Surrender

To stay in Your presence, with a heart full-ready to hear your voice…
Yielded and trusting as You’re breathing life into these old, dry bones…
Oh, what joy! This sweet surrender!

To watch for Your smile while the rest of the world is sleeping…
Dreaming with open eyes of the beautiful hope to spend endless days with You…
Oh, what hope! This sweet surrender!

I am that one who had lost his way, who spent his whole fortune in search of illusions…
But now I treasure the Faithful and True – the stubbornly real – the everlasting prize…
Oh, what life! This sweet surrender!

If I close my heart, may it be to my pride and selfish ambition.
If ever I fall, may it be into Your strong arms of grace.
Whenever I miss the mark, may I miss on the tender side of love.
If I dream the impossible dream, may it be in delicious faith.
If I do the ridiculous deed, may it be with contagious hope.
Whenever I miss the mark, may I miss on the sweet side of surrender. [click to continue…]

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Guided by a clear vision of what could be, and wisdom and skill known only to master craftsmen, the glass blower takes raw, shapeless material and goes about his work.

Molding.

Forming.

Bending.

Shaping.

A beautiful form begins taking shape, made possible by the searing flame. [click to continue…]

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Had coffee with a sweet friend last week.  She was describing the amazing things the Lord has worked in her life over the summer as she has gone through a wonderfully painful, gloriously gut-wrenching season.  Each day the Lord has brought new strength, insights, healing, and refreshing as she prepares for a future that is far less certain… but far more peaceful.

Did you get that?

Far less certain, but far more peaceful.

Like many people, she had defined peace and satisfaction in terms of being able to predict what the future held (among other things).  Now as she returns to school, she heads off into an unknown destiny, with lots of uncertainties.  But she has a phenomenal peace that she is being held right in the center of God’s heart and hand.

Here’s how she expressed it to me.  I was so touched, I wanted to share it with you (my paraphrase): [click to continue…]

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I think I may have found the key to happiness, success, power, and the life you’ve always wanted. I’m not sure how I lived so long without recognizing it; from the looks of things, quite a few people have already figured it out.  In fact, you may already be ahead of me on this.

The secret?  Be completely in control of every aspect of your life and world.

There you have it.  The results will speak for themselves.

No longer do you have to put up with displeasing people – you now will control them.  No longer will you-know-who resist your wise ideas, visionary leadership, or impressive communication.  You’re in charge.  Say good-bye to disappointment, discouragement, rejection, financial pressure, TSA agents, time-wasting meetings, and even those unsightly blemishes.

In fact, research conducted through a grant from the Lifevesting Institute of Advanced Relationship  Studies (LIARS for short) suggests that there are at least 12 strategies through which people ascend to such an advanced state of life ownership.  Any one of these can take you to new heights.  But when you combine these paths, the outcomes are staggering.

Well, somebody’s staggering, anyway.

Here are twelve pathways – twelve roles you can assume to take you to a state of Ultimate Grip Hold (UGH) on life – the last stage before the designation of Master of the Universe.  If one doesn’t work for you, feel free to substitute for another.  Or mix and match, if you like. [click to continue…]

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I hate sleep.  I’m afraid I may miss something. 

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I “get it” and I get it.

I know that, too.  God’s design and all that.  It just chaps me a little that somebody who lives to be 90 will spend 30 years of their lives physically unconscious… and then talk about “sleeping in” as if it’s a life goal.

What’s even more disturbing, though, is how easy it is to be asleep when our eyes are open.  Spiritually oblivious to a world of life and movement and transformation and possibilities – all ready and waiting… for the awakened spirit.

Snapshots of Awakening

February 3, 1970.  In a small Kentucky Christian college, students showed up for what they thought was a routine chapel service.  It was anything but.  What was supposed to be an hour-long service lasted for 185 hours round the clock.  And the lights never went off in the chapel until Ju [click to continue…]

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I don’t have to win.

I don’t have to lead.

I don’t have to debt.

I don’t have to worry.

I don’t have to be first.

I don’t have to survive.

I don’t have to give up.

I don’t have to overeat.

I don’t have to be right.

I don’t have to succeed.

I don’t have to be afraid.

I don’t have to get angry.

I don’t have to be served.

I don’t have to look good.

I don’t have to be noticed.

I don’t have to cradle pain.

I don’t have to have things.

I don’t have to be offended.

I don’t have to be stressed.

I don’t have to feel rejected.

I don’t have to procrastinate.

I don’t have to resist change.

I don’t have to be depressed.

I don’t have to defend myself.

I don’t have to always say yes.

I don’t have to spend all I earn.

I don’t have to hide my failures.

I don’t have to control outcomes.

I don’t have to get instant results.

I don’t have to hide from the truth.

I don’t have to hide from intimacy.

I don’t have to harbor resentment.

I don’t have to feel sorry for myself.

I don’t have to judge others’ motives.

I don’t have to blame myself or others.

I don’t have to be thanked for what I do.

I don’t have to take counsel of my fears.

I don’t have to crave words of affirmation.

I don’t have to repeat destructive behavior.

I don’t have to compare myself with others.

I don’t have to criticize weakness in others.

I don’t have to envy the blessings of others.

I don’t have to live in the shadow of my past.

I don’t have to spend money to impress others.

I don’t have to see every (or any) expectation fulfilled.

(I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll discover.  How about you?  What does your language of surrender/freedom sound like?)

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