Sunday, April 26, 2015

Yoga Workshop

My first and favorite yoga teacher got a job at some sort of resort or something in Alaska and will be moving there until October ish. He is bouncing out this week, but taught a two hour advanced master flow in Issaquah yesterday. Naturally, I was in attendance. Here's my post practice free write

Just finished a challenging two hour yoga practice and stepped outside to the pine-covered Issaquah alps. Treating myself to a kale berry beet smoothie. During the practice I thought of L and her fight to be healthy for her baby. In a way, I dedicated my practice to her. 

My write was interrupted because Mike, the instructor came by on his way to get coffee. We talked awhile and he gave me his email so we could stay in touch.

Anyway - it's amazing how good yoga makes me feel about my body, and my place in this world, but I think what has most surprised me is how very close it brings me to the presence of God. perhaps it is that deep understanding of who I am that helps me see who He is, and then shows me my life in Jesus. A beautiful circle, a never ending dance. A queuing into reality. 

by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. Proverbs 9:11

During class, Mike said, "We live in a world where  our wandering always brings us home" I think of how prone I am to wander from the highway of holiness, from the love of Jesus, and how grace always carries me back to the throne. And for all the wandering I do on earth, I know that heaven is home and no power of hell can keep me from the love of Christ Jesus my Lord. My dwelling place will most certainly be with Him. 

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it 
Prone to leave the God I love 
Here's my heart, O, take and seal it 
Seal it for Thy courts above! 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you now it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:1-10 

All tings were created by God; therefore all things should cause us to see Him, savor him and sing His praise. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wisdom and Folly

Today at church we wrapped up our time in Proverbs with Proverbs 9. The first six verses stand in direct contrast to the last six, and the six in the middle summarize all we've been through thus far - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" - understanding who God is and who we are is our framework for reality, by which we know and see all other things.

Verses 13-18 are about Lady Folly:

The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, 'Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!' And to him who lacks sense she says, 'Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant' But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. 

I was thinking about this as applied to ED. Like Lady Folly, ED is not set on high places by God, but by himself. He is the one who makes himself most important and screams for attention - to be noticed, to be appeased. His victims are minding their own business. They are on a straight path with bright futures ahead of them. He catches them off guard and convinces them to play tricks on themselves. And before they can realize it, they're on the road that leads to death. They're pulled off the path of life and create for themselves first a hell on earth, and if they are not pulled back, literal death itself. Folly and ED both want us to walk and live in darkness and shame. As Pastor Andrew says, "Satan is real. He hates you and wants you to die".

Conversely, look at Wisdom (verses 1-6):

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, 'Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!' To him who lacks sense she says, 'Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and live, and walk in the way of insight'

In Psalm 23, we are told that the Lord prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies (verse 5). Even as Folly cries out to us, Wisdom is there too. No matter how loud our Enemy may be, God's Truth will always stand up in direct contrast to him. Note also that Wisdom and Folly call out the same thing - they are both trying to attract the simple, those who need understanding and guidance. The guidance Wisdom gives brings peace and hope and life, however, whereas that of Folly only leads to death. When we know who God is and who we are in Jesus, the answer to a lack of wisdom is eating and drinking deeply of Life, of leaving the ways of stupidity and walking in the light. God offers us life found in focusing in on Him and living according to His ways. God knows the danger of walking in the darkness, which is why He, as the Light of the World, brings us into the light as well.

he knows what is in the darkness. Daniel 2:22 

even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:12 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You Are More

I can't remember the last time I heard this song, but out of the blue while my tea was on, I started singing it.

You Are More - Tenth Avenue North 

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love"

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Who We Are Now

Yesterday was a hard day. This letter by Emily T. Wieranga is incredible (so is her book, Atlas Girl) in case you're wondering. I don't have anything to say right now that she hasn't said, so here she is (these are just the parts that resonated with me when I was having consecutive moments; the letter is touching and I encourage you to read it in its entirety)

Joy is not found in a perfect life. Joy is the peace that transcends all understanding as we look into the eyes of our Maker and see that we can trust him in site of the pain around us. God is trustworthy. 

The world weighs with numbers; the Lord weighs with grace, and you owe him nothing, friend. Everything and nothing. He has paid it all. He wants you to rest and trust him. He's got you covered. 

You can surrender your eating disorder. It does not control you. You have a voice, and you can use it to stand up against anorexia in the name of Jesus. But until the issues which are driving this eating disorder are addressed - the longing to be seen and heard and held, the pain of being hurt by people who say they love you - E.D. will remain a deceptively safe place. A wall to hide behind. Please know, it's not what it seems. God sees you, he hears you, he is holding you. You are free through the power of Christ, to declare victory, right now. 

You, friend, are not your eating disorder. I know you cling to it for protection, but your identity is being consumed, versus identitfied. Your ED has became your idol, and it's only when you see it for what it is - a lite, from the enemy, who wants God's sons and daughters to die - that you will be free to pursue the dreams God has for you. 

You are more than your ED. You are more than a conqueror in Jesus

These voices [in your head] can be muted by one soft whisper - the whisper of a God who will fight for you if you let him. Call at to Jesus, and he will silence Satan's control over your thoughts. 

When you serve the Almighty Creator, nothing is impossible - he can give you the desires of your heart. But you need to surrender - you need to mute him in, to begin the healing, so that every single one of these days can be restored. 

He leads me besides still water. He restores me soul. Psalm 23:2-3

Disordered eating makes me feel far from God. His word reminds me He is near -

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angles nor rulers, nor things present to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

Forgiven, beloved, hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy, reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

Friday, April 3, 2015


I am reading the most intensely beautiful book for Good Friday. It's called Heaven: How I Got Here, and is written by Collin Smith from the perspective of the thief on the cross as he reflects from heaven. It begins with his last meal and walks us through his history - his upbringing, and how he came to be on the cross. It also walks us through this being affixed to the cross, to his hanging, to his contemplation of Jesus, the man dying next to him who claimed to be the Son of God, the man who offered forgiveness to his ridiculers, the man over whose head hung the sign, "King of the Jews". And it tells us how he came to believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ, and what it took for him to ask to be remembered, and how he felt when Jesus said He would indeed remember him. I am not yet finished, but as I sit here with the weight of Friday, I'm thinking about remembering and being remembered. About knowing and being known. About loving and being loved. About receiving and being received.

What did Jesus do the night before his betrayal?

the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me". For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23b-26 

He tells His followers to remember Him. We proclaim His death because of the life it brings. We can remember Friday's death because we know Sunday's life.

And so, when the thief hangs dying, he remembers this Jesus. He remembers that he has saved people. He has healed. He has done miracles. He remembers the God he was told of from youth, the God who would save His people. And he asks Jesus to remember him.

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." 
Luke 23:39-43

Consider what it would be like to be that thief (selections from Heaven: How I Got Here, by Collin Smith). 

If Jesus remembered me when He came into His kingdom, there might be some hope for me. But what would be in it for Him? I couldn't think of anything. If He took an interest in me, it would not be because of anything I had done or anything I could offer. If He remembered me at all, it would be an act of undeserved mercy and kindness. But that was exactly what He offered to the soldiers who crucified Him. He showed them mercy and kindness. Would He do the same for me? I asked Him to remember me. 

I gave up all the hostility in my heart and I abandoned my illusion of having a life that would somehow be impressive to God. I placed my life, as it was, with all that I had done, into the hands of Jesus. 

After all my wasted years, it would not have been surprising if He had responded with caution: "Don't you think it's a little late for you to be thinking about my kingdom?" After the hatred I had shown toward Him just a few hours before, I could hardly complain if He had said, "The Kingdom of heaven is not for people like you" But that is not His way. He did not place me on probation. He did not send me on a spiritual journey or tell me to wait and see. Instead, He joyfully accepted my prayer and took His stand with me as I took my stand with Him. I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and asked Him to save me. He accepted me freely and gladly, without hesitation or condition. "Amen", He said, and then, after a short pause, "I tell you today you will be with me in paradise." 

Remember Jesus. He will remember you.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound in chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for if we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:8-13

So we are to remember Him in His death, and we are also to remember Him risen for the dead. Today we will remember Jesus on the cross. We will proclaim His death. But we will not forget His life, because He has not forgotten ours.