February 26, 2006


How could one possibly describe the freshness of this moment in time. For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the change has come. The spiritual atmosphere has changed and it is like walking out of the fog or mist into clear sunlight. It is quite wonderful, there is room to breath, it is a place to grow.
In the past week I have been totally captivated by something in Hosea 3 (which is a pretty short chapter if anyone wants to read it and is short on time!). In the midst of the story of the prophet and his adulterous wife, God speaks to Hosea and says that he is to go and show love to his wife again, even though she is having an affair. Hosea is instructed to love her as God loves the Israelites - his own people which includes us because of Jesus!
Isnt this the most incredible picture of AMAZING LOVE? How would you or I respond to a call like that? I figure we would come up with 101 excuses why this couldnt possibly be God speaking and we shouldnt have to do it! And yet, it gives us a true picture of the prophetic life - the life that goes beyond speaking a word of knowledge or wisdom, into a place of obedience in order that God might have his heart revealed by action walked out before a disbelieving world.
Why would Hosea (or you or I) have to do this - the key is in the final verse 4 of this chapter.
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. THEY WILL COME TREMBLING TO THE LORD AND TO HIS BLESSINGS IN THE LAST DAYS.
When we are unworthy, hard of heart, dull of hearing, cannot see anything except the world around us, He loves and pursues us. The image of this, lived out of our weakness and insignificance, paints a picture that cannot be denied. In the days ahead, the outworking of God's love through our lives will cause many around us to turn, and come trembling to the Lord and receive His blessings.
In the simplest outworking of our lives, when we are able to bask in this love and move out of it in obedience, something of God himself will be reflected to the world around us. If we remain in Him, and He in us, we will bear fruit without even trying! What an incredibly encouraging thought.

February 13, 2006


I sensed the preciousness of losing and the need to dig into this and explore it with my heart. Here comes the next bit. We are encouraged to "remain". What does the dictionary say about remaining, apart from the obvious one we all know that means to stay in the same place? Well isnt it wonderful....it also means that when everything else has been subtracted or taken away there is something that will "remain"!!
In John 15 one of the instructions Jesus gives is to "remain in Me and I will remain in you." This gives a whole new meaning to standing on the rock, it is the one place that we can ALWAYS stay and nothing else can be taken away - I am beginning to get excited about this place which appears to be loss but is in fact the place of greatest gain.
Like the ads say...but wait, there's more...! Even if you miss out on the free knives and two items for one price, this is better than that.
Jesus says that if we remain in Him we will BEAR FRUIT. I can hardly bear it...this place of loss and nothingness, when filled with Him and His life, becomes a fruitful place, so something good that reproduces itself is going to come forth.
We are so limited in our human understanding, and if we stay in that place, relying on what we know and understand, we will never have these wonderful truths to get excited about. In the eyes of the world it is a total disaster to lose things and have what we own or love stripped away, but in the values of the Kingdom of Heaven it is the very place where it all starts to happen. These are the eternal values we are searching for, the very things that set us free and help us to be 'in this world but not of it' in the most active and amazing way.
Let's not be afraid to open our hands and our hearts, holding tightly to nothing except the ONE who has our life in His hands and will never let us go. Let us begin to REMAIN, in other words, to ABIDE in Him, and then all the amazing things promised to us in Psalm 91 begin to flow as never before. Wow, I am so overwhelmed with joy.

February 06, 2006


Is it just possible that we win the most when we also lose the most? I am asking the question as all around there seems to be loss of one kind or another. Where is God in this? Where am I in this? Where does it lead, what will be the end of it all?
We cannot afford to see loss as an end or we can no longer profess to be followers of the One who gave all in love. So, here is the challenge, if I am truly one who follows Christ, and if I truly mean what I pray when I ask to be like Him, to truly have fellowship with who He is - will I not have to face and overcome many of the same things, but always in the knowledge that He has been here before me and is able to lead me through. I am reminded that His promise is not to lead me out of my trials, but to give me the strength to go through them.
The death of Jesus Christ was also the birth of the church, His Bride for whom He will return.
Will the death of much that seems life to me now really be the beginning of what is eternal and far more worthwhile?
Any of you reading this are welcome to comment, I wonder how you see and deal with the loss of things that seem so important in the moment.
The great apostle Paul speaks of knowing Jesus crucified and having fellowship in His sufferings and thereby attaining to something more important and eternal.
Is eternity truly set in our hearts or are we fighting to hold on to the things that really belong to this world?
What a lot of questions, but right now as one thing after another gets stripped away from my life I have to decide how to look at that.
My belief is that nothing happens in my life except that God knows about it as He has known about all of my life. Therefore I can TOTALLY trust that if things are being moved away or aside there is some great and divine purpose in it. My challenge is do I have a heart that is sufficiently IN HIM to open my heart and hands and continue to say here I am, do with me as You will, and to trust that even in the place of bleeding and pain, there is a future that is good and full of hope.
This is a place of amazing personal challenge, a chance to find out if I can practice what I preach, and I pray that He will give me the strength, faith and hope that I need to sail through it and not fall out of the boat, and to make landfall in a place of promise.