Life with a capital L

Friday, May 30, 2008


Navajos believe that speaking something out loud actually gives power to one’s words. I find that a probing thought when my Bible says this--

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”
and doesn’t our God have all power?
“He was with God in the beginning.”
And so in the beginning,
“…God created the heavens and the earth…Then God said…Then God said…Then God said…”
He certainly knew what He was doing when involving such a creation as our tongues to interact with the visible and invisible spheres.
Messages from the books of James and Proverbs record so much about our tongues, yet they aren’t the only places God has mentioned them.

Some time ago, I was reading through Malachi. I know his name looks Italian but trust me, he’s not an Italian prophet…his prophecy began to circulate in the time of Ezra & Nehemiah. The land of Canaan had finally recovered its lost Sabbaths, resting for 70+ years, and the tribes of Judah were finally allowed to resettle the land. But what was this? Nobody was giving God any honor. Sure they may have begun temple sacrifices again and paying Him lip service each week, but they gave Him the worst of their tithes and then complained about the lack of blessings! Adonai, another name for God, was certainly weary of it. Malachi gives us a clue as to what was going on by stating,

“This is the message the Lord gave, ‘I have always loved you’….
But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”
And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you…”

And He goes on to state all the different ways He kept engaging into their lives but all He got back were turned up noses.
Isn’t that response from us pride?How easy it is let pride back into my life. Even when I’m being wary of it, it’ll show up in the nastiest ways proving once again that it is my besetting sin. One of the most painful areas it comes out is through my words.

One of the most powerful motivations behind my words are the thoughts that run through my head. Thoughts like this,
How does the make me look good again? How will they look at me or trust me if they think that way about me? I need to set them straight and make sure they know this and this about me…
Unfortunately, those aren’t anywhere near acceptable thoughts of worship to a Holy God. They certainly don’t measure up as a love gift worthy of Him.

Each day, God continues to instill in me a new habit. The habit is this: When I lie down to sleep and when I get up in the morning, I pray that my pride will submit to Him and that His Spirit will rule free in me. And whenever I forget to do it, I definitely get reminded that I haven’t prayed yet.
Adonai did the same thing with Moses, “Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds… Teach them…talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gate, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

One last thing from our buddy Malachi: chapter 3
Adonai is saying some pretty gripping things. He’s going to make things right and He’s pretty upset at the way folks were cheating Him out of His due gifts. Not something anyone should do to the most Powerful God of the Universe. And then just when it seems things are getting to all time high, verse 16 happens. No longer is Malachi talking of future events or exposing the faults of his nation. Suddenly, you’re transported to real time as verse 16 speaks out even today:
“Then those who feared Adonai spoke together;
and Adonai listened
and heard.
A record book was written in his presence for those who feared Adonai and had respect for His Name.”

And then the passage continues with God speaking in response to those who spoke in righteous fear!

“‘They will be mine,’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot, ‘on the day when I compose my own special treasure. I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.
Then once again you will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked,
between the person who serves God and one that doesn’t serve Him.
For the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the proud and evildoers will be stubble; the day that is coming will set them ablaze,’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot,
But to you who fear My Name,
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;
and you will break out leaving, like claves released from the stall.
You will trample the wicked, they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action,’
says Adonai-Tzva’ot.”

Can you hear it? All this preaching and sorrow for what is going on in the nation at that time and suddenly there is a pause to hear those who SPOKE. And not just anybody who spoke, but those who feared His Name and came together to speak. That’s pretty awesome.
And this event was not a one time thing. It still happens today. And those who do this today also have the promise of healing and justice and peace and joy.
It sounds like trampling wicked people is pretty harsh, but look who’s doing the action…Adonai is.
When folks who are totally at peace with fearing God’s Name and speaking together (hmmm…that sounds a lot like believers praying, doesn’t it?), God is able to do the things He really wants to with us ~~give us healing, justice, peace, and joy.

Our words are so powerful. What are you injecting out into the air these days?

Monday, May 5, 2008

of frames and such...

staplers...when was the last time you looked inside?

reflections...the mark in life you leave behind that others will observe and may learn from

leap...over and into Life!!!

fears...the embodiment of 3 personal fears a soupbowl

time...just a minute...

squirrel...these little imps had way too much fun acting like squirrels ~~ Gotcha!

foreign invaders...a visible mark of division that trashed our ranges

date...good times

 a shepherd: must enforce set boundaries or the flock suffers

self portrait...peekaboo phazy

making a statement...crossing the line

vanishing point...what my brain sees after only 4 hours of sleep 48 hours ago

Friday, March 21, 2008



I crave it.

Ever since leaving my island, that brimmed over with the luscious stuff at any given time, to return to my desert home, I have craved fruit. You don’t normally get boatloads of ripe, colorful fruit in the middle of the desert. In order for them to reach us at all, they have to pick the fruit really early and ship it to us way under ripe.

Abba Father, I have tasted you and seen that You were real when I totally did not expect it. When I experienced 4 car crashes within 6 months and when I walked peaceful afternoons, when our babies died and when someone would tell me I really made their day beautiful, when injustice was served and when I woke up from a nightmare to live another full and beautiful day. Where are You now?

Anytime I traveled with a colleague, they witnessed absurd little me to the extreme. If I saw water or if I saw fruit, I went ballistic. “FRUIT!!! Look at all that WATER!!!” was pretty much all I would scream until somebody satisfied me with the source of my delight. I’m sure my friends’ body language said, “I don’t know her…really.” Hey, just because they never knew what it was like to live in a desert…

Abba, I’m so frustrated with being misunderstood! It feels like nobody wants to know me on the inside out. I want someone to know me, to want to know me, to value me, to treasure me. Life seems so fake and fickle here.

One fruit that stole my heart is known as Mangifera Anacardiaceae, or the mango. Just thinking about it tickles my taste buds and excites my brain with expectancy. It’s a huge let down when I force myself to remember that the nearest good mango is over 5,000 miles.

Sometimes Abba, I want the things that I used to have. The simplicity of the way things used to be…

A literally sweet memory for me is when a mango would sit on my desk and I would admire it from a few feet’s distance. That’s when a whole ritual began. I gazed at the mango, took in the shape of the mango, the nuances, the colors, the textures, the scent…each aspect I savored. As I slowly peeled it apart, each layer of skin exposed juicy orange flesh.

Remembering the past causes me to think of a time when you left no doubt in my mind of Who You are and who I am. You, The Living Word, became alive. So why should You, The Eternal One, be any different today? You should be just as real now, right?

"I am that I am.“I am the Vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with Me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing…If you remain united with Me, and My Words abide with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you.”
So what affects me, You feel it just as much. And when I’m connected into You, I feel what You feel?
“Do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the world of this age. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what He wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. “Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in My love. If you keep my commands, you will stay in My love --just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.”

I let my mouth rest on it, allowing every sensory to engage and rest within the pure delight of the mango. Every care and stress line of my day melted away. Time did not exist. And I had an entire mango to go still…

Savor that.