Intimacy

Open door to dark room with bright light shining in.  Background Illustration.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20, NLT).

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Open the door, Someone is knocking.
Someone who awakens dormant dreams,
Who sees through the terrible darkness that surrounds you
And who feels with you in your sorrows and joys.

Open the door, Someone is calling.
Someone who feels the gaping distance,
Who reaches relentlessly across the heart-spaces,
And presses on to show you His boundless love. [click to continue…]

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Eagle at Sunrise

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4, NIV)

Here is a place.

An experience.

An image used to describe the powerful grace of a loving God.

Here is a birthright.

An invitation.

A metaphor for flying swiftly above the dangers and dead-ends into the loving arms of a Heavenly Father.

And where you can’t go on your own and when you lack the strength to survive, that’s when He meets you where you are and brings you to Himself… on eagles’ wings. [click to continue…]

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Under His Mercy

There’s a place where love feels like love,
Where all the affection in the universe seems gathered up
And pointed only, always to you…
That place – that beloved place – is under His mercy.

There’s a song where all the symphonies and sonnets,
Ballads and serenades seem to converge
And sing only, always over you…
That song – that harmonious song – is under His mercy.

Under His mercy the world is recreated,
Eden reimagined, and hope is born again.
Under His mercy we all are reinstated,
Those stains are washed away, and we’re adorned again.
We’ve traded ashes for His beauty…
And longing for His love…
Under His mercy.

[click to continue…]

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Magnifying GlassesI have found someone who’s interested in you. In fact, He’s downright fascinated by you, and apparently wants you to know it.

He also happens to be the One who created you.

And He’s so crazy about you, He just can’t take His eyes off of you.

Here’s what David said when he discovered this powerful truth:

O Lord, You have searched me and known me (Psalm 139:1).

As I read this verse a couple of days ago, I was prompted to read between the lines a bit of what the Greeks called perfect tense.

O Lord, You have searched me, and I remain thoroughly searched. You have known me, and I remain completely known.

This is not the idle curiosity of a God who is fascinated by what He doesn’t know or hasn’t figured out. It’s the love interest of the One for whom the highest expression of love is to accomplish a thorough search and display a complete understanding.

Have you ever loved the beauty of a rose so much that you studied every inch of it? Have you ever been so captured by the rhythm, melody, harmony and lyrics of a song that you played it over and over again, just to hear something new? Have you ever studied a riveting photograph or painting, poring over every detail out of deep appreciation for the artistry involved?

That… [click to continue…]

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The inhabitants of a small third-world village were understandably alarmed.  An earthquake was literally shaking every corner of their world, and they were terrified.

All except for one elderly woman, that is, who remained completely calm throughout the whole ordeal.  When things had settled down, one of the villagers asked her, “Weren’t you afraid during that earthquake?”

“No,” she replied, “I wasn’t.  You see, I just rejoiced to know that I have a God who is powerful enough to shake the world.”

Needless to say, she had a “peace that passes all understanding.”  I wonder if I do.  I wonder if you do.

I was speaking on this at a retreat over the weekend and I recognized something really important about the peace that is every Christian’s birthright:

Peace isn’t the punch line of a beauty contest joke or the passive purview of those who breathe deeply and chant.  Peace isn’t for sissies.  It’s the result of a conquest.  It is an expression of the God of Heaven going to war to protect our thoughts and minds.

Read these two well-known verses again and look for the traces of battle: [click to continue…]

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As Long as You’re There

by Andy Wood on September 1, 2012

in Life Currency, Love

The one lasting promise that rewrote the rules,
Reinvented the contract, and changed my horizons
Was made with the faithfulness, love, and great power
That rolled back that tombstone and conquered the grave.
You said You’d be with me – that You’d never leave me,
Regardless of how well I held onto You.
Still Your “always” and “never” bring peace and contentment
And courage to love and declare You are true.

As long as You’re there, there’s an intimate boldness –
To fearlessly show you what’s real in my heart. [click to continue…]

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The Quiet Words

by Andy Wood on March 30, 2012

in Life Currency, Words

It’s 11:15.  Things are starting to wind down.  The day has had its share of sound and fury, and it isn’t quite over yet.  Not in the world I inhabit these days.  But as the curtain does begin downward on this day it brings a change in the vocabulary.  The language of commerce and connections gives way to something different.

I love it when I’m drawn to the rhythm and melody of The Quiet Words.

In a world filled with the shrill and loud words, the passionate and proud words, where turning up the volume and dialing down the listening are commonplace, does your heart ever yearn for something more… still?

Calm?

Intentionally peaceful?

Mine does.  I find myself drawn to, and longing for, The Quiet Words.

Behind the din of the marketplace, the duties of the workplace, and the drama and demonstrations of the worship-place, I’m ready for Elijah’s surprise[click to continue…]

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Years ago Ken Medema told the story of an experience he had at a youth function in Atlanta.  He had been invited to play for a youth party after church one night, and he entertained the kids with some of his old 50s love songs.  After his part was over, somebody fired up the record player (yes, record player) and started playing some other music, and these church kids started to dance.

Ken remained off to the side; he had been raised in a home that forbade dancing.

Soon, however, what he called “this wallflower of a girl” approached him shyly and asked, “Would you like to dance?”

I should mention at this point that Ken is completely blind.  He was horrified at the thought of being laughed out of the room for trying something so completely risky and foreign to him, and he tried to beg off.

But Miss Wallflower wasn’t taking no for an answer.  [click to continue…]

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Frankford and 82nd.  Sitting at the light.  Laura Kate (age almost-3) and I have been on an adventure.  And she is about to ask me a very important question.  But first, a slight rewind…

“Laura Kate, first we’ll go to the grocery store.  Then we’ll go by Grammy’s office and pick up some prizes she has for you.”

“That’s an awesome plan,” she says.

In between, she learns six (count ‘em) verses of an Easter song her uncle Joel and I wrote when he wasn’t much older than she is now.  Which brings us to the traffic light near our house on the way home.

“Papa,” says the voice in the back seat.  “Are you growed up?”

“What did you say?” I reply.  “Am I growed up?”

“Yes,” she says, very seriously.

“Yeah,” I mutter.  “I’m growed up.”

“Yay, Papa!  You did it!

Sometimes I wonder.

I wish it was that easy to claim maturity.  Sometimes I think I’m still a kid when it comes to such things.  And sometimes I feel, well, old.  But there’s a difference between growing up and growing old.  Peter Pan and his Lost Boys were only half right.

It’s OK to be a baby when you’re still a baby.  But there comes a time when the word of God and the world of people come together to shout, “Grow up!” After addressing the Corinthians as a pack of carnal children, Paul writes to the Ephesians that “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

How do you measure your maturity?  How do you know when you’re growing and when you’re floundering?  Let me hasten to say that maturity isn’t found in big words or fat bank accounts, or your ability to make babies or get a job (although keeping a job may impress a few people).

In gauging your maturity level, I have found five things that act as measuring rods for progress.  You are as mature as: [click to continue…]

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Somewhere in the places where sighs give way to hope and promises sing to aching hearts, your soul waits for something different.  More than the pleasure of a passing moment or those 15 minutes of look-at-me, you were created with a craving soul.  “He has planted eternity in the human heart,” Solomon said, “but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

One day – sooner rather than later – that craving will be satisfied.  And not by what the pavement is made of or what the real estate market is like past the pearly gates.  Not by something that resembles Sunday morning at the church house, Monday noon at the White House, or Friday night at the penthouse.  Craving souls are smarter and deeper than that.

One day – nearer rather than farther – tired hearts, stale relationships and flyblown religion will give way to a new dawn.   And at long last your soul will taste satisfaction.  Ashes will give way to beauty.  You’ll trade your mourning in for the oil of joy.  You’ll wear a garment of praise – complete with dancing shoes – instead of a spirit of heaviness.  In the satisfaction of the soul… [click to continue…]

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