Thursday, August 27, 2009


We look to each other for significance.
We ask those defining questions and we are asking the wrong ones.
Am I lovely?
Am I worth dying for?
Do I have what it takes?
We have been asking the wrong people our whole lives.
It's time to ask the right One.
His answers might surprise you.
Or they might not.
He loves to work through our loved ones.
But sometimes they fail.
He will never fail.
If we expect our parents, our friends, or our spouses to answer the Question, we have put them in His place.
And then we wonder why we are not satisfied.
It's time.
Know Whose you are.
It's game time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lose Yourself

There's a popular artist in pop music culture called Eminem. You might have heard of him (or switched the dial on your radio swiftly when he came on, depending on your tolerance for offensive language.) His lyrics often carry varying degrees of anger, discontent, and even deep-seeded pain. He wrote one song about a guy born on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. He's been dealt an unfair hand and faces betrayal and animosity at every turn. And yet he comes upon a moment of opportunity in which, if he is willing to lose himself completely, he can lay hold of his dream and be set free from his prison once and for all.

The song is crude and will offend many of you but I'm going to copy it here anyways. I suggest you give it a listen as well (try - I find it very moving on a number of levels.

Firstly, I am inspired by the song. I am inspired by a hurting kid who rises up and says, "I'm not givin' up that easy!" and lets out his gigantic roar. I'm inspired for myself, at the idea of losing myself - defying fear - standing up and letting go.

The other day, as I listened to the song at rather alarmingly high decibels in my car, Jesus hit me with an even more inspiring take on this. As Eminem chants, "so here I go, it's my shot, feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity I've got!" I saw HIM (Jesus), dressed in battle gear, galloping fiercely on an unbeaten trail, toward a small door - an unlikely opening - into the heart of a lost soul.

Paul Young writes in The Shack that, even though not every road leads to the Father (in fact, only one road does), He will take any road necessary to get to us. This is profoundly moving to me. We have a Father who will go to any lengths to rescue us - a savior who will charge down any path toward any chance, no matter how dismal, to get to us. He sees each one of our lives from the perspective of eternity and He knows precisely the moment that is the best moment to show us the reality of His love and the absolute lost-ness of our independence. Not everyone will accept His offer, but if there is a chance ... Any chance at all ... He will take it!

When you read this song - and if you risk listening to it - even though obviously not all the lyrics apply - think about Him. Think about His tenacity. Think upon the fierceness of His love. Here is Lose Yourself:

Look.. if you had.. one shot,or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted.. in one moment
Would you capture it.. or just let it slip? Yo..

[Verse 1]
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting
what he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth but the words won't come out
He's chokin, how? Everybody's jokin now
The clock's run out, time's up, over - BLAOW!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity
Oh there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't
Give up that easy no, he won't have it
He knows, his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope
He knows that, but he's broke
He's so sad that he knows
when he goes back to this mobile home, that's when it's
back to the lab again, yo, this whole rapshody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him

You Better, lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
You better, lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
You Better..

[Verse 2]
Soul's escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a, new world order
A normal life is boring; but superstardom's
close to post-mortem, it only grows harder
Homie grows hotter, he blows it's all over
These hoes is all on him, coast to coast shows
He's known as the Globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He's grown farther from home, he's no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose cause here goes the cold water
These hoes don't want him no mo', he's cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose-dove and sold nada, and so the soap opera
is told, it unfolds, I suppose it's old partner
But the beat goes on da-da-dum da-dum da-dah


[Verse 3]
No more games, I'm a change what you call rage
Tear this motherf*n roof off like two dogs caged
I was playin in the beginning, the mood all changed
I've been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhymin and stepped right in the next cypher
Best believe somebody's payin the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the
fact that I can't get by with my nine to
five and I can't provide the right type of
life for my family, cause man, these Godd*n
food stamps don't buy diapers, and it's no movie
There's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it's gettin even harder
Tryin to feed and water my seed plus, teeter-totter
Caught up between bein a father and a primadonna
Baby momma drama screamin on her too much for me to wanna
stay in one spot, another day of monotony,
has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail I've got
to formulate a plot, or end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherf*n option, failure's not
Mom I love you but this trailer's got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem's Lot
So here I go it's my shot, feet fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got

WARNING: May be offensive adds on the above linked page

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Without Wavering

Paul and I are in an interesting place right now. We have been through one hell of a year or two and now, right when I was hoping it would all ease up, ka-wham (is that a word?) we're smack-dab in the middle of another firing squad. One of the common prayers around here is, "God, please give us wisdom." For quite some time, we weren't getting much by way of a response.

This morning I was reading a word based on this scripture in James:
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways."

I've thought about this last verse many times, heard it quoted, and quoted it in relation to being focused in faith. I had never really noticed that it comes directly in relation to asking Father for wisdom and believing that He will give that wisdom ~ and liberally even. For me, this makes the scripture more applicable and far less vague as far as how we are supposed to avoid this double-mindedness. I have to admit, I have often believed, without realizing it, that we avoid double-mindedness by trying harder to believe in our beliefs about Him. This, of course, is a work of the flesh, which in the end will produce zero fruit.

Instead, James is simply asking us to choose to believe in God's faithfulness, and His faithfulness to keep His promise. That's it. We don't know how or when or what it will look like but we can choose to believe in His character and goodness to do what He said He would do.

So I asked Him again this morning, "Father, give us wisdom and insight. Help us to see our circumstances and the trials before us with your wisdom and have the wisdom we need to make good choices." And this time, I believe. Not for a specific outcome but that He will give us wisdom liberally and without reservation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Faith or Fear

We have all thought of these two ~ faith and fear ~ as being opposites. And yet I believe the opposite of fear is actually love. Try this out. The next time you feel afraid (which, chances are, will be fairly soon, given that this weapon is so effective!) ask the Father to reveal His love for you in that place. Knowing a touch of His immeasurable love for us enables us to rise above every and any circumstance. It empowers us to see from His perspective, as beloved sons, safe, high, and strong.

Fear is not the opposite of faith ~ it is faith. Faith in what you can or can't do, faith in what the enemy will do, faith in what the world will do. The faith that lives inside of us is powerful. When it is focussed on our Faithful God, it releases us into deeper relationship with Him and from the snares that have held us captive all these years.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You Remind Him of Someone

You know where the apostle Paul talks about believers being like the fragrance of Christ, everywhere we go (among those who are being saved and those who are perishing alike?) I was thinking of those loved ones we have who leave a certain aroma whenever they pass through a room. Both my mom and Paul's mom have a specific perfume that they always wear. You can tell if they've been around because the fragrance lingers for a while. And you can certainly remember if they've hugged you recently because your t-shirt will hold on to the scent, even into the following day!

Sometimes that reminder can bring a smile to your face, even if your mind was on less pleasing things at the time.

Can you imagine the Father looking down on a place where you have been, and taking in a long, deep breath through His nostrils? He keeps His eyes closed for just a moment and savours the fragrance of it. You remind Him of His Son. Imagine the love and adoration He has for Him. And then imagine that He has that same affection for you. Because He does...


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lies & Truth

I read an interesting article today that I thought I'd share with y'all. The Father has been bringing me through this revelation of living in the truth and not in the lies, which obviously is something that we realize more and more deeply as we live and grow with Him. I thought I understood this years ago! (LOL)

The truth is, I want to live in the lies sometimes, because I am afraid they are true and if I don't stay swimming in them and contemplating them and analyzing them, I will get caught of guard one day and find out they were all true. But my Jesus is inviting me to live in a different reality. A reality where my emotions might not all be validated or discussed. A reality where I won't be the centre of the universe. A reality that transcends fear and timelines and hopes and dreams. There are two different kingdoms that you can't live in at the same time ~ and this insight from Kathie Walters (see link below) I think touches on one of the primary differences between those kingdoms.

Bless you . . . and as our friend Gary would say, we remain . . . IN HIS GRIP.
Love, Janna