Monthly Archives: October 2015

why there is hope in every season

trees

The leaves fall like grace around me. Autumn, in all her brilliance, dances round and her dress swings out wide and everyone watches, hushed quiet by her beauty. Red, orange, yellow, green, purple, twirling across the tree tops. She dances under the vibrant blues and the cameras click and eyes refuse to blink. Because they know, we know don’t we? She dances for only a moment. And then she sits breathless. We hold our breath. She’s gone.

One by one the trees strip down, that beautiful dress lying in crumpled pieces on the floor and their boney limbs are all that’s left. Naked, they stand. The cameras stop, the people return. What is there to see? Where is the beauty in wrinkled brown bark and knobby twigs sprawling to the sky?

The leaves fall like grace around me. Seasons promised, over and over they will continue. And aren’t we all really just like the trees? Don’t we all experience the seasons?

Summer, with the sun and the rain and the balmy morning sky, everything is right and good. Like the green leaves shaking in the summer breeze, His people sing His praises with fearless joy and it gives life. Others stand round and breathe, spirits refreshed.

And then the temperatures drop. The rainbow falls upon the trees, and all you can do is wrap it around tight and hope on the promises. Now it takes effort: I will believe You when You say __________ because Your Word tells me so and You are a faithful God. I will trust You through this season, this trial, because You are true and You are trustworthy. Your love never fails. And we hold on, sometimes to fear as well, because it’s hard not to. But we can’t let go of Him. That is the key. The trial comes and we do not let go of Him, or reject Him and what He says, but we hold it close. And then? Something beautiful happens. The colors appear and it’s a glory all its own.

But sometimes the days, they don’t get warmer and the nights do not get any shorter. Where is the respite? When will You turn my sorrow into laughter? Winter threatens a long hard season and these leaves are turning brown on me. We send our knuckled hands to heaven. “Why are you doing this? Where is my sun? Where are my leaves?” The tears fall and the struggle is real because this is hard. He knows that.

“… in the days of His (Yeshua’s) flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:7-9

Yeshua offered up painful cries. When King of all creation left His place on high to walk where men walk and experience life on earth from the vantage point of a human being, He suffered and cried. Your Savior can relate to pain.

Winter is the season of surrender, and the beauty? It’s breathtaking. Knee bending. A soul stripped bare like one lover to another. No hiding or pretending; the masks fall easily because your heart bleeds fresh and you don’t care if He knows, because He already knows, so yea this is me. Here I am God. Do You still love me? Do I still love You?

Yes.

And yes.

For every yes, spring will come.

Like a bud upon the branch is love that has withstood the test, and of this we can be confident, “that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Phil. 1:6

Hang on to your love (despite the circumstance), and know with confidence that the ground beneath your leafless tree will thaw (despite the circumstance). And when it does? That root system will be stronger than before and you will drink water abundant and the leaves will come in droves. New life.

Faith and hope are so intimately connected.

If the season you are experiencing is difficult, hold fast to faith. Even if the boughs are empty, cling to faith that the fruit will come and allow yourself to hope in Him. Hope can stand when the bills pile, or the diagnosis isn’t good, or the marriage is suffering. But how can there be hope when all seems hopeless? Because the only thing worthy of hope will forever stand. He is a Rock. And as life twists and turns unexpectedly (or doesn’t twist and turn) and the leaves fall to the floor all brown and brittle, know too that we are but falling leaves. We are here for only a season. Fix your eyes on the only One worthy of hope and know that He is doing a great work in you. Accept His grace as you journey. And accept His truth as well.

He has created seasons, both for the trees and for His people. These brown trees will once again sprout green. Lady Autumn will dance again. Winter will come and then winter will pass.

There is a time for everything.

Love,

Aubrie

Share: facebooktwittermailfacebooktwittermail
Follow: facebookfacebook

Eyeglasses {and wrestling against the flesh}

The door chimed as we stepped into the store and everyone looked our way. The workers that is; we were the only customers.

I shuffled my Littles inside and explained.

The super cute and trendy glasses I had picked out last time were a bit much. Darling on other people, darling on the wall, but on me they had a mosquito feel. Every time I caught a glimpse of them in the mirror I thought, “Whoa.” and when Husband came home he literally said, “Whoa.” and the whoas turned into woes so I packed it all up and came back.

They understood. I put them on and I saw it, another whoa face. She didn’t say a word about it but her eyebrows raised up a little and she led me right to the wall of eyeglasses to help me find a different pair.

We looked until the kids were lying on the floor. Apparently they can only handle twenty minutes of running tight circles around my legs until their equilibriums get out of whack? I thought they were capable of more. No doubt we’ll fit some circle running practice in this week. See if we can hit the twenty-five minute mark. Because kids lying calm on the floor of a store just doesn’t look right. Better that they keep rotating around me, off of the nasty floor and away from strangers and in this case, walls upon walls of breakable glasses.

But down they went just as she found it. The perfect pair. With the perfect fit. And I loved them until I saw the brand etched right into the side, the name of a girl who promotes many things the Lord stands against. Seriously?! I debated. I wanted them so bad.

Is it that big of deal? It’s just a name.

But a very big name. A name that immediately strikes an image and a lifestyle and a message. And you already bear a big Name. A big Name that carries a message and a lifestyle.

But maybe no one will notice? Maybe I will constantly shake my head so that no one can read it.

But you will know. And you’r e not going to really follow through on the shake the head strategy.

That is true.

I exhaled defeatedly and put them back. I picked my children up and walked out the door, mission not accomplished. And as I fidgeted with the children’s stubborn car-seat buckles (honestly aren’t those buckle moments sometimes exhausting? If there is anything frustrating in the day, when you go to buckle the car-seats, all will seem frustrating.) I began to feel bad for myself.

1. Woe is me: I can’t get the glasses.

2. Woe is me: My heart and mind wrestle. Most people live care-free with their decisions. How simple it would be to never care about my witness!

3. Woe is me: I am forever doomed mosquito face.

While the first woe is pretty minor, the third one really chokes me up. I’ll have to address that one soon, perhaps try a different store.

But the woe of paramount concern is that second one. It is that seductive offer of false peace without the Prince of Peace. Perhaps told in a much gentler way than the way Lennon words things in his song, “Imagine” (which is ridiculously exactly what I wrote about last time) but the ancient lie is the same: how easy life could be if you didn’t have someone to answer to. How peaceful your soul would be if you didn’t need to wrestle within yourself about doing right or wrong. Stop resisting; I offer you not death but food pleasing to your eye and no one calling the shots over your life. It is so much work to be a Believer. Give yourself a break. Eat. this. apple.

No.

Lie.

The truth is that every step away from God may feel easy in the beginning, but in the end it is rottenness in the bones and poison in the blood. It is a life of emptiness and wanting and chasing after wind.

I write at the end of the day here, a day where I allowed selfishness to direct my thoughts. My schedule has been filled to the brim for days in a row, and you know what? The effects are immediate. If I don’t carve out open time to have an open Bible, my door is open for deception and my mind all too willing to court selfish thinking.

Woe is me because I should care about my witness and therefore couldn’t get the cool eyeglasses? That is ridiculous. May this story solidify the facts: I love God and have a passion for writing about the truth but I am no saint. I wrestle. I struggle. Can you imagine if I were to let this lie simmer? Check your hearts because this is a tried and true attempt: do you feel bad for yourself in any way because you have been called to live for God? Pull that selfish sucker out. We have been given the greatest gift in the most underserving way! How can our response be anything but our lives laid down for Him? If it is less, it is because we have belittled our salvation.

It’s true, sometimes I feel like I’m swimming upstream against a very strong current both internally and externally and it can be difficult. Have you been there? Do you feel like there is a battle you’re facing that would be far easier to throw in the spiritual armor and wave the white flag to the flesh?

Jacob wrestled through the night. He persevered until he received the blessing and it wasn’t until after the trial was over that he recognized God for who He was. Keep wrestling! Don’t give up. It is God who wrestles with you in order to wrestle the independence out of you. Israel, as he was later named, “struggled with God and with men and prevailed.” And how many times is a message similar reiterated throughout Scripture? The struggle of the flesh and the Spirit is real and it is life-long. Are you limping? That’s ok. This walk is difficult; lean on your Abba. That constant dependence is perhaps why He touched Israel’s hip in the first place. Lean on Him as you walk.

If you are exhausted (or like me today, allowing selfish thinking) check your plug. Limping on our own strength is exhausting work. We must plug into truth.

Daniel knew what sorrow and weakness felt like. After receiving a vision concerning the latter days he said to the angel,

“’My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength… As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.’ Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, ‘O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!’ So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” Daniel 10:16-19

May our ears be opened to what the Lord speaks and may we be strengthened. Wrestle on.

Aubrie

sunsetandtrees


Share: facebooktwittermailfacebooktwittermail
Follow: facebookfacebook

The Pope Visits: Shakira Sings “Imagine” and World Peace

The Pope visited the other day.

To be honest I haven’t a clue what he said, but I will look into that soon.

I heard Shakira sang a song for the Pope. “Imagine” by John Lennon. Have you heard of the song? This is how it goes.

shakira“Imagine there’s no heaven….” Again, this is in front of the Pope; the commander and chief of the Catholic Church, who as far as I know still claim to believe in Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible. And was anyone there gathered in His Name? Then He was also present. Regardless, He heard. Ok, let’s start again.

 

“Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one.”

I’m not sure how the Pope reacted to it, this song about world peace, peace finally after all these years! And the recipe is right there:

1. Stop believing in heaven

2. Stop believing in hell

3. Live for today

4. Stop believing in religion

5. Stop believing in something to die for

Mix that all together, uproot Jesus Christ and the Bible from out of our lives, and peace…. sweet peace… we’ll have it. Won’t we? That is certainly what Nero thought, along with many excited Roman fans as they watched Christians burn at the stake or run from hungry lions. Christianity was getting in the way of peace. Jesus, Prince of Peace, had taught people righteousness; He called for the repentance of sin and the dire need for His salvation; He told His disciples that they belong to His kingdom, and their hearts were filled with His Spirit of Holiness, and He brought peace. He brought peace. And those early Believers, they died for it. They broke Lennon’s World Peace recipe number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. So did Jesus.

And as I see Shakira singing this song to the Pope, my heart beats faster and I want to plug my ears. What is this?!?

This is Christianity today. Blend it, mix it, dictate it, and eventually eradicate it. This has always been the goal of the enemy. This is his one mission. This time he’s using world peace as a cover slogan. Perhaps he knew “Get rid of Jesus and everything He stands for!” wouldn’t be as catchy. No, the title “Jesus” must stay in order for this to work (up until the final deception of the anti-Christ, the name Jesus will be upheld but they will change who He is to lead many into deception). They will do away with repentance of sin and salvation and heaven and hell. This Jesus will endorse whatever we wish him to. We no longer have to battle the flesh or feel bad about ourselves for anything and how peaceful that will be.

Do you believe in heaven? Do you believe in hell? Do you believe in anything at all worth dying for? You truly must answer that for yourself. Very soon. You must sit down and decide if you believe the Bible to be true and if you do, you better put on your big boy pants and brace yourself.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Jesus, John 15:18-19

“For I am ready not only to be bound, but also die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” –Paul, Acts 21:13

While I view this song choice as very specific towards the direction the world is going, perhaps you feel it was just a random pick meant to “entertain” the Pope. I urge you to consider how the teachings of the Bible clash with today’s culture and only more so to come. I urge you to think deeply about it. You need to know in the marrow of your bones what is true, because it is worth dying for.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

lennonJohn Lennon has long since passed away from this world now. Though his song about imagining a world with no heaven and no hell is still influencing people today, he has found out the truth; he has met the Prince of Peace, let us hope before he died. Perhaps if he could, he would write differently now? If we could go to the throne of God and then come back to live for a limited time on this earth, how would we do it differently? We all would in some way.

His son, Julian Lennon who was left by his father at five years old, told the London Telegraph, “I have to say that, from my point of view, I felt he was a hypocrite. Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son. How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces- no communication, adultery, divorce? You can’t do it, not if you’re being true and honest with yourself.”

Beloveds, I write not to belittle anyone, but to fight against the lies of this message of God-less peace because it is going to keep coming at us. John Lennon was simply a man and one filled with his own pain. He lived a hard life, having his own parents separate at the age of four and being sent to live with his aunt. He barely saw his own father. And these hearts, so many hearts around the world suffer like this. We can’t keep the message of salvation and the reality of a very loving God in the dark! The time is now!  Hurting people desperately need peace, and like Lennon many turn to drugs, or alcohol, or pills to find some sort of solace from the storm. We serve the King who calms the storm, and reconciles all the pain and the sin. Who is going to tell them?

And while they sing songs imagining God away, creating their own fabricated peace, we the body of Messiah cannot keep quiet. We absolutely cannot. Their blood will be on our hands if we refuse to share the Word of God (Ezekiel 3).

I do not listen to secular music, but upon doing some research about current singers, (because I don’t believe music is just music- it contains powerful messages if you’re listening), this song by Pitbull was interesting:

Lines taken from the song “We Are One”

“It’s your world, my world, our world today…

Show the world we are one

One night watch the world unite

Two sides, one fight and a million eyes

Full heart’s gonna work so hard

Shoot, fall, the stars

Fists raised up towards the sky

Tonight watch the world unite, world unite, world unite”

 

Two sides. One fight. Isn’t it? That’s all it’s been since the beginning.

And as this world unites, with fists raised up towards the sky, where do you stand?

They believe it’s their world. Theirs to run, theirs to control, theirs to receive the worship.

I know it’s not.

And I’ll leave you with this warning,

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Aubrie

Share: facebooktwittermailfacebooktwittermail
Follow: facebookfacebook