Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thoughts to God and say: “O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy are Thou Thyself, Creator of all!”
My brothers and me, we got trust issues. Here I am, my 6-year-old gullible self, once more the target of their good-natured, little-sister teasing.
A warm summer evening; the sound of the brothers laughing. I go outside to investigate. Big mistake.
The brothers are shooting bats. Yes, bats—with BB guns. Saturday night entertainment and I find myself the star of the show.
“Watch out! Bats love to fly into little girls’ hair!” Brother 1 yells.
“What?!” My heart begins to race.
“Yeah,” Brother 2 joins in, “They’ll fly into your ratty hair and make a dirty old nest!”
“What?!!” My hand instinctively reaches up to my tangled, uncombed head.
“Duck!” screams Brother 3, and I hit the ground hard.
To this day, I hate bats. I know they are God’s creatures and all, but I still hate bats.
»»————- ♡ ————-««
I re-read the words of Martin Luther,
“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
I’m reminded of the bats.
But, it’s not about bats or birds or any such thing. It’s about negative thoughts. Fearful thoughts. Lying thoughts that cause me to hit the
I can’t always prevent a negative thought from entering my mind, but I don’t have to allow it to build a nest in my hair. I have the power to choose what I believe and what I allow in my mind. And that’s a powerful thought.
So when a negative thought flies over head, I count backwards from five. Five, Four, Three, Two, One … and I shoot. Sometimes more than once, but eventually, the thought hits the ground hard, not me.
Love & Peace,
“… and we take captive every thought …” 2 Corinthians 10:5
There stands a statute in Ponca City, Oklahoma, of a Pioneer Woman with a young boy by her side. Artfully cast in tons of bronze, standing 17 feet tall beneath the Oklahoma sky.
She wears a bonnet upon her head and hidden within the brim, the words, “I see no boundaries”. A lasting tribute to those courageous women–the women homesteaders of the American West.
Imagination captured. Inspiration ascends. Yes, I am the pioneer woman! Pioneering through wilderness wanderings to crossing and conquering in unchartered lands of promise.
Yet I am also the young boy, grabbing hold of the Pioneering Spirit. Led hand-in-hand towards my inheritance as a son.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
And for a brief moment … no windows or doors, ceilings or floors. I see no boundaries. Only God.
In wide open spaces, in untamed places. It’s where I’m staking my claim.
Love & Peace,
The 1862 Homesteading Act guaranteed free farmland to heads of households with the stipulation that the applicant must stay on the land for five years and make noticeable improvements to the land before the deed was awarded. Women who were single, widowed, or divorced were eligible to apply for land as the head of their household and many headed west into Dakota Territory.
The word inspire inspires me. I breathe in its meaning…
“From the Latin inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into. Originally used of a divine or supernatural being in the sense of imparting a truth or idea.”
“Fascinating”, pipes the voice of the flutist within me.
In a moment, I am back on the White Mountain reservation—an invited guest of a friend known and loved by this Apache tribe.
The former Chairman speaks, “Dagot’ee”. Welcome. He continues in his native language, a word in English here and there for my benefit, I imagine, as he addresses his people.
He invites me to speak. I don’t speak Apache. They don’t speak English. Curious Apache faces gazing hard into my uncertainty.
Inspiration comes…I pick up my flute and blow.
And the Ruach of God translates. And His people are inspired.
Ruach, a Hebrew word for the Spirit of God, translated spirit, breath, or wind by the Hebrew sages.
Air put into motion by divine breath, the sage in me translates. Poetic and creative. Life-giving Spirit breath that speaks.
Aslan, the great lion king of Narnia and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea in the storybook knows the Ruach.
“What an extraordinary place!” cried Lucy. “All those stone animals–and people too! It’s–it’s like a museum.”
“Hush”, said Susan, “Aslan’s doing something.”
Aslan breathes the breath of life upon the creatures turned to stone by the evil witch. And something wonderful happens. “Everywhere the statues were coming to life”.
Breath that brings life into the extraordinary museums of our lives—those hidden places where nothing is really lost, only waiting to be rediscovered.
“On the branches of the willow trees, we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy”, pens the psalmist. Yet, we can rest assured that the breath of life will blow again upon life’s willows. And when it does, we rediscover what has never really been lost, as we take up our harps and play, born again unto a living hope.
Now, hush…for the Ruach of God is doing something. His breath is ever-moving; breathing life in you and through you. And by the divine breath of His Spirit, He moves. He imparts. He speaks. He inspires.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
Call me strange, but I really do believe that every living man, woman and child has an innate ability to hear God’s Voice. I also believe that nothing brings more dignity to humankind than knowing that the God of the Universe desires to share His good thoughts towards us–thoughts of a hope-filled future.
Prophecy (hearing God and speaking what He says) restores human dignity–the necessary cornerstone of a human-rights approach to social justice.
Today, I am looking to the Heavens. If only God would once again send those who know His Voice, and who are not afraid to stand for Truth, into the harvest fields of justice upon the earth.
Yet, at the same time, the still small voice within reminds me that heaven’s view of justice may not necessarily be my own.
Looking to the horizon, I sense the approach before it fully comes into view. A revelation of a revolution. I’m talking a “Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream!” kind of revelation. A revelation of a cleansing movement of Truth that brings about a revolution in the hearts of men that births something new upon the earth.
I don’t pretend to know what it will look like, but I do know this … God’s Voice living through His people will be in its foundation.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” Psalm 89:14
God is building a foundation. If you want to be at the top … well, that could be a problem.
Have you ever experienced a “suddenly” in life–a moment of sudden breakthrough when there is absolutely no doubt a Higher Power (God) was at work in your life?
Well today, I’m leaning into the “subtleties” of God. Those moments in life when God acts in a subtle way–a way that can be so easily ignored.
Subtle…the Latin root originally meant “finely woven”. I like that.
It takes some imagination, some creativity, some forgiveness and patience to see the subtle beauty in the finely-woven tapestry of life. Some layers gray, dull and threadbare; some vibrant with colorful purpose–but all wondrous and a bit magical when looked at with the right view.
The right view … usually through the reflection in my rear-view mirror.
My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold
Carole King, Tapestry
The tapestry of life reveals itself in rear-view mirrors. Sometimes it takes a long, long distance–maybe even an eternity, I suppose. But eventually, I have to believe, I will see “a tapestry of rich and royal hue“.
Meditating upon the finely-woven subtleties of life today–the depths of purpose and layers of meaning that saturate everything He does (Psalm 92:5 TPT).
I re-read the words—the words of the Baptizer, the wilderness reformer who eats locusts and wild honey…
“…He whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie”.
He speaks of the Son of his mother’s cousin, Mary.
Lost in thought, my fingers play with the leather bracelet on my wrist—a cherished gift made from the laces of the shoes of my dearly-departed father.
The lace between my fingers, once rough and tough, now smooth and soft with age, reminds me of my father’s hands. They bid me come. There’s something I must know.
Flipping pages, I read again, and the words draw me into the story …
Jesus rises from the meal and removes his outer robe. He takes a towel and wraps it about his waist, then fills the basin with water. No one speaks.
One by one, he unties laces, washes and dries feet. He turns towards me with a look of pure love. I am Peter.
“Oh, no, never! Not my dirty feet. How awkward, how embarrassing, how shameful!
“If you don’t allow me to wash your feet, you cannot share life with me.”
The words hang heavy, along with my head and heart. Tears rim my eyes.
“Friend, don’t you know that you are already clean? You’ve been washed completely, only your feet need washed”.
Suddenly, a watercourse of understanding flows from my spirit headwaters within. In Hebrew culture, shoes are often used in covenants of inheritance. By allowing Jesus to untie my laces, and wash my feet, He unties me from the grime of this world, granting me a greater life–a greater inheritance than any natural inheritance. Jesus offers me the new covenant inheritance of a shared life with Him. I only need to offer Him my feet.
So I say yes, and place the soles of my feet in the Master’s hands and I receive the inheritance of life from Him whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie. And He washes the grime from between my toes with the watery grace that flows from His wounded side, bending low as one who has come not to be served, but to serve.
* * * * * * * * *
I leave the story fully known—and yet still fully loved—by God. Stunned into pure grace once again, I know that there’s nothing too dirty that He can’t make worthy.
Having recently hiked in the North Woods of Maine, I’ve come to an important realization. Life often leads me just a few steps beyond my own mental reservations and self-imposed limitations. So the question now remains… what do I do with this illuminating information?
I guess I’ll just jump. Take the proverbial leap of faith. What do I have to lose, really? Except my attitude, my opinion, my plans, my reputation, my ego … all in exchange for the discovery of TRUE LIFE.
“For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep.” ~Jesus Christ