A Journey Unfolding
Friday, October 27, 2006

post-mortem

A death of sorts has taken it's toll
my eyes burn from crying, for a bit of me's dying
I feel like my heart has taken a fall
it's battered and weary, angered and seering
I'm bruised from this misguided hoping
fatigued and resistent, dissapointed and hesitant
The next phase of journey that's laid out before me
seems only a return, the same old beginning
I'm tired of loosing, when's my turn for winning
Will hope flood my soul again, find rest for this ache within
For reasons I'm finding are only my own
for others know of no cause for alarm
I wade through this rubble, pick up all the peices
get back to the madness and come to my senses


Maria at 11:07 AM
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

To New Life


I believe this to be a decently accurate summation of the current place my heart finds it's rest...

On the Journey to New Life -

"I wonder if the journey towards new life doesn't begin with death: an ending, a letting go, a breakage or even a disillusionment. New life emerges when a capacity to receive something is created. Sometimes we make the room, but most of the time the space is made for us, whether we agree to it or not.

Expectations in my life most often provide opportunities for death. The person didn't measure up, I was disappointed, my illusions shattered, dreams broken, hopes dashed, and I am left frustrated and resentful. I am also left with an opportunity. Do I allow these emotions to grip and control my life, so I have no room for the newness? Or am I being invited to choose life anew, to let go of my expectations and answer life's beckoning call?"

Because He is faithful and answers me when I ask for opportunity to grow, I will rejoice.

Because He is kind and protects the precious things of my being, I will be glad.

Because He is Love and guides me in His goodness, I will not be subject to toils of the disillusionment, but will forever cling to His promise and provision.

Thank you Daddy... I love you and the life you offer!



Maria at 1:57 PM
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ruthlessly? Not yet...


Excerpts from Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God by Brennan Manning:

When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, "And what can I do for you?"

Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "What do you want me to pray for?" she asked.

He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: "Pray that I have clarity."

She said firmly, "No, I will not do that."

When he asked her why, she said, "clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of."

When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."

Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love. - p 6

The basic premise of biblical trust is the conviction that God wants us to grow, to unfold, and to experience fullness of life. However, this kind of trust is acquired only gradually and most often through a series of crises and trials.

The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise. - p 9

A person should not act impulsively, of course. A careful discernment process involving family, friends, and a spiritual mentor should precede every major decision. But when the appropriate time comes, only the disciple with an unflinching trust in God will dare to risk. And that trust is not naïve; it knows that the possibility of making a mistake and getting hurt is very real. But without exposure to potential failure, there is no risk. - p 21

Anyone God uses significantly is always deeply wounded. It is no coincidence that the title of the latest book by Michael Ford on the life and ministry of Henri Nouwen is Wounded Prophet. We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people whom God has called and graced to use in a significant way. In his eyes, the high-profile ministries are no more significant than those that draw little or no attention and publicity. On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars. - p 48

Here is a point of capital importance for our biblical understanding of trusting Jesus. In Western thinking knowledge is the intellectual apprehension of reality, the mind's affirmation of a truth perceived. In the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, knowledge is felt, it arises from an experience of God in faith and love rather than from human investigation. Knowledge is the fruit of a faith-encounter with Jesus as the Christ. It is simply not possible to receive the revelation of God in the transcendent/immanent Christ without experience. - p 87

Christianity is not a message which has to be believed, but an experience of faith that becomes a message." - p 88

And quite possibly yet another perspective along the same lines of thinking - from another one of my life's heroes...

From the Journal's of James Elliot:

"So I was praying that Jesus would give you a very specific vision for what He has you down there for - specific to this season of your life - What God wants to accomplish IN you and THROUGH you - I think He has to first work in you before the vision can be accomplished through you (and there is other various thoughts on that)- Vision is a mission from heaven, vision gives purpose and with purpose there is acceptance - acceptance being a form of surrender and I think somewhere under that springs of joy can then bubble forth - it's just gotta get unburied first. So the equation goes - Vision for circumstances + acceptance of circumstances = purpose which then produces joy amid circumstances."

Where do I aling myself in this quandary? Questions for the One who holds my future and my today's, and knows I seek such clarity.

May I seek Your face Lord and not Your hand...



Maria at 8:30 PM
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Justifiable Justice



Isaiah 1:17, Message Version: Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.

Excerpts from Midnight in the City by Hal Donaldson

I descended into many of America's dark places, often putting myself at risk. But it was there that I rediscovered the heart of Jesus for the suffering and deceived; it was there that I found my way. In my determination to shield my eyes from the world's wickedness I had neglected those who needed to hear about Jesus. Jesus was grieved by some of the things He saw 2,000 years ago, I said to myself, but He endured so His message could advance in dark places. He didn't need to run from anything or anyone. Why did I?

Is there any part of the city you just won't go into? I asked.

No, Tina said firmly.

We can't give up any turf, Jack said. We can't relinquish any ground. If we do, we lose.

At daybreak, Jack and Tina dropped me off at the precinct before they made their final rounds. The sun's rays were knifing between skyscrapers and my eyes were fighting to stay open. It had been a long, but enlightening night. As I drove toward my hotel, I couldn't escape the sad reality that Christians had given up ground to the enemy. We've been content to watch the demise of our cities from a distance, I said to myself.

Many of us have viewed them as objects of God's judgment and punishment, and simply thrown up our hands. But God hasn't given up on them. We're the ones who've been unwilling to pay the price to bring light to these dark places. God wants to save these gang members. It is His heart to forgive and restore. None of them are beyond reach. If we give up on them, we're giving up on God.

Powerless, self-serving, play-it-safe religion was no longer an option for me. To be a follower of Christ meant I had to put my faith into action; I had to be on the front lines befriending people and rescuing them for eternity.


History, like God, is watching what we do. - Bono

The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. - C. S. Lewis

It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. - Martin Luther

Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active. - Edith Hamilton


Action we can take for the Invisible Children of Northern Uganda:

Get sponsored and join the October, 21st, 2006 GuluWalk in a city near you! Visit http://www.guluwalk.com/ for details.

Sign the World Vision Children Should Never Be Soldiers Declaration at http://www.seekjustice.org/

Registration for attending the Lobby Day in D.C. is closed, but for other info. go to: http://www.ugandalobbyday.com/

Click here for phone numbers to contact your state's senators in Washington D.C: www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Click here to connect to your Representative in the House: www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml


May it be said of us, your body - that we awoke to the multiple cries of a world rapidly headed toward destruction. May we fight - ruthlessly - for those that have not the strength to raise their own voices, having been silenced by oppression and corruptness.

May it be for me God - that I do not shy away from that which challenges my personal comforts, but choose to lay at your precious feet, the gift of surrender and an unwavering, uncompromising heart, bent toward that which your heart bleeds for.

May we all find ourselves, in a unique and personal capacity, setting our hands, feet and hearts to causes of liberation and freedom!


Maria at 11:39 AM
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