Monthly Archives: November 2014

Now Take Up Your Light

lantern

He looked across this world He’d made,

Splashed and splattered with sin and sorrow.

The people were ashamed, angry, and afraid.

Afraid of truth, and of trusting, and of tomorrow.

 

And as He scanned the earth, He heard.

Crying? Yes. He kneeled down to the sand.

It was the sad solo, sung without word,

The blood of the innocent crying out from the land.

 

The hills could not hide the sin that it bore.

They cracked and quaked as He passed them by.

He held His head in His hands as He walked along His shore.

Ah! My creation! A tear fell from His eye.

 

And then He wept aloud, and covered His face.

And remembered the day He created man.

Even then He knew; His palm held a trace

Of what it would take to create him again.

 

And as He wept, His tears spilled on to the trace,

now a wound, still fresh with blood.

He had bought her back; He had made her as new.

He had paid the price that no one else could.

 

Yet, they did not care or did not believe

That He had redeemed all of their sin.

So still they hid behind useless fig leaves,

And refused to leave the darkness they were in.

 

Then He made His way up the highest mount,

The people scurried beneath Him, unaware He was there.

The sins were grave, far too many to count.

Chasing vanity upon vanity, with not a moment to spare.

 

What had happened to His once adoring bride?

Why was the light they had shared now fickle and fade?

He thru back His head and spread His arms wide.

“Again, I redeem you. My love, I HAVE PAID!”

 

Then He took up His shield and sharpened His sword,

And mounted His white horse of fire.

“I have come for her. I am the LORD!

And My right hand shall never tire.”

 

Then the foundations shook, and the skies burned red,

As He made His way through the fog of death.

At the sound of His voice all darkness fled,

Not a demon or devil could take a breath.

 

Then He rode through the valleys, over hills, and cross sea,

Trampling lies, shame and guilt to the ground.

“I have come to set the captive free!

For all who are lost, to be found!”

 

“I am the Truth, the Way and the Light,”

He shouted for all earth to hear.

“I have redeemed you, my beloved, by My power and might,

He who has an ear, let him hear.”

 

Then He reached into His very Spirit,

And pulled out a light, as bright as the sun.

He poured out this light, on all who came near it.

“Tell everyone you know about what I have done!”

 

“For I have conquered sin and the chains that bind;

I have paid the price of your penalty.

I am your God, you are mine;

Now take up your light and follow Me.

Now take up your light and follow Me.”

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Just Hang On

momand eilaWe went back to the hospital last night. The same hospital where we spent those first few weeks.

It was a different room on a different floor but everything was the same.

The kid-friendly colors, the Purell hand sanitizer, the over-sized rocking chair-turned bed where I used to rock her, looking out into the snowy city below through the wall of windows. (Thank you, whoever designed Helen DeVos. Thank you for that wall of glass.)

This time I had my own pillow, but what difference is a pillow in a mansion of memories? Sleeplessness found me just as it did for the twenty-one nights we stayed before.

But this is not about me or our story.

This is about you.

I cried for you last night. Whoever you are, I’m not sure. Maybe you were below me on the levels where the children fighting cancer stay. Maybe you were in the PICU holding your child’s hand as they struggled through the night. Maybe you were in our old room in the NICU watching your new precious life fight with everything in her for that next breath or drop of milk. Maybe you’ve had to pack up your belongings and head home…. without your baby. Maybe this is for someone who is suffering on the inside from a torn marriage or emotional abuse.

I am so sorry. I do not have the words to make things better or place the broken pieces of your heart back in place. I cannot give you the promise that everything will be just how you want it to be. I cannot do these things, but what I can do is stand with you in weakness.

I know how it feels to bleed. I know how it feels to watch the life inside of you drain without losing one drop of blood. I know the pain of complete uncertainty.

I couldn’t write about it then. I couldn’t write anything. I need my heart to write and in that moment it was completely broken and bleeding. Perhaps it was God’s timing to bring me back to that place a year and a half later, back to that room, so that I could visit the pain again with the ability to write about it.

I am certain I was crying with the Father’s tears for whatever you are going through. I do not typically hurt for a face I have never seen or have compassion on a story I have never heard. But see that’s the thing- He sees you. He knows your story. And as odd as it may sound, He wants me to communicate that to you. He gave me tears so that He could tell you He is crying with you. He gave me the ability to write so that I could pass along His message. His Holy Spirit is living and active, working in ways that can go beyond understanding. Please believe how much your Father loves you and works to comfort you.

There is a story for you. He has placed a special story in the Bible just for you and for all those who are weak with pain and suffering.

Matthew 9:18-22, just four short verses. A woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years reaches out touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. This is your story.

The woman, completely weak with loss of blood, manages to reach out. Can you see her frail hand? Can you imagine how slowly she would be moving? Perhaps she was knocked to the ground in the rush of the crowd. This was me. Is this you? Completely weak and bleeding, she finds a way to reach out and grab hold of just the hem of His garment. The act was enough to stop Jesus in His tracks, and look around past all the healthy people to find His weak one.

I have felt strong before. I have felt spiritually healthy and ready for battle.

And I have felt weak. I have felt overcome by fear, wracked with doubt, and unable to stand let alone fight. In the midst of warriors, I was a wounded. I was a bleeding wounded and all that I could do was hold on to who I knew to be the one true God. While in that moment I felt too weak to stand strong and mighty in His beautiful promises, I did not let go of who He was.

In the midst of our trial, people would ask me how I was doing. My response, “I am hanging on.”

That is truly all that I could do. I could only hang on to the hem of Yeshua’s garment. And although I didn’t feel it then, there was great power there.

Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…”

Wait. As you walk this valley, this valley of heartache, know that this is not where He leaves you. His heart breaks with yours; this was not at all His desire, a world of pain and suffering but He will take you through it. And in due time, after weakness has run her course, He will renew your strength. Just hang on.

Love,

Aubrie

 

 

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What is Truth?

wheat fieldWhat is true? What is absolutely correct? What is the ultimate backbone of reality? What is truth?

Tricky question to answer these days. Not in thought; no, that is engraved upon the tablet of my heart and there is nothing that can take it from me. The trick is in presenting it to the world.

“That’s true for you but not true for me,” seems to be the religious motto of the twenty-first century.

I totally understand this concept on a small scale, in regards to personal preferences like favorite food or color sock one is wearing. These questions and more like them could indeed present a variety of daily truths.

But here’s the major difference: the ultimate truths, the questions like-

-who is God

-who created the world and all of the different species in it

-who or what is salvation

-and is there a heaven and a hell,

these questions and more like them do not really hang upon our personal preference.

They are established and rock solid despite the many different opinions whirling around like feathers in the wind. They are not movable or shakable, and they certainly are not subject to change if modern-day opinions say they must.

Understand I am writing to Believers; I know there is a different post entirely that can be written to those who do not believe in God, but right now I take my stand on the Bible and for that to have any clout I write to those who believe the Bible.

The Bible is an amazing thing. Do not let its availability lead you to think otherwise. As is the case with all commodities, supply and demand seem to have a mental effect on the value of the product. Silver is a precious and costly thing until it can be found anywhere and everyone has it. One hundred dollars is valuable until it is reprinted faster than the speed of lightening (need we talk about inflation?).

The Bible is an amazing, life-giving, heart-changing, Spirit-inspired, precious and valuable written Word of Truth until… always. I know it is readily available (right now and in our country); I know it is found on every corner, maybe right on your bookshelf. Always there. It’s just always there.

Pretend it’s not. Pretend you only have it for one year and then it will be taken from you. Pretend you are the only one who has it and you need to share it with the rest of the world. Imagine you are dying of thirst in a sandy desert and finally… finally came upon a well.

John 7:37 “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’”

Psalm 119:50 “Your word has given me life.”

John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.”

You see, there isn’t any room for a laissez-faire approach to the Bible. It is Truth. It is life. We need to be filled with it. This is the way God speaks to us and directs our steps. What good is a sailboat without a rudder in getting to your destination? In the same way, the Holy Spirit of the Lord is conjointly intertwined with Truth. His Truth. As He says,

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” John 4:24.

This post must have been on my mind last night. Last week I attended a health class in which I learned that many people are severely deficient in iodine. The speaker told us that because our bodies are so lacking, they grab hold of other chemicals such as fluoride and mercury that are similar in molecular structure to iodine. The chemicals, of course, are not at all what our bodies need and only serve to release toxins throughout our system.

This is what was on my mind first thing this morning. Before I could even touch my toes to the floor- iodine deficiency. The Body of Messiah is suffering from iodine deficiency.

What is Truth? His Word is truth. From the story of creation, to the message of salvation, to the boundaries of what is and what is not sin. God’s Word holds the truth. I have a whole other blog post coming someday about the reality of the Bible and how time and time again our living God has proven Himself to be true. If you are on the fence about this, don’t be. We serve the one and only God and He is living on the inside, roaring like a lion! (Love that song.) This is not a 2-dimensional belief system. This is 3-D. This is reality!

There are plenty of professors, pamphlets, and even in some cases preachers, who are offering ideas that are contraire to the Bible, which then can present a dilemma to modern day Believers: what is true?

I answer that question with another question. In who’s authority was the Bible written? God’s or man’s? If you believe it to be man’s authority, well then you are on a slippery slope because who knows what else could then be a part of the Bible? You could write something up and try to submit it. Keep in mind you would have a lot of different entries with differing opinions.

But if you believe it to be God’s authority, and that all of Scripture is indeed full of the breath and life of His Spirit, then it is simple. You have the Creator verses the created. You have the Commander of the Universe verses a six-foot tall man with a suit on. They each present their case to you. Who do you believe is speaking the truth?

I know there is difficulty in believing what one cannot see. But that is only a physical shortcoming. Open up the eyes of your heart and you can see clearly!

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void…” Isaiah 55:11

Listen to the power there! My word goes forth and lands two feet in front of me. Even the smartest among us, their words go forth and land to the ground in a thud. We are people. We are not God. Even when we attempt to challenge His truth, it is only a mental match. In reality, His truth will never be touched. It cannot be.

Be full of truth. Have it buckled around your waist and set before your eyes every day. Know that you have an enemy who wants to take it from you. Know that he loves to mix bits and pieces of false and truth to get your body to absorb it. Be on guard not to place your own reasoning above Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) and thus end up following the dictates of your own heart (Jeremiah 7:24), even if you are doing so under an umbrella of religion.

Seek truth and do not sell it. Seek truth with your own hands and your own eyes; do not be satisfied with being bottle fed. We live in a time where you will need to know it, so that you can discern between Shepherd and wolf.

God’s Word is Truth. Stand on it!

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This Little Light of Mine

There once was a generous king who wanted to give gifts to some of the children in a small village. He was also a king of strong character and wanted to teach the children the concept of focus, obedience, and true reward.

“Gather the children.” He said to his servants. “Invite them all to a great feast I will prepare for them. And after that they can participate in the great challenge.”

So the children came in flocks; they all wanted to attend the great feast of the king. They ate fresh baked bread, sweet grape juice and delicious delicacies they had never tried before. The king enjoyed the children very much and found himself laughing with them and sharing in their excitement.

After the meal the king rose from his chair. “Ok children, now it is time for the great challenge. Those who are able to complete the challenge will receive a great reward: a horse of their own from my pasture as well as three sets of new clothing and a gold ring that is identical to mine.”

The children let the shock and awe light up their faces and then exploded in cheers.

The king and his servants led the children to a large room. Before opening the door he stood in front of them and said, “You have one job to do, only one. Sing “This Little Light of Mine.” Never stop singing it. Those who are singing by the time the challenge is done will receive the great reward.”

“Sure.” “We can do that.” “No problem!” The children nodded in reply.

Then the king opened the door. As the children filed into the room they all sang in unison, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”

And after the children made it into the center of the room, the king shut the door.

Immediately upon the door shutting, some of the children started to look around. There was a sandbox in one corner of the room, and a station with large gold stars in another. There was also a pit with colorful balls and hidden all throughout the room were shiny quarters.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” The children continued to sing, but the center group quickly dispersed as they all made their way over to the things that interested them.

Suddenly someone stopped singing, “A quarter! Look, I found a quarter!”

Five children quickly ran to where he was standing. “Where did you find that? Let’s find more!”

Upon hearing some of the other kids talking, those who were near the sandbox started to play and talk about the castles they were building.

“Mine is bigger than yours!”

“No mine is bigger! Mine is better.”

“Let’s see who can build the coolest castle ever.”

 

Those who were playing with the gold stars stopped their singing.

“I get a gold star because I have the best hair.” One girl said to another.

“And I get a gold star because I can do the best splits.” Another girl chimed in.

“Well I get a gold start because I am the strongest.” Said a boy.

 

Those who were playing in the ball pit quickly broke out into a competitive game of dodgeball. They screamed and laughed and ran as they attempted to win the game.

A group of only ten children remained singing in the center of the room.

One of those gathering quarters walked up to the group.

“Look at all of these quarters!” He held open his pockets for others to see. At the sight of the shiny quarters, five more children left to follow him.

“Look at our gold stars,” One girl said to the remaining five. “Can you do anything to deserve a gold star?”

Two girls who were certain they did have something worthy of a gold star ran off to prove it.

Only three remained singing. Suddenly the sound of the dodgeball game caught their attention. It was a heated match and going into overtime. Two of the three went to watch, continuing in their singing, but they found themselves unknowingly pausing in their verses and skipping words, completely consumed by the competition at hand. After a few moments their voices dropped the song altogether.

Only young lad remained in the center. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”

Amidst of the sound of the chaos in the room, his voice was but a faint noise. The children cheered and ran, quarreled and competed. But he stood. He stood and sang.

After one hour, the king returned. The other children didn’t even notice the door open. He walked right up to the boy.

“Well done, my boy. Well done. Your reward is very great.”

~

In the same way, believers, our time here is short. Truly we walk this earth for less than an hour in comparison with eternity. We have been given our one command: sing His song. Sing the song in a way that others too will sing His song.

Has anything stolen that from you? Have you allowed yourself to run around chasing quarters or earning gold stars? Have you spent your energy building the biggest castle or have you become completely engrossed in ball games?

I am not going to say these things are evil. But to be honest, almost. They have become such idols; they have distracted so many from the true purpose of life that sometimes I wish they could all be destroyed.

One day, our King will walk through the door and He will be looking for those who are singing. The magnificent castles we build will be left in the room. The quarters we gather in our pockets will need to be emptied out and left in the room; all of our gold stars will fall to the wayside and we will leave the room altogether.

I know we have to live. I know daily life involves basic needs and He knows that too. He also knows what is in our hearts. He knows if we are singing. Never stop singing.

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I just gave birth to my blog baby

blog picLife.

The sort of life that means alive, moving, breathing, existent.

I feel like I am having a baby today. Not the type that come through the birth canal. If that were the case I assure you that I would be on all fours, crying out in a way that sends the animals running. Literally, our dogs ran away the day I gave birth to my son. I guess that is one downside about having a homebirth. Your cherished pets run away.

But not today! This homebirth is far less painful. I am sitting upward, quite lady-like actually, with all my loose hairs in place and coffee cup nearby. My face is not grimacing and there aren’t any blood vessels exploding in my eye (yes, another true story) and yet here I am, delivering this baby as I type.

Thank you Kendra for help in the final push.

This blog baby has been seven months in the making (thank you Jamie!). Well to be more accurate, seven months on the mental “I need to do this” list. But today, on this gloriously gray Monday, I am pushing it public. I need to do this.

So a little about me… My name is Aubrie. I am twenty-six years old and a married mother of two kids- Hunter age 3 and Eila age 1. I was born in a small town and now I live in a smaller one thirty minutes east. But we have a library! I love to read. Rather, I love to learn and that almost always comes through reading. The Bible is hands down, the most amazing book ever written. All praise and honor to the Lord our King, His Word is alive and true! He is my everything and the meaning and purpose of life. And yes, He is the reason for the life in this little blog. I imagine almost every post beyond this introductory one will be about Him.

But other minor get to know me things- I like to write, dance, have deep conversations, flirt with my husband and hug my kids. I used to like everything in its place until I had children. Now I am putting that aspect of me on hold until it is more physically possible to achieve. Now I just like my kitchen clean. I love joy. I do not like fish or crude humor. Potatoes are probably my favorite food, unless chocolate counts.

 

Willow & Fig

So that’s me. Now today I introduce to you Willow & Fig. I chose this name because trees hold amazing spiritual lessons. They have roots that go down deep to keep them upward; they have a desperate need for water. Trees bear fruit and their limbs are almost always pointed heavenward. But they can also be attacked by bugs or vines; their fruit can grow rotten or be infested with worms. Oh the many lessons in the trees!

I especially like the willow. She is always near water.

John 4:14 “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him  will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

I also like the fig simply because of its important role in the Bible.

Jeremiah 24:1 “The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord… One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad… The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.’”

I love this. I understand the physical return of some of the exiles into Israel after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, but look at the promise here for us. God has led us out of Egypt (the land of slavery: sin and death) into His land, the promised land, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. His spiritual territory, where a newborn believer can drink of the pure milk of salvation and a mature believer can eat of the honey, the sweet promises and deeper truths that are embedded all throughout Scripture.

And even after bringing us into this land, haven’t we all found ourselves taken captive at some point? Captive to fear or anger? Alcohol or lust? Or has the attractiveness of Babylon (the flesh/ the world) led you to wander to her on your own free will?

Whatever it is, God’s Spirit is moving right now to bring back to Him those who have been taken captive.

As He says in Revelation 18, interestingly again in reference to the symbolic city of Babylon, “Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins.”

He is giving us a heart to know Him, a heart that will leave the land of Babylon, the corrupted world in which we live and the fleshly systems that belong to it and return to His land. Whole-heartedly.

This is my hope and prayer for Willow & Fig. Happy birthday blog!

Faith, hope and love,

-aubrie

 

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