Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prunes, Dates, and Humiliated Grapes

[Raisins] used to be fat and juicy and now they're twisted. They had their lives stolen. Well, they taste sweet, but really they're just humiliated grapes.
- Benny and Joon

I think the only dried fruit I actually like are dried cranberries, and that's just if I put them into my cranberry-walnut muffins (to make the name legit). But this is not going to be about shame, or dating, or the credibility of muffins. And not so much of prunes either...

This is about pruning.
[my irrelevant titles/tangents/excursions do eventually merge.]

There's an incredible move of God happening in THIS generation, that I WILL see with my eyes. And I have felt the growth in myself, and seen repercussions in the people around me - people getting healed in church, friends suddenly diving into a relentless crave for God, dreams unfolding, signs that make you wonder... It's all real.

The beauty of the New Covenant is that we live with the executable power that came from the resurrection. But that's just it - to resurrect means you'll have to die first.

I once heard Bill Johnson say this:
The reward for growth is to be pruned, because that allows for more fruit in the next season.
It's one of those glorifying-crucifying statements that I love and hate (but genuinely love), where we dreamers and optimists revel in clinging to the hope of "fruit," but practicality yanks us back into the realization of Jesus' uncompromising command to pick up your cross and die daily (Luke 9.23). I'll be honest - there are times that the "dying" part makes me groan. "Uh, Dad, I kinda don't want to die today. I've been really drained and I would prefer a nap over bloody sweat." (Because seriously, I do feel drained, and I could use a nap.)

For shame.

I can hear God tell me, "Endure it, woman." (sigh.) And He's right. After all, in order for a plant to be healthy, it needs to be pruned. Why waste nutrients on injured, infested, or dying areas of my life? Why feed the parts of me that don't glorify God, or bless others, or encourage my spirit? To prune is to encourage fruit development. In the end, it's more worth it to see the abundance of the Fruit of the Spirit (and fruit of your prayers, whatever "fruit" means for you), than to live with mediocre fruit, and a whole lot of dead stuff.

He cuts off every branch IN me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even MORE fruitful.
-John 15.2

It's to be expected, that because we live in such an exciting time in history, the junk must be made known - and chopped off. The intensity of Light sheds reality on all the dark things going on in our insides. The influx of His beauty calls for a purge of our ugliness. The increase of glory evokes an increase of attacks - everything worth fighting for will be fought over.

I say all these things as encouragement to myself and others, that the humiliation of being stripped of our beauty [uh.. raisins?], of our lives being flogged as a spectacle, of suffering, of a broken heart, of pain, of death - it is all a part of process to find the glory and power of the resurrection.

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
-Philippians 3.10-11

That's all...
OK let's go die!


Listening: "To Be Alone with You," on Seven Swans, Sufjan Stevens.
Reading: The Pentateuch

Thursday, April 16, 2009

sticky notes

I was driving home and could not concentrate on the road - the sunset was like an unexpected gift from Adonai - it left me awestruck by His glory. So once I got home, I snapped this from our kitchen window, and had a sudden realization that I am in the right place at the right time... (but we shall save that for later!)


A simple, unassuming sticky note,
Posted on the doorway to Beyond;
He has handwritten with affection,
"I am fond of you."

But If this is a note, I must read His novels!
If this is a sketch, I must see His calligraphy!
If this is vernacular, I must hear His poetry!
If this is simplicity, I long for intricacies!

If these are fingerprints, what of touch and feelings?
If He is smiling, let us start laughing!
If He is moving, I want to start dancing!
If He is coming, I want Him arriving.

If this is beauty, I want to behold majesty.
If this is fondness, were He to lavish love on me -
Such a profound mystery:
He goes beyond all we ask or think

He is a Sentimental Author
with charm behind His intensity


Reading: A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken


end abortion.

Silent Siege
State Courthouse [Kamehameha Statue]



Reading: The Breaker Anointing, Barbara Yoder
Listening: spontaneous worship from Hope Community Church

Saturday, April 11, 2009

O Broken Man

O the Broken Man on the Cross,
You have offended our minds to reveal our hearts

So we have crucified You,
that we may no longer be confronted by our great sin of fear;
to resume our idolatry - worshiping our doctrines, traditions, and self-attained holiness
to remain unchanged

So we have disowned You,like a faithful member of our gullible, pliable society
like everyone else who seeks entertainment, not conviction
as if You are a passing trend (like WWJD bracelets)

Broken Man, how can You tell us to eat Your flesh and drink Your blood?
How can You use the unclean spit to clean a man's blindness?
Why did You not fight for John the Baptist's freedom from prison?
What if we would rather sing the dirge than do a dance?

Broken Man on the Cross,
You gave Your mother away.
You say a thief will enter Paradise.
You ask forgiveness on our behalf from G-d Himself (and we did not ask for it)

This Authority!
Who ordained You? Where did You get Your license? Show us Your credentials!
(Where's that Pastor ID Card....)

We don't like You.

So die.

And now, Broken Man, as You are on the Cross,
Is this so much what our hearts have desired?

Broken Man, we have heard it said one way, and You say another.
We say retribution, You say absolution.
We say regulations, You say invitations.
We say sow and reap, You say favor.

We say half, You say whole.
We say a lot of lies.
You say a lot of Truth.
And it has offended our minds, but revealed our hearts.

For we say death, but You say Life.

O Broken Man,
You ruined every funeral,
You will surely ruin Your own.


Listening: Upstairs by Shane & Shane
Reading: A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken