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of poppy seeds and planets

a poppy seed. that’s how big. and joy, in contrast, bigger than a planet. i feel it through and know it real, but sometimes still have to pinch myself and look again at the lines. the heart opens and swallows whole the sweetness and goodness and sacrifice to come. its only been a year and a few months, but somehow i can’t even remember all the discomforts. and either way, i don’t really care. discomforts are pale in comparison to rewards.

the value is weighty and the call very serious and i take them both close to my heart and look for Help. i can’t do this by myself. i can’t do it even a little bit well without grace and guidance. and i pray for the power of Jesus to cover, protect, grow, and begin a work bigger than a baby or a mommy or a family. for faith that transcends fear and hardship. for eyes that see beyond the temporal and straight to the other side. for understanding and patience and the will to keep diligent and moving forward with the plans that are not mine, but better than mine in every respect.

and i give thanks. many thanks. for every little bit. every little detail. for the hard days and easy days. for the meaning that totals something immeasurable and the feeble heart i have to keep my sweet secrets in.

power under

the dark falls around and light from the computer stares at me through my closed eyelids. this is sometimes the best way to focus. nothing but the hard-drive hum and the occasional car driving by to accompany my noisy thoughts and bursting full heart. the upside-down life makes the empty overflowing and the hardships light. the power goes into the weak. lowly and surrendered hearts are raised up high but they don’t know because they still have their faces low to the ground as they worship in action and not just words. i sink in deep to the words that sustain my soul…not in some perfunctory way, but actually nourish, build, and grow my spirit. power flowing from somewhere beyond..Someone outside the realms that i know. i’m so convinced. put at peace and filled with purpose in what feels like the very most evil age of human history. it is just so dark. bright He shines in me. in others who trust and surrender. seeing the hearts light up like candles gives me courage. brings me hope. reminds me that He is at work and He has His reasons for the times that He moves and the times that He waits. i feel so small. but like a prized jewel…tiny but treasured. made to shine back the light that pours in. and i see how the servant and the ones who make themselves low are the only ones who actually find the prize. how i feel like i’ve happened upon some big secret, but its really a giant invitation to anyone who wants to be part of the ‘power under’ advance of the Holy Spirit. He does not impose or control or rule or diminish. He does not subject or confuse or deceive or coerce. He invites and He gives and He equips and He loves.

 

1 corinthians chapter 7 & 8

1 cor 7:17 “Each must live with the gifts the Lord Jesus grants you and with the call God offers you.”

i love this. the pressure is off to be like suzy jo missionary or betsy ann business mogul or whomever you feel like you have to keep up with. we were each made with unique gifts and given a unique call on our lives that is not going to (and is not supposed to) look like everyone else’s. after years of chasing someone else’s definition of success, i’ve made peace with the fact that my story is just going to be different, that many people are not going to understand me or what i do, and that i am not less than or better than anyone else because of my differences.

1 cor 7:19 “Outward signs aren’t the issue–the way you live out the commands of God is what really matters. It is important for all people to live out faith in the circumstances they know.”

the integrity of a person should permeate every area of their lives. we’re all in process of course, and really, the honest folks would all admit to having weak areas. i think it is important to remember that our efforts don’t need to go into putting our best face forward while our closets are piled to the ceiling with junk in hopes of having merely the appearance of being put-together…that living out faith means being authentic and honest about where we are and what we are going through. if we’re in a soaring season, we live out our faith there. if we are in a trying season, we live out our faith there.

1 cor 7:32 “My primary desire is for you to be free from the worries that plague humanity.”

free from the worries that plague humanity…there is freedom from that? i’m after that. more jesus please.

1 cor 8:1 “We know that all of us have knowledge, but knowledge can be risky. Knowledge promotes overconfidence and worse arrogance, but charity of the heart (love, that is) looks to build up others. Just because a person presumes to have some bit of knowledge, that person doesn’t necessarily have the right kind of knowledge, but if someone loves God, it is certain that God has already known that one.”

overconfidence. this is me from about age 18-28. arrogance. i’ve had some of that too. not pretty. but love takes over where the heart surrenders and let me just say, love has turned me inside out. the more i learn, the more i realize how little i know. the process of being humbled is not at all fun, but it is often very good for us.

1 cor 8:4b “An idol is essentially nothing, as there is no other God but the One.”

there is no contest. He is so big. His love is greater (incomparably so) than any other evil out there. and considering the evil i’ve seen, that is pretty damn big. there is no other God but the One.

1 cor 8:8 “Again, here’s what we know; what we eat will not bring us closer to God–we gain nothing in feasting and lose nothing in fasting.” 

we lose nothing in fasting, but we gain much in turning our attention to hear the Lord when He speaks.

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