Wisdom from Fenelon…

This is entitled Surrender to His Plans, it comes from The Seeking Heart by Fenelon.

“I am truly sorry about all your troubles, but I know that God is working on your behalf. Remember that God loves you and therefor He does not spare you! He lays you on the cross of Jesus Christ. Whatever revelations you receive or whatever emotional experiences you have are worthles unless they lead you to the very real and constant practive of dying to your self-nature. Unfortunately, you cannot die without suffering, not can you be said to be fully dead with part of you still lives.

“The death that God bring you will pierce deep within. Soul and spirit will be divided. He sees in you all that you cannot see. He knows exactly where the fatal blows should fall. He heads straight for that which you are most reluctant to give up. Pain is only felt where there is life. And in this situation life is precisely the place where death is needed.

“Your Father wastes not time by cutting into that which is already dead. If He wanted to let you remain as you are, He would certainly do so. He seeks to destroy your old nature. He can only accomplish this by cutting into that which is alive. Do not expect Him to attack only those obviously wicked desires which you renounced forever when you gave yourself to Him. Rather, He may test you by taking away the wonderful sense of freedom you feel, or by taking from you all that now brings you spiritual comfort.

“Will you resist? No! Allow everything! Volunteer for your own death, for God will only accomplish His work to the extent that you let Him. Do not push away the progress that God wants to make in your life.

“Cheerfully give up everything you now rely on to God’s good pleasure. Give up spiritual things, too, whenever He wants to take them away from you. What do you fear, your of little faith? Are you afraid that He may not be able to give you His strength when He takes away yours? Why does He take it away? Only so that He might be your supply. The lesson may be painful, but He wishes to purify you. I see that every natural means of help is shut off. God intends to accomplish His work in your by cutting off every human resource. He is a jealous God. He wants you to see that what He is going to do within you can only be done by Himself alone.

“Surrender to His plans. Allow yourself to be led where He wants to take you. Be careful when you seek help from people when God is not wanting you too. Remember that they can only give you what He gives to them to give you. Why should it bother you that you can no longer drink from the faucet? You are now being led to drink from the ever-flowing spring!”

Some of this is hard for me to read, and to digest. Truthfully, my flesh does not want to digest it. I would much rather not go through pain. But, I need to keep being reminded that the pain I am going through is not just be for the sake of pain, but for God’s ultimate purpose. Why am I not giving up the things I rely upon? Mostly because I am comfortable. I am comfortable in my controlled misery. I want the faucet. I can’t even fathom that there is an ever-flowing spring. I get hung up on experiencing more pain before there is less pain. I wonder, “what will I have to endure to get to a better place?”

On the other hand, I want to be purified. I desire whatever it takes to bring me to the ever-flowing spring. I want to trust Him and believe Him enough to allow Him to work in the way He needs to work. Oh, that is so hard!

But, last night at small group was another confirmation from God that I am not alone, that I am not the only one who has these thoughts, struggles, doubts. I am so thankful for that and to God for bringing these people in my life. and, as hard as some of these words are for me to read, they do bring hope.

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Bring on the tea!

My thoughts have been steeping. Now they are ready…

Disclaimer: some of the following thoughts may seem harsh, unloving, and disrespectful; I do not mean them that way. I am simply recording my thoughts and feelings.

A great man died this week. Jerry Falwell. He accomplished many things in his lifetime. I went to his school because when my parents didn’t have a church for a short period of time they watched him on television (well at least that’s how I knew about the school). I hated my time at Liberty. I did not want to finish college there. I did, however, finish. I left after graduation and what a sense of humor God has, because the moment I left, I wanted to come back to lynchburg. In fact, I could not wait to get back; I missed it! Well, it took over a year to make it back, and in that time I moved to upstate new york, but I’ve been in lynchburg for almost two years now. And the kicker? I’m working at Liberty and getting my masters degree (MBA) through the school. Ironic ironic ironic. Or, maybe just God’s plan?

Personally, I’ve never really agreed with how Dr. Falwell did or said many things. I always respected the man, sometimes because I had to, but mostly because he did deserve respect. I always forget that he accomplished SO MANY things. All I focused on were the same sermons each week year after year, the stupid things that sometimes he was recorded saying, and the way he would honk and “run over” students on campus. I think I was bitter; I think I still am bitter.

I always think I know what is best, that I have the best logical thoughts about things, that if people just did things the way I thought about them, they would all be better off. Most often these thoughts only cause dissension inside my head; I would come off as the most arrogant bitch ever if I vocalized all of my thoughts. I know these thoughts are my flesh in all its glory. I also know that they do not rule my life, or they do not have to rule my life because I am given all the grace I need to follow Christ and not my flesh.

All of this to say: how do I mourn the death of a man who I respected, but did not necessarily like? I have been struggling with feeling guilty about not having more emotion over his passing. It did not shock me or come as a surprise. I actually thought it quite incredulous that he was asking God for 15 more years. not that God could not give him many more years, but that he was not (visibly) doing anything to healthily extend his life. Because of my job, I was able to periodically be in meetings with him. I always thought he looked so worn. It was somewhat easy to hide on TV, but up close he did not look well. but, besides all of this sort of talk, I am still brought back to my question.

I never want to be perceived as doing something because it is the “Christian” thing to do, or people will talk if it is not done. Therefore, I have never really liked doing something because everyone else is doing it, or someone is expecting me to do it. I’m not a fan of assemblies or mass organized functions. Actually, I usually avoid those “expected” gatherings just to make a point. This causes me to struggle with even wanting to go to Dr. Falwell’s funeral.

But, I am wrong. I need to suck it up and realize that everything is not about me, or even my feelings in certain situations. I need to pay my respect and say goodbye to Dr. Falwell. He is one of the great leaders of our time, and I have been privileged to be around and experience his life. It isn’t about making a statement against, it is about coming together for. God blessed this man, his life, and his ministry because he was committed to the Lord. How much I need to learn from the example of being wholly committed, however much I may disagree with his stance on issues.

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Update**

I did not attend the funeral, however, I believe this post was my way of saying goodbye and paying respect to his memory.

Caverns of the Heart

Should we love, only as love seeks to love us? Or, should we love from the depths of the caverns in our hearts? I should say, “love from the caverns,” but who, or rightly, how many, know of the actual depth or the very existence of those caverns? love spurred on by passion – this is the thing that will excavate the depth. No other. For other distractions are but shallow tools that can never know the whole truth. How does love seek to love us, that is far different than the love from the depths? Love seeks to love selfishly, most often; out of personal gain, and not the shear pleasure of an act. Love also seeks to “love” to appease the lust of some thing, object, etc. Love is no longer pure in intention or in word or deed. When did this separation begin? The corruption of love most likely, and now that I say “most likely,” I am certain the corruption began at the beginning of sin. For how can we love purely without purity. Only the love that stems from the passion that begins with Christ can be pure. Oh, how do we get there? Can we all get there – is it even possible? My personal experience would tell me yes – experience in the sense that I have chanced to meet those whose hearts are open, that they are plumbing the depths of those caverns, and they have found treasure beyond their fallen imaginations. That is where I want, no, it is stronger than that – I long to be there, I long to plumb the depths. To discover the fullness of the love that my heart can offer when correctly opened.

Poem

A poem I wrote in 2004.

You are the only One
Don’t You hear me crying?
The rain falls in torrents
Each drop searing its way to the very core of me
Bursting embers from within scream through what is left of my flesh
Exposed for all to see,
I cowar behind the mirage of a thick, white blanket
I perceive that I am engulfed by the vapor
Only to realize that what I have become is nothing I can hide
The agony of the rain and the burning of all that I hold dear
Brings my torment to its crescendo
Suddenly, I begin to break apart
Crackling and crumbling into heaps of dust
The pain heightens and I fear I will not survive
Through it all You are there, watching in silence
Why don’t You help me?
I am dying, please stop the rain!
 
I collapse, dejected and wounded
All around me the swirling wind whips
And with it takes the unsteady particles that once represented me
Approaching footsteps strike fear, but only for an instant
I have died, what more can be done to me?
Still, You pick me up and begin to dress my wounds
Silently, but steadily You restore me until I can stand
Solely relying on Your strength
It is only then, in Your arms, that my eyes are opened
You brought the rain