Monday, January 25, 2016

How Could They Say You Were Possessed? - Mark 3:20-30 Post 8

woods.  How could They Say You Were Possessed? - Mark 3:20-30 Post 8
Why possessed?  (Mark 3:22)  

For them it's no longer a matter of just brushing You off, of saying, "Yes, that's nice, but he's a little crazy and he's not the Messiah."

They can't argue much with what You're doing.  They see the fruit.  They see people healed and set free.
And yet...
they are looking for excuses to not follow You
to not believe You are who You say You are
to relieve themselves of responsibility for what You are revealing.

"Possessed" means it isn't really You.

I don't  think I would ever directly attribute Your work to Satan...

But

Aren't there times when I'd like to discredit certain things You've said?  Certain things I don't always care for like:

"whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34) - which is all well and good until we start talking about things I don't want to do or things I don't want to give up or leave behind, things I think I shouldn't HAVE to give up... 

or "whoever loses his life for my sake... will find it" (Mark 8:35) but I want to cling to what I want because it's what I want and don't I have a right to it?...


"forgive" (Mark 11:25) - but You're talking about the one I'm sure I've already forgiven -

"ask forgiveness" - but I shouldn't have to because don't You remember that they...

"write that letter"
"pray for that person"

or..."Go"

but I don't want to go anywhere, I'm doing fine right here.  

And I look for ways around it, whatever it is You've said that isn't convenient for me.

I'm guilty of choosing to believe it isn't of You, it isn't what You said, 
so that I don't have to be responsible
to pray
to act
to speak a word
to forgive
to go
to change something big or small in my life because of what You've shown me.

If I can convince myself it's not really You, that it's a mistake somehow (maybe the translation's wrong?) 
then I don't have to respond.

When I don't want to do what You said to do, I find that I'm as clever as they were at relieving myself of the responsibility - of the call - to follow You in certain areas of my life that I'm trying to keep to myself.  
I tell myself it's not really what You want, it's not of You, it's a trick or a work of the enemy.

Sometimes it is.  There were and still are false Messiah's.

But I know Your voice. 

And I know how to ask You.

Sometimes I just don't want to.

Because I prefer to convince myself it isn't really You.  

I condemn them: "How could they say You were possessed?  How could they say You were doing what You were doing by Satan's power?" 

But what I do sometimes is similar enough to what they were doing for me to be alarmed.  

 Did God really mean...?
"Did God really say...?" (Gen. 3:1)


I know how that ended. 



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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Home

BIRDHOUSE (HOME)
Home
a nook, a cranny
a space for me

But
all my places are borrowed

none of them
belong to me

I borrow
sometimes even
make myself comfortable
it feels like it's mine
my room, my neighborhood, my language, my culture

But it's not.

And

I have to give it back
eventually
I always have to give it back.

Yet
I have kept
something

part of everywhere
inside of me

I may not BELONG
anywhere
but 
everywhere
belongs to me
goes with me wherever I go
and 
waits for me
in a place
I'm still learning to know

Store up
THERE
Friends 
Connections
memories
love -

nothing can destroy
nothing can take it away.


There
with You
I will take out
these treasures
look at them
touch them lovingly
arrange them
and I will be
finally 
Home.   
                     (Matt. 6:19-21)


Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the theme this week is "Home"

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why Didn't They Just Ask? - Mark 3:20-30 Post 7

Field: Ask
Why did they come down from Jerusalem? (Mark 3:22) 

They had not come to receive or to help.  They hadn't come out of concern for You or with the anticipation and joy of seeing others healed or set free.
As teachers of the law, it seems they would be there seeking to understand what was going on and how it fit into the law and the Scriptures, but...

If they had come to understand, they would have asked You questions and listened to Your answers. 

It's not the main point of these verses - but why didn't they just ask You?  They didn't ASK You about what You were teaching, about what You were doing, about what power You were using to cast out demons

They didn't ask You anything.

Instead, they watched what You were doing, commenting among themselves or maybe to those around them, and finding a way to explain it all away.

Here they are.  They've come to You - and yet they haven't.  
Not really.  Because they haven't come TO You.

They didn't say to You, "We're concerned that You are possessed.  Are You doing this by the prince of demons?" 

Instead, they declared it to each other and possibly those around them.  

Why didn't they just ask You?

Because they weren't concerned with understanding.
They weren't concerned with knowing You.

Why do I come to You?  Do I come to You to receive whatever You would give?  Do I come with hope for myself or for loved ones?  Do I come to rejoice over what You're doing?  Do I come to understand? To know You?

Do I bring my questions and my frustrations and even my anger and accusations to You directly (You would talk with me about them)? 

Or do I bring them "near" You, voicing them in front of others who know You, throwing them around in Your proximity - hard not to do that since I'm always in Your presence - but not really bringing them to You?

You know my thoughts.  And even when I'm throwing them around without voicing them to You - You'll still answer.

The teachers of the law didn't ask You, nor tell You what they were thinking, but You knew. You called them (Mark 3:23) and spoke to them, directly addressing and answering the question they had raised.  The accusation they had made.  
You had an answer - a stunning answer.  "...if a house is divided against itself..."(Mark 3:23-29).

You always do.  

But how much better it is when I have the courage to ask You.  How much better it is when I bring my concerns or confusion or questions or even anger to You and ask You about them.

Nicodemus did.  He came to You in the middle of the night. (John 3:1-3). Timidly, secretly, maybe - but he DID come TO YOU.  

He asked You questions, "How can this be?" (John 3: 9).

And You told him what he needed to hear (John 3:1-21).



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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thirsty

Thirsty: glass of water.  brokenbreadandsmallfish.com
I hide my thirst
bury it during the day
cover it under layers of busy-ness
activity
and all those lists
of things
that really do need 
to be done.


so it wakes me in the night
tentative unfurling of panic
opens up slowly and swallows me
into its depths
and I can't figure out what it is
but I know
something's wrong.

I drank. 
I know I did
in the morning
ages ago

but I don't remember
my soul does not remember
the taste 
of the cool sweetness
I could not contain
could not keep

like a dream
but the day
goes on and on

     ~ 
I wonder sometimes
if it will ever end
and then
I wonder
if I want it to.

There is a sweetness in the pain
of longing for You
and  a joy
when You come
and fill me up and...
If I am with You always
will I still long?
Will I still need?

I want to be rid of the longing
of the thirst
of the pain 
of feeling parched
of the panic

I want to never thirst again but
I also want
to never
never
forget
how much I need You
How parched I am
I was
without You.

     ~
And did the flowers in the garden know
You watered them
Yourself?

When they didn't feel the thirst
and the longing for rain?

Did they know
You were their water?

Did they know
You were their life?



Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the theme this week is "Thirsty"

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Monday, January 11, 2016

What's Wrong With These People? - Mark 3:20-30 Post 6

What's Wrong With These People? - Mark 3:20-30 Post 6 (sand castle picture)
You've set someone free from a demon, and the teachers wave it off.  They come up with their own convenient explanation: You Yourself are possessed.  The prince of demons is helping You drive out demons (Mark 3:22, Matt. 12:22-24). 

What is with these people?  
A miracle happens, in front of their eyes.  A man's life is whole again. 
Don't they want the hope this brings? 
Don't they have a relative or friend or acquaintance they should be longing to bring before You - to be healed by You?  To be set free? 

Why could their hearts not leap for joy when they saw the miracle? 

But not only do their hearts not leap for joy, but they have to look for the most pessimistic of all pessimistic reasons.  (And also, according to You, one that isn't logical.)

What happens inside people that they can so callously wave off the good?

I know.  They have their own agenda, and You don't fit into it.  They've built themselves a mini (pseudo) kingdom, and You don't respect it - You're threatening to topple it...
and they hate You for it.   

What they've built up their whole lives, 
what they've built their whole lives ON
is being threatened.

It's scary, yes, but it's not an excuse.

You threatened everything Matthew built his life on when You walked up to his booth that day.  If he had been listening to You before that - and he probably had - then the foundations had already been cracked and shifted when You walked up - and I can picture You putting a hand on one of the towers of his castle, beginning to rock it back and forth.  

He let it all crash down behind him as he walked away from his booth to follow You.

But the teachers of the law - most of them weren't willing to see their kingdom fall.  

You've shown them their kingdom is flimsy.  
You've shown them their foundation is worthless - built on sand. (Matt. 7:24-27)
You've shown them the way of love (Mark 2:1-12, 2:13-17, 3:4).
You've shown them Your authority

And they hate You for it. 
(You don't plot to kill someone if You don't hate them.)
They are frantically trying to prop up their own castle, trying to shore up the foundation, clinging to their flimsy and worthless kingdom, but it's all in vain.

And they will not see.  Instead of turning to the one who could give them everything, they turn and attack You.  They attack Your integrity.  They try to undermine others' hope in You.  And finally, they kill You, "destroying" Your threat to their "kingdom" that cannot stand anyway, "ridding themselves" of the one hope they truly had..."ridding themselves" of the One that we can never be rid of.  

And by doing so, opening the way for salvation for every man. 
Even theirs.

"By His wounds we are healed"(1 Pet. 2:24).  And so are they, if they would accept it, leave their piles of rocks, and enter Your kingdom. 
Where You are king. 

A kingdom always has a king.  
And a kingdom only has one king.

But we all want to be kings.  And that's why they accused You of driving out demons by Satan.  Because otherwise they'd have to consider the possibility that You are the King.  
I left my piles of rock for Your kingdom some years ago.  But I still find myself at times trying to throw together new ones.  Trying to set up an area of my life that isn't submitted to You - and to do that I have to sometimes explain away things that I don't want to look at very closely.

But why would I even want that?

All the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them -  ALL of them, EVERYTHING - except one thing.  Not believing the Holy Spirit's witness, testimony, whispering...about You. (Mark 3:28-29)

Because that is to prefer our own kingdom to Yours. 



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Thursday, January 7, 2016

House Hunting

Searching
for the perfect home.
a place
for us
for me
But

I will not find it here.

Eden
is gone.

The way back
barred.

and the rooms we find here
hijacked
unable
to contain my soul

unable
to be what we long for

always promising
but even the promises are hollow.

And so...
we keep searching
we keep following

We keep hunting
and
make our home in You
You
make Your home in us

You
the promise 
of Eden
renewed.

       ~
How I long for You
How I miss You
my Eden

missing what I never knew
but knowing
what should have been
that I want
You. 

I want to walk with You
in the gardens
to see You
and know You.

And I wonder if
while You were here
You missed it, too.

I wonder if, 
even now,
You miss it, too.



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