Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet rest

Have you ever been so tired that you forgot what rest felt like? I guess no one would really realize this unless they got rested. I am pretty well rested for the first time in months. Many months. I didn't know it, but I got so wound tight that I couldn't catch up with unwinding. You know... it's when you fall straight to sleep because you're so zonked you have no more energy... not even way down in the tip of your toes.

So, now that I'm rested, I can think again. Ah... the never ending machine of thought that you realize is there when you're not too busy to forget your thinking or feeling more than you think you're thinking you're feeling.

What am I talking about. hmmm.... well, here's the deal. I got sick and then I had no choice but to stop and rest. God looked down, saw my pathetic efforts at balancing the life stakes, and put me on hold. Oh I kicked, oh so hard. When you're beat, you're beat, what can I say?

I just wanted to put this out there. If you're putting off facing what's really going on in your walk with God, or your relationship with your family please take it from me: it's not fun to be put in your proper place of eating humble pie. Just stop and rest now. Just stop and say NO to all the busyness that would take your heart away from what's really important. Did you hear that? What is really important? What do you think. What last's beyond tomorrow? That's right you get it.

Honestly, I don't think I even quite get it, after being knocked on my butt. It's all about realizing I don't control what happens... I'm just co-pilot. Yes, He let's me decide what I'm eating for breakfast, He did give me a brain after all, but come on... behind all that, behind the blah blah blah He's got His fingers in the pie. heck, He's making the pie.

That's all I wanted to say. Don't forget to rest.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Moment I Fell In Love

The other day, when everyone else was absorbed in football, I was watching "The River Runs Through It." It was the first time I'd ever seen it. Before, when I told people I'd never seen it before they gasped in astonishment. Now, I understand why, and it made me remember the moment I fell completely in love with Montana.

It was an early summer morning, way up in the mountains of the wilderness, when I found myself hiking alone, as fast as I could, with my bear spray at hand. I had separated from my crew the pervious evening to continue up the trail with a couple guys we'd met the week before. I had heard about the age old cabin up the trail for four summers, and finally had found an opportunity to see it. The morning after arriving at that historical place, I'd decided to start the hike back an hour earlier then the packer and his mules and meet up with them a few miles later because they were fording the river and I had no water shoes to cross.

The morning was cold, but I knew I'd warm up faster then I could take layers off, so I dawned my light tank-top, shorts, sturdy boots, and a handkerchief for wilderness hair management, and was off. It was too dim to see much, but I made out the packer preparing his entourage, and waved a farewell. Crossing the stock bridge, I determined to keep a sharp eye out for bears and cats, looking to make an early morning snack of me. While that thought made me hike faster, I still reassured myself that the bears and cats were too busy filling up on huckleberries and easier prey and didn't want to munch on my little bit of a carcass.

I came to a fork in the trail and paused. I'd been too busy having a lively conversation with my hiking pal the night before to notice which way we'd come from, so I looked for the tracks of my boots from the prior evening. I couldn't find them, and decided to just start on the trail that paralleled the river for a bit. It seems I can trust my instinct more then I think because I ran across my familiar tracks going in the opposite direction soon after.

I thought I was in shape from my two weeks of constant hiking and trail repair, but I guess I wasn't because I was hiking so fast my legs hurt and my feet broke out in several blisters. I'd been wearing those boots for two summers! After all we'd been through together, how could they betray me? I smiled. Boots are funny that way.

The landscape gradually changed. I noticed the beautifully rushing river swing in and out of view to my left and the dense foliage of a healthy forest give way to a barren burn to my right. It was all so beautiful! How was it that I am so privileged to live here? Ah, it's a good place, I thought. A good place to understand that God is bigger than me too, and to comprehend that He is gracious enough to draw me to Him while watching me enjoy the work of His hands. It's a thing of beauty.

I had lost sight of the river, and began wondering when the packer's trail and mine would cross when I turned a bend and paused at a break in the trees to see the packer slowly making his way across the river, leading his string behind him. I moved quickly, wanting to get a better glimpse of the sight. Finally, there was a path down to the rivers edge. I paused, perched atop a rock, watching him as he expertly guided the animals on a safe path through the midst of the shallow, yet swift current.

The sun had just begun to spread his yellow highlights over the valley. Its sparkle glinting off the horses bridle and stirrups. A golden halo crowned the packers worn and holey straw hat. He had the lead ropes in his right hand, as he guided his stead with his left. He constantly looked back over his shoulder to direct the unruly crew in the rear. The sun seemed to clothe his whole being in the light weave of yellow, as he came from the shadows into the light around the bend. It was a spectacular scene! The water heeding the dominance of the glowing sunshine as it flowed trying to take it with it... it couldn't overtake it, making it all the more lovely to watch for it's efforts. Every dip and jab the water made, didn't change the sun's mind. It only embraced the flow more- covering it with a veil of broken crystal, enhancing his radiance to the fullest.

This was the moment I fell in love. The moment my heart filled and overflowed with gratefulness that my path has lead me to this point. I couldn't exchange it for a thousand sky scrapers, my toes in the sand, or a basket full of exotic fruit just gathered from a forest in New Zealand. No doubt those things or experiences would pique my curiosity, fascinate my mind, and gratify my tastes, but the Montana I've seen, and fallen in love with... words can hardly describe. It almost makes it less then it is to try to describe it in every detail. It is wild, untouched, strong. Part of me wants to keep this to myself, but the other part of me is overflowing to the point of unrestraint. And so I write and share my heart with you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Point of a Pillow

It is the cherry to your sundae.
It is the necklace to your outfit.
It is the bird song to your day.
It is the cream cheese to your bagel.
It is the pillow to your couch.

It is the lipstick to your face.
It is the smirk to your comment.
It is the period to your sentence.
It is the headboard to your bed.
It is the pillow to your couch.

It is the wool to your chill.
It is the lemon to your salmon.
It is the silly to your fun.
It is the photograph to your memory.
It is the pillow to your couch.

It is the landscape design to your house.
It is the lights to your Christmas tree.
It is the ketchup to your burger.
It is the air freshener to your bathroom.
It is the pillow to your couch.

It is the Paris on your trip abroad.
It is the Mac to your computer.
It is the the braces to your future smile.
It is the stilettos to your wife's evening gown.
It is the pillow to your couch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just a comment I'm commenting.

I loved the sunshine today. It was so refreshing! So nice too. I need more vitamin D. Just a comment, like I was saying.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Romans, the Garbly Garbled Garble

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that is was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8: 1-4

For some reason I have always struggled with Romans. It didn't make sense... it was a bunch of words stacked together like steaks on a table 3 feet thick. My mind always tuned out.... or just didn't want to spend the energy to figure it out, or listen perhaps. But the past few weeks I've really been trying to cut off a little chunk at a time and chew on it; aka: I'm trying to memorize and meditate on it.

So let me take a look at these four verses as leisure, if you don't mind.

"There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." (my paraphrase: Since you are born again, claiming life in Jesus, there's no finger pointing, no judging, no reason for guilt anymore.)

" who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."
(paraphrase: as you are claiming to be born into new life in Jesus, then I [Paul] am assuming you are truly a christian and are not living/walking like the old person of the world, who lusted and longed for fulfillment in those things that are material.

"for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"
(paraphrase: the explanation being that the absolutely required natural state of the Holy Spirit in you, being new existence in

"has made me free from the law of sin and death."
(paraphrase: has unchained me from the absolutely required natural state {and the regulations set out for humanity to follow} of the disease of constant wrong doing and the certainty of my soul being separated from God forever through eternity.)

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh"
(paraphrase: in other words, what the requirements set out by God for humanity to follow could not do because as humans we could not complete these requirements perfectly, which is God's standard for righteousness)

"God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin;"
(paraphrase: God saw fit to give a solution to fix our problem, and that solution is His own Son sent in disguise as a human, being fully human, because of our constant wrongdoing)

"He condemned sin in the flesh"
(paraphrase: Jesus pointed a finger at our disease of wrongdoing to judge it as a perfect human and Son of God)

"that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
(paraphrase: so He beat the absolute requirement of the human law so we, with the help of the indwelling Spirit of God, could beat the absolute requirement of the human law, because of His righteousness in us who are letting the Spirit lead our lives instead of the pull of worldly materialism and lust.)

Hmmm.... looks like I wrote a commentary on the whole shabang! Lol! Well, that's my thoughts on the matter. Though I have to add one more thing. If my paraphrases are pretty accurate, mind you, I am not above fault, then isn't the grace of God an amazing, incomprehensible thing? I mean, He left his throne, to come save us for Himself. Seriously, when I make something, paint something, take a bad photo, or anything that fails, I usually don't bother trying to make it better- I just throw it away and start over. No mess, no fiddle, no sweat. But God didn't do that! Well, He didn't completely do that. There was the flood, but he gave humanity a second chance through Noah. So, he saves us and then reassures us through this passage that we can overcome that sin that we used to be in bondage to, because we have Him to cling to. Ah... it's a beautiful thing, I have to tell ya, completely beautiful.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why not me?

I have a question that keeps coming up... I guess it's more of a life question that will always be there. It is this: While the rest of the world experiences massive earthquakes, floods, disease, bondage, starvation, anguish, and many other things, why am I not experiencing that? Why is it that God saw fit to allow me to be born in a safe zone? I know the big reason to cover and answer my questions on the deepest levels, which is the ultimate glory of God, His will I do not understand yet, etc. But I still question. I know I am small and don't understand very much at all, but really? a 7.0 earthquake? I don't know. All I do know is this: I am going to set this question aside and pursue the heart of God with all my strength. And when my strength fails me, I will push forward with faith that He will give me more. That's all I can do. Because if I didn't, there would be no reason, no goal, no clue. It blows my mind. So, that's what I had to say.