baking without ingredients

I promised that I’d write more quality – so part of my silence lately has been due to this attempt.

This last month my [Korean] church family has been preparing for the retreat that happened last weekend. We spent more time seeking God’s face and less time on social media – or pursuing our usual free time habits.

Part of my silence was due to that –

Part of my silence was due to how being alone in a foreign country is affecting me. I am less likely to extrovert myself – less likely to share my mind – less likely to be curious or adventurous. I didn’t really realize that about myself. But I knew and forgot, that away from home it’s easier for me to be my introverted self.

Sounds backwards – but that’s just the way it is for me.

If you learn nothing else about me in this post, you should see by now that I take a long time to process things in a way that I can regurgitate in a meaningful and well-worded way -how I expect it to be.

Several weeks ago I listened to a message by Benjamin Robinson titled “Laughing with Sarah” (a really great message) and he talked about his writing style and I realized that I’d never been able to formulate words to descibe how my inspiration comes – nor had anyone vocalized it for me, until Pastor Benjamin Robinson. Hearing how I process things suddenly freed me from this tangled feeling of writing frustration with myself.

Up to that moment I struggled to fight feelings of insufficiency and self dissapointment – as well as guilt for not writing as consistently as I was hoping to.

But although there is almost always the perpetual desire to write, there is seldom the inspiration.

I feel like the person who longs to bake but has no ingredients in the cupboard – or if there are ingredients they’re all random and can’t be used together without complete disaster – meaning it wouldn’t be edible enough for even a homeless cat to touch.

***

Today, I’d like to share some of the profound things God showed me at the retreat – things He’d already been stirring in me. Things I am still processing but would like to briefly share what I’ve thought about so far.

One of the things I walked away from the retreat with was: fight to be honest. Fight against every natural inclination to respond and act in habituation. God doesn’t want or need your empty motions, or reoccuring responces.

He longs for you. The way your best friend longs for you; (but even more).

You know when your best friend just isn’t being themselves? – and no matter how much they protest you know somethings off?

God knows that x1000. For He can look into your heart, mind, and soul and see and hear the truth of the matter.

And because of His deep and abiding love for us, He invites us to come without pretense.

“I won’t be offended if you’re honest, cause I know your entire situation and all the rivers of reasons for why you come as you are.

Just come.

I made a way. I am the way. And since I don’t change, and I can’t be moved, you don’t have to fear that the way will change or dissapear.

I prepared everything so that we can meet, anytime, anyplace, for any reason. So come and be with me.

I’m with you.

Are you with me?”

I walked away from the retreat knowing that if I persist in the ways I have known then I will missout on this invitation.

That coming and sipping and saying, “Oh! this is good!” is not enough to mean anything in my life.

I walked away from retreat knowing that God is really desiring me to be free.

Why? Cause those He sets free are free.

And it was for freedom of us – freedom to be in relationship with Him again – that He came.

You’re free to be free in Christ.

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New Philly Church has this saying, “Be faithful to steward the Word you recieved!”

Let’s not bury away the good things we hear, but let’s be active and invest in it and reap tenfold. Let’s work out what we recieve and so have it work itself out in us.

I’ll be writing more reflections from the last two retreats I’ve been on in these coming days and weeks.

 

 

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What’s your soundtrack?

I can honestly say that my soundtrack for the last two years has been “Discontent”!

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Music is important for people. I don’t think there’s any people in any culture that doesn’t have music as part of the core of who and how they identify themselves.

It is our deepest prayers and worship.

How we speak to each other and to ourselves and to whatever power we believe in and ask to help us.

…………..,..

You know how when you’re walking along the sidewalk and suddenly some store you’re passing has some awesome song blaring and you feel life just pumping into you? Excitement and joy and the desire to live. To dance. Almost like you can do anything!

Then there’s creepy music or sad music and suddenly the happy feelings drain away and fears or bad possibilities – or regretful memories come flooding around.

For me my “Discontent” record had me dancing little circles of selfish acts and desperate rejected prayers.

I can’t say for a fact but I’m sure that it turned more than one friendly chat into one where the person made a note of how much time to spend with me.

Complaining drains the speaker and the listener!!

So my question to you is: What soundtrack is playing in your life?

“Trust”?

“Surrender”?

“Joy”?

Paul wrote in 1 Thesaalonians 5:16-18 to let it be “Rejoice”!