Saying Goodbye Is Hard

Posted by on Monday, Feb 9, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

This weekend we said goodbye to our lake house. Ten years ago we purchased this tiny lake house (cabin) on a lake (really a large pond). It wasn’t a place for our kids – no motor boats allowed – just fishing. It was a Menuha house. Menuha is a Hebrew term which means: “To the biblical mind menuha is the same as happiness and stillness and peace and harmony. The word with which Job described the state after life he was longing for is derived from the same root as menuha.  It is the state wherein man lies still, wherein the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. It is the state in which there is no strife and no fighting, no fear and distrust. The essence of the good life is menuha. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters.’ (the waters of menuhot) In later times menuha became a synonym for the life in the world to come, for eternal life.”  Steve and I have served as full-time ministers and having a place to get away – to Menuha – was … well, words can’t express.  And the beauty was, our Menuha cabin was for so many others too. So many of those who were sold out to Jesus (and needed a place of rest) found it at our little Fly -In -Lake place. This weekend (while Steve served those in the Congo) my kids and I and our house mate, Amy, packed up and moved out of our Menuha house. It was hard. I cried, snot running cry, as the U-haul pulled out of the tree tunnel (those who’ve been will know what I’m referring.) UGH. It was about a year ago that I buried our family dog at this cabin – today I left him behind. Saying goodbye is hard. Even when it’s right and good – it’s hard to say goodbye. 2005 -2015 Menuha -Thanks for the 10 years of...

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Pondering From Luke 8: 4-15

Posted by on Monday, Oct 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Pondering From Luke 8:4-15 This parable is a familiar one. I didn’t even want to write about it. But Jesus spoke, and so I write. In this parable there’s seed, which is God’s Word. And there are four kinds of soil (or ways people respond to Jesus and his message). We have seeds on a path, on the rock, among thorns, and in good soil. Jesus explains … 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. Obstacles to our walk with God clearly exist. They not only exist but pull hard, trying to loosen our grip. While we cling to God’s hope and promises, they pull … trying to loosen our grip. Satan. Worry. Riches. Pleasure. And trials. It wasn’t but a few  years ago that I almost lost my grip. A tsunami hit. I wasn’t even aware it was coming, and my faith was rocked. For the first time, I wondered if living for Jesus was worth it. I considered leaving the ministry. I struggled believing his Word. I felt abandoned, betrayed, and lost. Pain can cause the heart to harden. I tried to move towards him even in my pain. I couldn’t read his Word, so I listened to it online: And slowly, ever so slowly, Jesus started warming my heart again. He does that. Makes our hearts soft. I’m so grateful that when I was about to let go, he didn’t. This passage reminded me that there are obstacles, and they are pulling – hard. If we are going to cling to God’s hope and promises, we must go to Jesus. And listen. Jesus said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Luke...

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Quiet Grief

Posted by on Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

I’ve been quiet because I’m grieving. Grieving over what the Scripture says about community and how we, the Church, fail so miserably. This past Sunday I attended a baby dedication. It was the dedication of the pastor’s son. As I listened and attuned my heart I realized we, the church, aren’t honest. We, the congregation, make statements (committments before Christ) as to how we will undergird and support the parents as well as the child. It’s hog wash. Oh we do it to some extent. But when crisis hits, well actually we show up when crisis hits but what about when family conflict happens? My kids were pastor’s kids. I’m grieving for them because when conflict happened the family fled. My mother’s heart grieves. I’m grieving over what the Scripture says about love, unity, mercy and grace and how we, as a family,  fail so miserably. World Vision. Need I say more. Pete Briscoe, in his Sunday sermon said we’ve used our computers to feel free to bring evil to our brothers and sisters. Oh, how true that is. Yesterday Steve was with the pain stricken Rick Stearns, President of World Vision, and again I am reminded of how vicious the church can be towards its own. As a sister in Christ I’m grieving. I hope I never become so insensitive that I can’t grieve. Jesus wept. I am weeping. I’m grateful for the Lenten season. I need a time to mourn sin. Mine. Yours. Theirs. And ours – the Church. Oh Church, I believe in you. I love you. But oh – how I grieve over us.  ...

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Posted by on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I love the season of Lent. I didn’t grow up in the church so I don’t have any baggage about it. Hear me, I have baggage – just not about Lent. Lent is a time for grieving over sin. Mine. Yours. The Worlds. I need a time to grieve over the brokenness in me and around me – don’t you? Today was my first time attending a Catholic church for Ash Wednesday service. I loved seeing the diversity of God’s people – all coming to declare their need to grieve. Their need to come clean. To come nearer to God. That was at noon today. Tonight at 6 PM I’m going to meet my friend, Denny and her friend – whom I’ve never met – for dinner. And so there’s this tension in me about the ashes. Do I wash the ashes so as not to freak her out? (Or so as not to declare my “spirituality” as the Scriptural reading declared today.) Or do I wear the ashes to declare to her and the world “I’m in mourning.” Both are valid – aren’t they? Regardless of whether or not one can see the ashes – I’m thankful for a month to mourn over sin. Mine and yours and the worlds. I need...

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Disciple of Mourning

Posted by on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 in Blog | 5 comments

This week in Bible study we sat at the feet of an ordinary women who was in deep grief. Her name is Hannah and her story is recorded in 1 Samuel 1. We watched Hannah go to the tabernacle to pray. We listened in to hear her wail in anguish because she is barren. Her prayer was a prayer of lament. A lament is an expression of grief for or about, to regret deeply, deplore, to grieve audible, wail, a song or poem expressing deep grief or mourning. It’s how Jesus prayed just before going to the cross. He was in such anguish that he sweat blood. (Luke 22:42-44) When we watch Hannah lament we see her weep in anguish- so much so her mouth moves but no words come out. It makes me think of how Elaine Scarry describes intense pain. She said intense pain is “language destroying; as the content of one’s world disintegrates, so the content of one’s language disintegrates.” Ever been there? I have. Over half of the Palms (60%) are Psalms of lament. God understood we would grieve so he recorded a whole lot of Psalms for us to pray when we are in pain. The Palms of lament are structured to ask, “Where are you?” “Why have you allowed this?” We ask these questions don’t we? The structure allows for questions then it ends with a confession of faith. I learned to go to the Psalms of lament when in pain but I always struggled with the end. After all it only took 30 seconds to read through the whole Psalm. That’s just too fast. When I grieve it takes me longer than 30 seconds to get to a place where I can say a confession of faith. That’s how I used to feel when I read the Psalms of lament  – that is until last year. I was working at a conference alongside an Australian singer Nathan Tasker, who shared a song of lament he wrote after his baby died. He said it took over a year to write the song. That’s when it hit me. The Psalter didn’t pen the Psalms of lament in 30 seconds – it took him a long time – it was over time. Why? Because grief is a process – a journey – it takes time. We aren’t really good at the process are we? In fact we prefer it be over in 30 seconds. Three years ago trauma hit and I immediately went to my counselor’s office. I told him what happened, how I was coping (shock  & grief) then stated (demanded), “Okay, I need to know how long this is going to take. Six weeks? Six months? Just tell me what to...

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