You Can Dance

One of the things I’m learning as I walk out this journey is that I am really not alone.  Oh, I feel alone a lot of the time, but I’m really not.

When I am struggling, in the thousands that make up my church, others are struggling too.  When I am fearful, in the people that make up the staff of my church, there are those who are fearful too.  When I am sad, defeated, broken by pride and shame, my family is sad, defeated, broken too.

And when I don’t know what God is saying, where He is leading me, others are questioning too.

Yesterday, I heard one of our great leaders express this.  We know something is coming.  We know God has great plans for us, individually and corporately.  We just aren’t seeing it.  God isn’t answering our questions right now.

So what do we do?

Admittedly, I tend to start answering my own questions.  “I should do this or that.”  I get angry at the vacuum, depressed because I am unseen.  I build walls and protect.

God suggested a new tactic as I talked this over with Him.

“You can dance.”

It would be easy for me to tell you what that means.  But I think it really means different things for different people.  So rather than explain myself.

I’m just going to dance.

Love you guys!

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You Won’t Let Go

I have felt so, incredibly sad lately.

And then today….

Sometimes, when you come off a good day, it can be such a let down that you lose sight of what is real.  I love our youth group, our youth pastor, our youth worship team.  And when I get home, I am practically buzzing.

I want to stay in that moment.  Those times when God is close and what is right seems possible.

But, I don’t.

I go to work in the morning and face the fight.

Today was tough.  I feel such a burden for the people around me and yet feel inadequate to reach them.  One of them has taken it upon himself to turn me away from God, wanting me to join in sex talk, rude gestures, a changed mind.  Today, he told me that he sees me as a homosexual.

I told him I see him as a Christian and accepted his challenge.  Whoever caves to the will of the other loses.

The voices in my head started in.  How I’ll lose.  How foolish I am.  How stupid.

And then God rose up.

I don’t want you to think I’m brave.  I’m not.  I don’t want you to think I’m amazing.  I’m not.

But when God rose up inside me.  I sang out.

“Even in the battle you are with me, I will not be broken in the fight.  You will go before me and behind me.  You’ll never let me go.  You’ll never let me go.” (Cory Asbury – You Won’t Let Me Go)

That’s the reality.  That’s what is true.  I will fight for the heart of this friend.

And let all hell tremble!

 

Daddy, it hurts

I remember when we first learned that my brother had died.  

It felt like this.

I lost somebody special today.  Forever, the world is marred.  Forever darkened.

Oh, when he was here, he sure brightened it.  The memories I carry are of fun and laughter, craziness, brotherhood.

When my brother died, I knew so little.  I was in shock, couldn’t even cry for a long time.  I’m not sure I understand much more today, and I keep crying.

When my brother died, I felt so far from him, so unable to help, wishing there was something I could have said, something I could’ve done.  Not very realistic, it had been awhile since our last meaningful conversation.  And our control over circumstances is limited, no matter what we think or say.

But, for both of them, I would want them to know they were loved, that they are still loved, will always be loved.  I would want them to know that, despite their humanity, we were proud to have known them, honored to walk with them.

So daddy, your people are hurting right now.  King and Lord, we don’t know why and can’t breathe because of how sad this feels.

Can we lean on you right now?  Could you carry us a while?

Laish

Of the tribes of Israel, there is none that leaves a blacker mark than the tribe of Dan.  Interesting that the name means “Judge” but I’ll leave that for another post.

Israel was sent into the promised land to clear out the inhabitants because of the evil they were doing.  Sexual immorality, greed, child sacrifice being high on the list of their offenses.  But there appears to be one notable exception, the town of Laish.

I don’t know much about them, their practices, their religion.  The bible tells us that they were quiet and secure, and had wealth.  It would seem that, from the narrative, that they were to be left alone.  But to Dan, a tribe that had forsaken God, they were a gold mine.

We know that Dan had not “come into their inheritance” yet.  Seems an innocuous statement but it reveals a complacency, a lack of faith.  Israel had been told to go in and possess the land.  They had been there many, many years at this point.  And yet Dan still didn’t have their inheritance.  It can be surmised that this was due to their lack of faith.  The area that was allotted them was “too difficult,” so they went looking for another.  They wanted an easier prize.

Our struggles with addiction, our anger with God over “not coming through” smell a lot like the tribe of Dan.  And the evil, the sad horror of the sins we commit as we take the “path of least resistance” mar the name of Jesus and separate us further from His will.

What seems impossible to you?  What exhausts you just in thinking about it?  What feels so overwhelming that you can’t bear the weight of it?  Know that you have a choice.  Know that you want what only God can handle.  And know that, everyday, innocents die when we choose to not step out in faith.

It may sound like I’m condemning.  To my shame, I spent 40 years addicted to pornography.

This is a battle cry!  Fight!  Go save them!  Stand up!  Live!  That is the life of faith.