EXPIRED

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Some things just need to be thrown out. They get worn out or become dysfunctional because of age and excessive use. Some things like foods, lose their flavor, nutritional value and mold or decay when past their expiration date. The only thing to do is trash them.

I am an incessant keeper who has difficulty throwing things away. . . perhaps you can relate??? Last week I found a half used bottle of lemon juice which expired 4 years ago. But you know, those food expiration dates are really just an expert marketing ploy, a mere suggestion that induces us to throw good food away so we can go and buy more. Right?? OK –  so I threw the aged lemon juice down the drain😦 I still have clothes worn during  college; why throw it away or pass on to Goodwill if it still fits and has a classic cut?  An overflowing closet would be the answer to that question!

The problem is, my life seems to be filling up with things I resist throwing away which  then require tending to or dysfunctional accommodations. The fridge fills up and storing fresh foods is hampered because of the nearly empty old bottles of salad dressing or condiments filling up the limited space. Clothes pile up and finding what’s needed becomes a treasure hunt through the accumulated backlog. But lately, this accumulation of things has been getting in the way and I have come to see it as more than my own way of being thrifty. It bothers me that I have to take care of all this stuff. Perhaps this accumulation of excess is really debris which needs to be trashed to simplify my life and enjoy what I have instead of tending to it?

So God, what is the revelation in all of this? Is there something in particular you are saying to me?

THINGS WHICH WERE MEANT TO BE A GIFT CAN TUN INTO A BURDEN WHICH DOES NOTHING BUT ENSLAVE YOU TO THEIR CARE AND KEEPING. YOU NEED LESS THAN YOU MIGHT THINK TO ENJOY LIFE AND THE FREEDOM I INTENDED FOR YOU. THE SAME IS TRUE OF RELATIONSHIPS. DO NOT CONTINUE TO BEAR THE WEIGHT OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE NOT MUTUALLY GIVING AND RECEIVING. NOT EVERYONE HAS TO BE YOUR FRIEND. INVEST IN THOSE RELATIONSHIPS WHICH ARE LIFE GIVING WHILE CONTINUING TO CARE FOR THOSE ON THE MARGINS. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME. I AM NOT EXHORTING YOU TO TRASH RELATIONSHIPS BUT DO BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT INVESTING IN THOSE I SEND YOUR WAY AND RELEASING THE RESPONSIBILITY AND WEIGHT OF THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE CONNECTED TO BY YOUR FLESH (needs or dysfunction) INSTEAD OF MY SPIRIT. THIS IS NOT HARSH BUT ACTUALLY LOVING FOR TRUTH SETS THE CAPTIVES FREE.

 

 

Out There . . .

When you walk with me, you are a crowd.

It’s been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog site. After having a raft of people comment on some of my posts, I was struck by the gravity of having people actually read what you write. There are so many risks involved in terms of misinterpretation and attributing to the author things never intended. I guess that is a risk You have taken big time in putting out there that ancient document we call the Bible.

YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THAT!

So how do you deal with such risk?

ANY INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP INVOLVES RISK. IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY. BUT WHAT YOU HOPE IS THAT ANY MISUNDERSTANDING WILL LEAD TO MORE INTERPERSONAL INTERACTION WHICH WILL CLEAR UP THE MISUNDERSTANDING.

Well. that sounds simple enough. The only problem is that many times the misunderstanding leads to less interaction and a stand-off as people become entrenched in their own particular viewpoint and interpretation which you (the author) may not ever had in mind when you wrote something. It has become a problem, even more so in this texting, emailing, media fury we live in.

LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY REGARDLESS OF THE DISCOMFORT OR TENSION INVOLVED. REMEMBER, YOU WERE MADE FOR RELATIONSHIPS. SOME PEOPLE PUSH WHEN THEY SHOULD OPEN WIDE THEIR ARMS TO RECIEVE. DO NOT LET THOSE WHO PUSH CAUSE YOU TO PUSH BACK. BE THE LOVER I HAVE CREATED YOU TO BE. OPEN YOUR MOUTH TO BLESS AND YOUR ARMS TO GIVE AND RECEIVE LOVE. YOU CAN DO IT. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Thanks for the encouragement. I needed that. It is scary sometimes to be so out there.

WOULD I SEND YOU OUT ALONE? WOULD I LEAVE YOU STRANDED?  REMEMBER THE VERSE YOU THOUGHT SO AMUSING THIS MORNING… “THE YOUTH AND THE ANGEL LEFT THE HOUSE TOGETHER; THE DOG FOLLOWED… AND ACCOMPANIED THEM” (Tobit 6.1 REB). YOU ARE A CROWD WHEN YOU WALK WITH ME.

You are so funny.Thank you for making me smile. . . again. I love you.

Carried Into Heaven

Today we remember the day Jesus returned to heaven, traditionally called Ascension Day. In the account left by Luke, who was not present at the time but interviewed those who were, we are told:

 “. . .  while He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the Temple blessing God.”

Lord, I am struck by a number of things in the description of this event. First, you left as you were blessing. Secondly, the ones you left were filled with joy and then, they in turn blessed God. What an oxymoron – that in such a time of loss they were joy-filled and blessed. It all began with you blessing in leaving. I wonder what you said? Oh, “Repentance and forgiveness of sin should be proclaimed…” That would definitely be good news to those who do not yet know.

Like you child, I prefer this image to those showing me looking upward in my departure. It was indeed a grand reunion of sorts when I returned to heaven but I was not anxious to leave. It was part of the plan and Holy Spirit was to come in my place to be with you. I was happy to be returning but not anxious to leave. My heart is still with you but I have also carried you with me into heavenly places. Remember, you are sitting with me as I have drawn all who trust in my provision into the place I am (Ephesians 2.6).

Amazing! You are amazing. Like those who saw you rise, I am amazed and worship you, filled with joy because of who you are and what you have done. And humbled, that you have carried us, carried me into heaven, that we can approach God. Thank you for this wonderous thing you have done, Father, Son and Holy Spirit –  seated us in heavenly places with you yet, here with us by your Spirit, enabling us to live a life that has been resurrected from the dust of death. Let the songs of rejoicing hearts be forever heard. For we too, have Ascended in You.

I can hear the music – it is sweet to my ears. Let the sound of singing be heard in the land for the hope of Spring rises eternal in the life I have for you. Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. I will carry you, giving you life from the never-ending spring, the Fountain of Life.

Holding Hands

Holding hands is one of the first things we do in life …  a symbol of how we are meant for relationships…

Thank You that You made us for relationships.

IT IS TRUE. YOU WERE MADE FOR RELATIONSHIPS, TO SUPPORT AND GROW WITH OTHERS. BUT, THERE IS ANOTHER DIMENSION OF RELATIONSHIP TO CONSIDER – YOU ALSO KNOW YOURSELF, DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER. HOW DO YOU KNOW COLD UNLESS YOU KNOW HOT? HOW DO YOU RECOGNIZE  SOFT UNLESS YOU HAVE KNOWN HARD?

Like, what would a waterfall be without the hard silent rocks over which the singing water flows?

YES! OR SEE THE BEAUTY OF A SOFT, DELICATE FERN JUXTAPOSED AGAINST THE DARK, COURSE, HARD TRUNK OF THE TREE IN WHOSE SHADE IT GROWS. EACH HIGHLIGHTS THE BEAUTY OF THE OTHER IN RELATIONSHIP. EACH NEEDS THE OTHER. ONE SEES SELF AND OTHER MORE CLEARLY IN THE LIGHT OF DIFFERENCES. 

Amazing. Yet we need Your eyes and Your grace to see in this way for we are so self focused and self-centered.

TRUE AGAIN.  FIRST AND FOREMOST YOU WERE MADE FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH ME. WHEN YOU LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE YOUR BEING IN ME, WHEN YOU REST IN THE PRESENCE OF I AM, YOU WILL SEE OTHER IN LIGHT OF MY LOVE AND GRACE. IT WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. IN THE MIRROR OF MY LOVE YOU WILL KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHOSE YOU ARE; HERE WITH ME  YOU WILL FIND NEW SIGHT AND PEACE ENOUGH TO PASS IT ON. PEACE FOR ALL OF YOUS.

Only You… Profound and humorous at the same time!

I LIKE TO SEE YOU SMILE! HOLD MY HAND. I WON’T LET GO.  HOLD SOMEONE ELSE’S HAND. WE WILL WALK THIS ADVENTURE TOGETHER.

A cup of coffee in my hand…

Last week I walked in my office, closed the door, shut off the lights and sat down on the floor with my back against the wall and a cup of coffee in my hand…I was going try pray a lil’ bit and talk to the Lord…but was nudged to stop and just BE QUIET…

 I suddenly began softly weeping…as if my SOUL was crying out saying …

…“HELP…I AM HOMESICK FOR INTIMACY…PLEASE… , TAKE ME THERE!

Then it occurred to me that I talk a lot about “intimacy’…but seldom do I actually understand, enjoy and experience how deep that “intimacy” can actually be and grow…true intimacy with our living and loving God.

I don’t know how deep the well is unless I keep DRILLING…drilling DEEP…

…my SOUL was thirsting for “true living water”…and it spoke clearly to me in the language of tears…

Michael

 PS…I forgot the 10 minute address … so feel free to send this on!