I Stand Up Front

We were brand new to the church.  None of us knew anybody, none of us had ever been inside before.

“Where do we sit?” Came the whispered question.

I don’t know what possessed me, what inspired me, but it was life-defining.  In the second that passed between the question and my answer, I made a decision.  I would never be one to sit in the back.  I did not ever want to be one that let others be the example while I played at church.  I would be one to let people see, I meander really see me.

There has never been a thing of pride in it.  I already knew my addictions, my failures, my issues.  I was not standing up front so that people would see my attempts at perfection.  I only knew that I was going to be fully invested in the one who died to save me.

Since that time, I have not stood up front on many occasions.  The shame of who I am, the mistakes I’ve made, takes its toll.  I have desired a place where no one would ever see me again.

Ah, but my King, my glorious one, He calls me out.  He stands with a hand outstretched, beckoning.  “Join me, live the adventure.”

So once again, I stand up.  I move to the front where I am undistracted by the eyes that might see me, the ears that might hear me.  I am focused on the one I came to meet with, the one I came to worship.  

And maybe, just maybe, someone will see a slightly chubby, old man, and they’ll think about how silly I look, how lame my dancing is.  They’ll listen for ever every off-key note I hit.

Or, they’ll not see me at all.  They’ll sense the Spirit I invite, the Spirit we all invite, and they will be set free.

No Victory Here

Anyone who follows me, do you find yourself wondering if I messed up . . .

Again. . .

Doesn’t bother me.  I would be thinking the same thing.  Knowing what I know about humanity and our capacity for making huge claims and blowing it.  Knowing what I know about myself, my utter stupidity and huge rebellious streak.

My enemy, our enemy, knows our weaknesses too.  He sees my failures over the years.  He reminds me of them daily.  He points out my flaws, my shortcomings, my shame.

But I have a King.  How amazing to know that I have a King, a Hero,  a Savior that has chosen to twist my life into the threads and fabric of His kingdom.

His name is Jesus.  THE Prince of Peace!  THE GREAT I AM!

My freedom, my life, my victory is already secured.

The idea that I can be defeated.  The belief that, because of me, I will be a failure.  The hope that satan and his hosts cling to, that I will fall.

No.

You will have no victory here.

http://youtu.be/nZiiW2tLxEU

A Fatal Beauty

I love the song by Jared Anderson called “Beauty of the Lord”.  To think of my God in the terms of a lover, to see my King as the one I want to hold me forever, to have my breath taken away by His presence, His love, are things that I want to have inside me.

But be warned my friends, His is a fatal beauty.  His beauty has, at its center, the cross of Golgotha.  His admonishment in Matthew 16:24 is not a clever play on words.  If we want to love Him and follow Him, we must take up our cross daily.  Isn’t it strange that to live in victory we must accept the cross.

A fatal beauty is someone who is so beautiful that it will break your heart.  It is someone who will cause wars to be fought, alliances to be broken, acts of chivalry and courage to rise up.  It is a beauty that should consume our thoughts, our lives.  The love that was poured out when Jesus came as a baby, took on humanity, lived with us, spoke to us, died for us, captures a beauty that goes beyond the physical.  But it is no less fatal.

My God, Your beauty is beyond what I can understand or describe in song, in poetry.  I long for the words to tell You what You mean to me but I get lost in repetitions, in cliches.

The only thing more amazing to me is the fact that in me, in us, in Your bride, You saw a fatal beauty too.

I Need A Miracle

I would love to write something poetic, deep, amazing to go with this title. The reality is, I need a miracle. Comforting cliches and perky platitudes will not pay my bills. The humility that I feel at not being able to provide will not be diminished by calming words. The voices whispering, “you’re such a loser,” will not be silenced by spiritual nonsense. I need a miracle.

I need You, God.

I got another rejection notice this morning. This one informing me that I had already applied to this position and the role that they have had listed for over a year is better left empty than filled with me. And yes, I have stooped to begging. Flippin’ burgers is looking good right about now.

Desperate times….

In the midst of my need, I remember again, I have no greater resource than my God. If i am desperate, let me pour that desperation out on You, my King.

“My God will supply…according to His glorious riches…”

Strangest Thing

I left this morning taking my usual route to work.  As I came to an intersection where I needed to turn right, I found myself behind one car and a snow plow.  When the light turned green, the snow plow started to go and then stopped.  He waited for us to go around him and then continued on his way.  I thought, “why when you have the power to clear the path, an engine and traction that make it so that you will not get stuck, do you wait for two little cars to go around you?”

Then it hit me.

I want to write words of encouragement, words of hope and challenge to those who worship our Lord and Savior, my Jesus, my King.  And though you may not feel like it, you are the ones with the power, the spiritual traction to clear the path for others to see Him.  Don’t wait for them to go around, don’t let them lead you.  From the Old Testament and the New, there is a pretty clear directive for us to lead the way, to set the precedents.

I heard Him speaking to me once again.  The gauntlet was thrown down, the flag was raised.  I welcome it.  Let me follow You my Lord.  Let me stand in Your strength.