Birthing

For the ones forging new things by heart and will and strength:

BIRTHING

At the time of birthing we do not sit back but we engage more than we have ever engaged before.

BIRTHING

We KNOW there is a new life about to arrive. And we give that new life a hand.

BIRTHING

It’s a uniquely personal journey. Though there may be help all around. It is still and uniquely the momma’s job to do the work.

No one else will do it for her.

No one.

BIRTHING

And so, she rises to the task. Even when she doesn’t think she can. As we all know though – she can do it.

BIRTHING

Everything will be okay. But it iiil take work to get there. Much effort. A lot of focus. Some tears.

BIRTHING

A profound privilege for the one chosen to bear new life. Don’t shirk back. Give it all you’ve got. You are doing great.

Born Again

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Expectation plays a big part in our lives. Often, we may struggle with fears. I know I do! Maybe you do as well. I have found though that I can bring my fears to God.

“God, today I am afraid.”

But I have also found that I do not need to live according to fear. In fact, as we bring fear to the Lord it is loosed off of us.

Technically speaking, how this works, is that fear is replaced with expectation.

For instance, I may be afraid of a blessing or a tangible gift of some sort going; meaning being lost or consumed or spent in some way.

If I recognize this fear within my heart and mind I can catch it, so to speak, and I can bring it to Jesus, “Jesus, take my fear. I give it to you.”

Then, I can voice expectation. It is an exchange of fear for hope, of reticence for trust, and of doom-and-gloom for all of what might be and can be. For instance,

“Jesus, today I declare that this gift

(provision, blessing, ability, etc)

will not go, but will grow.”

Declaration that stems from anticipation is powerful. And it is challenging.

Challenging because this kind of an exercise forces us to confront our beliefs, our biases, what we believe about God, ourselves, each other, and how the world works.

Declaration comes from the bulk of our sensing and knowings, that of emotions, will, thinking, belief, and of our experiences from all the years gone by.

Fear compiles the past and determines the future as bereft.

Expectation puts fears down and takes on hope, deliberately and specifically.

In expectation we take ourselves by the hand and we put ourselves into the hand of God. Literally and figuratively. This, we cannot do unless we trust the Lord.

And so we are challenged. It is hard work, this challenging (we do not always really believe that God is for us!). But it is good work.

Personally, I don’t know how to go forward into all the Lord has for me unless I allow challenge, unless I take on challenge, poking at my inner being, exposing the lies, scaring out the cockroaches, chasing away the spiders and cleaning up the webs.

We can come honest before the Lord with whatever we find within the depths of our hearts. This is the point of the gospel in so many ways. God loves you. Be transformed in him by the renewing of your mind. Be born again.

A Constant Gentleness of the Lord that We Can Trust

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There is a gentleness with the Lord that surprises me every now and again. Lately, for myself, I have been regenerating, resting, restoring, refreshing. I have been home from my latest overseas ministry trip nearly 9 weeks (the same length of time that I am most often on the ground there), and this renewing is gentle; a slowly unfolding thing.

There is no drama around this work (of restoring). It cannot be rushed. It needs no fanfare nor introduction, but a simple washing of grit and grime and weariness. It cannot be rushed. Did I say that already?

I realize that I can trust this process. While I don’t feel all the way back to full strength and vitality yet, it will come. I trust the Lord to restore and renew me. I trust the time ahead to do a quiet work within me. I trust silence and introspection, of writing and of gentle work, of reading and of contemplation, to both leave and create cracks and burbling where anything I have taken on these years not meant to be carried, can wash away and off.

And when I think back on the years with the Lord, when I consider the journey’s of the many I have done prayer ministry alongside, I see this same gentleness of God that takes us in hand and feeds us, cleans us, waters us, breathes life into us; it is the picture of a small fragile bird in the hand of a loving person intent on growing and then setting that one free. This is the God that I know.

Often though, we would want a little more fanfare, a little more speed and increased development; but the Lord is in no rush. And certainly no rush with us. All is in good timing so it would seem. This, I will trust.

In sync with God we find a holy rhythm to all things. Nothing too soon. Nothing late. Not always as we would envision! This is for sure. But good nonetheless. Gentle and strong and true, this is the Lord’s care of us. Thank You Lord. May you mightily be blessed.

Sulha by Cyndy Lavoie with Lugandan Translation

– Click on the image to hear this message of Sulha by Cyndy Lavoie –

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Spring Beauty

December Beauty

Lead From the Middle

“What brings a fresh future into being is citizens who are willing to self-organize. An alternative future needs the investment of citizens – leaders not in top positions – who are willing to pay the economic and emotional price that creating something really new requires.” by Peter Block in Community – The Structure of Belonging

We are under the misinformation that leadership comes out of position. It may or may not. Position does not make or determine leadership. In fact, John Maxwell identifies position as the lowest rung of leadership (note Five Levels of Leadership). 

What we have not realized is that leadership, the personal investment in change, where we step up to become part of the solution, can happen at all levels.

Continue reading Lead From the Middle