Monday, March 30, 2015

Notes From My Daughter - Don't Worry

My daughter

Occasional notes from my 20 year old daughter. I never know what to expect when she writes, but it's usually a pleasant surprise.  Read on!
A quick note - As I was jogging early this morning, it occurred to me that I had not shared this poem that was written late last year. A friend of mine asked me yesterday to write something about acceptance - i.e. accepting what we cannot change. Having read this poem today, I think it fits the bill. God is amazing!

This culture I have participated in has far too long consumed my precious soul;
This lifestyle I think I know so well has confidently assured me that my slow suicide was a short cut to deceitful happiness;
"Acceptance is the path to understanding," they say. "Strive to be accepted."
Well, if I read the whole dictionary I would miss the words. 

The sun screams as it's rays touch a new morning.
Creation dies every day, yet it's joy is in being created.
I don't know that the butterfly is accepted, but I know it's wings form geometrical patterns of Hallelujahs and structural Amen's actively soaring in the glorious details we miss when we worry.

Don't worry my dear, wait.
Wait without the weight of selfish anxiety.
Behold the active beauty in front of you that takes away your God-given breath as you celebrate your giving God.
Uphold his principles which are accepted into your bloodstream like nutrients.
Wait to be filled, feasting on the joy before you.
Wait, but do not worry.
It's in His hands, and in Him you are home.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NLT

O that you had listened to my commandments! then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea: Isaiah 48:18 NLT

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Permit It To Be So

"Permit it to be so." These words were spoken by Jesus to John the Baptist. Why would the Lord, a holy deity, make such a statement to a mere man?

Jesus was coming to be baptized by the baptizer - John the Baptist. John thought that Jesus should be baptizing him, after all,  in John's mind, Jesus had more significance than him, and he was the Way that John was preaching about. However, Jesus saw things differently and said, "...Permit it to be so."

The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.[a]” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened[b] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:13-17 [NLT]
Two things happened here:

  1. Jesus chose to obey the will of His father by being baptized.
  2. John chose to obey Jesus and baptized Him.

In choosing to obey, both John and Jesus were partakers in what can only be called a supernatural experience. The heavens opened and the Spirit of God was visible. Then a voice spoke declaring God's pleasure with his Son.  This happened to Jesus, but John witnessed it. To observe the supernatural is as close as you can get to partaking in it. To witness the Spirit of God descending on anyone, let alone Jesus is transformative. To hear that God was well-pleased defies words. But this is what happened.

When you, "permit it to be so" in response to Jesus, amazing things can happen for you also.

If Jesus could permit it to be so, why can't you?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shepherd of My Soul - A Different Kind of Love

This song was sung at our wedding 26 years ago; until recently, it was my first time hearing this song.

A wedding ceremony is celebratory yet solemn, so we stood there and listened to the words of the song - hearing it but not paying it too much mind as we were focused on being married.

I don't know why this song was selected as it doesn't seem to follow all the romantic notions of a wedding; on top of it all it was sung by the Young People's Choir (today they would be called the Youth Choir.) But I did appreciate the lyrics of the song.

For whatever reason, for the first time in 26 years I woke up singing this song.

Shepherd of my soul I give You full control
Wherever You may lead I will follow
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice
Wherever You may lead I will go
Shepherd of my soul I give You full control
Wherever You may lead I will follow
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice
Wherever You may lead I will go
Be it in a quiet pasture or by a gentle breeze
The shepherd of my soul is by my side
Should I face a mighty mountain or a valley dark and deep
The shepherd of my soul will be my guide

As I thought of these words I realized that the Shepherd of our soul has been our guide and we have allowed Him to guide. Through thick and thin, through ups and downs He is one of the few constants in our lives. Because of this constant, there are other constants - our love for each other has only grown; it has never disappeared. Our feelings may have changed over time but what binds us together is as sure as the day we took our vows. To others looking on this may look atypical as we are not huggy huggy lovey dovey type. We struggled with pet names for a long time, and these days our hands intertwine when we pray. Yet when we go through the times that inevitably we all go through - we don't think of leaving each other. We know we can ride it out and it won't always be this way. We know we have a Shepherd of our soul that guides us and we know we love each other.

So on that day many years ago, though I had never heard this song I imagine the Youth Choir was celebrating our love by requesting that we always let the Shepherd be our guide. Thank you.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1 NLT
May the Shepherd be your guide in all the relationships of your life.

Have you ever heard this song? Is there a particular song that helps you in your relationships?