Posts Tagged ‘pray’

Political Climate

As we walk forward, toward the unknown we begin to roam in new altitudes,

and attitudes mixed with platitudes have begun to make it hard to breathe

the hot air just a little too thin, sunlight begins to dim and I realize

I’m in flip flops stopped at the bottom rock looking at the top of a mountain I’m unprepared to climb.

And I’m here today to say, I think that’s okay.

Because this is Mount Political Climate.

You may have noticed a slight decrease in temperature because it’s cold

A system way too old for anyone to question, we’ve steam-rolled the bold ways of discovery

And fell deep into the well of “this is how it’s been done”, and the sun continued to rise

so our decision must be wise. We disguise the misguided attempts at others to deconstruct

Those who might call it corrupt, because they’re simply outsiders, underperformers,

Unprepared misfits who couldn’t handle the climb

But it’s time those of us not clinging to the ledges to look up

And realize what we seek, might just not be the peak

Of Mount Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb it.  Walk Around.

Walk Around.

The sounds should astound us at first, like a thirst that’s unquenchable

Things unmentionable aired out for public consumption, because that shows gumption

Whatever that is.

And the fad is growing to start showing your opponents weaknesses before they get a chance

To show you with your pants down.  The town meeting ignores the fact that

you’re running to be a leader,
Because deep down, they’d rather be amused.

A in the negative, Muse meaning to think, we are a people not thinking

While our patterns go on stinking and bringing about change in ways

we never would’ve chosen On purpose

Getting nervous as we’ve only scratched the surface

The fact is, we deserve this type of leadership, because it’s only a megacosm

Of the micro we live every day

As we live to get paid, and sway situations to shine the sun on our day

I wanna get mine and protect it, and keep others out so they can’t infect it, but don’t try to inspect it,

because – like I told you, it’s mine.

My Mountain of Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb it. Walk Around.

Walk Around.

And so we’ve found that sounding an alarm might just do some good

And it could shake you and I away from what would, toward what should happen, as we’re mapping new routes

As we refuse to climb the foodholds set before us, though others may ignore us, or abhore us,

Our voices join in one chorus,

That healing won’t come by name calling, health is not built by a wall, and one sure way for us all to fall is to try and stand so tall everyone else seems small.

The ball is in our courts, to call our courts to once again view the human in their being.

To start seeing names instead of numbers, to welcome new comers to the table, and perhaps rising above all political noise, is the silent necessity of, Love.

The hidden wealth of nations is not found in vaults, or in banks.

That Power is not found in muscles, missiles and tanks.

That Happiness not found in tickets to Disney and apple pie.

We must go beyond a simple cry for change, and embody what we hope

Facing the ends of our rope, we come together, tethered to something greater than ourselves

Dusting off the shelves of a room we knew well when we were young

Before we became so high strung, and the songs we sung were a lot more inspiring

Not conspiring for one to rise, but to ignore such lies and seek the good of all.

Because, humanity, united we stand, and divided we will fall.

But it’s a Mountain, this Political Climate.  Refuse to Climb It.  Walk Around.

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interrupted..

There once was a church in a place far away

They were proud as they entered the church every day

Every time the doors opened, they’d fill up the pews

And when burning bush talked, they’d remove their shoes.

They shook hands with love, and greeted each other,

When having a meal, invited one another

They’d pray for the people, who never came in

They’d pray for their budgets when wallets seemed thin

This lovely old church found so far from here

Their singing of songs was lovely to hear

Always on tune, and always on key

They were often mistaken for those who sang professionally.

One day in this church, found so far from here

A young man came around, who’s purpose wasn’t quite clear

He sat when they stood, making some of them nervous

Just what was he hiding, beneath the surface?

A task force was formed, to follow the lad

To observe his actions, and judge good or bad

They listened and watched, and saw what they thought

He cussed and he drank, he stole and he fought

This task force reported, next gathering time

Something had to be done, this was crossing the line

A decision was made, to proclaim with some flair

The next time the young man attended for prayer.

The scene was all set, and parishioners waited

As the young man approached , the moment seemed baited

The line had been cast, and the hook was quite clear

But they hadn’t expected just what they might hear.

Their pastor began, “Lord thanks for revealing,

The ignorant ways of those who are stealing,

Those who are drinking, and those who do curse

Are like crumbs at the bottom of a grandmothers’ purse.”

“Thank you that we are not like those without,

without reason to live, so much reason to doubt,

They think they are happy, they think they are fine,

They think they can see, but are completely blind.”

“So God we are thankful, we aren’t like those people

The one’s who have never even been under a steeple

They don’t know the words to each chorus we sing

They don’t know your Word, Lord they don’t know a thing.”

“Thank you for making us so good and wise,

We invite you to look on us with both of your eyes,

To see the incredible things that we’ve done,

To honor your ways, and to worship your son.”

The words had been spoken, and they were assured

By their holy speaking, he’d see Christ as Lord

He’d cry at their altar, and they’d smile when

Eventually he would become just like them.

But we shouldn’t be shocked at this point to find out

It wasn’t their words that turned him about

He wasn’t moved by their spotless approach

And didn’t seem to desire them as coach.

He ran to the altar, that place of their pride

Fell down on the floor, with his arms open wide

They tried to keep singing, as planned from the start

But they couldn’t keep from being warmed by his heart.

He prayed, “Oh God look at me, stumbling along,

In need of your mercy much more than a song,

If you don’t respond, I’m not sure what I’ll do,

But I know that if I’m to make it, I need grace from you.”

With that he bowed, and tears ran like a stream

So much that the altar had started to gleam

The people were taken by such a sight

And felt like maybe they weren’t doing alright

The way this young man, depended on God

The way that his tears at first just seemed odd

Reminded each one of the early days spent

Receiving forgiveness as they would repent.

And so one by one, these people came up

As those who’d been emptied, uplifting their cups

Not for his approval, or seeking his prize

But simply to be seen by the loving Father’s eyes.

Revival had come to that morning at service

Though it came in a way that makes you and I nervous

To let go of all our reasons we stand,

Our trophies, our titles, and empty our hands

To throw ourselves down, at his Mercy seat

Father, Son, Spirit, whom washes our feet

Our tears may flow also, as we receive love

So undeserved, and so free from above…

bedtime prayers.

Sometimes we can spend a few minutes in prayer, and move straight into our bedtime story without anything seemingly significant happening or being said.  On those nights, we believe the significant “thing” is simply the faithful prayers, and routines/rhythms of a home that values coming before God together.  Even when parts of the prayer seem rote and automatic, we make time and space available for hearts and minds to be honest before each other and before God.

We confess: there are nights this doesn’t happen.   (gasp)  We’re not too worried about forcing a child who was sleeping in the van on the way home to wake up and have a prayer time.  Or when mommy & daddy are wiped from a long hard day, we’ve been known to skip right to hugs and “good nights”.  But more oft than not, the days close with a pause for prayer and conversation about what God is doing in our hearts and lives.  If it does seem like the prayers become more repeating a few quick things without much pause for thought, we mix it up.  Some nights we ask each daughter individually what’s on her heart and mind, and then a parent will summarize all of these things in one family prayer.

Our church is beginning another emphasis on prayer right now as a reminder.  I’ve written before about the helpful reminder found in “7-5-2”.  It’s not a magic formula, and prayer does not guarantee a healthy family/home.  But prayer brings together hearts and minds in the presence of God, and when that’s done on a regular basis….it sure offers a great place for His Love and our relationships to grow.

Here’s a short video, where my hidden iPhone camera catches the unpolished prayers of our 5 and 6 year olds. It may help to know that we are adopting a daughter from Africa currently, our church is praying for a young woman named Mollie who’s been bed-bound for a while now, and our extended family were on their way to visit us that weekend…

any news?

I love getting this question.  I also hate it.

We’re surrounded by so many amazing people in our lives, who’ve connected themselves with what God is doing in and through our lives.  I know that so many of our friends and family carry the burden with us, and bring it to God on a regular basis.  I’m reminded of that every time someone I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while asks, “any updates on Phoebe?”road

Or the even funnier question we sometimes get, “So do you have her home yet?”  Ouch.  That’s right, we’ve been traveling this road since March 2012.  Over 2 years now.  It’s possible to see people we don’t see very often, who honestly think “surely they’ve got her by now.”  So many of you have been on this road with us.  So many of you have given, way more than we could ever have anticipated/expected/asked.  We’re humbled as we are constantly reminded how “not alone” we are.

We know that national attention is being given to so many parents who’ve completed the adoption process, and still are not being allowed to bring their children home.  I can’t even imagine what that’d be like.  But I know I’d love to be in that stage.  I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating.  I had no idea how much simply the journey of adoption itself, would make an impact on our home, our family, and our community/relationships.  My children will not only remember the fact that our family was involved in adoption…they will remember how we prayed and waited on God for years as a part of this.

I know it could have been faster.  There are plenty of countries in suffering, where children are being adopted and brought home.  We celebrate whenever we hear of a child finding a home.  But this was the road we followed God down, and even though it seems like a really hard season to travel…we know that as we’ve offered each step to God, He’s brought purpose and redemption to every moment.  We are not waiting to bring Phoebe home, safe and sound, before we declare “Look, this was indeed the call of God and He has provided!”  We are declaring it even now, even when the road ahead is still long, and the dust gets in our eyes from time to time. 

Because that’s our story as God’s people, right?  That God isn’t waiting until it’s all “made right” to bring His redemption and life-transforming purposes.  The formative years of our home, are being wrapped around having to trust in God.  Our relationships are being flavored by prayer and honest burden-sharing.  Our marriage is strengthened by the mutual “labor pains” of bringing our daughter home.  Children and families in the DRC are being prayed for, conflict/wars are being prayed against, and support is becoming connected to an area of the world that has been desperately needing it for a long time.  Our story is just a small part of that bigger story.

A lot of this came to mind, as I heard a song earlier today that I’ll share the lyrics from as I close:

“We found hope on this long and dusty road
at the table we were fed as he broke the bread
We found hope on this long dusty road.

We found hope on this long and dusty road
In His presence we found truth, that we bring to you
We found hope on this long dusty road.

We found hope on this long and dusty road
He’s alive and brought us peace, now we gather to feast
We found hope on this long dusty road.” – Von Strantz (free download here)

So keep asking us if there are updates. We may initially struggle with getting our answer out…but it’s worth contemplation…:)

 

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