Friday, March 13, 2020

Covid-19 in 20/20: Peace, Be Still

This morning my mind races through isles of disinfectants. Why can't I purchase rubbing alcohol? Why didn't I just purchase Clorox bleach spray bottles? Where is that link to the DIY video of creating hand sanitizer? I should make it right now. I wonder how the employees are doing at Shady? Are they washing their hands like they should? Should I go out to the Gazebo.....on and on. Tug of war is what it feels like and the tug on the other side is my Heavenly Father. He is asking me to sit in His presence.  I am unsure I have time. You can't afford to not take the time is His response. I know. I know.

So I sit but I race. Round and round I go. I take time to scan the portion of scripture allotted in the Bible Reading plan. I am done. But I know I am not. I am missing an important part - communication with the Father.  "Speak to me." And He begins.

Calm, He first rests in my spirit. My love surrounds. My love prepares. His spirit communicates with mine. My love reaches. And then the word Steady drops into my heart. My love fastens. My love holds. Look to the Bronze serpent. Hold onto me. Steady, calm. Calm, steady. Calm. Steady.

The stream of thoughts flows with ease into my heart and into my spirit and I began to walk the isles of disinfectant in my mind. I even leave the store to sit in the chair I am in. I am present with my Father. He has more to show me.

My rush to move on to the day is halted as I go the  Spiritual Planner I daily use. He is still speaking and He is now using the verse selection from Mark 4: 35 - 41. Beautifully, lovingly, My Father confirms what He is downloading to me with a follow-up reference in His Holy Word.

The account in Mark is the time He is in a boat. A windstorm arises and waves begin to break in the boat. The crew is frantic. They fear dying in the deep sea. They are perishing and they know it. They have watched Jesus do miracles and they are confused by His indifference.  Why isn't He doing something now???!!!! In fact, He has his head on a pillow, sleeping. It makes no sense.  The crew does not appreciate His calm. His calm does not fit their ever-present danger. They are in error. They have no need to be afraid. He is in control. Steady. Calm.

Covid-19 is breaking loose. The waves are beginning to break into the boat. Our lives are at risk. But Jesus calls us to a steady, calm repose. He says to our spirits, "Peace, Be still."

There is much work for many of us with this pandemic, especially business owners, but we are never to lose sight of our Father's Rightful ability to speak to the storm, to speak to the virus. Be encouraged to have your eyes steady on the one in control who is at peace. Note: His head is resting.

His slumber should never be confused with indifference or lack of control. And until He changes and is no longer able to be in control we have the privilege of remaining calm and speaking to the storm. "Peace, Be Still."

Friday, February 7, 2020

There is an 

inner prompt 

by the Day Maker

To be in the moment.

Capture today, He says.

However you choose, He prompts.

Just don't let it blur, He reminds. 

Focus, please, He beckons.

Be with me? He asks.

I made the day for you.

And I see you.

Do you see me?

Monday, February 26, 2018

NYC, Music, Irish Pub and a Son Named Chris - February 26, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018, my son Christopher drives me to New York City. What an honor and privilege to be with this man. We are heading to Carnegie Hall to hear one of our favorite Jazz Singers, Gregory Porter. This is our second time to hear him, the first on Valentine's Day a year before. Our time in a nearby Irish Pub before the concert sets the stage for the flavorful evening as we sit in window seats peering out onto the busy town. Enchanted, what an understatement.

The older I become the more I enjoy the city "feels." I am trying to figure it out, what is it that makes me enjoy a crowd now more than ever? What is it that draws me to the structures? I am not sure and that is part of the charm; the mystery.

Lynn, the man who sets me up for success, purchases me a camera for Christmas. As Chris drives us into NYC, I am shooting away, swapping out the zoom lenses every once and a while and playing around with settings I pretend to understand. Please something of a technical nature stay in my brain longer than five seconds! 

I love people. And the men and women in the Turnpike turnstiles all over the country intrigue me. Who are their parents? Do they have another job? What books are they currently reading? Are they married? Are THEY travelers? Do they have children? Are they good story tellers? WHO ARE THEY?

This man about to take our money has the most pleasant face and even from this view you see the angle hints at a kind smile. The zoom lens is fun, he has no idea.

This man, my son, is someone I can travel with anytime, anywhere. Chris, what a guy. We both love people and enjoy interacting with strangers. He teaches me so much about music, life, ministry, and faith. He is my son and yet equally and more so He is my brother in Christ. He loves city driving just as much as I do and though he accelerates at a pace that races my heart I do enjoy the ride! Listening to Gregory Porter with him is pure pleasure as both he and I sit in our seats, eyes closed, swaying to the music. We are the minority at this concert and this, for us, is an honor!

David Bowie makes the side of a tall building ensconced by two beautifully rusted water towers. C' Mary Faus would say. Gorgeous, brilliant! Murals on buildings are evidence of the lengths to which humans will go to express. This fills me with pride. I LOVE humanity. How in the world do they do this?

I capture with the zoom lens not an amazing picture but one which Chris and I enjoy. This is a sports car and if I was up on my models I would rattle off to you the make but I am not. All I know is that it is loud, real loud, and this officer stops this young man because of it. I hear him say, "Buddy, I hear you all the way from back there. You need not be so loud." The driver's face tells you his thoughts "Oh yeah, I'll be more considerate.....NOT!" Spot on! The Holland Tunnel reverberates with the insane noise of this sporty make. I swear the dude is straight out of Gossip Girl!

Yes, that is him on the left. His little cop talk...whatevs! We see him all of 1 second and I catch it on the Canon. I ain't called "Quick Click" for nothing.

The Holland Tunnel, what can I say? Every time I descend into one I pray a little harder as the mental videos begin to load and quickly fast forward. It's the The Poseidon Adventure from the 1970's that reels through.  It's roller coaster terrifying. All the "What if's" play loud until the light emerges at the end and the internal countdown begins. You're hoping you're not tomorrow's fatal photo on the paper's front page. And then there's the exit... such relief.

Structures, I am in love. This one straight out of Dr. Seuss' collection, thrills my senses. And I love the branches introducing it. The geometric ways in which we build are highlighted by nature's growth of curves and twists. Nature excels in more than squares, rectangles, straight lines. While we are entrenched in polygons upon polygons and more polygons with straight lines finding curves to be a challenge. There's something there.

A street full of lights, stacked with buildings on both sides, sidewalks at the base, it is a feast. The sky is only allowed a small amount to be showcased and this feels so beautiful.

I wonder if blurry is how most people see life. It moves fast and though there is great detail to enjoy we are often moving too quick to focus in. What's it like for you?

If I could have stepped out of the car and placed myself head-on in the middle of this crowd I would have. The energy walking past me and the stories, the collection of destinies, was a feast. What did each one of their homes look like? What were they making for dinner? It is Valentine's Day, what are their plans for the dreamy night. One thing I do know, they all got the memo - dress black.

The night is magical. The crowded walkways, the movement of the day into the night, it is rich. I want to walk into the light of Times Square after the concert but Chris thinks it not wise and then adds, "You sound like a little girl and I like an old man." Maybe so, maybe so....New York, New York!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas - December 25, 2017

A baby. What can a baby do for you? End all wars? Cure cancer? Save the environment?

A baby is helpless.
A baby is vulnerable.
A baby has no words.

A baby. What can a baby do for you?

Why don't you take this next year and ponder these senseless thoughts.
And throw this in the mix - A baby born destined to die a criminal's death? What's his crime?

Really, what can a baby do for you? 

Merry Christmas? Tragic Christmas? Hopeful Christmas?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Charming Reality - November 19, 2017

I walk the streets of Nashville one day and LA the other. And I ask myself, where is the fanfare, the sparkle? Nashville is so little - who knew? And Hollywood Boulevard is so dirty. Where are the cameras, the glimmer, the glitz? Why a homeless person lying on a dirty blanket with soiled socks? Why in Nashville are there homeless on the corner with tattered and torn placards? Where is the shine, the ever constant music? Where? Why do these places look so dull? And then I realize, to be disappointed by a famous location is really disappointment with a break from illusion. We hate when the sparkle fizzles, we actually love delusion and crave escape.
Privileged to be able to pray for Alma and her book and for
Mike and his next brave move.
May God prove to be all they need.

Lynne, I want you to see their sorrow - would you mind lifting them up in prayer? In all kindness, I need you to know Lynne that your crave for escape is always at the expense of others. Would you mind staying present with me? Thanks.

What is this man doing outside Starbucks looking into the air with a worn face wearing pants that not only need washing but have never seen a washer and his nails look so in need of a manicure? There has to be cameras somewhere, surely this is an actor. While walking on the streets of LA and Nashville separated by a month I walk across a divide; a divide between reality and illusion. And I realize something very important, a place holds charm because of me, because of you, because of our real interactions, the memories we have made, our connections, the food, the dives, the studios, the favored places and the unique stores. The legends built around these cities remain in a vaporous, hazy zone, not grounded in reality. But you and I are reality and we are the ones who make a place a place.

Lynne, this place holds no charm for this guy. Would you mind lifting him up in prayer? Hey, thanks. 

I am uncomfortable - this delusional dude outside Starbucks looks me straight in the eye through the thick window pane. Buddy, this is Hollywood Boulevard don't do this to me. I am suppose to be gawking. Could you move?

Lynne, he has a story.

It is confirmed, I am a sucker. The screen sucks me into an illusive world of shine, glimmer and glitz. While walking Hollywood Boulevard I am appalled at the soiled blanket, dirty socked homeless scattered along the star studded sidewalk. Why? I have listened to a lie. My head says, this can not be true. The stars studding the sidewalk seem, well, stuck in the sidewalk, trapped and continually trampled on. Even the stars are deceived, fame held something more for them than a cement casing. Instagram what? I am in revolt. Please, my delusion?

Lynne, calling you Lynne. Hey Lynne, can you glance over here and give me a quick listen. I am here in this place and that reality never changes.

LA and or Nashville is just another place and I again am brought back to a constant truth. It is our life, your life and my life, the life we live that is reality, not someone else's. It is you and I who make a lovely place. We are the ones charming the small haunts, the spaces we fill, the local dives. My life and your life is worth living fully. We are in charge of creating the shine. So I throw my illusion to the illusion makers and say, "I'll take His to be mine. I want to remain grounded in truth."

Lynne, follow my lead. True charm is in all places for I am everywhere and I need you to stay grounded. And would you mind lifting up in prayer who and what you see? You can help to change their reality.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Pursuer.... October 30, 2017

I tried to keep you awake by playing your music - it lulled you to sleep. I had to take the wheel Cletis! You are one of a kind. Fame is not your pursuit, making someone shine, making someone further walk into their destiny - this is what keeps you awake. This is what I so appreciate about you. Honoring your family - this is what jacks you up. To pursue that illusive cloud of fame, somewhere along the way you worked that through your heart, mind and soul and your game plan is an all out pursuit of the Glory Receiver. You are captivated by the One and Only, not wanting to go the way of the one who couldn't appreciate but wanted it all, wanted to dominate. You actively reject that pursuit.

My prayer for you is that you will continue to pursue the One and Only and in that pursuit you will find more and more fulfillment in Him. My prayer is that you will continue to help unlock the resources and talents of those around you whether it be in the Body of Christ or out in the waiting rooms. You have helped usher life into weary souls, you have given of your time, your talent and your resources. You will always have an open door in towns and cities all over the world and not because you are somebody but because you know the Somebody of all bodies.

It is with extreme honor that I continue to not only pray for my brother in Christ but my son in the flesh. This is what I consider a double whammy! Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Glory Revealed - October 29, 2017

Lynne, do not take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO not take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT take any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE any of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE ANY of my glory.
Lynne, DO NOT TAKE ANY OF my glory. 


It felt a little much. Had I been? Was I doing it on the sly? I'm liable to do that but I didn't feel like it warranted such an onslaught. And then it would start again...

"Lynne, PLEASE! Do not take any of my glory.
You do not understand, LYNNE.
You can not handle it. Lynne.
I'M SERIOUS! Please! Do not take any of my Glory.

This was going on for days. And then the visuals started coming - His glory likened to a gigantic menacing black smoldering pit of lava.

"Lynne, you put your hand in the pit, and it will never come out. These are the consequences of taking my glory. Your flesh and spirit will not survive."

Ok, that seems a bit much. God. I get it.

But the Spirit was relentless and continually pled. Over and over, again and again and again. Then on our family vacation as I am kayaking back to the dock, having spent two hours on the lake listening to the book of Revelation, I hear him say one phrase. "Lynne, It is all for my glory and it is because I love you." (And just so you know, listening to Revelation on a lake is a bit of a challenge.)

In one split second God surfaces something I have wrestled with for years, something I have always seen as a discrepancy. It is this - He asks us to give Him all the glory yet he tells us to remain humble. It seems as if He is asking us to do what He will not do. Like, do what I say but not what I do. I have been bothered with this for years and at this moment God decides it is time for this girl to get some clarity, a redirection of stale thoughts towards brilliant light.

"Lynne, I want you to come see what I do with my Glory." My interest peaks. Where is He taking me?

The confusion immediately leaves as I stand at the foot of the cross. Everything swirls into extreme perspective. And now, It all makes sense, good extreme loving sense.

"Lynne, I am the only one who can handle all the world's Glory. The. Only. One. I will, I did, and will continue to always handle it with love, humility, servanthood, faithfulness, compassion, grace and mercy. When you give me Glory it spills out in acts of kindness, it spills out in mercy triumphing over judgment, it reaches deep and wide to save the lost. This Lynne, is what I do with your glory. Lynne, it is all for my glory and it is because I love you." The cross covers completely, explains perfectly and dispels what I thought was a  discrepancy forever.

So, In one statement following a series of extreme warnings on taking any of God's Glory, My God and Savior provides me with a lesson, a sermon of sorts, and unpacks and explains a concept that had you asked I would never have been able to articulate or even identify the discrepancy that has niggled me on a subconscious level for all these years. But God knew and He wanted me to think clearly.

I stand corrected and all I want to do is give Him glory.