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'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.

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.