Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

Crisis March 16, 2010

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”

~ Dick Clark, CEO/Merck Manufacturing

Want an adventure? Pray in a new way: With a friend, on your face, in a journal, outside, out loud, using promises of Scripture, in silence, in a song. Here’s a thought: Ask God how. (I’ve been doing that a lot around here, lately). Then, share  your experience — good, bad or indifferent — with someone. It will encourage your prayer life and theirs!

Ephesians 6:13-18 (The Message)     Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

 

Creative Resistance August 26, 2009

One night I was layin’ down,palate

I heard Papa talkin’ to Mama.

I heard Papa say, to let that boy boogie-woogie.

Cause it’s in him and it’s got to come out.

~ John Lee Hooker, “Boogie Chillen”

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul’s seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star’s beacon and Polaris.

~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

 

Want an adventure?  The Holy Spirit is genius!!! Think about it: How has your spirit been deformed by resistance to God’s endowed gifts in your life and the Spirit’s guidance of that calling? The opposite of resistance is acceptance. Enjoy the freedom and fun of operating from the center of who you were made to be! Take some time to acknowledge your gratitude for the opportunities that this opens up to you.

P.S. To embrace your genius, read Pressfield’s book. A kick in the creative butt for those of us who need it.

 

The Breath and breeze August 6, 2009

I’ve been in the mountains this week, enjoying the annual regatta that my family has participated in for generations. The winds on this crazy lake have confounded sailors the world over — as 5 valleys meet over its unpredictable waters. Some days there is absolutely nothing blowing;  exasperating skippers and boring their crews. Races get cancelled and a lot of preparation ends up being nothing but a tiresome drill. Other days the storms can blow in ferociously and quick — leaving few afloat on the glacially cold waters. This year, however, the winds seem unusually predictable.

fleet%20escowHave you ever had the experience of being a part of something it seemed that God just breathed upon? — every bit of its inception and unfolding seemed favored, free and came with the blessing of ease? I have. Virtually every time, these experiences are enhanced by the creative synergy of like-minded people who share the passion for a vision. They prayerfully follow that vision through to reality. Participating in this kind of thing is both a blessing and a breeze. The level of joy behind these undertakings is so rich. The activity surrounding them — electric! And, the fulfillment transcends anything I can actually put words to.

Then on the other hand, there are times it seems God is holding His breath — just waiting to see if I’ll wait for the wind of His Spirit to move me; realizing that no good thing  happens without the breeze of His breath upon it. Oh, how I wish I were the wind.

But — I frequently remind myself — I am not.

Genesis 1:2 “The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” All of scripture, but especially Genesis, affirms God’s unique ability to create. From the moment he conceived of air and water being separated, His plan was to fill our lungs with His breath of spiritual life. (Genesis1:6-8; 2:7). We have a place in creation, an integral and intimate space in His plan — and yet it is vitally important to remember that it is all about Him. It is for His glory. It is that He be made known across the waters and throughout all the earth. He is artisan-captain-physician-strategist-scientist-organizational genius. And it is His plans that are breathed upon.

So, which way is the wind blowing for you today? As someone once said, “The winds of God are always blowing, but you must set the sails.”

 

Want an adventure? Put a finger up to check the direction of wind of God in your life. Telltales don’t lie. Where is it coming from? — Where is it going? Is anything blocking its path? Prayerfully set your sails and chart a course for victory.

 

Dirt about dirt July 6, 2009

Apparently, my mind is in need of a science day. The difference between dirt and earth has caught my interest. Hard to believe, I know. This is the unsanitized truth of where my blog ideas come from. But I digress…It has occurred to me that there is a difference between the dirt on my carpet and terra firma. But what is it exactly? I had to explore. Quickly, I learned that the most fertile topsoil extends down only a foot or so (unless you live here in Colorado where clay meets you at about 1-1/2″). And, while soil contains rock particles it is far more than that; soil contains life — as it is and as it breaks down.dirt and shovelThe dirt about dirt:

  • Plants and animals live on the surface — their topsoil homeland is the ground you and I walk on. One purpose of plants is to keep the soil from drying out (see desert). Just like a giant compost pile, on this level organic matter (plants and animals) die, decompose and feed new life.
  • The layer just below topsoil is where most of the “plant food” is found. A plant will try to seek its roots deeply into this section in order to enjoy all it can. As water soaks into the earth, this is likely where it settles with the rich mineral deposits and clay found here.
  • Deeper still all that can be found are rock particles and minerals. On this level there is still some subjectivity to the elements. In fact it may have found its way here as the result of a glacier or other type of erosion. But don’t be mistaken, at this level absolutely nothing organic grows.
  • And then there is bedrock. This stuff is solid. Before anything above it, this rock was here — set in place as the foundation. Yes, it can be weathered to the surface over time or jolted up by some seismic shift  but it is solid.

As mentioned above,  the layer just below the topsoil is a place into which the mightiest cypress trees yearn to sink their roots. It is in the densest most nutrient and water rich section. From here, the behemoths will not easily be uprooted. Spiritually speaking, this is where I want my roots to take.

And, this is my most fascinating find — or should I say, ephiphany: Beyond the deepest place I can grow, there is a layer of earth where nothing can. It is a great unknown. A layer of rock and minerals which can only be revealed over time, seasons and erosion. It is a mysterious void just before the bedrock. Intriguing. Learning from the famous passage in Luke 8:4-15, I guess the layer between the subsoil and bedrock never made my seismic radar.

Somewhere in God’s grand scheme, He built in mystery. We are not intended to reach our roots into that place — we don’t get all access, all answers, source. I know it isn’t a new analogy, but think about that. The bedrock is solid. While our roots can sink deep into the soil of God, we can never breakdown the rock of His foundation. That means there is an intentional space which will always leave us in wonder and awe. Faith is required here. Deeper, exceedingly immovable and more glorious than the Grand Canyon at sunset, He is the one, indestructable, true solid — omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.

 

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. ~ Hebrews 11:1-2 (The Message)

 

Want an adventure? Dig deep inside. Where are your roots? What level of soil have you penetrated in the Spirit? Are you hungry/thirsty for what is deeper? If so, ask God what needs to happen to get there. Spend some time here. Growth requires it. Now, think about the mystery — the great gap between what you and I can comprehend and the bedrock of who He is and what He promises us. Sink your roots into that. FAITH! AWESOME WONDER! That we may GROW in Him!

 
     
 

MapQuest and the prophetic June 19, 2009

“NOTE: Like any driving directions/map you should always do a reality check and make sure the roads still exist, watch out for construction, and follow all traffic safety precautions. This is only to be used as an aid in planning.”

tx-map

I’m working in a foreign land (Texas) for a few days and needed some materials and information to get the job done. Once I knew my destination, I turned to MapQuest for help getting from point A to point B. At the bottom of the page, after the graphic map and written directions, was this disclaimer.

  1. I’ve never noticed this before
  2. I’ve never seen anyone use the words “reality check” in a serious way
  3. It reminds me of the prophetic.

You see, for all of its nuances and “dangers,” I am a big fan of the prophetic. Since I believe God is speaking all the time and in a variety of ways to each of us, I like to think of myself as one of those UN Tourguides with the little flag, leading the “listen to what God is saying” tour. People on the tour may have different upbringings, traditions and languages — but all are interested in learning more about what God is saying and doing.

To me, it’s all about paying attention; paying attention to the ongoing conversation and relationship He desires with us — and we with Him. But “paying attention” never should come at the cost of common sense. I John 4:1-3 talks about testing every spirit to be sure it comes from God. Reality check.

As I’ve been taught, a prophetic word must be tested against these standards: It is always for the purpose of edifying, never contrary to scripture, and must be personally taken before God (the source). We need to “take precautions” so we don’t end up at a dead end in the middle of nowhere. Even though the map says the road is there, the reality may be different — there may be construction detours (parts of our character being rebuilt before the word can be accomplished…or parts of the word that may be a little off).

In any situation, God is the ultimate reality check for us to respond and prosper with His Word and the word He gives. Clearly, His Word says to desire the gift of prophecy — that means through our lives and in our lives. Expect it…watch for it and allow for the wisdom and blessing it will contribute to your journey.

Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophecy ~ I Corinthians 14:1

Having then gifts differing according to the gift of grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophecy in proportion to our faith ~ Romans 12:6

 

Want an adventure? Where are you feeling undirected — or perhaps, misdirected? Ask the Lord to give you a word through another person about the situation. Intentionally seek out someone who you know believes the Holy Spirit speaks to us today and who is established in their Christian faith. Ask them to pray with you. Watch for what God “quickens” to your Spirit through His word. Find friends who are interested in knowing this part of God’s heart and make a concerted effort to regularly seek Him this way.

 

No longer at this address June 17, 2009

If you are not as close to God as you used to be, who moved? ~ Anonymous

compass-1

 

Want an adventure?Let your spiritual compass/Holy Spirit help you determine your location on the road to God. Have you moved? Have you not moved? Are you lost? Does it feel like He is? Spend some honest time journaling your feelings about where you are. If you’ve moved away, ask Him for a relocation plan.