Posts Tagged ‘lost’

This is the closing post on the subject of “Life Is.” It’s a great summary and i wish i had written it. But, i didn’t. It was written by someone i hardly know and yet after reading this i felt like i had known him for years. Kindred spirits is all i can say. my hope is that you enjoy it as much as i have.

Life is a first date and a couple in the arms of new love where their hands gently, and accidentally, brush together. Life is holding the hand of the one you love as pledge yourself to a lifelong struggle of passionate love and commitment before

God, family, and friends. Life is holding that same haimagesnd and praying for God to take away the cancer that is slowly turning the one you love into a shell of who they used to be. Life is longing for the hand that has held yours and wondering if God could ever heal a hole that seems so vast and so real.

Many equate life with this finite span of physical existence, loving relationships, and emotional experiences that begin joyously at birth and end abruptly in death.  Life is a flower in the field, growing and beautiful, but gone in the morning. Those we know are here today and gone tomorrow. We wake up remembering what it felt like when we were young, but as we roll out of bed we feel the weight of all the years that were gone too fast. When we look at it this way life is wonderful and beautiful but ultimately it is a defeat and no victory can be found in it. Because, life explained only in terms of this world will always leave us wanting.

Is this what Christ meant when he said he wants to give us “abundant life”. Did he give us the beauty of a sunset or the joy of love as the height of life? Or is there something more?

I would like to suggest that we have begun to translate what is offered in this world as a definition of life. All its joys and sorrows, comforts and worries, all we can feel and see have consumed us. We no longer know of the Kingdom of God here and now. Life can be found in this world yet it is much more. Christ came and has shown us what true life is. We miss the awesome power of these words, “I AM the way and the truth and the life”.   What Paul said is right “For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain.” To live in this world is to live in humble obedience to Christ and to sow the rewards of eternity. A life lived as a beacon for Christ will be rewarded in eternal life, where death is a beginning.

Life is Christ. Life is abundant and eternal love. Life is trouble in this world and tremendous wonderful joy in the next. We live here and now, but we fix our gaze on eternity and true life. This truth will give us eyes to enjoy the meaning and purpose of today as well as experience, in part, the joy and reward of Christ.  Life is the joyous communion we have, through Christ and in the Spirit, with the God of Abraham.

The first century church with all the persecution and turmoil knew of a life that few in this generation have ever tasted.  We have entertainment, comfort, technology, education, and everything we could ever need.  We have interpreted life and it’s meaning from these things. But life is found in the pierced hands of our Savior. The knowledge and love of Christ will illuminate the love we have in this life and it will bring forth joy from sorrow. The way to the find the true interpretation of life is up Calvary’s hill, passed the entrance of an empty tomb, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  In Christ true life is made clear.

“I lose my way, when i lose my why.”

“I lose my way, when i lose my why.”

“I lose my way, when i lose my why.”

That’s what i woke up to this morning. First off i don’t feel as though i have lost my way… i know where i am so can i be lost? Admittedly i don’t know where i am going so maybe that makes me lost?

Lose: to come to be without (something in one’s possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery.

For a moment i was encouraged by the idea that it’s not my fault as it’s due to an accident, theft, etc. but then, the words of little or no prospect of recovery come and completely overshadow those thougts.

It sounds hopeless. It sounds like i would be destitute with no hope in sight of ever being anywhere else. i can assure you that there is less than 10% of me that ever feels that way. There is another definition that says, “to depreciate in effectiveness or in some other essential quality.” Depreciate in effectiveness, hummmm? i suppose that is a fair description.

It’s kinda like a watch that runs slow. It runs and keeps time but as the seconds, the minutes and hours click away it loses a beats here and there and thus falls behind in its time keeping task. The watch has lost its way.  As for it’s why, it has no ability to think that it could be anything but a watch. Now, me on the other hand, has the ability to consider being something other than what i was made to do and when i do, just like the watch that skips a beat and loses a moment in time, i too skip a beat and lose my way.

i admit that there are many moments within a day where i ask myself, what am i doing, how did i get here and is this all there is? But…. hold on… when i take a moment and think about it i do know Why.

Let me steal a thought from yesterday “that Christ’s business is the supreme concern of my life and that all my personal considerations, however dear or important to me, are tributary thereto.”

Tributary: a stream that flows to a larger stream or other body of water. A person or nation that pays tribute or the like.

“that Christ’s business is the supreme concern of my life and that all my personal considerations, however dear or important to me, flow to a larger stream and pays tribute to Him.”

All that said, i suppose it’s true, even if only for a moment, i do lose my way, when i lose my Why.

i have been sitting on this park bench at the crossroads for several days. To my right is Sanctuary, to my left, the land of the Giants. i shared that i have not seen any giants but know they are there. Well that all changed yesterday, The words found in Numbers13:32 are how i am feeling today. The line of Giants seems to start just across the road from me and goes for as far as “I” can see. Endless Giants!!!

Numbers 13:32 But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.”

I wondered why God makes it so hard to inherit what He has already promised to give me. When someone offers to do me a favor, i normally expect no strings to be attached.

But then God has a long history of requiring human activity to carry out His will – not because He needs my help, but because He wants my heart. I’m not so sure i would give up this vital organ any other way.

i realize that if God did everything, He’d become my genie and if He does nothing, He becomes an afterthought.

Today, as i sit on this park bench and look out over the future, i see some very real problems. Today they are a big deal to me – failure, fear, guilt and worry.

If God wanted to, he could remove these giants in the blink of His eye. Truth is i sometimes slide into bed at night hoping He’ll do just that. He rarely does, and for this, i should be thankful. If He magically removed all the problems in my life without asking me to do anything hard, anything “impossible,” i would never be able to demonstrate faith. That means i would live my entire life without ever pleasing God. i would gain the Promised Land in such a way that it would cost me the very thing i need most: relationship with my Creator.

i serve a God who has the ability to do anything, but chooses not to. He doesn’t let me off that easy. When He requires me to do the seemingly                 impossible, it’s never as difficult as it appears. Sometimes, it’s almost easy – at least after the first step which is the most difficult.

In the end, i need faith. That’s what is required to face the Giants, trusting God to either make them smaller, or to make me bigger.

i am not intending this to be a marriage counseling session nor even advice on marriage. It is a part of explaining what the Dream Giver is asking of me. This was written years ago even though i fall short many times it impacts my life to this day.

The Gift – by Ed Beatty

Twas a Sunday afternoon, in late summers Light; I saw the Gift standing there, wrapped beautifully in white.

With heart a pounding, knees so weak, and tear drops in my eyes; I could scarcely believe so rare a Gift, could in reality be mine.

It was like no other gift I ever, had received; for it glowed even through its pure, white wrap with love aimed just for me.

I reached out with a trembling hand, to take the Gift so fair: and as I did, I heard a voice say, “It’s yours for you to care.”

With so much excitement I accepted it, the Gift I long had sought; and took it home into my life, this prize which I had caught.

I looked at it, and handled it, and used it at my leisure; and for a while this Gift of mine, brought to me so much pleasure.

I took it with me where’er I went, and showed it to all my friends; I was so proud of this, my Gift, my joy it would not end.

The days, the weeks, the months, the years, all passed so hurriedly; ere long my Gift which I had won, soon lost its novelty.

I stared at it with bewildered eyes, as it lay calm in its place; I could not believe the sight I saw – I hoped ‘twas not the case.

But surely as I inspected the Gift, the one which once I prided; I noticed it was not the same – it’s changed I boldly chided.

“It’s not as bright as when brand New, its love grows cold and dim; it bears some marks I did not see, it’s imperfect – not a gem.”

The more I looked, the more l saw, the more I could not stand; I was displeased with this Gift, to me “twas as worthless as the sand.”

So, I left it home as I went out, in search of something better; to fill the space disappointment brought – it bound me as a fetter.

I saw my friends, and others too, with many gifts and presents; and there, at first it seemed, at least, their lives were joyous… pleasant.

So, I tried their way and to my surprise, it did not fill my need; in fact the very opposite, my life was worse indeed.

Bewildered, befuddled, all sad and alone, I wondered what could I do; when I heard a small voice calling my Name saying – “This is my message to You.

The Gift which I gave you, more precious than gold, is yours for the keeping to have and to hold.

“I did not give it for you to treat thus… to leave it alone and turn it away with disgust.”

“The reason it glows not is your fault – not its; for it needs your attention, your love and your kiss.”

“It’s marks you think imperfect were not there at the start, but came from the handling and neglect on your part.”

“And like anything of value, you can gain in this life; the Gift which I gave you grows more priceless through strife.”

“And time, only time, can determine the value, of my Gift too precious which I freely gave you.”

“But ‘though you rejected and paid it No mind; your Gift still awaits you, come home while there’s time.”

So , hurriedly I ran as tears stained my face, into the house and came to the place; where the Gift I had left, stood patiently by, expecting my return, not asking me why.

It embraced me, and held me, kissed away all my grief; and then with a voice that brought sweet relief – Said, “I forgive you… welcome back home.”

I felt so ashamed of the wrong I had done.

Then with eyes opened wide, as wide as could be, for the first time I saw her, This Gift that was she.

My love abounding, my heart longing so; to hold and caress her, the Gift i now know.

She was given a helpmate, to love as myself; to work alongside me, not to leave on a shelf.

I’m to love her, to care for her, all my days, all my life; for this Gift which God gave Me, is my friend and my wife.

Until… 2012 ends and 2013 begins. Unlike past years i would be very excited to have just made it through another year, and almost dreadfully anticipating yet another year. Not this time! i am sharing my personal journal of “Counting Down The Days Until… which is based on the book “The Dream Giver.

Okay so i was sitting in front of my computer pondering what to post today. i thought i would go ahead and share what the Dream Giver was asking me to give Him that was more difficult than giving him my children… but not today. Someone was leaving and had asked if i had seen this movie that she thought went well with my current look at the book called the Dream Giver. my response was no and so i googled it, found it and watched a clip from it. Thus this is why todays post can be found by watching a video clip which can be found by clicking on the following link.

Some will hate it because it will stick in your mind for a day… or maybe two. That’s what i liked about it. It will make me think beyond the initial reading or listening. A fair warning would be that it’s like It’s A Small World. With 27 days left i have time to let all this get into my spirit which this clip will do for some extended period of time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbVlGESh9Mc

Until… 2012 ends and 2013 begins. Unlike past years i would be very excited to have just made it through another year, and almost dreadfully anticipating yet another year. Not this time! i am sharing my personal journal of “Counting Down The Days Until… which is based on the book “The Dream Giver.

Now that… or i should say, “that as” my relationship with God deepens into a genuine trust in His character, i will be ready for His final invitation. “Come higher.” God will… i should say “is asking” me to consecrate myself to Him— and surrender my Dream. This invitation has a great resemblance to Step 3 in my 12 Step process. i’m speaking of the consecration portion not the surrender of the dream. But i am beginning to see how even that is part of my 12 Steps.

my first thought, is the same as Ordinaries, shocked, to say the least. Give back “MY” Dream, after all the hardships i have faced on “MY” journey? i am holding onto my dream tighter than ever. How could anyone including the Dream Giver expect me to give it up?

I’ll never forget a time when we first mover to Florida, God asked me  to do what seemed to be an impossible. One day while working in my study and wondering what we were to do now, i heard “Give Me your children.”  i couldn’t believe my ears. Then I said “no,” and for several weeks i was in turmoil. The struggle was intense and filled with emotion, anger, frustration, guilt. When i was finally able to release my children completely into God’s care, it was painful, but  freeing at the same time. Two weeks later my daughter was in a serious car accident and was pronounced dead at the scene. But God! We are enjoying the more than 10 years she has been living life with us since then. From that day on, my children no longer belong to me, but to God. They are His gift to me, to love and cherish. In this instance God saw fit to give her back to us but i am well aware that there may come that day when His plans will be other than what i will view as favorable. As a parent, you especially understand my intense struggle during these times. The things i love the most, i hold most closely.

There are many times when i felt as though a certain chapter of my life was over. It was as though i was being forced to choose between God and my Dream, fortunately,  i have most often chosen God’s invitation to surrender my Dream, but it is difficult to accept. Surrender isn’t a one-time event.

Every choice in Sanctuary is an invitation. And the truth is, a huge majority of Dreamers choose to keep their Dreams. Dreams are meant to be about more than itself or me. A God-given Dream brings me together with what God wants to do in His world through me.

There are millions of Dreamers that are more selfish than the Dream Giver intended. They get corrupted. They make people “successful” but not fulfilled. They build the reputation of a person but often bring dishonor to the Dream Giver. They do as much harm as good— and sometimes a lot more.

In closing, i have been challenged to unconditionally release more of my Dreams to God, to put them in His hands and walk away. Not a symbolic surrender, but a real one. Surrendering my children and grandchildren were my most difficult thus far but this new challenge is even greater.

Bruce Wilkinson says, “I remember a time when sickness forced me to slow down and receive the restoration I desperately needed.” This past weekend Ann Marie and i went away, guess what….? i got sick and we found ourselves just resting. In fact we didn’t even go to one of my favorite restaurants which i had a free meal certificate for from my birthday. When i say favorite it’s number 1 or 2. They come to the table and offer you almost every kind of meat and over 80 items on the salad bar, and it’s all you can eat. But we passed, did i mention mine was free?

i now understand that the water in the pool is water of restoration and it is preparing me for what comes next. i have thought of it as the destination. God is inviting me into closer relationship, but somehow i have missed that fact. First, i am to “Come to the water”, now it’s, “Come into the light.” Diving into the pool is one thing but exposing myself to more light is a little more challenging. What about my… baggage? My flaws, my sins, my addiction to sin,  it’s so, so, so unattractive. This is so much in align with my Step 4 “Fearless” moral inventory thing and helps me build on Steps 1,2,and 3.

Coming into the light is about allowing God’s light to enter those dark areas of my life.

2 Samuel 22:29 You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.  Job 33:28 says, “He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.”

Living to enjoy the light is a humbling experience and an awesome experience, that is when i surrender and go there. It’s in this place that my relationship with God deepens into a genuine trust in His character. Notice that nowhere have i attached a time stamp on any of this. It could be moments but most likely from my experience it’s days, weeks, months and even years.

Then, while in that place, while in the light i can do as David did in Psalm 104 1-4 and 33-35 “”O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are!     beautifully, gloriously robed, Dressed up in sunshineOh, let me sing to God all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live! Oh, let my song please him; I’m so pleased to be singing to God. But clear the ground of sinners—no more godless men and women! O my soul, bless God!

Until… 2012 ends and 2013 begins. Unlike past years i would be very excited to have just made it through another year, and almost dreadfully anticipating yet another year. Not this time! i am sharing my personal journal of “Counting Down The Days Until… which is based on the book “The Dream Giver.

Walking across the floor of the forest, he felt hushed and small and swallowed up by Greatness. Then he began to climb. Higher and higher he climbed, following the stream, until suddenly he entered a level clearing filled with bright light. (Wilkinson, Bruce; Heather Kopp (2009-01-21). The Dream Giver: Following Your God-Given Destiny (Kindle Locations 1302-1304). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.)

Getting to Sanctuary is no easy task, yet, my heart is telling me that this is a resting place. Everything from this year is coming together. Just as i predicted at the end of 2011, that if i and a selected few would walk through 2012 with me, our lives would not be the same at the end of 2012. i can not speak for anyone else but it is certainly the case for me.

The book says that Sanctuary is full of surprises and maybe that’s the great expectation that I am experiencing. Ordinary emerged from the Wasteland feeling spiritually and emotionally depleted and I completely relate to that. my relationship with God has been tested and, in some cases, damaged by distrust. Many times i have come out of wasteland in worse shape than i realized. The Dream Giver says, “What my spirit desperately needs is time away for comfort, restoration, and transformation.”

Sanctuary is unlike all the previous stages of my journey, Sanctuary is an oasis, not an obstacle. It’s a pause where i’m invited to meet with God, to be renewed and to make important decisions that will radically affect the rest of my journey. For that reason i must be patient and not try to rush the process of Sanctuary. If i short-change the process i possibly short-change the results. James 1:4 says, “let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that ed may be a [person] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.”

The choice to come here is at the heart of each of the three encounters waiting for a Dreamer in Sanctuary. These encounters will last different lengths of time yet occur in a specific order. And each encounter is a prerequisite for the life-changing event that follows. And each of those events are only invitations. That means optional. i can say yes and proceed, or i can say no and look for a way around it, so as to get out of it. i am fully aware that what i say and do here will determine the future of my Dreams.

i know, i’ve been saying this a lot, “i must do today what others will not do so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.”

i’m now going to do something i don’ think i have ever done in all my posts. i’m going to ask anyone reading this post whether you would like to live life “lacking in nothing?” Then let me go on and ask, “what must, or, what can you do today that others around you will not do?” Must you endure another day? Must you remain steadfast another hour? Must you be patient with another person? Lastly, are you fully aware that what you say and do will determine the future of your Dreams?

Until… 2012 ends and 2013 begins. Unlike past years i would be very excited to have just made it through another year, and almost dreadfully anticipating yet another year. Not this time! i am sharing my personal journal of “Counting Down The Days Until… which is based on the book “The Dream Giver.

A choice must now be made. If i turn right i continue the journey and eventually face whatever lies ahead. But, i can go left and enter Sanctuary. As i read the chapter about Sanctuary it reminded me of a story about Jesus, the wilderness, and a place that must have been like sanctuary.

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Several points in this story. First Wilderness is not optional, everyone must and will go through Wilderness. But it is for a purpose, in fact a specific purpose and for my own good as per the plan and purpose that God has for me. At 61 i am accepting that more and more, but on the other hand i am asking, “if not now, when? And what.” At 61, how much more time is there? Non the less, i am dealing with wilderness much better than in the past. Perhaps Jesus is rubbing off on me and  i’m dealing with the enemy more like Him?

my main purpose for sharing Jesus journey was to see what i can expect in my journey, so here it is! “And behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” Sanctuary is where the angels come and minister to ed… if, if i choose to go to that place. Sanctuary is optional and will require time, my time.

Sanctuary: a sacred or holy place. Silence and solitude, listening to God and meditation all take time………….. time i am not always willing to give.

Until… 2012 ends and 2013 begins. Unlike past years i would be very excited to have just made it through another year, and almost dreadfully anticipating yet another year. Not this time! Rather than trying to teach something, i as always, will just share my personal journal of “Counting Down The Days Until… which is what i’m calling my journey through a book called “The Dream Giver.

Today’s post is backtracking a little bit, because i did not do Wasteland justice yesterday. So here’s a little closer look.

At this point in Ordinaries journey, he is expecting to find his dream. NOT! Ordinary didn’t find it. Instead, he soon found himself at the edge of a wide chasm. In the first half of 2012 i felt like i was standing on the edge of a wide chasm, straining to see what was below. A haze obscured the view. i can now say i’m glad i couldn’t see it then because i was not prepared for what was to come.

When he reached the bottom, he saw what lay ahead. And what he saw made his heart sink. He saw miles and miles of nothing but sand, rocks, and a few scraggly trees. He was standing on the edge of an empty WasteLand.

This is where the Dream Giver steps in and gives me Isaiah 43:18-20“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

Great to get a word but it took me time to get it into my heart where it would serve it’s purpose. Meanwhile time passed. Ordinary’s skin burned. His feet blistered. His bones ached. All of which i can relate to. One day blurred into another as i shared in a previous post.

Ordinary got hungry and opened his case  …   and didn’t find anything to eat. He called out to the Dream Giver for food. But he got no answer.

Two days later, he ran out of water. He called out to the Dream Giver again. And again, he heard nothing.

Psalm 70 was a mixed bag of prayer for me. Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord! Let them be put to shame and confounded that seek and demand my life; let them be turned backward and brought to confusion and dishonor who desire and delight in my hurt. Let them be turned back and appalled because of their shame and disgrace who say, Aha, aha! May all those who seek, inquire of and for You, and require You [as their vital need] rejoice and be glad in You; and may those who love Your salvation say continually, Let God be magnified! But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my Help and my Deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry!

Again and again, Ordinary and i lost our way. Again and again, we cried out for the Dream Giver to show us the way. But no answer came. We sat on his suitcase and refused to move until the Dream Giver showed up with a plan. Ordinary and i had never felt so lost and alone. We became angry. We got angrier and angrier.

In closing… Matthew 4 Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. You can read the details for yourself but in verse 11 it says, “Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”