I Didn’t Know What It Meant

DSC_0012In my darkest most desolate hour – He found me

I thought I knew Him….

But I did not know what SAVING meant

Until He saved me from the desolation … and showed himself to be my Savior

I did not know what REDEEMING meant

Until He redeemed me from the darkness … and proved himself to be my Redeemer

I did not know what FORGIVENESS meant

Until He washed me clean, dressed me in robes of righteousness … and called me WORTHY.

He IS my Savior, my Redeemer, my All in All

He is Risen, He is Alive,  and He Lives in ME!

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The Silence is Singing

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I remember when you couldn’t go shopping on Sundays.  Doesn’t that date me?! There is a new generation that doesn’t know a world where stores are closed one day a week. I remember when Easter was an extra long weekend – Good Friday AND Easter Monday were both holidays.  But I have noticed that very few stores have altered their hours for this weekend.

Now before anyone reacts – this is not a religious diatribe.  It is not. This is not about religion – this is about how we live our lives.

Less “sophisticated” cultures throughout history have always had feast days and days of remembrance.  They participated in traditions and days that were set aside for reflection AND celebration.  There was anticipation and preparation.  Routine was ignored and, collectively,  thoughts turned to something that was greater than the “everyday.”

My thoughts began today by reflecting on the traditions of my faith – Easter gives me an opportunity to celebrate the tenets of my beliefs.  But not everyone shares my spiritual path … this is not about preaching.  This is about how we live our lives.  How do we separate out of the noise of life to reflect or experience joy?

How much time – days, hours, minutes – do we “set apart?”  In the midst of daily demands – do we take time to be quiet, to be still, to reflect on deeper meanings and higher calls?  Collectively and individually, do we take time to listen? Do we have time and space in the rush of life to hear the still small voice that is in each one of us?  I am using the word WE, but I mean ME.  This is about how I find peace,  and LIVE in a state of peace.

I have a picture sitting on my desk that reads –

Be still … eventually the silence will sing for you.

God speaks to me in the stillness.  It is only in the quiet that my heart has learned the words it has longed to sing.

Wherever you are in your journey – or whatever your spiritual path – celebrate a HOLY DAY.  Step out of the busy-ness of life and find time to be still and quiet. Sit apart, and be SET apart.  Take time … and find joy in it.

Jump In? Is the Water is Cold?

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Life has happened.

Outside demands, extra commitments, new revelations, change has come.

Life has happened! (With an exclamation and a sigh … some of it unexpected and unanticipated.)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a truly controlled environment to walk out our plans for life? Step one, step two, step three – no surprises?

My life is like water.  I was immersed, swimming along – my strokes were effective, my breathing rhythmic – and without warning the wave crashed over my head.  My grace was gone.  Instead I was sputtering, coughing, gasping for air.  Maybe I should only swim in a swimming pool – controlled, quiet … in a box.

I almost drowned when I was a toddler.  I have no conscious memory of the event – but my subconscious carries the story.  After the incident, my mom remembers me crying, being terrified as I watched my father swim far from the lake shore.  I hated taking swimming lessons – there was always a hard cold impossible knot in my belly – at the time I did not understand where the wall of breath stopping fear came from.

The effects of my near drowning experience have seemingly passed – I am generally not afraid of water.  However last spring as I was enjoying a walk beside the overflowing banks of a spring flooded river – a sudden dark panic gripped me.  A momentary sensation of not touching the ground and helplessness, overwhelmed me.  Even when I recognized where this fear came from – I had an uneasy tentative relationship with the flowing river.  I was at a completely safe, risk-free distance, nonetheless I had to consciously, logically push back the fear.  It was a strange bizarre experience.

Life, like water is experienced in uncountable ways.  It is a sensory experience.  It can be an emotional encounter. It can’t always be lived in the swimming pool lanes, or placid still ponds. Sometimes it is experienced in the sudden tempest – crashing and forceful.  Sometimes there is stillness.  Sometimes there is brilliant, unrelenting motion.  It sparkles with light.  It changes color. It freezes.  It evaporates.

Life is like water – it flows, and it overflows.  Life happens – whether you dip your toes in, make a cannonball, or gracefully dive to the depths. It  is beautiful and dangerous, it invokes fear and inspires peace.  It is life sustaining, and it can take it all the same.  Have you jumped in?