Thursday, March 31, 2016

What If?

At the Old Fortress in Tomsk (Siberia)
What if
I believed
only Your opinion 
mattered?

What if
I stopped standing
outside 
and went in?

What if
I pushed my way 
through the crowd
so I could touch You?

What if
I reached out
and touched 
Your garment's hem?

What if 
I didn't flinch
when You reach out 
to touch me?

What if
I didn't 
back away 
from Your will?

What if 
I didn't mind
the crowd, 
or the closeness?

What if
I longed
to love my neighbor 
as myself?

What if 
I really counted 
it all joy
that I can follow?

What if
I seized 
with eagerness
the cup You're holding out?

What if
I drank it down, 
no hesitation, 
in one draught?

What if 
I learned
what it means
to love the Lord my God?


Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the theme this week is "What If?"

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Questions for Jesus - Mark 3:31-35 Post 1

Questions for Jesus - Mark 3:31-35 Post 1
When I read a passage, I ask the Lord questions about it.  Most of the time those questions are scattered throughout days of contemplation and prayer.  I can tell what the Lord is speaking to me about (or what He's put on my heart) by noticing which questions stay with me as I linger over a passage in prayer.

Sometimes I'll go back through my journal and list the questions I've asked, grouping them in a way that seems to make sense.  Today I'm posting a list of all the questions I'm asking Jesus about Mark 3:31-35.

 ~
(Mark 3:31-35)
Is the timing of Your mother and brother's arrival important? 
Does it (their arrival/the timing of their arrival) have something to do with what You've been telling the teachers of the law in the previous passage about a house divided, tying up the strong man, robbing the house, blaspheming against the Holy Spirit?

Why have they come? (Mark 3:21)
Why are they standing outside?
Why do they send someone in to call You?
Why don't they go in themselves?
Is the crowd too large for them to get in?
Then how could the person they sent in get through the crowd?
What are Your family members thinking/feeling when they encounter the crowd around You?  What do they think about the crowd?  About You?
What would I be thinking/feeling if I were them?
How can they be "outside" looking for someone or something that is "inside"?  Does that even make sense?  What does it say about them?

Do I/how do I stand outside instead of going in?
Am I standing outside in some way?
If so - why?
Am I "sending someone in to call You"?
If so - why?
What is it that I want?

What is the crowd thinking/feeling when they hear Your family members are looking for You?
What would I be thinking/feeling in their place?

What do You think/feel when the crowd tells you that Your mother and brothers are "outside looking for You"?  Joy?  Pain?  Exasperated?  Mixed?  Why?

Why did You ask what You did? ("Who are my..."(Mark 3:33))
What did You want the crowd to know?
What are You telling them?
What do You want me to know?
How do they feel when they hear Your words?
How would I have felt/do I feel?
Did they understand what You were telling them?
Do I?

Did Your mother and brothers hear You?
Or hear about what You said?
What did they think/feel when they heard Your words?
How did they understand Your words?
What would I have felt/thought in their place?
What DO I feel/think?
Did You mean for them to hear You?
What did You want them to know?
What do You want me to know? What are you telling me?

Am I with Your family members or with the crowd?  In what way?
What do I need to know about where I am standing?
What is it like to be standing with Your physical family members in this passage?
What is it like to be with the crowd?
What does the crowd think about the crowd, about You?

Do You (did You) go out to them (Your mother and brothers)?
What does it mean to "do God's will"?
How does this connect with the previous passage?
What does this connection mean to me?
What would You say to me about this passage?  What do You want me to know?

~

Do any of these questions stand out to you?  Which ones?  What other questions arise in your mind or lay heavy on your heart concerning this passage? 

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Remember (poem for Easter)

Remember (poem for Easter) (flower)
Remember 
Hands
I've never seen
and yet
have seen them
healing

Remember
a voice
I've never heard
and yet
I hear it 
calling

Remember
wood, blood
and love so deep
wounds
and our Lord 
Dying

Remember
the One
Numbered for me
Dying 
for me
and Living.

Remember
a dark grave
should have been - WAS - Mine
but held
Another.
You. 

Until 
You somehow
Sanctified
the emptiest 
of places
the tomb.

And
Filled
It 
With 
You.

    ~
Remember
that I
will never remember
the despair
the darkness
the horror.

Death,
separation
emptiness

You
Remember it
for me.



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

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mark Series - Mark 2:23-28

I had planned to have a new Mark post this week, but I haven't caught up as I hoped I would.  Between lessons with the kids (we're still home schooling), adjusting to the transition, and work on the 3rd album, I'm having trouble making the time to collect my thoughts on Mark 3:31-35 into something intelligible that can be read by others. Please pray for me to get back on schedule next week!  In the meantime I've archived the Mark posts from Mark 2:23-28. I hope you enjoy revisiting old favorites or finding something you missed before.



There are four posts for Mark 2:23-28.

Link to: Walking Through Fields of Grain
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Link to: Following You Through Fields of Grain
Following You Through Fields of Grain

Link to: You Remind Them of David - Mark 2:23-28 Post 3
You Remind Them
of David
Link to: Lord of the Sabbath - Mark 2:23-28 Post 4
Lord
of the Sabbath


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Art (poem)

Russian piano - Art (poem) brokenbreadandsmallfish.com
A way
an attempt
to express the things 
that cannot be expressed
to capture
what cannot be captured
feelings that have no words

and art
always falls short

like me
following You

But still must try 
like I must follow You
though I know I cannot
without falling. 

Oh - 
but when I fall
I fall 
at Your feet
and see Your hand
always 
reaching out to me
(Your hand on my head
as You lift me yet again)

art
(and I)
will always
fall short
of the goal

but still expresses more 
than if it had never tried

and we fill in the blanks
understand in our souls
feel what is missing
fill in the empty spaces
in the painting
the things left unsaid
in the song
not captured
unfixed...
but
present
there
all around 
enveloping

we know what it is
in our souls

You
You 
You

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

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Own Story and the Twists and Turns it Took - Velvet Ashes

Quick Link: My Own Story and the Twists and Turns It Took {Velvet Ashes} 

Today I'm writing at Velvet Ashes about what happened to my dreams of writing songs and poetry when God called me to ministry overseas.   (If you are looking for the new Mark post, they'll pick back up next week.)


Here's an excerpt:
 
"My five year old hands lovingly stapled construction paper together, then drew pictures and wrote the story out on each page in crayon.  I proudly printed the title and my name on the front cover, then brought it to my mom.

She took it in her hands and read out loud, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by Michele Linihan."  I waited expectantly as she turned the pages of my precious book.  Finally she set it down and said, "This is very nice work, but it isn't yours.  You can't write someone else's story.  You have to write your own story."

When I was nine, I sent my own stories to Random House Publishers. (I received a very kind, encouraging rejection letter.)  I wrote songs that became instruments of torture to my family (not my intention).  By my teens I wrote VERY introspective poetry, sometimes with God at the center, but mostly - all about me.

In college I learned to have a quiet time and to journal - my songs and poems became more God-focused.  But even whey they were about God, they were still about me.

I daydreamed.  I pictured myself on stage, singing the final song of my concert.  Everyone would be weeping.

I loved writing.

But I had had other daydreams.  

When I was eleven I would mow the lawn and make up stories about serving God in Russia.  I tried to forget those "childish" dreams - but God did not forget..." 
        
Click here to finish reading... 


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