Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


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DOES GOD LOVE THE GOOD GIRL III?

 

Welcome

Sidney stiffly crawled out of the car. Her legs slowly made it up the long driveway. A huge  front door stood before her.  As Sidney reached for the wooden knocker, her eyes went to a blue metallic WELCOME sign.

“Had this sign always been here?” Sidney wondered, ” Possibly. It was never  a part of my life. Not until now. Thank You God. I feel Welcomed.”

Still a bit hesitant, she wondered if she should knock or ring the bell. The answer was made for her as Mother almost knocked her down. The two stood motionless.  Silence.

“Mother,” Sidney broke the quiet with a stammering voice, “I can’t just move back  and live as your daughter. The trust fund is gone. I did horrid things. Please forgive me. Would you allow me to  live in the servant’s house? I could work as a maid or something. Anything to be close to home, close to you. ”

Words poured out through tears .

Mother looked straight into Sidney’s eyes. “You’ve  never left my heart my daughter.”

From the second story window Sara saw these two in their encounter. ” Well, isn’t this pretty? It won’t last long. I’ll be here to pick up the pieces, as always. That other daughter will  cause pain and leave. For now, I will  just be quiet and do what makes everyone smile.”

That’s what made people glad Sara was around. Why  was Sara not happy she was around?

“I’m going for a walk around the lake. Yeah, as if anyone cared.” Sara kept negative thoughts to herself. A Good Girl never dares to speak them out loud. If the words aren’t heard, maybe they don’t really exist?

As Sara  pulled the door shut,  she saw the blue metallic WELCOME sign. This same sign she saw every day she entered and left the house. Welcome

“Had this sign always been here?” Sara wondered. “Possibly. It was never a part of my life.”

Turning, Sara walked down the stairs to the lake.

 

Weeks went into planning a huge, festive return party for Sidney.  The house became joyful. A celebration like none the neighborhood had seen before. Everyone around the lake was invited.

The invitations didn’t stop there. Sidney’s painful experience in the city brought a keen awareness to the abuse felt by the women in the shelter. She extended invitations to these women feeling safe enough t0 venture to Sidney’s home.

Sidney recognized the love and grace God extended to her as one so very undeserving. With the love she received, she wanted to share.

Sara wanted to yank down every streamer. The “Good Girl” inside kept those actions at bay.  Sara was very cool concerning all the party  preparations. The regular activities of the household, needed  continue. Sara gladly busied herself with those mundane jobs.

“This is a big show. The party will eventually come to a close. Money will be GONE. I will be left handling all the loose ends. In fact,  I will probably need to  be in charge of cleaning up after the thing is over. It will make people smile. It will make people glade for Servant Sara.” Sara  kept these thoughts to herself.

The day of the party arrived. The sun was shining. The day was beautiful.  Mother and Sidney were on the front lawn. Arm in arm, they walked around greeting the guests.

Sara stood glaring from the same second story window. “This makes me sick. Walking around, new clothes, smiling as though they are the best of friends. How can that daughter do something so full of lies? WRONG.”  Each word came out with a spit.

“God ,” this was not said in a gentle tone. Rather one demanding rights.”I have been obedient. I do all the right things You ask and Mother asks. This is not fare. This is not just.”

Dialing Mother’s cell phone, Sara leaves a text to meet her in the den . Please come in one half hour .

Sara asks a simple table of coffee and biscuits be prepared. No need to be rude. Sara sat  in the den waiting .

Mother opens the sliding door a little past the half hour but not much. Her face flushed with excitement from the party. Seeing Sara’s face, she knows  it is time.

“Please take a seat Mother. We need to talk. I’m afraid two very important things are amiss here.  One, this daughter of yours has been very rude. To the family name, to herself, to the money. Not to mention to you.  I’m fearful for you.  She’s  going to use you up again, leave and, well  you know I’ll be here to pick up the pieces”

These word come out out short and terse. There was no care or fondness left in Sara. .

“With all the evil she did, you throw a huge party for her. I have been here, taking care of you, doing EVERYTHING I am called to do. EVERYTHING!!! And more.”

Now the words are more deliberate with just a hint of the pain.

“What do I get in return? Nothing. Not even  a movie night with a few of my friends.”

Mother slowly rose and brought her chair close to Sara. Sara’s body stiffened. Reaching her arm around Sara, Mother knows this will be a long hard battle for Sara. Just as the wild girl was a safe way to cover the pain for Sidney, the good girl is a safe way to cover the pain for Sara.

At the end of the prodigal story, the father told the older son:

                        You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours(Luke 15 31 MSG)

Mother had first hand knowledge concerning the grace God poured out so  willing on all wounds and pain. Until both girls were willing to drop the covers and receive that love, they would use whatever tools necessary to cover their pain, to live, to survive.

The story is finished, but is the story finished? It is hard  for Sara to know she is loved. God Loves the Good Girl. Does the Good Girl know she is love by God?

Thoughts, questions, comments,  We are on this journey together.  🙂


I need to acknowledge again my gratitude to emily p. freeman and her book : grace for the GOOD GIRL.  It gave me ideas to be able to write this short story.


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DOES GOD LOVE THE GOOD GIRL II?

 

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                                                          beautiful, dangerous, crazy

Sidney with her boyfriend Tad flew to the big city as fast as the red convertible would go. Gears shifting, Top down, Music loud, Wind blowing in their hair. Looking out  for a state trouper, other wise no cares, no concerns,  full of crazy.

The next few months were tumultuous . Tad pulled Sidney and the money through the high of highs.  Parties, Cool People.Fantastic Food,  And of course only the hottest clothes for Sidney. A wild and crazy lifestyle Sidney never before had imagined.  ——-

Sidney’s family memories, words once said, were pushed down deep. Choices were  not the best for her body, soul and mind, but she didn’t care. If a brief conflicting thought entered Sidney’s mind, she’d shake her head vigorously. Possibly it would shake right out.  She didn’t want to care. Tad made her feel alive. This was fun.  It covered the pain. That’s  what counted. That’s all that counted in this world. Cover the pain.

Time  flew with hard fast fun and no end in sight.

A creepy shadowy  overcast started to color the air. Tad was gone with the car. His eyes didn’t meet hers when they talked.  Sidney knew the money from the trust fund was beginning to run low.

Trying to meet rental needs and keep the other “necessities coming in, Sidney took it upon herself to sell the beautiful dresses and gowns at the pawn shop. Painfully each week she watched her closet become less colorful as she exchanged the clothes for money.

“Tad will appreciate this, I know he will. We’ll get these back somehow”, Sidney kept telling herself.

Time dragged on with no improvement. It got worse.  Tad and Sidney moved to a one room shabby apartment. The shower was shared with other tenants.  Tad made sure the drugs were supplied.  First the drugs, then gas for the car. Any money left over went for food.

Tad seemed edgy, more angry. Sidney thought it was due to the quality  of drugs.  She wondered if he was planning something too but wouldn’t let her in on the secret. That was OK. Sidney would  trust him . What else could she do?

Sidney trusted Tad until that last night!

Tad brought a man to the apartment. Tad told Sidney they needed money. This guy was a friend. All she had to do was have a little fun with him, do what he wanted with her.  The guy would pay them 100 bucks.

WHAT!!!!!!!

Sidney couldn’t believe her ears.  Tad’s eyes were empty and cruel. He asked  her  what was the big deal.  Just do it and get it over with.

Sidney stood up and walked right over to Tad. With all the rage in her body, she slapped his face. Then without a plan, she  grabbed her purse with the extra set of keys.  Sidney  couldn’t say anything as she headed to the car.  Internally battered and broken, the younger daughter  walked out the door.

Sitting in the car, Sidney silently prayed, “Please dear God, make sure there is enough gas to get me home. I treated Mother like dirt.  I don’t deserve to live in the main house . I could fix up the old servant’s building. I could  work at the house as a maid.  At least I would be close. I could see her sweet face. Hear her gentle voice.”

Sidney drove straight to Mother’s driveway. She turned off the ignition. Sidney pulled the wool blanket from the trunk to surround her poor, tired, helpless body. In tears , she wept,  “I am so sorry God. Please forgive me. Please , I really need Your help. In Jesus Name. Amen.”  With that, she felt gentle arms surround the blanket as if she were being held and rocked to sleep.

 

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                                                                      PEACE!!!

End of Part Two

Sidney couldn’t understand why her father had to die. Even with Mother’s love, unless she was willing to ask the hard questions to pursue the answers, the pain  kept coming up somehow wanting relief. It demanded relief.

God made us so His grace is the relief for pain.

What pain is crying out for God’s Grace to touch and bring relief in your life?

How does this play out in the Good Girl’s life? Sara is good. She does everything right. Plus doesn’t she have everyone’s smiles and acceptance? Surely she already has peace.  Part III  enters into her reality.

If you have any comments or would like to ask questions, I would be glad to talk with you.


Thanks again to the book grace for the GOOD GIRL  by Emily P. Freeman. While reading the book, I came up with the idea for this short story.


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Does God Love the Good Girl?

Very odd question?

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These photos have their own unique qualities.

The top ones- peaceful, calm, tranquil.

The bottom ones – exciting , dangerous, vigorous.

Which one has a greater appeal to you? There is no right or wrong answer. It is what it is.

The photos might represent our stories as well.

Peaceful,tranquil, no waves, (obedient).

Wild, crazy, crashing (disobedient).

Both stories can be very lonely. The WILD story may come to the realization she is in deep need of love. Her crazy life is dynamically  filled with loose threads attached to nowhere. Her emptiness causes a realization. It is the need to search for a true love which will meet her every want. She recognizes the reality of God’s grace as she runs into His arms.

The TRANQUIL story has a deep unknown need, even to herself. It has no label until it is made known to her. Her need is just as deep as one in the WILD story.

Following is a slightly adjusted modern day parable of the Prodigal Son. With whom do you best identify?

A single mother with two daughters.  Father passed away  years ago. Mother comes from a prestigious law firm family who gladly welcomed her back to her per-marital position.  Finances were no problem. Mother loved her daughters very much. Work never comes before the needs of her girls though.  She is a good example of love, strength, peace joy.

Sara the elder daughter is the “good girl”. When her father died, she had many questions. She had deep pain. Sara saw her mother cry. As Sara put her arm around Mother, it brought comfort, made Mother feel better.  So instead of talking about her own pain, Sara would listen. Sara would do the household jobs asked of her the first time. That would bring smiles from everyone.  This covered  over questions, pain inside Sara.  Value came by listening and receiving the “good girl” smiles from everyone. Everyone except the person in the mirror.

Sidney is the youngest daughter. Her wild side made people know she was not happy when her father died. She cried long and hard. Who cared if her jobs got done? Mother had long talks with Sidney about life – drugs, smoking , boys and sex. (the consequences on your body , heart and soul when you act as if you don’t care). Sidney didn’t care. The pain in her heart was deep. She was going to cover it somehow. Besides, these things were fun.

Sara and Sidney knew their father  set aside  money in a trust fund.  This was to help pay for continuing higher education or starting a business. The money was to be withdrawn for that specific need and age. Not before.

As a “good girl” wanting to please, this was fine with Sara. Not the one to make waves because it always made people smile Sara went along with this choice for her life. She lived at  home. Classes were taken at the state university. Upon finishing her B.A., Sara  pursued pre- law. Did she really want to be a lawyer?  It made her mom smile  with the news.   Every one around Sara said she was a good listener.

Sidney barely finished high school. After one year at the local technical school, taking a few business classes,  she said “FORGET THIS MESS.”  Sidney went to Mother and demanded her trust fund half.   No way was she going to stay in this town.  It is too boring.

In pain, Mother went to the bank. With open hands, and open heart, she gave the funds over to Sidney. Sidney’s present boyfriend was in the car. Without even a kiss goodbye, Sidney drove off.

Sara looked out the second story window watching the car tear down the driveway. She c0uld hear the laughter sailing from the top down convertible.  Two care free people sailing off to their adventure.  Sadness crossed Sara’s mind. A very small seed  entered her heart. This seed was so tiny, Sara would not dare to claim it existed. It would put a crimp on her “good girl ” label. The seed was a combination of two deadly sins to a “good girl’s” life. Envy and bitterness.

Sara did not allow  any recognition of these feelings. Instead, her primary thoughts, her need was to seek out Mother. How could  Sara comfort Mother?  Sara would do  what “good girls ” always do. Forget they feel inside  to meet the needs of others.

This is part one of the story.  Sidney goes out to have fun. Sara stays. Both make choices.  Who do you identify with?

The tranquil waters are obedient. But REALLY?

Is she any different than the raging waters?

Have either one yet come to terms with their father’s death?

Can you identify at all with Sara? What is she lacking?

Feel free to leave comments or questions.


Ideas were taken from grace for the GOOD GIRL by Emily P. Freeman. Thank you so much

 

 

 

 


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Leah’s Pain Leah Gain PART 11

When  pain, comparing yourself with others, school, work, marriage, hopes, maybe church relationship, or life in general behave un-explainable ways, what is your response?

Personal unmet desires might even write our own story.

How did Leah respond to her circumstances , her pain. Her own emotions for the man she cared for were taken advantage of by her own father into a deceitful maneuver in exchange for seven more years of work.  The beautiful sister always received the  delighted eyes of the man Leah loved. 

God has not forgotten Leah. The answer to  her cry ultimately releases her inner pain. Her choice also has an eternal gain greater than Leah could hope for.

Walk deeper into Leah’s life. Is Leah’s choice talking to you?

    ” This pain is deeper than before”, Leah remarks to herself  while spinning wool to repair a blanket. Memories of this tent come flooding back. Two years ago, in a  drunken stupor, Jacob made Leah his wife. Not in love but through deception. Each time Leah receives a look from Jacob, she feels hatred. She believes it reflects un-forgiveness  for being part of a cruel plot with her father.

Rachel and Jacob tenderly still share the same affection as their first day of marriage. Leah feels as a shadow in the tent whose only need is to keep things clean and tidy.

“Please look at me Jacob with the same heart, the same delight the same enjoyment as when you look at Rachel. I can make you laugh. I can give you joy. Give me a chance.”

God hears Leah’s cry.

31 When Yahweh saw Leah was unloved, he made it possible for her to have children, but Rachel had none. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben [Here’s My Son], because she said, “Certainly, Yahweh has seen my misery; now my husband will love me!   Genesis 29 NOG

 

Leah  cries out in bearing the first born, opening her  womb. Although never experiencing anything this painful before,  but it is not the focal point of her mind.  With tears, she welcomes this son as a gift to Jacob.

“Here Jacob, Love Me!!! Here’s My Son. Surely I have a tender place in your heart now.”  Leah hold this first born as an offering to Jacob.” Please, love me”, is her plea..

Jacob swells with pride as he holds his first born son.

Jacob’s response to Leah?.  Leah who?

 

33 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Certainly, Yahweh has heard that I’m unloved, and he also has given me this son.” So she named him Simeon [Hearing]  Genesis 29 NOG

 

 

Oh the pain of this second birth Ahhhhhh. Leah cries out  hard. Women surrouding to help bring this baby into the world. Upon his entry, Leah declares, this one is more difficult so the prize must be worth it. Simeon is very beautiful . Surely Jacob will know I can bring joy to his life now.

Have things changed?

“Don’t I  Exist?”  These words explode inside. “Will  I  forever go unnoticed as my sons are taken from me as well?” Leah exclaims .  The three males in her life are playing a game outside.  Jacob’s loud laughter booms.  Leah hears the joy and sees the playtime but goes unnoticed while still spinning yarn.     “Yahweh, please turn Jacob’s heart to me”.

The enjoyment with her boys is over.  Jacob’s eyes light up even more when Rachel opens the flaps of the tent. He grabs her hand. They run to the hills like young does. Giggling follows. Leah weeps.

 34 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I’ve given him three sons.” So she named him Levi [Attached].  Genesis 29 NOG

This easy birth released a fine boy. Still clinging to the hope her salvation to Jacob comes  through children,  Leah believes Jacob will finally yearn to become attached to her.

Jacob proudly starts bringing Reuben and Simeon his work.” These are my sons” Jacob shows the two eldest the beginning in caring for the sheep. In the evening, Jacob returns and  gently rubs the head of Levi who is navigating small movements for his first steps. Nothing has changed. The boys bring Jacob delight. Rachel brings Jacob delight.

Leah is empty with no delight.

35 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” So she named him Judah [Praise]. Then she stopped having children.  Genesis 29 NOG

 

Used, Imperfect and Unloved!   Leah could not draw delight from a man. Leah declares “This time I will Praise GOD.”

Judah is a son having far reaching blessings.

Who is Judah?

 Matthew 1 1-17,  and Luke 3: 23-34 state the lineage of Jesus. Jesus goes to David who goes to Jacob who fathered Judah.  This is the child Leah declares in finding her fulfillment :I will Praise God. .

Another expression of eternal gain not only for Leah but for the world is mentioned in Revelation.

“Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Revelation.  5:5. NIV

   From the used, imperfect and unloved, God chose to draw His Son, our salvation. Leah made the choice:

      I WILL PRAISE HIM!

What response will come from you, from  me?

You may ask if Leah had a wonderful life after that? The opportunity to experience life differently is always a day to day choice. Which path to take for a fulfilled story is your exciting freedom.   How will you write your story?

Please feel free to comment where you  experienced the world’s standard placing  you in a box for joy. Have you accepted that box for your story?

Have you walked in victories by opening your hand to say :I Will Praise Him?


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Leah’s Pain Leah’s Gain

 

Life is terribly unpredictable.  Don’t you agree?  We come into this world with a clean slate. Nothing written on any page. Feelings of expectation, wonder and  amazement circling inside. If surrounded by friends, family, and relatives where this vision is not only understood, but encouraged, the life we walk out can be filled with  beauty and joy.

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What if that is not the case? What if as the years begin to form in front of you, life takes turns in ways  you didn’t expect? Circumstances happen you do not ask for.

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Walk a bit with Leah from the Old Testament.

Widowed Laban is a shepherd with two daughters,  Dull-eyed Leah and Drop Dead Gorgeous Rachel. Of course Laban welcomes Jacob into their family with open arms. A kinsman, strong, hard working, and completely taken with Rachel, the youngest.  Laban knows he gains a great prize with Jacob as a laborer and son-in-law. One day as the sheep are grazing,  Laban’s brown eyes scans the horizon. His hand strokes the graying beard as he ponders how to solve a dilemma.

   I have two daughters. Jacob is taken with my youngest, but the law requires the eldest wed first. Laban snaps his fingers as an idea pops into his head.   That’s it.  That is exactly what  I will do.

Very pleased with himself, Laban returns to his sheep as the sun is departing  the sky.

After seven years of hard service the chosen day arrives. The celebration is beyond expectations. The wine flows freely. Men slap one another heartily on the back, shouting salutations for Jacob and his bride. Laban’s voice booms over everyone.  Jacob drinks with no limits looking forward to spending an intense wedding week with the love of his life.

Finally, in a  drunken stupor the men make their way to the special tent. Swaying and singing loudly Laban and Jacob lean on each other. Other men from the party assist these two making sure Jacob makes it to his destination. Pushing back the heavy drapes of the opening,   Jacob’s blurry eyes behold his intended.

Shyly waiting for her husband is a woman, completely hidden beneath  her beautiful wedding attire. Modesty and custom requires her entire body  covered until the couple are fully husband and wife.

A halfhearted  blessing from the inebriated father gives the official permission for the matrimonial ceremony to begin. Laban swaggers from the tent.  The consummation takes place.  Jacob turns over pleased. Exhausted  from too much wine, he quickly falls asleep. Leah weeps softly into the pillows while Jacob snore.

The sun rises. A beautiful day begins. Fluffy clouds float across the sky. Faint sounds  of bleating sheep heading to the hillside for food and drink can be heard.   Jacob stretches, turning slowly  expecting to look into the deep brown eyes of Rachel.  Instead, the milky complexion and watery eyes of Leah meets his surprised glare.  Jacob grabs his tunic, angrily leaving the tent in search of Laban.
Empty of heart and mind,  Leah sits up . The look of utter disappointment on  Jacob’s face  discovering last night’s companion is not the delight of his life but rather the dull eyed Leah tears her apart. Rejection, fear of being hated, Pain.

Leah views the remains of what took place the night before. Normally, ruffled sheets the morning after a wedding night bring a smile or at least a giggle. To Leah  misery, thoughts of deceit and being used are all she sees. Leah feels pain. Her response is normal Leah. She ex changes her wedding clothes for a work tunic to tidy up the tent.
LABAN”, Jacob roars  as he sweeps through the camp. The entire hillside hears this booming voice. “We NEED TO TALK- NOW”.
The verbal explosion causes Jacob to remember the amount of wine he had the previous evening as he grabs his aching head.

Laban solves his “problem” by deceiving  Jacob into marrying Leah first following the seven years of work.  After concluding the required wedding week ceremony, Jacob could marry Rachel. Laban’s stipulation is another seven years of service from Jacob. Everyone wins . Laban gets seven more years of work from Jacob.  Jacob marries Rachel anyway.  Rachel gets married to the man she loves.

 

Wait a minute!!! Everyone wins?  What about Leah?  Leah really loves Jacob. Isn’t she worth his love? It  is not her fault she was born below par compared to her sister. It was not her fault her own father uses deception to gain labor from Jacob just to get her married off.

With the pain of rejection, comparison, use in deception, Leah probably wondered what the value of her life could be in the first place.?

Have you ever felt everything in the world so unjust that you cried out to God : PLEASE, CHANGE MY LIFE! CHANGE ME!!!

Does it seem as though God completely forgot about this woman? Do you think He has forgotten about you?

No-God has created all of us with a wonderful purpose in mind.

My next blog will answer  how Leah’s hopes and dreams were answered.

What the world labels “imperfection” comes perfection.

Feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

 

 


The Wall

A story can reveal the inner thoughts of a person. The one reading the story if she will takes the time to allow the words to sink in. The writer of the story,  if she is true and allows honesty to flow out.  This is the case set before you. The new year is almost three weeks old. The excitement of resolutions, a new adventure in a new year may still be running strong. In a short while, it is possible you will run smack dab into an unexpected hard WALL, as you are engaged in the wonder around you. You hit your nose very hard. How will you respond? Is the adventure still there?  Are you excited about the walk? Do you complain about the WALL?  Follow PAN in her path.
PAN welcomes this walk, this new adventure. The steps are not too challenging, just enough to make it exciting. The adrenaline begins to flow throughout her body. Looking around, PAN takes in  sights and beauty never seen before. The sounds are unbelievable as if she enters another world.  Deep blue rushing waters, rock formations expressing a special type of awesomeness all their own.  Green leafy trees reaching to the sky with praise.

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The most thrilling part of all is talking with the Creator. PAN cannot believe anything could be more overwhelming.
Suddenly a brick wall smashes with PAN’s nose.

” OUCH,”  PAN,  yelled as she jumped back with surprise.” Where did this brick wall come from? I thought I was watching where I was going. Bam  this thing comes out of nowhere.”
As PAN continues rubbing  her very bruised nose, tears begin to form. Looking towards the sky, Pan has a verbal conversation with the One who moments earlier caused her Joy and Delight.

Rather defiantly Pan says, “ I thought you were all knowing. Didn’t You see the WALL? It surely is big enough. Why did you lead me down this path? You made me run right into a huge WALL. Now my poor nose is very painful. Not very protective of You!!!”

 

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The area grows dark. The sun’s rays seem to fade with each word of protest, each complaint coming out of PAN’s mouth. The wonderful excursion  suddenly turned sour. The joyful give and take between PAN and the One she trusted is slowly becoming bitter.
“ The words initially drawing me to You promised protection. Wasn’t there something about ‘ Leading me by still waters,?’ and ‘ Peace that passes understanding?’  Instead, You lead me right into a brick wall letting me hit my nose, causing pain. Plus, I have no peace. I am frustrated because there is no way going forward through this. “ An angry body points to the stony barrier.
These are viscous words verbalized. Inside her mind, Pan has what she thinks is a private   conversation with herself. She figures God cannot or will not go into this secret area.  Her  true feelings of fear, rejection and despair are exposed. In PAN’s former life, these types of conversations were common.
Shaking her head, talking  herself again into a  false sense of bravery  PAN thinks,‘ I guess I need to figure out how to do this myself. He does not really care. Nobody cares. Not really.  Who was I trying to fool? Nice adventure at the start, but I knew it was too good to be true. This is my life. Always was. Always will be.”

With a dejected shrug, PAN resolved to figure something out.
Although the bright sunshine had never really left the sky, The darkness was larger,always covering PAN. She was  becoming,  more fretful and anxious.  The  Wall seemed to drain PAN’s inner joy, peace and contentment  from her very soul. PAN was feeling helpless  and  out of control.
Realizing she could not handle these circumstances any longer on her own Pan started another conversation with God. PAN’s  attitude was far from gracious.
“God’, PAN begins in a less than humble tone walking around with her hands going up and down, ‘I read Your book! I know what it says You can do. Why aren’t You doing it?” : A childish, temper tantrum is forming.
“You are all powerful. You called me on this journey. THIS ADVENTURE.  Part these bricks like You did the Red Sea.”PAN spouts the words as spoiled child having a temper tantrum. ” Make a way for me to walk through the bricks. I know I am not being chased by Pharaoh, but I have been here FOREVER. You are in the business of miracles, right? Let’s see something happen!!! “
With each uttered word the cloud overhead became darker and heavier.Dark night
God is ever patient. God is extremely kind. He is slow to anger. He knows the desires of our heart. He knows our needs.

A fight inside and out is wearing PAN thin. The soul  initially crying  out to God in need for His connection is crying out now in need of food, in need of water, in need of love.

The Holy Spirit is tenderly wooing PAN.
Through gritted teeth,  but less anger,  PAN looked upward again. ”  OK, I recognize this is not going to be easy, but I cannot go forward  on my own. I am stuck on this side. What am I going to do?”
The cloud seemed to lose a bit of its heaviness. The sky was not quite as dark.  The bright sunshine and blue sky was still hidden.
PAN’s  eyes went to the wall again where she saw a blackish shadow.  Was it always there?  Was it alive? Was it part of the WALL?
Very hesitantly PAN walked over to the shadow. Realizing the blackish thing was lifeless, she bent to examine it. This was a huge sloppy bag.
Lifting the old bag was impossible. Grabbing the zipper foot, PAN hoped to see a sledgehammer in the bag.
The zipper was long across the whole bag. Slowly pulling the back opening, PAN saw two strange items inside: a very heavy rope and a strange looking hook.

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Pulling her head back in dismay, PAN  holds up her hands asks, “What the heck am I to do with these? Are you kidding? “

PAN’s tone lost the adventure it held at the beginning of her walk. Scared and defensive are her true feelings.
For the first time, since PAN hit her nose, she decides to  seriously examine the Wall. Although large and wide these were two thoughts. Going around is impossible Going over would be difficult, but doable.
Something else was apparent. Others had been here before. Marks were on the wall looking like indentations.  Had someone been here before?
“HMMM. Interesting , “ PAN observed rubbing her chin .
“Oh My GOSH!!!” This is heavy!!! “ Grunted PAN as she first grabbed the rope.  PAN lost her balance not  expecting the weight.

Standing again, PAN calmed herself, grabbed the rope and swung the rope. The rope was many inches thick. The hook was very heavy. The hook moved high and  hit the wall with a horrible thud. Sadly, it  came nowhere near the top.
In desperation, PAN stretched her arms. Trying to remember yoga stretches and calisthenics, PAN did a few to limber her body to better swing the heavy rope and hook.
“I am just a bit out of shape. Just a little warm up. That’s all. I will get it this time. No problem.”
Over and over and over her head the rope went. Away it flew. Thud against the side of the wall the hook collided.
‘ARRGH”
“THIS CANNOT BE SO HARD. Are there gloves in the bag? Maybe I am letting go too soon. Let me check”

Looking into the huge bag, another sigh of disappointment rose.  No gloves.
PAN remembers from past movies and true life stories, the sheer rush of adrenaline in times of desperation will cause fantastic amounts of excess strength beyond normalcy.

“That’s what I need. A sheer rush of adrenaline to put that hook on top. I could not be any more desperate.  I will mentally  give myself a rush flowing to the  rope to fly high enough to make the hook  fasten on top. That’s it. Calm PAN. Think it. It Will Happen”

PAN felt very relaxed as she walked over to the heavy rope and hook. With every muscle in her body she hurls the rope, but to no avail. One tip catches the top, but is not enough to stay the entire  hook. As PAN yanks the rope to test its strength, the total hook comes loose falling to the ground.
As the rope falls to the ground PAN falls to the ground in utter despondency.
“God”, the tone of a child recognizing her complete need, a repentant child longing to sit on her Papa’s lap, “I cannot do this”.
A tender “I know”,is the response. These words are not ones of rejection, shame or anger. “Take the rope again.”
With this tender encouragement, PAN receives strength from the One She Can Trust. Going beyond the doubt in  her own strength, PAN takes the rope one more time. Moving to the place of the three previous failed attempts, PAN expresses in gracious tones to the One Who is in Control, “Please Papa, Be My Strength”.
PAN closes her eyes. The huge rope is swung three or four times. PAN lets the rope fly with the hook aiming to the top of the wall.  Instead of a dull thud, PAN heard a different noise. A loud clink, possibly something caught. Scared to believe this truly happened, but needing to trust, PAN went closer to the Wall. With hopeful wide eyes, PAN examined the rope. It was hanging straight down. PAN grinned.
“God. I am afraid to pull it to see if it will hold my weight. I rejected the times to hear You. I did not want to take the time to listen to your voice. I am sorry. Please forgive me.”

PAN gave the rope a very strong tug. The hook did not come lose. It would hold. PAN felt giddy. She grabbed the rope. Slowly hand over hand; she placed her feet where  others ascended  before. The climb was slow, difficult and challenging.  PAN was not climbing on her own strength.
As PAN scaled the wall, the cloud was slowly vanishing.

IMG_2858  Healthy conversations between God and PAN are now taking place instead of childish accusations and complaints.
Upon reaching the top of the wall, God asked PAN to throw the hook back down the first side.
A slight fear crept into PAN. “How do I get down?  I have to pull the rope up and then put it to the other side to climb down. Do You see how high this Wall is?  I can’t jump.”
God is so patient. He lovingly shakes His head.  Gently He leads PAN to  another grappling hook and rope. God describes this second side set up is for the people who climbed the Wall and are ready for the next step in their journey.
“God, is this the same journey for everyone? I thought I was on a special path with You. “
“My Daughter, I know the exciting journey for you in My Kingdom. You are unique. Your response is truly yours. Many will walk similar paths, but no one will have  your  exact same journey with Me. The Wall was hard. It is part of the adventure.”
PAN was confused as she slowly descended the wall.
As PAN’s feet hit the ground, she broke into tears. “I was terrible. I was a brat. I was childish. I was controlling. I did not trust you.  How can you want me to continue on this Adventure?”
Nodding His head, God was very kindhearted in His response. “Yes, you were my Child. The Wall is a slice of the journey. It is  here  to disclose the negative portions in your heart. Those negative portions will keep you from enjoying the deeper realms of the Adventure in My Kingdom.  You allowed me to expose and release you from those portions.
“My Joy is you saying Yes to Me , PAN. There will be other challenges. I will never leave you. Nor forsake you. Come, Take My Hand. Lets Continue.”IMG_0362

 

God never leaves. In times of desperation and silence, in times of unpredictable challenges, how do you respond?  Even Job in the Old Testament when he felt completely abandoned by God in his peril, Job was not alone.

Take His Hand.

 

 


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Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is Upon Me

 

Walk into the reality of life when Jesus lived on the earth, identifying with the sounds, smells, feelings surrounding the hurt people he touched. Body and soul. 

Jesus stands in the hot, muggy building filled with men and boys twelve years and older on the lower level. A dirt floor.  Mud walls with openings to allow whatever breeze might pass through. Animal skins tacked to the walls to keep the rain out in case inclement weather happens during the meeting.  His eyes move around the room . Long gray robes just touching gritty tired  sandal ed feet. Turbans wrapped tightly covering dusty hair.

The second level of the meeting place is filled with the women, girls, babies and  younger boys.

Some of the young males on this second level are huddled to the side,  anxiously waiting  for the day to come for the traditional ceremony that would officially make them into men finally allowing them the right to sit on the main floor.

The heat rising to the second  level is terribly uncomfortable, but men and women are not allowed to sit together in the meeting place.

The room is dusty, arid, filled with the scent of people who know the harsh reality of putting  a hard full week of work. Fathers tending the sheep in the countryside under the relentless sun. Mothers tending the many children while making meals with little substance.  Hard workers needing this day.  This is their Sabbath. This is their time of rest. Hunger is seen  as their clothes drape on their bodies from  lack of enough physical food. Hunger is seen in their eyes from lack of real spiritual food.  Rabbis have been teaching the eldest men and women for many years. Still, their food lacks substance, lacks nourishment.

Jesus is filled with compassion. His heart is overflowing with love for each individual man, woman and child in this dusty, coughing, baby crying, cramped Jewish house of prayer. He  sees the emptiness within each person.

Inside His heart weeps.

“Is this a result of their own making, their own decisions? The battle to deplete their souls started long ago. It is now time to bring this war to an end.”

Jesus knows their pain.

Jesus walks slowly with no feeling of pretentiousness to the scrolls. He takes  Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus reads these words with love. They come out so tenderly, people are on the edge of their seats. Hope is in the air.  Young adolescent boys are not bored but engaged with this man. Babies are finding no reason to cry. Not only words are coming out.  The room is filled with The Spirit of God.

Silence surrounds the hall as Jesus ends his reading.  With a voice containing authority and deep mercy,  Jesus states to all present, “TODAY THE SCRIPTURE IS FULFILLED IN YOUR HEARING.”

Awestruck with intimacy. Movement is impossible. For a brief point in time, each starving  soul is feasting. Connection to God is not just possible. It is  reality.

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Jesus is here today. He sees the emptiness. He sees the feasting on food with absolutely no nutrition. Whether the outerwear is rich colorful finery, drab with holes, or mediocre, the malnutrition of your soul is hurting Him.

These are the words Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah to the people in that meeting place many years ago.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free,

19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4 18-19 NIV

Allow yourself to read drink in these words and feed your soul. Receive the same love and intimacy Jesus extended as He expressed this the first time.

IMG_1837WORSHIP . CREATE AND ALLOW GOD TO FREE  HIS DREAMS INSIDE YOU TO BE RELEASED.