Help my eyes to see

Another cup of coffee and another invitation from God today… I am beginning to see beyond circumstances and recognize just how hard God works at getting through to this overly intellectual, worrisome head of mine! Today’s reading of A.W. Tozer sparked more thoughts on last weeks post, “Are there ladders in your life“. Tozer writes, “The soul has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear. Feeble they may be from long disuse, but by the life-giving touch of Christ alive now and capable of sharpest sight and most sensitive hearing.”

Tozer speaks to what we as a culture and society have accepted as reality. Things that are concrete, that we can touch, are for that very reason are perceived as reality. However, he challenges us to see that the spiritual realm, the things of God, are just as real. Our ability to perceive them is also as real. The problem is that most of us are out of shape or too cynical… Read more

Are there ladders in you life?

I woke up at my usual time to meet God this morning, with a hot cup of coffee in my favorite mug and the bathrobe my mom gave me for Christmas a couple of years back. I found myself in the story of Jacob’s Ladder… I instantly found myself humming the tune of a childhood Chorus “We are climbing Jacob’s Ladder”… soldiers of the cross…hmm… I am not sure I really like the idea of singing about soldiers these days as I am aware of the war and unrest that my brothers and sisters are experiencing around the world. Read more

Coincidental or could this really be God?

“Coincidental , or could this really be God?” I asked myself as I stared in disbelief at my Dove Candy wrapper. Just yesterday, God gave me a profound invitation to play with Him during my time of centering prayer. I saw us playing on the beach, making snow angels and skipping… I felt so carefree and lighthearted in the vision. As soon as the prayer time was over, it occurred to me how difficult the concept of playing was for me.

My childhood was not very playful. My dad died when I was only eleven years old and this tragedy turned my innocent world upside down. As I think back, the last time I remember truly playing was just before he died. Perhaps his death initiated me into the adult world of responsibility too soon.

As I reflected further, I realized that many times, maybe because I am a firstborn, I feel the need to figure everything out ahead of time. Instead of delighting in the day and its surprises, I can become regimented and guarded. Delighting and playing are indeed a stretch for me.

Later on that day, I found myself in a meeting where we were talking about the wonderful things God is doing in our church; a fresh movement of the spirit. I noticed that I along with others felt the need to organize it, theologize about it, anticipate the outcome and plan it. At that moment, I remembered the poem I had written to capture the vision from my prayer. I pulled it out along with a piece of Dove Chocolate. I ruminated over the invitation to delight in this new thing God was doing… to be playful. At that point I glanced down to read what my Dove Chocolate Wrapper had to say on the inside… “Forget  the rules and play by your heart” Coincidence, maybe, but the child inside of me that is learning how to play thinks it may just be God.

sync your heart with God’s heart

Dwelling in the presence of God just makes us more open to the God surprises in each day. It moves us from an analytical, theological and intellectual approach  to a more experiential place where we can encounter God’s activity around us.

In Genesis 18, Abraham receives his guests in a traditional yet authentic way. He bows low to the ground not to worship them but to express his genuine receptivity to unexpected guests. His greeting says I receive you, I value you, and I respect you. We don’t really know if he recognized initially that they were indeed messengers from heaven.

I often wonder how many God encounters in my life I have all together missed due to my lack of dwelling in the presence of God. Read more

The Enchanted Forest?

Well not exactly, at least not in the way that our pop culture would describe it. Most of us are familiar with the term “enchanted forest” that appears in folklore, fairy tales and Disney movies. The idea being that the forest is where strange, magical and transformational things might occur or unusual people might appear. In Abraham and Sarah’s forest, strange and transformational things did happen. Meeting up with the three visitors from heaven changed the direction of their lives and caused them to live differently. So in this case, you might really say it was an enchanted forest.

I am reminded of the recent Disney movie that came out several years ago called “Enchanted”. In the movie, Princess Giselle leaves her cartoon world to visit earth. During her stay she meets up with a lawyer from New York City. At first, her strange behavior of always looking on the bright side, naively believing in true love and inviting others to sing and dance with her in the park seems, well, psychotic and dangerous to him. But as the plot unfolds, he is drawn to this strange and wonderful way of viewing life and his heart is warmed.

As Christians, we are also invited to live in an enchanted world… Read more

Finding the place

Today, we may not be able fill our cars with camping gear and head for the trees when we feel overwhelmed, but we can with practice find that place of meeting within us.

I’ll never forget the time we were camping in a remote town in Sicily. We were needing some rest from our work in the Mennonite Churches there so we had  packed the car and headed for the trees. This particular morning, my husband, Harry, had decided to purchase some cream-filled doughnuts for us to enjoy for breakfast. Our youngest son, only three at the time, didn’t want his so Harry ate that one too. It turns out that he became violently ill with some potent bacteria growing in the cream… a risk that you sometimes take dwelling in remote villages..  Read more

driving the stakes down deep

Abraham pitched his tent near the Great trees of Mamre. He didn’t just think about a special time when he felt close to God, instead,  he literally drove his stakes down into the ground to stay a while.

Sometimes in life, I feel like I am breathlessly running from one place to the next; one thing to the next. I can quickly lose my bearings and sense of purpose. So many times I feel inundated with a subversive desire to pursue anything except God; clothes, gadgets, a better life, the hippest restaurant, cars, coffees, computers… I am exhausted just thinking of the things that seem to direct my life. However, it is not all about things… there are also noble pursuits like my health, my kids’ sports, music lessons, school projects, volunteering at little league, and many other wonderful things. It feels so disheartening that sometimes I barely have space at the end of the day to even notice God.How do I pitch a tent in the presence of God in the midst of such a busy life? Read more

Wondering

There are times in my life when I feel full of life and inspiration… where I feel connected to something greater than myself. That sense of connection can be directive and generative… creative fuel for this thing we do called life.

There are other times when I feel stagnant, lonely, lost and disconnected. I long for meaning again. I long to reconnect.

Abraham experienced similar things as he tried to follow the Most High God. He faced familial challenges, disappointments, disillusion, and loneliness. It seems that during this time, he had a habit of returning to a special place; the great trees of Mamre. This was a place where he heard God … just being there reoriented him and seemed to help him reenter the story where he had left off.

We all need places of reorientation… places and memories that help us connect to the greater story that God is weaving with our lives. When was the last time you felt part of the great story God is telling the universe?