One thing I have desired...

There is a rainbow of mercy around You
It's calling me closer... closer
The blood of Your Son has made a way
A way to come closer... closer

For You delight in showing me mercy
And You desire for me to draw near
Now You have caused me to come and approach You
And I am blessed among men...

Now there is one thing I will desire,
And there is one thing I will seek,
That I may behold You in all of Your glory,
To gaze on the beauty of the King
.Closer by Matt Gilman.


Dear God: You called?

There's this thing called 'doubt' and it creeps up on the best of us. Since I am not the best of anything, I most certainly have faced it many a time in my day. But God has a way of reminding me that He has me on the right track. 

For instance. I am presently attending a YWAM discipleship training school. It is very difficult to resist signing up to join YWAM for the rest of my life. It would be so easy. Find a few people who are willing to support me on a monthly basis, join on staff somewhere (mentoring students can't be THAT hard, right?), and be a part of an amazing community that provides a specific place for God to transform lives... Yeah. Plus, every single week, we have lecturers who are each convinced that THEIR ministry is the most important one. Believe me when I say that I have convinced myself I should join a house of prayer, Mission Build, buy a one way ticket to a place no one has ever heard of, or become a worship leader. I did manage to avoid the jab most evangelism weeks, but then they had one that involved revival on college campuses and I submitted. Funny too, since evangelism is one thing that nobody gets to sneak out on, no matter what their call is in life.

Still, God knows how to ensure that I remember who I am and where He is taking me. And it's definitely all Him because I can't even tell you how many times I have dug my heels in along the way. Then, faintly, I hear those words to Paul... "It's painful for you to kick against the goads." He's right. The other day, an IMPACT 360 alumna started a thread on our facebook group about the philosophical implications of that perennial question: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I treasure the few moments that I can actually think about something, so I did my best with a comment regarding sound waves being a perception of the human mind, which combined with Mark's observations on ontology and epistemology and turned into a deep discussion involving Hobbes, Berkeley, and Descartes. Once Basie got involved and Bethany really started diving in, the waters went way over my head in terms of my ability to participate, but I LOVE this discussion. It's almost ludicrous how hungrily I am drinking it up. 

In case you were wondering, yes, I do want to go to college; yes, I do want to read ALL of the classics and have already started to the best of my ability; yes, I do want to teach at a university level; and yes, I am very serious when I say that I think that's what God is calling me to (my sister heard that I want to teach and she snorted, giving me a 'good luck'... apparently it's not her idea of the most rewarding position in the world). Glory. When do classes start?


A Marriage Song by G.K. Chesterton

Why should we reck of hours that rend
While we two ride together?
The heavens rent from end to end
Would be but windy weather,
The strong stars shaken down in spate
Would be a shower of spring,
And we should list the trump of fate
And heard a linnet sing.

We break the line with stroke and luck,
The arrows run like rain,
If you be struck, or I be struck,
There's one to strike again.
If you befriend, or I befriend,
The strength is in us twain,
And good things end and bad things end,
And you and I remain.

Why should we reck of ill or well
While we two ride together?
The fires that over Sodom fell
Would be but sultry weather.
Beyond all ends to all men given
Our race is far and fell,
We shall but wash our feet in heaven.
And warm our hands in hell.

Battles unborn and vast shall view
Our faltered standards stream,
New friends shall come and frenzies new,
New troubles toil and teem;
New friends shall pass and still renew
One truth that does not seem,
That I am I, and you are you,
And Death a morning dream.

Why should we reck of scorn or praise
While we two ride together?
The icy air of godless days
Shall be but wintry weather.
If hell was highest, if the heaven
Were blue with devils blue,
I should have guessed that all was even.
If I had dreamed of you.

Little I reck of empty prides,
Of creeds more cold than clay;
To nobler ends and longer rides
My lady rides to-day.
To swing our swords and take our sides
In that all-ending fray
When stars fall down and darkness hides
When God shall turn to bay.

Why should we reck of grin and groan
While we two ride together?
The triple thunders of the throne
Would be but stormy weather.
For us the last great fight shall roar,
Upon the ultimate plains,
And we shall turn and tell once more
Our love in English lanes.


Seeds Sown, Harvests Reaped

As I was copying down a passage from 1 Corinthians 13, I was taken back to a time long ago when, as a fairly young child, I was attempting to begin some sort of a devotional time. I had the impression that it was important, but I barely knew where to start because it all seemed so overwhelming. So each and every time I would read the exact same chapter: 1 Corinthians 13. After all, it couldn't get any better than that, right? Over time, I grew proud of myself for reading it until I had almost memorized it and could practically read it with my eyes closed, but I never went on to read anything else for a very long time.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
//Psalm 119:11//

"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."
//James 1:21//

Recently, I was asked during a college interview what I thought were some practical measures that I might, as an admittedly intelligent person, take in order to avoid arrogance in knowledge. I required a very long pause to collect my thoughts. My response came down to something about grace and meeting people where they are at, using knowledge to build others up and recognizing their limitations not as a matter of unintelligence but a lack of appropriately crafted instruction. But it was a hard response for me to form, not the least because I have been told that whatever degree of intelligence I possess is a "sweet intellect" (as Kiersten put it) and that I am not prideful. It's not something I try very hard at, hence, it is that much harder to explain. I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said that it is the things we take for granted which are the most difficult to explain; if you don't believe it, then ask a man to explain breath, whistling, or any number of seemingly simple things. They are so very vast that one hardly knows where to begin because they are the world in themselves.

As I was recalling those funny days when the Bible was an unopened treasure trove, something clicked. Could it be that those many times reading, over and over, planted a seed in my heart that one day bore fruit? Oh, it took time. I recall the awkward middle school years when I was caught in a panicked web of trying to learn the meaning of humility while succumbing to graceless arrogance. But perhaps it was the words of that chapter that softened my heart at last to know the worthlessness of a loveless corpus of knowledge. Too easily can 'corpus' become 'corpse,' if it remains without the life-giving breath of joyful sacrifice.