Deb’s Journey…

September 1, 2011

Nothing is Wasted

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Tom and I have been watching the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy this week.  We’ve been so delighted in the story, especially in the Fellowship that travels with Frodo on his challenging journey.   At one point Sam says, “I cannot carry your burden Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you”…perhaps friendship is best defined that way!

As I look back on our own challenging journey over the past three years I cannot help but remember with grateful tears the faithful warriors who have carried us during dark times when we could not move forward on our own and when hope felt like a lie.

One of our Fellowship has been Jason Gray.  His songs point to the Redeemer and offer us hope and light even in our darkest nights.

This week you can hear a special intimate version of his song “Nothing is Wasted”.  https://www.facebook.com/jasongray?v=app_178091127385

This song has touched deep places in me.  Jason has helped keep my hope alive many times over the past couple years as we’ve walked through sorrow.  I’m grateful beyond words!

The hurt that broke your heart

and left you trembling in the dark

feeling lost and alone

Will tell you hope’s a lie

but what if every tear you’ve cried

will seed the ground

where joy will grow?

Nothing is wasted

Nothing is wasted

In the Hands of our Redeemer

Nothing is wasted

The wound that leaves a scar

becomes a part of who we are

but this is not the stories’ end

The pain that closed the chapter

sets the stage for what comes after

when all we’ve lost will be found again.

Nothing is wasted

Nothing is wasted

In the Hands of our Redeemer

Nothing is wasted

When hope is more than you can bear

and it’s too hard to believe it could be true

and your strength fails you half way there

you can lean on me and I’ll believe for you

and in time, you will believe it too…

Nothing is wasted

Nothing is wasted

Sometimes we are waiting in the sorrow we have tasted

but joy will replace it

In the Hands of the Redeemer

Nothing is wasted…

I hope you’ll go and listen to it   https://www.facebook.com/jasongray?v=app_178091127385 The album “A Way to See in the Dark” will release on September 13th but you can pre-order on iTunes or at http://www.jasongraymusic.com/

Jason Gray with us at the Haitian Orphan concert in April.

Ian Thomas - Forever Seven

February 23, 2010

Jason Gray honoring Ian…

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Jason Gray wrote a very “Ian honoring” post on his blog this morning and I wanted to share it with you…http://www.rabbitroom.com/?p=6487

This past weekend I found myself face to navel with one of my favorite musicians -Jason Gray. (Truth be told, I was an absolute klutz and literally stepped on his toes trying to hug him when he first arrived at our house.) He’s a giant of a man physically (6’6”), but also in his spirit. He’s so talented as a singer/songwriter, authentic & transparent, gentle, kind and wonderfully gracious. The Lord Jesus has taken up residence in his heart and being with Jason is a little taste of what heaven is gonna be like. Jesus is obviously his refuge & fortress, so he doesn’t seem to find a need to build his own walls …he draws us in and makes us feel accepted and safe…even when we step on his toes.   :)   He makes me want to be a better person, shows me what is possible if I can let go of my masks & fears…he’s genuine…the world needs more genuine people like him …I pray to emulate that.  We were introduced to Jason’s music last summer and God has used it to minister to our grieving, broken hearts, to speak truth in a gentle way that is bringing hope & healing.

We connected with Jason last fall to do a house concert for us. Our hope was that we could commemorate Ian’s baptism anniversary last November, but that didn’t work for Jason’s busy schedule so he asked if February would work for us…we were stunned and not sure we could emotionally handle doing a February event, but we prayed and asked if the 19th would fit with his schedule…when it did, we knew that the Lord Himself had given us a way to survive the last of our “stinkin’ firsts” in a year of grief. We were so blessed and honored to have Jason come to our home! We put the word out and were amazed that 74 responded “yes” to our invitation…the night was magical and I still haven’t absorbed it…it still feels “huge” and surreal to me in an overwhelming, beautiful way…thanks to everyone who had a hand in it and for all those friends who were servants that night!  And a VERY SPECIAL THANKS to God’s vessel- Jason Gray who I’m delighted I’ll spend eternity with.  :)

If you haven’t yet had the joy of experiencing Jason’s music, I encourage you to check out his website www.jasongraymusic.com
Here are just a few of my personal favorite lyrics from his songs…though I encourage you to buy all his music and enjoy it for yourself!

“Blessed be… the ones who know that they are weak they shall see the Kingdom come to the broken ones…blessed be. Thirsty…like you’re drinking from a salt sea but one day you’ll be satisfied. Hungry…for the taste of mercy aching just to have your fill one day you will…” – “Blessed Be” from All the Lovely Losers & Acoustic Storytime


“I was afraid to be weak, afraid to be me I was afraid because I didn’t want them to see what’s broken in me. But I guess I was wrong I should have known all along…when I’m weak You are strong in me. You make up what I lack, You shine through the cracks where I was shattered because You pour out Your grace through my broken places. So I won’t be afraid to cry, confess or question why, I won’t hide the pain I feel now I know these wounds are how You heal…” –
“Weak” from All the Lovely Losers & Acoustic Storytime


“Oooh, all I see are the ruins as the smoke starts to clear…I hope You know what You’re doin’ ‘cause You brought me here…And if it’s hard to raise the white flag it’s even harder to believe that surrendering is worth the sacrifice as the very thing I always feared would be the death of me was a way to come alive. Now it hurts to be this broken but it’s bearable somehow as the chance to prove I’m worthy disappears. I’ve always heard You loved me, but I think I know it now…is that the reason why You brought me here?…”-
“The reasons why You brought me here” from Acoustic Storytime


“Careful not to go too fast you may spin out of control…even when you’ve done it right there’s still no guarantee that you won’t fall…if I could, I’d break your every fall but if you never fell you’d never learn to get back up again, my child- you must learn to get back up again, and again, and again” –
“Learning to ride a bike” from Hoping


“What would I give for my children’s strength on the day that they stand alone? I mean what would I give for their strength to stand firm? I’d give everything that I own. I’ve wasted my life in accomplishing things, ignoring the Giver of wings. So Lord teach them to fly to the foot of Your throne I’ll give everything that I own…” –
“Everything I own” from All the Lovely Losers & Acoustic Storytime


“You don’t have to give me an answer, an answer’s the last thing I need. There’s no magical cure for this cancer I just need you to listen to me…this dark room is perfect for hiding but I don’t want to hide anymore…you can’t force the light here inside it, but you can help me open the door…you’re the one holding the key…the key to the truth of what’s really going on, your listening ear is the grace of God, love will take the shackles off…” –
“Holding the Key” from Everything Sad is Coming Untrue


“When we step aside from the center of our lives and learn to love mercy more than being right. Pursuing peace and honesty starting down the road of selflessness and seeing where it leads…All I know is there’s a better way to live…it’s not the love you have but the love you have to give…” – “
Better way to Live” from Everything Sad is Coming Untrue


“When you’re tired of holding on to hope, but scared to death of letting go when there’s no burden like the truth and faith hurts like an open wound…take it to the healing hands, take it to the One who builds the mountains take it to the One who stirs the ocean tides, take it to my Father’s heart that’s broken by the burden that I carry…He will take me by the hand and lead me to the other side…” - “
When the stars fall from the sky” from Everything Sad is Coming Untrue “special edition”


“Another nail in another coffin, arms that held you return to dust. Yet in our grief we know that death must be a liar for no goodbye is ever good enough. How could it be that everything sad is coming untrue? The winter can make us wonder if spring was ever true, but every winter breaks upon the Easter lily’s bloom…oh I believe that everything sad is coming untrue in the hands of the One who makes all things new…” – “
Everything Sad is Coming Untrue (Part 2)” from Everything Sad is Coming Untrue

January 18, 2010

Jehovah Jirah - My Provider!

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Can I tell you an amazing story? I’m so excited I just have to share…
I opened my Saturday mail a few minutes ago and received a card from World Vision telling us that someone has amazingly donated a traditional well in Ian’s honor - the whole well! I’m blown away!

Somehow I kept sensing the need was bigger…for clean water…and then this thing with Haiti happened…yet in my own limited vision I thought oh, a well would be a great goal and I couldn’ t release that, so God said “fine - here, now can we move forward with MY plans?” I’m on my face today…God is at work…He provides and He moves…it’s AMAZING to watch His plans unfold…  check out Ian’s  fund raising page to see our new goal…

Plus it’s Jason Gray’s birthday today and he’s coming to our house one month from tomorrow to mark the year anniversary of Ian’s homegoing…Jason’s message is “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue” God is unfolding that all around us…it’s incredible to watch!

Because He lives,
deb

January 13, 2010

Deb’s life 1993- Present “Readers Digest version”

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January 1st, 2010  I joined Facebook.   Lots of re-connecting with folks I haven’t seen in 17+ years…it’s odd…yet good.  Early interactions always read like a resume…it’s hard to re-cap that many years into a few sentences…but here goes…

My husband Tom & I met “online” in Feb 1993 while at separate colleges - before it was popular…before there was even a world wide web…we met while “chatting” on a bulletin board system out of the University of Iowa called ISCA…We both moved to MN that summer.  We met in person at the MN Zoo in June…were engaged summer 1994 and married in May 1995.  I worked odd jobs mostly in the area of administration/bookkeeping.  Tom is a computer programmer and a bass player…

In April 2000 we miscarried at 13 weeks - our midwife said “twins”… In July 2001 God gave us a son,  we named him -  Ian Thomas.   The name “Ian” means God is gracious.  I had the joy of staying home with him.  Ian was all boy - loved all rodents, trains, trucks, building things with Legos, running, climbing, and had a wonderful imagination.  When Ian turned 3 he needed more peer interaction and so did I,  so I went to work a couple days a week at our church… helping with the small group ministries - something that has become a passion of mine.

On what would have been Ian’s Kindergarten graduation day he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2008.  He battled bravely with “courage & kindness“.  He came to know & love Jesus that summer - was baptized that November and went to live forever with Jesus in February 2009 - he lived 7 perfect years + 7  months.  We are comforted to know he’s safe always, whole & well - indeed “God IS gracious!”  You can read more about Ian on:  Ian’s Caring Bridge Site

Tom and I have surrendered our hearts to the Lord in this…we’ve together and separately had to lay down our dreams for what we thought our life would look like…we’re not really sure where we’ll  go from here, only that we’ll go together…we’ve discovered that we’re not “masters  of our own fates” and we don’t want to be “captains of our own souls”…we’ve discovered that God alone knows what tomorrow holds…that nothing takes Him by surprise and we’re thankful that He promises never to leave us as we move forward…

One way we’re moving forward is by honoring our son’s life values of  “courage and kindness”.  To mark the one year anniversary of Ian’s homegoing we are raising money through World Vision to build a well in a community that doesn’t currently have access to clean water.  To learn more click here.  We’re also hosting a house concert that night and Jason Gray will be coming to our home.  His music has ministered deeply to us this year and we’re so honored he is willing and available to come.

Beyond that…I haven’t a c l u e…more and more I’m learning to live one day at a time…

October 12, 2009

Seeking to fill the stillness…

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I thought rainy days and Mondays were a lousy combination…we woke this morning to snow - the forecast calls for 3 inches…maybe rain’s not so bad afterall…at least you don’t have to shovel rain…

I saw a movie this weekend called “Love Happens”. The movie was more about journeying through grief than anything else … the message was about healing occurring only as we truly face what has happened, give voice to our honest feelings and then have the courage to step forward by loving again and allowing ourselves to be loved.  It touched me in a challenging, but good way.

I’m not sure I realized before Ian died just how much he “filled” my life.  How much he taught and touched my heart, how much he entertained and how our home rang with laughter.

These days I seek to fill that void with music, friends, movies, books, seminars, etc…frankly they don’t cut it, but they do help…

Tomorrow I’ll go to Bible study with 7 dear friends, Friday there will be 14 of us going to a clean comedy night and Saturday there will be 19 of us going on a worship team retreat…one by one the days somehow go by…

As the snow falls it makes me feel the “stillness” at a deeper level…I hate to  see “winter” start so early as  it may be April before it really quits here in Minnesota…Tom and I might have to run away from home …in the meantime I’ve turned on the radio to help fill the quiet … and defrost my cold thoughts with some  Sonshine…

By the way…Jason Gray’s release “For the First Time Again” made the top 15 most played songs on my favorite local station Praise FM 95.3

September 16, 2009

Following rabbit trails…

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I took this excerpt from a post written by Jason Gray that I read in “The Rabbit Room”… I’m prone to following rabbit trails…

“James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other that we might be healed, and it seems unfortunate that it’s often in the church among other believers that we learn how to perfect hiding our sins from each other.  And when we hide our sin and brokenness from each other, everybody loses – we lose because the more we hide our sin the more power it has over us; and those around us lose, too, when we insist on parading the mockery of our own self-righteousness instead of displaying the work of God’s grace in our lives, allowing others to see what grace looks like in a real person’s life with real issues.

I wish that my sin could be a private project that just me and God work on, but he hasn’t designed our sanctification to work that way.  He insists that we bring others in on the conversation.

Dietrich Bonheoffer has said:
“Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation… In confession the light of the Gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart…. Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of a Christian brother, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders… and he finds the forgiveness of all his sin in the fellowship of Jesus Christ and his brother… Now he stands in the fellowship of sinners who live by the grace of God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.”

So we have to let people in and learn to live confessionally, in community with others.”

Ah community…with all it’s advantages, why is it many times fearful for us to enter?  I want God to  just snap His fingers and heal me…I want it to happen in the still quiet of my room, just between God & me.   My heart so resonates with what Jason writes here…the desire for privacy in the depths of my heart and yet the battle must be waged with the help of others in order to truly win…isolation is the tool of the enemy who seeks to drag me off in solitude so he can destroy me.  Too often I fall into his hands without a fight and find myself held captive - again.

Christ said  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” - John 10:10

Life to the full?  YES,  LORD - PLEASE!  I believe Ian has this “life to the full“…yet is it possible to have it here on this earth?

Possible… but not while I’m held captive…I must be free.  To be free…I must join the side that’s already won and then never give up.  I must learn to fight and yet oddly in the Kingdom fighting often comes in the form of surrender… the secret it seems is knowing who to surrender to and so uncovering the truth is essential.

I can only see part of the picture, therefore I must walk in community alongside others who fight with me…not fight with me…fight with me.  Funny how that is the very thing that holds me back…fear that their fight will not be with me but instead will be with me?  On one hand there’s trust of the perfect Lord and on the other hand there’s trust of His imperfect, broken, wounded people…yet as I look in the mirror I see that they look just like me…yet my heart cries for “Safe People”…the question is, how do I find one & better yet, how do I become one?

It reminds me of this song… by Watermark called “More than You’ll Ever Know”…

“Something brought you to my mind today I thought about the funny ways you make me laugh and yet I feel like it’s ok to cry with you
Something about just being with you when I leave I feel like I’ve been with God and that’s the way it ought to be
You had faith when I had none You prayed God would bring me a brand new song when I didn’t think I could find the strength to sing
and all the while I’ve been hoping that I’ll do the kind of praying for you that you’ve done for me and that’s the way it outght to be
You have carried me You have taken on a burden that wasn’t your own, may that blessing return to you a hundredfold
Cause you’ve been more than a friend to me you fight off my enemies cause you have spoken the truth over my life
And you’ll never know what it means to me just to know you’ve been on your knees for me
Oh, you have blessed my life more than you’ll ever know”

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. - Matthew 10:34  Why did Jesus come bringing a sword?

Because His coming was an invasion behind enemy lines…this is a world is at war and Jesus was sent into it on assignment…

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”- Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus did battle, He was fiercely opposed and struck down, but He powerfully completed His assignment and won the Victory.

(Ian loved Star Wars, but he came by it naturally because Tom & I both were original Star Wars junkies…)

Obi-Wan: “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

Jesus put His sword up and allowed Himself to be struck down so that He could conquer the worst thing the enemy could throw at Him - by surrendering,  He won the victory conquering even death itself!

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” - John 14:6

Death is ultimately defeated - Jesus has come to the Father  -He is the way…He is the truth that sets me free…He is life to the full

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty - Zechariah 4:6

This world is still a world at war…I am in enemy territory and have found myself wounded in the crossfire and under heavy attack… I sense that I too am under “assignment” though my orders are unclear at the moment.   I need the courage to get up on my feet and stand my ground…and I need prayer warriors willing to fight with me on our knees with open hands…

If you’re praying, would you encourage me with a quick note?  I can’t tell you how much it means!

September 8, 2009

Help Me, Thank You

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As the day goes on I find myself listening to music and yes, that does indeed mean yet another mention of  Mr. Jason Gray…

My day started in the depths with the “help me” plea… God is the faithful, amazing lifter of my head… “Thank You!”

“Help Me, Thank You” - by Jason Gray & Randall Goodgame

“The two best prayers I know either one is always apropos like my oldest friends they know just what to say

Some days my cup of blessing fills other days I trip and when it spills I’m not guessing either way I know just what to pray

Help me, help me

Thank You, Thank You

Whether I’m riding high or feeling low these are the two best prayers I know “Help me” and “Thank You”

The more life I live I find the two prayers intertwine like my fingers do when I bow my head to pray.

Blessings can be so confusing winning when I think I’m losing - the wounds of yesterday, might be my saving grace today.

With eyes wide open to the wonder of it all or with broken wings while I’m spinning in free fall

“Hallelujah!” “Deliver Me!”  rising up inside of me  - rolling off my tongue before I thought to bid them come.”

Pruning…

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Thoughts whirl and since I cannot seem to “process” them without either talking or writing and though I’ve talked my poor husband’s ear off all weekend (4 grand days ) he’s now back to work  and I can’t settle some of this…so I’ve decided to write…

It is my natural tendency to “analyze things to death”.   I’m processing all of this in light of the past 18 months or so and trying to make sense of things that in ordinary ways frankly don’t make much sense…Yes for good measure the Lord has also been talking with me about “lean not on your own understanding”…yet I can’t seem to yield fully to that and I keep begging Him to “help me understand”…so puzzle pieces that are given must be examined closely to see glimpses of the bigger picture that I truly do know I must just trust Him for…and yet...“the intensity that is Debra Henderson” seems unable to rest until I have a clearer picture…

18 months ago …April 2008…

I had a happy & healthy kindergartner for all I knew.  I was working two “school” days a week for one church and two “school” days a week for their daughter church both of which had their offices in the building where Ian attended school.  We attended Sundays at a third church.  I was  leading a woman’s small group, involved in a couple’s small group, serving on a ministry team and leading another ministry team.  Life was VERY busy…but productive.

I was praying about being too busy as I looked ahead to summer at home with Ian…God had asked me to lay down pieces…so I began to lay stuff down…on Ian’s last day of school my plate was clean and I was ready to step into the summer with him…but the very next day he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

How great though that God had put me in 3 different church settings at a time when we needed the greatest amount of prayer cover of our lives.  He goes ahead of us doesn’t He?  Well, if you’ve read the caring bridge during these months, you already know the journey it doesn’t need to be fully rehashed … (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ianhenderson)

Today would have been Ian’s first day of second grade…I’m deeply wrestling…

Pieces come from different sources and yet speak a theme…

A couple of weeks ago Tom & I went to hear a speaker…Rob Bell.  He spoke about many aspects of suffering and brokenness.  One illustration he gave was he had recently hosted a dinner party and invited people skilled in sculpting.  After dinner he handed them each a bar of soap and watched as they carved wonderful creations.  He pointed out that the skill was having eyes to see the shape of the creation within and  knowing what pieces to remove in order to allow the desired shape of the creation to be presented.

Jesus says in John 15…”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…”

I encountered a dear lady the other evening in a coffee shop who shared with me that she’d recently been to California and visited the vineyards.  She said when they prune the branches, they cut them to “within an inch of their lives”.

On my favorite of Jason Gray’s albums he tells a story also about the vineyards and points out that the pruning happens just following the bearing of the “first fruit” - he echos my own thoughts when he says…”I thought the fruit was safe”…he also wrote this song about this process in our lives with the Gardener…

The Cut~by Jason Gray
“My heart is laid under Your blade as You carve out Your image in me. You cut to the core but still You want more as You carefully, tenderly ravage me.

Mingling here Your blood and my tears as You whittle my kingdom away but I see that You suffer too in making me new for the blade of love cuts both ways.

Hidden inside the grain, beneath the pride and the pain is the shape of the man You meant me to be who with every cut now You try to set free…come now set me free…with every day You strip more away…

As You peel back the bark and tear me apart to get to the heart of what matters the most I’m cold and I’m scared as Your love lays me bare but in the shaping of my soul…the blade must take it’s toll, so God give me strength to know that the cut makes me whole.”

My “first fruit” …  my tender, sweet son has been removed and I’ve been laid bare and cut to within an inch of my life…

Will I ever reach a place where I can say with full honesty that the cut has made me whole?  God give me strength…



September 2, 2009

More ramblings…

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LOVED the Jason Gray concert last night by the way…date night for Tom & I…really nice! Gentle acoustic music, great stage ambiance – lots of candles – very old “Over the Rhine” feeling…sweet! Got to meet Jason…had the chance to thank him for his ministry to our grieving hearts – he’s very gracious to go along with his amazing talent what a great combination! Check out his new website…the eyes are movable…Jason Gray’s Website

They are offering a free listen (with his full permission) to his entire new cd at this link… Listen to Jason’s New CD by clicking here

So, today again in the solitude & silence I’m processing …still frankly aching, restless, pouting, discontent and still seeking to know the “next step” in my journey…feeling fairly “empty nester meets new retiree”…

Very much like Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility…

Colonel Brandon: “What can I do?”
Elinor Dashwood: “Colonel Brandon, you have done so much already…”
Colonel Brandon: “Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad!”

Sometimes when I don’t know where else to start I feel the need to start at the beginning…”In the beginning God” …it all starts with Him and He is the ultimate destination of the journey so it stands to reason that in my seeking I must go to Him.

To my way of thinking things that bring me closer to God (pathways to God) will also bring healing to my soul therefore I must learn to walk in them.

So what are the Pathways to God?

According to John Ortberg & Ruth Haley Barton in “An Ordinary Day with Jesus” they are as follows…

Relationships – connecting with God while connecting with others
Intellectual – connecting with God while learning/ reading/ writing
Worship – connecting with God while worshiping Him or listening to worship music
Activism – connecting with God while taking action to promote justice and compassion
Contemplative – connecting with God in silence and solitude
Serving – connecting with God while completing routine Kingdom tasks
Creation – connecting with God while enjoying nature

I have walked in all of these paths and found each of them helpful and healing in their own way…each has a beauty all its own.

Lately most of my time has been spent in silence and solitude…because of that I yearn for the path of relationships.  Though I’ve trusted the deep places of my  heart with the Lord,  I have also longed for the solace of true loving human friendship, but have retreated from it.

So what holds me back?

It is arguable that I have in many ways isolated myself out of fear…fear that rather than the understanding, comfort, security, protection & healing I find with my Lord,  if I actually engage with humans  it might feel more like judgment, rejection, shame, or  harshness.

So in my heart “longing” and “fear” do a war dance each struggling to lead.

I would however also contend that it is not I alone who struggles with fear…

A dear friend bravely shared with me recently that others find me a “very scary person” right now…I’ve wrestled through this truth…what an interesting thought. I don’t reach out to others because of fear…they don’t reach out to me because of fear…

So I brought this mess to the Lord today and walked away with this…

Fear is not from God.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”– 1 John 4: 7

Ian’s life values were Courage & Kindness…he bravely faced his pathway and he walked gently caring about his fellow travelers…

Tom told Ian when he gave him those values that “Courage is not the absence of fear…it is the absence of self.”

So my question becomes…do I honor Ian and live out his values or do I live instead out of fear and selfishness?

The war dance continues…the battle ground is as always the heart…

September 1, 2009

Going deeper into the darkness and light…

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“To be mad is to feel with excruciating intensity the sadness and joy of a time which has not arrived or has already been. And to protect their delicate vision of that other time, madmen will justify their condition with touching loyalty, and surround it with a thousand distractive schemes. These schemes, in turn, drive them deeper and deeper into the darkness and light (which is their mortification and their reward) and confront them with a choice. They may either slacken and fall back, accepting the relief of a rational view and the approval of others, or they may push on, and, by falling, arise. When and if by their unforgivable stubbornness they finally burst through to worlds upon worlds of motionless light, they are no longer called afflicted or insane. They are called saints.”~ Mark Helprin A Winter’s Tale

Found this quote this morning on Jason Gray’s new website…http://www.jasongraymusic.com/home

It spoke to me - as many things he offers speak and challenge me.

This guy has so touched my heart in the midst of my grief…I’m really thankful for his humor, his compassion and his obvious joy in the Lord.

Tom & I will be taking in his free concert tonight in Excelsior… come on out and join us!

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Free Jason Gray Concert, Tuesday, September 1, 7:00-8:30pm,

Westwood Community Church
3121 Westwood Drive
Excelsior, MN 55331
952.224.7300


Westwood is located  just north of the intersection of Highways 5 and 41 in Chanhassen. From Highway 41 go west on either Tanadoona Drive or West 78th Street to enter the Westwood campus.

More info on location here…http://www.westwoodcc.org/default.aspx

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