Monday, October 29, 2007

Whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed

(October 26th- Pre- Big Time "Bravehearts" retreat)

Only Father in Heaven,

How often I live as though I have no faith. And, while I may have faith, I certainly pray like I have none. If I truly believed the things that I tell others about prayer- that it is the primary means by which You conform our wills to God's, that You as the potter mold us into the image of Your Son, and the way that You have chosen to use us for Your will in this world- then certainly I would pray with more urgency, purpose, and power. Surely I would pray with more humility, fervor, and awe. No doubt I would simply pray more. God, I believe. Help my unbelief. Amen.

What do we have to offer these kids save for Christ? There is nothing... All else will fall away as dust or, worse, will only help strengthen the chains that keep them enslaved to sin, in bondage to eternal death, and destined for hell. Let us as leaders know nothing among these students except Christ and Him crucified.

Many many fall in love with You this weekend. May they see the joy that is in our hearts that comes from the greatness of knowing You, Lord.

You are light. In You there is no darkness. May we walk in the light as You are in the light. Amen.

Friday, October 5, 2007

forbidding mourning...

i have no idea how to grieve. absolutely none. it's positively horrifying. i realized this peculiar fact late last night- in the face of death, i find myself always either playing the stoic, unfazed by the most terrible of news, or i allow my mind to play the drunk and obliviate, just like i did the first time when anna broke my heart. i was, be it temporarily, not a part of this world, but wandering about like a stranger in a strange land or a zombie- the living dead.

certainly there has to be some balance between a "time to mourn" and "death has been swallowed up in victory," right? i should not be made to sit idylly, seemingly unaffected & unmoved by the news of my Aunt Bettie's passing, nor should i be hopelessly distraught, because this mortal death is not the final death at all (did not Christ raise a little girl, Lazarus, and even Himself from the dead, assuring the disciples not to fear because Lazarus's sickness was not unto death?). however, inhumanly, instead of weeping, i withdraw.... into a place where i no longer have the ability to think or feel or, for a time, even move. and so, i sit here on the couch in our dirty house that was my make-shift bed last night, fingers growing heavier by the second, eyelids longing to draw close and shut out the world and its vendetta against life and beauty, mind reminiscing over the fleeting and suddenly fuzzy memories of Aunt Bettie chasing my grandmother around the backyard with a plastic bat after an Easter egg hunt, her battle with my dad over a box of chocolates, the sound of her aged, country voice calling my name, the ferocity with which she loved Georgia Tech...

And then my mind lingers over the words of Dylan Thomas, so fresh in my mind, so filled with morbidity & darkness and simultaneously ponders the words of David Crowder, so honest and filled with hope in the power of God. O God! I believe! Help my unbelief! It is so hard for me to claim your promises now in the face of blackness & bleakness! My heart feel so far from joy and hope and, yet, cannot bring my eyes to tears.... I just feel, empty. Thanks Ray... Maybe I will always feel this way- at least until the sun turns black...

Can I really claim to love her if I cannot cry over her death? God, I believe I loved her. I want to believe it. I need to believe that I loved her. Curse this intolerable weight! How can I hope to stand against it?

Christ, be with us now and at the hour of our deaths- stand by us and help us to live well for you and only for you, that we might come before your throne and hear you utter the most beautiful words any human could ever hope to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." You hold the keys of life and death, nothing can withstand your will, and no one can say to you, "What have you done?"- O Living God, hold me close in your arms now...

"Why are you so downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For yet, I wll praise Him,
My savior and my God" -Psalm 43:5