Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 1, 2017 He Always Comes Back



April 10, 2017

"What do you want me to know about you, Jesus?" His answer sails me beyond common thoughts and into a new open sea, waves studded with exuberant bright light. I am Moana!

"Lynne, I am compassionate and loyal towards you to the point of death. But even more so, I am beyond faithful to you to the point of return. The everlasting love of the Father exploded me from death when I allowed the Holy Spirit to bring me back. Even though you rejected me, I wanted to come back. It was OUR (the Trinity's) eternal, loving plan.

I not only die for you, I want to come back for you! Who does that? I do! I am the One who returns in love though rejected by hate. I love you to the point of seeking you in a crowd of billions, trillions. My faithfulness is only based on my love, not yours.

Today, Lynne I want you to know - I came back! For you! And, Lynne, you can love like this. Go ahead, face the rejectors, lay down your defense mechanisms, love offensively. I have your back."

Counterintuitive He is. You reject me, I reject you, this is my urge. I have defense mechanisms out the whazo. But His are non existent and He only operates in the offense. He loves me beyond my lack; my lack of love, my lack of complete devotion, my lack of faithfulness.

AND HE ALWAYS COMES BACK.


Only if you're interested:

(I am a hound for information and sometimes, ok, most times, I am too invasive - I really didn't need to know that! I ask questions like it's my job. It's not. I have not received one penny for my questions.
But when it comes to asking my Father questions, you know, I rarely do. In fact I didn't know I could. All I have ever done is tell Him things, like He didn't know, and beg Him to do things the way I want. I even go so far and ask Him for the faith to believe He is going to do exactly what I want and how I want Him to do it. I do not give Him much room to use His ways, or thoughts, or options. But that is changing.

God excels in working with brats! And He is opening my eyes, in gentle ways, to show me how much He loves my questions. He especially loves the open ended ones, the kind that allows the one being asked to answer how they want. Go figure!

In fact, He is directing me to ask Him questions as I would a friend. For instance, Father, what do you like? Dad, what makes you the happiest? Poppa, what grieves you the most? Is there something about your character and nature you want me to focus on today, God? The above answer to His question blesses me.)

We do need you here. Thanks Chris for your soul tunes.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Tuesday March 27, 2017 The Real Clique

The Real Clique

Tuesday March 27, 2017

Last Sunday, in the prayer room at Reading City Church, I asked Jesus what He wanted us to know that morning. His answer shocked me. I think of cliques in a negative light but He flipped this exclusive word and in so many words and impressions He lead me in the following direction. Per usual He did not clump me into a group text.

You and I, Lynne - we are a clique. You and I, Lynne - we walk away from the crowd. We come away to be alone. Lynne, we leave the others behind. You and I are always free to do this.  Lynne, I so want to be with you. My relationship with you is exclusive, distinct and intimate. I really love being with you.

However, though you and I are a clique, you are never free to clump with others - ONLY ME. You will find members of my Body cliquing every week especially on a Sunday morning. I groan. And they believe it's worship but I call it avoidance. It pains, it grieves me.  To be with one group of individuals for years and not mix things up is to not understand my heart of inclusion and multiplication. My friends are to reflect my additive, unconditional love.

I am your ultimate, truest, best Friend. Time with me allows you to spend time with others. You and I always have a thing going on. Time with ME fuels YOU to bless. Time with ME fuels YOU to bless, do not ever forget this. Repeat it over and over.

Please, never, ever, think too much time with me is too much time with me. You and I can always be alone and it will positively impact your quality of time with others, always. I promise. It is never too much. You and I can always be alone for our alone time matters, it really does.


Ella Fitzgerald Tea for Two
(Spiritual insights, for me, often come with a 
tune. Time with Me fuels YOU to bless.
Time with Me fuels YOU to bless...it's 
the way my mind works.
Enjoy! She's classic)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Worry My Way Through My Day- Thinking it's The Best Way

A call, a siren, a thought, the news, a look, a text, pulls me into worry. Deep worry. Obsessive worry. Wondering worry. And sometimes satisfying worry. But I hate it. I hate what it does to my gut, the wrestling, the fretting, it is all wrong.

Jesus: Lynne, c'mon! (He is slapping his hand on the raft, my "safe place.") C'mon. Sit down. You love this place. I do too. (part of me is annoyed. This is my place. I ask Him to come to my raft. Not the other way around.)

Me: You're distracting me. I need to worry. There are some things I am wrestling with.

Jesus: (grinning towards a full on smile) Oh, you just plop yourself down. Look out over the water. Isn't it satisfyingly lovely?

Me: It is. But what to do?

Jesus: It is not time.

Me: Not time?

Jesus: It is not time to figure anything out. You and me, let's just sit here and enjoy.

Me: But...

Jesus: Repeat after me, Lynne.
Our Father who is in heaven...

Me: Our Father who is in heaven...
(my eyes roll...wind whistles through this prayer, it seems so hollow, like there has to be more, like He's holding out on me)

Jesus: Hallowed be your name...

Me: Hallowed be your name...

Jesus: Your kingdom Come...

Me: Your kingdom Come...

Me: Jesus, got to be honest. This prayer baffles me. Why so brief?

Jesus: We cover the essentials.

Jesus: Let's keep going. Your will be done.

Me: Your will be done. So it's yours. Not mine, correct?

Jesus: Correct. My will, good and perfect. Hey, Lynne, we have some more things to cover. Let's keep going. On earth as it is in heaven...

Me: On earth as it is in heaven... 

Me: Ok, so, wait, your kingdom come, your kingdom come into this situation I'm worried over, this angst, this sadness, and your will be done, on earth, as it IS in heaven. Woah - I'm Feeling it. Your will is always accomplished in Heaven and heaven is in order. It is where justice rules and oppression is opposed. There, everything is all right. Getting it - why wouldn't I want your kingdom to come? And I find it interesting that you have me asking for it. You love pleas and questions.

Me: Your will be done. My will wavers. Your will stands firm. It has purpose, wisdom, peace, comfort, power, stillness, activity, wonder. Why wouldn't I want your will. But why am I asking for it? Seems like you know what is best, why don't you just do it.

Jesus: Lynne, we, you and I, are in a loving relationship. I honor your choices. And when you ask me for what I have to offer you, you are loving me. And you are right, I love pleas and questions. Let's continue, you have more to ask.
Give us today our daily bread.

Me: Give me my daily bread. This seems rude.

Jesus: Rude? Not all sweet thing, you communicate love by asking me for everything, remember? And I communicate love by giving, responding. You know why this feels odd? P - R - I - D - E.... Think about it.

Me: Give us today our daily bread. Just daily? I'm not a planner but I do know my needs kinda spill over into more than one day.

Jesus: Just daily, Lynne. We want your window of worry opportunity to be minuscule. Our hope is that you will not worry when you see your needs but rather ask with intentionality. I know, Lynne, it's a lot to take in. The "daily ask" helps us narrow the time-gap.

Jesus: And forgive us our sins.

Me: And forgive us our sins. This prayer is beginning to resemble the biggest, most powerful Shop Vac. It is suctioning up millions of details into a cavern of goodness and perfection with one big nozzle/prayer!

Me: But Jesus, shouldn't you have had us ask for forgiveness before we ask for daily bread?

Jesus: You are too human for that. I am practical. With no sustenance there is no energy. With no energy, there is no ability to ask. C'mon Lynne, You KNOW you need lots of energy to forgive. First things first.

Jesus: As we forgive those who sin against us.

Me: As we forgive those who sin against us. Interesting - you forgive me, I forgive them. The pump needs priming. And I am noticing that it is not I forgive them and then they forgive me. The focus is you forgive me and I forgive them. I guess the issue is not whether they forgive me or not, is it?! Game changer! You for me and I for them, you for me and I for them....really has a ring to it.
BUT. IT. IS. SO. HARD.

Jesus: It is hard to forgive. It is costly. But I paved the way for you. Forgiveness is what I came for, it's what I do. You represent me well when you do the same. Let's keep going.  And lead us not into temptation.

Me: And lead us not into temptation. This has always confused me. I just assume you are not leading me into temptation. Why am I asking?

Jesus: Take it more like a statement. You're following it with - But deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever amen. Again, you are stating the obvious-and lead us not into temptation. I will never lead you into temptation but I will deliver you from evil-the temptation you failed to resist. You ask and I'm on it!

Me: But deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever amen. Thank you Jesus. This prayer is brilliant! And I love that you are my safe place! Nahum 1:7

And now one of my favorite artists to companion my post - my favorite Christopher Burkholder!


Oh Child

References for your reading pleasure: Matthew 6:5-14 and 25-34

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 21 Dialogue: Who Knew?

Day 21

Dialogue: Who Knew? 
March 14, 2017

Have you ever asked God what He thinks about you? It is kinda scary. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I think it is because I don't really get the relational aspect of faith. Though by now I should, I have been walking with him for over forty years. But its been mainly one dimensional. I talk to him, I don't wait for His answers. I hardly ask Him any questions, so I'm never waiting for His answers. I ask for things and again rarely wait around before I move on to the next request. And though this makes for a dysfunctional relationship, He has made it work. For He is always patient with my attention deficit. I am a poor lover while He, the best, is wooing me constantly, despite me.

Sadie Lynne

To think that God would have something to say to me is one thing. To think that I can understand what He is saying is another. And to think that He will answer a specific question is just mind boggling. So I rarely do. Why attempt the incomprehensible? It's just too much.

But then, why not? So I am beginning this questioning thing. My friend, Kara, is encouraging me to do this. And then I am writing down what He tells me. She is encouraging many of us to do this.

So, here is how it went yesterday. I want you to see.

Lynne: God, what do you think of me?
(Very uncomfortable question, seems pretentious)

God: You, Lynne, are mine and I love you so much. To make you in my image was pure delight, (I am blushing) and full of fun, full of joy and full of mirth. To use my extreme creativity at the level of which I did was beyond imaginative, creative, and brilliance. (if I am making this up I have issues, major issues) The intensity to which I love you rushes past all explanation or description. The fact that you are mine is worthy of my all encompassing love. (upon reflection and talking it out with my friend, Dale, I began to think of an artist creating an exquisite piece they are so in love with, so proud of, even awed by, and it begins to make sense - His love)

Lynne: Jesus, how did I deserve your love? (why am I asking this?)

Jesus: Because of your origin. You originate from intense heat - extreme burning love at all cost. You were created out of eXtreme love. You originate from pure love. You stand in the flow of love because of your origin. The love flows like lava. It never stops, it never ceases. The fire burns eternal. I can not stop my love for you.

Lynne: How have I become such a bad receiver of your love?

God: All that my extreme love wants is for you to love me. True love is true choice, never force or coercion. To offer pure love means to not demand a response but to hope for and wish and encourage a response. My love cannot demand a response. I offer love hoping you will offer it back by allowing my love to wrap you, flow through and in you, snuggle you, encourage you, help you, instruct you, guard and discipline you. My extreme undying love is my son, Jesus, who is all for you, my beloved child. (I can't make this up. This stuff comes too fast. My heart is heating with His love and the encouragement flooding my day mounts me high above the discouraging circumstances. And by the way, I think you can safely swap out my name and put in yours as well.)

Lynne: Jesus, how does it make you feel when I do not comprehend this amazing wisdom?

Theo James
Jesus: More interested in more patience for you. All is love for you, Lynne. I do not throw barbed looks at you, no condemning looks, no frustrated looks. My eyes look lovingly at you at all times. In fact my wrath, my anger, and my judgment is all born out of love. (He lost me here. Everything I hear from Him I take it to the entire counsel of scripture. I am sold out for Him and do not want to be led astray by my thoughts that swirl out of control. So, I am pondering this. Today He told me to look at 1 Corinthians 13 in light of this wrath/anger/and judgment statement He made yesterday) When you do not comprehend but still want to understand I am delighted and patient.

Jesus: My character is extreme right. I can not be in the presence of wrong.
(pondering this)

So this is what I heard, or I should say, was impressed upon my spirit. You try it. Why not? What do you have to lose? And then run it by someone.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Day 19 Authenticity

Day 19

Authenticity

February 12, 2017



Water flowing over rocks, rounding corners, fluttering past branches, racing through narrow ways, this is the conversation last night. It is constant back and forth between tight places spilling into deep cisterns diverging again into fragmented talking, bubbling always into deep laughter. The round wooden table around which we share, in a dimly lit room, is fitting for the life goals, life sorrows, and life tragedies spoken to one another while listeners hush. We are honored with the contents of their heart. Through the lens of us redeemed, we know these chards and fragments tower into a mountain of hope. For, we believe. We hope. We love.

A husband joins us as he is the last of the men, the others leaving to rest their weary heads. For it is late, very late. Some of us leave yet wander back pulled by the unknown tug of the expectant. We are not disappointed. The night is rich with moments shared that for many of us will be a memory seared into our hearts and senses, satisfying all five. To live is to hurt. To love is to share. To listen is to honor. To hope is to live.

Our brother leads us to a solemn moment, he senses his friend's presence. Our time in this home is full, rich, but Rich is not here. But our friend hears him laughing, sees him crying and senses he is proud of his widowed wife. At moments like this we allow Jesus to minister beyond theology. It is well with our souls and we empty full cisterns grabbing tissues.

The night goes long as we have another heart to hear. We want to listen. And again we grieve the pain, the sorrow. But as we end our time in the wee hours of the morning we affirm our assignment on the planet. We are His hands and we are His feet. And we are called to love and to love well. 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Day 17 Enough - Of Me

Day 17



Enough - OF ME!

February 1, 2017

Today I confronted. Dog gone it. Enough is enough. We do not have time for this silliness. So I hopped in the car, pedal to the medal, and made my way to where I needed to go. I do not mind confrontation. What I hate is the mamsypamsey place. The place where we are bothered and say nothing and just complain. I am too direct to remain in those spots. And today I was done! Done!

I pulled in the parking lot. They were not there.....until, uh...they pulled in next to me...and...well....that is when the bravado turned to the...um....the shakes. Oh, boy! The percussion section was intact.

They got out of the car and did not turn back. I got out of my car and did not turn back. I committed amidst the repetitive pulse. They opened the door to where they were going. And that is when I asked, "May I speak with you?"

It did not start so well for my agitation was speaking and they were about to end the conversation before it really started. I stood my ground with eyes doing the talking, loud talking. "C'mon, you're not serious - you're not going to have this conversation with me??" I screamed, in my mind. At heart I am faint of.

Really? I am not moving. And I didn't. They went inside but only to quick peek their head back outside. Yep, I was still there. So they came back out and I continued to talk. For I had to have this conversation.

But then I began to listen and I asked more questions and I was soon able to get beyond "the point." Not only was I listening I began to hear their heart, which lead me past their words, directly to their wounds.

My thought words, ready to exit and come between us, began to slurp and slosh. They formed into, "Will you forgive me?" For I began to realize this person felt that they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. They felt trapped. They felt misunderstood. They felt unwanted. They felt like an outsider. An apology was their felt need. And I could do that - apologize. So I did.

I apologized for our part, the part which continued to foster their outsider feelings. Sure, I could win some logical points, if that was my point. But all of a sudden God, in His mercy, threw me past my puny points. I am on this planet to offer some love, dog gone it. Some understanding. And mostly apologies. A lot of apologies.

Jesus has judged and Jesus has saved. And that's a game changer for me. He paved an adventurous love hike. Yesterday He gently moved my face towards His. He showed me the freedom He gave to love and to love well.

I reached out my hand to engage in the ancient ritual of friendship and deals. They were hesitant of course but I insisted. My hand stretched firm. They relented and we shook hands.

Another close call, but I am glad God caught my attention. For it's enough. Enough of me and my ways. Yesterday was a very good day on a very sad and heart sick planet!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 16 Biting the Bullet: And Loving the Journal

Day 16



    Biting the Bullet: And Loving the Journal


January 28, 2017

Her name is Kathryn Marie. She is such an inspiration to me. She is my third child, my second daughter. I found out I was pregnant with her after I did the MS 150. I biked one. hundred. and. fifty. miles. not knowing. Though the rest room behavior was a big clue I had no idea we had a third growing inside. I was so excited to be riding 150 miles just for the excuse to eat whatever I wanted. It didn't happen. My insides were so messed up I didn't even see anyone inside my restroom stall let alone eat. Yep! Toilet paper for me in my little bike carrier all the rest of the 80 miles home on that bike the next day. Miserable. Good thing it was not a race! But this is not what I want to write about.

Kathryn is easy. She is helpful. She is the one who forced me to consider living gluten free. I will be forever grateful. And she recently purchased me a Bullet Journal and a pack of Micro-Line pens (16 Different Colors!). My oldest daughter, Robyn (who I could go on about as well) said, "Mom, if Kathryn loves Bullet Journaling so will you." Great. What do I know anyway? 

Robyn's brain is order on steroids hence her ability to juggle jobs like its a game. If she runs for presidency and she is on her eighth child, no worries. She can do it. But Kathryn and I, well, um, it's a bit different for us. We share a similar brain - it scrambles and collects in different order. You should see us in a grocery store, or heading out on a trip. We don't have an address and we are already making turns to who knows where? Mind you, we are intelligent, you just can not keep up with our mental filing system. And truth be told, nor can we. Hence, the Bullet Journal. I am in love.

So, it is a blank paged Moleskin journal. Or it can be anything. But what I am learning, and this is partly why I love it, it is a work in progress- your work in progress. Yours. 

Googling this subject brings a series of sites all of which are enough to make the ADD-inclined lie down and rest. I did. When I got up I began to Pinterest the subject. I had to go back down. I am always slow to the party, many times not invited unless I throw it (bitter subject please do not bring it up in public), and after Pint-ing and Goog -ling, I realized I am not only slow I do not even know it is happening. Right under my eyes Kathryn has been bullet-ing. Kathryn, when do you do it? No idea.

If you know me you see me writing notes in my Little Fat Book. They are scattered all over my house. If you find one, you'll die laughing. It certainly will not be because you are awed and impressed.  Rather, your concerns will be augmented and, in comparison, chicken scratch will seem legible. There are phone numbers floating with no names attached, nothing. Random words, it is embarrassing. My filing system for this little notebook is nil. So I flip, eternally. Not anymore. 

I now have an Index. I have a Future Log. I have a Month at a Glance. I have been doing it for an entire week, you would think years. My life is now going to be so perfect I can not even stand it. Though looking at my new Month at a Glance I am kinda booked(I know I'm early, but look already look what it's done - good bye procrastination!). Boy, it is going to be hard to schedule my spontaneity. 

If you have not heard of Bullet journaling I am glad to introduce you to this life changing system. I would love to update you on my progress but it is not going to happen in February. My schedule is tight! And for any of you from my past. Do not bring up that BLACK BOX. It's hurtful. (ah, go ahead, who cares)