Friday, May 28, 2010

Prayer for the lost believer

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see."

The perspective of this ancient hymn is often how we as believers assume our experience with God shall go.

'I once was lost' -- life was confusing and messy, things didn't make sense, we make bad choices, etc.

'But now am found' -- Then we accept Christ and strive to follow him. Life becomes orderly and religious, life makes sense, and we gain wisdom that helps us make great choices and have impeccable character.


'Was blind but now I see...' -- After years of following Christ with my whole heart, I've realized that life can be just as confusing and messy and I still have the capacity to make really bad choices. I'm a new creation, and yet I expect my new journey to be trouble-free and on a well marked path.

And what do you do with the fact that sometimes Jesus will INTENTIONALLY lead you where trouble awaits and where there is no path? What do you do when you're expecting to arrive at a promised land and where you end up is a crucifixion procession?

I guess you pray something like this:

"My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do i really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone."
-- Thomas Merton (1915-1968)


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To the Church-sick christian

Its 12:00 exactly. I am surfing way too late. But it is worth it. I stumbled upon an old post at the run-a-muck, one of the most poetic & authentic blogs I've ever read. Man did this ever hit home:

To the church-sick christian

by AMBER on APRIL 20, 2010


I so often write about my desire to go home to Alabama because sometimes I miss my people, but the truth is that, no matter where I am, I’m the sore-thumb kind.

I thought I had found my people when I started going to church camp – all young, bare-footed, with braces and bangs, singing four-part harmony. We sounded good together, but it turned out, they weren’t my people. Nothing we said we believed seemed to stick.

I thought I had found my people when we shared the wailing music, when we wrote our names in sharpy cursive on red plastic cups, and held each others’ hair back when the rebellion sicknesses set in. I thought they were my people who stayed up late in the night discussing sex and freedom, abusing our bodies just so we could be together, so afraid of Alone.

I thought my people were mostly white. I thought we were middle class, beautiful, young, and artsy, but I was wrong. When it really comes down to truth, I was wrong.

“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ~1 Peter 2:10

I am only really a part of the people of God, and even then I’m called an alien, the sore-thumb kind, a wayfaring stranger, but too, a holy priest from a royal nation, chosen and belonging to God. And why is that so? Why am I so different? Why ought I be? And why must I claim this screwed up bunch of folk called “believers”?

It all has to do with how dark it is behind us and sometimes in us. I’m a people with you running toward the light, and I can’t avoid it anymore, you and I, our spirit names summoned, Beloved and Beloved. We have to go together on purpose. We’re the church.

I need you, church. I am same as you, church, sick as you, saved. Now would you with me declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light? Can we not run from each other anymore? Let’s go together.

You are my people.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

this & THAT

A few
Utterly insignificant to most,
but magnificently precious
to us.

& that.
& that.
& that.

& that.
& that.
& that.
& that.

& that.
And then there's this...
How 'bout that?

God uses the broken

I suppose if I were God and had almighty cosmic powers, I might want a bit of a challenge. Perhaps this is why God uses broken people to accomplish his will. Perhaps it would be too easy for him to use the good or the perfect. But God doesn't just use the broken, it seems he favors them:

Abraham and his broken marriage,
Jacob and his broken hip,
Moses and his broken tablets,
Gideon and his broken pots,
Samson and his broken pride,
David and his broken heart,
Peter and his broken loyalty,
Jesus and his broken will.

Sometimes in life we make choices that we think we can never recover from. Sometimes uncontrollable circumstances wreck our lives beyond recognition. And yet, we have hope that cannot be wrecked, because God uses the broken.

Monday, May 24, 2010

letters from johnnie

erica: "HUUUUN...your letter from Johnnie is here," as I drop the mail on the counter.

aron: "Oh, you mean my good friend, John Eldredge? Yeah, I was expecting that. He writes me every month...surprised you didn't know that."

This happens once a month, every month. Just like this. We are gloriously predictable at times.

Aron does get letters from one of our most favorite authors, Johnnie E., every month; except, they're addressed, "Dearest Friends," so apparently many other people do too. That's okay, we'll take it; we'll glean from his wisdom in whatever form it comes.

I wanted to share with you a small excerpt from this month's Johnnie letter concerning matters of the heart:

I came out this morning to the most glorious sunrise I've seen in a long time. The kind that takes up the entire sky...all of the clouds were salmon color except those closest to where the sun would rise; they were golden. The glory of the color was made more brilliant by the contrast of the grey tops of the clouds. The sun has not yet risen. There was a column of light, glorious, shooting straight up through the sunrise. I've only seen that once before. I knew God was giving me a picture.

The picture was portraying the true beauty of what had just taken place the prior four days

We just finished a Captivating retreat in the mountains. More than 350 women came from all over the world to meet Jesus in a deep and intimate way. To have their hearts deeply healed. To be set free from the assaults of darkness. It was...glorious. Like the sunrise. The rescue of a human heart is the most beautiful thing on earth. There is simply nothing that even compares.

For a heart is the treasure of any person's life - the heart is what enables us to love, to know God, to laugh, to, to have friendships and romance, to feel passion, to fight injustice, to take in beauty, to live. So when the heart is wounded, bound, held captive, and dying, everything else in life withers. Every relationship - especially our relationship with God. Every work we are called to . All the glories of life fade away.

And so the ransom of a human heart ransoms everything - a life, and then many lives, and all the beauty of those lives. And thus the Kingdom of God advances.

How true are these words! I see it all around me. I see it in my own spirit. The ransom of the human heart...the great awakening of the spirit of man to that of his Maker's. This is the passion that burns in my spirit - to see hearts come alive to Christ, come alive to his love, come alive to true life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rodeo Crawler

You can't corral this crazy crawler!

Rodeo Crawler from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.


Monday, May 17, 2010

beauty & the beast

my beauty, Belle,in her morning glory.

Freshly plucked from her bed of dreams,awakened to her world of choc-o-late milk, giggles, and lands beyond.
And my ferocious beast (to be), but for now, a playful lion cub. (I was beyond thrilled to stumble upon this Lion shirt).
This little cub must be a beautiful beast; at the grocery this week he was told by 3 different passerby's, "What a cute little girl!"
Don't worry, Lion Cub. One day you will grow your mane, and there will be no mistaking who you are: brave and fierce, full of honor and love. As Daddy once penned in a song,

"Be an Oak, my son, with the heart of a Lion.
The only failure in life, is not even trying.
For you are of the chosen race,
marked not by flesh, but by the Grace -
Born of the Blood, we breathe by faith.
For the sake of the others...
That's why they call us the Lovers."


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Judah comes 'a crawling when he hears the music; he will sit glued at his daddy's feet as long as he plays.And Belle practicing her dance recital this girl!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Life gives you a WEEK of Stormclouds & Rain

Put on some galoshes & go jump in the puddles.
Or put on your mommy's galoshes and laugh hysterically as you stumble and fall trying to walk about.
And finish off each evening with a warm, sudsy bath & snuggle time with those you love.
There is a time for everything.
And a season for every activity
Under Heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, May 10, 2010

a boy & his bath-LOVE

Since Judah has been mobile (crawling on a 8 cylinders, I might add). I find him over and over again just like this:
Staring longingly into the bathtub. I find him many, many, many times a day right here, waiting. How adorable!

Oh, and I did catch a pic where you can clearly see all FOUR of his teeth! My boy is getting way too big, way too fast!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This mother's day I am feeling so incredibly blessed to be entrusted with such precious lives to nurture.
And what a beautiful time I have doing it!
I love having a cowgirl princess to wake up to each morning.

And listen in to her adventures as they wind through the stories of our life.

And I love to wipe away the tears from the tiny cowboy who gets a kick in the head from a careless horse.
Embracing wet snuggles as he leans in for comfort.
Today we celebrate mothers.
And I have two very special mothers for whom I am eternally grateful.
But in the quiet moments of this afternoon,
my heart is drawn to celebrate the God who saw fit to show me his love through the journey of motherhood.
To teach me through my hearts unwavering affection for my children
that indeed, I am loved this way and more by Him.
(In my heart of hearts, I often struggle to really believe I am loved by the Father apart from what I do)

I never really understood what God meant when he said that he has loved us as sons and daughters.
Until now.
What a glorious love His is.
My God & My Father,
May my heart mirror the riches of your love to my children always,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

JJ Heller

My sweet husband walked through the door last night and placed this in my lap.

"I bought this for you."
He knew I really liked JJ Heller's newest single "Your hands" (I placed a live video on the blog several months ago.)

I wondered how the album would compare.
Oh. My. Word.
I do have a slight biased/love for singer/songwriters. I love their artistic integrity. I love that their music flows out of their life story.
This album is just beautiful.
I placed the first two songs of the album below for you to check out. Don't pay any attention to the videos; YouTube is just the fastest/simplest way for me to share the music with you.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

dwelling here

Matthew 6:33 (The Message)

30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

*please note this is not a translation, but a paraphrase from the original text. emphasis is mine.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Seeing through ROSE colored lenses

I am thoroughly enjoying my 3 year old's fresh perspective on this world.

I think you will too; enjoy life through the eyes of Isabelle Rose:

May 4th
9:25 am

Belle: "Mommy, my nose is running! I need a tissue!"
ejk: "Here you go, baby."
(She wipes her nose...)
"Look at the tissue & tell mommy what color your snot is. Is it clear, yellow, green?"
(Hey, you don't have to have a nursing degree to know there are a lot of things one can know from the color of their kids' snot)
Belle: "Umm, I think it looks kind of sparkly."
ejk: "So its clear?"
Belle: "No, it looks...its the color of a Forsifia (forsythia) bush."
ejk: "Oh! So its bright yellow? Let me see your tissue, honey.
"Well, your snot must be clear because I don't see anything on the tissue."
Belle: "Well mommy, just because you cannot see the snot doesn't mean that its not there. Snot is like Jesus. You can't see him, but he's really there."

May 4th
7:30 pm
Family Christian Bookstore

Belle & I are together looking through the card department. As she browsed, she periodically picked up a card & tucked it under her arm. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "These are just for you, mommy. I picked out all the ones with your name on it. See, 'M-O-M'."

That is Mother's Day enough for me!

Monday, May 3, 2010

There was nothing special about today

And yet everything seemed special.

From an apron'd Isabelle Rolling dough,
A sweaty husband ab-ripper x-ing,
A melt-your-heart sweet Judah wrinkling his nose & dancing to the music.
I had several moments-
moments that I just stopped in disbelief.
So many blessings in such concentration.
I stared at Judah's teeny feet bobbing to the beat as he nursed.
Watched Isabelle pose for her dance pictures.
Breathed in the May beauty &
Sang along with Shane & Shane to Jesus.
Today was so busy, trying to unpack
And catch up from over a week absence.
Piles of laundry remain,
but even so, there was so much life lived in such an ordinary day.
Sidewalk art by all.
Judah even grabbed a dirt-clod snack.
And a bit of Daddy-Flesh.
Watch out, he sucks hard & bites even harder.
Ask Grandma Jackie's arm.
God's love for us is so simple, yet so vast how can we comprehend?
I think I begin to understand by the way my heart beats for my children.
But I think that is only a speck in the universe of his heart for us.
He has colored my world with His love & His gifts.
How foolish of me to waste my days worrying & fretting & giving my Pearls of Joy to the Pig who seeks only to steal, kill, & destroy.
I have everything I need in Jesus.
I have more than I deserve in His love for me.
In the treasures he has placed in my care.

May I love them well, Father.
Help me to die to myself so that your Life may abound in me.