"Show me Your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking Your help against their foes. Protect me as You would the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings as You hover over me." Psalm 17:7-8

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Announcing Worship In The Shadow

Please visit www.worshipintheshadow.blogspot.com, companion blog to Safe In The Shadow.  Worship videos associated with recent posts will remain on this site.  Otherwise, my plan is to eventually link older posts with accompanying videos on Worship in The Shadow.  You may also want to visit on occasion to connect with God purely through music, rather than spending time reading, in which case Worship In The Shadow is the place to be!!  Your patience with "construction" is appreciated as are your comments.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter From His Perspective

It just now occurred to me my thighs are taut as a bowstring because of a little experiment I engaged in last night.  Inspired by a story recounted by Ann Voskamp, in One Thousand Gifts, I took a tour of my home on bended knee!!  I’ll preface telling you about my tour by first telling you about Ann’s story.  Her three year old asked to borrow her camera one day and happily skipped through the house laughing and snapping one picture after another.  Delighted, she returned to her Mom and said, “Can you show them back to me now?”  Her enchanting photos took Ann by surprise.  Everyday objects looked larger than life from her daughter’s vantage point. 

Glory Shine
Open My Eyes, Lord!
Be Thou My Vision
This week I purposed to gain afresh God’s perspective on Easter.  While doing so, I realized that typically I seek His view “from above”.  I want to soar on wings like eagles, looking below to gain “big picture” understanding.  This seems to me the place of victorious living.  God on the other hand often desires to bless me with the view of a little child looking up!!  He understands awe-struck wonder (or tired indifference) depends largely on vantage point.  For this reason and to illustrate His point, God prompted me to bend low, camera to eye, snapping from new-fangled angles common objects and scenes in my home.   After doing so, He gently pulled me up into His great lap and offered to “show them back to me!!”  Some of the literal images are sprinkled throughout this post.  God built on this experience in a variety of ways, reinforcing that I need only to look up and receive with open hands all He has to give to me.  I need not worry about controlling anything in life, about understanding life’s complexities, for clutching reins or purse strings prohibits opening receptive hands to His gracious supply of all I need
Eyes of a Child

He is The Door

In retrospect, God packed the week leading up to Easter with lessons on perspective and vantage point.  He spoke to me as I watched two birds flying like friends side by side over green and amber fields.  He spoke and I heard, “Peace, be still,” through the picture He gave of the two of Us scouting (employment) fields for Us to harvest together.  He spoke to me concerning His mercy that endures forever, stooping to save and to serve.  His mercy in stark contrast to my not-so-merciful heart attitude, helped me bow lower to wait upon patients summoning me to their bedside repeatedly, affording me opportunity to exude His mercy.  And when I failed, His mercy covered me over and over and over.

Late this afternoon while driving on the access in a busy section of road under construction, I scanned for the entrance ramp to I-35 North.  I happened to look to my right and noticed three occupied crosses and a woman in biblical dress looking up in an attitude of worship.  I did a double-take as I drove past at 40 mph, wondering if these were mannequins or actors.  To come upon this scene staged on a major 21st century highway in the blazing sun got my attention.  So much so, that I looped back around as soon as I could for another look (and perhaps a picture).  Just as I drew near the men climbed down from their crosses and put on contemporary clothing.  Several thoughts ran through my mind:  my Lord timed my passage this afternoon that I might “see Him” from this vantage point – dying for all the world to know His love for them.  At the same time I thought about the traffic moving swiftly by, and about the fact that Jesus no longer hangs upon a cross, but still offers life there to all who take up their cross and follow Him.

Candle in the Snow

All in all, I believe God granted me “His perspective” this Good Friday on dying in order to truly love and live, on bending low to see great and mighty things.  Lord, bless me with the eyes of a child looking up in wonder, for to such the kingdom belongs!!  

Eyes Raised in the Shadow,

For more inspirational reading visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

GOOD Friday

To See Him Is To Love Him
Good Friday for me began with a bridal shower.  My daughter and I attended together and afterwards ran a couple of errands.  Then we went to an interactive prayer room where we visited the stations of the cross.  Stepping into the darkened building on a sun drenched day dilated my heart immediately.  From the Garden of Gethsemane I traveled a dusty path to a tight room filled with the voices of a throng gone mad, “Crucify Him!!”  The same message, hatefully etched blood red on a ragged piece of cardboard hung on the wall.   It was difficult to breathe as I imagined the crowd pressing in like a pack of pit bulls, bloodthirsty.  Then as directed, I listened and in and among the crowd I heard my own voice.  Sobered, I moved on and contemplated Jesus’ appearance before Pilate.  With every step toward the cross, I heard Jesus say resolutely, “Thy will be done, Father!!”  Only a few of the horrors He endured were depicted in words and symbols on the walls leading to the next station.  At this point my eyes painfully viewed the passion on screen, my Perfect Lord tortured mercilessly beyond recognition and then nailed to a blood-soaked cross.  Tears began to flow!!  To the left of this station a tangle of chicken wire hung from ceiling to floor, as though writhing in agony, mangled and twisted tendrils laying razor sharp upon the floor.  I meditated on a few of man’s sins scrawled in red and affixed to this vivid reminder of God’s mercy in delivering men from all that entangles, ensnares, and destroys him.  Moving again to my left I entered a candlelit room through a torn veil, the way opened for me to experience intimate communion with my Lord.  I took the cup and the bread and sat down at the foot of the cross.  Then I looked through the “torn veil” to my right and saw the tangle of wire framed like a bittersweet memory in the opening.  An indescribable wave of love and gratitude came over me.  Thank You, Sweet, Sweet Jesus, for the cross!!!!!

What a Joy to Be His!!

My daughter and I both left the building tears drying salty upon our cheeks in the afternoon sun.  Twenty minutes in a darkened room, the love of our Savior wrapped tight about us, we departed blissfully engaged brides, showered with grace by the One come to save us!!

Blessed In the Shadow of the Cross,

For more inspirational reading, visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finishing Well!!

If you interviewed my three children, they probably would report hearing me say repeatedly, “Finish well!” or “Stay the course.”  Over the years the phrase has taken different forms:  “I’m so proud of you for finishing well!” or “I encourage you to finish well what you’ve started.”  Somehow this commendation often finds its way into my conversations.  The phrase literally wells up in me.  I tend to believe the Spirit whispers it, for the Lord deeply desires to reward and bless His children now and forever.  While His love flows free and continuous no matter behavior, His rewards express pride in our obedience and gratitude for returned love.   Obedience unleashes heaven on earth, His life, HIS JOY TO US AND OTHERS in the process, now and throughout eternity!!

This morning I heard the commendation both within and from the pulpit, “Finish well!”  “Stay on track.”  Immediately a recent event came to mind.  One night as I hurriedly prepared to leave for work, I responded to my son’s summons to the garage, “Mom, come look at this!”  He explained that he had pulled into the driveway as usual, pushed the automatic garage door opener and watched as the door jumped off the track.  I gazed in disappointment at the door hanging crooked by a few wheels knowing a call to Overhead Door was in order.  I could have done without the unforeseen expense, but suspected God probably had a lesson hidden in it.  As a wise investor, He never misses opportunities to capitalize on what little we spend (and it’s all His anyway) to right “unfortunate events!”

The repairman asked me to step outside and take a look at what caused the door to leave the track in the first place.  A garden tool apparently shifted and wedged between the wall and track, slightly bending the track.  This led to several of the wheels on that side leaving the track as the door automatically reversed on meeting with an obstruction.  He bent the track back into place and then suggested I better arrange tools in that corner, and purchase and apply chain and gear lubricant for smoother, quieter operation in the future.  So how does this incident relate?  Well, life sometimes jumps the track – veers slightly off course when we least expect it.  Often we overlook potential obstacles, like the hoe in the garage.  God revealed I had a “tool” – a gift (as a peacemaker, relationship builder) that potentially could cause problems if not balanced (like the hoe in the corner that tipped and became an obstruction).  I tend to dive into relationship building and facilitating healthy communication to such an extent that I cease resting, hearing God, obeying.  I’m learning that the desire for harmony, for fixing as soon as possible any rifts, for coordinating blessed gatherings of those I love, can potentially obstruct fellowship with God if I don’t prioritize hearing before acting.   There is a proper use and place for every tool (gift)!!  Thank You, Lord, for providing needed balance.  As far as the well oiled track, the Holy Spirit must lubricate our every move to ensure smooth, quiet operation that blesses all and glorifies God.

Friday night I battled obsessive planning all night, trying desperately to sleep with a head full of ideas on how to bless the ones I love.  I sensed the unrest in me and told God I felt like a rotisserie chicken, turning continually in my bed, searching for peaceful slumber.  He talked to me, even in my restlessness, but then this morning He truly got my attention and got me back on track.  Thank You, Jesus!!  And, thank you, Vincent Carpenter, His faithful messenger, for delivering His word to me this morning. 

On track again in His Shadow,
Visit Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com for more inspirational reading!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Today's Gratitude List

1.   Ladybug on bended blade
2.   Shade
3.   Winter’s remnants crunching beneath sandaled feet
4.   Play of shadows
5.   Dappled sun
6.   Waves lapping
7.   Creak of cedar when spring blissfully sighs
8.   Fishermen swapping/topping stories
9.   Leaves astir
10. Boats slapping waves
11. Wakes foaming lacy
12. Diamonds cast upon waters
13. Ants, and a finger to flick them off!
14. When all gets still and time stops
15.  Locusts tuning up
16.  Chains clanking as Frisbee hits net
17.  Bugs crawling with tickly feet
18.  Hot pink toenails – season change
19.  Children on adventures
20.  Squirrel tiptoeing to treasure hid
21.  Trio of ducks bobbing
22.  Lake rippling – muscles defined
23.  Butterfly weaving gold and black
24.  The Cross
25.  My silhouette projected on journal page by evening sun
26.  Writing like breathing out of overflow
27.  Toad croak
28.  Sanctuary under trees

29.  Green – a million shades of eternal life
30.  Spider silk
31.  Muffled voices of God’s kids at play
32.  Guys who take Frisbee golf seriously
33.  Cawing, shiny iridescent black wings
34.  Searching, pecking, raising head to heaven for guidance
35.  Unscheduled hours
36.  Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
37.  Christmas in spring, gifts surrounding every tree
38.  God resting me in His garden
39.  Going to the movies (“motion pictures”) with Him
40.  Squeals of delight
41.  Little boys in striped shirts running
42.  When night puts day to bed, kisses her forehead, and she smiles
       Crescent moon-like. 

Celebrating Life in the Shadow,

Visit Spiritual Sundays for more spiritual refreshment:

i found who I AM looking for

Runaway Bride, Sitting On Baggage Beginning to Question God
I Peter 5:8 states, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

I have spoken of my love for and ability to relate to Jesus as the Lion of Judah, the One who roars in my defense as well as in ferocious love to convict me of sin.  I am today comforted by both roars!!  There is also a counterfeit lion roaming the earth in search of victims.  His roar torments, terrifies, and continually accuses.  I suspect were we to be able to see him he might look something like the image below, hungry and viscious.   In actuality he is emaciated and dull of tooth.  His eyes are vacant, his “mane” nonexistent – a few wisps here and there.   His pathetic life shriveled inside and out for failure to see God for who He is, turning instead on Him and on himself in one swift motion.   Now he roams raging insatiably rabid.  Think Gollum.  Gollum trusted no one and destroyed himself because of it.  Gollum had not faith (trust)!

As one desiring to walk by faith and not sight, I begin to understand the dire importance of seeking the mind and heart of God – the viewpoint of God in every situation.  Heart tending boils down to actively seeking the mind and heart (thoughts/feelings) of God on past, present, and future events/matters.  I am going to cite a rather graphic example from this past week that you might grasp the seriousness of trusting God with your heart – with the healing and maintenance your heart needs.

I noted a pattern this week in terms of what tends to provoke me to irritation disproportionately.  Assigning a label may help:  when I or someone else is apparently taken advantage of a cascade of responses (reactions) immediately ensues inside me.  Many not pretty!!  Call it what you will:  coping mechanisms, justifiable ire…  In truth, the triggered emotions are but clues to life deep underground.  Both lions roar in hopes of gaining access to these deep places by invitation – into wounds, origins, strongholds, One to heal, the other to wreck havoc.  Thanks be to God, greater is He that is in me/us (to heal, integrate, make whole, SOZO – save) than he that is in the world.

Over the past year, God has taken a plow to the compacted ground of my heart breaking up multiple layers below apparently rich soil. I have invited Him to go for the “tap roots” and to visit every corner, nook, and cranny of my heart this “spring”.  He gardens and spring cleans and I stand amazed at all He unearths, equipping me at the same time to enter more fully into my destiny as a “Harvester.”   My name means harvester – my God-given identity!!  He has called me to the ministry of intercession (harvesting), and shown me that to intercede in the Spirit, clutter in my heart and mind must be dealt with so as to facilitate hearing the Spirit.  For the mind of the Spirit knows what to pray for self and others.

So, this week when I sensed familiar irritation, I asked Father to tell me what this was really all about, what I believed (erroneously).  He took me back to an experience years ago.  Without elaborating I will tell you it involved date rape by an employer.  At that time, I was neither na├»ve nor innocent.  Drawn to superficial “trappings,” (a man older than myself, with a sports car, from a foreign country) I foolishly played with fire and got burned.  Complicating matters, I told no one for years, feeling I got exactly what I deserved and best learn from the experience and not be so STUPID in the future.  I continued as an employee in this workplace for a while, steeling my heart, swallowing back the hurt of devaluation – of being taken advantage of by an older man in a position of authority.  For I couldn’t really call it that since I got into his car and sin on both sides took me farther than I ever wanted to go!!

Father then encouraged me to ask questions “out loud” that He unearthed, questions still there in the wound bed.  "Father, did you look on with disgust, with heartbreaking disappointment at Your daughter?  Though I didn’t know You then, Father, I’ve wondered did you have to turn away?  Was your back to me?  Were you there, or far removed?"  On asking these questions, God gave me a “picture” of Him in that very room, hanging bloodied on the cross, gazing down upon victim and victimizer, loving both equally, crying out to the Father.  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”   I saw blood and water running down in torrents, completely covering the two of us, filling the room in fact, cleansing, and obliterating the shame.  Then I heard Father say, “Oh yes, I was there.  You felt unprotected, ‘deserving of what you got.’  I wept.  You believed I (with hardened heart) let play out what you deserved for inviting disaster, flirting with danger, that surely I looked away sickened and appalled, but, in truth, I looked on, and entered into the agony, and with agape took it upon Myself and died.  Never a regret, in fact joy set before Me in redeeming.  In years since, when this has caused you to stumble, Terry – to doubt I look upon you at all times with undying love, I’ve known there would come a day when You would see I AM (not just doctrinally comprehend Me).  I knew you would see I AM omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent to save, and a CONSTANT in life, I AM whom you’ve always dreamed of!!  EMMANUEL.

Unknowingly, I’ve long partnered with the counterfeit lion, inviting him to twist my view of God and self.  This has led subtly, almost imperceptibly, to attempts at pleasing God and efforts at building a sense of worth (and a lot of other things) because of lies rooted deep in the wound bed mentioned.  Doctrine is great, correct theology a must, but one cannot afford to neglect the wound bed(s)!!  Emotions often point to those areas where God has not yet received an invitation to plant forever the truth of who He really is.  This leaves us wanting.

I've posted a song by U-2 on www.worshipintheshadow.blogspot.com that speaks of not finding what (WHO) we’re looking for.  Both the lyric and video capture the search of the hungry heart – the heart that does not yet really know God for who He is.  The sin of satan repeats in every sin in one form or another.  Because, to know Him (to see I AM) is to trust and love Him.  Doctrine, religion, Christian disciplines, fellowship with other believers… will not fill us.  Only He can satisfy – and He longs to do so.  He knocks and waits for us to open the door of our hearts so He can come in and dine with us, and in the process reveal who He is progressively to our utter delight, putting to silence forever the devil in the dining room!!  I encourage you to get in touch with your own heart in the presence of God, to dine with Him and during your conversations not fear to ask any question that comes to mind.  Then, just listen.  He has wondrous things to say, timely, impacting to the core – transforming forever His children by His love.
Jesus Puts To Silence the devil in the Dining Room

Flying Free Bride

Filled to Overflow in the Shadow,
Terry (Harvester!!)

What is Sozo?
Sozo is a ministry of seeing people freed from the influence and control of the enemy.  This is accomplished through a prayer session with a facilitator under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit uncovers past and present lies that the enemy has caused the individual to believe (at least subconsciously) as well as points of entry or access. Points of entry tend to be past sin committed, sins against the individual, or wounding the individual has experienced causing present consequences. When the Sozo facilitator under the guidance of the Holy Spirit removes the ground for this access, the lies lose their ability to influence and control lives. Freedom then from ongoing unhealthy strongholds and issues can be released in the individual's life.

Please also see post on Heart Tending to apply these principles to tending your own heart!!

This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays:  www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com
See www.worshipintheshadow.blogspot.com for music video ("I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") that accompanies this post.

Tending Your Heart

Allow the Holy Spirit to Examine Your Heart
I mentioned in my last post that I would put up the Guidelines for Heart Tending I received following SOZO ministry.  I have also in another post given some basic information concerning SOZO for those who desire to know more.  Here are the guidelines:

Tending Your Heart – as a lifestyle!
Watch over (guard) your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the springs of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

To walk in your healing, be attentive to your heart.

Take note of:

Disappointment, discouragement, fear, loneliness, worry, anxiety, lust, anger, hatred, or anything that moves you out of peace and rest throughout the day.

If we do not fill that place with Jesus we invite attack (Matt. 12:43-45) and we will fill our hearts with something else.

Do not let your heart be troubled” (Amplified: ‘distressed’, ‘agitated’) (Jn. 14:1).  We can choose!

When we are moved from that place of security and rest, get into the presence of God, open your mind and heart to Him and ask:

            “Father what is this really about?  Listen and don’t discount what you receive.
“What am I believing here?

Stay with Him in that place.  Ask Him to speak to you about that place.

Recognize – admit and own the lie(s).

Renounce the lie(s) (loudly enough to hear yourself) and break off any ‘agreements’ with the enemy.

Repent for accommodating the lie and partnering with the enemy.
Ask forgiveness for how you have responded to your wound by self-protection, denial, self-comfort, etc…

Forgive and bless others where necessary.  Perhaps renounce the lie that God is the same way.

Receive!!  Ask what Father has for you in exchange.  Write it down.
Let it sink into and fill your heart.

Rejoice in what He has given you in exchange for the lie (loudly enough to hear yourself)!  Declare it over your life!  Thank Him and worship!

Healing in the Shadow,