Every New Day Seems So New

The hope of every believer in Jesus Christ lies in the Resurrection. That there was a man, that he died completely and was buried, and three day’s later his dead lungs filled and he lived. He Lives.  And we are those who have died and been made new, we are those who will never die, those who will live again.

So I have always been in love with stories and songs of new life. As a teenager my favorite band was…..wait for it…..waaaait for it……Five Iron Frenzy. They had amazing music (hold your sarcasm!) and hands down the best song that they ever wrote was  Every New Day.

When I was young the smallest trick of light would catch my eye and life was new and every new day I thought that I could fly. I believed in what I hoped for, and I hoped in things unseen. I had wings and dreams could soar, I just don’t feel like flying anymore (skip to the end) Jesus Christ, light of the world burning bright within our hearts forever. Freedom means love without condition, without a beginning or an end. Here’s my heart, let it be forever Yours, only You can make every new day seem so new

I literally have listened to that song hundreds of times. Literal hours on repeat, singing and dancing to the trumpet filled tunes of a life made new, made young, made magical by the unconditional love of Christ that breaks the bonds and sets the prisoner free.

When I was 20 my brother Nate made me watch the movie Equilibrium with him and I sobbed at the brilliant display of a man coming to life for the first time. Seriously, people ranted and raved about the portrayal of emotions in the cinematography of the new Pride and Prejudice, but that movie held NOTHING on the raw emotion portrayed in Equilibrium. I know that to the pure all things are pure, and maybe it’s simply that a heart that beats out of love for Jesus will find His story, and their own, wrapped inside of any similar portrayal. Maybe I had less conviction when I saw it, I do remember it was a little violent, but I loved Jesus more that night after watching, and this night as I remember.

*Disclaimer: I do not subscribe to the idea that entertainment is fine and we find Jesus in every movie we see. And I hate that I just put this disclaimer on my blog*

A few years ago someone gave me a copy of Calvin Miller’s The Singer and I still cry every single time I read the tale of the individual lives being completely made new due to the sudden introduction of one Man.

But tonight, the reason for all of this mad chain of thoughts is that I have been reading to Katrina The Giver. Lois Lowry did not write a book about salvation, but there are powerful lessons in the pages about the power of choice and a beautiful (though slightly juvenile) tale of a soul coming to life. We’ve cried more than once through the reading, both happy and sad tears. And this has led to my introducing a new category of post: Every New Day. Dedicated to FIF this will include moments that remind us to enjoy the gifts that God has given to us. Simple excerpts of things that run through my brain, cause my soul to pause in the caos and love Jesus and living a little more. Like this:

How could you describe a sled without describing a hill and snow to someone who had never felt height or wind or that feathery, magical cold?

Even trained for years as they all had been in the precision of language, what words could you use which would give another the experience, of sunshine.

The Giver, Lois Lowry

Alligators

Writing this post I had to seriously refrain from putting about 4 empty lines between each paragraph. I wanted to somehow make you read it the way I wrote it; slowly and with long thoughtful pauses.

Growing up in Omaha I was spoiled when it came to the zoo. The Henry Doorly Zoo is the place where dreams make noises, startling you with unbelievable reality. Each year we bought a family pass and even as we grew none of us lost our love for it. For a season I worked mornings downtown and many afternoons called me to the wonder of the zoo.  After wandering through the jungle, the dessert, the arctic and a myriad of caves I’d park myself on some bench with a book hoping a peacock would wander past, or spend a bagillion quarters feeding the monster goldfish in the lake.

When I heard about the Kansas City Zoo I made zero attempt to go and about two years went by before I found myself with a few friends exploring it’s long trails.  Drifting slowly through Africa I managed to lose them and wandered into the Alligator house. I use the word “house” loosely. It’s a cement shed and one wall is a large tank of water with 2 large lizards in it. The tank is hardly big enough for the two of them to be in, let alone turn around or swim or do anything for that matter, and they just floated there, sometimes blinking, not swimming, not moving at all.

I stood there for a moment, slightly uneasy at how close I was to them, how big they are and easy it would be for them to climb over that low glass window and eat me, but the longer I watched  the longer they lay there lifeless and that feeling was slowly exchanged with compassion. Those huge glorious beasts were never meant to be in that tiny glass tank. *insert strangeness* Watching them I began to realize, they know it. They know they were not made to be there, hatched and raised in a cage SOMETHING in them still KNOWS they are wild, they were MEANT to be wild and do wild and scary large lizard things. They know that something is wrong, and somewhere inside of their large scaly hearts they LONG for someone to fix it. And they know that someone will.

Right there in that tiny room I began to cry, soul aching, heart breaking, gut wrenching tears for the return of Jesus, maybe like I never had before that moment. Staring at those creatures all I could think was that all of creation was groaning in it’s knowing that everything is drastically, desperately wrong and all of creation knows that someone has to fix it. But I don’t. 99.9% of the time I am not desperate for Jesus to come with Justice in His hands and right all of the wrongs, creation itself is in a state of living understanding that my eternal soul is not and I wept in raw longing “Oh Jesus You have to come back, You have to come back”

Tonight we talked about Hebrews 11. 13-16. We live as refugees bound to the laws of a homeland we’ve never even seen. Joshua spoke of the longing in the hearts of the Patriarchs and of the 1st century church ” They knew beyond everything in this earth that they were not home, Eden was not so far removed from them that they had forgotten it.”

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t belong? It’s funny how in a room full of strangers one can feel naked, and hardly more comforted in a room full of familiar faces. There is a thing, an overwhelming sensation that rises up in our hearts in the most inconvenient moments. A literal cry, a longing that comes from somewhere, it feels like deep inside and it rises, washing over and taking over every thought that had been in your mind. You know if you’ve felt it. Many times I’ve confused it in insecurity, shortcomings or brokenness and run to a lonely place where I feed on the pain and nurse the ache, believing lies about the heart that the Lord of all Creation so dearly loves. But it’s not that, it’s something much much more deeper than not feeling comfortable in a room full of people, feeling exposed or insecure. We’ve lost our home.

But we don’t stay lost. Hallelujah, we don’t stay lost! Listen listen, Amazing Grace: how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like ME, I once was LOST. But now I’m found. I have been found. No longer hopelessly, desperately lost, I have been found. Jonathan David Helser sings a song about a friends baby who died in the womb. While playing his piano one day God allowed him to hear into heaven the song that this child was singing.

“Momma can you hear me? Daddy can you feel me? I’m made whole, I’m at home…Don’t stop holding on”

This is the longing that overwhelms, drives to tears, removes our appetites and consumes our minds; Jerusalem. The City of David where we will live forever, where we will be whole, where we will be home. Josh wrapped up tonight talking of the pain in the journey, the lonely life of a pilgrim but brought us to hope “after He rids us of the desire for all other lovers, all other lust, all other hungers He brings us into the promise.”

The room was silent for just one second before someone quietly said “We’re going home.”

This is good news. We’re going home.

Songwriting

Working on some song lyrics and just can’t get them out of my head, so I thought I’d share 🙂 Truly I can take no credit, it’s scripture and based off a prayer leaders oracle the other day. Look at what I’ve got so far and give me some thoughts if the Spirit inspires you!

You thought I was altogether like you,you thought I would respond the way you do.

Because you run out of forgiveness, and you run out of mercy, and you draw lines for men to live in, and you thought I would respond the way you do.

But My love is like an ocean you can drown in, My love is like an ocean you can drown in, it has no bottom no shoreline where it ends.

A practical post

Our car is broken, and it is very sad. For some time we have needed to get a ball joint replaced, two weeks ago someone busted in our back side window, and one week ago the starter and battery kicked the dust leaving us quite immobile. The battery was purchased immediately, but the starter had to wait until Kat and I got paid this last week, and until our friend and mechanic can get to it :/ BUT yesterday morning, we discovered an envelope with $119 in the mailbox. Devoid of any sort of signature it simply said “For your car.” I’m humbled each time I think of it, and have cried a couple of times in thankfulness. This is about 1/3 of what we need to get the car totally fixed and I keep thinking of Psalm 119,

Give thanks to the Lord for He is GOOD, His love endures forever

It is 8am on Sunday morning; I have been awake since 6.30 and I am in pain. My wisdom teeth have been working their way in for sometime and I’d decided to simply live with them, but yesterday convinced me otherwise.

I had two weddings to attend and in the rush of getting ready began to notice increasing pain on the left side. In between weddings I took some migraine medicine to handle it, but by 9.45pm I was home, in bed and hardly functional. I had used Ibuprophen and Orajel and by 10.15 they had kicked in and brought much needed relief, but my left cheek is quite swollen and I’m not quite sure what to do about the whole situation.

Here is my dilemma:

  1. I don’t have insurance
  2. The car needs to be fixed
  3. The Dog AND Cat SERIOUSLY need to go to the vet
  4. *Spoiler Warning* I’m praying about a temporary move that will not take place for a few months, but will require a significant increase in my financial support
  5. It’s almost November, and I don’t think I can take 2 weeks off of work before Onething
  6. This cancels any chance of my getting to MN this year to visit Shelley

Prayers and Suggestions are greatly appreciated at this point.

When Jesus Returns

What do I think that life will be like when Jesus returns? I think it will be life, without longing.

In the moments when my heart loves Jesus the most, when the overflow washes over and refreshes my soul and I wonder how I could ever do anything but love Him with all of my heart….I find myself longing. Longing to love Him more, to see more, to feel more of His heart. Even when I love Him the most I long for more.

In the moment when situations work out and the friends show up and I find myself the most happy, I find myself longing. On roadtrips with the best of friends, blaring music and singing at the top of our lungs, eating dumb food and loving the road, the roadtrip games, the time together, the plans were embarking on, the song etc, I find myself thinking things like “If I could just remember this moment forever!!” because I know that times  come often when I need to remember joy, companionship and movement. And I long for the “good times” to never end.

I have heard of love and falling in love, of the journey of being captivated and wooed, the following marriage plans and glorious weddings that lead into years of married life and women (probably men too) who look back with pain on the years when they felt cherished by their spouse.

Then practically; the cold hits, and instantly I am longing for summer. This summer while working in my little office I often found myself dreaming of swimming, grilling and fishing. On Tuesdays after a couple of hours in the prayer room I begin to crave food. At the end of the day I crawl into my cold sheets and long for warmth. Lately I’ve found myself looking excitedly toward the future, and also lamenting details of the now that I will painfully miss when the future become now.

And all I can think is that when You come back, we are fully satisfied. No confusion, no pain, no hunger, no lack and no longing. You are the Son, our Song, our Love and our Whole. No more longing, no more thinking of other times, of better things or something else that we can try to make us feel complete. You are our complete. I long for the day of no longing.

Smith Wigglesowrth prophecied of the youth movement

When Lester Sumrall was forced to leave Europe at the beginning of the second world war, he went to his spiritual father Smith Wigglesworth to say goodbye. Smith Wigglesworth was an older man, and Sumrall said that he never met a single other person in his home, there were no lines waiting to get the faith of Smith Wigglesworth. There had been lines to receive healing, but there were no lines to get his faith.

During their tearful goodbye he sad that Wigglesworth’s eyes began to burn, like Elijah when he saw the chariots coming from heaven, and he said,

I want to tell you somehing. Oh I see it! I see revival coming to planet earth, maybe as never before. It will be untold numbers and untold, uncounted multitudes that will be saved. No man will say ‘so many so many’ because nobody will be able to count those that will come to Jesus. The dead will be raised, the arthritic will be healed, cancer will be healed. No disease would be able to stand before God’s people, it will be all over the world. Ot would be a worldwide situation, a worldwide thrust of God’s power. I will not see it. But you shall see it.

There was another young man who testified of Wigglesworth prophesying that a time was coming when there would be great signs and wonders as a revival. And there would be a time of great teaching of the Word. There would come a great revival at the end of times when signs and wonders and teachings would be combined together.

Sound familiar friends? Let’s get serious, and let’s get excited.