listening

listening

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Surrender. Tomorrow.

Sometimes when I say we'll pick it up tomorrow, what that really means is that we'll pick it up when we next get the chance.

I'm studying.

Any chance you are studying too???

Surrender?  Be Still?  Stay Calm?  Be quiet?

Shhhhh.....

Smiling at you,

Bernadette

God Fathers

God fathers lead their children to the cross.

They help them to count the cost.

They do their best to discipline without anger.

They open the pages of the Word and say, "See here."



God fathers speak openly of Jesus.

They tell their children that He is coming soon.

They teach them to put their hope in Him.

They fall on their knees beside their beds and surrender their wills to Christ.



God fathers tug on their daughters' pony tails.

Tell them to stand straight and tall.

Tell them that their souls are beautiful.

That their smiles are lovely to behold.



God fathers teach their sons the value of a good wife.

They model hard work and faithfulness.

Even unto frailty.  Even unto death.

They live with integrity.



They rise early to greet the Son and to open the Word.

They spend their lives clinging to their hope in Him.

They etch the Name above all Names upon the hearts of their children.

These good fathers.



God fathers.



Bernadette

In honor of Mr. Fowler and Mr. Sheldrup for raising God daughters who have blessed and shaped my life all the more into the likeness of Jesus Christ.




Monday, October 31, 2016

Wait... Surrender the Fight?


Today I walked for an hour.  It's the longest I've been able since I broke my foot on December 5th of last year.  Boy, howdy, I wish you would have been with me because even though I did limp the last 20 minutes, it was a party.  The sun was dancing all up in the golden leaves of the cottonwoods around our place, and I stopped several times to get under them to look up at the azure sky.  Mosaics shaped like puzzle pieces scattered all over the place in blue and gold and made me feel like I was looking at one of my Grandma Lucille's broaches.  I laughed out loud because I felt as if  I were looking up a lady's dress. "Pardon me, Madam."

Gold symbolizes God's glory, and blue represents His loyalty, and don't think for a minute that all creation doesn't testify.    This imagination of mine.  The Lord has given me such a powerful picture of what it means to fight the right fight, and you know I did... 

I walked in my armor this morning.   

I imagined all these golden trees under a sapphire sky standing as faithful sentries.  They stood in all their created glory, loyally watching the wild haired, limping woman; her head tipped back just enough to continue her admiring observations without losing her helmet. (as if ever I could!)  I imagined that I was marching into battle, and that I was so full of the power of the Holy Ghost that I cared not that, but for the trees; I was all alone.  I was not afraid for my life.  I was full of the assurance of my victory, be it in life or death.  I knew the angels were all around me, and I heard drums.  My shield grew as I walked, and I could almost hear the devil scream as he ran from me.  It didn't hurt that I was listening to David Crowder's 'Run Devil Run' on such a volume that if my mother knew, she would get up out of her wheel chair and spank me!  What I did next might surprise you, but I'm a child of God, and I'm not embarrassed to act like one.  I lifted my invisible sword high into the air, and said the first verse that came to my mind,

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14

Say Waaa?

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14

I had to come home and study this verse because I was rocking my armor, right? I mean... I'm Wilma Wallace!  And now I'm supposed to let the LORD fight for me?  Yesterday, I wanted my Father to take me in His arms.  Today, I want to kick the devil's tail!

Looks like Bible study time for Botz, and I think you are going to want to come along with me.  (Especially since you missed our walk!)

Let's first look at a few different versions of this verse in Exodus.  The one I memorized was in the NIV, but how do you like it in the New King James?

"The LORD will fight for you, and you will hold your peace."

How about your ESV???

"The LORD will fight for you, you have only to be silent."

What about the New Living Translation?

The LORD Himself will fight for you, just stay calm.

And here it is in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

"The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet."

I want to first look at what MY job is in this verse, so I'm going to start by looking at the words, 'still,' 'hold your peace,' 'be silent,'
'be quiet' and 'stay calm.'

Shoulders is coming home from Mexico.  He'll be home in less than half an hour, and he's been gone almost a week.

Wow....  That was random.

Shhh... it's late.  Some of you need to go to bed.  We'll pick it up tomorrow, and I know you're going to be amazed.

Be still.  Be Silent.  Be quiet.  Hold your peace.  Stay calm.

Night night,



Bernadette





Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oh, Joy. It's Surrender Again

And when we surrender...

     There is JOY.

          And where there is joy.

               The difficulty of this life fades away.

          Fades into Glory.

     Oxymoron.

I've been wanting to use that word.

                    J
                    O
                    Y


       bernadette
       

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bloody White Flag

Surrender...

A military term.

If I were sharp enough I would pipe in drums of war to this post.

Does music still get piped in?

What are we all doing on these weird devises anyway?

Oh...for old school pen and paper, records on the record player in my sister's room and...

Give me that old time religion.

Now where was I?

Surrender or something?

The truth is,  I wandered as far as a girl could from the line.

Quit my dreams and just walked into the inferno of this world thinking...

"I got this."  (I majored in English so I get to say, 'I got this.')

And when I fell hard and realized, "No.  I ain't got this."

Somehow.

Miraculously.

He was there.

And when the lights came on in my dull mind, I thought Love would be easy.

I thought loving Christ would make life smooth and happy and... easy.

You know...  Because You're mine, I walk the line, right?

But I could make a list of hard things that we have walked through as a family.

That I have walked through alone.

Hard.  Humiliating.  Frustrating.  Terrifying.  Excrutiating.

The last twelve months have caused me to cry repeatedly,

"Lord!  I so ain't got this!"

Just today.

A thousand times... today.

For the last several months though,  I've had my feet up over my head.

Doubting.

Losing my grip on Hope.

My Hope in Him.

I can live without a lot of things, ($47.97 in my checking account right NOW) but I can't live without Hope.

Ugh...being a Christian is not easy, and I would like very much to stay in my pajamas.

But instead I put on my armor,  and I charge into battle against a culture that thinks I've lost my marbles.

I get into the fray of all my fears.

Draw swords with depression and anxiety and always feeling like I don't belong.

Go to the death with lies I have believed and lies I have told.

Fight hand to hand, punching the life out of my wretched flesh that whines incessantly,

"GIVE ME MY WAY!"

Kill them all and take no prisoners.

And when I stagger from the field of battle injured and bloodied by war?

And my Jesus asks for more???

Ah yes,  let's get real.

I've had all the hard I can do, and my heart is breaking.

My body is aching, my mind can't process it all, and my foot is literally broken!

Turns out Pat Benetar had something right.

Love really IS a battlefield.

But I have been fighting the wrong fight.

Wrestling with this Christ and begging for my way.

That for once I would just get...

My Cotton Pickin' Way.

"God, PLEASE, do not send me on another tour of duty."

He meets me again, but is not swayed, and I wonder why my Father doesn't just take me in His arms?

Instead He takes out the maps. (Metaphorically speaking...I don't know how He actually does it.)

He talks to me about His strategy, and it's a two word conversation.

"Total. Surrender."

"Lord!  I can't do this!  I can't fight anymore!"

He looks at me with fire in His eyes.  (Metaphorically.
Believe me, I don't know how He actually does it.  If I did, I would do it to my kids so that they would help with the dishes.)

It's like one torch touching another,  and I too am set ablaze.

I am a living inferno.

Wilma Wallace.  Brave Heart, the sequel.

And therein lies another one of the great tensions of the Christian life.

When we surrender to Jesus, He gives us the power to live for Him.

To be mocked because of Him.  (Are you mockin' my husband?  Because you better not be!)

To carry our own cross.

When we say, "Lord take my life, and use it for any purpose."

He then fills us, and fulfills us as we leave our hiding places to engage in His battle.

The battle for freedom, truth, righteousness.

And Love.

We lift our swords and roar until our throats tear and bleed.

We turn into the fray.

And we fight.




Bernadette






Friday, October 28, 2016

Surrender

It's been a long time since I picked up my pen.
My sword.

It's been too long since I opened my heart.
To the world.

Because you know us sensitive types.
The way we bleed.

The way we see everyone's pain.
The whole world's need.

Sometimes I close my eyes.
Imagine a field of wild flowers.

And I spin my wild self in it.
Turn my face up and laugh for hours.

And in my mind He sees me.
Picks me a bouquet of blue.

He touches my cheek
And laughs loud too.

Then we sit together.
He and I in that field.

He points me to the cross.
And I yield.

I yield.

And so it comes again to this...

Surrender.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

And So It Comes Again To This...




Surrender.

Surrender all.

Your dreams.

"Goodbye dreams."

Don't Surrender.

Don't Surrender all.

Close your heart.

Close your heart right in.

Get no rest in Him.

And die love.

Dead heart.

Surrender.

Surrender all.

And LIVE.