When you need more of God

“Some Christians believe that being filled with the Holy Spirit is a work the Lord brings to people from above, as if they were an empty pitcher and He pours the Holy Spirit into them, much as one would pour water into a pitcher.

 

I have a much different image of being filled:  When I was a boy I often went to a spring that bubbled up from the earth deep in the forest near our home.  We boys would go there each spring as baseball practice began, since it was only a few hundred yards above the field where we practiced.

 

When we would first arrive each spring it would not be running well.  The debris and rocks that winter weather deposited upon the opening would keep the spring from flowing freely.  But as we removed the barriers, the water would bubble up fresh and clear, flowing strong all throughout the summer heat.”

 

From Terry Wardle’s book, Healing Care, Healing Prayer, pg 102

 

Gungor with their poetic treatment of scripture: Dry Bones


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When You Feel the Pain of Letting Go

I should be starting dinner. 

 

I need to write a letter.

 

I know I could be taking a walk, or “improving my mind”, or maybe even praying. But I’m not…exactly. God has provided one short, giddy sunset for me to drink in each day,

 

and I miss most of them.

 

It’s the in-between part of the day–the delicious comma between afternoon and evening when God holds His breath and day slides artlessly into envelopes of night.

I survey the gentle hills framed in my window, and bask in the bold orange of a day’s-end sky. Teal blue clouds embrace. Blazing edges of day wave an affectionate farewell. Day sings her night song, and birds stream overhead, across the sun. I am intoxicated.

 

As I watch, something slides to the edge of my mind, knocking. I put it off a while longer and watch shifting patterns of gold dust western skies. Blood-red patches of day silently escape below the horizon.

 

I don’t want this picture to change! I do want, desperately, to preserve every nuance of color, shaped and planed, and painted on a sky outside this window. I want so badly to gild it in gold and tuck it in a private hiding place known only to me. Then I can admire it again and again. Whenever I choose, I can admire it, so fine and so fair.

Orange keeps melting into pots of gold and delicate mauve, and finally shell pink before saying “goodbye”. Suddenly…it’s over. The sunset is gone! Poof!

 

I sigh, turning reluctantly to the uneasy thoughts worming their way front and center. It’s the “in between” part of life for my daughter and me, too. Dawn is 18 now…. all woman and all child. Like the effervescent fleeting sunshine of my treasured sunsets.

 

As she left today, I told her firmly she would be home for dinner. She replied just as firmly that she most likely would not. Pulling away again. It hurts, but it’s time.

 

Feels like bandage ripping hairs from back of hand. Swift, brief, mother pain.

 

I reach out to catch this winsome butterfly. She eludes my grasp, flaps her wings, just out of reach.

 

I remember a scene almost forgot. I’m a young mother in a first-grade classroom. Dawn recites a finger-play game in a circle of wide-eyed others. She catches mother eye over and over, and lips spread wide, warm grin ‘round and ‘round me. We’re both glad I came.

 

Another memory pops. We’re walking in the snow, me and my children. She calls in high voice of alarm: “Wait for me!” How long has it been? I stir uneasily. When did the page turn? When did the leaf fall? All this without my permission?

 

Now, Dawn is two. Two years old. I’m leaving the house…without her. Her head reaches just above the window sill, and she cries. Tears fall wet down red cheeks, and mother heart cringes. She always wants to be with me! I pull away, impatient at the stage….not realizing I will want this back.

 

More images. Dawn, thirteen. Leaving. Always leaving. “Hello, Mom”. “See you later, Mom.” Pulling away. It had begun. It would not go backward.

 

Suddenly I know with a deep knowing: if I would ultimately keep her, I must let her go. It is the way of things.

 

The pictures fade, meteor-like. I shiver slightly at the cold and at the thought of the future. When she goes, she will carry a slice of my heart.

 

Sunset is plain over. Curtains of night shut surely. I accept the change and look toward tomorrow. I trace the edge of the windowsill with my finger. A resolve begins to form… intent quickens. I will loosen the ties that make this seasons easier for us both. I simply will. “Go your way, my beauty,” I will tell her. “No more tug of war, I hope!

 

Thoughts scuttle and scamper. I can no more keep her than catch a rainbow or pocket a star! They’re both strangely beautiful and strangely remote–elusive as moonbeams. Sometimes reachable, sometimes not. Are they both just for a time? Well, then, wing your way. Maybe the holding on is too hard for the both of us. Maybe the letting go will be the final bonding. She, like the sunset, will return in another form, at another time, in the right time…after she has tasted freedom and tried her wings.”

 

After all, in order to come home, one must first leave.

 

Letting go, in my life has always happened in bits and pieces. This is one such incident, a moment in time which became one of a necklace of events leading toward my daughter’s adulthood, and my passage into another season.” –Linda Andersen

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Linking with these lovely blogs:


GettingDownWithJesus

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Where I Learned How to do Friendship

I haven’t always been good at friendships.  I decided early on books were easier to get along with.

And if you don’t live with grace for yourself, it is impossible to offer it to someone else.

And she is still the one who is teaching me how.

 

She was the friend my mom and I knelt down on the pink pile carpet for.  Fifteen years old and I believed I was some sort of reincarnation of Anne of Green Gables.  She had golden curls and lived in a storybook brick farmhouse with birds carved into the upper hall cupboards.  But her greatest gift to me?  Seering honesty.

 

And so began years full of picnics and high teas, daring each other to splash into fountains, dresses pulled high. We discovered secret streams, watching the crawdads scramble, meandered through antique shops in search of tea cups and scheduled sleepovers where we pulled back our bandaids to show our wounds.

 

Through college, our friendship provided the laboratory where we struggled both together and against each other to become persons.

 

When we were 16, we reverently folded open the 1992 Teen Missions poster, smoothed out the wrinkles and poured over exotic adventures: an orphanage in Nepal, a riverboat trip through the canals of England, building schools in the desert of Egypt.

 

We dared each other to run hard after God.

 

That summer, after raising our funds, she went to Romania to build churches and I went to Albania to mortar a brick wall around an orphanage.  The God-following adventure never ended and I became an Anglican pastor and she has for the last 15 years served youth on air-force bases in Italy, spreading picnics for hundreds and daring them to lift their faces up to the Holy.

 

But she has been the one to garden this friendship, tending it with postcards and crossing long distances to hear my ordinary stories, weeding through my years of neglect.

And this has been the quiet lesson: in a facebook world full of virtual friends, the bloom of real friendship requires intentional faithfulness.

 

Keep showing up to us, she has taught me, even when the connection wears thin.

 

Tonight I miss her.  She pulled up to the little yellow cottage last week Wednesday and I opened wide the door of my life to give her a taste of the glory that is a Michigan lake-town in early summer.

 

I slowly unwrapped my treasures:

 

A long walk beside the Lake, the sun reflecting in a long ribbon across the water,

 

sesame seed crusted French toast battered with rich custard,

 

Saugatuck’s charm-packed downtown and taste-testing a white peach balsamic vinegar that coats the mouth in sweetness,

 

Italian picnic of baguette and pesto and salami on the sailboat slow at 2 knots,

 

and a dance party with the children to “Save the Last Dance for Me” as we motored past the lighthouse, crowds waiting for the last glimpse of the melting sun.

 

Joy, honesty, and more joy spilled easily from a friendship where both are becoming Velveteen Rabbit real.

 

And the gift of showing up for the last twenty years surprised us with the depth of a complicated aged wine, a wine we never would have sipped without the slow work of  faithfulness.

 

by Summer Gross

Today I’m sharing with Laura and and L.L. Barkat and Ann:
On In Around button



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Thinking about you, my Mama

Today, I’m thankful for my beautiful mama…

Bethel Farrington Myers

Bethel, House of God

All I saw were the loads of laundry and the nightly meal,

 

I had no idea how strong you had to be to silently offer love.

 

You carefully tended memories with a metal poker and a billow:

walks along the wet sandbar on ferry beach at sunset,

picnics spread in the orchard  beside full baskets of apples

four lit Advent candles and then sleeping bags in front of the fire Christmas Eve

Roasted hotdogs in the fireplace, a winter picnic,

 

When I had a bad day at school, you made afternoon tea in Great-Grandmother Pearl’s iridescent china:  navy blue ordinary on the outside, mother of pearl glazed interior,

when my small face was buried in the tea cup, a rainbow of colors shined back.

 

Your strength was daily fired in the round kiln taken down brick by brick in southern Ohio and rebuilt into a study on the east side of the house.  You and God would wait there and watch the sun rise on our life every morning.  You wept your prayers I would slip by you into the Master bathroom and see you knelt beside the blue couch, face buried in your arms.

 

Then after breakfast, you folded piles of prayers and dressed us in them,

covering us in God.

 

You still cover us in God and when you open the door of your heart

we too are ushered into His house.

Summer Gross

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Verna’s Secret Joy

She lives alone in tiny, second-story rooms above a weather-beaten general store and now-defunct gas station that has seen better days.  No one has used them for years.

 

Verna has been a widow for forty years I learned one Sunday after church.  This wren-like lady without a car is always in church (when she’s well), and  always smiling. “Why, Verna? Why are you always smiling?” I wondered, watching her lean on her cane.

 

The blinds at Verna’s windows are slightly askew, and the building she lives in looks perpetually deserted and forgotten.  A lone gas pump sits stolidly out in front near the road like a paunchy, middle-aged man with nothing much to do except watch traffic.

 

The old, sun-faded pump hasn’t served our lazy little community in more years than anyone can remember.  The cost of gasoline still reads 31 cents a gallon.  It seems to remember a time when our tiny farming town boasted enough “live” businesses to keep the road buzzing with activity.  Verna remembers those days well enough.  Now business has gone elsewhere, leaving our village and Verna to grow old together.  But I was about to discover that Verna was not a person who merely sits still and grows old.

 

I was having some neighbors in, and on a sudden impulse decided to include Verna.  “How nice!” she beamed over the wire connecting our voices.  “How very nice of you to call. I’d surely come if I was well enough.” She had been sick for a couple of weeks up there alone in that tiny apartment. I was sorry, and I told her so.

 

“You must get awfully lonesome, Verna”.

 

“Lonesome?”  She sounded surprised.  “Oh, my no,” she bubbled, laughing.  “Why I’m never lonesome.”  Now my curiosity was really aroused.  “You see, I have all my good memories to keep me company–and my photograph albums too.”  “And then a’course, I keep so busy with Mary’s boys.”

 

“Oh?” I asked, before remembering that she had a nearby neighbor named Mary.

 

“Oh yes,” she replied. “You see, Mary has 8 boys, and she works, ya know.  So’s I fix supper for them boys every night.  Yes.  Been doin it for years now.  It saves her a whole lot of worry, and gives me sumthin’ useful ta do.

 

Oh, yes, them boys gets me flowers too, on Mother’s Day.  They’re like ‘m own boys.”

 

Now I knew this was an unusual lady indeed.  And I began to understand the secret of her youthful exuberance for life.  Verna had found something most people take a lifetime to discover, and it was less than a country mile from her own apartment.

 

The next Sunday, Verna came down the aisle, poking hard at the floor with her cane.  My husband greeted her, “Verna, I saw the most beautiful pair of cardinals in our tree this morning! They would have knocked your eyes out!”

 

Her warm brown eyes brightened, and her familiar smile appeared.

 

“Oh yes,” she chuckled.  “And you know, I heard the most beautiful wren song today.”  She shook her finger in emphasis.  “I get up early every day, ya see, so’s I don’t miss anything.  I like to watch the houses around here “wake up”, don’tcha know.  Yessir, there’s just so much ta see.  And I enjoy everything God made—everything, don’tcha see?”

 

The secret’s out Verna!  When I grow up, can I be like you?  You don’t miss a thing!  You magnify the plusses I seem to miss!  There’s no need to feel sorry for you, Verna, none whatever.  And you have no time whatever to feel sorry for yourself!  You’re just too busy being thankful for every little thing.

 

Keep it up, Verna.  We need you.  Your sunshiny ways are bringing God’s light to a whole lot of lives–including mine.

Linda Andersen

The lovely painting of Verna’s house comes out of Linda’s other creative love: watercolor.

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Today we’re spreading the joy by linking to these websites:

On In Around button

and Laura Boggess at The Wellspring:

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Gaining Perspective Again

The Message translation of Colossians 3:3-4 has been convicting/encouraging me lately, especially this phrase: “Be content with obscurity.”  We have an upside down world and it is easy to roll topsy turvy along with it.

But, it’s Sarah Smith of Golders Greene, a character from The Great Divorce who fleshes out humility and the economy of heaven for me.

CS Lewis wrote The Great Divorce as a fictional exploration of Heaven and Hell.  In it inhabitants of hell are invited to take a bus ride to heaven and meet a mentor who will encourage them to stay.  CS Lewis has written himself into the book as the main character along with his real life mentor, the amazing Scottish writer/theologian George MacDonald.  Here they are standing together and watching one of the other mentors process toward them. Sarah Smith of Golders Green will be inviting a bus passenger to go further up and further in.

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“I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed.  If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass.  If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her innermost spirit shone through the clothes.  For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs.  A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer’s features as a lip or an eye.

But I have forgotten.  And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.

“Is it?…is it?” I whispered to my guide.

“Not at all,” said he. “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of.  Her name on Earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”

“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”

“Aye. She is one of the great ones.  Ye have heard that fame in this coutry and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”…

“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”

“They are her sons and daughters.”

“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”

“Every young man or boy that met her became her son–even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door.  Every girl that met her was her daughter.”

“Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”

“No.  There are those that steal other people’s children.  But her motherhood was of a different kind.  Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more.  Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers.  But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”

…I looked at my Teacher in amazement.

“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further.  Who knows where it will end?  Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength.  But already thee is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.”

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My Sabbath Journey

Sabbath!  It was a gift of rest from the hand of God.   Wasn’t it just that simple?  I had always “done” Sunday, and loved every minute of going to church and enjoying a restful afternoon.

But now, I was devouring the subject, tracing the steps through scripture, and beginning to see something else.  The gift of Sabbath was both deep and wide:  Sunday and more.  It was a life with Sabbath monogrammed onto it.  But if this was true, then how, in my world would I open it?  The question hammered hard … chipped chunks out of my long “to do” list…pounded my peace.

Ÿ  Sabbath living, I saw, was everyday life/work done from  a restful, trusting spirit.  It wasn’t only Sunday–the gift was bigger than that. It was all of life with God center stage, not behind the curtains. Scripture made it plain enough.  It was stopping “the train” along the weekday way.  It was noticing.  It was being.  It was God’s idea, and ribboned throughout scripture: a life lived from a restful heart.  It teased me forward.   So why did I know virtually nothing about a “sabbath-kind-of” life during the week?  Something had to give.  My story continues…..

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Life was perpetual everything..…I was 40, and at the top of my game.  Things needed to change.  I was all about work, producing,  running, serving, family this, friends, that, and church, church, church.  I loved what I was doing.  Carbon copy life.  Poster child of too much and too many.  Do it all, and do it now.  Hurry up.   My motto was “more”  My creed was “faster”.   For months and days and years I did the all-American “ work thing”.  And a smelly cavity was beginning to devour my soul.

My spirit groaned.  My body ached.  My temper flared.  My soul shrank.

I met God on Sunday morning, and tossed Him a kiss the rest of the week, even as I served Him virtually full time, and with all my might.  It was what we all did.

As life pinched harder and harder, soul cracks became soul craters.  I was thirsty for God but there was only a trickle of water.  It’s all I allowed! Something had to change.   So I began to find small ways to quench my thirst.

At first, I took small interludes alone with God.  I didn’t know where it would lead.  It didn’t really matter.  I knew I had to jam on the brakes or expect a train wreck. God had to become larger and largest in my life.  So I started small.

While running errands, I would wheel into our church parking lot beside the small lake peppered with ducks and alive with fountains of water.  It reminded me how thirsty I really was.  I’d “brown bag it” at the gazebo on the lush grounds. I’d reflect. And I’d pray.

Other days, in the middle of it all, I’d drive to the country, listening to music.    Again, I’d search for quiet, holy places. And holy places came: a cemetery, a lake, a beach overlook. I began to find spots everywhere. My times were short: 10 to 30 minutes.  I gulped peace…guzzled rest.  I gasped at the surprising Presence of God.   I received the Sabbath pressed late upon me by the loving invitation of God.  “Come…unto me.”

Over the months, sabbath interludes became longer with less space between.  Wrinkled soul craters  began to plump out and beam health.  Family noticed and grinned.  I noticed.  God noticed. Had He been waiting for me to “come out and play” at life more, notice more, rest more?

Shot through with desire by this time, I thirsted for more Sabbath time.  I couldn’t stop. Sabbath had happily shimmied into every morning by now.  Yes!  Every day Sabbath! Trysts with God (called devotions). But even that wasn’t enough. Sabbaths began to morph into monthly, full-day retreats at a nearby spiritual retreat center. Sabbaths had become my spiritual life line.

“Is that sustainable?” a young woman asked me?  Yes, and yes, and a thousand yeses. It’s the other life that isn’t . 

Eventually, on a winter of days, I wrote a book I called “Interludes.  By then  I had found way over 50 ways to experience rich Sabbaths in my life, and eagerly shared most of them in this book.

But that was just a beginning.  Next, God strove mightily with my heart for other women.  He wanted me to open my own home for private day retreats for women who were thirsty for  Sabbath time alone with Him.  I juggled that around for awhile because it seemed so foreign an idea.

I would prepare the home.  They would come.  I would go away and leave them alone with the Lord.  I questioned this call, because “no one else was doing it”.  There was no blueprint.   But I did prepare the home.  And they have come.  For over 10 years, God has sent “just enough”.  Not too many.  Not too few.  Over 100 women have come, and God has met them at the door.  They have drunk from the well.  And some now host retreats in their homes.

Sabbath!  Glorious, delicious, wonder-filled gift of God!  And to think….it can begin in a tub!

More ideas for succulent sabbaths will be appearing each week.  Care to come along?

Linda Andersen

Linking to:

GettingDownWithJesus

 

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Sunday Chaos Confession with Yummy Quiche Recipe

It’s prep day around here: Saturday.

Recently, I’ve began reevaluating our family’s life.  What’s working…what’s not.

Confession time: Organization is not my gifting.  That wrench was missing when I was handed the package.

And Sunday morning? Often it is chaos with a side order of panic. 

So, I’ve decided to adopt the Sabbath making gift of Jewish women, prepping the day before. Why?

God’s a pretty smart guy.

He knows that moms don’t really know how to Sabbath and need to be taken by the hand, invited.

Or, perhaps we just need to be given permission?

So, my Beautiful Mama Friends, I figure if God turned off the creative engine to rest on the seventh day, and then crammed making the Sabbath holy into the 10 Commandments, that’s pretty good permission!

No more drinking guilt from a culture that doesn’t know when to say when.

Remember the Israelites’ manna meals wandering in the desert? On Friday those who gathered the manna needed to load up for two days because none of the white starchy stuff would appear with the due on the Sabbath. I think this just might be my clue.

So…..Sundays just got simpler with this planning:

  • Kids shiny with black soccer knees scrubbed, clothes laid out down to the shoes.
  • Breakfast planned
  • Diaper bags, curriculum by the door.
  • Sermon (if I’m preaching) printed, prayed up.
  • My clothes picked out.  Shower, hair and make-up before 7
  • All Sunday meals are made on Saturday afternoon…or earlier if thawing from the freezer!…Wendy’s chili is always in my back pocket.  Grace, sisters!

 

But, honestly? The heart prep is what ends up mattering most.

I’ve noticed that if I haven’t been in the Word, on Sunday mornings I feel like I’m slogging on empty through the service. The readings feel brittle and any seed I throw out lays flat. The goal is that all week long in the Word, my landscape is weeded and plowed up so the Spirit can easily do His creative work when the Body is gathered.

Preparation for me means consciously emptying of ego (aren’t I the center of the Universe?)and “the cares of the world” so that I can open-hands receive Him at the altar.

How do you prep for Sundays?

Rustic Potato Quiche from Cooking Light

Filling:

2 bacon slices

1 cup chopped red potato

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup (2 ounces) Jarlsberg cheese

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

1 ½ cups 1 low fat milk

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground red pepper

3 large eggs

¼ tsp paprika

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Prebake crust at 400 for 10 minutes. Cool before filling.

3. Reduce oven temp to 375.

4. To prepare filling, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; crumble. Add potato and chopped onion to bacon drippings in skillet; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

5. Arrange potato mixture, bacon, cheese, and green onions in prepared crust. Combine milk, ¼ tsp salt, pepper, and eggs; stir well with a whisk. Pour milk mixture into crust; sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean; let stand 10 minutes.

Yum.  It really comes down to this: if it has bacon, we’re fans.

Summer Gross

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Where to Go with our Anger

A tight face and words that won’t come except spit from gasps of anger.

Seven years old and the wii game’s referee intentionally calls bad games he believes, leaving him stomping. Damming up joy.

He runs, hits.  Tears stream from slammed shut eyes.

Real or perceived injustice,  it still stings.

The question is: Where to go with this anger building?

David too cried out from the pain of real injustice…went straight to the Father with angry laments.  Then, David’s prayers, joyful or pain-wrenched were included in the Spirit-inspired scripture.

(Can we ask for laments to be Spirit-inspired ?)

And then for millenia, we have sung them as worship:”The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life–men without regard for you.” (Psalm 86:14)

Did you know? Over half of the Psalms are lament Psalms.

I put this music on, handed him sheets of lined paper to write, cry out to God.

I wish I had learned to lament to the Father early, learned where to go with the building pain.

“Our emotions are neutral,” I tell them. “It is where we go with them that counts.”

20 minutes later, Caedmon is sprawled out on the couch, looking like a Golden Retriever tired from playing.

I see his lament…scribbled in red ink across the page. I tell him that after David drained all his anger (uncensored “dash their children against a stone”) out in prayer, he would turn and ask God to come into the pain, to transform his anger.  The question is: God where are you in all of this? I pray with Caedmon for that transformation.  “Jesus, show him Your truth and how much You love him and will always be with him.”

How do you feel now? I ask my boy, drinking rest.  He breathes easily.  Smiles slow.  “Fine. Peace.”

If Jesus already died to carry our pain, lamenting is one way of nailing it to the cross.

There is no Easter for those who do not first cling to the cross.

 

Summer Gross

 

 

 

 

 

Today I’m sharing with:

and

and

and

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What to do when under construction

Two years ago the intercessors @ Holy Trinity Anglican started dreaming: a prayer clinic downtown where people could detour off sidewalks into the Presence of Jesus.

We began driving for inner healing training and planting foundation prayers walking around our 5,000 pop. town (in the summer we burgeon to 18,000 with tourists).

Six months ago, we hung our sign. The owner said she would gladly take a steelhead for her downpayment. My husband happily obliged with a trout caught just down the sidewalk off the lighthouse pier.

As a neutral setting, we built a comfort that we weren’t selling anything…just loving people, giving them a place to encounter Christ. We would ask those stopping by, “What do you want Jesus to do for you today?” then we prayed simply.  People started coming back for more manna.

Men and women come in with life-threatening diseases, depression, anxiety and fear, or just for a blessing. Inner healing prayer groups  and solo seekers meet once a week removing the masks we wear and asking Jesus to heal our still-bleeding memories.  This Monday Jamie, Zach and Hannah are singing, playing, worshiping as the intercessors pray…their gifts melding with the incense of prayers rising.  Could anything be better?

Then, this:

The road in front of the South Haven Prayer Clinic was ripped up, drilled down, sidewalks sledgehammered and large crews are slowly pouring, smoothing, building.

Slowly being the operative word.

This Wednesday with construction tape strewn across the sidewalk and freshly poured concrete, we balanced around the corner with book bags to the laughter of the construction crew. No one would have known they were even allowed on the sidewalk in front of our prayer clinic. Traffic has slowed over the last few months and then…stopped. (We still see referrals!) But in the meantime, what are we doing?

Showing up. Praying. Training. Showing up. Praying. Training. Showing up.

Dionysius the Areopogite shared that the Christian life was a continuum: purification, illumination and union. Over and over and over.

My friend, a missionary, recently came off the field wanting to listen, rest, recover, rebuild and then be flung right back over. Then came “the wall” or perhaps, the knowledge of the wall. A wall which needed to be torn down for the Spirit to seep into every crevice. Construction time and patience.

Patience feels so very unAmerican. Foundations are being torn down, studied, measured and rebuilt.

 

And maybe THIS is what’s going on: (from a parable CS Lewis adapted from George MacDonald and quoted in Mere Christianity.)

Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.

He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on:  you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage:  but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Yes.

Summer Gross

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Thanksgivings with Ann @ www.aholyexperience.com :

Kathy who inspires me to risk loving big at our Prayer Clinic

mint chocolate chip (low sugar) ice cream

an extra year!  Last year I thought I was turning 37.  Off a number 🙂

a husband who gives me the pulpit

For my dearest Bethel (house of God) mother who knew this quote and knew it was the answer to the question

New friends and full beautiful dear ones

lungs starting to get free

white throated sparrows and my son who knew what they were

linked with:

On In Around button

and Laura: @the wellspring
and

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