Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 264: December 31, 2016 Swimming in Words

Ivanhoe -  Sir Walter Scott

December 31, 2016
Day 264

Swimming in Words 

The movement of words around words is writing. Placing them here and moving them there is the writer's work. Making you think, feel, hear, taste and smell is the writer's art. The thud of the hammer, the greasy smell of the fries, the bitter taste of the herbs and the river cutting through the hill, are examples of how words morph into senses. This is the writer's aspiration and what many authors do best.

To enjoy someone's word art is to pleasure read. To get lost in a sentence is to travel through well seasoned and aptly placed words. To move someone from one mood to another is the writer's most definite job.

Certain authors do certain things to, through, and for me. Madeline L'Engel pushes me to view the microscopic as invaluable, the secular as sacred, and the intangible cosmos as infinitely important. J.D. Salinger is a picture book. His words are as if you're watching a film. The reader sees everything in "Catcher in the Rye" and in "Franny and Zoey." Fyodor Dostoevsky (always hard time pronouncing) makes you identify (even if you don't want to) with every character; the good, the bad and the ugly. Someday I'll have the steel to make it to the end of "Crime and Punishment." But I haven't yet. I stop because I always feel as if I need to turn myself in to the local authorities. However, I savor his "Brother's Karamozov."

Leo Tolstoy bushwhacks the relational murky path of adultery in "Anna Karenina" and should be a must read for every married partner. E.B. White has me longing to establish relationships with animals and clearly took away any fear of arachnids. Roald Dahl entices, excites, pushes, and intrigues me with the books he poses as children's literature. C.S. Lewis entertains while inspiring my spiritual walk as the wardrobe speaks to me on many levels.

In the year 2017 I endeavor to continue to read, read, and read again. High School, college, babies, homeschooling, NOTHING, has impeded my need, desire, or ability to read. Nor will the new year pose as a rogue threat. I travel, I learn, I think clearly and differently and I grow with every book. Furthermore, I need and must be stretched for to read is to choose a trajectory of active, positive change. To swim in a well written sentence is as refreshing as cool water to a sun heated body.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 263: December 24, 2016 I See You!

December 24, 2016
Day 263

I See You! 

Jesus I see you. Yes, you are there. You always are. I see you in the presents. I see you in the meal preparations. I see you underneath the tree and even in the branches. I see you roaming the city streets. You go in and out of the stores, the malls, the diners, the stations. At night I see you in the decorations through the windows. You are in the cards, the deliveries. I see you. You are smiling. Merry Christmas to you Jesus and Happy Holidays. I do see you.

Tomorrow the day will be full of food, fun, presents, and wonder. I pray that all those who find themselves looking inward will look outward. I pray that all those who want someone to call will pick up the phone and call. I pray that those who feel alone will frequent the lonely places and be the comforting one. I pray that those who will receive no gifts will learn to be the gift givers. I pray that all of us will see you in everything and let that be our comfort, let that be our joy, let that be our all in all. 

Merry Christmas Jesus! You came and you left your spirit. And I see you. I see you in all. I see you through all. I see you with all. And You smile. You just smile.

Music Source: Christopher Burkholder 2015

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 262: December 22, 2016 Gravitational Issues

December 22, 2016
Day 262

Gravitational Issues

I hear the call. I must heed and write for I know it will soothe, calm, and organize. I am not stressed even though I'm twirling like a compass with gravitational issues looking at life from four different angles. To write is to heal, instructional, and full of surprises. The more I write, the better I think and sometimes the more I write the clearer my thoughts become. To write will put things in perspective, a nail in the coffin to confirm my joy. (for those who know me well - I am not being sarcastic)

The Christmas season is enchanted for me and on many accounts. Life is in the air. I smell it. I breath it. I hear it. I live it. And furthermore, He, the One whom I serve, is alive and well! Christmas is Sunday and the tree is slumped in the corner, it came out of the basement, traveled to the backyard to air and returned to the living room. The room is full of life while the tree slumps dead. Every time I look at this fake tree I laugh. For there ain't no xylem and phloem pulsing through its middle, it is faker than fake. Yet it looks exhausted from the hoopla. Everyone looks exhausted. 

Mornings are spent opening the Gazebo. This hinders the logistics of Christmas preparations but I love it! If you come at 6 am you could be part of my opening ceremony. I hum the Olympic song as I march out the Open flag. My legs clip clip in orderly fashion and I definitely make a big deal of placing the flag in its holder (the only one on the side of the Gazebo). Do not even think of mishandling this dear emblem of buisness. This flag represents our simple and growing economy. My morning begins grateful not only for every drop of the precious cup of coffee but for this business opportunity. Right. Outside. My. Very. Own. Home. 

Customers since Thanksgiving ask me daily, "Are you prepared?" I catch everyone of these words and love the game. It allows me to speak of our Christmas simplicity. For years we have exchanged names and our children do a treasure hunt for money. The amount of gifts under the tree is minimal. So, "Yes! I am prepared." Though the compass is a bit off kilter, yes, I am prepared. 

And this is what I am really prepared for -

To live out the coming days with a sense of expectation for the unexpected, the unimaginable, the unbelievable of all things good, true, pure and right.

To continue to learn new things as I have begun to take the free courses offered by Standford University. My first is the Economy Course taught by John B. Taylor. Check it out -

To continue to be informed of the World's events - it matters. 

To continue to be more mindful of our home, our business and the worlds' environment. 

To be a better steward of our money and possessions.

To learn at least one new word a week and use it. 

To learn more about the Native Americans and their plight and talk about it.

To continue to repent and forgive.

With the help of capable women, to print a GPS template that brings health and honor to a church body.  (August 9th and August 11 blogposts for What is GPS?)

To continue to blog.

To maintain my new website Kathryn Marie created!

To free write at least 750 words daily for my eyes only. I'm doing it Kathleen Stoltzfus.

To maintain a small, manageable vegetable garden and actually harvest the produce.

To compost. 

To assist with more conferences regarding abuse.

To monthly gather our family for pure enjoyment.

To memorize more scripture.

To begin to write accurate bible stories for my grandchildren.

To continue to pray that each member of our family hears from God.

To spend more time with my precious grandchildren.

To continue to consider every day an amazing entity in and of itself!

To enjoy my dear Savior on a more deeper and intimate level. It just keeps on getting better and better!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 261: December 14, 2016 Duffy Robbins, My Former Youth Group Leader

December 14, 2016
Day 261

Yesterday, I had the distinct privilege of listening to my former youth director, Duffy Robbins, teach a class to his Youth Ministry students at Eastern University. He had asked me to come and share based on the fact that I am a former member of his first youth group in Barrington Rhode Island. In his email request, he stated that I had a contagious faith and he wanted them to meet me. Truly an honor.

He warned me that due to the time of the class, 8:30 am, they might be sleepy.
I knew what to do. Our buisness product wakes up. Go Twin Valley Coffee.

Preparing for this fifteen minute window was a time of reflection on the deposit made in my life through this man and his wife. It was what I needed to do this November and December, as I looked at old pictures and traveled down memory lane. I became more aware of God's goodness to me, Lynne Treichler Burkholder. While sitting in Duffy's class listening to his wise counsel, I marveled at his sustainable message that swirled around his ever constant focal point - the Gospel. I told the students, "This is the most consistent man I have ever met. He is saying to you the same thing he said to us in youth group." Duffy Robbins has swayed NOT once from what he believes to be the most God honest truth - Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

I met the Robbins at a unique time in my life. I had been involved in a robust catholic youth group in Geneva, NY. They were some of the best times of my life. John Engels challenged this young protestant "know it all" to think long and hard about the diversity of faith. Back then when the word contemplative was hardly spoken, John Engels, was leading us in spiritual disciplines and encouraging us to listen and be still. Moving to Barrington, Rhode Island, was going from diversity to preppy white kids with collars popped, not an easy transition. I needed the Robbins.

What an honor to have the guru who developed youth ministry into something respectable. And like anything worthy in the kingdom, it does remain somewhat of a hidden ministry pushing aside the need to be front 'n center. Duffy is witty, brilliant, and an astute biblical scholar. His high level oratory skills do not even come close to his content - top sirloin steak right off the summer grill.

Yesterday, as he spoke in his class of the underlying sense of undervalue youth ministry often suffers, I realize why I never devalue youth ministry. Duffy raised it to a level of respect. Duffy is the first writer of the Youth Ministry College textbook. Monday, I realized something and was thankful for the opportunity to reroute. I took this man of God for granted. Listening to Duffy was all I needed to again understand and affirm the solid deposit made in my life. He was still mesmerizing me, thirty-four years later, by his consistent message of Jesus Christ.

Duffy built on a foundation that Jesus Christ laid. If there was a burning, determining the value, Duffy's deposit would not light up in flames. There are many who have come and gone in my life and have been impacted by a man they never met. I had so much to share with this class but as I sat there listening to him, fully engaged in everything he had to say, I heard God say so much to me.

So Duffy Robbins from the south, thank you for allowing me to come and share in your class as a former youth group attender. I did love those Wednesday nights when you walked obscure Old Testament biblical characters into the Chamberlain's basement. This fostered a love for the Old Testament and a desire to remain a gold digger in God's word. Thank you for bringing me to the world of wonder, the hiking in the White Mountains, the camping along Sebago River, the traipsing through many acres of Adirondack wonderfulness. Thank you for pedaling the Gospel as if it was some kind of Willy Wonka candy -the wonder of it all. I am who I am in part because of the deposit you faithfully gave to me and others.

You came to your ministry fully you. Thank you for the authenticity. You came in full confidence of the gift God has given you and you created a team-like atmosphere among the volunteer church members. I believe my love for "team" has much to do with what you modeled. You allowed me to be a part of your family which lives great and wonderful in my family's life. You gave wise counsel, "Lynne, college is a key to your future." And you laughed and laughed and laughed and helped to affirm what I knew to be true - there is a heck of a lot of joy in the camp. Can I hear an Amen?! Thank you for introducing us to your friends, for bringing your life to our life while maintaining healthy boundaries. A man sold out for Jesus Christ knows how to do that well.

May you continue to bring glory and honor to the One who did a good job the day Duffy Robbins toe tapped his way confidently onto the planet! Thank you, Duffy. And that woman you married - ya done good. What a treasure she is and has been and will be to me, such a significant part of my discipling.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 260: November 28, 2016 Please Forgive Me

November 28, 2016
Day 260

Please Forgive Me

My spirit soars over Standing Rock as I ask the changer of hearts, the only One in the universe, to change many. Please, in your name. I ask for the many mountains to be removed, the mountain of hate, the mountain of sides, the mountain of greed, the mountain of misunderstanding, the mountain of injustice. In your name, crumble.

At Standing Rock, I ask our Maker to help us see one another as loved ones. I ask for our Maker to help us reach our hands across the barbed wire fence and strive for understanding. I ask for the trauma we inflicted on the Native Americans to be healed. And it begins with my repentance.

Please forgive me. Forgive me for not pickaxing deeper into the tombs of history for the real story. Forgive me for accepting the script from hell. Please forgive me for not seeing this as abuse. Please forgive my silence. Please forgive my indifference. Please forgive me for not teaching my children differently. Please forgive me for not asking more questions in search of the truth. 

Standing Rock changes my outlook on life forever. From this day forward I endeavor to change. I endeavor to learn more about your history, Native Americans. I endeavor to learn more about the harm you suffered. I stand on the Rock, who asks me to love and to love well. May the water of life flow clean and free.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day 259: November 27,2016 Wounded Knee - Standing Rock

November 27, 2016
Day 259

Wounded Knee - Standing Rock

Standing Rock exposes a terrible truth - racism is rampant on our land and in our hearts and there is an emperor with no clothes on (and I am not referring to the president). Humanity is capable of such hatred, ignorance, bigotry, and violence and Standing Rock epitomizes this well. The history I was fed subtracted most of the injustices committed against the Native Americans. This is bad math coming from the public school system or most curriculums for that matter. Those who displaced the Native Americans were fertilizing the land with injustices allowing seeds of racism to sprout. Hence the reason slavery had no problem growing into a invasive tangled mess. In fact racism's taproot drills down deep to the pit of hell or if it is a rhizome it spreads out wide covering the entire face of the planet.

I believe the entire electoral process we just endured: the money poured into the candidacies, the debacle of debates, the never mentioned issues, all of it, was a 21st Century sham. We procrastinate around the trivial to avoid the burden of Truth. But in doing so we forego freedom. We, especially in the United States, are being called to a higher plane. Do you hear it? Do you feel it? Do you sense it? We are not to be oppressors but rather we are to free the oppressed. And in doing so we are to repent and turn from our wicked ways. Standing Rock calls us to look deep within ourselves. It deserves our attention.

We must keep alert to what is occurring at Standing Rock. Something is astir. We must pay attention. I am internally pushed to learn more about Native Americans. This is my quest, this is my goal. I will share with you what I learn and likewise I would appreciate hearing what you are learning.

We must listen to what the Spirit is saying. I am being called into my prayer closet to seek Him. Now is the time. I must repent and be saved.

I introduce to you a Youtube titled: The Tragedy of Wounded Knee ( 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Day 258: November 25, 2016 Standing Rock Slipped by Me

November 25, 2016
Day 258

Standing Rock Slipped by Me

Standing Rock has crashed into my heart and I do not think I will ever be the same, nor anyone else for that matter. The honor, privilege, and responsibility to protect our water surges past politics and enters our everyday living cycle. Standing Rock represents all of that. Water spills over boundary lines flowing to everything that communicates civilization for cities are built on waterways. Life comes from water. The Holy Spirit is streams of living water. Standing Rock represents a rolling back of time to essentials, to respect, biodiversity, water quality, honor, maintaining promises, stewardship and the Creator who loves us. However, with all that said, Standing Rock should have been on my radar, especially with my feeble attempt at helping students create significant, real life hooks.

Two weeks ago I was traipsing around with students to different stream locations as we were making connections with Chemistry and water quality. During the summer I discovered Earth Force Low-Cost Water Quality Monitoring Kit. They said "it would provide a simple, economical, nontoxic method of testing well water or naturally flowing water for 8 basic water quality parameters." Impressive to me were the parameters this little kit tested: Coliform, Temperature, Turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Nitrate, and Phosphate. I was now ready and prepared to educate these students.

Evan Corondi from Berk's Conservation had sent me the coordinates for the confluence of the Conestoga Stream and off we went. The confluence is a place I have passed over on Mill Road since 1985 and all of a sudden, for me, on that particular Tuesday, I became connected to the Bay, to greater issues, to a broader understanding. But still not to Standing Rock, right under my nose.

The students interacted with our assignment in their individual ways; some were knee deep, some were contemplative, some had clipboards (ok only one), and some were daydreaming.

But we all knew why we were there and we were all talking about water quality. And sometimes that is simply good enough. I reveled in this fact on that beautiful fall day.

They noticed the extensive erosion all along the Conestoga River which runs 22 miles long and eventually ends in the Chesapeake Bay. They understood at a basic level that this poses a problem and a threat to the Bay which is also one of the largest estuaries (thanks Mike Ponsell for educating me) out of the hundred that are in the United States.

What about estuaries? Let me quote from the Chesapeake Bay - "Estuaries are among the most productive environments on earth, creating more organic matter each year than similarly sized forests and agricultural areas. Estuaries also provide diverse habitats for wildlife and aquatic life, protect our communities against flooding, reduce pollution to waterways, and support local economies through commercial and recreational activities."

An Estuary is a place most of us do not take time to consider, reflect upon or even know about. (guilty - why do I continue to air my dirty list of topics on which I need more conviction?! arrggghhh!)

The students also noticed what others think is natural, bucolic (I've never heard them use that word though) and that is, livestock with easy access to the water using it as their septic and drinking system. This is what the coliform test measures, the fecal content. In the areas that we sampled for coliform all three tested positive. Fecal matter is not necessarily pathogenic but an indicator. This was not good news to the students. One of the streams has been a place they have innocently entered and played in at their learning group picnics. This will not be so tempting at the next picnic.

All of this water moves relentlessly and continuously to the Chesapeake Bay. And, therefore, water quality has been significantly discussed for an entire quarter. However never once did we mention the situation in the Dakotas through which the Keystone pipeline snakes. Though our next class on Tuesday will be baking bread noting the chemical fermentation process, we will begin to process the impact a leaking pipeline will have on the major waterways as we continue to plan and prepare a Water Quality presentation. For water is indeed life and it levels the playing field. For everyone needs and must have water. And I must pay better attention! Standing Rock, no one knows what the outcome will be. I do believe it is a situation in need of prayer and much.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Day 257: November 20, 2016 My BODY

November 20, 2016
Day 257


I am the church.
I am the BODY of Christ.

I must take full responsibility for my BODY. The moment I tell you I had no idea why my foot just kicked you I lose your trust and gain your disfavor.

The need for unity is imperative, essential, and most critical.

My BODY is united with a bond the strength of the universe; the bond of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

My BODY has been created by the Death of the Son. His blood allowed us to be part of His BODY.

The Trinity has not asked us to unite on convictions. Or denominations. Or race. Or politics. Or preferences.

The Trinity has asked us to unite on a person. And He, Jesus, loves well. He loves clean. He loves free. He loves deep. He loves continually. He loves YOU!

My BODY must focus on Jesus, and Jesus alone.
Jesus loves past all convictions, even allows them.
Jesus knows it is only about HIM, and HIM ALONE.

My BODY asks you to forgive me for all that you have seen and felt and heard and not experienced that has caused you pain, harm, and confusion. Please forgive My BODY for focusing on all the wrong issues. It is shameful that My BODY has not lead you to Jesus, our leader.

Would you please forgive me?

Because, Jesus loves you, and this I know!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 256: November 16, 2016 Melting Pot - I Don't Think So

November 16, 2016
Day 256

Melting Pot - I Don't Think So

The true melting pot is Christianity. Though no one melts. The pot is a heterogeneous mixture of individuals not a homogeneous solution. Differences are honored. Therefore, social clubs and Christianity do not mix. Though, the way we act you might have a tough time proving this.

Who joins the stew, we never know. It has nothing to do with us. Christianity is based on the Holy Spirit's roundup. For we do not know where the Spirit comes from nor do we know where He is going. Only He is the collector of the weary, needy souls, the down and outers, the losers, those who lack, the weak, the lame, the oppressed and me. But do you want it? Then you're in! For there is no nail biting on the sidelines.

The pot is filled not by THINKING our way into Christianity. This is impossible. But rather by ACCEPTING HIS way into brilliance beyond galactic proportions of brilliance. And even then, upon arrival, the acquisition of knowledge is our choice. Here, we are free to learn the absolutes of ancient truths repackaged for understanding. But we are also free to remain status quo. We are never forced.

Folks from every level of intellect, socioeconomic status, countries, cultures, and mindsets collect based on only one sameness - Jesus Christ. He loves our differences, our uniqueness. For diversity is a reflection of Him. The pot is full of non melting identities, individuals who are there because of Him. This is our distinction with every other religion, worldview. No one melts. And those who focus on the contents of the pot will often leave. Unlike the mafia, we are never forced to stay.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Day 255: November 12, 2016 Newly Elected President

November 12, 2016
Day 255

Newly Elected President

The newly elected president has caused me to worry about a few things.

I worry about...
my grandchildren born to a white woman and a black man. The newly elected president does not keep his tongue in check - how will this bode for those who do not share a Caucasian look? I have been grateful to the Obama family in the White House for the sensitivity this has brought to the nation. (yes, I realize the racial tension has been stirred - I might be grateful for that as well. We can only deal with what is uncovered. A bloodletting might be in order. Many folks do not realize the racism even in their own blood.) This election begs the question, am I actively cultivating discussions regarding diversity? And if not, why not?

I worry about...
the environment. From a broad sweep the Republicans are in favor of business, seemingly, at the expense of stewardship. I have been grateful for a sense of respect for environmental issues. I admit, I lack depth in understanding the ways of the government. And I also understand that not every Republican has it out for the environment - remember I said "broad sweep." But I do know that my students in our Middle School Chemistry class just took some tests from our local streams. The coliform tested positive! (look it up) This election begs the question, am I actively cultivating environmentally sustainable practices in my home and Twin Valley Coffee business? And if not, why not?

I worry about...
the illegal immigrants. It pains me to hear those who call themselves christians speaking vehemently about this subject demanding their own american citizen rights. All I see is a lamb, silently walking to his execution for all men, demanding none of His universe rights. This election begs the question, why have I been content to not understand the entire picture of illegal immigrants? Why don't I personally know any illegal immigrants? (ok, I get it, so maybe they don't go around wearing name tags indicating such, but my friend base is devoid of any suspicious of this label) And if not, why not?

I worry about...
the transition from Obama to Trump. Will the newly elected president keep things in perspective? Will the presidency sober him as the weight of the responsibility is increasingly felt? Or will it embolden and empower him to greater heights of arrogance? Humans are poor receptors of praise. This election begs the question, am I actively praying for those placed in authority? And if not, why not?

I worry about...
those who believe our moral fiber has been reclaimed with Trump in office. I do not even know what to say to that? What comes out of our mouth indicates what is in our soul. Therefore, I was never able to support him, let alone throw him my vote for the sack of the Supreme Court. I defer to the Supreme Ruler! (there children you at least now know something of my private vote) This election begs the question, am I actively helping others in my life to understand how our moral fiber remains? And equally, do I understand what has nothing to do with our country's moral fiber? And if not, why not?

I worry about...
the economy. But honestly, my lack of knowledge regarding economics chases me to a corner of embarrassment. I do not even know what to worry about? Should it be the Federal Reserve? Stock Market? Free Trade? Or all of the above? I know, I know, all of the above. This election begs the question, do I know enough about economics? And if not, why not?

Then, it happens! The King of Kings steps into my brain space. He pulls up my chin and grins full on emanating life and light. That smile. It chases me running up and down the corridors and halls of history. "Lynne, look! Look here! See what I did there! Look over there! C'mon, look Lynne!"

As He picks me up for the continued History Run we rush past the Crusades, the Holocaust, Rwandan nightmare. I see tears, His tears. He, the Supreme Being is intimate and His emotions are moved by the choices His created ones chose. The tears and His comfort move back and forth in a dance of assurance, extreme empathy, and a desire to help.

"I allow you to chose. Your country is full of choosers. Do not forget how wonderful that is. I am in ultimate control but I give you the freedom of choice. Are you awake now? Good! Only I can and will help you make wise choices. However, you must ask me! And do not fret it leads only to evil. Keep looking to and at me."

And once again, the Supreme - Intimate - Ruler knows how to turn my worry into energized prayer. This election was the ultimate WAKE UP CALL to our family on so many levels. Rumplestiltskin and Burkholders have much in common.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 254: November 9, 2016 Elect For You To Live Free

November 9, 2016
Day 254

Elect For You To Live Free

You woke me with a start this afternoon as I napped in my oversized red chair. I slept little last night as it crept into morning listening to a newly elected Donald Trump. Fingers crossed for his demeanor to stay, one can only hope. But the election is the last thing on your mind. At that moment you just needed a place to vent and our home was your choice. It's safe.

To you, what election? You could care less. But I'm curious, what would you run for? What platform would you stand on? You and I both know family matters. Would it be that? We love you and crave for healing. And trust me, you will experience healing, you will. But the journey is long, painful and full of thorns. But do you see the light?

You need to know it is an honor to have you venting at our home. Your life has been turned upside down and you are desperate and we are desperate to see you and yours whole and free. If we could wiggle our noses and abracadabra all of your hurt away, we would. But you would not have learned the immeasurable lessons. You are different and it looks good on you.

All we have is faith, faith that God is good, that God cares, that God knows what is best, and we believe, God will move. The faith required for your situation is well, kinda big. Ok, mammoth. You need to know though, we're going there. Mammoth size faith - here we come! Though it is full of faith it is a dark walk heading to the land of light. We are going to rely on the hope, the hint of light, and believe it is enough to guide each of your steps on the narrow way.

We know the Guide and He asks us to depend completely, complicity, wholeheartedly, unwaveringly on Him. He asks you to turn your gut wrenching, heart breaking frustration and disappointment to gut wrenching, heartfelt prayer and believe that He will in fact answer. Ask Him for what to pray. Ask Him for what He wants. Ask Him for His plans.  And then, go all out, dear one, go all out.

You matter to HIM! You matter to HIM! You are worth HIS effort to heal and redeem! Ask Him to move mountains - spiritual one! For He can and He will!

Day 253: November 9, 2016 Love Unifies Beyond Candidates

November 9, 2016
Day 253

Love Unifies Beyond Candidates

Jesus asks me to love my enemies. He asks me to be kind. He asks me to be patient. He asks me to put me aside, not be arrogant. And He asks me to not be rude. He tells me to give up my insistence for my own way. He asks me to not be irritable and resentful. He tells me to not rejoice at wrongdoing and encourages me to rejoice with the truth. He asks me to bear all things. He even asks me to believe all things. He asks me to hope all things and He asks me to endure all things. And He knows I can not do it. 

It is early Wednesday morning, I should be sleeping and yet I am watching the election. The Body I am part of is united by Jesus Christ yet divided by politics. And I LOVE that He allows this. I love His Body, my Body. I love the diversity of us. We will never unite on our personal issues. But rather I love the focal point of unity, Jesus, Emmanuel. And I love the fact that the focal point has never been our political views. Can you imagine? 

Today the Body of Christ is asked to walk out from the ultimate sacrifice and allow Jesus, by His Spirit, to do the work of love. He is willing to do the hard work for us. For He is love, the greatest, beyond faith and hope. And it is faith and hope which we do, but only with the power of His resurrected Body. His death and His resurrection allow us to walk in His peace, the focus of faith and hope. What doesn't He do for us? 

It is easy to be unkind, to be impatient, to be arrogant, to be rude, to insist on my own way, to be irritable, resentful, to rejoice in wrongdoing and to basically GIVE UP.  The spiritual muscle it takes to do the hard work of love is Jesus. He is the muscle I am to use, mine has atrophied. Jesus knows no pride and asks me to hand it in. He wants and can love through me. Who knew this was possible? He did. Before the world began, He knew.

So, I am free to move aside and allow Him to substitute, to be my identification. Though it cost His life. Faith, hope and LOVE has never and will never be hard or impossible for Him.

To those of you who have left the faith, we miss you. You are important and your reasons for leaving are important. The real test of christianity is love and if you do not feel loved by the group at large or even by some significant individuals, you are not with the mature, please know that. Maturity in Christ is how well someone sacrificially loves. We are a motley group growing up into maturity and it unfortunately looks quite immature. One way to know if someone truly desires to walk in Jesus' way is if you can have an open conversation with them about why you left. The Door is always open.

My prayer is that this election will be used for good. I know many of my Body is mourning the loss while many of my Body is rejoicing the victory. We are free to do both as our unity does not depend on our views. Today let's focus on the unifier, LOVE! And then let's walk it out. We, the Body, must stay united on Jesus alone. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Day 252: November 8, 2016 Eternal Command of Forces

November 8, 2016
Day 252

God's Eternal Command of Forces

Is God eternal? Is God in control? Is God good?
Is God eternally good while in control?
Has anything escaped His control?
In all of eternity, will anything escape His control?

In conclusion - He's got you covered. More than.

I voted and I will eternally remain
 with the 
Good God who 
has never lost control.

Can I hear an Amen?

Enough Said!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Day 251: November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016
Day 251

Twin Valley Coffee Must Be Experienced

Twin Valley Coffee is meant to be shipped every day to the sky's limit. The ports need to hold pallets upon pallets full of cases upon cases of Twin Valley Coffee beans bulging at the seams. The roast is perfect and must be shared and enjoyed by coffee lovers on every inch of the planet. To dream the impossible dream is to fill every cup with Twin Valley Coffee's dark brown liquid gold. To keep this brew to ourselves is to epitomize selfishness. We must not and we will not.

Twin Valley's Cold Brew refreshes and energies leaving one with a sense of more. As many bottles one can find must be filled with the dark goodness of our cold brew. The Nitro is another wonderful story. It is fit for every restaurant that desires to impress.

We must not and cannot withhold what we know to be excellent. This coffee simply is meant to stay with us briefly then it is time for the world. We can not be responsible for depriving the world of excellence beyond the cup.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 250: November 1, 2016 Pillow Promises to Sleep With

    Pillow Promises to Sleep With
November 1, 2016
Day 250

Tonight when I lay my head down to sleep I am going to go through a list of positive affirmations or another way to put it, a list of God's promises. For I am waking in the wee hours needing to crawl to fundamental and elementary understandings. He has called me to do better than this. It is time to move past this point of weak faith. I must climb to greater rocks of God's goodness.

I am going to start by reading the following tonight.
Why not?

Joshua 1: 9 - 11
Isaiah 40:28 -31
Isaiah 41:10
Philippians 4:9
Romans 8:37 -39
Proverb 1:33
John 14:27
1 Chronicles 16:11
Exodus 15:2
Philippians 4:13
Psalm 18: 32-34

I purposely only gave the references. It also might be helpful for you to look for them and be delighted by the hope each one offers.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 249: October 30,2016 Unrest, Unraveling

October 30, 2016
Day 249

Unrest, Unraveling

There is unrest, unravelling, and a rush to emotional stability amidst uneven pieces. We are overwhelmed, underwhelmed, unsure and too sure. We want to throw our trust into the safest place possible but we are desperately looking for that spot.

Early morning, from a nightmare, I wake in terror. I am desperately calling to pedestrians walking towards the public pool in the middle of a town common. She dives into the pool, blond haired, fine tuned, but a weak swimmer. I am the strong swimmer with super human powers and I dive in to rescue her only to discover blood cur-tiling fear. She swims toward me with a concentrated look of regret. I am confused. She is being forced and she wants me somehow to know this for she cannot communicate. Her voice is not in her control. She is slowly swimming with the intent to kill. Me. To the core I am frightened. I scream, beg for help, but my voice is weak.

I dodge her robotic methodical evil advances. My powers can take her down but something is holding me back. She is advancing, slowly, and I am attempting to scream but they are feeble. In terror I awake.

The unrest, the unravelling, a rush to stability, the overwhelmed, the underwhelmed, the unsure and too sure is underneath the surface. My surface. When I awake early I look to my phone for the time and then I check twitter. Twitter feeds me breaking news. This morning I follow #TheCourageConference of which my dear friend Pam is attending. This conference is a call to churches committing to safety within the Body. I follow a tweet that leads me to an article about Brock Turner, the young man who rapes an unconscious woman. I read what she speaks to him at the trial. I read about a woman sexually assaulted. I begin to feel and see my dream as an enigma. These articles should have been the precursor, instead they are the follow up.

The church as it stands is unsafe. The powerful in the pool swim powerless. The weak swimmers are terrifying the strong. The enemy is using the blond woman's face for he wants us to forget the spiritual world of evil intent, the principalities. Instead he lures us to focus on people. With fear he tries to render powerless the strong swimmer.

The strong are calling out to humans and not relying on their inner strength of the Holy Spirit, God within, Jesus moving His Body to rescue His Body. The weak swimmer can not kill. But the strong can move in feet first and help the weak one to safety. We must not call out to humanity, to the pedestrians walking by. We must call out to the living God who lives within. We must depend on the strength of the Holy Spirit.

What a dream! What a message! What a call! What an awakening! May we use the power of the Holy Spirit to rescue the weak and create safety within our church walls.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 248: October 28, 2016 Moments Raising Memory Banners

October 28, 2016
Day 248
Moments Raising Memory Banners

The moments are stopped when you step out of the ordinary.  When I say yes to a sun filled, brisk walk at French Creek with my daughter, yes to an enchanted visit from a dear friend whom I have known since the 70's, yes to scrummytuck snacks with a soul sister, yes to a pray gathering, yes to hang with a son and his friend (thanks for hanging with me Geoff and Evan), yes to driving an open and loving daughter to a retreat, and yes to our relational son in law for dinner at their home. 

This week has added more things to reflect on and I am so grateful. These moments raise memory banners high in the sky. I am thankful for life and for lovely relationships and I refuse to take them for granted. They are good gifts and a reminder that I am alive and well loved. 

To those who have been given much, much is required. What a privilege and a pleasure. I live to live fully engaged.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 247: October 26, 2016 Shine on, You Precious One

October 26, 2016
Day 247

Shine on, You Precious One

The brilliant stars assertively pierce the thick dark. Darkness has no power, it is overcome. Where does the darkness rush? No where. Darkness has no momentum, no direction, no essence, it is the absence of light. Darkness is not covered, darkness does not hide. In the presence of light darkness is not.

Light is always. Mornings are daily reminders of mercy served fresh. Light rushes to the void. Light is power. Light moves, penetrates, warms, generates, fuels, burns, and always shines. Nothing has or ever will make it cease. Darkness is nothing. Light is everything. Darkness never overcomes even the weakest light.

Where there is dark there can be light. Where there is light it will not be dark. Darkness always contains light. Light never contains darkness. Darkness hides. Light finds all.

Shine on, you precious one.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day 246: October 23, 2016 Bedtime Thoughts on Grace

October 23, 2016
Day 246

Bedtime Thoughts on Grace
Grace passes me to hug
the person I avoid.
Grace races behind me
to the person I left in the dust.
Grace swirls me around
to see the hidden one.
Grace inquires of the one who needs.
Grace outraces, outpaces and
chases me in "Tag You're It"!
Grace listens
when I turn a deaf ear.
Grace does not endure me
Grace adores me.

When it should not, grace gives.
When it should not, grace loves.
When it should not, grace hopes.
Grace says yes, yes, yes and yes.
Grace does not know the words, GIVE UP.

Grace is the rogue of all rogue waves defying logic
while scooping sin up and plummeting it hard.
The more sin the more grace.
Sin never shuts grace down, grace shuts sin down.
Grace will never make sense,
its wisdom is steeped in unthinkable

Grace is home.
Grace is comfort.
Grace is rest.
Grace is food to all who are hungry but have nothing.
Grace only knows more than enough.

Grace serves more and more and more.

Grace serves on.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 245: October 22, 2016 Simple Tasks are Well Kept Roads

October 22, 2016
Day 245

Simple Tasks are Well Kept Roads

This blustery morning and afternoon consists of the mundane. I love my life. My spirit regenerates with simple tasks and my heart beats still. My mind needs common patterns. Common soothes and relaxes this brain that does not stop. Today is full of tasks allowing me to think, to dream, to ponder, to be grateful. Will I accomplish all of them? Maybe. Maybe not.

The kitchen has more dishes on the counters than in the cupboards. My time was limited yesterday as I manned the Gazebo and assisted my homeschool son with his homework. Spending time with the Coffee Gazebo Manager - my daughter, is always a thrill for me, so shoving the dishes further back on the burner only made common sense. The lag time between clean and dirty is allowed but a lag time between present and absence with my family, friends, and others leads to relational damage. Not going there.

I love hand washing dishes for I need simple tasks. These tasks are well kept roads allowing my brain to travel with ease. Ideas, visions, and insights come from this realm of my mundane. Many of them are thrown out when they meet reality. But they are always fun to ping pong while there's bounce.

And, even though I would love to clean and tidy every room while savoring the simplicity, I must leave that for another moment of calm. Lynn and I are going vegetable hunting in a few minutes. Or at least that is what I am calling it and I am about to barf at my own words.  And you need to understand that if we actually get off in good time, I'll be in shock. I have not made a significant dent today. But I so love contemplating my mundane, my simplicity, my.... (are you not going to shut me up?).

I love my life. Where I live, in the state of PA, is a dream. So I must go and search these roads for veggie's.  I will never get done with laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. The day I get done is the day my house is empty. The day my house is empty is the day my Spirit moves on to a fuller home. Life is short. To clean, to organize, is to enter into a realm of calm. But trust me, I'll enjoy the calm driving on the off roads of Route 23. My hunt is on for vegetable soup for tomorrow's lunch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 244: October 18, 2016 Raft-Soar

October 18, 2016
Day 244


The raft on Canadaguia Lake in Upstate New York is where I sit and ask Jesus to come to me. It is my safe place and He always comes. Tonight, was no different though it challenged paradigms. In the heart of Lancaster City at Voice of the Apostles I am among the family of God worshipping. In a whoosh the raft is skimming over water, full throttle and in no time, airborne. We are raft-soaring high. He speaks words to me as I wonder about the safety. "You are safe! Everywhere you are with me, you are safe."

He, the air craft controller, is laughing. We race over lakes, mountains, valleys, canyons and deserts. In His presence I am hopeful, content, full of vision, loved, and appreciated. His presence is safety no matter where. This raft-soar is His demonstration.

To be with Him is thrilling, high adventure, sure risk and the assurance that all is saved, nothing is lost. This safety is from evil spirits, powers of darkness, principalities and evil forces. The raft races over countries, dips into oceans and as time goes on He will help me see the meaning behind all this raft race.

Whenever He comes to my safe place and immediately pulls me into a spirit activity, such as I have just described, I wonder how long can this last? I have come to realize as long as I can handle it. Interestingly enough, my spirit can only handle so much. There usually is a need for time and space between these active moments. These times fill me. The constant presence of His Holy Spirit comforts me. And to know He wants to be with me blesses me beyond belief.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 243: October 17, 2018 Breakfast Consisting of Soul Food

October 17, 2018  
Day 243              

Breakfast Consisting of Soul Food

Deals going down in dismal disarray, heartbreaks crushing souls, conspiracies making grown men weak. My world spinning in need of centering. Every morning I awake to this. Sometimes I can actually see, hear, and feel the discord. I flail in a tunnel of discontent. I am almost infected with it until I EAT MY BREAKFAST!

I must have nutrition. During election years I know Isaiah has hearty food. The ancient words race to my armchair filling my spirit with expectation of good in the midst of the very bad. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. I am thankful. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD- and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-3) 

The reality begins to appear. I remember I am privy to another Kingdom. There are only elects here for THE election is over. The LEADER of all is in charge of a dimension where all things matter. Few more bites of this nourishment and my blood vessels pulse with security, and victory. I begin to see who is flailing. It is not me but rather the world.

The ancient words turn my head, heart, mind, soul, and flesh to thirst. I am parched when I wake. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Ps. 42:2) He waits for me to ask Him to connect my need with my want. Where do I go for the drink. He whispers to me, go anywhere. Anywhere you are, Lynne, there I AM. Meet with me anywhere. My well overflows with clean, fresh, vibrant, living water that quenches thirst with every burst from the green hose.

My heart is reminded of the checklist, the order, the process, the protocol that was once needed to meet with the Living God. It was killed on a dreadful day when all was seemingly lost. The spirit world stood in horror. They were unaware of the Trinity's redemptive, restorative plan. The darkness had not understood it. (John 1:5) He has pitched a tent in my heart and forever there resides.

The door opened through Him of whom all things were made.  Without Him nothing was made that has been made.  (John 1:3) The dismal disarray, heartbreaking moments, the gut wrenching trauma is now continually washed in a sea of sweet comfort. Tears, aches, deep pains are collected and soothed with oil from a Father's Heart that loves deep and well and uninhibited.

My body courses with the nourishment from the ancient words. My mind wakes with energy as the spirit within works me back to Isaiah. He directs me to an understanding that the same Spirit resides within me; wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and fear of the Lord. I am full. I am ready. I am strong in Spirit.

A day without nourishment is a day where my memory flails.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Day 242: October 16, 2016 Where have all the wise men gone, long time passing?

October 16, 2016
Day 242

Where have all the wise men gone, long time passing? 

As time chases to the election I stall to the booth. I am at a loss. I pick petals off a daisy uttering, I vote you, I vote you not. But I am wondering, did I miss something? Are these really our candidates?

If these are the two, I see them as one as the same. For starters, Hill loves emails, Don loves femails. One deletes and the other should. Oh, but they have more in common than that. People say that we are are choosing between the lesser of two evils. That's gotta hurt. Poor Don and Hill can't seem to catch a break.

Clearly, both Don and Hill had no idea they were attending debates, let alone who that person was sitting at the big dinning room looking table interrupting their quarrels. What are moderators for other than to be ignored? I had playground flashbacks watching those two.

They have made it to the top. Of what? Who knows? It's something and it's the top and it is all they've ever wanted. Let's let them stay at this top and quietly leave. C'mon, let's go. They'll be fine.

Honestly, don't you think it is fitting that these two are the final contestants. This country was not looking for another reality show. Though it has the look and feel of make believe. And we are not talking Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

I'm looking for Bob Barker and door number three. This would be the year. This would be the year.

Regardless of my uncertainity and uneasieness - I am voting. It is my right and my privilege. And as I close that curtain, I plead the fifth.
See you at the polls.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Day 252: October 12, 2016 Bull in a China Shop

October 12, 2016
Day 252
Bull in a China Shop

My heart is heavy. So, I go to Jesus. I am overwhelmed. So, I lay my head on Jesus' lap. I am burdened for my sisters. So, I ask Jesus to listen.

I am saddened by how I use to listen, how I use to advise, how I use to think. I know Jesus forgives me, He is so kind that way. Still it makes me sad. I did not know. For so many of the women's stories could not be told. Many times I filled in the blanks before I let them. I created their story when their story was not ready to be shared.

A bull in a china shop is a fitting image for this woman, Lynne Burkholder.  But He prefers me as a sheep lying down in green pastures, led beside still waters.

For pity's sake, I was so blind. But I turn from this. I now walk in a different direction locking arms with different people who commit to seeing life from a point of love and not judgment.

Jesus stooped when a woman was brought out in an act of sin. He stooped. Who am I to stand and judge? Who am I? I desire to live, to act, and to love like the only man who was able to throw a stone and yet chose to stoop, love, and forgive!

Day 251: October 12, 2016 Bull in a China Shop

October 12, 2016
Day 251

Bull in a China Shop

My heart is heavy. So, I go to Jesus. I am overwhelmed. So, I lay my head on Jesus' lap. I am burdened for my sisters. So, I ask Jesus to listen.

I am saddened by how I use to listen, how I use to advise, how I use to think. I know Jesus forgives me, He is so kind that way. Still it makes me sad. I did not know. For so many of the women's stories could not be told. Many times I filled in the blanks before I let them. I created their story when their story was not ready to be shared.

A bull in a china shop is a fitting image for this woman, Lynne Burkholder.  But He prefers me as a sheep lying down in green pastures, led beside still waters.

For pity's sake, I was so blind. But I turn from this. I now walk in a different direction locking arms with different people who commit to seeing life from a point of love and not judgment.

Jesus stooped when a woman was brought out in an act of sin. He stooped. Who am I to stand and judge? Who am I? I desire to live, to act, and to love like the only man who was able to throw a stone and yet chose to stoop, love, and forgive!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 250: October 11, 2016 Strong, Powerful Women - GPS

October 11, 2016
Day 250

Strong, Powerful Women - GPS

Tonight I have the distinct privilege of being amongst women who know what it means to endure and persevere. These are survivors. The fellowship of suffering among them is palpable, you can cut it with a knife. There is little talk about the weather. Instead there is talk about healing, trust, endurance, mercy, grace and hope for tomorrow.

Together, we are moving in a direction of love and honor. These survivors have much to teach. And I am all ears. They are showing me the way of love, honesty, strength and persistence. They have overcome silence. They are learning to share their story of pain, of suffering, how they have overcome. To listen to them is to learn deep truths. They know the One who creates hope out of suffering.

They are helping us develop God honoring ways to deal with pain in the Body of Christ. We are rejecting the "Script From Hell". We are instead moving towards the abundance of creativity in the face of adversity. We are moving towards hope.

Only God can bring abundance out of darkness. For God is good even when humans make it so dark and ugly. God would never do what man has done to you. He is patient. He is kind. He keeps no record of wrongs. He always hopes. He dies for His friends.

I endeavor to remember this and to love you.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Day 249: October 9, 2016 A Walk in Your Shoes

October 9, 2016
Day 249

A Walk in Your Shoes

I answer too quickly.
I move far too fast.
I judge in a blink.
I act rather crass.

To laugh and to love is a privilege we share.
The burdens, oppressions are for us to bear.
We wander alone and this is a shame.
God calls us to love, to honor His name.

He loves you to death.
He places you high.
He gives you respect.
So, why shall not I?

I will not waste moments,
I will race to forgive.
I will run to repent.
It's the free way to live.

I will hear beyond words.
I will see with my heart.
I will show you respect.
It's where I will start.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 248: October 7, 2016 Theo and Jesse

October 7, 2016
Day 248

Theo and Jesse

These boys are mine. One is my son and the other is my daughter and son in love's. Jesse and Theo have known each other for the last two years and the future is bright for these two. Theo loves and adores his uncle and Jesse adores his nephew. The two will have each other and this makes my heart happy.

Jesse came to us when we were in our forties. It is not as easy for him as it has been for us, the difference in our ages. Let's just say, he mentions it. But I remind him if it were not for these old parents he would not be here.

He keeps our lives fresh, active and full of humor. He uses the exact word for the exact moment. His vocabulary has always been stellar. He loves people, he is my most social child.

Theo has pondered his existence since the day of his birth. You felt as if you were watching him chose to grow. He is one contemplative little dude. I have always enjoyed his mother's running commentary on his growth and development. She, like I, loves to know her children. It is pure joy to listen to her talk about Theo.

Theo and Jesse will have adventures.
Theo has the benefit of an older
brother in his uncle. Jesse has the benefit of a
 little brother in his nephew.
My heart can not be more full of joy. I love these                                                                                     two boys. They are mine, a grandson and a son.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 247: October 5, 2016 The Gazebo

October 5, 2016
Day 247

Serving coffee on our property is time well spent. To walk out the side door is something I do not take for granted. I am on vacation everyday I walk towards the coffee place, the revered Gazebo. Every step is gratitude.

Gazebo babies are adored, kissed and hugged. The new moms are congratulated and encouraged. We speak of the town, we speak of sadness, we speak of hardship and death. We wonder, we ponder, and we consider. Friendships have been made and contacts have been shared. We've cried and we've laughed. We tell stories, we tell jokes, we speak of politics, we speak of religion. We share job and family stories. And we laugh and laugh and laugh some more. This is one enchanted spot and I am privileged
to witness the magic of the Gazebo.

There are many times we feel moments deeply in the circular machine. We transport to a place of kindness and honor. We are community and it is in this place we sense it profoundly.

 There are birthday parties, concerts, bible studies, and friends sharing moments, families taking pictures and people meeting for the first time. We love Twin Valley Students and their support via Toddy purchases and fundraisers.

Our customers have been gracious, kind and extremely helpful to us. They are patient and they encourage us. They have watched us grow, they have watched us stumble. They accept us. We love serving coffee to this town. The Gazebo is a melting pot, it is this community's watering hole. What a privilege to be part of a spot where differences are surpassed with a good cup of Twin Valley Coffee!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day 246: October 3, 2016 Jen Hatmaker's Face book Post - Must Read

October 3, 2016
Day 246
Jen Hatmaker's Face book Post - Must Read

This is Jen Hatmaker's post for Sunday 2, 2016. This is not my writing. Repeat this is not my writing but it is my heart!

"....In the spirit of transparency, I'll tell you that I've had a pressure on my chest for a bit - pushing, pushing, pushing. This pressure is familiar, like a terrible old frenemy, but it just hasn't been around in awhile. The pressure says the same old thing: "You're not enough, not right, not good, not meeting expectations, not falling in line, not giving everyone what they want." It's such a boring, tired message, but it somehow works every.single.time.
I got to spend a bit of time with friend and mentor Marilyn Meberg this weekend in Dallas at Belong, and she got on the bus, sat right next to me, brushed aside any scrap of chit chat and said: "God has something for me to tell you and I didn't know when I could do it this weekend, but here we are and here it is..."
She reminded me that liberation is God's whole plan for all of us: to set us free. To set us free from sin and shame and loss and isolation and harm. It is for freedom that Christ set us free - not to be used, not to be a pawn for God's fame, not to follow better rules, not to become self-righteous...He set us free so we would be free. Full stop. He set us free so we could live a free life. What a good God! A free life is a full life, a purposeful life, a rich life, a healthy life, a loving life, a connected life, a powerful life. Of course Jesus wants freedom for us.
Anyhow, Marilyn reminded me that anytime we crave the freedom of others, when we work toward THEIR liberty, equality, justice, seat at the table - we should absolutely expect a full-court press of opposition. FULL COURT PRESS. The work is too important. It delivers too much freedom to a world that has always operated on hierarchy, power, and position. Anytime captives are set free, the fragile ecosystem of power is in jeopardy. What better way to keep God's people hamstrung, in-fighting, destabilized, and neutralized than to keep them in bondage, especially by each other? She told me the main message:
Keep speaking.
She touched on something I hadn't even been able to identify exactly. This pressure to muzzle, to deliver content that only makes people happy, amused, entertained, or comfortable - but to shut down the conversations that push, expose, call out, and disrupt. This pressure to package the Good News in only the preferred template to the preferred crowd in the preferred manner with the preferred language.
Someone called me "small" online yesterday. But I think the actual implication is that a big gospel is scary and unfamiliar and uncomfortable and intimidating. We prefer it contained, to be quite honest. We prefer to see it operate in OUR channels, in OUR context, in OUR language, for OUR benefit. Watching the gospel of freedom head outward toward others in ways outside our experience feels disorienting, and in an attempt to keep it tight, right, contained, and manageable, we criticize and poke holes and grasp. I've done this exact thing.
Good friends, let's keep craving the freedom of others, no matter how much criticism it draws. Because if we love mercy for ourselves, we better love it for everyone else, or there is no truth in us. And I guess we better expect a fight, because liberation is powerful. I give you the same permission and assignment Marilyn gave me:
Keep speaking.
Keep speaking.
Keep speaking.
It is for freedom that Jesus set us free. All of us...."

Take time to find out about one of our family members, Jen Hatmaker.