“Unshaken and Certain” | June 25th, 2013

That those things which cannot be shaken may remain Hebrews 12:27

When things are amuck, what happens to you? What kind of person do you become?

The way we react to the threat of losing control over the things in our lives we so insist make our world go round, (possessions, relationships, etc.–you name it, we got it), is highly dependent on the type of person we initially desire to be. For we are what we desire, and oftentimes, we grasp and crave the things that are shakeable.

If we are shakeable people, we do not know the kingdom we’ve been given; nor the Giver, Christ.

We will unravel from time to time, for things will be shaken on this earth. But the things below the sky should never have such authority over us. With our hands clutching, we must release the notion that all we can hold is all that we have and thus need. Our heart, mind and soul easily become dependent on the things we give power to, and we must refrain; we must refrain from being people who do not recognize the Kingdom as our own. While we seek to keep the things we possess in this present moment, our earthly lot in life, we must always be those who lift it higher and higher until it is given unto Him. That is how we receive the Kingdom. Ultimately, this scripture presses forward and fully on what the bible is generally about; “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When this acknowledged and accepted love of God is all that we grasp, our reach is certain, because we become people who know a certainty.

All of our own strength and might to make things in our lives function, to be well, do not compare to the strength and might that covers and cares after us already. Nothing can affect the latter, everything can the former.

When things are amuck, who are you? Are you one who is able to see your Salvation and security in Him? Or are you distracted by the interference of your own want and will and loose lot? We live in a world where many things will go amuck. May we be people amidst the mess, who choose to profess the peace of the unshaken when tested by the shakeable. Be comforted in the certainty that in this world, you are ultimately made for another.  

WHAT TWENTY-FIVE TOLD ME

  • You are definitely going towards than away.
  • Loss is a landmark.
  • Change is entirely different than transition.
  • Confidence needs to be protected and preserved.
  • Married couples do not have the type of friendships you do.
  • Four dollar lattes will never be an affordable luxury. But drink up.
  • The best of friends can still be the best, even with distance, relationship status alterations and new vocations. Only if you want it.
  • Travel is breaths of air. You need it.
  • Protein is essential in your diet.
  • Risk is risky.
  • Los Angeles is less scary, New York is less dreamy.
  • Vulnerability drives people away, but more importantly, it can drive others in, closer.
  • You don’t have to be close to your parents to love your parent(s).
  • Cooking is a free therapy.
  • Education will always be missed, learning becomes richer though more difficult.
  • Embarrassment is rare, lightheartedness will keep you well.
  • Everyone’s grass is greener
  • “You’re young,” said the married women, the salaried person and the home owner.
  • Loneliness is a necessary evil, solitude is just necessary.
  • Time flies, yes but it fills and furthers your story.
  • Money is both fuel and futile. Frick.
  • Excitement is sleeping for at least 6 and a half hours.
  • It’s incredibly too easy to take money out of your savings account.
  • Dreams are less dreamy, dreams are more doable.
  • A glass of any type of spirit or wine does a body good. Every night.
  • Stretching is crucial–also, drink more water.
  • You’ve been a good kid, so it’s ok to continue and be a good adult.
  • Drugs, don’t do them, still.
  • Handsome, witty and kind is not an impossible combination, still.
  • Kindness and humility will be hard, but not as hard as judgment and expectations towards and from others.
  • Dependence is anchored by few. Secrets are shared with fewer.
  • Religion is less authoritative, spirituality is swayable, but above all, Jesus is foundational.
  • There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. 

What Keeps You

And what keeps you from hearing from God?

Today is Ash Wednesday. And though many of us don’t care to, know about, or find it irrelevant to really celebrate Lent, I know I look forward to it with great anticipation and nervousness. I’m not comfortable with challenging myself when it means shifting my schedule, altering my tendencies and honing in on my habits. But at the same time, I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of drawing closer to a hunger that in it’s purest form, is fed by the Savior, and not by things that constantly make me famished and thirst repeatedly.

Granted, 40 Days is a somewhat stroll in the park considering, but I don’t think the Lenten Season is meant to make us set and accomplish something in x amount of days–rather I think the Lenten Season is the fresh breath we take annually that realigns our hoped for and intended posture towards others, towards ourselves and of course, towards the Lord.

This year, I want to challenge you, my friends, and ask, what keeps you? What blurs your vision from sovereign truths, what distracts and defames your heart from good, good things?

Super hard questions, super easy to respond answers.

 

 

What Last Year Taught Me (a reflection of 2012, 8 days into 2013)

That silence is really and most definitely not failure. 

That remaining your passionate self is not foolish–even when you feel like it REALLY is. 

That though we are selfish people, there will always be a cloth of humility at arm’s length. 

That family is anyone who gives you a sense of comfort, ease or home. 

That you can make life-long friends at any age. 

That you can grow a part and it be OK and actually good. 

That refining is better than redefining.

That if you are honest, it can be mean and hurt people. So chill. 

That you should always say the compliment on your mind. 

That crying will always be a good thing. 

That keeping tabs is childish. 

That there are enough terrible things in life we can’t control, so stop being terrible, if you can help it. (which you CAN)

That sharing a meal, is pretty close to sharing your heart. So share meals often.

That being single is a good thing, when we accept it as God’s thing for us, presently. 

That because there were a plethora of weddings that occurred around me, I’m the privileged witness to a profundity that takes me deeper and closer towards what love is.

That instagram is my favorite app of all time. (I mean, Holy Bible first, duh). 

That I actually love more people than I miss. 

That being shy is no excuse to hold back those vocal chords. 

That traveling, still, is never a bad idea. 

That it is hard, but it is wonderful. 

That God is faithful. Even when we are not, because God is faithful. 

What do I love …

What do I love when I love Thee? Not the beauty of bodies nor the fair harmony of time nor the brightness of the light so gladsome to our eyes nor sweet melodies of varied songs, nor the fragrance smell of flowers, not limbs acceptable to the embracements of the flesh, none of these things I love when I love my God.

But–and yet, I love a kind of light melody fragrance meet and embracement when I love my God but they are those which space cannot contain, which time cannot bare way, they are smells that breathing cannot disperse, they are tastes that eating cannot diminish.

This is what I love when I love my God.

An excerpt from Timothy Keller’s sermon on Peace, via a brilliant St. Augustine and the Confessions.

When you love God supremely, you will find that what you have been loving in all things are actually of God. 

 

When I look at my life, I see:

An overflow of laughter that makes my mouth sore, and teeth hurt.  

Endless cups of coffee stirred by even more eye-widening conversations; things of the heart, head and things that give a sense of home. 

Somehow, an unbounced check–despite my love for wine and grocery shopping.

An endless horizon that is usually a pristine blue, protected by cliffs and the sky. 

Walks to breakfast on saturday mornings and dwell-worthy dinners on weeknights that make me feel fancy. 

Friendships that spark encouragement, creativity and instill prayer and honesty. 

Contentment and joy that lingers and lasts far longer than I give it credit. 

A life that is worth not only looking at, but gazing; all in a trance guided by thankfulness–easily the things I see are the things I not only know, but recognize and know me just as well. 

 

This & That

With a map in my hand, I can hardly tell what is to be discovered. The red lines point me in multiple directions concerning where it may be best I lay my head and during which season, so I lay it everywhere. Like having many pillows yet never enough blankets my depiction of home is comparable and fluctuates like the uneven ratio of such needs and wants. The deep cold in the middle of the night is really cold when you don’t have enough blankets, ya know?

My brother, he cannot wait to see me. My mother worries how I can afford to see my brother. But Tennessee beckons because I’m pressuring it to. Wherever I am called, I found I will surely follow. Cuz here I am, You. And though I follow, I wonder of the things, from time to time that I have left.  But that’s kind of achy and uneven so I go to bed often with the prayer that things will be well. That they are well. That Tennessee has good Fall weather. And that I’ll one day have enough blankets.

I woke up today in the state of hardly knowing what is to be discovered. Again. What has discovered me may be a better indicator of what it must feel like to get a good night’s sleep in living your life to the fullest, form. Among the population of my friends, family and simply neighbors in my neighborhood, there is a reflection I’m not too mad about. A reflection that is simple blessings. Simplicity like a neighborhood that nests common and odd folk, who gladly retreat from their homes to roam their greenish grasses on sunny and even wretched, hot days. Their greenish grasses have got me  thinking lately about the idea of greener grasses and if I am to forge a field or try and be faithful to the stuff underneath my feet presently. Good things can come from both. And good things have come from much less. And they all seem happy. So I probably should follow.

Now That I Am Older

  • Excitement is 8 hrs of sleep.
  • Sadness is sly.
  • Goodness is difficult though richer and bravery, uncomfortable.
  • Dating is the opposite of whimsical.
  • Loss is a landmark.
  • Marriage though fancied, seems further away.
  • Love is abstract.
  • Relationships are complex. Friendships, definitely included.
  • Travel is the fresh breath of air.
  • Babies are a less foreign concept.
  • Mustaches are less creepy—nay, are attractive.
  • Protein is essential.
  • Trans-fats are strayed from.
  • Risk is risky.
  • A nice walk is a must.
  • Los Angeles is less scary.
  • New York is less dreamy.
  • Cooking is therapy and extravagant.
  • Education is missed.
  • Embarrassment is rare.
  • Loneliness is intentional.
  • Solitude is necessary.
  • A 30 yr. old isn’t old at all.
  • Dependence is anchored by few. Secrets are shared with fewer.
  • Money is both fuel and futile.
  • Savings accounts are a luxury.
  • Dreams are more doable and dreams are less dreamy.
  • Beer or a glass of wine does a body good. Every night.
  • Stretching is crucial.
  • Religion is less authoritative.
  • Spirituality is fundamental.
  • Expectations are both wide and deep.
  • There are never enough bullet points.

Today’s 5 Favorite Things

  • Free lunch that communicates “welcome to the team.”
  • Long over-due phone calls.
  • Sitting beside a friend, getting our own work done while resting in a comforting yet space-giving presence.
  • Driving through a light mist.
  • Heavy honesty.