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One missed opportunity
One more way I wasn’t used
Another one I could have blessed
I feel worthless and accused

But I listen closer
And a fainter voice is clear
Reminding me of steadfast love
And knowledge of my fear

Of far reaching power
And of further reaching grace
I forgive myself and look
Into his eyes, and weathered face

I am a priest, a holy saint
Made just and purified
As dawn breaks through, then I will too
Holy Spirit fortified

Mod Pizza Guy

for the life of me, I can’t figure out why complete strangers or nearly complete, would consider me to be a trustworthy source of information. Why would anyone just go along with what I say? Who am I? Certainly no one they’ve had time to build a relationship or any semblance of trust with. 

So I’ve been asking myself that today, after going to eat at Mod Pizza. The first time I ate there, I asked an employee with tattoos if he needed prayer for anything at all. I think. Honestly, I can’t recall just what the exchange looked like. But it was good. Somehow calming and encouraging. That was months ago. 

He seemed impressed that I remembered his name. People do like to hear their name. I guess I remembered it because my sister and I had just been discussing Sam Smith, as we ate there, last time.

Today I was there with Angel and was about to write down a simple word from God I got for him, and give it to him in my way out, but he found his way over to our area just in time so I blurted out,

I have a message for you.

He whipped around, “Yeah?” intently listening and serious. I said, you may think it’s weird, but… “No I won’t. Go ahead.” So I continued, trying not to break eye contact,

He wants you to know that he cares about even the smallest of things in your life because he loves YOU. It’s a deep love. A love that if you really knew the depth of it, it’d knock you off your feet. So even if something seems too insignificant to bring up to him, it’s not to Him, because it concerns YOU. … 

And that’s about it.

He smiled and thanked me. And he asked my name again, determined to remember mine…even yelling it out again, this time from behind the counter a moment later as we went out the side door. “Bye, Chelan, thank you!”

I have a feeling he’ll probably remember that it means deep water, before he remembers the name, itself.

Later I kept wondering, why he gives my words any credit at all. I’ve only seen him twice in my life. And I have two reasons why he would, that I can think of:

  1. My words give life or they mine gold. They will not discourage. 
  2. My words are accompanied by the Spirit who compels every person to draw near, to hear, to dare to hope for more. They are anointed by God himself. Laced with gold from heaven ~ a bit of God’s glory on each one.

I found myself praying later that there would be no attraction at all there except to the Spirit, & that he would actually be literally knocked of his feet and it would make him remember what I said about the depth of God’s love today and he’d laugh! That would be hilarious-sort of like a backwards prophecy.

Let it be, Lord! Draw him close. Lead him to you, to salvation, to peace, humility, vulnerability, repentance, freedom and redemption in you, Jesus. And lll be open to be your pitcher. Pour out, Jesus. Pour out.

Jack in the Heart

What if what came out of your mouth, how you said things with your body, how you commented on that last post…were all the overflow of a deeper part of you? What if anger was something that was not a sudden effect or even something stirred up, but was already there inside of you?

Just go with me on this: Remember that music box tune, POP Goes the Weasel?! Instead of a heart, picture is all with little Jack in the Box’s. When your son or your love make you mad… when you’re reeling in how right you are, riddled with anxiety or deeply offended, you seem to just unstoppably…”POP!” It can’t be helped! 

It is far too easy to disown a semblance of blame for it. And why should you? Someone else made you feel this way. You are entitled to anger. If it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t… But might I suggest, in order for anger to come out so readily, it had to have been in you, strong and bubbling yet quiet and dormant…waiting to come out. In order for offense to be taken, there had to have been the allowance of offense to make its home there, to settle down somewhere in there. You must ask yourself, will I let this visitor in? Will I let it get comfortable? And have the boldness to ask these even more vulnerbale ones: did Jesus ever, even once let the sin of offense rise up in him? Are we not to be his imitators?

The Bible says that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. And Freud agreed that our slips of the tongue are not slips at all, but utterances of our sometimes subconscious beliefs. For the most part, I would agree. But agreeing means taking more responsibility for not just my actions anymore…but for my re-actions.

Who is my Jack? The Jack in my heart – is it fear? Anger? Offense?  How I react when faced with sudden conflict or tragedy reveals who he is. The reaction time matters. Sudden reaction usually is not best. Waiting, thinking, being alone for a little while – this has helped me greatly, to react in a way that is less explosive in those volitile moments and even, dare I say, wise.

I now know that I can literally choose every day, to make my Jack love.

When I work for two hours to help a desperate friend and it later seems it was all for nothing, I can choose to make my Jack grace. When I sacrifice a half hour and a bit of my sanity to follow dentist orders and try to make my daughter swish with salt water and then my husband takes over and simply prays over her instead, I can choose forgiveness. When no one shows up to an event I planned, I can choose thankfulness.

Well, that seems backwards. I know. But I can choose these different Jacks – or go-to reactions – by asking myself one thing: who am I here to serve? Is it myself, or is it my God? When my actions are to please others so that I can feel good based on their response, I’ve set myself up to fail. I’m ultimately doing things to please myself. When my actions are done with the simple base motivator of a pure love for God, and it overflows onto people in my life, I’ve set myself up for a win, no matter what it looks like to anyone else. I’ve pleased God, and since I’ve realized that’s all that really matters, nothing can make me upset any longer.

So I will soak my heart in love, learn what it means to let mercy triumph over judgement, believe the truthful promises I’ve been given – truth about myself and God – about who I really am now as a result of all He’s done. I will immerse my heart in it all…. So the next time conflict or tragedy catch me by surprise, the Jack in my heart will be love.

“POP! Goes the weasel.”

Observations: A Snapshot of Morning

He takes a heavy text book out of his backpack. Its weight was too much for the bike ride to school, just as I’d warned him.
I make his lunch and then glancing up through the back window, something with a huge wingspan catches my eye and draws me in for closer look as it slowly descends to the creekside in the back. It’s the gray Crane I’ve seen many times before. The closest I can imagine a prehistoric bird might look like. There’s something about its size and grace as it flies, demanding my attention. I call Angel over and we watch it walk in the creek, precariously looking around for all but two minutes before it takes flight again, in a confused pattern, obviously trying to find a safe passageway out of the maze of branches above.
She asks me if we can gel up her hair, but I insist on turning on the curling iron for six or seven flippy curls…a style her new shag cut simply demands. “There!” I say. “Woah!” she says back.
My coffee is cooling down way too fast.
Her iPod is spewing tinny sounds of cheesy pop rock so I change it Christian Dub-step.
I give a fourth reminder to her to eat some breakfast. She half-smiles and rolls her green eyes at me. Her beauty has a way of eclipsing my every effort to get frustrated.
His jersey tank is acceptable today. It’ll be over 60 degrees. His jacket is nowhere, so he finds a long-sleeve, just for the ride. I pour Chocolate Chex into a custom lunch baggie I made from Press n Seal Glad wrap, and throw it in his paper bag on top of the rest of his lunch; an added snack. I staple the top. And tell him I love him, trying to steal a kiss to the temple while escaping the smell of his Axe hair putty.
I make him stay for just thirty seconds longer in the kitchen while I pray for his day, my hands on either side of his face. “No, mom! There’s no time!” I insist and pray anyway, as he watches the stove clock the whole time, his head pressing against my left hand in the direction of the door. I say something like “furtherance of the Kingdom”, a phrase I immediately question if he understood, and then “blessing everyone he sees”, a phrase that surely covered the former.
He zooms away.
Another bird catches my eye – a Blue Jay. I know that kind, because of its arrogant looking faux-hawk. Then two Red-headed Woodpeckers start fighting over who gets possession of the birdhouse. Their bodies are black feathered with white dots. Such a stark contrast.
She changes into the shirt and scarf I recommended. I feel listened to.
Thirty more seconds will do it this time.
Mmmm. Just a little more creamer, one pump of DaVinci sweetener, and it’s perfect.

Learning Not to Box – Tracy from Red Cross & Daniel from Xbox

So, the Red Cross called to confirm a donation appt & I asked her right after, “Hey, off topic, but is there anything at all, I can pray for you about?” 

She said, “Hmm. Actually yes! You can pray for me to be able to help care for my neighbor Helen who is 92, & had a stroke. Her sister, 94, died last Tues. Helen’s been my neighbor for 8 years; she’s a missionary’s daughter. I want her strong and in that house of hers as long as possible.

So I got to pray for Tracy and Helen and God gave me a word for Tracy DURING my prayer, that she would be a Voice Of Hope for not just Helen but her whole neighborhood!  She thanked me and said, “Well now I just wanna go and knock on everyone’s door and be that to everyone!” 

Ha! The Lord is so good! 

He meets me every single time I step out! And I’m not the only one. This simple act of asking to pray for someone is possible for every believer and we get opportunities to do it every day by phone in person and even in chat-boxes. 

I was receiving help from an Xbox support person via chat, for over 2.5 hours the other day to straighten out Braylon’s account that had gotten all tangled up with his best friend’s security information. After we were done, I asked him the same thing. I thought, as I typed it, that he might have had emotional stress. He replied right away in the chat box,

“Bless your heart. Thank you. I could use all the positive energy I can get, actually. My mom passed away from breast cancer…and today’s my birthday.”

So I prayed pretty simply for him in the chat, and here’s a screenshot of the end of it.

I don’t even know where he was in the US. I wasn’t face to face or even speaking with him, but God transcends through space, time and proximity. He gives us unconventional ideas, and they actually work!

Give it up for my God! When I stopped putting him in a box, he said, “Actually, this chat-box will work just fine, today, thank you.”

I will keep stepping out because he meets me every time and shines through my every move. My every word. He transcends.

A David Update, & My Kinda Dance

After Break Free tonight, talking and praying with my awesome friend and prayer-sister Samantha about sex trafficking, I had to stop by Freddies on my way home. I figured I might possibly run into David from about a week ago (http://chelan.me/2015/02/21/david-from-freddies/), but wasn’t sure. What made me wonder, is that I’d picked a random sermon to listen to on my way home from some church called Victory, in my Podcasts. I’d never listened to one from there before. This guest speaker was preaching all about King David. She was specifically using him as a prime example for us to embrace repentance along with forgiveness.

As Freddie’s was closing, I picked a line to check out and then saw it was his line! But he had to shoo me away to self check out. I left, a bit bummed, but then saw him again at the main doors a few minutes later. I turned to him, “DAVID. I told you I’d pray for you, remember?”

He smiled, and I watched it come back to him. So I asked him there in front of the electronic double doors by produce, what I could pray for him about. He said for a stressful real estate deal set to close March 13th or 18th? to go through successfully. And then he asked me if I had anything he could pray for.  I thought about it…& said sure! I applied for a part time job and want it, only if God does. So direction on that.

He placed his hand on my shoulder and we stood there, basically strangers but brother and sister in Christ, and prayed for each other as his co-workers exited the store every minute or so. 

After he prayed for me, I prayed for his real estate deal but added a part that I’d just heard from that sermon: that God would help him to see repentance for what it is – a turning away.  And when we turn away from sin, we are turning toward our God who loves us deeply. I prayed for a desire to always turn away and then turn toward, trusting that there will always be a great freedom found there.

He lit up even more and mentioned that there was power in that prayer, & that he feels like what I prayed for him should be “reciprocated”, back to me. And I received it. Cause I’ve always had a hard time with repentance for some reason. But now I’m realizing its the step to take before asking for forgiveness. Like they’re dance partners. 

I was thinking, our hands, if they are still filled with undealt with (unrepented of) sin, they will not be able to be filled with his gift of forgiveness. It’s a give and then get. A bit like a spiritual dance. Move toward God a few steps and give up the sinful action or attitude and then move back a few and get freedom and joy that comes from receiving His forgiveness. And a bonus comes when we gain victory over that area. Praise God! 

Now that’s my kinda dance.

On the way home from there, the Lord gave me a new song with these words:

Vs1: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of our hearts, out of our homes. An outpouring of your spirit – into the streets, into the public places.

Vs2: There’s an outpouring of your spirit – out of the church, out of our songs. An outpouring of your spirit – into our work, & into the lowly places.


So I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will lovelovelove every boy and girlYeah, I will gogogo into my worldworldworld and I will pray – for freedom every day


Freedom freedom be released

From your Kingdom.

 Kingdom be released!

Optional part: 

Give me a mind not divided, not distracted. But the mind of Christ. Give me a mind set upon you, set upon truth. The mind of Christ.