Monday, December 29, 2008

One of the lovely ways God convicts me...

Prepare yourself. Truth, coming at ya. ::Sigh::

I've had an ever building revelation over the past year or so. It's not pretty and I wouldn't mind if Will Smith came with his little flashy thing from Men in Black and erased it.

I've noticed that things that irritate me about other people, I do. It started out with my mom. I actually knew that one a long time ago. The whole, too much alike, that's why we get on each other's nerves and why it is a physical impossibility for us to live in the same dwelling.

Over the past year or so, I've noticed that it really irritates me when people ramble on about nothing. hmmm... Yeah, I tend to do that. It irritates me when people are harsh. Yeah... Probably because of copyright infringement. I WROTE THE BOOK ON HARSH. ::deep breath, followed by very slow exhale.....:: These are just a couple of the *cute* examples.

Transformation is a slow process.

This whole business starts with pride. I used to be in an AMAZING small group Bible study. A group of women that studied and wrestled with Scripture, poured their heart and souls out to each other and prayed for and with each other. It was beautiful. I bring that up to say, there were times when we'd be sharing prayer requests, and I couldn't think of anything that I needed prayer for that day. Nothing major that God wanted to change in me, I had it all together, pretty impressed with myself. I was one of those people who, when I heard a sermon, I'd think: Wow, what a shame that so and so isn't here to hear this. Pride, much? Yep. Ugh.

See? I force God's hand ALL THE TIME! Oh really, He says? Can't see it? I'll help you. You're so good at seeing other people's short comings... As He reaches into His bag of tricks and extracts His handy dandy scalpel of self-righteous bull. ::another deep deep sigh::

So that's where I've been for awhile. Observing ugliness in other people, realizing I have the same ugly ugly tendencies, and then begging God to change my heart. It's working, but it's a very very slow process.

People are so incredibly messy. It's a lot easier to just hide and avoid them. If there was a place I could hide from myself, I'd be at the post office right now, changing my address.

Instead, I'm embracing Nathan. Remember the prophet from 2 Samuel 12? He tells King David a little story about a man who stole and killed a little ewe lamb. King David burns with anger and then Nathan says, YOU are the man! And not in the modern day way that means, you're super cool... In the way that means, uh - hello? You stole a man's wife and then killed him so you wouldn't be found out, and you're fired up about a guy who steals a lamb and kills it? Doofus!

I'm not sure if God deals with you in the same way He deals with me, but if He does... Be aware of the messy people in your life. They may be God's way of holding up a mirror and saying - You are the man...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas vs. Giftmas

Our pastor said something about Christmas being hikacked. I love it. So so true. We can't afford to participate in giftmas this year, so we are left with Christmas. And I love it. Don't be fooled, if we could be we would be, but I'm thankful that we can't. This is the first year that I haven't run around like all kinds of maniac spending way too much money and way too time little reflecting on what the season is really about. Today, I am honestly praising God for our circumstances. I can't think of another way He could have brought this revelation to me more clearly.

I'm overwhelmed with the gospel this year. I've never thought about Easter so much in December. I'm humbled that my Savior came for me. ::Deep sigh:: I don't even know how to articulate what I'm thinking and feeling...

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music this year. My absolute favorite is the Selah Rose of Bethlehem CD. I love the lyrics of the song Mystery.

A child was born on Christmas Day
Born to save the world
But long before the world began
He knew His death was sure
The pain and strife secured
Mystery, how He came To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands

The Christmas trees
They glow so bright
With presents all around
But Christmas brought A tree of life
With blood that sacrificed
The greatest gift in life
I am just a man and
Can?t begin to comprehend
When You look into this traitor?s eyes
What do You see that justifies the Lamb
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His plan
Mystery, mystery

This CD is amazing. I highly recommend it.

Shane and Shane also have a Christmas CD out this year. It is also fantastic.

Born to Die - Shane Barnard

When the babe was born.
In a manger on the hay.
God saw a veil torn.
He saw Good Friday.
He was born to die.
Gold laid before the Christ.
Incense, His presence is sweet.
Myrrh to signify victory over death's sting.
He was born to die.It came in a dream.

To Joseph late one night.
That Herod sought the King.
But could not take His life.
He was born to die.
He said, "You won't take my life.
You won't take my life.
You won't take my life...I lay it down."
We came here today
to celebrate His birth.
But let us not forget
why Jesus came to earth.
He was born to die.

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Fruit, fruit everywhere I turn! It seems God is trying to show me something...

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8 This verse keeps coming up, along with many others that reference fruit.

Let's break it down, word by word, using my trusty friend


1. to bring into existence; give rise to; cause: to produce steam.
2. to bring into existence by intellectual or creative ability: to produce a great painting.
3. to make or manufacture: to produce automobiles for export.
4. to bring forth; give birth to; bear: to produce a litter of puppies.
5. to provide, furnish, or supply; yield: a mine producing silver.


1. any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals.
3. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana.
5. anything produced or accruing; product, result, or effect; return or profit: the fruits of one's labors.

in keeping with something (from the free dictionary)

1. because of something. There will be no flowers at the funeral, in keeping with the family's wishes.
2. suited to something. The new windows are in keeping with the colonial style of the house.


1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
2. regret for any past action.

So - bring into existence a product, result or effect that goes along with your deep sorrow and regret for past sin.

That stuff that you used to do, (Ahem, that I used to do - lest I forget that God is speaking to me, and you are just innocent bystanders...) not only quit doing it, but be grieved that you (I) used to do it, and do it no more. AND what you do do (yes, I meant to say do do), make sure it reflects your sorrow over what you (I) used to do. Make sure people see you have been transformed, and not because you raised your hand, repeated after someone, and have since tried to be a better person. No, because you entered into a binding, eternal and covenantal relationship with the creator of the universe and He is making you a new creature in Christ Jesus.

In other words, if we are truly repentant, our present and future actions will not look like our old ones. And not because we are suddenly "better" people, but because we have invited God to live in us and have welcomed His transforming power into our lives. The whole new creation business...

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Further, if our fruit doesn't look like love, we cannot be claiming to be producing it in Jesus' name. If we are looking to get credit for what we are doing, or doing it in hopes of getting something in return? Nope. Try again. Be ever mindful that our righteousness is as dirty rags to God. Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Philippians 3:9 not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Oh yes, the law! One of my favorite things to rant about!

Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Galatians 2:21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Look out for the pharisees. They are alive and well. You know who I'm talking about. Those people, I like to call them professional pretenders, who appear to be perfect. The key is appearances. It's all about convincing everyone around them that they have it all together and know all the answers. There is a Shane and Shane song that I love that says, "what the law could not do, God did." If we had the power within ourselves to get it right, to be "better", holy, righteous, than Jesus died for nothing.

We mustn't set aside the grace of God. It's by His grace we can do anything. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Apart from Him we are nothing. John 15:5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

There it is. More fruit. With out a living, breathing, active relationship with the Vine, we got nothing. We can do nothing. We are nothing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ask, Seek, Knock...

We've all heard it hundreds of times. "Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you..." Matthew 7:7 This is one I find hard not to quote in the King Jimmy... ;)

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, (Matt Chandler at the Village Church in the DFW area of Texas) and he was preaching on this passage. He said something so obvious, but only in the way that is noticeable after you've heard it... Then you're like - yep - that's pretty obvious, why didn't I think of it?

We've all got the "ask" part down to a science, right? I mean usually the only thing that's missing is sitting on Santa's lap... I want this, and do this, and bring this to pass, and fix that, and heal this, and stop that, and bring this and provide that, and solve this and get me out of that and on and on it goes.

But what about "seek"? I once heard something else really fantastic while visiting a church with a friend in Chicago. The pastor said, when you seek God, you are guaranteed guidance. When you seek for guidance alone, you may or may not get it. I don't know about you, but I want what God wants. I tried it my way for a lot of years, and it didn't turn out all that red hot... I desire to seek God. Seek His face, seek His heart, seek His will for my life. If God was about just giving us what we want? What a short change! As if we can POSSIBLE know what is best for ourselves... I've often thought of it this way. God is on the mountain and He can see the terrain that lies ahead. We might be in a valley, on level ground or even on a hill, we may even think we can see what lies ahead. But God KNOWS the plans He has for us. Sometimes when He leads us to a certain path or through some sort of struggle, it makes absolutely NO sense at the time. He says, turn. We're like, but but but? It's the wrong way, Lord. Again, He is on the mountain top and knows it's a short cut, even though we can't see how that could possibly be. Or, He knows it's the long way around the maze so we don't get lost and stuck and wander in the wilderness for forty years. Whatever His reasons, His way is the best way, whether we can see that or not. So - if we keep doing what we want, what seems right to us, we are missing the boat. We have got to give God the reigns. Let Him steer. He knows the way. He made the way. His IS the way...

Knock. I sort of had a revelation about the knock part. I think it's about pursuit. We've probably also heard "Behold, I stand at the door and Knock." Revelation 3:19-20 Those words are in red, which tells us - Jesus is standing at the door. Waiting for us to invite Him in. But what would happen if we made it a daily habit of knocking on His door. Hey Jesus, got a second? PS - the answer is always yes....

Do you see what I mean about the obviousness? Ask, seek and knock. Not just ask. Asking is easy. We have to do our part, we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts. It's a tall order... I'm working on it... I'm definitely not there yet. It's a process, and not a fast one. It's not boring either. God always keep you guessing. I love sitting down with Him and just waiting for Him to blow my mind. It's a hobby of His and I love it!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Another huge piece in hearing God's voice is surrender. God's ultimate goal in our lives is to be on the throne.... and He don't share. If ANYTHING else is perched up there, He can't be.

I've noticed that when we hold on to anything too tightly, it separates us from God. It clouds our judgment, it deadens our ability to hear and it certainly impacts our ability to trust what we do hear. When we are ready to truly surrender our lives, agendas and expectations, God says "What's in your hand?" And trust me there is always something in our hand. In my case, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, not only is there something in my hand, but my hand is CLENCHED around it and the thing is covered in super glue. Anyone?

The finger prying process is not a pleasant one.

The other thing I've noticed, not only in my own scenarios, but in many of those of the people closest to me, it's RARELY about the actual thing. Right? It's so much more about the grip we have on the thing. The throne that the thing is on, whether we knew it or not, or put it there intentionally or not. Kind of like when you lose something and joke that it must have grew legs and walked away, except in this case - the thing sprouted legs and strutted itself up onto the throne when you weren't looking. One day you just realize and you're like -what?? How did that get there? ugh.

I digress. Finger prying.

It goes something like this....

Something comes up. I sense it's bigger than what I realize and over time, God begins to show me that we have a problem. Usually someone else says - I think this might be a problem. To which I usually respond in an utterly clueless fashion, quickly followed by self-defense. Then when God confirms it, I'm like, uh-oh. I think you might be right. Then I start to deconstruct it, then I get more confirmation. I'm usually 1)Horrified and disgusted by this ridiculous blind spot, that you would THINK I would start craning my neck around to check occasionally. 2)Totally frustrated by the enemy's unending pursuit. 3)Determined to make it right.

Commence finger prying.

It could be a thing, a situation, an idea or even a relationship. Ultimately, it's anything that we hold onto so tightly. Why do I hold on to it? Or as a good friend always asks me - "What does it give you?" When I realize that it gives me my worth, value and security - I want it out of my hand as much as God does. The sneaky sneaky thing the enemy does, is dupes us into believing that anything other than God determines our worth.

I feel like I'm spider webbing something fierce. Try to stay with me and I'll try to get to the point...

I said earlier, it's rarely about the thing. Time and time again, I've found when I just surrender the thing, God usually lets me keep it. Hardly ever does He set it on fire and through it out the window. It's always about my heart, and His refusal to allow me to settle for a golden statue of whatever.

This was my most recent revelation. It's idolatry. When the thing is more important to me than what God wants to teach me, it's idolatry. When the circumstances are more important to me than the joy that is available to me in plenty and in want, that's idolatry. When I think I have it all figured out, or that it's even up to me to figure it out. Idolatry. When the thought of losing the thing strikes fear in my heart, I have a serious problem with idolatry.

God says, things are fine. But when they are your hope and your security, that is an entirely different issue and one that has to be handled immediately.

He is always after our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. ANYTHING that threatens those, is going down.

When faced with the choice of surrender or idolatry, it's really a no brainer. The important thing to remember, is you can't see your blind spot unless you make a conscious effort to turn and twist around and look over your shoulder. If that was easy, it wouldn't be an issue. Do the hard thing. Be vigilant. Most importantly, be listening. He longs to show us and help us. I can guarantee you if Abraham had decided to take Isaac and hide in a cave, the story would have had a different ending. What will you lay on the alter today?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I think one of the coolest things about Walking with God is when He confirms and reconfirms that you are, in fact, hearing His voice.  Had it not been for some very key confirmations, I probably would have given up on even trying to hear Him, again.

It was such an internal struggle for me.  Wanting to hear Him so badly, but not being able to discern what was and what was NOT His voice...

I'm one of those unlucky souls who is a product of legalism...  You know, try real hard to do everything right, look perfect, try harder, what is wrong with you, why aren't you perfect yet, legalism.  Throw in a few other less than perfect circumstances in life and the result is a whole heckuva lot of condemnation, guilt, shame and all around not good enough syndrome.  Did I mention guilt?  This, of course, fosters a view of God that is not exactly who He actually is.  Again, you know the one, ready to smite you at the drop of hat, cannot be pleased no matter how hard you try, wishing you could be like so and so, ready to give up on you if you don't get it figured out, and overall just mad at you more often than not.  

Getting back to my point.  I want to hear God, but it's taken me about 5 years to figure out God is nothing like what I just described.  Okay, so now I have figured out that God is, in fact, crazy in love with me, despite the fact that He knows I will never get it right on my own.  This is someone I'm willing to chat with.  But how?  

Anyone that knows me, knows I can talk like the Lions can suck.  I mean, I. Can. Talk.  This isn't the problem.  I'm also a very good listener, when I get enough sense to hush for a hot second. So why can't I hear God?  The ROAR of the voices in my head...  Oh, make it stop!   Now - let me clarify.  I won't even try to convince you that I'm NOT crazy, because I'm completely convinced that I am.  However, that's not what I mean by voices in my head.  It's almost like second grade again.  The teacher asks a question and at least 5 kids are stretching their arms out of the sockets - Pickmepickmepickme!!!!!!  Only in my head, the little brats don't wait to be called on, they just shout out the answers.  Guilt is always the loudest.  Shame usually has something to say...  Are you following me or have I completely lost you?  I ask God a simple question. Should I?  I assume that whatever answer I want to hear isn't God.  On some sick level, it may be that I still can't shake my old idea of God, so deep down I may still be thinking - why on earth would God want to give me what I want, right?  Even if I know it's possible that God could give me my hearts desire, (hello - that's in the Bible!) I still really hesitate to hear a voice in my own head telling me the answer I like to a question that I asked and say - GOD SAID!  I mean really, be careful with that one, right? But if I hear the other answer, the one I don't want to hear, what I think God would say, then isn't that just me still?

So you can see how it would just be easier to throw in the towel.  Which is what I did, about the first five hundred times I tried it.

One day, I decided I would step out in faith.  What a concept, right?  So I decided, I would go with what I truly thought God was saying.  I thought, hey - as long as he's not telling me to jump off a bridge or kick my dog, what's the worst that could happen?  So I started giving it a try.  I also decided that I would write down my conversations.  I discovered something very cool...

It turns out, though I might interrupt other people, at times, I don't seem to be able to interrupt myself.  At least, not when I'm talking to God and writing it down.  As I'm writing out my own thoughts, if something sort of "breaks through", I've found it's usually God speaking.  I started going with it.  "Is there anything else, Lord?"  And there was.  "Where should I read, Lord?"  James.  "James?"  James took me to someplace in Corinthians, because at the top of James, in my Bible, I'd written Corinthians something or other.  I go there.  More of the same. It's all speaking into what I'm struggling with.  Paul is bringing it.  Yes, this is definitely God.  I couldn't make this up if I tried.  

One day I was reading in Proverbs.  Every day that I sit down intentionally with the Lord, I read the corresponding Proverb.  Ever notice there are 31 Proverbs?  Some months it works out perfectly, others - you read an extra or two the last day.  It's awesome.  Anyway, it must have been the 3rd of this month, because I was reading in Proverbs 3.  Verse 5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.  It really spoke to me that day, even though I'd heard it approximately one million times before.  I thought Wow.  In ALL your ways.  Not in some of your ways, or when you feel like it, or when you're laying down to sleep at night or when you stub your toe or run out of gas.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  It was a pretty big deal.  That was Friday.  On Sunday, the former Pastor of our church came up and "brought a word"  (this happening in church is a little new to me, which is the only reason I put quotes around it.)  He said that God woke him up in the middle of the night and said he needed to share this in church the next day.  Any guesses?  Proverbs 3:5.  Confirmation.  

So. Here I am.  On this journey.  And it makes more sense than it used to.  I have a lot more work to do, but I took a tiny step of faith and God has been lighting a little more of the path for me each time I trust Him and move forward.  I love it.  God told me some other BIG DEAL stuff and I thought, Well, this is great - but I don't know what my husband is going to say.  My husband said - yep, God told me the same thing.  What a relief.  

So.  When the voices in my head are so loud, I just say shut up.  When I hear God's still small voice I say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Walking with God

I am currently rereading Walking with God, by John Eldredge.  He is definitely one of my favorite authors.  He is the author of Waking the Dead, which I love, and Wild at Heart, which I've been unable to get into - since it is written for men.  He also coauthored the book Captivating with his wife Stasi.  What an amazing book.  Obviously, I highly recommend John Eldredge.  This is not a complete list of his books, just the ones that I own.

Walking with God has been instrumental in my journey to hear God and trust His voice.  I've struggled for awhile with hearing Him.  I really didn't even know I should be listening for Him until about 5 years ago.  The first time I heard my new friend say, "God told me such and such," - I have to admit, I had my doubts.  The more I got to know this friend, and others like her, the more I realized,  Hmmm.... She doesn't seem to be crazy... and she definitely seems to believe that God does in fact talk to her.  Interesting...  So, I decided to give it a try.  I would occasionally pause to hear God or specifically ask Him a question.  There were even times when I thought it might be working.  But by and large, I doubted.  When I could quiet the roar of voices in my head down to one, I had no idea who it was that was still standing.  Is that me? Is that God?  Is that my guilt and shame (and essentially the enemy) that is so at work in my mind, due to all the license I had given to condemnation over the years?  What if it's not God I'm not about to start doing things, claiming God told me ANYTHING, unless I can know for certain that it IS indeed Him that is speaking.  I got discouraged. I basically gave up.  Every single time that I went to Him, I had the identical argument with me, myself and I, as well as anyone else that had made it into my head...  It was frustrating and annoying, so I eventually gave it up.  If I didn't read it in black and white somewhere between Genesis and Revelation or hear it directly from the trusted mouth of someone who I knew loved God and could be used for His purpose in my life, I wasn't trusting that God had anything to do with it.

Enter Walking with God.  You know how once you know something you can't not know it? Yeah.  It's like that.  As John says, "We have two options.  We can trudge through on our own, doing our best to figure it all out. Or, we can walk with God.  As in, learn to hear His voice.  Really. We can live life with God.  He offers to speak to us and guide us.  Every day.  It's an incredible offer.  To accept that offer is to enter into an adventure filled with joy and risk, transformation and breakthrough.  And more clarity than we ever thought possible."

Well, ain't that the truth?  Any clarity is more clarity than I thought possible.

So, I opted to go for it.  Give it a try.  Transformation?  Breakthrough?  Joy?  Yes, please.  Risk? Well, if it's a package deal, then I guess I'll take a side order or risk, too.  

And so it began.  My trysts with the Lord.  My morning meeting, so to speak.  We sit.  We chat.  I write it all down, because - I've had a baby and my memory seems to have permanently malfunctioned.  Sad to admit, but I even forget what God Himself tells me.  So I write it down.  Because here's the thing:  You don't desire to hear him, and then fight through figuring it out to then forget it.  No - it must be taken seriously.  And hearing God with out obedience?  Well, now that would be worse than not hearing Him at all.

Thanks for reading, friends.  Don't forget to meet with Him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My new blog...

I've been following a lot of blogs these days.  I suppose it's my latest obsession.  I used to faithfully post on my xanga site.  Okay, well - not faithfully, but I used to post.  Now it has become Chloe's photo album.  Keeping friends - near and far - up to speed on her latest antics...  I decided I wanted my own space.

So here it is...  My own space.  My hope is to share my journey with the Lord.  The lessons He's teaching me, what we share when we meet, how He's molding and shaping me to be more and more like Him.

Within the last few months, I've been trying to make my quiet times absolute priority.  It's difficult for various reasons...  For one - when life is easy, I don't run to my daddy's lap.  These days, even when life isn't easy, the laundry, dishes and vacuuming (all my favorite never ending chores....) still need to be done.  I've decided, it's time to get serious.  Serious about meeting with Him.  Reading His word.  Talking to Him.  Most importantly, Listening to Him.  That is a skill, dear friends.  I'm excited to be honing it.  It's coming along nicely.

So, this brings me to the title of my blog.  This word tryst came up about three different times.  In a book, on a shirt, and I can't remember the other thing.  I finally decided God was trying to tell me something.  I looked it up on and immediately knew - this is what I will be calling my quiet times.  This is my favorite definition: an appointment to meet at a certain time and place, especially one made somewhat secretly by lovers.  

So, there you have it.  Welcome to my space.  My space where I will be reflecting and sharing what the Lord and I are doing in our daily tryst.