Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Unmovable

Dear Journal,
Two things—

First, a notice that the greatest miracles (stones that are alive?!) in the history of the earth will always meet with the resistance of earth-dwellers. (Even as the Greatest Miracle did.) Either because they are afraid of them, or because they prefer to be in control. Or both.

Second, you and I have been invited to be the miracles in this generation.

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up…

And not just to be a marvel. The idea is to be a link.

“…a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

And along with the responsibility (and the implied resistance) comes the promise that because the Corner Stone stood unmovable, the rest of the stones can too…

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

I’m in.

Too Many Options [Lessons on Pruning]

I tell you, sometimes it doesn’t take an expert… 

I hadn’t the foggiest clue how to make it right, but I certainly knew something was wrong.
This chaos of twigs and buds, of bark and branches. 
I stop on my tour through the arbor— this little haven brother and I baby like a pet. He’s tending to the turf today, I’ll address the apples. 
Here we are, spring upon us, leaving again in a day, and these trees each look like a teenage boy with a bed-head. Something needed to be done yesterday, by someone. And if that someone isn’t me, it won’t be anybody. 
So I watch a string of pruning tutorials on YouTube over lunch break. 
Afterwards, armed with clippers, I chop into the fray until trees never before trimmed look something like the ones in the tutorial. I work down the row, and slowly the motley crew starts looking almost like a brotherhood. And something like trees again. (Instead of bushes.) 
Then down the mulched trail I bungle, bundling branches until I’ve got almost all my arms can handle. From 8 little trees. 
When I toss them down on the little burn pile, I pause to finger fuzzy little bud starts, built last year. And suddenly, it strikes me. 
These branches I just lopped, they were viable, every one of them. Each would have had leaves and flowers this year, maybe even fruit. In fact, there was nothing in the world wrong with them, just… there were too many. Too many viable options.
So, once a year we go through and observe, reassess, mark the best, and get rid of the rest. Not the dead rest, the promising rest… 
That’s how we make the best stronger. 

I wonder would could be, if once in a while I set out to have God do the same for me?

We Fly

We fly.
To old friends, and new lands.
We leave. People we love. Life in progress…
But only for a few weeks.

Mean time, for those we leave, and for where we’re headed, we claim the same assurance.

“The path where God leads the way may lie through the desert or the sea, but it is a safe path.” (PP 290)

Pray us on our way!

Europe and Africa, here we come.

The Soldier and the Cross [New Battlefields]

Fatigue propels me towards sleep. Sleep, only so peaceful under these circumstances.
I have only a week left, and as happens every time I am about to return to the “Land of the Free,” I have this burning…

I have been writing here. More, not less, than at home in fact. But those words are destined for published page, not the blog. Thus long silence.

In the mean time though, the moments before sleep claims my attention are filled with other things.
Like, this desperation that every friend I have in the great West would come to understand the extent of other battlefields, the importance of other battlefields…

And then I found this. It’s not a blogpost. It’s raw off of a journal page two years old. But it’s 570 words worth of what God will do with the life of every man or woman that claims victory over the battlefield between their own ears, and becomes available to God to go off a bit further…

Oh, make that every one of us, Your Grace…

A splattering of photos. More on Google+ and Instagram. 

20 miles on jungle trails in the foothills of the Andes with these shoes. Happiness.

if only a photo could actually capture it…
hilltops full of Inca ruins…
I have learned that starlight is enough. Leave the flashlight at home.

multiple exposures. learning a new game.
home away from home.
that sky…

____________________________
February 2011:

When a child of the Highest finds himself at the foot of the cross, the first thing God does it to commission him as a soldier.

What do soldiers do? Fight.
And who do soldiers fight? Enemies.

David has a great deal to say about enemies. It seems he had a lot of them. Until recently I thought I didn’t have enemies… But now I realize I do.

My enemies are inside me. They seek my hurt. They watch for my life. They wait in the darkness, in the silence, to find a moment of weakness and send me plummenting to my death.

I have enemies alright.

And these I am commissioned to fight.

The first commission given to a soldier after he has knelt at the foot of the cross is the fight against his own selfish heart. The selfish heart is the farthest thing possible from the cross of Jesus Christ. It, (along with its cherished sentiments, pride, vanity, impurity, and a host of others) represents the first battle to be won.

But here is where many fail.
They fail to look beyond the first battle to the endless expanse beyond.

And after fighting the terrors inside teir own breasts, they come crushed to the foot of the cross– (the earnest ones do)

“I’m done. I’m broken. There is nothing left. I’m tired of being beaten to pulp. I can’t stand up, I can’t even sit up! All I can do is lie on my face, moan over my bruises, and try to survive. It isn’t worth it.”

And indeed, such an existence wouldn’t be.

But that is not the end of all things.
It is only the beginning.

For you see, a soldier lives entirely between the foot of the cross, and the battlefield.

But as he gets stronger, his battlefields change.
His enemies change.

It is God’s intention that the territory farthest from the cross, that inhabited by selfishness, pride, impurity…, should become His. He does not intend that the soldier should always be stuck down in the valley a day’s hike from Calvary.

One battle is to prepare the soldier for the next…
The distance between the battlefield and the foot of the cross grows less and less.
Until the soldier is no longer fighting for his life… But fighting for the Cross..

This is what it means to be a soldier.

And as the battlefield changes, so do the enemies. No longer are they demons out solo, trying to crush out one little life.

These are the legions, the best of the best (worst of the worst) and they are trying to uproot the cross itself.

But this soldier is the best of God’s best too. He’s a “Navy SEAL” of the kingdom of God. And with burning muscles, one arm around the cross and the other armed with his sword; his own blood spattering on the stones around him, he grips, he defends that cross. Nothing but death can separate them.

But that’s not all.
There is One sacrifice.
But there are thousands of crosses.

And so God comes to His special forces; those who cannot be separated from the cross and yet live. And looking lovingly upon them He asks for volunteers…

“See this cross?”
“Yes Sir.”
“I need this cross planted over there. in the heart of darkness.”
“I go, Sir.”
“You will spill your blood, and may lose your life.”
“But will the cross stand where I fall?”
“The cross always stands. I promise.

Maybe Someday? [Reflections on The Revolution]

So, I’m back.
Sometimes one needs to step out of their own world for a moment, in order to really see the universe…

But now after 10 weeks away pursuing silence, I return with this one question:
These pages, these words, are these enough?

I don’t know the answer to my own question. But I do know I am not satisfied with just words.

In fact, I am more than dissatisfied.

I suffer this chaffing bred of a dreadful frustration.

Frustration because while we pass around polished platitudes, (from the comfort of our bedrooms on our MacBook Airs) and sing all the glories of the giving,
our missionary heroes are growing old in their fields, and they can’t find dedicated replacements.

What in the world?!

Her voice was only barely louder than a whisper, this friend of mine, and the granddaughter of one such missionary, but her words could have drowned out a thunderstorm.

“[She’s] getting tired…”

Down three sets of escalators those words grind deep into my consciousness. Across the street in a blast of chilly Seattle this flush rises, falls, rises again. Up thirty-three floors to the top of the city, the slipping in of the key, and an open door to the skyline; I stop and stare.

This makes me so upset.

And the most upsetting part is that I’m one of them.
One of the privileged generation. With a heart that’s been prepared for ruthless giving, by all that I’ve been given.
And yet, I’m still here.

I can no longer be satisfied with “maybe someday…”

Scratch the “maybe,” dear Jesus. And may the “someday” be soon…


A Day Which Will Live in Infamy

I can think of others… Like the day Lusitania sank, or the Britannic.

But one principle pervades. Don’t ignore it for its over-simplicity.

When ships go down, they take men with them.

Men who would float, but can’t.
Can’t, because they’re surrounded (“entangled?“) by steel that won’t.

I’ve been reading II Timothy. (yes, still.)

And I’ve been chewing this one verse for days:

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life…” II Timothy 2:4

Because “this life,” this vessel of pleasure, is already mine-struck.

Need I repeat myself? You’re a soldier.
Make absolutely certain you are on an unsinkable ship…

New CD!

It was a beautiful home the Lord of Glory left, when He set out o His mission to save His friends… And it was a cold and barren wilderness He came to. But there was no hesitation. Heaven poured out praises as its Commander became nothing for an ungrateful race…
What He saw here to make Him choose pain and sacrifice over the adoration of angels, We Cannot Tell.

But He chose anyway. And it makes us sing

Our new CD is shipping. Listen to samples, or order your copy right here.

Wonder… :)

Even a simple day of travel around here is full of wonder…
Just so you know, this is the way to see Europe. 😉
(We’re serious.)

We laughed all day while coaxing “armer Opa” up the passes in the Alps…

…And just now we’re going to push him to the mechanic.

For the Sake of Just One

“And I, even I only, am left…”

I wonder if God has kept count of the number of times that has been said since a lonely prophet Elijah crawled to the mouth of his cave in answer to a Divine summons. 
I hope not.
My own heart has mirrored that cry many times… Most recently, just a few weeks ago. 
But this time it was different. I was moved by the pain of the prophet as usual, but then the grip lingered… Lingered long enough for me to find “Loneliness: part 2” in the book of Jeremiah.
“Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth: and I will pardon it.”

For the sake of just one… 
One prayer 
One just judgment 
One seeker of truth…
God would move a city. 
God would save a city.
God doesn’t need an army. 
He just needs one lonely soul…
For one short moment in eternity.
That is why it is glory… 
_________________
Oh, and Elijah–
Actually… You’re not alone. It just seems that way.
He still has 7,000.




 *Figure this one out: this is what happens when the pianist gets tired in the midst of rehearsal…


Absolute Love

My hands in my pockets, my eyes on the ground…
Walking slowly down a Tennessee farm road.
The splash of a pebble in the creek.
The sound of distant laughter.
A heart-melting sunset.
A throbbing soul.

Loneliness.

But it’s ok. More than ok. Should not the cross cost me more than the change in my pocket? Should it not cost me every drop of love in my human heart?
A conversation with one of my sisters last weekend still reverberates in my mind…
God is Trustworthy.
Love costs. Absolute love costs absolutely.
…Yet fills completely.
This is glory for me. 


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