Wednesday, October 29, 2014

to steward or not to steward...{{a post about serving up grace}}

Halloween, that is...
And that is the question.

One which carries great implication for Kingdom people in our culture and era. 


Does Halloween present common graces?
What about the joys of children in costume laughing and bouncing along together,
parents snapping pictures and stamping their feet to remain warm,
sweet chocolates, carmels and fun surprises plopped into buckets....

can these things be enjoyed to God's glory and all of the context stewarded for gospel love?
Can this holiday, around which we drape so much fear, judgement, confusion and avoidance;
can it be stewarded for a serving up of full joy?

Regardless of what posture you were raised with...
{I sat behind closed curtains with lights down, and recall almost quaking should the doorbell ring; imagining the evil fingers behind goulish masks tainting our door-side button.}

Regardless of where your own parenting has navigated this season...
{we had the best time taking our 11 month old trick-or-treating long before he could formulate any desire to do so, but he was a rotund baby and made a perfect pumpkin, so off we went to retrieve free chocolate. And though our kiddos have yearly enjoyed dressing up in costumes that emphasize fun and hanging out with their neighborhood playmates, our posture towards the day - the mission field that is Halloween has grown, solidified, and clarified.}

This is not a topic to avoid, nor is it one to argue over. 
Christians do much of both, and much of the most dangerous stance of all  - that of apathy....
a directionless float down culture's lazy-river blindly forfeiting this wide open platform for real church doing it's real thing.

As believers, we are the ones - the ONLY ones - completely free of superstition, 
and thereby free to enter into the open door of this season with confident joy and gospel love.
As believers, we are the ones birthed by GRACE, and thereby able to respect one another's 
{often differing} stewardship of this season.
Friends, here is a place where we can chase after unity under the cross 
and truly "spur one another on to love and good works."

Perhaps you're naturally drawn to dressing up, handing out the best candy, and getting your fun on with your neighbors 
{tell me, what other day of the year do they all come out smiling to spend time with you? but do you know why you're participating and for what cause?}

Perhaps you refrain from dress up, but open your doors with yummy sweets and a gospel tract.
{please make sure it's attractive and full of grace and consider that life-on-life is the way Jesus did it.}

Perhaps you remain inside with lights off.
{if so, please pray with love for every shadow that crosses your stoop - for other future opportunities to engage with them.}

Perhaps you are in one of these postures and need to freely and confidently move to deeper form of stewardship?
{ Friend, take heart and consider where fearless, intentional, radical love would take you!}

  • Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus on a day when so many hands and feet come our way!
  • Let us move toward our neighborhoods with feet bared through generous giving.
  • Let us lay aside our desires for approval {from those elusive but ever-present "christian" voices} and move outward following only Christ.
  • Let us model the giving of humble gratefulness before our children when we stand on the receiving end door-to-door.
  • Let us focus not on rushing to gather for ourselves, but in lingering and visiting with people.
  • Let us not be so weirdly obsessed with "witnessing" that we kill the avenues of relationship building.
  • Let us not be laxidaisy {it's not a word, but it's a thing}, but prepared with intentional foresight towards giving the best candy, and initiating productive conversations.
  • Let us purposefully sign up to volunteer at the school classroom party, bake the cute treat, and take the most menial or difficult task.
  • Let us pray beforehand not just for the encounters of Halloween, but for one or two interactions which can be followed up ongoing.
  • Let us have fun in the delight of our children and the joy of our neighbors, because true gospel mission is fun, exciting, and the most addicting pursuit!
  • Let this be our soul's greatest passion and joy, and let us not lie about this to our precious little people.

You can feel the beat of how we here at 6328 seek to steward Halloween.
It is something that we have intentionally pondered, prayed over, and refined as the Spirit leads.

So much of what has shaped this for us is shared here

and more solid wisdom here.

Titles that, while not dealing directly with Halloween, have directly informed our posture and mission with all platforms including that of Halloween:
Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity
Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture (Exponential Series)

What about you, dear reader of this place?
How can you steward the rhythms of Halloween in your neck of the woods?
What does, or can, that look like for you?
"Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Silver-Underneath

It's a whooshing place of created-glory calling; the rhythms of Creator-love dancing happy in the birch trees and pounding strong white music onto the shore below. 
I came with Abba's unbroken companionship
bringing a salad, coffee, my journal and a favorite sweater just in case. 
Temps were unseasonably warm, the sun bright, but it is a place of strong wind, and I wanted to sit still and long; unhurried and slow in that place. 

The ebbing flow of a season's change has rolled over this spot of creation. 
Everything is louder; clearer in the crisp process of dying toward Winter's approach.
The sumac which blankets the steep space between my sitting bench and the sand below was literally vibrant in it's red death. 

Does dying always bring such beauty?
When a soul dies to the things that would steal, kill, and destroy, does glory flare?
Through the dying to performance's bondage, 

to the torture of expectation (from others and self)
to the crippling illusion of doing enough, 
to the damages of spiritual confusion's denial, 
to the soul-shrinking control of any identity less than "beloved of Abba"....

As tree leaves dry, drop and decay, along with their seeds in sweet journey through death to new life, does one taste of glory bright and freedom clear in the dying fall ?

My soul knows a yes...

...with it's deeper hues, pulsing red in a tenderized heart, the clearer, crisper, louder beats of worship in me have pounded out through this death's morphing into abundance. 

 I look up from scarlet sumac to birch leaves dancing happiness right into the sky. Their silver undersides blink in and out of the sun's light like Christmas lights or glitter.
Sky glitter attached by delicate stems to white tree trunk rising.

Where their top sides had once been dark green, but now brightened with the yellow hues of their dying, the silver underside remains, and with brighter shine, as the green recedes. 

Does grace remain in this fashion, brightened and highlighted by the death of a soul to striving?
His unfailing, under-girding, never-changing, always-reaching, full-approving love remains, 

and is it death which best shows it off? 
Is this the beauty of sanctification's ongoing inducing of my death to all that His death killed; 
that grace may glisten brighter, faster, fuller as The Day approaches? 

My soul knows a yes.

I think of the farmer I passed this morning on a rural county road. He wore a thick flannel shirt and shuffled with some effort up the slight incline of concrete that runs ribbons through the fields. These same fields that men like himself have tilled, and seeded, nurtured and harvested year in and year out; every harvest hiding itself in a dying dormant season before the new birth of Spring.
I imagine how his age-weakened eyesight belies his bright clarity and confidence in the silver-underneath, which only comes from nurturing land toward and through death over and over.

I think of the fatherly man I chatted with moments earlier in the cafe while waiting for my salad; 
the way he spoke with such love and esteem of his mother and her recent 90th birthday. 
The woman who gave him life as number nine of her fifteen children. {no twins. I asked.}
She remains in her home with mind sharp, walking to the grocery weekly and adamantly supporting the President's impeachment. 
He said her greatest passion is planning her funeral. 
She is purposeful, clear, and others-focused about her dying. 
It was starkly real in his talking that her harvest of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren is full and rich. 
I can only imagine the silver-underneath is very bright for her in these last glistening days. 

One small silky white butterfly has survived the frosts of last week, and flits around my sitting bench. I wonder what sort of sluggish worm creature he was before cocooning up into his skin's death so that this soft beauty of flying white could emerge. 
There are these cocoons we struggle against and fear. 
waiting long and slow in one direction,  
navigating life's surprise hair-pin curves, 
surviving sorrow's deep trenching, 
waking up far from where we imagined we would be, 
standing helpless as loved-ones ache hard...

Could it be that we need most to hunker in, hold fast, and allow Abba to pull the cocoon of dying tight around us {for He is always there with us in the dying}.
Could it be that beauty, white and free, will spring forth and fly gentle across our souls? 

I watch that little butterfly so eager, darting in and out of the bright sumac's dying...

and my soul knows a yes.
There is an unfading silver-underneath.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that you may have life and have it abundantly." 

" have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of it's Creator." 


"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert." 

"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full-day." 

"Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

John 12:24

"What you sow does not come to life unless it dies...

Death is swallowed up in victory...
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, 

knowing that in the LORD our labor (in this dying) is not in vain." 

"To HIM who loved us and freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, 

priests to His God and Father, to HIM be glory and dominion forever and ever." 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sisters We Need This Message {{a post about a post}}

Her Words:

My Words:
Sisters – we need this message! 
I cannot say that strong enough!!!
My entire walk with the Lord has been radically revamped in recent months through the truth of Abba's secure and freeing approval -some of which is expressed in this post! 

Sisters! We. Need. This. Message! 

In the last week alone, I have been a participant in six different conversations where a sister was expressing – not complaining – but simply honestly expressing a sad striving and strain under the weight of what she has identified to be "enough" or "necessary".
Words like, "stamina, strength, weak, enough, weary, more, less, behind, overwhelmed" pepper our conversations and prayer requests. 

The voices of our culture, the pride of our own deceptive hearts, and the enemy's viscous slander combine to effectively undermine and cripple our souls.
Where we ought to walk with heads held high in freedom and hope and perfect confidence, we trudge and limp under burdens of self-inflicted demand.

We identify ourselves by our doing (if we feel good about it) or our weariness (if we don't feel good about it). 

Is it REALLY the wish of our husband, the requirement of our boss, the generous service to our church, the unavoidable obligation at our kid's school...
Or are these the things we tell ourselves in order to justify the doing we so desperately want to cling to?? 

Let us begin by doing so much less and being so very much more in His presence.

Hold on here while I speak some truth. 
Perhaps a chocolate truffle will help it go down...I have some to share! 

.....Because food does not have to be healthy all of the time.
Children do not always need to be homeschooled, bread does not always need to be homemade, sports involvement does not equate an equipped student, and not every child needs to play a musical instrument (or five). 
Housekeeping is not next to godliness,  holding to a rigid schedule does not define one's moral character, and *gasp*, it is often actually good to humbly cancel pre-established plans or graciously say no to a request. 

Let's just chew on that for a moment! 
{along with a second truffle because we can.} 

Let's get back to Jesus, His gospel, His word and presence. 

Let's get back to truly pleasing our husbands in the kitchen, in the bed, in the budget, and with the schedule.
 (mine is. you can ask him, and I've never been happier, you can ask me 😊) 

Let's get back to soaking up, rather than either sheltering or farming out, our children.

Let's find joy in our career paths, in our volunteering, in our creative outlets; unashamedly pursuing growth and success in our skill sets. 

Let's be brave and courageous enough to be real with who Jesus is, with who we are, and what that all means! 
Let's turn against the tide of culture and take care of our souls first. Let's be women who can set aside the to do list so that creativity or fellowship or rest can happen.

Let be the sisters whose souls are full and complete and healthy even if our bodies did not make it to the gym four times in this week.

Let's be the sisters who know how to move slow, and think deeply, and feel for one another with a fullness that only comes from the unhurried places! 

Most of all, let us be at the feet of Jesus Christ in constant worship, chasing down and revelling in the unbroken companionship of his Holy Spirit! 

His Words:
"Thus says the Lord: let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, but not the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord." 
Jeremiah 9:23–24

"for thus said the Lord God, the holy one of Israel, in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15

"Be still, and know that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations. 
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Gentle Call of a Slow Day

There is sometimes a softness in glory rising.
The misty colors alluring with gentle majesty, 
A quiet sweep over my soul with love and drawing and peace. 

"He leads me with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, 
and He becomes to me the one who eases the yolk on my jaw, 
as He bends down to me and feeds me." 
Hosea11:4 {personalized}

There is a stillness, a breathing, in the perfect meeting of His filling Word. 
His bending; Love's always-leaning, toward the shaping of my soul's freedom to simply rest, and know, and be. 

And so today there is a lingering,
 a slowing, a choosing to reach for the Word. 
There is a resting in the pages of 
soul-feeding books, 
my journal and pen nearbye. 
There are fresh scones baking, while slow puzzle-making with my girl. 

Gathering this spiritual whitespace, 
Led by cords of kindness, 
Bound up in His love revealed as I slow to listen! 

What about you, dear grace-stewarding friend? 
Where do you see His invitation alluring in the created world around you? 
Calling you out from the busy, the scripted, the routine doing.
How can you choose slow, lingering, listening and being today? 

Feed on His presence, 
Soul-fill on grace, 
It will then serve itself right up out of you for others! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I Can't Stop Thinking About...{{a WORD post}}}

I read it there in black ink on my Bible's page.
This is how He wants me to see him.
Through words.
He revealed himself to John's sight, but told him to write.
To record it in ink on parchment for me. 
Through words.
I've read it before...
I've not gotten lost here before.
I am now, and this is what I can't stop thinking about....

"and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of Man, 

Clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 
The hair of his head was white, like white wool, like snow. 
His eyes were like a flame of fire, 
His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, 
His voice was like the roar of many waters. 
In his right hand he held seven stars, 
From his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, 
His face was like the sun shining in full strength."
Revelation 1:13-16

I just can't stop thinking about how very beautiful He is. 
These words carry His majesty hard and fast. 

Visualization comes easy to me...
I love pictures.  I see pictures when I read...
I'm the type to never lose hold of my inner compass.
I can tell you without measuring if a piece of furniture will fit into a certain space.

But this.....

I can't get all of these images of glory together into one visual picture in my mind. 
This thrills my soul and grabs my heart....
Google this passage in images, and you will laugh like I did. 
Nothing - even the most skilled and talented of artists can create - 
comes anywhere remotely close to breathing this image into my soul the way these words do.

Every element of John's description is a rich imagery laden with deep meaning and purpose...
I've studied and journaled through those correlations, but what keeps churning my mind and heart around today....

The glory of mercy that He would reveal Himself to me through John's vision, 
recorded in words that leap into my soul and stir up deep worship,  reverent humility, and oh, the glorious anticipation!
Words that grab. Words that tell the heart to see. 

I cannot wait to see Him in all of His splendor with His piercing eyes of love; perfectly knowing me through and through. 
His sword of truth that saves and avenges my redeemed soul, 
His feet of bronze burnished through completed suffering and worthy to execute justice on all evil.
His glowing hair of pure holiness and majesty.
His Priestly robe and sash of mediating my restoration to Himself. 
His star-filled right hand of unbroken presence and leadership over His church. 
His awesome voice of rushing majesty that drowns out the small stuff of this temporary place. 

I think of all my right-now stuff;  the son with ears weak and failing, the strain and pull my broad-shouldered man faces in leading, the waiting uncertain, the hard of where wounds can ache, the ins and outs of doing life broken.... 
It all gets drowned out and floods away in the thought of this glory...
His voice, His eyes, His sword, His hair, His feet, His revealing Himself to me.

It's all here in imagery and sitting real at Abba's right hand.
These words here on my Bible's paper. 
I can't wait to see THEM face to face.
I can't stop thinking about it....


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sunday Grace Links {{10•19•14}}

This post is going live later than usual. 
I have just revived from one of those rare deep nap times we momma's just sometimes need on a sunny Sunday afternoon; exhausted from wonderful!!  
My Favorite had stolen me away for 24 hours of marriage retreat with our sweet church Body and an amazing Ministry Couple shared with us by more church in Indy. We ate yummy, devoured encouragement, and really lost ourselves in being together. 
Today we rejoice in 12 years of marriage grace; our love, our purpose, our mission, and our crazy fun deeper than ever and still growing! There will be sweet celebrations with our three peoples tonight. 
So I'm happily distracted and a bit rambley, but not so much that I don't have some grace-links to share with you...
May God bless deeply your week's beginning...grab through these along the way or all at once and be encouraged, dear reader and fellow steward of grace!

This post takes and scours the soul with a call to an unflinching, by-the-fingernails, hold of faith, trust, and flat out continuing on. Her raw is real and therefore, powerful. Look at your wilderness differently! 
I love this!!! Even if you don't consider yourself "a reader", consider this opportunity to enter into the lives of others by acquainting yourself with what they are reading/thinking on! Nine times out of ten, it will hold much unexpected purpose for you too! 

Came across this incredible man's life story this week! I love that Mr Wieland is a WI native and worked for the Greenbay Packers, but his story more than inspired, it thudded into my heart with a humbling example of pressing on! 

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite online places to love on those Jesus loved-"the least of these."
Beautiful scarves, clothing, jewelry, and even lovies for the little ones in your life. All items are authentically handcrafted in Africa by women who are living with HIV/AIDS.
The profits provide for their medication and survival. Check it out and get started on your Christmas shopping! 

Because sometimes there's just really quirky breaking news....

Wow.....just wow, yes, and AMEN! 
And this woman's influence in my walk just keeps growing... 

Because Abba, sonship, adoption... 
It never wanes in stunning comfort and identity! 

Do you ever struggle with this? 
It is the place of communion that shines ever brighter as THAT day approached!!

It's here fellow Wisconsinites!!! 
Get out there and capture the vibrancy of creation in its Autumn season!!! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Grace-Links {{10•12•14}}

A sweet Sunday afternoon to you, dear reading friend in this place! 
Perhaps your heart may find joy, your soul rich encouragement, 
and your mind delight in these bits of grace beauty that I've so enjoyed gathering up throughout the week....

{buddies! my sweet sis with her niece} 
Because October is national down syndrome  month, making one of my very dearest people a person of highlight!  {Marybeth is the only one of all nine of us to have an entire month for celebrating her perfect design.} 
We love her. 
This article lists accurate facts regarding down syndrome, but falls short in fully describing the unique propensities towards love and loyalty and affection which downs individuals possess.
They are truly some of the most beautiful souls I have ever met…

And because I adore words, their beauty and power, their ability to unearth and form story upon story within the human mind; giving voice to the living pulses of a soul. They are the oxygen of our very existence, spoken by The Word to give and sustain and be our life. I love to soak in the words of others strung out like this post; turning their meaning over and over in my mind. I love when they pour out of me into prayer, journal, conversation or into my keyboard... I think there will be much artistic word beauty going on in a heaven!

Because it's God's work, not house size, which enables hospitality. Have you ever felt that your home was too small or cramped to host others? 
Let the encouragement of this post sink in! 

I am falling in love with her work... Especially the above titled "Memory Lane" with it's then-and-now imagery.
Cindy Lesky's harvest-themed exhibit will be on display at The Iron Horse Hotel in the Third Ward on an upcoming weekend. {Local friends: Enjoy a browse of beautiful digital art and then some fine dining at the hotels eatery, "The Smyth".}

Have you heard of Brittany Maynard and her story advocating for assisted suicide, which she terms, "death with dignity"? 
One of my faith-heroines, Kara Tippets, who also lives out near-numbered days, responds with beautiful grace and live-offering truth. 
Read this post for its important stand but don't miss both of these women in their very real and raw journeys...and pray for both Brittany and Kara! 

I have come to love the doctrine of the ascension. When rightly understood and applied it casts a bright new hue of unique glory over every aspect of the gospel message and mission. I first had my eyes opened to its delight while reading "Found in Him" by Elyse Fitspatrick Summer 2013. 

A forthcoming new book by a preacher and author gifted with strong proclaiming of salvation and Christian living through grace alone. 
I have benefitted greatly from several of his titles. 

Sabbath Soul Words {{10•12•14}}

This is the One we gather to worship, and in Whose name we have life! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Soul Words {{on a sunny Thursday}}

For the often plodding, sometimes soaring journey, 
Where the heart explodes with love and lays bare in need, 

Where the body stretches limits unknown, and sleep flees never to fully return. 
For the subtle loss of all that you were only to find who you are is becoming.

Where weakness grabs strong, and the strongest place is to be desperate. 
Where love finds it's biggest ache, and then finally grasps something of Abba's care.

For the mothering. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Glory Breaking Through {{a stewarding grace post}}

At first I was irritated. With my mess-up, my forgetfulness and failure.
 A downward look at one's own plodding feet will do that to you. 

I knew right where they were, and right where they should be, but were not. 
Movies borrowed from our local library and due back in the next 24 hours had been placed at the ready on our mud room's counter. 
I would be near a drop box on my morning drive and intended to efficiently work this errand into the morning's flow. 
Rather, our school-bound bustle found me grabbing everything around and nearbye:
purse, keys, breakfast smoothie, children with backpacks and lunch bags attached....but those dvd cases were left, passed over, and would require some retracing of my route and added time spent in driving. 

At first I was irritated.
A downward look at one's own plodding feet will do that to you. 

After kissing kiddo cheeks and squeezing tushes as they squealed their way past my reach and out of the van into school, I turned back the way I had come and began towards home and the forgotten requirement on my morning. 
I was not far into my drive back when my gaze was slowly drawn away from busy hurrying and up into the sky that stretched above my windshield. 
I had to look. I could not stop looking.

Dark clouds had hung low and heavy all of the early morning; bulging like the underside of a lumpy mattress and with as much gray, but there before me, above me, was growing a slice in the thick layers, and as I drove far below, abundant rays of bright began to pour through.

Even though I would have known that the sun was making his morning arch on the other side of that thick cloud blanket, to have The Hand of Glory slice a window through so that rays could shine and travel down against the dark backdrop took my breath away; 
this breaking through of big glory. 

"Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wonderous works of HIM who is perfect in knowledge?" Job37:16

My irritation evaporated faster than the gray beneath those golden rays, and I began to treasure my forgetfulness for it's drawing of my pathway back along an East-ward route and this sky-wonder.  

I pulled into our driveway and stood watching as the ball of bright glory rose past and above the cloud's parting.
The glory streaming down changed rapidly with each passing moment but never lessened in beauty. 
I didn't want to miss one moment of the colors that were playing across the horizon so quickly.
I snapped a few shots on my phone, but drank the depths of this glory breaking-through gray with the eyes of my soul. 

Is this not the cry of our hearts, and the glory of Abba's love to slice through the hard, gray heaviness of life with a slit that reveals big glory happening on the other side?
Does He not delight to shine rays of beauty down against our dark backdrops such that draw our gaze up off the plodding path beneath our feet to see and know that unending of His majesty before us?
Do our soul's "face East" towards His presence? 
Are we watching at the edges of His word; driving along the routes of His Spirit's leading?
How much do we miss when we see only interruption and imperfection by the unplanned of life?
The forgetfulness, the spills, the wrong turns, the extra effort, the delay of our hopes; these are all delightful invitations for spiritual white space, authored and usable as breaking-through views of His burning love. 

There are times when His invitations over my soul's rest require intentional planning on my part, and other's are sent through His playful messengers of surprise and spontaneity. 
Whether carving out spiritual white space, or soaking it up as it pours itself out onto your path, our souls are so abundantly met in the choosing of slow lingering to catch the currents of His love and unbroken companionship. 

On that day, the unplanned of forgotten dvds at home and a retracing of my steps, resulted in a long standing still at the end of my driveway receiving rich and beautiful encouragement in hope...sights unable to be captured fully by picture or expressed adequately with this tapping away at keys, but drunk deeply by a soul overflowing with wonder at His kind and unstoppable compassion which slices into my gray mundane with breaking-through glory. 

What about you, dear reader in this place?
How is He slicing through your lumpy gray of this hard world with glory-rays bright? 
Are you looking up to catch glimpse of love big on the other side of your hard?

Do you choose a slowing down and retracing of your route to steward up His grace? 
Where are you nurturing unmarked white space in your spiritual walk, 

even in the most mundane of moments, 
that your soul might rest from the doing and simply be in His communion? 
Choose one of the spark-ups below, and then comment in this place, 
journal, or blog about it. Share your own ideas of how to steward grace?

Spark-Ups for Stewarding Grace:
{ways to choose the slow serving-up of soul-rest on grace}
  • ~Sit outdoors for an hour just to listen to the sights and sounds of your yard. Journal them onto paper or screen.
  • ~Call up a grace-sister and meet for a walk. Walk a new neighborhood or pathway.
  • ~Explore musical artists in your preferred genre. Discover a new favorite.
  • ~Plan a future date night with spouse, friend, or child at a new restaurant or cafe.
  • ~Work on a jigsaw puzzle that displays beauty alone or with your family. Listen to an online sermon. 
  • ~Set aside some of the day's to-do list just because and bake chewy cookies with your children. Take some to a neighbor.
  • ~Grab a concordance and look up scripture passages regarding God's comfort. Journal your response into a prayer.
  • Snap a picture of something beautiful around you. Use a text-on-photo app to pair words from The WORD with that image. Put it before your eyes on phone screen, dashboard, or mirror.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Grace-Links {{10•5•14}}

If you were here with me, dear readers in this place....
Here with me as I buy up these precious moments of resting with my people, 
eating good food, 
and of course enjoying the football fervor interspersed... 
{both on the big screen, and in the space of big stretching beyond our back windows where green is bright under blue skies. 
Autumn winds blow, and the boys of us, of church, and neighborhood, play with as much passion as the professionals they admire.} 
There could be additional mugs of steaming coffee resting next to mine at the life-scratched table. 
I would love to ask and hear your hearts, the bits of beauty and grace that touched your living with big mercy this past week. 
I would show you mine, and together we could laugh, nod, and wonder afresh at the joy in this pilgrimage pathway that leads us to deep and abiding hope....
I am happy to share with you words and pictures; the strands of communication beauty that have wound themselves through my heart and mind with truth, conviction, encouragement, and joy...
A bunting of beauty strung out...

In honor of "national coffee Day" celebrated this past Monday, 
{my favorite pictured above}
Coffee can be fine art; soul-stirring or at least mouth-watering! 

"You don’t have to worry: We all get to make one unforgettable mark. And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?"
A post to bookmark and return to. 

They carry in their hearts a choosing, reaching, claiming love. Their wait will be rewarded with rich joy. All of us know the gospel with deeper taste because of knowing this expectant couple....

Have you or someone you know been wounded by the great sins of another? 
Our Avenger Restores what is lost. 
"...the gospel promises a God who himself is our avenger. He will bring ultimate justice that doesn’t merely seek an eye for an eye but promises true and full restoration of all that was lost." 

Because THIS is becoming such an important part of reaching-gospel love in our culture. Read. Discuss with your teens. Welcome opportunity to extend this type of community to those God brings across your path regardless of where they struggle with the gospel's call on their living! 

Because Wisconsin has been graced with some of Autumn's deepest beauty, and whether or not you're excited to be pulling out sweaters and lighting up your hearth, 
these captured evidences of God's creative glory bursting into color are thrilling!

And based on your response, the grace stewarded here with my clicking away at these keys to share my heart, struck a chord of deep relating in you.  
My joy has only multiplied with each comment, email, and conversation you have extended to me, dear readers in this place. 
You have spurred me on...
May we all continue to lean hard into the not-yet, already-here of grace right under our feet; 
making home, making family, living big into the unknown laid out before us...
Starting with the full calling of Monday in the morning....

be full on grace
rich in love
soul-resting in His unbroken presence