Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bibles and Blood and Burning

February 16
The women in my church are currently going through Children of the Day together. This week is talking about our gifts, our ministry ... and how that loving Jesus is pretty much the answer to making your gifts effective and empowering them to become a ministry.

Eep. But I just feel so ineffectual ... muffled ... muddling ... and even a bit egotistical to think I might have a gift for writing. And I still have NO idea exactly what God would have me write.

So I'm here today ... at the computer ... writing. For the sake of writing. To put thoughts into pixels to flash in the dark ... I have no idea on what screen. I just trust that God will have it shine where it needs to and I pray that it is with His light and for His glory.

nap/dinner/life interruption

February 17
No doubt, I need to be writing. And more. But a fire is kindling in my soul. The more I am in God's word the hotter the embers glow; His breath is stirring them. Life is too precious and His gift too great for me to be focusing on and ending conversations on petty notes. The weather is a fine topic, but I am becoming more consistently aware of the One to whom the weather belongs. And the love He has not only for me, but for each and every one of us. Those the world would say I have every right to ignore or lash out at.

Would I, who has been shown such grace and had blessings poured out on me like Jesus blood running dark and covering my black sins, dare to withhold these things from anyone? This life is a breath ... a vapor ... a flash ... the sizzle of that droplet you flick into a skillet - is it hot enough yet?

Today I feel lead to take my lesson from our study a step further and put it out there to be tripped over by someone who has asked a friend just such a question as Beth calls us to ponder:

"A friend or acquaintance is baffled by your love for the Bible and became a bit incredulous in a recent conversation. She asked you what you loved so much about it, but you were too caught off guard to respond thoughtfully. You sit down now to write her a letter. You don't have time for a lengthy diatribe or a quick course on Bible apologetics. You know you can't force her to understand. You simply want to convey in a paragraph what Scripture has meant to you personally." - (page 153 of the Children of the Day workbook)

Coupled with a post I had just read by Ann Voskamp (author of 1000 Gifts, which I haven't finished yet) about the 21 Egyptian Christians martyred by ISIS on Sunday ... about offensiveness of the cross ... this was my response to Beth's call:

The Bible is the very word and breath of God Himself. The special arrangement of words He wanted me to hear that convey His love, His story, and His will for me. They are the foundation of my faith - I wasn't alive to see Jesus walk on water and touch His nail pierced hands - but I have letters from those who did and who died to get them to me [did you know William Tyndale, who translated the Bible to English, was strangled and burned for doing so?]. It has proved to be a living thing in my hands; always fresh, always new, full of surprises and timeless wisdom which is not dependent on circumstance. Going a day without it causes more damage in my life than skipping my morning coffee [and if you know me and my very American life that is meaningful]. Others are willing to die to possess it, yet I hold several copies freely.

And I ran out of room. I have begged God to give me a hunger for His word more than the watering of my mouth and the desire in the pits of me that turns the house upside down searching for chocolate. Watch with me as He answers and kindles a bonfire.

I wanted to be counted as a Person of the Cross. God gave me a rebellious "I don't care what you think" spirit not to buck authority as I've done ... not to resist the chains of fitting in ... He gave me this spirit for so much more important work. To "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" [Hebrews 12:1] ... I don't want to live out this brief life hindered and entangled. Ineffectual. I want to radiate joy impossible, light inextinguishable, hope eternal, love undeserved and undying to a world that doesn't want to hear it.

A message signed with blood to the nation of the cross. I answer your message with the CROSS signed with blood, the love poured out even for me ... even for you.

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