Why can’t we just live there?

Thin placesSo… the other evening I was “breaking bread” (actually it was sushi – but same concept) with a few friends from my faith community.

As we sipped our wine and enjoyed half-priced Sushi night, we began to talk about worship. One of my friends mentioned how very much she enjoyed participating in communion every week and that even watching the others in our congregation being served the Sacraments is such a Holy Moment.

Another friend chimed in that truly Holy Communion is one of those “thin places“. Of course, we all were immediately intrigued and asked him to explain more about “thin places”.

He explained how C.S. Lewis (one of my very favorite thinkers and writers) would write and speak of the thin places – where heaven and earth intermingle. I made the comment that I wish we could just live in that thin place – where not so much divides and keeps us from connecting to God and each other.

It’s just that I’m not always quite sure how to get there – much less stay there. I’ve experienced thin places throughout my life – from early childhood memories of my Mom and church pianist playing beautiful songs about the Blood of Jesus while communion was being served and wondering how wordless moments could be so powerful to breathtaking nature encounters when I’ve been absolutely certain that Maker painted a particular sunrise or sunset just for me.

But, even in the much-mystery that clouds our every day lives and deters us from entering those thin spaces – I will still seek to learn what an abiding life (see John 15) – that sweet communion with the Maker of our souls -truly looks like.

So… I heard this song today….

And I’m praying for you – praying for me – that our hearts will always beat out this freedom hymn!

Sunrise by God. Photo by Tracy Mauro. Lyrics by Austin French, Kayliann Lowe, Douglas Lowe, Kyle Lee and Jacob Harrison

(Click here to listen)

 

 

I push I pull
Go back and forth finding myself pounding on a locked door
I try to make it out alone without Your help
But I know I’ll never win this war

I can never be
never be free
without You
I can never be
never be
me without You

This is the sound of chains breaking
This is the beat of a heart changing
This is a song of a soul forgiven

This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn
This is my freedom hymn

I breathe the air of freedom in knowing my life
Is better off in Your hands
The past is gone what’s done is done
Now I’m alive
I’m never gonna look back

I can never be
never be
free without You
I can never be
never be
me without You

Who the Son sets
Is free indeed
Who the Son sets
Is free indeed
Who the Son sets
Is free
I’m free

_______________________

Listen to the song by clicking here: https://youtu.be/FePrBgRAKRY

Publishing: Fair Trade Global Songs / AustinFrenchMusic / Foundational Songs (BMI) (admin. at essentialmsuicpublishing.com); Fairtrade Tunes / From The Void (SESAC) (admin. at essentialmsuicpublishing.com); Lost Slipper Music / Prize Pig Music (SESAC). All rights reserved.

Writer(s): Austin French, Kayliann Lowe, Douglas Lowe, Kyle Lee and Jacob Harrison

Would you rather???

So, as I was trying to decided between more gym time and God time or more mirror and makeup time this morning, Maker whispered this “Would you rather” question to my spirit:

“Would you rather hide your flaws and pretend to be perfect or reveal your flaws and be perfected?”

Ouch.

In our insta-filtered culture it’s so easy to trade quickly clicked airbrushed appearances for the hard work of authentic change. But we have a choice – difficult but achievable by our Maker’s strong Spirit in us – to rise above cultural norms and admit our weaknesses, pains, and flaws instead of covering them. And, in return, Maker blesses us with HIS strength, healing, and perfection.

Maker God, may I choose this moment and the next to live in Your light – even when it exposes my flaws – rather than running for the cover of the filtered pretense that the world offers…. In Jesus Name!

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” – Ephesians‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Who do you have faith in?

As I am writing this, today is Sunday. Some of us will go to church today. However, we can spend the entire day in church and spend most of our time giving to others and still not be walking in true faith and dependence on our Maker.

How?

If we feel the need to obsess and scheme about how things are going to work out and how we can “make it happen”, our faith in God may be a facade.

Our scheming and stressing about how it is all going to work out is putting pressure on and faith in ourselves. Period.

My Healing Place

It’s been a year….

OK, maybe it’s been a few years or a few decades of struggles masked by smiles.

But Maker is faithful to sculpt scarred hearts surrendered to Him into resilient masterpieces.

As I prepare to close this chapter in Atlanta – I am so thankful for the healing that has happened here over the past year-and-a-half.

I am especially thankful for those my Maker has surrounded me with in this season to help the healing happen…. Just to name a few: my North Springs United Methodist Church family – especially the Celebrate Recovery group there, my incredible colleagues who became fast friends at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, my warm and welcoming neighbors here on The Hill ATL, and Hector Pereles at New Living Counseling…. Not to mention the faithful friends and family who have covered me with encouragement and prayers from across the country.

I am so very grateful and more adamant than ever when I say “Don’t do life alone”.

I really don’t think I would have survived had I not reached out for help.

#MyStorysNotOver because it’s part of an #EternalStory. AΩ; #AlphaOmegaSemicolon #SuicidePrevention #Hope #Healing #AbuseSurvivor #CodependencyRecovery #HealingContinues #HealingCommunities

Growing Young

Anyone who has met my Dad knows that one of his favorite pastimes is joking around with anybody and everybody around him.

Well…. he’s met his match in pranksters in the teaching team of West Park Baptist’ Church’s Parent’s Day Out program (where my amazing Mom loved teaching preschoolers before heading to Heaven and my Dad now volunteers)!

Dad gets there every morning before anyone else so he can have the coffee made and be at his post by the door to greet the little ones with his infamous “high five” from “Mr. Jay”. He starts his day by hanging his hat on a hook before he goes about his business.

Over the past few weeks, Dad goes to retrieve his hat at day’s end often finds that one of the teachers has “kidnapped” it. Dad then must go on a hunt – sometimes complete with ransom notes and clues – to find it.

On the last day of school before Thanksgiving, the hat was still on its hook – but it had been turned into a turkey!

At age 82, Dad is showing me that there is an alternative to growing old. We can choose to grow young by never taking ourselves too seriously and not missing opportunities to make someone else smile.

Thanks, Dad! You’ll always be my favorite turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!