Friday, November 6, 2015

Vulnerability destroys the lie that you are alone and cannot be healed. Seth Barnes

Satan is the Father of Lies and he cannot tell the truth- Jesus

He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea. Then they were glad because of the calm, and He brought them to the harbor they were bound for. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His mercy and the wonders He does for His children. Psalm 107:31

This is my go-to verse for a number of folks on my fixed-prayer list. If you know me, you can be assured that I have prayed this blessing over your life one time or another, or almost daily.

And last night I shared a butternut salad and pizza Bianca with someone who struggles with liturgical worship. But not me. This same old, same old verse washed fresh splashes of peace over my soul. Again. New every morning, like I have never experienced His sweet goodness before.

The Lord is my shepherd and nothing is wanting to me. In green pastures He has settled me.

And just moments ago, where high waves of sorrow and doubt and weariness were crashing, a calm stillness settled around me, in gentleness.

It is comforting to know that my Lord and Savior went for these early morning walks by Himself. Maybe even He needed a readjustment of vision after long, long days with the crowds.

I hate those who have a divided heart.

The refrain for this morning’s Office is this, a clear reminder of what He hates, those with a divided heart.

But because this is the God who heard His dying Son’s plea “to forgive them for they know not what they do,” I understand that His hatred burns against the divided heart itself, the heart tangled up in lies and blindness and small perspective.

Because I hate it too. Man, yesterday was moment after moment of staring fast-talking and fast-blinking middle school students in the eye and listen to their crazy, tangled, misbegotten and yes, even stupid, lies. The less I believed them, the more emphatically they clung to them, repeating them over and over, louder and louder, making no sense whatsoever, pointing fingers in all directions except theirs.

I hate it. But this hatred is so because I love this crazy, tangled, misbegotten kid, and I am like, “Dude, can’t we move on to the joy and satisfaction of life and learning? How long are you going to fight the pretty-good-time I have planned for you?”

I hate those who have a divided heart.

And that divided heart is the Church as well. And sometimes I get tangled up in the Accuser’s web of deeply dug boundary lines and century-ancient block walls. And more of that rippling joy swelled up from a letter from the Bordens in Africa, the reminder that His Spirit is alive and well, pulsing through His body here all over the earth. They had joined seven hundred others who were part of the 24-7 prayer meeting in Vienna last week…a taste of heaven.

Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the Moravians' 24-7 prayer movement, claimed the motto: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love."
24-7 is uniquely powerful in its unwavering commitment to go out from prayer – to change the world by demonstrating God's love in word and deed. They started the next epoch of 24-7 by offering clothes that had been brought from around the world for Syrian refugees who are coming in their thousands to Austria. Just as in Jesus' prayer in John 17, the love experienced in unity cannot but flow outwards to a world in need of God's grace.
I encourage you to try praying with some people who might pray differently from you. And then maybe try it 24-7 for a couple of days... In St Francis of Assisi's words, and the theme of the Vienna gathering:
"Now, let us begin."
Now let me begin. A new day. New every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.
A new day. Again.