Tag Archives: strength

The Ancient Paths

Just as impurities should be removed from the original metals during the process of making an alloy to increase the strength and durability of the alloy (the new metal), our impurities should be cleansed and removed before He melts our hearts into one new heart through marriage.

If our hearts are full of impurities, then how can we ever hope for our new heart to be strong.  These impurities will cause our new heart to be brittle, weak, and easily damaged requiring constant attention and surgical repair.

Sweet Lord, we have neglected the need to seek cleansing and purification through reflection, prayer, fasting and confession before the many celebrations of our lives, but most of all before our marriages.  We have turned the time of engagement and preparation into yet another party rather a time of reflection, prayer and a time to seek You.  Please forgive us and help us seek the ancient paths, where the good way lies.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord:  Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

Our powerful tears…

So many believe our tears are a sign of weakness, because they don’t know Your secret sweet Lord.  They don’t understand that in the moments of our tears, we are powerful as You fill us with Your Holy Spirit and He fills us with Your strength!

Lord,  thank you for all of the tears that flow so freely from my eyes in moments of both joy and sorrow. I feel so close to You in these extreme and powerful moments of my life and I long to fill these moments with gratitude and prayer.

Please soften our hard hearts sweet Lord, and release the flood gates of the tears that so many hold back in fear of what the world believes.

Praying for Judas…

I love the song The Hammer Holds by Bebo Norman.

When I first heard this song about a year ago I thought of Judas Iscariot.  I thought of the love he must have felt for Jesus when he first met Him.  I thought of how fervently he wanted to follow Him, to be good and to care for and help the poor.  I thought of the dreams he must have had for himself as a follower, a disciple and a friend of Jesus.  He possibly imagined that God was shaping him into a perfect piece of art that would be displayed for all to see.  Then I imagined his pain, his sorrow, his despair and possibly the numbness he felt when he realized that God’s plan was not for him to be displayed as a perfect piece of art, but instead God’s plan was for him to betray Jesus, betray the blood of a guiltless man.  When I thought of this I cried and cried and cried for this man whom it would have been better for if he had not been born (Matthew 26:24).

Tonight I saw that a friend had taken the quiz, Which one of Jesus’s disciples are you? so I decided to take it too.  Guess which disciple I am?  Judas Iscariot.

WOW… I was shocked and so sad that this computer quiz calculated that if I had been there 2000 years ago and been blessed beyond measure to be chosen by Him as one of His 12 disciples, I would have been His betrayer.  I would not have been sleeping in the garden as He prayed, but instead would have been wide awake leading those blind with hatred and envy to Him, my Love.  It would have been me…

Ever since empathizing with Judas Iscariot through Bebo Norman’s song, I have prayed that Judas Iscariot only found the courage and strength to betray Jesus purely out of obedience to Jesus and faith in Jesus.  I still pray for this to be true, and my hope lies in the fact that so many things are upside down and turned around from what they seem, our treasure lies not in the bank but in our love, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, the veil is still drawn, the truth is still hidden, but someday all will be revealed… and until then I am praying for Judas.

Lead from behind, but don’t forget to follow from in front!

I was running today and as I was running I was thinking about St. Patrick’s prayer

Christ be with me
Christ be before me 
Christ be behind me
Christ be within me

As I was thinking this, I thought about the miniature Jesus I used to imagine living in my heart when I was little and laughed at myself.   Then I imagined Jesus running in front of me and running behind me and thought to myself, what a beautiful circle that makes and isn’t it amazing that when Jesus is running behind me He wants me to follow Him!

I hear the saying and use the saying,  Lead from behind, a lot, but I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, Follow from in front.

I don’t think following from in front is easy, but I think it is extremely important.

Take a look at Jesus’ Warriors of Love, women in abusive relationships.  They are not considered leaders according to our man-made criteria, but we should see them as leaders in how to love others recklessly, how to love others as Jesus and God love us despite our flaws and terrible actions and treatment of others and ourselves.

Take a look at the slaves world wide.  They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders in resilience, strength and the faith as they go on living one more day with every dawn.

Take a look at the people of any third world country.  They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders.  They lead us daily in gratitude as they give praise for clean water to drink, a simple meal placed before them and whatever shelter God has provided for them.

Finally, take a look at the sweet and generous widow in the bible.  She was not considered a leader at that time.  She was seen as a quiet and small follower, barely noticed by the powerful leaders at that time, but Jesus saw her, talked about her, placed her in a position to lead from behind, reminding us yet again to Follow from in Front.

Mark 12:44
They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.

I think when the leaders and followers get mixed up as a lot of us are now, leaders, leading from in front and followers, following from behind, we very easily get lost and it becomes very hard to find God.

Let’s get out of the desert, let’s end this aimless wandering, let’s begin following the real leaders of our world.  The poor, the oppressed, and the children.  They have big things to teach us if we are willing to listen!

So many of us have been trying to lead from in front.  Jesus please help us to have faith and trust in You and our fellow brothers and sisters so that we can complete your circle and remember to follow from in front.