Healing

Prisons of Self

I just posted this image and the following response to The Parallel Bible – the world’s first visual and social Bible app – and thought it also belonged here as a milestone on my path:

Matthew 5:26

Matthew 5:25-26 – “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.” (WEB)

We take ourselves to court, judging and accusing harshly, and sentencing ourselves to silent prisons from which there is no release. You will never get out when you hold yourself in contempt. It will cost you everything. When Jesus was preaching on the mount about making peace with our enemy before coming to tithe, I propose He was including our own worst enemy: Self.

I’m currently dealing with a whole trove of self-contempt I never knew was beneath the surface. But it keeps popping up to complicate situations in all areas of my life, so I’ve decided to confront it head on.

This photo and post actually comes from a prayer time I was having with Papa earlier this evening. I thought I was repenting and making sure all the last of some ugly sin in my past was covered – again. Suddenly, mid-sentence, I was startled silent – Papa literally rose up within and very sternly said, “STOP. I will NOT allow you to beat, condemn, discount, or hold (hostage) your self any longer! IT IS FINISHED! I don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore, but it certainly does not sound like the woman I know you to be.”

See, when Jesus died, He covered every last deed. He sent your past as far as the east is from the west…as the Cageless Birds song goes, “Guilt went looking for my past but only found Love.” But our hearts are not open to receiving that Love if we’ve locked them away in prisons of contempt and unforgiveness. They can see it through the bars and know it’s for them, but they can never fully receive or participate…and that deferred hope of Love makes the heart sick. And a sick heart becomes the wellspring of a life half-alive.

Release yourself today. Make peace with your enemy, and watch as the fruit your life produces to tithe at Jesus’ feet sweeten and increase by the bushels. The most beautiful offering we can give is our hearts, totally open and free to be loved every bit as much as He died to make possible.

The original post can be found on The Parallel Bible by clicking HERE or looking me up by username (LilWhiteHouse).

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Homeless Outreach, Stories from the Street

The Beauty in a Blanket

Humans are beautiful. Every single one. I am overwhelmed by the Love of a Father and how He invites everyone to the table to partake of it.
 
Tonight was an interesting string of events that all led to this one:
 
An older woman who is currently homeless approached me at a Starbucks, and I ended up taking her a few places she needed to go. It was an incredible exercise in listening to Papa’s voice and holding boundaries as I felt I was released to do a and b but not c, etc; I ended up taking her more places than I had planned but felt unexpected grace and desire to do so, and I said no to buying her certain things, even though I could have, based on a gut feeling – the hardest one for me to say no to was a blanket. I really wanted to buy her a blanket but, because my own rent just barely eeked by today and I felt Papa saying no, I let it go and said no. Until recent breaking of old habits and setting of boundaries, that’s when the ol credit card would have come out – I’m growing! YAY! HA!
 
When I brought her to her end destination and said goodbye, a young homeless man walked straight up to her and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, for not doing this sooner, but I felt Daddy tell me to give this to you last week because I have others, and I just didn’t do it til now.” He tried to hand her a fleece blanket with Christmas decor all over it! She continually refused it, not wanting to inconvenience him or take something he might need, so he gave it to me and walked away, saying, “I assume you’ll have better luck getting her to take it.” Fortunately, I did!
 
LESSONS LEARNED:
 
– Humanity is not doomed, ugly, or beyond hope. Beauty is built into every single person, but not every single person chooses to slow down and see it. “Stop and smell the roses” is not just a frivolous cliche. It’s much more profound than that.
 
– No matter what you have or don’t have, you have more than enough if you have Papa’s love.
– Papa God knows all our needs and our desires, and He is never late in providing. Sometimes, however, it is us who reject His hand out of shame/feeling unworthy or miss it because it’s not how we expected it to happen.
 
– Just because you “can”, doesn’t mean you “should”. Papa wanted that young man to share in the joy that comes of showing His love to others. Had I bought the blanket, I would have been out resources I need (bad self care/boundaries) and I would have denied that young man the ability to be a blessing and obey what God told him to do. Sometimes we need to keep our best intentions out of the way of God’s best.
 
– I also would have denied that woman supernatural provision! It’s so much more meaningful to know Papa set things in motion a week ago, foreknowing her need, than to just get a store-bought something or other. His ways are always better (and much more fun) than ours. He wanted her to know His eye is on her needs and future: He told me to say, “Hey.. I know you don’t want to take his blanket, but he said he has others and you are so worthy of gifts from Papa. He loves you so much that He knew you wouldn’t have money for a blanket tonight and set that young man in motion to give you one…because you are the daughter of a King, which means you’re a princess, and princesses get gifts just because they’re loved. And look! It’s CHRISTMAS! It’s Jesus’ birthday! And I happen to know that Jesus loves to give rather than receive so of course He’d be giving you a present on His birthday. He says He’s trying to shower you in gifts all the time but you keep rejecting them…this one, He really wants you to have because you are loved, and loved ones are provided for.”
 
– I will, no matter how much darkness or pain or horrificness I see, never stop loving people, because He loves them so so much. I will also apparently never stop weeping at even the smallest displays of pure beauty – like a man with nothing being so yielded to Papa’s voice that he’d give sacrificially to one with even less than he. Driving away, replaying that moment in my mind, the feeling hit me that that woman was one of the most beautiful I’d ever seen, and the tears poured forth.
 
What an honor it is to be trusted with moments as precious as these…I pray that you, person who’s read this far, have the privilege of witnessing pure beauty and Papa’s love this week, and that when that time comes, you’ll have crazy awesome discernment to know what is yours to do, what is God’s to do, and what is to be left for someone else. Amen.
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Uncategorized

We ARE Them

“For when David had fulfilled God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” Acts 13:36

I don’t remember ever hearing/reading this verse before this weekend. But, when I did, it hit me. Hard.

I heard it while sitting in a smaller gathering of “prophetic types” listening to Mr. Phil Cana speak. His message was eye-opening as he was teaching on how different generations have run legs of the proverbial “relay race of ministry” and how that’s manifested in the movements within church culture. He was talking about a spiritual passing of a baton that he felt is happening now – the leaders and teachers of today need to be bringing up the leaders and teachers of tomorrow because simply having a call is not enough; we need spiritual fathers. We who are called are burning out and running ragged with passion because we have started running before our predecessors have passed on their authority/mantle (whatever you want to call it).

It was good stuff, but it was also revelatory in that he’s right – so many of us have taken off running and are burning out because we have outrun our authority. A call is not enough. (If you don’t mind a terrible recording of it, you can listen to this message HERE)

Flash forward to present.

I had coffeeeeelunchwoahwheredidthedaygo just now with a dear friend who just excites me every time we are together. I walked away feeling so alive and energized and renewed in passion, and I wanted to really sit with that energy/feeling and let God have His say about it.

In other words, it was highlighted to me as something to pay attention to, so I did.

While sitting with the feeling, I thought about how inspiring my friend is. This led to me making mental connections to other friends who are inspiring in similar ways. This led to me really realizing how incredible the people God has placed in my life are, and transporting my mind to times in my life when I felt similarly for towards others. I started to think, “Wow, God. Back then, I looked up to these people in my life and just knew they’d change the world. That You’d set them apart for radical, culture-changing purpose, and I wanted to be just like them.”

And then it hit me.

The “they/them” have become my peers. US.

We ARE them.

We ARE the set apart ones being called to live in complete “faceless, living dead” submission to His will and purposes – to lay our lives down in exchange for the baton of the radical, culture-changing purpose being passed to us by those who we have been watching running the race for all these years. That generation has run with reckless abandon the leg God has appointed for them to run.

Now it’s our turn.

We only have a finite time before sleep comes to even the strongest of us. That quiet desperation, that pervasive unsettledness, that wandering, that growing urgency in our gut…that is our wake up call.

Wake up, sleeper.
Rise from the dead end jobs and pursuits and lifestyles.
Will you run?

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