100 men

John Wesley called for only 100. One Hundred men, to love only God with all their hearts, and to hate only sin with all of their hearts, “and together” he said, “we will shake the gates of hell and usher in the kingdom of heaven in one generation”.  Only one hundred? Is that all it takes?

That cry has haunted me. God how long has it been since John Wesley asked You for only 100? Is there anyone alive today with the faith for even 100 who would love You with every breath, do I pretend to have such faith?

My surgery went very well and I’ve spent the last few days trying to speed the recovery and have only exhausted myself.  Vertigo & Vicodin are a terrible mix.  SO! I am slowing down, sleeping, eating, and even found myself being carried into the house in the arms of my father after one particularly bad episode.

Tonight I lay in bed, foot propped up on a pillow and wrapped in ice, eyes closed against the room slowly spinning around me as I talked for hours with my dear friend Carole who is home from college for the summer.  We like to talk long, discussing “life stuff”, and have been making plans for doing a little bit of street ministry together over the next few months, and our conversation turned to “100 men”.  I can’t help but wonder God, what would happen if You found just one? What about five, just five who hated, only sin?

What if we could lift our eyes from the circumstances surrounding our days, and set our desire only on the One who is most beautiful among men? May is coming to an end, and I realized that for the last few years I have found myself at the end of spring, longing for Autumn to arrive and be over with. Feeling so overwhelmed with the emotions of my situations that I ached, not just for the current season to be over, but the next one as well.

Tonight I heard myself saying, “I want to think of June this year, I want to think of May 31st! Not just August!” I want to live tomorrow Abba. I want to love you more tomorrow. And what if, in my journey to loving You with each breath,  I wake up one day and find that I have become one of those “100 men” that John Wesley longed for? What if, in my journey to loving You with each breath, I bring many men with me, and they in turn carry me when I am weak?

Today, laid up in bed and slightly crazed on pain medicine, I have a hard time finding  in my chest the faith for a world wide revival, for the salvation of the street children in Romania, for the promise of  “no disease known to man” standing in Kansas City. But I do have the faith to love You with my next breath, and the next. O that when I fall asleep,  even then I would love You when I breathe.  O that You would find in me a heart that loves only You and all that You have made, a heart that hates nothing but sin

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12:36am

sitting in my living room across from my brother Nathan, dog curled up at his feet, items strewn across the room giving a glimpse into the chaos of the last week as we prepared for yesterday’s wedding.

My brother Jeremy is a married man today. I’ve never known a man who has wanted to be married for as long as J, or as badly.  He never dated until Jen, never kissed her until yesterday, but he has ached for a bride for years. And yesterday, with tears pouring out of eyes that could not blink them away, he absorbed her as she walked down the aisle with a smile that lit up the room shaded by the clouds dripping outside.

My father has been doing a countdown with J, sending him texts every day saying “4 more days and a wake up”. I was the first bridesmaid down the aisle, and as I passed my dear friend he winked and I whispered “no more wake ups”.  Katrina caught him just before they left the reception and he told her that just as the ceremony was about to start he saw the two of us looking in the windows and couldn’t help but cry.

It was a beautiful wedding. Pouring rain onto a glass chapel set on the edge of a lake, like the Lord was dripping grace on the couple and all who had gathered. Jen was gorgeous, and Jeremy was never more a man in my eyes than when he sobbed as she approached him, and the moment he slipped off his purity ring in exchange for a wedding band, sliding the former into the palm of her hand. Oh how You love the chastity buried within these two.

My sister was dazzling. Watching her at the reception there was no doubt in my mind that the next Styles wedding will be her’s. It will be one of my greatest joys to stand beside her and hand her away, and though I beamed through Jeremy’s sweet wedding, I am certain to weep through Kat’s. As for Nate and I? Only You know Abba.  Most days I still want to be celibate.

Tomorrow morning I have the first surgery on my foot and will be mostly out of commission for the next 2-3 months. Using the crutches increases the migraines and drains all my energy, but part of me is looking forward to the  mandated season of weakness, and the time of reflection and study. Thank You for knowing me better than I do Jesus, I trust You.

Setting Suns – John Mark McMillan

When everythings said and done
Your all I really have
In the midst of these setting suns
The city lights at best
Are portraits of my friends
But they don’t make amends
For this ridiculous mess

So I will float on
Every word you said
When the water of my ghosts
They rise above my head
And I will stand up on your back
In the middle of this sea
When collectors of my debts
They come to sink there teeth

And its all I can think about now
Is how good you are to me

This body is a hole
My flesh one shallow grave
I am six feet below myself
And at my best
I still deserve to die
But I’ll be glorified
In this ridiculous mess

So I will float on
Every word you said
When the water of my ghosts
They rise above my head
And I will stand up on your back
In the middle of this sea
When collectors of my debts
They come to sink there teeth

And its all I can think about now
Is how good you are to me