Mar 23, 2015

The House that God Built

I was reading something my brother wrote tonight about how pain in relationships make us stronger for the next.  Ultimately what I was hearing in what he wrote in between the lines, what was being said at least to me was a reminder... he was saying that life often times gives us challenges, struggles, pain, heartache and how we react to those times determines how we either use them for our good or how we allow them to continue to hurt us and keep us from something better.

It reminded me of a story I wrote long ago... contemplating a relationship I was bound by, but at the time completely seduced by.  "The House that ____Built"... maybe I will find it and revise it.. I hope I kept it. Because although at the time I was thinking someone else built the house in my heart, the place where this person lived, in reality it was God who was building the house, His sanctuary.  He fortified the foundation with something so simple yet so divine, love.  Pure, unconditional love.  Himself even, although I didn't recognize Him at the time.  I just knew that I loved this person unconditionally and somehow I knew I was experiencing some part of Heaven just by loving.  

God built the foundation, and formed the walls with struggle, with pain, with heartache, with joy, happiness, He used all the emotions real and imagined to create those walls.  They kept some things out and others in.  He covered it with protection a roof that sheltered me when I was uncertain, when I was afraid. He was and is my covering.  He fashioned a door and there was only one key and at the time only one person had the key and knew how to use it.  To come and go as they wished and I was always there, inside this house.. that I thought ____ built.  

But as time grew, as the seasons changed the comfort of having _____ there just didn't seem to fit anymore..  it wasn't complete.  The whole purpose for the house to be built was so _____ could be there, to dwell there, to be at home there.  But it became empty and I was the only one that remained, feeling like a prisoner in a place that no longer could be complete, or so I thought.  It was the most desolate place for so long and the agony of being there almost did me in.  Imagine spending what felt like a lifetime building the perfect home for your mate, the love of your life, waiting patiently on his or her arrival, a place to call home, to be with all your lives... you spend all your energy all your emotion and thoughts on this house, making sure its perfect only to have it abandoned by the one you love.  Such great and deep heartbreak. I can imagine how Jesus feels when He is rejected... He said in His Father's house are many mansions and that He went to prepare a place for us.... all this time... What great sorrow He must feel for those who have forsaken Him.  

But thats exactly what God used to make me realize it was built for Him... the key was never lost or stolen I simply never gave it to its rightful owner.  He gladly accepted it and now dwells in "The House God Built"  and I feel complete again.  Its only a home when He dwells there, when His presence fills the rooms and the warmth of His embrace surrounds me otherwise its a house, that I can allow anyone or anything to occupy. But just as before, those people and things will come and go, some will stay awhile, others will seek shelter and a firm foundation, while others won't even notice it.  But God, who built it Himself, the One who belongs there, the One with the key, is the only One who can make it truly a "home".  He taught me how to love, so that I can love others.  He allowed my heart to be broken, to be shattered and He took all those pieces and put it back together stronger than before, fortified and held with mercy and grace.  

In that house in His home, the walls are filled with reminders of His goodness, His mercy, His grace and patience. Sleepless nights with tears and anquish are like movie screens against the plaster with Him standing there comforting me, restoring me, reviving me.  When I look up and see the roof, I see all the times He protected me, He gave me comfort and how He never walked away from me even when I walked away from Him. 

And when I look down and I see that firm foundation, I can hardly comprehend it.  It shall not be moved.  It has born the weight of so much burden, so much pain, so much sin, so much confusion.  His only Son laid there to be trampled upon, beaten, spat on and pierced... neglected and rejected. But because of that, because of His sacrifice, I stand upon this rock... 

"The House that God Built" my resting place, my home with Him, where He dwells and sings over me with joy!  He says in His Father's house there are many mansions... and that He went to prepare a place for me... but He built one for me here as well, He loves us that much.. and while this place is not my home, its just a house, but He dwells within this House that He Built!!!  

Mar 7, 2015

Post-Op Update - Reality

I am not really sure how this post will go, but I am over a month out past the triple bypass surgery and tomorrow I head back to work.  I am very thankful for a better than normal recovery and the energy I have.  I still have a ways to go and there are many days I don't have alot of energy.  The scars are healing and the sensitivity in certain places, like my left arm and leg are getting better.

On a different note, I remember the nurse that came in to see me prior to surgery telling me that 99% of the patients who have this surgery (CABG/Triple Bypass) go through depression.  While I can't say I feel depressed I can tell you my heart (figuratively) is tender.  It's easy for my eyes to well up with tears some days for a million different reasons.

I have had so many people offer their prayers, their time, their love, kindness, gifts of food, and so many other things I can't begin to mention them all.  This is especially true of my dad and stepmom, Brenda.  Not to mention so many others, so many special friends - you know who you are.  Its a humbling thing, and I am so very thankful for each of you!

Emotionally, its not been that bad, but as I head back into this reality, the thing we all in some form or another call "life"... I realize its not really life at all.  To see so many people going to and fro, with so many busy schedules.  Consuming their time, as they consume what the world has put before them.  Myself included.  Its so difficult to be free of the rat race... as we hear it sometimes called.  I look around me and see what I consider a big house for just one person, with all the things that fill it up and they have no value... but yet I am conditioned to be distracted with getting the deck refinished, repairing this thing or that.  I have to make sure my schedule is lined up, all my bills are paid, the fish and cats are fed, prescriptions filled, insurance paid... and the list goes on and on and on.

Then I hear some of the songs I have posted on this blog recently, especially one in particular "Through It All".. and I can't help but tear up.

Then I take a drive out to run an errand and I see people on the go, everywhere to go by this or that, to run errands, and it all makes me sad in some way.  I can't explain it.

I feel myself wanting to pursue growing a business somehow or any endeavor really.. but yet another growing part of me, simply wants to be free from "the rat race"... I am burdened by this reality and another one that I want more of.... and when I have processed all these things in my mind to the point I can't anymore I break down in tears -- thinking to myself I was on the verge of a fatal heart attack and I have wasted so much of my life, so much.  So much of my time, and the things I have given thought to... forgive me God, forgive me!  I don't want the things of this world, the ideals, the things I have coveted... I don't want that farm in the mountains, or that little house on a plot of land somewhere... I really don't want all those things.  What I find that I want more than anything now... is You Lord!  Its YOU.  Just YOU, you are all I really want and all I really need.

I wish I had the faith and the wisdom to walk away from it all somehow.  I live the most simple life.. this house, the car, the things I have surrounded myself with are burdens and they have made me a slave.. forgive me Father, forgive me!

I really want nothing of this world, but yet I am attached to so much of it.  The fact that I even exist in this body binds me to some degree. I know this is just the way it is...

Things seem to have lost their value, being "successful" doesn't have the same meaning anymore, and while I have known this for some time, my mind is so conditioned to pursue it, whatever that looks like.

So much feels like it needs to change, but I am not completely sure how to go about it.  God grant me more than anything, more than anything I have ever prayed... grant me the desire and the wisdom to pursue you with my whole heart, help me to rid my life of all the distractions and the obligations so that I might be free to worship you in truth and spirit.  Empower me to be a light to others, to be transparent that you might live through me, yielded and hidden in you.  Grow my desire to spend my time wisely, seeking your face and listening for your voice, to be drawn to your presence more and more - because I am realizing more than ever thats all that matters.  Help me, help me become what it is you have desired even if I don't fully understand what that is or means.

I know the times we live in and I know in my heart that your return isn't far off.  Perform a quick work in me, that I might regain all that the enemy has stolen but only for your glory... much of which I have freely given, forgive me Father, forgive me!  I want so much to make YOU my everything, my every thought, my every breath... I know you're sovereign, I know you have my best interests in mind, you love me and your mercy and grace is beyond my comprehension - but quicken everything in me to know YOU more to seek YOU in all things.  To put you before all things.  When my eyes open in the morning bless me with your presence, that I might have you first in my thoughts and throughout the day.

I just want to be with YOU, that is the cry of my heart today and so many days lately.  I just want to be with YOU God.  To see YOU, to feel your presence, to hear your voice and to be embraced by you. To be reconciled back to you!  I just want to please you and some days that isn't easy to do - cleanse me and make me whole, sanctify and restore me to what you have always wanted me to be.

Mar 5, 2015

KING OF KINGS - Cavalry Chapel

Sometimes and more often than not, the best thing we can do is simply worship and praise Him. This is a good song to do just that. This has to be one of my all time favorites. Such a beautiful and powerful yet simple song.

It Is Well - Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music - You Make Me Brave

Gosh I love this song and her voice. When I find a new song, at least to me, I have to listen to it over and over. Her voice coupled with what is being said, its like heaven. I have made many bad choices throughout my life, not always understanding the increasing weight they would have. Those choices were like driving down the road and just a slight continuing fraction veering to the right or left, found me on a totally different road. Its not an easy road to try and stay the path, to keep on the straight and narrow... I say that because those seemingly small choices have cost me a great deal and I have forfeited many many blessings of God. I see this video and hear her voice and for a moment I think.. If I could live life over, I'd want a wife, who had a heart for God, one that had a voice she used to praise Him like this, no matter what she looked like... its easy to fall in love and love those who love God, who know Him. It melts my heart really. I have no regrets, I know He is sovereign and I know His word is true.. Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;…" The journey has brought me to my knees many times and I am sure there are more to come, but thats where He wants us you know, on our knees crying out to Him, that He might enter into a relationship with us, to revive and restore us, to sanctify us and make us whole. Through it all... It is well with me smile emoticon

Prepare-We are at the Verge of Collapse Says Jonathan Cahn Author of Mys...

Whether you subscribe to this idea or not, the fact is:  more often than not people turn to God when there is a crisis but not before.  Therefore, God uses crisis, trials and tribulation to bring people to their knees.  We cannot mock God, from who our blessings come, and expect them to continue.

Mar 4, 2015

Hillsong - I Will Exalt You - With Subtitles/Lyrics - HD Version

Mar 2, 2015

It Is Well - Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music - You Make Me Brave

My heart has been tender today. Running errands here and there every time I got into the Jeep to drive, my music started to play - almost all contemporary Christian. And each time I heard the words whatever the song may have been, my eyes teared up... thinking of how loved I am, how blessed I am... and how much He longs and even aches to spend time with us. I really can't wait to see Him face to face... to see the One who lived, suffered and died for me. I really can't. My righteousness is as filthy rags, but I am so thankful, so humbled, that through His own I have been saved and through His Word and Spirit I am being sanctified... I am being made whole. This is such a beautiful version of this classic... when I see someone praising God it makes them so beautiful to me. No matter their look, size, race, economic status, age, ability or inability... their praise and adoration to God, makes them beautiful. No matter their sin, obvious or hidden, it matters not. There is liberation and peace in His presence. It cleanses us and makes us free as we become a willing captive of a love that is beyond description, or comprehension.Take a listen..

Lord, I need You today!

I needed and need to cry for you today, to cry out to you and with you.  I need to be with you and feel your embrace, to feel your presence and hear your voice.

I need to know you more than I did yesterday.  I need to be with you, to just be with you God.  To just sit with you awhile.

My righteousness is so filthy.  I am nothing without you.  But I am so grateful for you, for your righteousness, for standing in the gap and making a way for me.  Forgive me Father, forgive me for all my failings, for my sin, for everything that seeks to exalt itself above you.  Forgive me for my vanity and pride, for my evil heart.

Thank you for your Spirit, the comforter, my teacher, my friend.  For the conviction you bring, and the sanctification that only you can provide.  For perfecting me.

This life is so full of challenges, so full of obstacles and darkness seems to be all around.  But You, You bring peace and comfort, an assurance that can't be described.  Oh Father, how I long to be with you, to finally see you face to face.  To see you as you are... to kneel before you and to adore you, to love you and just be with you.  To be face to face with the One who was born, lived, suffered and died for me!!

I need you every moment, every second of every day.  It is your breath in my lungs, teach me to use it to glorify you in every way possible.  Teach me to worship you in truth!

I just want to see you!  I want to be with you, more than ever before.  This life offers me nothing apart from you, nothing!  There are no riches that can begin to compare to your worth, your glory and splendor, none!  No relationship that can be had that brings what one with you does.  No not one!

Let me always sing your praises, honoring you with my body, my mind, my words, my thoughts... with everything that I am and all that you mold and make me to be!

Oh everything in me is crying out to see you!  To witness that day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that you indeed are Lord of All!  The Great I am, Faithful and True, King of Kings and Lord or Lords!  The Great I am, Almighty God!

My heart aches for you Lord!  I need you, I want to see you High and Lifted up!  I want the whole world to see You!

Come and be with me Father, grace me with your presence, and hold me for awhile.  Strengthen my spirit, and empower me to preach the good news, fill me up with your Spirit and revive me oh Lord!