Tag Archives: ministry

Hope

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It is good to wait silently for the salvation of the Lord. Lam.3:26.

Tonight we welcome advent as a family.  Advent is defined by purposeful waiting for a sure Salvation, certain but not yet grasped.  Advent is hope promised but still deferred. In Advent tradition, the Christ-child, the Savior, is nearly come, but He is not here yet.

Jack lights the Candle of Hope, his posture strong yet shy as he navigates the flame.  He catches Daddy’s eye in awe as the blaze licks the wick, catches, flares, then settles – Hope newly aflame.  

This week God ignites a fresh flame of hope.  My past four years were a crucible, characterized by crushing failure, aching loss, relentless opposition, piercing judgment, intervening rescue and infinite grace upon grace.  My life became a long season of Advent, of hope-certain-but-not-yet.  My fragile humanity crumbles to fragments, but I am safe, upheld by divine mercy.  I lived in dust, waiting, hoping, for my God to someday lift me out.

It is good for a man to bear the yoke 
   while he is young.

 Let him sit alone in silence, 
   for the Lord has laid it on him. 
Let him bury his face in the dust— 
   there may yet be hope. 

Lam.3:27-29.

Today is a step into Hope.  It is my first day officially back on the women’s ministry leadership team at church, the same church that released me four years ago.  The enemy of our souls snarls and snaps, but Living Grace is my everlasting Hope and I am undone by His neverending cascades of loving favor.  My role on leadership is quiet writing for a season as the Lord builds a new vision in the women of our church.  God is birthing a dream within in our team for a deeper teaching ministry to women, so I will create a Bible study curriculum scheduled at this point to launch in Fall 2012 at Vanguard Church.

My heart brims over as I watch the Candle of Hope flicker on the faces of my favorite Three.  I rest in the glow of Advent, the long arriving redemption.  I remember the long trail of brokenness behind us.  I remember the bloody, battered talons we inserted into the Hope of God-promises through that long season of bitter gall.  I remember the joy of steadily dawning freedom shining over our recovery path.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul, worship His Holy Name.  Sing like never before, O my soul, and worship His holy name.  Matt Redman. 10,000 Reasons.

I exult that the Lord keeps His promises, that our Hope is eternally sure.  I revel in the grace of family in the glow of candlelight. I rejoice that God gives me a new voice to proclaim His brilliant glory to His beloved.

What do you hope for from the Lord right now? we ask each other in the Light of hope.

Lucy says, Blue and Pink.

Daddy & Mommy say, we hope that the Lord will alleviate personal and professional pressure & attack at work.

Jack, the little theologian, says this, I hope for faith, hope and love.

YES. And Amen.

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Clearing

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Is.30:21.

I have been blog-silent for almost a week.  I sat down to write last night, but the words did not fit together. Rolling my eyes, I snapped my computer shut at 11pm.  I sat still on my couch for a moment, massaging my temples.  Then, this – You aren’t writing your heart.  You are filling space.  That is not My calling for you.  

I do not want to write empty words, but the words that mean something to me right now are unfinished.  They are disconnected strands.  I think I might see the tapestry that God is weaving, and it is dazzling, but so far unresolved.

Today severe wind whips snow violently through our city. Dreamy Scott sits on a plane to (of all places) Oahu, Hawaii for a meeting.  In a few minutes I will bundle myself and my kids in snow clothes and shovel away the blizzard’s heavy droppings that coat my driveway and walkway.  It will be hard work to clear a path. Sometimes blogging through an unfinished story is like that.  Truth and life buried under a pile of emotional weariness.

We emerge, a bit dazed, from a week of intensity, both exhilarating and excruciating.  The Lord is building an edifice of grace in our family, our church, our city; but it is hard work to clear the heaviness and find the way. We slog through phone calls and meetings as we sort through how the Lord wants us to move forward into the clear calling He has on our little family.  Dreamy Scott and I shrug blankly some moments, then bend our knees, listen, act.  The Enemy (who mistakenly believes he has a claim on us) creates obstacle after obstacle, blinds us with smoke screens, fills us with doubt.  We choose to let it fall beside the path.  We set our faces like flint, confident that if we keep our eyes on our mission, the Lord will clear a straight path.

I want to share details, but they are not yet clear.  The picture is not in focus; it is fuzzy, bleary, but drenched in sparkling grace.  That is why I tried to write empty words last night. Instead, I write vague ones (for which I am sorry), but they are my heart.  I will tell you more specifics as the Lord pulls the pixels together.

Yesterday I spoke with Julie Gorman; new friend, lovely woman of God and Executive Director of Women Inspired.  We dreamed together, prayed together, planned together.  (As the Lord clears our vision and shows us how to build Women Inspired in our city, I will record it here.  I hope you will join us.)  She prayed these words over me:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Is.30:21.

How could she know that that very verse has been life and breath to me over the past four years as He asked us to do hard things for His glory and our healing?  I have not thought of that verse once this week, so her reminder was a lightning bolt of mercy.  It was not only Julie who spoke this verse’s invitation to faithful surrender; it was the Holy Spirit, reminding me that underneath the heavy wreckage of dreams deferred and reborn, there is a pathway to glory.  He keeps His promises; He whispers the way to hearts attune.

Sometimes we live in seasons of unfinished stories that crave the kiss of Isaiah 30:21. Perhaps these are merely opportunities for a deeper grace, pathways into a mighty work of God.  He will clear the way before us.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Is.41:10.