Permission Granted

I have given myself permission to miss everything – mother, father, friends, lovers, once-in-a-lifetime-opportunities, everything – except this.

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Inspired and Encouraged

Thanks, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, not to mention today’s NaNo words of encouragement! Your email was just the ticket! This phrase liked me:

and now it is all grown-up and book-shaped and published and bestselling

I feel like you were speaking prophetically about my current project. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Since there was no way to respond to the NanoMail you sent, I thought I’d blog my appreciation and question: Does Scrivener come with a pricetag? No need to reply. I discovered the free trial option.

Silencing the Flesh

I don’t know where I get the chutzpah sometimes. The following string of complaints actually came out of my mouth in response to the generic, how are you, while making a donation to a woman’s shelter today.

I’m sorry the bag burst as I was putting it in the truck and there’s more on the patio where I used to live, but I couldn’t carry the last big box. I just moved and didn’t place the order in time to have the gas connected before the holiday so I’ve been showering at the gym since Thursday. I just put my dog up for adoption and I teach online but my internet’s down.

Instead, I should’ve given thanks for all God made possible for them to do, for me to give, for the jobs we all have and that I had the company of a precious pup for two years. I immediately saw my half-empty response as a ruse of the enemy and returned to praising God for every tear, trial and triumph. I recalled Jesus’ invitation in Oswald Chambers’ devotional yesterday. Watch with me.

Let God Arise and His Enemies Be Scattered

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 1st Kings 18 encourages us greatly:

Let us never despise the day of small things, but hope and wait for great things from it. From what small beginnings have great matters arisen! It is thus in all the gracious proceedings of God with the soul. Scarcely to be perceived are the first workings of his Spirit in the heart, which grow up at last to the wonder of men, and applause of angels. Elijah hastened Ahab home, and attended him. God will strengthen his people for every service to which his commandments and providence call them.

Like comfort, make disappointment your enemy. To avoid its traps, build every relationship on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers addresses this directly in his devotional for July 30th when he writes: There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Selah.

Lord, I thank You!


Samuel M. Franklin interpreting

Simple Pleasures

Papi Celestial wants us to have it all, to know and love Him much the way He knows and loves us. Only to prevent spiritual bends (akin to decompression sickness experienced by some divers) as we emerge along the journey, He slows things down so we can adjust. I got that insight while walking the dog this evening. For context, recall the verse affirming that “all things work together for good to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). I’d been noticing how my back felt fine despite not having aligned it before leaving the bedroom this morning. I smiled almost coyly noticing that the whole back thing may just have been His way of getting my attention and allowing me to choose to slow down and sit with him first thing each morning – a practice that will continue and, cloaked in the form of a medical directive, remains unchallenged by all. Nice work!

The night sky a perfect periwinkle
a melon sweet as perfume
wonton soup to put all others to shame and
91 degrees in the desert.

It just doesn’t get any better, I say.
God says, watch Me!

If the “Brat” Fits…

Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas.


How many times have I actually acknowledged that I worry simply because I want my way? Has it ever struck me that way? Oswald Chambers wants us to know. The most recent incident of this fretting determination was in a car dealership. I had prayed for favor and gotten it. In fact, the prayer was so effective that the dealership couldn’t handle the overflow. So many people came in to buy a new car that afternoon that upon my return later that evening, every staff member commented on it. A very nice problem to have indeed.

The only trouble was I didn’t know what it was that I wanted so when favor came, I wasn’t exactly prepared to receive it. I had gone to test-drive a car and now I was on the threshold of leaving with a new one with more perks than I could imagine and a payment half that of the one I’d last paid. The good news is, that Christ came and will come again because of and in spite of us, our self-absorption confusion and disobedience. He came because we couldn’t get out of our own way without something greater than two hands and a flashlight. The Light of the World came that we might have life more abundantly. Receive Him.