Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heart Weights

This poem has been on my mind today...
I Stay Near the Door by Sam Shoemaker
I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world–
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it - - -
So I stay near the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door–the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch–the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter–
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it–because they have found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him - - -
So I stay near the door.

Go in, great saints, go all the way in–
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics–
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, or sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening - - -
So I stay near the door.

There is another reason why I stay there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia.
And want to get out. Let me out! they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much;
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving–preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stay near the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply, and stay too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door–
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But–more important for me–
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
For those I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
I had rather be a door-keeper . . .
So I stay near the door.
Lord, don't ever let me get so comfortable on the inside that I forget what it felt like to be on the outside. Amen.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Architecture for Dummies


A solitary word can say volumes.

So. I slept on the couch last night after a conversation left me feeling like the bed wasn't big enough. I'm not saying I thought I was right. I'm just saying I wasn't in the mood to listen to the breathing of anyone but myself.

I woke up before the coffee pot started, before 5:00 a.m., and started praying.

"Lord, show me who is right in this."

The answer came softly yet clearly: It doesn't matter.

With those three little words, I knew I had not handled the situation well. But my feelings were still hurt and I wasn't getting the impression that I was wrong, just not going about things the right way.

"Lord, speak to me through Your word. Give me guidance."

Not that I had much confidence in receiving any real, concrete answers. I'm reading my Chronological Bible and am in the part about King Solomon building the temple.

I stand corrected, humbled, and amazed at the Lord's ability to communicate without a stutter.
Psalm 127 was included in my reading for today. The first verse is all it took.

Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.

For all my good-intention preaching and soul sharing, God needs to be the One to build the house. No heart change will come without the Lord's orchestration. I don't need to puff about with how I'm feeling all the time, and chances are, I'm like a wrecking ball on a construction site.

Today, just for fun, (OK, my idea of fun) we took the Five Love Languages quiz and the Language of Apology quiz. Guess what? Our results were almost polar opposite. It was good to see it in writing. We are not the same, so neither one of us should use our own measuring stick to determine what is right. Especially when there really aren't any right answers anyway, just preference.

When you are in it for the long haul, adjustments need to be made. And as the relationship gets stronger, the adjustments won't matter so much. I saw this picture on the Proverbs 31 FB page and it seemed to sum up everything nicely:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Time To GO!

Remember back at the beginning of the year when the word GO! chose me and I wasn't sure where I was going? I wondered if it would be a mission trip or something, but I had a feeling it had something to do with writing.

Well, last weekend I signed with CrossBooks to self-publish my novel He Knows Your Name. It is the first book in a series called Hope Speaks. I still need to write the next two. But I will.

The idea of self-publishing had been rolling around in my head for awhile but I was looking for the least financially impacting (read: cheapest) way to do it. When I was talking on the phone with the man from Cross Books, he mentioned that you can barely take a mission trip with a church for what it costs to self-publish a book.


That was it. This is my GO! This money that it will cost me to do this well is my mission trip, and though I will never board a plane, my words will carry the Name of Jesus to every corner of the world. The time and money I'm spending are an investment in the Kingdom.

The whole decision making process took a little while, but the encouraging words of a friend, the book Undaunted by Christine Caine, and a verse from the Bible (1 Chron. 16:24 ) helped me make this leap of faith.

I pray that if you have something big on your heart, a dream that won't go away, that the Lord send you the encouragement you need to jump in with both feet.

Let me know, ok?