Friday, July 16, 2010

mind cage.

Yesterday I had a lovely conversation with my friend Gracie. We were in my swimming pool in 107 degree weather. She was telling me about her trip to the Dominican Republic and all the miracles God had worked in her. I won't go into details here, for they are not mine to share. But she led me to realize something about myself.

We stayed in the pool as the sun was covered in thick gray clouds and the air was thickened with the smell of summer storms; a mix of fire and heavy dew. I realized that in social circumstances I get wrapped up in my thoughts, anxious about being loved by my friends, and what to say. In my time with God I am consumed with trying to picture exactly who He is and getting my heart in the right spot to meet him, making sure I read, journal and pray for others. I feel it is impossible for me to be present in moments that should be beautiful because I am caged in my own mind.

I know that seems a tad dramatic and easy to fix. I am sure everyone experiences this to some extent. However, it is truly my tormenter. The enemy turns bonfires into forest fires constantly in my thought life. Don't even get me started on my emotional life.

However, last night Antioch had a prayer and worship night. As I was singing I was again enveloped in my thoughts, trying with all MY strength to focus on God and stop my mind from wandering to my grocery list. Then, He showed me. I had a vision that I was standing in a dark, dirty, dilapidated shack. A dusty wooden door opened before me to an amazingly bright orb of light. I was on the threshold of dark and light, freedom and shackles.

"God, I want out! I want to live in Your light, not in the confusing and ravaging thoughts in my head," My heart cried. But I know that I am so afraid to leave my cage. It may be full of germs and lacking light, but I am comfortable in my misery and can sulk without the interference of others. Outside requires me to be vulnerable, to be present means I will have to engage in relationship with no place to retreat. No back corner of my mind to analyze and escape.

This morning I woke up with immense peace and joy that could only be of God. The door has been opened, I have stepped into His light, no part of me wants to go back despite my fear...

He gave me this verse this morning:

Isaiah 28:16-17

16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

17 I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
and water will overflow your hiding place.

It may hurt for him to sweep away my hiding place but it is only a lie, nothing real. Surely the precious cornerstone will hold me in His arms and bring me into the glorious light of His joy an freedom.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cultivating Charity

So do you remember the garden I posted about a few months ago? (
Well, it is now a little farm! We have had fresh salads every night, carrots and potatoes in our pot roasts, and fresh herbs on everything! I was so blessed when my parents said that I could take the HUGE bounty of lettuce and spinach to a homeless shelter. Four giant bags later and I was ready to go. I heard Cross Winds Community in Mead Valley could use it, from a friend, loaded my car with greens, and headed out there.

I was expecting dusty roads, a big kitchen to feed the homeless, and a rough crowd. Instead, when my beautiful friend Elizabeth and I arrived at 2 in the afternoon of the fourth of July, we were welcomed by an amazingly loving woman named Vicky. She had a big white floppy hat on and took half an hour out of her busy schedule to give us a tour of the grounds, yes grounds, and tell us about their ministries.

Vicky and her husband Herald started Cross Winds ten years ago because they had a heart for the poverty stricken, drug inhabited, prostitution prone area. Today they feed over 300 people a day, send missionaries to Uganda, have a community garden, help families become self sufficient with their own gardens and chickens, give out clothing, offer rehabilitation classes for drug-addicts and alcoholics, visit prisoners, and house homeless men... serving roughly 6,000 people a month. They are a dynamic church who is doing so much for the community it can only be the Holy Spirit's work. Stepping onto their property feels like stepping into a mission trip in a foreign country; in the impoverished rural area they have managed to create a beautiful place for the sick and broken to rest and heal in the Holy Spirit. They are a body that is not about just donating but finding lasting solutions to poverty. Their slogan is "Cross Winds is a ministry which gets to the "ROOT" of the problem..."WHY" people develop life controlling destructive HOPE and LIFE to those who have given up."

I was extremely humbled by Herald and Vicky's character, with all the work they do for the Lord, they kept asking how they could help our new church, Antioch. Such amazing people that I pray the Lord will bless me with a relationship with. Cannot wait until the corn and potatoes are ready for their trip to Mead Valley!

Want to donate or volunteer?
call: (951) 657-1546