Monday, July 27, 2009


I am home from church now to an empty house. The boys are gone to work. The soccer game is on the television and the DVR is doing its job. I listen to the "rolling R's" and the enthusiastic drawn out syllables of the Spanish speaking announcer. If I actually listen, I can catch about every third word and make sense of the game. After all, I had Spanish in junior high, high school and attempted it in college and I also was a former soccer mom. To my husband, well, it could be in any language; it would not matter a bit. He watches soccer and our American National Team with loyalty and longing.

Do you find yourself sometimes only catching every third word God is communicating to you? Is His word bouncing back void, head-butted out of your life? Do you think scripture is like a foreign language? Ask yourself: Have you ever had a loyalty and longing for God's Word? What is it that keeps us from conversing with our Creator and Savior? Jesus Christ has purchased our ticket to be front and center in His arena. He longs for you to be His "star player", to "Bend it like Beckham", not just a casual observer. He speaks to us in the language of Love.

I would venture to say, it is our own "yellow cards" that have kept us sidelined. The Good News though is that Jesus Christ took the "Red Card" for us and gives us the opportunity to play in the game under His Grace. It takes strong discipline to be a great player as well as a commitment to grow in Christ by reading and meditating on His Word. If we do not understand that God wants us to "kick the ball" back and forth with our fellow players; we might just be in the wrong game. "Slam dunks and quarterback sacks" are lonely plays and they will not help us a bit in a soccer game. So, be a team player...listen to God's language of love. Go about it with longing and loyalty as you seek victory in your life. Do not leave His playbook in your smelly locker. Read about the ordinary, humble people God has used to become the "Beckhams" in His Kingdom. It does take practice, but God is patient with His athletes in action.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Own Adullam

(this is a personal description of many dark days after loosing our home to a fire in 2003 but a beginning of a journey that would be a refiner's fire for me; giving me strength yet to face more dark days to come.)

When I first entered the cave, it had a night manager, two levels of compartments, an ice machine and cable TV. We had escaped, found temporary shelter and would now wait until the "all clear" sign would rise again. The Season of Harvest was upon us, but my fields were burned now. The building up of worldly wisdom and independence from the Source had allowed an ignition, a spark of self to enflame this vanity I could not let go of. Clinging on with both arms left me without hands in which to touch the Wisdom of the Ages, to embrace the Spirit of Peace. My voice would speak of faith but unmatched to my heart. My trespasses would keep me afar. Now I am a cave dweller, left to leave my etchings on the wall.

James 1:7-8 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We would migrate from cave to cave, the children restless, unable to mask their disappointment. The unfamiliar ground and steps into personal space took its psychological toll. The caves would become darker, damper, infested with vermin visible in daylight; slithering in at night. One child chose to stand guard over the ashes and cling to familiar ground and familiar routine. The other child, already numb from disease, raged against the reality of cave dwelling; his etchings at times overtaking my own.

I Samuel 22:1a So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam…
Psalm 13:1-2 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul? Having sorrow in my heart all day?

The rains came; the flood streams washed away known paths. The journeys began to increase for the sick child, finding peace only in an institutional cave, but still a cave; the poison flowing more directly into his veins.

Psalm 61: 1-2 Here my cry, Oh God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the Earth I call to you when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

I found God's light around a corner of the cave one day. I would find myself spending more time there, basking in His sunshine. My etchings became journals full of scripture and prayer and blessings. One hand was feeling the scar in the center of his palm and our fingers became entwined. The music vibrated off the lichen-covered cave walls. The darkness began to lift. The cave would not change, the vermin still around, but this cave dweller would find new strength.

Psalm 28: 6-7 Blessed be the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him; and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.

Coming out of the cave would take a new faith, empowered through Christ, personally. The previous shelter which had taken up so much space in my heart would not be made whole for us to boast in. Obedience would allow for a step out of the cave and into trust and a realization of purpose. One child would go on to find that same purpose in Glory with the Father; his healing only coming when God took him home, an address now in Amazing Grace. The strength to endure that pain came from the Comforter's echoed calls through the darkness reverberating in my soul. One child would walk away from the ashes he felt responsible for and rebond with family and regain self-worth; the cave only a faded memory. I await his own etchings for I know they are hidden in his heart.

Isaiah 40:31a Yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength…

To live in a cave is a depressing, lonely, damp place where sometimes God takes you to prepare you for His purpose. Once we enter in, we can see in the dark if we know where to look. God will shine His light, showing the way out, revealing His divine purpose.

I Peter 1:7 …that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Have you had a time in your life when you felt unsettled, felt like a wandering Israelite looking for the promised land or in the "pits" for a season knowing you were going to come out only after being honest with yourself and God? Please share.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrity, Bravery, Ordinary...What "Tweets" the Loudest?"

Manny returns to the Dodgers of L.A.
The Lakers say good-bye to forward Trevor A.

Governor Palin resigns from her beauty state.
Governor Sanford will not, after his great escape.

The Oxy-clean guy will be shouting no more,
While "Bruno's" extra points were pretty hardcore.

We Facebook and Twitter;
We text and we blog.
TMZ and the Paparazzi...
Our e-mails we clog

And this summer will begin
With the most shocking of news.
"The King of Pop" is DEAD!
No one will ever fill his shoes.

"Will it be Neverland?"
"No, the Staples Center."
"Was it pain killers?"
"No, he could not sleep."
"Will Grandma get custody?"
Diana Ross, a second choice to be...
It's Rev. Sharpton who will speak..."
And the fans will surely weep.

It will go on for months now
As we download all his songs.
Was he misunderstood,
An eccentric genius?
Abuser or abused?
Was he happy with whom he was
After being so accused?

Rest could not find him;
He seemed never satisfied.
His many faces told the story
Of something he denied.

So my thoughts now for MJ
And his legacy that he leaves:
Your dance and music I loved,
And for you, your kids...I truly grieve.

Celebrity comes and goes,
And headlines do too.
It's front page on our wireless
Instant info, false or true.

But on this 4th of July,
I'll put celebrity aside.
I'll think of our country
And U.S. soldiers all with pride.

For they never get enough press
These brave individual souls,
Dug in the rocky cliffs of Afghanistan
Protecting our individual goals.

And there are ordinary people too
Who look beyond themselves,
to make a change.
Not outwardly, but inside...
For it is there where
God's love is exchanged.