalm 51) (rhtm)

Thursday of Holy Week

Father, help me, my enemies are back,
fear of friends rejecting me
worry of losing someone I love
anxiety about unpaid bills
unreasonable terror that the unthinkable is finally happening – the thing of my nightmares –

God, You said You fight for me.
Fight now!
I am weak. I've crawled into my cave.

Father, I trust You.
I know I am Your child. I believe You have the best for me. I am in You and nobody can harm me or take me away from You.

Father, they take my words and make them mean something different
they heap guilt on me
for things I did
for things I didn't do
for things I can't do
for things You have not told me to do
Stop them!

God, You know all my terror, all my sorrow, all my tears, all my failures – real and imagined and even the failures I don't know about.
When I cry out to You, they leave, because they can't win – You are for me!

I praise You, God. I trust You, God. I keep my promises to You.
You have kept me safe all these years and I will praise You as long as I live.
(Psalm 56) (rhtm)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Understanding

Father, sometimes I don't understand how Your will is supposed to work. Everything is backwards. And I'm such a control freak that I try to fix it all myself – and then it doesn't work and I run back to You and You tell me life is the same as it has always been: You made it, You run it, You are in control … You've got this.

Jesus, I don't want to be poor and weak. I don't want people to hate me. I don't want to be hungry and crying of brokenness.
Jesus, I sure don't want people to exclude me from all the cool things they do or call me names and gossip about me.

I don't want to suffer.

Father, I want to be rich and full. I want to laugh and be famous …

… but You have show me just a tiny glimpse of how having the things I want doesn't work – fullness in this life pulls me away from You.
I must be empty before You – giving You everything so You can fill me with You.

Holy Spirit fill me. Teach me just a little bit more about how this Jesus-life is supposed to work.
(Luke 6:20-26) (rhtm)

Lenten Emotions

Wednesday of Holy Week

Father, thank You for creating me with a huge range of emotions. Give me guidance to manage the strong ones without blocking them and hardening my heart again. Show me how to understand why I feel as I do: Worry, Gratitude, Hope, Anticipation, Love, Waiting, Fear, Dread, Assurance, Confidence, Warning, Frustration, Dread, Resignation, Sadness, Grief, Mourning, Belief, Comfort, Defeat, Excitement, Uncertainty, Troubled, Amazement, Pain, Anger, Hurting, Repulsion, Terror, Anxiety, Astonishment, Disbelief, Joy, Happiness, Contentment...
(John 11:1-44) (rhtm)