Words That Spark: Part II

Have you ever been burned by your own words or those of someone else?

 Click on Link for song : Forest Fire by Josh Wilson

Lyrics:
He’s not bulletproof
Don’t let him fool you
His laugh is a lie
He’s dying inside
From the sticks and stones somebody threw
Our tongues are like matches
Our ears are like trees
Our words are like sparks
On dry summer leaves
It doesn’t take much
For the flames to rise
And turn a soul
Into a forest fire
She’s not half as strong, no
As she’d like to let on
She smiles, but she knows
She can’t take one more blow
From the hate that she’s heard for so long
Our tongues are like matches
Our ears are like trees
Our words are like sparks
On dry summer leaves
It doesn’t take much
For the flames to rise
And turn a soul
Into a forest fire  Be careful
Be careful what you say
Our tongues are like matches
Our ears are like trees
Our words are like sparks
On dry summer leaves
It doesn’t take much
For the flames to rise
And turn a soul
Into a forest fire
Image Found: 3forjc.blogspot.com

Image Found: 3forjc.blogspot.com

Too Many Words. . .Part I. . .

Ironic, but deeply fitting that with over 160 posts, today we are going to talk about one of my greatest failings. In elementary school I got Cs in conduct. I even remember a C- Ugh! I talked tooooo much! On a trip home, just from a city errand, my mother offered to pay me a dime to keep quiet. Never saw that dime. My cousins lovingly teased me about always talking. I was known in high school and college for always having one more question to ask (but there was always more to know. . .inquiring minds right?) And then came relationships, and I just know I talked much more than I ever listened. When the other person was talking, I was not listening, I was planning what I was going to, profoundly, say next when my friend took a breath. God forgive me :0 . . . ..wtyhdukwolkacsxurbnmqouslttpxzz. . ..talk, talk, talk.

Then I got married, and I had more to say than ever. I knew a better way of doing everything.  I thought I would save my sweet husband the effort, and just “tell him how to do ‘it’ right.” Well, more like everything right. Oh well. I did not hold my tongue and took advantage of my woman’s 20,000 words per day and talk twice as fast. That alone qualifies me?! Ha! I could dance a jig around Bucky with his, “slower,” 7,000 words per day. (Receiving scientific review now!)  Oh, the opportunities I missed to encourage! It just seemed the right thing to say. . .Wrong. If only someone had told me to hold my tongue and let him figure it out, but no one did, and I was too young and foolish, perhaps to have listened, anyway. Oh boy. The truth is men learn faster and receive a true sense of respect if their wives keep their mouths shut and let them work it out with trial and error to discover God’s best. They figure it out. Their way be may different, but is different wrong? (I thought so!) Surely with Bucky if I said it a several different ways, several different times, and at several different loudness levels, he would “get it,” right? Wrong. Who gave me “supervisor status of parking, parenting, and passions? Friend’s learn better, if we refrain from giving advice, listen, ask them what God is doing, and through trial and error, they find God’s best. And now let’s get to our children. I so wanted God’s best to keep my girl’s safe, the first two daughters received long lectures. I’d lost them after the first three minutes. . .but surely more was better, right? Wrong. As a parent, you are far better off, asking them what they think and why. . .responding with a thoughtful, “Thank you for sharing. Let me think about that.” Later, come back with some well-thought out SHORT points, on God’s Best and what that might look like. I totally ignored the concept of 2 ears to listen, one mouth to speak.

As God began to break through, I applied it to friendships first. Definitely, missed first priority. But it is not as it appears. Because my marriage, my mothering carried more weight, more significance it also carried more fear of failure and so that remained well-guarded territory. . .Until I allowed God to be a wife, a mother and a sister. It was not up to me to cover all the “territories.” And just where did I get the idea I could???!

When we can go into relationships expecting mistakes and misunderstandings, in brings grace into the equation. Who here, wants to operate in relationships without grace. 😦 Mistakes and misunderstandings are both opportunities for growth. They are rarely life threatening. You see, now that my speech is becoming more cumbersome to articulate and to be understood, I’m finding, I really don’t have that much to say. I see and experience all the places I would have directed or re-directed or mis-directed and I just observe. Imagine that the people around me are actually surviving and in some cases thriving? I laugh silently at the words that remain in my head, unshared and no one has ignored me yet!  I grieve for the major misuse of the privilege of the spoken word. 😦

So,

Proverbs  18:22 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but ONLY such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

The loss of speech is teaching me profound lessons on the “spoken word.” That includes, what is written. If a word does not speak love, insight or encouragement, God’s Best for me is to sit back and watch what He does. More often than not, my prayers, but not my lovely insights are what is called into play. So here is my “huge” word speaking platform. My “Boogie Board.” (I confess, I already wrote the company and told them, this just would not do, I need a BIG Boogie Board! Seriously, I did! They did answer me with they are considering it! LOL) In the meanwhile, God is teaching me to “conserve” my words in another’s Godly Best Interests.

Boogie Board/Communication Palate

P.S. Look how many words, I used in this post, to write about limiting my words. :O

It’s an on going work in God. . .Be patient with me!

KIngdom Play: Woman’s Conference, 2013: You Are His Masterpiece

Click this link and watch it first (over 42, 222 views): Let it go in “as deep as it will go”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XboTXTcxLY

Photos below, compliments of Allyson Fox and her creative eye. Thank you, Allyson!!!

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Ephesians 2:10

I did not know Kingdom Play could be sooooo goooooood. I look forward to it all year long. And last year, for the first time ever, we started planning this year right after the other one was over. Serving in community with women is so much fun. Making new friends and working side by side in those sweet comfort zones that are established over time is just one of God’s greatest gifts, ever! Waiting and Watching Him build momentum, bring ideas to fruition, and witnessing God show up to transform hearts is incredible.  If you don’t belong to a church, I encourage you to visit and find a church family.

We are made for community. God never meant us to do this life alone. I’ve done it both ways. I’ve done it “alone” without a church community and I’ve done it “companioned” and we are talking two different planets. Godly community makes the difference, well I’ll not mince words. . .Do we want “survival” or do we want “living?”  Abundant life? John 10:10  God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the perfect community. We are the model our lives after their fellowship. (More on that late). My point is, don’t live life alone. Community can get messy, but it so worth “getting in there.”  I would not be “who I am in Christ” without the love, the “Kingdom conversations,” the opportunities to serve (and mess it up) and learn from those a step ahead of me. What a blessing my church family is. . .

Enough of my words. . .I’ve been like a horse at the starting gate, waiting to share a few nuggets from Susie Larson’s Speaking Engagement at our Conference. Susie Larson, is a radio host, author and national speaker. She hosts a daily talk show, “Love the Promise with Susie Larson.  Susie Larson Promo Susie’s website: www.susielarson.com

So Here is Susie in her wit and wisdom from just a few of my notes. . .

“God moves in proportion to His size”

“God is not merely concerned with what we do, but why we do it. A right act may be robbed of all it’s value in the sight of God if it’s done with the wrong resolve.” Arthur Willis

“Most of us run on a deficit when it comes to the love of God.”

“True humility is always linked with identity.”

“The journey you are on is Holy Ground.”

“If only you knew. . .The only thing that can hold you back is your own misbelief.”

“Shine a light, not about saving face, about saving grace.”

“She was looking for a break, God is after a breakthrough.”

From Susie’s new book: Your Beautiful Purpose:

1. Walk in Intimacy

2. Do the next thing He tells you

3.Give Him access to your story/fears

4. He will work a miracle in and through you

Be blessed, family, dear friends and readers unknown. Find life in community. Can’t wait until our next Kingdom Play. . .

Is Your Shell Hard to Crack?

nest victorian image graphicsfairy009c

Image found: graphic fairy.blogspot.com     This  post is dedicated to Kathleen. I’ll always remember the day I was planting flowers outside and she brought an empty bird’s nest to me. It was nestled in her tender, cupped hands, her eyes’s sparkling with delight. It was one of those “last little girl” wonder-filled moments and it marked my heart forever. (The nest above was how my heart perceived the beauty Kathleen shared with me!) It was so special to me, I made that bird’s nest part of our Christmas Tree Traditions.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.  C.S. Lewis

I’m still an egg. I just know it. I want to be a hatchling, but I suspect hatching is a lot of hard work and painful. Tender little bones with nothing but wet fuzz as protection on a tiny fragile body. A hard shell to crack into a new world.

Perhaps, here’s a thought. . .We won’t hatch until there is no longer an option?  It’s gotta be so tight and uncomfortable inside that tiny egg that the cramped space is enough to drive us into anything but where we are. What do you think? We are having a conversation here. . .You are responding in your head/heart in some way 🙂 At the point where there is no other choice, we do what our DNA drives us to do. . .peck our way through into the unknown. The baby bird  knows only the inside of the egg. I doubt the tiny being even knows a bird-like identity. Have you ever seen a baby bird just hatched? Let’s be honest, they are far from cute. Their skin is so thin, it’s translucent and their breathing is so labored, they look like each little heave, is their last. Appearances deceive, and thank goodness that holds for us as well. They don’t know the nest, hunger, momma or daddy bird, the sun, the wind, the rain, or the destiny to fly. Even as humans, What do we “know” of our destiny???

Let’s encourage each other through the shelled transition into our identity in Christ. No sense in pretending, it’s going to be uncomfortable at best. We have an identity to claim. We need to watch each other grow. We need to grow feathers worthy of His flight. We need to watch others fly into the blue skies of His Heavens. All the while, a desire is growing, unseen within us. . .a desire to stretch those wings and try our own lift into the winds of His wonder. Would it motivate us to move through the transition differently, if we knew the edge of the nest and our destiny into the blue skies?

I am thinking of my young daughters, here big time and how it feels to see them perched on the edge of my nest, longing. (It catches my breath!) Watching their older sisters fly the winds of their lives and waiting on their own feathers to hold them and lift them upward. The agony and joy of the launching young ones into the winds of wonder. . .I can’t put words to it right here. . .

The struggle to emerge and grow and then launch into our identities in Christ is a challenging journey into God’s Hands. Talk about  a change in perspective? From tree to sky? Just one short flight around and a bird is never the same again. It’s sky bound from that moment forward. . .For little hatchlings and for our destinies. Sky bound. . .I’ll see you up there, in the blue sky of His creation. Keep your eyes toward the Son, we’ll clear the tree tops and get a whole new perspective.

I’ll end with a quote today I wrote for my wall. . .

Faith in Flight, Wonder in Wind, Horizon in Him. twe

This is a picture of what Miss Sue blessed our walls with today. . .

Tree with Bird's Nest

Bound or Boundless?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7p4coF7Tf4 (Click to view inspiration for his song, “One Day”)

03 One Day by Mark Schultz

This post today is dedicated to my daughter in medical school, Hope. Hope sent me this youtube and this song. I am so deeply touched by her insight and processing, that I feel moved to write a post on it.

We are all bound. We are bound by disappointments, anger, resentment, bitterness, arrogance, pain, betrayal, abuse, loss, fear, broken dreams, stress, pride, numbness, hurt, lost hope. . .the list is endless. All of those are our “physical realm/flesh responses” to our circumstances. . .And it is normal, understandable in the broken world in which we live. I know pain, loss, fear, broken dreams, numbness, lost hope, disappointments. . .circumstances far beyond my control in which I am bound to in the flesh. I stay numb much of the time. I’m just being honest, I could not function daily at the depth of my emotions. Authenticity, even when it takes me outside my comfort zone, empowers my journey for others? Right God? I’m counting on you to show up here?!!! My daughter, Hope reaching out to me broke through that wall of a numb existence into my world bound by ALS, and opened me back up into where the Spirit is and where freedom lives.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

That amazing story Mark shared about the boy in the wheelchair during his concert. . .strikes clearly, wheelchair bound and it strikes clearly on the boundless hope of healing. He will one day run freely into the arms of Christ and the wheelchair will just be a small part of his journey.

We are created, meant, destined for boundless. What a beautiful example that boy is of embracing His boundless destiny from his bound circumstances. I’ll share a personal story with you. . .I am one of private worship. I experience it deeply into my bones, but find it hard to express it outwardly. I’m just reserved.  Well, one sweet opportunity to share part of my journey, I found myself on “stage” with a group of women in an audience posture. (And an audience of ONE! My Lord).  I felt so at home, so embraced and so alive in Him at that moment in ministry. . .And I heard Him say, “How many times have I prompted you to raise your arms up to me and you’ve denied me? The time may come when your arms will not raise high in praise? Will you praise me with abandon now that you still can? Will you lift your arms to me?” I had only worshiped with arms held high in praise one other time. . .At the beach alone, on one of “our walks.” (This is so intimate, I feel it in my toes!) Standing on the sandy shore, with feet washed in saltwater warmth, and face turned toward the close of day. . .My arms went up in to express my gratitude for His beauty there and the calling to His Horizon. Even then, I’ll admit to just “you” that I felt, self-conscious. My heart posture was so sincere, but I was still bound by awareness of “me” and anyone that might be watching “me.” We are interesting creatures, aren’t we?

This time on stage was completely different, My arms felt feather light and up they went, in what felt like “reckless abandon” to my love and praise for my precious Lord. Bound by ALS, had given me freedom in boundless praise and worship. Everything about that moment felt so right and I felt the Lord’s delight with my response. To many of you, it seems small. But for me, it was a moment to embrace freedom in praise and swwwweeeeeet adoration of our Lord.

I feel so proud of this young man, we will never know. Mark wrote a song for him it so moved his heart to tears in concert. He sets an example for all of us, in the circumstances that have us bound to our “flesh” responses when we are called into the Spirit of the Lord, to know freedom. I hope and pray. . .

Dear Lord, we are bound in ourselves but boundless in the Spirit of Who you are. . .without you we have no hope of finding freedom. In you, through you and with the Spirit of Who you are, we can experience freedom, despite our circumstances. We take everything to which we are bound and bind it at the foot of  Your Cross. Your Son came to set us, the captives free from fear, despair, bitterness, loss and pain into the Freedom of Your Truth, Light and Love. May each and every one that reads this, feel the call to freedom in You. May each and every one that reads this respond to Your call to freedom. May each and every one that reads this experience, beyond the circumstance that binds, a new freedom in YOU. Amen

I’m going to challenge you, look into the mirror today and say, “I am set free in my Jesus.” Say it like you know it to be True with confidence that reaches beyond your circumstance. I’ll not ask you to do anything, I won’t do. . .so it is my challenge today also. It will not be easy. I do not like looking in a mirror at myself in a wheelchair. (This cannot be my life?!) It will not be easy for you,  if you allow yourself, to see into the things of the flesh to which you are bound.

To which we are bound, is not “pretty” but to which we are boundless is beyond beauty.

At this moment, as I write to you, my friend and artist, Sue Hodges is inscribing His Truth on my bedroom wall to remind me of The Life of His Spirit in me and my freedom to experience it.

Sue Hodges, Paints

 

Birthday Dedication: Char Mama

03 Happy Birthday

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We love you Char Mama!!! 🙂  This is a song to dance, to.. .I expect to see you dancing in your favorite apron!!!

We appreciate the privilege of calling you sister and part of our family! What would Toby or our family do without you?

You are a gift of humor, devotion, recipes and support!

Blessings and God’s goodness for another year in His Glories! Amen