What will it take?

9:30pm - Monday night.
I already knew that the day wasn't about me, but I didn't know what would transpire.
2 Blocks from home I'm sitting at a red light. My day is almost over. I hear a noise coming from a parking lot nearby. It's the sound of a car driving full speed in reverse right towards you. You are walking away and you skip out the way of the speeding car at the last second. I knew something was wrong. Your boyfriend (I assume) jumps out the car and chases you down.

At this point I know something is wrong. I pull into the 7-Eleven across the street to observe and get on the phone with the Sheriff's station...just in case. As I'm watching and trying (in vain) to find the non-emergency phone number you continue arguing with your boyfriend. You get in his face, he gets in yours. You're upset.

At once, you charge on foot towards the busy street intersection as if running for your life. Your boyfriend grabs you like a bear and carries you back to his car. You're not fighting back I notice. In the ensuing melee you dropped something... maybe your wallet or your bag. I'm not sure.

Now, you're sitting in the car's passenger seat and your boyfriend briefly looks for whatever it is you dropped. He gives up and returns to the car.

I assume you'll just drive off into the night and I will have missed the opportunity to call the authorities or alert anyone to your situation. To my surprise, you're driving right towards me where I'm parked in the 7-Eleven. My heart races. Your boyfriend parks the car at the 7-Eleven and you sit there for about three minutes. At this point, I make an assumption that things have settled down and I start my car and pull out of the driveway and wait... again... at a red light. The whole time I'm watching over my shoulder and in my rearview mirror to see if anything transpires.

Your boyfriend gets out of the car to go into the convenience store and he motions at you with a pointed finger to stay in the car. He goes inside. You jump out of the car and begin a frantic stride towards me... again. My heart is now off the charts... beating furiously. Now's my chance.

You cross the street as the light turns green for both off us. As soon as we're out of view of the 7-Eleven, I roll down my window and say, "Do you need help?"

You don't look at me.

I cruising at a parade's pace next to you as you're walking down the sidewalk carrying your bag and your sandals.

"Do you need help??" I am raising my voice?

Still, no acknowledgement. I know, it must be strange to have some guy talking to you at night from his car while you're trying to walk away from someone who's oppressing you.

I yell, "Hey! Do you need help!!??" You look at me without speaking.

I say, "I will take you directly to the police station if you want!! I can help you."

Your reply, "My boyfriend will kill you if he sees you."

You keep walking.
I leave for safety's sake... at this point.

I call a few friends and go home.

At home, I call the police and report the entire incident.


What will it take for someone to receive help?
What will it take for me to persist in helping others?
When will you give up your oppressive life?
When will I give up trying to help you?

That day was not about me. It was about you.


Thoughts on Freedom

A few thoughts on freedom...specifically as initiated by the Holy Spirit.

I had a great convo today that again stoked the embers of my thinking about what freedom in the Spirit is.

I have been honored to play in worship bands and lead teams for over 10 years.  Being associated with this culture of music and worship in the church I have heard the paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 3:17

     "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Often associated with the proclamation of the verse in a musical/worship context invites the audience member to 'worship freely.'  There is never a specific direction given, but it is implied that the audience members are now allowed to clap more, shout more, dance more, raise their hands, and commit more physical and emotional acts of worship.

There is no clarification or instruction as to what an individual is FREED from or FREED to do.

Here are my thoughts:

Simply, the freedom that is found in and of the Holy Spirit is one that frees us FROM ourselves and does not free us FOR ourselves.  In other words, we are loosed from the things that weigh us down, discourage us, lie to us, hold us back, and constrict our ability to completely surrender our lives to Jesus.  This freedom does not free us to feel better about ourselves, to expect more from God, to waste time seeking an emotional fix, and most importantly we are not freed to indulge in doing WHATEVER WE WANT.

As we become filled, covered and moved by God's Holy Spirit, our self-focus begins to diminish and fade away.

The freedom that is found in God, is one that allows us to live independent of our bank account, our fears, our doubts, our self-serving attitudes, and the emotions associated with a one-time worship service experience.

As we embrace true freedom from the Spirit, we ought to be compelled to live as Jesus did and to follow where He leads.


Grazing Through the OYB(One Year Bible)

To see exactly what today's reading is, click on the One Year Bible link for today on the right side of my blog page... and follow along!! ;)

Deuteronomy 31:6 - this verse has become a pillar of strength and hope for me and for many people I know at church. Whenever we remember the promises of God so many people bring up "He will never leave you or forsake you." It's such a real and true reminder of God's faithfulness. I just hope people realize that means we WILL BE GOING SOMEWHERE so that God won't leave us there alone. Exciting!

Deut 31:12 - Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children,who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess."
hey, look at that! the little ones are there AGAIN in the assembly... further, the children SHOULD hear and learn to fear the Lord. Wonderful.

Deut 31:19-22 - Moses wrote all the #1 hits. He wrote the catchiest hooks so that the people wouldn't forget their sin. Wow.

Luke 12:8-34
Just as Jesus didn't deny who He was before men... so we shouldn't. The promise of revelation from the Holy Spirit is given when we deny our anxiety.
v.21 If only I were rich towards God more!
Sell your possessions and give to the needy. JESUS SAID IT. What is my rationalization not to do it? Jesus made no concessions or qualifications for people NOT to do it. Would we dare call it a command? We like the 2 greatest commands of Love God and Love others because they are opportunities for us to ask as the Teachers of the Law did, "who is my neighbor?" Instead, Jesus points out AGAIN, that the needy are to receive the blessing and benefit from our intentional acts of love (i.e. selling our possessions).
I like the contrast Jesus makes between "nations of the world" and "the kingdom of God, the Father." Talk about contrasting life and death right next to each other.


We live in a reality where we are alive among the dead. Sounds theologically obvious...and even plainly obvious to us at times. But, what a mindshift to take on that we can offer hope in Christ that brings eternal life to all the death that surrounds us.

Psalm 23 comes to mind again.