Category Archives: reflection

Run Beside Me

I found this poem tucked away in one of my old notebooks, like any other poem I immediately deemed useless after writing.  Years later, I realize it is so relevant to this season.  At least in my life.  For everyone else going through similar times, or just anyone who cares to read …

Run beside me
Accelerating by no limits
Beyond the measures out of breath
Keep running and keep in mind
Nothing behind us fits

Stop wishing things were like they once were
Because they’ll never be the same
And continually trying to recreate the past
Will leave us with no gain.

These times are not the movies.
With rounded story arcs and dénouement
We’re making our own stories
Unlike that tv show you saw.

Keep running until we can no longer run
And then we’ll run some more
Until our bodies are forced to collapse
Breathless, weary, and sore.

When we make it there alive
We’ll have touched our destiny …

In Hebrews 12, Paul exhorts us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:1-2).  Beloved, there is a race marked out for you.  But there are things that hold you back in this life.  Watch out for the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.  It doesn’t have to mean blatant sin; it could be a broken mindset about who you are and your limitations.

This calling is not a light suggestion.  Why is that?  Because the sacrifice of Jesus was not a light event.  Do we fully understand what He achieved for us?  Do we truly know who we are in Christ to God?  “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (12:3).

If you don’t know what to do, set your eyes on Jesus.

And run.


Broken and Poured Out

I’ve been contemplating what it means to be broken and poured out.  Broken and poured out like the Imagealabaster jar used to anoint Jesus at Bethany (Mt. 26).  What an intimate image: broken AND poured out.  It is an eternally significant one, for Jesus himself said that wherever the gospel is preached, it will be told in memory of it.

When I was praying for revelation about what that really means, I found myself saying, “God, I pour myself out because I have faith that you will fill me up.”  I had to pause and really think about that.  The disciples complained that the expensive perfume the woman poured out was wasted.  But what Jesus fills us with is so much more valuable than anything we can pour out.

We’re getting the better end of the deal.

Another story from the bible that I’ve been meditating on is the widow’s oil (2 Kings 4).  There is such a prophetic message about God pouring out oil into all of those empty jars.  The jars had to be empty first.  If I were that woman, I would be looking around my house for jars with stuff in them and start dumping it out.  So that what He had to pour out would continue to increase with the vessels I brought.  The result was enough for them to pay off their debts and live off for the rest of their lives.

Jesus was broken and poured out for us.  He broke His body.  Poured out His blood.  He is more than worthy of us to be broken and poured out before Him.  He takes it all; the good, the ugly.  He just wants us.  What does that mean for you today?

Make the exchange.

Be broken and poured out before Him.  You’ll be amazed at how willing He is to fill you.

New Year’s Exhortation

I was spending time with the Lord last night and He spoke to my heart which really encouraged me. As important it is to spend time in prayer speaking to Him, it is also crucial to make time to listen. Here is what I received for anyone else who needs to hear:

I am so proud of you.You have persevered. I trusted you with the little and now is the time I will trust you with the much more.

Now, I give you permission to let go of 2011. All your shortcomings. The unfortunate circumstances. Anything that did not go the way you would have wanted. It is over. I’ve erased it from record, so I exhort you to do the same. When I look at you this year, I will not see 2011. I will see the potential I designed in you and all the miraculous things I have in store for you.

I encourage you to allow Him to speak to you today about this past year or the upcoming one. Whatever you need from Him rather it be closure, hope, or vision, I guarantee He has it.

Wings of Forgiveness

I intended to abandon this blog forever.  As well as my relationship with God.  But like a jealous lover, He pursued me as I came to end of myself and realized just how much I need Him.  There’s an entire story to that which I will elaborate later.

I tried to end this in a season of confusion, when my heart was broken and I was running away from Jesus.  Just a few months later, I came back to the cross, and it’s been a long season of healing and restoration since then.  Occasionally, I would look back at this blog and remember that this was my ministry.  I truly believe that many will be delivered through the word released from my online pulpit.  But I never knew how to get back into it after stopping the way I did.  Until a few nights ago, when Holy Spirit spoke to me by bringing to remembrance a scripture I once knew so well:

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-4)

The place to begin is forgiveness.

Last year, I moved away, leaving everything I knew behind to pursue a higher calling I believed in.  When things didn’t go as I’d imagined, I didn’t know how to cope.  Suddenly, I found myself on a self-destructive path.  It was around this time last year, that a concerned friend spoke up about noticing something was off.  This friend was one of . . . if not the biggest supporter I had on my missionary journey to pursue my calling.  I was in a hurt place, and she was hurt seeing the destruction to which I gave myself.  We both responded out of hurt and ended up offending each other.  I never forgave her for that.

The past couple of months, I’ve sought the Lord about how to find my place in ministry again.  And I’ve felt stuck.  I thought the answer would be about revealing a grand assignment.  But I forget about the little things that matter in my walk with the Lord.  The things I take for granted.  It seems like such a tiny thing, an offense between me and another person.  But it matters to God.  It is poison..  A foothold for the devil (Eph 4:26) every time I give into it.  So I’m ready to let go so that He can release me into what it is that I seek.

I love you, and I’m sorry that I’ve held this offense against you for so long.  I believe that your heart was for me in that moment even though I was unable to receive that truth then.  I truly choose to no longer hold it against you, and humbly ask your forgiveness for holding contentions against you.  I really hope that we can really discuss what happened and move on.  You were always an amazing friend to me, and I’ve been blessed to have you in my life.  I regret that I ever kept you out of it.

“I’m only human.
Let’s shake free this gravity of resentment
And fly high, and fly high
You’re only human
Let’s shake free this gravity of judgment
And fly high on the wings of forgiveness.”
India Arie 

The Simplicity of Faith

Since I have been here for the term of my ministry training, I have had vivid dreams in the night filled with revelation.  Prophecy has been actively coming out of my mouth more in the past month than probably has in my entire life.  Scripture has been opening up to me in new ways that encounter my heart at its deepest level.  I have engaged in intercession privately and corporately for different causes, people groups, and even individuals with a new boldness I never knew existed in me.

Since I have been here for the term of my ministry training, I have had days that added up to weeks that felt like a nightmare.  Tears (sad tears) have been actively emerging from my eyes more in the past month than probably has in my entire life.  Doors have been closed in my face again and again of things I believe God promised me.  Including the doors to the house in which I lived.  I have moved from couch to couch, unsure of what the next day would look like with an overwhelming fear unlike anything I’ve encountered.

I do not fully understand the ways of the Lord, and I must admit, that sometimes offends me.  But rather or not I understand, I know His ways are perfect.

Ever come to a point in your life where you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing?  Is it really worth it?”  The beauty of following God is that we don’t have to answer that question.  He holds all the answers, even when we don’t understand them.  He presents them to us in His perfect timing.  All we have to do is acknowledge that He is Lord, and that burden is not ours to take.

Tonight I don’t have any deep revelation or breakthrough to share.  All I know is that faith is really so simple.  Most of the time, we want new messages about God we haven’t heard before, but sometimes, it’s just necessary to get back to the basics.  Especially when our lives don’t look like we think it’s should.  Or His word doesn’t align with our circumstances.  We try to make faith a complicated thing, but it’s just believing.  That simple.  And it doesn’t get much simpler than this:

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
Psalm 19:7-9

His Presence

At my coffee shop, there is an atheist coworker/friend of mine.  He is very intelligent, and knowledgeable about various religions, including Christianity.  For every argument for God you give him, he has a brilliant counterargument.  He is not easily swayed by religious talk or anything like that.  He is very philosophical in nature, and I really admire that in him.

Anyway, he was telling me tonight at work about these girls who came from church one day to our store.  He was conversing with them about their day, and they asked him if he was a Christian.  He was trying not to start any kind of confrontation or religious argument at the moment, so he kind of brushed off the question with a vague, flippant answer.  Then they told him, “Jesus loves you.”

He responded, “I love him, too.  But a relationship requires more than just love, like . . . presence.”

I laughed at his response.  It was clearly his way of being funny.  But then I really began to contemplate what that meant.  I am beginning to learn the difference between believing in God and believing God.

As Christians, we think of being in His presence during worship at church, in our quiet times alone with Him, through bible studies, while listening to Christian music in the car, and amongst prayer meetings.  But it’s like there are these gaps in-between those times where He temporarily disappears until our full attention is back on Him.

Does the bible say that Jesus vacates inside of us?  Or does He live inside of us?

What does it mean to be aware that we are in His presence always?  Don’t just know inside your head, know inside your heart.  When I hear the things I’ve heard a million times about God that I’m pretty sure I already get, I ask, “What does that look like, God?  What does that really mean?”  How can we sing, “I love, I love, I love your presence”  when we aren’t even aware of His presence?

My coworker had a good point; though he didn’t realize it.  We can know that Jesus loves us all day and night long.  But unless we know we really have His presence, it means nothing.

You’re Never Giving Up On Me

“Sometimes we have love, and sometimes we lose love.
Sometimes love can hurt terribly like a deep wound.
In our world, we have lots of up and downs, pleasures and pains.
But that’s life, and we learn to accept the bad with the good.
Without the bad times, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times.
Life is precious and I cherish every living moment.”
~Sailor Moon

It seems so strange to quote Sailor Moon; an anime (Japanese animation) that seems more appropriate for small children.  But there are deep themes of preserving love, life, and dreams that could benefit most adults.  This is something I have told almost no one except the people involved.  When I was in middle school, a girl my age approached me with a secret.  She told me that Sailor Moon was real.  And we (being an exclusive 3 or 4 of us at the time) were Sailor scouts reborn into different identities (which is also what happens in the series).  Call me stupid, but I believed them.  I don’t think it’s just because I happened to be a bit gullible at a young age.  But also because I so desperately wanted something to believe in.  I wanted to believe I could be a soldier of love and justice, making a difference in the world.  I wanted to believe in magic and miracles, love and dreams.

This continued for a few years until early high school when I got a reality check.  The “scouts” broke apart, and it all felt like it was some bad dream we all woke up from.  No transformation pens appeared, no miracles happened, no enemies appeared, no talking cats; we had no powers.  We were powerless.

When I dedicated my life to Christ not too much longer after, none of this desire played a part in my relationship with the Lord.  But the desire continued to linger long after that chapter of my life closed.  It wasn’t until years later, I began attending a church that so valued God-given destiny and calling.  This is when I could see my desire for significance as being something from God.

Disappointment after disappointment in my life (particularly within the past 3 years) capitulated at a very recent heartbreaking decision.  And I openly admit here, that I have lost hope for my dreams.  I have given up on love.  I have given up on destiny.  I have given up on dreaming.  My heart is so broken; more than I can describe.  I am indignant.  I am depressed.  I am heartbroken.

But I know . . . I don’t know how I know, especially with how I feel right now . . . but I know my Redeemer lives.

I know my Redeemer lives.

The restoration of my joy and cultivation of my hope lives inside me.  He seems so inaccessible, but He’s there.  And as much as I’ve given up, I know He’s never given up on me.  So I’m not giving up on Him.  Even in my writhing, crying, messy turmoil, He never leaves me nor forsakes me.  He never stops pursuing me.  He never fails me.

He’s never giving up on me.

I’m never giving up on Him.