Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thought #34

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the pupose of the Lord that
will stand.
- Proverbs 19: 21

Rainy morning. Cobweb cherry trees. Time traipsing. Tallies for waterdrops giving drink to a world below. Partially passing like puzzlepiece-moments collecting for life and donating all tithes to tomorrow.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I'm cool with that ignorance. I plan so many things. I used to want to be a baseball player; I think I still want that. And there was definitely that wanting to be a policeman infatuation, but more like an old country western sheriff with my trusty six shooter at my side keeping a future ghost town safe. And now I want to be a writer, an artist, a 21st Century Frost or Kerouac writing contemporary Moby Dick's, Dover Beach's and searching for God like Pilgrim. I want to be an ex-pat living in London, a lover, a father, a hero and a Stranger Knight. But these wants, these plans are tiny in comparison to God's way.

These are only my thoughts and they barely register as even a section of my thoughts. That's all. They're not grand plans even though they may seem like it. I mean, how do I get to London on $78? And how will my writing actually evolve into something remotely as historical as Shakespeare?

But then I drive down 3A to White Horse on the first true summer evening of the season and am reminded of the life I'm given. The Lord is my way. And His puposes are exterior to Himself. They overflow onto us like we're captured in the vastness of a sunset.

I may not understand what tomorrow actually is, but I'm cool with that because, no matter what, God's purpose will stand.

Relax. Enjoy. Live.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thought #33

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of
his pasture.
- Psalm 100: 3

I'm not sure what kind of life you have.  But I know that life can seem like hell at certain points.  Like all you want to do is walk out behind School Street and sit up on Burial Hill.  And when you climb the steps in those moments each step is its own Everest.  Somehow you still move on.  Then when you're at the top of that desolate place you sit on a lonely bench.  Stare out at the ocean with trees shadowing the way.  And you catch glimpses of the wind passing by.  And the world is a wash in that moment.  But everything still exists like hell flooded in.

You sit and cling to your Bible.  You don't even open it.  That's not necessary.  You cling on to the only thing you know to be true - "That the Lord, he is God!"  Even that thought doesn't pass your mind.  Because you're too consumed in all the happenings.  You're rushed out of the life you knew.  To go.  Leave.

But how do you move on?  How do you truly leave what you've loved for the last four years?  What you've poured your heart and soul into?  How do you just pack up camp in an instant and leave?

Well, you don't.

But you sit on that bench with one thought on your mind - "It is he who made us, and we are his."  Because no matter what happens in life there's always that one constant.  There's always God.

And you should know that.  You should know that where ever you are in life at this very moment, God is God.  You should know that He is your God.  And more importantly, you should know that you are His.  No matter what, you are a part of the world God created - you are "the sheep of his pasture."

Headaches and tears.  Torn from love and thrown to thorns among roses on graves and graves against skies - the horizon's melting into waves.  Far beyond all the fog and under the clouds lies the life you want, but the only way to get there is through the waves weathering storms.  Colliding worlds.  Falling stars.  Wishes washing overboard.

God is God.  And God is still there.  Celestial collisions among natural man.  You are His.  Wandering among pastures with one single piece of knowledge - the Lord is God.

Leave.  Sit.  Know.  God.

(Is with you.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thought #32

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is
- Proverbs 18: 10

"The name of the Lord" - His name. It's so simple. It's so simple to get to that strong tower, that place of safety, that simply being with the Lord.

So the day is gray. It is overcast. And it is cold in May. It is everything that it shouldn't be. Or, at least, it looks that way. Do you know those days? When it all feels so-so wrong? When nothing seems clear? The air plagued by screaming sirens and another person's getting dragged to the hospital? When you sit for hours just staring out the window not thinking, silent and lost?

See, this whole thing is silly. I mean, why do we unknowingly allow life to be bothersome? "The name of the Lord is a strong tower." That means we just need to call on His name. That's all. There's no reason we need to allow this illness to remain in our bodies. Because, you know on these days nothing tastes good, nothing satisfies you like somehow it is poison that is not lethal, but it makes you hurt and hurt and clench your stomach all the more tighter.

But come on, we have a God who's name is a strong tower. All it takes is one breath. One word. One measly little prayer or something of that nature. Maybe you don't have enough strength to even vocally cry out to God; your heart's been doing that for hours now.

So find comfort in the knowledge that the Lord's name is a safe haven.

And be at ease with your experience of the Lord's name covering your life.

Please ask yourself who the Lord is to you. Find His name. And run to safety.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thought #31

Exalt the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy.
- Psalm 99: 9

Do you know the Lord our God is holy?

Petalled trees.  Blue skies.  And the world viewed through painted glass like waves.  Pinks.  Greens.  And whites.  Flowers like tumbleweeds skipping down the street.  Let it catch your eye.  Let it bring you back to the beginnings.  Back to the basics.  Back to when you first believed in God.

And remember your awe.  

Remember your confusion.  

Remember all your questions.  

Because how is God actually God?  And how can we actually conceptualize the Lord when we ask the question, "Who is He?"

This is not a trick.  Trust me, there are no deceptive undertones to these remembrances.  It's just a pure raw understanding of God.  It's that moment when you look up into a starry night and have nothing to say; you can't find the words, or maybe they do not even exist.  Because we fail at truly conceptualizing God for God.  And there is no hurt in that.  There's no wrong in our thinking of who the Lord is.  It's just that we can't fathom His holiness.  So all we can say is that He is holy.  

But then where do we start?  How do we begin to even describe what is holy?

Maybe we don't.  For isn't that the true test of faith?  Isn't believing in this Almighty Being without grazing the surface of what we actually believe in, the notion behind belief?  Belief in the unknown.  Blind faith as it goes.

Well, be blinded today.  For the Lord our God is holy.

Fathom the unfathomable.  

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thought #30

Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an alter to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.
- Genesis 35: 3

Where is that place for you, that House of God (Bethel)?  Figure that out and you'll be alright.  I'm telling you, everything will be alright.  You'll get through this  You'll make it.  It's not always a matter of perseverance.  You're allowed to stop some times.  You don't have to keep going at the same pace; you don't want to burn out.  But I'm telling you, it's okay.  Things are changing.

Find that place.  

Find that home.  

Find God.  

And then come to realize that the Lord has been there the whole time. Know that He answers you in your time of distress.  Know that He has been with you wherever you have gone.

So bring yourself before your Maker.  Go there, to the Almighty.  It's not one specific place.  It's where God dwells.  It's where you first noticed Him.

And then bring everything to a God who shows His steadfast love.  Build yourself an alter.  And give an offering.  Give what you can.  If that is nothing but yourself, then give it.  If that is everything that comprises your world, then give it all.  But arise and go up to the House of God.  Do what is necessary.  And do it because here is a God who answers you, who is with you - from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2).

Know that whatever you do and wherever you go in life, God will be there.  But know also that you need to bring yourself to your God.

(You will make it through.  No worries.)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thought #29

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
- Psalm 97: 6

It's about going back to where you came form. About finding that place of comfort where everything feels right. Where nothing's bothersome. A place where everything seemingly magically disappears. Because sometimes we need those retreats.

Then it's all about finding life again. About relaxing, enjoying life for what it is. And realizing that God is there the whole time.

It's no mystery that God is ever-present in your life. He reveals Himself everyday. No, it's not by any cleverness, or anything resembling some sort of treasure hunt, or by any Hide and Seek fashion.

It is simple.

It is pure.

It is real.

And it is a constant continuing revelation minute-by-minute-by-every-possible-moment-to-life. And it is all around. In the way the trees bloom come May. In all the rains that just passed. In the corona of a setting sky. In the way the air playfully rings around your body.

God is in the whole of the world.

It's about doing whatever you have to, or the purposeful lack thereof, to notice your God.

That's all. Nothing fancy.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thought #28

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his 
bring an offering, and come into his 
- Psalm 96: 8

She said it was bright and sunny over there.  Sandal weather.  And she said that I sounded so far away especially when I told her it was raining.  "But the rain is a good thing," she said.

So much of this world is different even in the same moment.  Even clock hands point different ways, but the conversation could be happening at the same time.  What I'm trying to say is our God is not a God of the "same."  Not one who prefers routine.  Or schedules.  Or life copied and duplicated as if no beauty existed at all.  As if nothing grew wild.  The world tamed.  Put in a cage somewhere in some laboratory like God got bored, made an assembly line and re-lived the same exact moment over and over again.

We all know that we're different, right?  That we don't want to be just some number living some Orwellian fantasy?  Maybe we acknowledge this blue-eyed v. brown-eyed fact, and maybe it's that we don't live it.  That we don't truly comprehend the fact that we are unique.

I mean, we say we're different, but then at Church it's like we're all the same.  We sing the same words, we recite the same prayers, we act accordingly with the Christian culture.  We agree with the same statements like abortion is murder, homosexuality is an abomination, thou shall not become drunk, and then go preach the Word unto all the world.  And all I'm saying is do we understand these ideologies or are we just in agreement with our pastor's sermon because being the same is the easy thing to do.

I'm not saying that being of one accord is wrong because it's not (Acts 2:44).  It's just we need to know our God for ourself.  We need to "bring an offering."  We need to bring ourself - different.  Unique.  

So when you come before God, know yourself.  Know your God for who He is.  Then know you for who He created you to be.  And bring your own offering.

She told me she was going out tonight.  And I said, "I'm going out now, but I just woke up."  

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thought #27

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our
- Psalm 95: 6

It's not time for church; it's not Sunday.  Routine is so bland.  Don't think of Sunday as being the only day you're allowed to meet with God.  You know those 10 o'clock services where if you don't get your Dunkin' Donuts 32 oz iced vanilla Dunkachino-type-drink with heart spiking amounts of caffeine, you will not stay awake.  Not to mention, those comfortable chairs in the sanctuary don't help your cause.

Isn't it the sanctuary we're really talking about?  A place to come before God? to worship? and bow down?  You know, that tangible architectural structure?

So look around you.  Be woken by the song birds singing in the morning.  Let the dawn infiltrate your bedroom.  Go on with your day.  Look at the rays of light breaking the mountains of clouds.  Of all the same.  Of similar colors.  White.  Trace the paths of the breeze as it caresses you.  Catch the light, glowing soft amber hues, as you look at your beloved out of the corner of your eye.  Summer sweetness.  Perfect bliss.

This is a natural sanctuary you experience every day.  Every single day you are consumed, captured, locked by simply breathing air into your lungs; you are caught in God's sanctuary without realization of where each step takes you - closer to your Maker.  It's not like you're walking closer to the grave, but you are finding life among the true sanctuary of Creation.  You are in church.

See, it's not a matter of going to church because church is all around you.  It's the action you take that makes church.  It's your decision to worship.  Your decision to bow down.  And your decision to kneel before the Lord (with others).

So whatever you decide today, know there are no boundaries with God.  He is met anywhere and everywhere.

Today is a sanctuary.