All posts tagged: prayer

Show Up, Kneel Down, Seek God {3 Things Real Friends Do}

“I wish the others could have come,” his small voice said wistfully from the backseat, “They would have liked to cheer me on.” We were heading to Seattle for a dance competition, Nikko’s first with his all-boy hip-hop group. Our weekend trips usually include all four kids and maybe a pet, a lot of pit-stops along the way, snacks, copious quoting from movies and at least an argument or two. This was the most time Nikko had ever spent in a car with his parents and two full rows of seats all to himself. He might have been thrilled, but instead he was a little lonely, even for the conflict that siblings so readily provide. I believe at the heart of Nikko’s response to the vast empty back-seat of the Honda was this: he is part of a community and community is part of him. He has related this deep appreciation for other people who have been constantly in his life. His neighbor buddy from across the street has been his friend since diaper days. …

The Secret of Those Who Truly Live {and how you can, too}

I’ve been rolling the word rescue in my mind the way one might roll a marble in her hand. It is round and has no edges or sides and moves at the slightest touch. To be rescued is an event, an intervention, that is difficult to place on a shelf or the timeline of your existence where it can be easily displayed or pointed to with a proclamation, “Here is the day I was rescued.” Sure, there was a day, a time, when I was rescued. I can point to August 14, 2011 about 10:30 p.m. and say, “that’s when everything changed.” It divided my life into before and after. Yet being rescued in the intense way that I was, with tubes and oxygen, the deft hand of knowledgable surgeons, the flight of a helicopter, the call to prepare a table for my broken body, the prayers and the pumping heart, the shocked organs crushed and waiting repair, well, it defies defining. This kind of rescue cannot be carefully placed in a slot and hidden …

In Times Like These

“You should know…there will be very difficult times.” 2 Timothy 3:1 There are times that you can’t finish a thought for all the thinking. There are times you can’t see what’s coming next for peering into all the possibilities. There are days that string together in order but without purpose. There is the waiting that cannot be rushed. There are prayers that say “help” on the inhale and “Lord” on the exhale and repeat with each breath. There are the details that go unnamed because God already knows them, and requests unbidden because the answers are too divine. There are the days you know you need a savior, and anchor, a line of truth to wrap round your soul and keep you from falling off the ragged edge of uncertainty. Those days you need more than a cup of good, strong coffee, more than money in the bank account, more than even a word of grace from a friend. You need Jesus. /// There is a song we sung in my little Grace Brethren Church …

Thoughts Before Dying

I do remember details in stunning clarity. The gentle cool of the night air, a handful of stars on black satin sky. The cold, dull outer edge of the scissors as they moved up my leg and down the other. My clothes falling away. Vulnerable, helpless me left behind on a pallet. Breathe. I recall the shape and scent of the sterile plastic mask. I’d been given the responsibility to keep it near my nose and mouth. Breathe. But my arm kept reaching out to my savior, the man with the scissors, the one who asked me how to spell my name, the one who finally told me, “We’re going to do the breathing for you.” And a woman, appeared at my left. Strong and reassuring she leant me the strength to ask the question she knew was coming, the question I never thought about asking before, “Am I going to die?” Breathe. I thought she was pretty. Had I a savior to my right and an angel on my left? Is this how it …

I Don’t Do Lent

  I don’t do Lent. More clearly, I do not observe the Lenten Season during the forty days before Easter (Resurrection) Sunday. It seems an anti-Christian thing to admit, but there it is. And it’s hard for me to share because I am not one that enjoys conflict. I’m uncomfortable with controversy and division. The three main practices of Lent, I thoroughly agree with: Fasting (to learn to rely more wholly on God), Prayer and Meditation (to contemplate the redemptive work on the cross by Jesus), and Giving to the Poor (emulating the example of Christ). And further, I agree with most of Christendom that spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting and giving to the poor are important to add action, or feet if you will, to one’s desire to imitate Christ in the desire to “decrease so that He may increase”. (John 3:30) However, there’s a flurry of business about Lent that blows about and creates more of an atmosphere of religion than personal contemplation and intimacy with our savior. It’s blustery and confusing to …