Crawling

Love is a temple, love the higher law.  You ask me to enter, but then you make me crawl.  U2

Love is brutal at times.

It’s also as gentle as a summer rain.

—————–

For me, recently, I’ve tasted the crawling side of love.  You know, the kind of love that denies and shuts up.  The kind of love that sees no offense, and that rallies no defense.

Although painful, it’s utterly humanizing.  It makes us into who we are supposed to be.  Humans, ourselves.

Like Eustace in Narnia.  His crap turned him into a dragon.  And then Aslan had to rip him a new one, so he could be the boy he was always meant to be.

All I have to say is to keep going.  When the pain of love is too much to bear, crawl to get through it and to it if you have to.

Fear it. Feel it. Scream your way through it with the help of Evanescence.

And it will all get better.

6/21

Matthew 10

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Breathe:  Breathe in the Peace of Jesus, who also brings justice.

Read:  Read this slowly and carefully. 

Meditate:  Which words speak to you right now? How is family pain bringing in the kingdom?

Extend:  How does this effect your life?  The fact that you are a Chosen One.  What do you need to give up to be like Abraham and follow the course that God is calling you to, despite persecution from those closest to you?

Thankful.

Just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who has donated.  We only need $1500 more in the next two days.  We have had around $500 donated. Be looking for promotional video that is coming out soon! You can donate here. Please download a copy of Dismantling Taboo and give it to someone who needs it if you make a donation. Your names will be included in gift baskets because we want the women to know that they are being blessed from around the country.

Peace.

Natalee

 

 

Raw Tonight

I think the world is tired.  Tired.  With lots of glory, and lots of waiting.

I for one am sick of taking medicine for my brain.  I’m thankful for it, but sick of having to pop pills every night.

I’m sick of taking matters in my own hands.  Instead of waiting.  And watching God work.  Letting God work.  Which is actually working with God.

All I have to say is, Come Lord Jesus.  I think we are all probably ready.

—————-

I light up a cigarette.  Thoughts waxing and waning with each puff.

I think to myself, I’m sick of all this stuff.

I’m thankful, though for each drag

And offer up my dirty rag

Waiting for your kingdom come,

Your will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven.

 

Help! :)

Dear Friends,

An exciting opportunity has arisen for me and the women of Long Branch Baptist Church here in the neighborhood.  I would like to print 150 copies of my book.  Also, my friend is going to make gift baskets with the book in them!  We are giving these baskets as GIFTS to the women at the church.  We need to raise 2500 by June 2 to cover the printing of the books and assembling of the baskets.  Donations can be make through my website.  It is safe and secure. Click on the “donate $1 button” and you can donate any amount.  Please share this and donate as God leads.  Thanks for your help!!

Natalee

Clear and Free

I was thinking the other day…

When Jesus cleared the temple of all the money changers, He had us in mind.

Let me explain. 

We are meant to be a house of prayer.  A house of intimacy.  A house of rest.  The church.  He was pissed that there was so much other stuff going on in His house.  What’s going on in you?  In me?  Blinding us from what we’re supposed to see.  His face.  His face of passion for us, His love.  I think the problem with the church is this:  We don’t know who we are.  The Holy of Holies.  The place where Glory resides.

But the good news is that He’s cleared it all.  He did that day in the temple and He continues to do so in our own lives.  It was finished on the cross.  We must claim what is ours.  We must say yes to what He is saying over us…

 

So that we may know the Glory set before Him.  Us.

 

Delivered

Joshua received land, food and vineyards. He was delivered from the hand of Balaam.

Deliverance.  It is a theme of the Old Testament.

Battles were fought.  People lost their lives so God’s beloved could receive their inheritance.  It wasn’t pretty, often.  Blood was spilled. Cities destroyed. Rulers brought down.

I don’t understand His ways.  There were many of faith who struggled with His ways.  Sarah and Abraham.  The list goes on.  They even took matters into their own hands.  Just like I do.  But there was still deliverance.  Grace.  It didn’t stop Plans.

All of this…leading up to Divinity taking on human flesh to deliver.  To make the way, through blood, beating, and death, to bring people, like me who can be stuck in my own ways, to Vineyards that weren’t mine. The ultimate Ruler was brought down on the cross.

He is the Vineyard.

He is the land that I don’t deserve to live in.

What will I do with this? His unsettling Grace that brings deliverance?

I didn’t work in those fields that are now mine.  Through Jesus, I am invited in this moment, with gigantic circumstances looming over my head, to be delivered.

To Feast.

To Bounty.

To Home.

(Joshua 24, ESV)

1/28

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep. Psalm 36 (NIV)

Justice goes deep.  Interesting that it didn’t say righteousness is like the great deep, but justice.

In other translations, it says judgement.

Judgement and justice.  Plunging the depths of darkness of the shaky mysteries of deep oceans.

Isn’t this true, too, of our suffering?  There’s mystery.  We can’t explain it.  It hits the core of our soul. There are deep places of darkness in it.  Injustices that we can’t figure out.

His justice is like the great deep. Read it again.

His justice goes there.  To the mysterious deep pain.  And He’s a fighter.

He fights for the injustices that have been committed against us. And the injustice that we commit against ourselves and others, offering us wholeness regardless of our position.

And for the depths that His justice plunges, searching the deep, searching the darkness, He equips us with light within as we feel like we’re drowning in darkness. He gives us navigation as we wrestle with the anger and pain of injustice.  His rod and His staff, they comfort, as His justice plunges and heals.  Equips and mends.

Then His righteousness. It’s like the highest mountain, lifting us to where He is.  Out of the muck, out of the deep pain of injustice, into the high places of righteousness.  We are seated in the heavens, with Him, where He calls us brother and sister and mother and friend.

Today, I’m encouraged by the fact, that simply, He goes there.  He’s in it with us, in our pain and in our joy. Constantly calling out the light that is within us that shines in our own dark places, lighting our own way and the way for others.  It is knowing our light in the darkness, that we often discover that we have great light.

Smile Lines

I was boiling mad all weekend.  The sun set on my anger, three days in a row.  

Little things would tip it off…it was brimming, constantly, under the surface.  I knew in part what it was.  I was seeing some unhealthy patterns in my own life and I wanted to do everything but own it.  I wanted to blame Wes, blame my circumstances, my children, anything that had breath could be responsible.  This all ended in a pile of rage and tears right before we were supposed to go to our friend’s house for dinner.

I could feel the Spirit telling me to let it go.  You know, do my visual thing of throwing all my crap on an imaginary cross in the corner of the room.  I did it, but I was still pissy.

————————–

So I sulked in the car all the way over to my friend’s house.  

In a conversation she said something that I have been thinking about ever since.  “Grace makes you mad.”

It’s more natural for me to punish myself at times, or be mad at someone else than to receive Grace.  I had thrown my stuff on the cross, but I had not received anything.  That can be the hardest part.  We don’t just get to lay our burdens down.  We have to receive what the cross means.

And it means: (I’m talking myself out of my anger and into Grace as I write these things.)

That the sunlight coming through the window right now is for me.

That this jazz is like laughter.  With me.

The pattern the sunlight made on the wall was an acceptance letter.

And paraphrasing Robert Farrar Capon, that all of these things come to us, as priests, for our enjoyment.

 It’s not just the thing in itself that does the trick.  It is the Love behind the thing.  The wink in the eye behind the things.  They are the deep ancient smile lines of God.

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