Saturday, April 29, 2006
i have often glibly said in the past that when we are feeling overwhelmed it is because we are not walking in His strength, but our own. i do believe that's true. but right now i feel like i don't know where i'm walking in my strength, and thus what to hand over to Him.
what i am encouraged by, tho, is that when we are in the valley, that is where the river flows. that is where we can tap into the life giving flow. 'if the blessing's in the valley... then in the river i will wait'.....
if there were no sorrow, we would not understand joy.
if there were no suffering, we would not understand mercy.
if there were no sin, we would not understand grace.
if there were no failure, we would not understand success.
if there were no evil, we would not understand love.
i read something similar to that once, i don't know where, but it's something that's stuck with me for a long time. i think the last one i listed is God's whole reason for allowing humanity to fall. how could we understand the love that God IS without having experienced sin, pain, and death? if we were perfect in the garden, the one thing we still lacked was perspective on God the Creator - that we are mere creations.
some people have difficulty with this. i don't.
i realize that even tho i'm a mere creation, i am the shulamite bride, He is my Beloved. He treasures me more than anything. that is totally humbling, but also totally relieving.
i am a worm, as filthy rags, the scum of the earth... but instead of considering me (and rightly so!) as such, no... i am the apple of His eye.
and oh, that makes me feel loved.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
i really needed to read it today.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
i think it's very important to know our motives for fasting.... if we are fasting from food or something else we 'crave' or hunger after, and fill it with something other than God.....that's not what God is after.the above was what i posted on a forum during a discussion on fasting.
there are definately physical things that happen with fasting - and many of them are used by occultic/new agey groups to become more spiritually 'aware' - the thing is, what they are opening themselves up to is NOT God... they are enhancing their openness, sensitivity to the spiritual world and to other spirits by the 'high' a person can get from fasting for a long time.
i think that we must be careful that we are fasting for the right reason - to get more of God, to turn over control of our bodies to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to create in us self-control..... it should never be about 'awareness', mental acuity, health or length of life - fasting actually (to me) puts us in a kind of vulnerable state where - if we are not submitting it 100% to God - we could open doors.
where we create a vacuum, it must be filled - we must be dilligent to fill it with the right thing!
God has chosen the day of our death before He even created the world, i don't believe God's purpose in fasting is for us to extend our life and try to take control over the day of our death!!!! all of that is exclusively in God's hands.
i think juice fasting and other health oriented fasts can be good, becuase they are not about creating that open mind, they are about de-toxing, which is good if that's what a person feels God wants them to do in stewarding their bodies. but that's not really God-fasting, y'know?
to me, it's denying my flesh of something that i hunger for that is not God. no tv for me is not a fast, it's just stupid, i hardly watch tv. now, an internet fast? - yeah. that would be hard. and it's not something i hope God calls me to very often! but if it's for my sanctification, He may call me to it.... and i hope i obey.
i think He needs to call us to it. if i decide, i think i'm going to be more 'spiritual' and go on a fast, probably until it ends i'm going to get grumpier and grumpier, and cast shame on the name of God. i gotta be prepared to fill that void with worship, the Bread of Life, the New Wine, etc, so that i glorify the name of God...
it can't be about US - it has to be totally, completely, 100% about HIM.
i have not fasted much - i have forgotten to eat most of the day and i see what happens to my mood, and my godliness factor goes down exponentially. i will not fast unless i feel God saying, basically, "clover, I want you to fast, fast from _____ for _____ long, and seek My face during that time."
i am wary, becuase i was once 'into' new agey occultic stuff, and i have a respect of how decieving it can be. if a person opens up to it, it can suck a person in big time. fasting can be a powerful tool, but if we are not prepared, we can mess it up big time.
"Students will place themselves in the context of a new culture for effectiveness in an old war." (from their course calendar)their website: http://www.thewarcollege.com/index.html
i know that God is calling me to step out of my comfort zone in a big way, just not sure how it's going to come about. last year i went to smog city (LA) for a week, and (gasp!) i survived. reading the article about the guy who went to india to intern under mother teresa and worked in the leper colony also stoked something deep within me. (http://www.thesimpleway.org/shane/sampler.pdf) . for a long time i felt challenged to seek God and allow Him to change my heart of fear into one of boldness. so that i would not be fearful of one day being called to minister barefoot in the slums of china....
and here i am today with my heart melting over ministering in the slums of inda (but not barefoot, ick!), and thinking about the feasibility the something like the War College - ministering (and learning!) in the slums of vancouver.
my God is amazing.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
next thing i know i was a little girl, wearing a white dress, dancing in the presence of God. whirling and twirling and spinning, arms out and free.
it was great, and i thought that was that.
but then, during the sermon, i couldn't focus and kept thinking about what i saw, so i started drawing it. my pastor basically preached on how we often believe a lie and don't believe that what Christ did for us on the cross was suffient for us to be able to boldly approach the throne of grace. what He did with His blood is to wash us completely clean, white as snow, and able to come into the presence of God without fear or reservation, with faith like a child.
after service, i showed the picture to my pastor, and he said it would have been good 'up there', meaning drawn at the front of the church, on an easel, during the sermon. (ack!... ok, God, if you want me to....) and i showed it to a few people, not for compliments, but to show them what God had said!...
and one guy from my cell group said that during worship, when i was laying in the presence of the Lord (which would have been while i was having this vision), he saw what was like a whirlwind over me, like a swirling, and he heard two words, 'beautiful', and 'sweet'. if that doesn't fit my vision, i don't know what does! a sweet little girl dancing before God. it was a real blessing/confirmation to hear that. (thanks doug!)
Saturday, April 15, 2006
a little thought i've had for a long time is to paint all the stations myself. meditation, worship, prayer as i'm painting. it just seems like such a huge job.... i always plan myself out of projects by making them seem too big in my own eyes. step 1- find a list of stations that i feel i can work with. step 2- decide on what canvas size i will use for the series and get one. step 3- read, meditate, and start paintin'!
saw the passion movie at church last night, on the big screen. whoot whoot!!!! it's loaded with catholic symbolism and dogma, but is an awesome movie nonetheless. it's basically based on the stations of the cross, too. i saw so many illustrations that we have two paths in life to choose from: death or life. the two criminals on the crosses beside Jesus - one chose life, the other chose death. the guilty murderer barrabas(sp?) being freed, Jesus taking his place.... pilate having to choose between heeding the truth and keeping the peace (and his life). it just inspires such deep meditation....
...and it just seemed wrong somehow, when the movie was over, to just get up and pack up my stuff and go home. i didn't want to move! i wanted to worship the Risen Lord! ....and then what do i do? i come home and go on the computer till 4 am.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Eat, O friends!Drink, yes, drink deeply,O beloved ones! (Song of Solomon 5:1)
"drink deeply" is the hebrew word shakar, (Strongs 7937):
1) to be or become drunk or drunken, be intoxicatedno matter which tense it is used in, the result is drunkenness.
a) (Qal) to become drunken
b) (Piel) to make drunken, cause to be drunk
c) (Hiphil) to cause to be drunk
d) (Hithpael) to make oneself drunk
 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.  The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar.  And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.  For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shallLord, i wanna be drunk!
make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids. (Zec 9:14-17 KJV)
All my bones shake.I am like a drunken man,And like a man whom wine has overcome,Because of the Lord,And because of His holy words. (Jeremiah 23:9, NKJV)
today, those who purport that we can become 'drunk' when we are filled with the Holy Spirit are all too often those who are accused of being false prophets. well, Jeremiah dude was not a false prophet!!! and was like a drunk, because of the Lord and His holy words.
ach, i've been reading tonight about how critical people are of this 'movement' of the Lord. if they don't like it, why don't they leave them alone? they are not the ones to judge. why make life a pain for those who are honestly seeking God, just because they don't agree? don't judge another man's servant! only God can see the heart.
anyways, here's a link to John Scotland's website, and his testimony in particular. it's always encouraged, ministered, and challenged me. how far will i follow God when i hear Him? will i hold back? will i fear man?
Lord, may i be the sweetest, most aromatic banana tea You ever served up. amen!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Ahh, well at least that’s what the western world tells us today. Bind and constrict yourself to conform to the world’s standards. But it’s just not healthy! There has been some link to bras and breast cancer – women who never wear bras apparently have the same incidence of breast cancer as men!
And should we conform to the world’s standards?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV)
(I find it hilarious that as I’m writing this, my font is Times New Roman, size 12!)
So, what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God? In large part, it is the Laws of Liberty and Love. The liberty to – before God – follow our convictions, and the responsibility to love those who’s convictions on such things are different than ours.
So what’s a girl to do? Conform to the world’s standards of beauty and ‘normalcy’, or do what they are convinced in their own mind is right?
(Now, I’m not advocating toplessness or immodesty – but God is who tells us what is modest and what is not – and having the ‘bustal profile’ of a ‘goddess’ is more of a stumbling block to men than it is modesty!!!! But so is revealing too much. There are ways to do both, I believe.)
But even we, in the church, can crucify a gal for going against today’s custom. Simply put, we get all legalistic about something that was never a law to begin with! And all to often we crucify the person who is simply operating with the liberty that Christ has given us to follow our convictions (having sought God on it and having found it to be within biblical parameters).
And so the woman with fibrocystic breast disease who goes braless to ease the pain is subject to glares and stares and unspoken charges of immodesty and feminism. It should not be.
(Or the buxom mama who just wants to get out of the metal and wire torture garment.)
(Or the girl who is sick of always pulling up bra straps and adjusting yet another poor fitting bra that causes neck, shoulder, and back pain.)
All too often, we accept the customs of the world blindly, as being ‘right’, without examining them for ourselves. But what is ‘right’? It is the liberty and freedom to exercise one’s own convictions before God. And if they failed to bring it before God, they alone answer to Him. Do not judge another man’s servant – their Master being the Lord Jesus.
“Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 4:4, NKJV)amen!
Monday, April 10, 2006
found an amazing essay at the Psalters website (check out their music!), and i'll quote some of it here:
read more on their website: www.psalters.com (go to about > manifesto > part III).
One of the many typically powerful examples of the effects of life without pain is recorded by Dr. Brand in his book The Gift of Pain. He records an incident involving a patient in a leprosy community in India:
"An eager young patient caught my eye as he struggled across the edge of the courtyard on crutches, holding his bandaged left leg clear of the ground. Although he did his awkward best to hurry, the nimbler patients soon overtook him. As I watched, this man tucked his crutches under his arm and began to run on both feet with a very lopsided gait, waving wildly to get our attention. He ended up near the head of the line, where he stood panting, leaning on his crutches, wearing a smile of triumph. I could tell from the man’s gait, though, that something was badly wrong. Walking toward him, I saw that the bandages were wet with blood and his left foot flopped freely from side to side. By running on an already dislocated ankle, he had put far too much force on the end of his leg bone, and the skin had broken under the stress. He was walking on the end of his tibia, and with every step that naked bone dug into the ground. Nurses had scolded him sharply, but he seemed quite proud of himself for having run so fast. I knelt beside him and found that small stones and twigs had jammed through the end of the bone into the marrow cavity. I had no choice but to amputate the leg below the knee. (Brand p. 7)"
Leprosy strips the victim of the gift of pain that acts as an alarm system blaring incessantly until it is heard. When a healthy person catches the flu or gets a cut, their pain receptors force them to drop everything else that they are doing and deal with the situation until the pain goes away and the body returns to health. Conversely, Lepers have no insistent alarm system, and will therefore allow minor infections to develop into horrifically debilitating catastrophes even though they may be aware of the problem. Yet because it does not hurt they allow the infection to continue. They may see the problem but they do not feel it.
We too are lepers. We live in the "cushiest", "comfiest", richest country in history. We have our wealth, our philosophies, our drugs, and the media to protect us not only from truly feeling the pain of the oppressed, but also from feeling our own oppression and need to be healed.
"So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich , and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire,..." (Rev. 3:16-18)
The oppression of the rich, powerful, comfortable, and drugged is that it is a separation from Christ. It all oppresses by layering blanket upon blanket of materialism and worldliness until we are pinned down under a mountain of cushy fabric that separates us from the Light, and suffocates us from the cool biting air of His Breath.
and THINK ABOUT IT.
Matthew 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
some christians argue that namaste can only be rightly said to those who have the Spirit of Christ in them - "My brethren".... but 'My brethren' is impossible to ascertain, becuase we have no understanding of who is called and who is not until such time as we see heaven and who is there. we need to treat every person with the love and honor due Christ, because - eternally speaking - they could well be 'My brethren'.... whether they are 'saved' at this point in time or not. if they are not, they may well be in the future - but their destiny was decided before the foundation of the world.
and even if they do not become 'My brethren', if we recognize that everything we do is to the glory - or shame - of God, we had better treat everyone as though they are God's children - because ultimately, we will answer to God on that, too:
Matthew 25:45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
if we fail to treat the least of these - of anyone (note the lack of 'My brethren' in this verse) - we did not do it to Him.
Lord, in my daily life, may i honor and love others in such a way as only you deserve, because ultimately, i do it to You, not just my fellow man.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
(my apologies to the one person who signed my old guestbook, which i deleted the day after i made it in favor of this one! a new one would be awesome!!!)
Friday, April 07, 2006
Written in August 2005
One day, a few weeks ago (summer of 2005), I was bouncing around the house, belting out “I’m a Little Teapot” for all I was worth.I felt unusually joyous at that moment, and I was basically singing to God and worshipping Him, even though I was just singing “I’m a little teapot, short and stout! Here is my handle, here is my spout!”….
That got me, and I paused and said, “Ok, God, this is kinda funny, I’m singing this little kids’ ditty and feeling so goofy-happy, what’s up with that?!?!?”
Almost instantly God gave me understanding as to what was going on in my spirit, and He gave me the ‘translation’ of this little song, which turned out to be, although covertly, a worship song! I had actually been, in my spirit, worshipping Him with all my might. And He took great delight in it, too!
These days, I come to Him quite often, like a child, and sing it to Him, like a child.
Sound weird? A little bananas? That’s ok; God told me a few weeks ago that I am a banana in His kingdom. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise, and I am a teapot that serves banana flavored tea! Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Bananas though my message may seem, I pray you will hear God in it. Here it is, line by line…
I’m a little teapot – I am an earthenware vessel.
I am but an easily broken jar of clay, which has the honour to be one that carries and contains the living water inside. I am fallible, but humbled by the fact that my Creator made me, and chooses me, for His work. I am to be a vessel sanctified for the service of the Master; the service of Him, and Him alone.
Short and stout – am I short? Am I fat? How can the clay say to the Potter, “Why have you made me thus?”
I am fearfully and wonderfully made; even though I may, in my flesh, not like things about myself very much, I am exactly who God made me to be, with my positive attributes, and with my challenges, too. Not an eloquent speaker? So what? God will give me the words anyway. Not the brightest light bulb in the factory? So what? It’s His light that shines in us, not our own. We don’t have to be smart to know the truth. Maybe I don’t feel like the right person for the job… but I can say, “God, You knew what your were doing when You made me a lot better than I do!”
Here is my handle - for my Master to hold me firm.
I was formed for the purposes of God. God has a destiny for me, if only I will allow Him to seize me and take control of my life! You predestined my life before the foundation of the world; You chose me, little ol’ me, to come to You, and know You intimately, and serve You, King above all kings, Lord above all lords. I know in whose hands I belong, Lord - better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere, O Lord! My Beloved, I am Yours.
Here is my spout - for my Master to use me as His vessel.
I was created to be His hands, His feet, on this earth: in ministering to the saints; in sharing the Good News with the lost; in exhorting, edifying, and encouraging the downtrodden. I was created to bring the rivers of living water to those who are thirsty. Use me, O Lord. May I be effective at what You have called me to do; may I be fully obedient to Your call on my life; may I be a vessel that serves only noble purposes, and never, ever, the mundane.
When I get all steamed up - when I’ve been in the fire of God and am passionate for Him….
When I have been in His refining fire, and see just how small of a creature I am, and just how big of a God that I serve; when I burn with passionate love for Him, and am willing to lay down my life in service to Him; when the wine of the Holy Spirit is bubbling up within me…. It is my job, Lord, my responsibility, to stir myself up, to maintain my passion for You, to maintain my awe of Your greatness, and to remember the depths of the mire you pulled me from!
Then I shout - then I will declare, earnestly, with all my might….
The Lord goes up, arises, with a shout: I will declare, with passion, my choice to the nations…. I will blow the trumpet and loudly declare His victory over the powers of darkness! I will proclaim the Lordship of God over my life…. I will exalt Him, and say to Him, “You, and You alone, are my King”… ”As for me, I will, will, will serve the Lord!”
“Tip me over” - "take my life, Lord, and shake me!”
Everything that can be shaken will be shaken…. Lord, shake me, shake my life, and see what remains. Show me where my house is built on sand, Lord. Knock me off balance, purify me, bring me to the end of myself, Lord. Bring me into full, total, complete, and uncompromising submission to You! Yes, I will dare say it – and mean it, however much it may hurt my flesh – “Humble me, Lord!”
“And pour me out!” – “may my life be poured out as a drink offering to You!”
Yes Lord, I offer myself a living sacrifice to You, pure, holy, as my reasonable service to You…. “Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee”…. May I successfully die to myself every day, Lord; You are the one who keeps my faith solid and secure, my own frail attempts could not keep me, Lord. I lay everything in me that I could possibly lay claim to, and lay it at Your feet as Yours. All my glories are Yours, Lord, I cast my crowns at Your feet. “Lay me down, let this place be an altar; Lay me down, let this death be complete”….
And so I sing it, not seeing the base, obvious meaning of it, but seeing with eternal eyes the revealed truth behind it that God had hidden in it for me to find. Hey, God talked through Balaam’s (ahem) donkey, right? God can speak through any woofer or tweeter He wants to - any speaker, any mouthpiece, any melody… including a little kids’ song. And we can respond in kind:
“I’m a little teapot, short and stout!!!
Here is my handle!!! Here is my spout!!!
When I get all steamed up, then I shout!!!
“Tip me over, Lord, and pour me out!!!”
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Atlin Centre - artist's retreat
Canadian L'Abri - study centre/community
Mount Edziza Provincial Park - beautiful and other-worldly
more to come, as i dream away....
since i chose to make my profile private (it has nothing in it anyways, except that stupid little zodiac sign thing - so not being able to get rid of that, i got rid of my profile instead! :P ) i thought i'd share a little about myself. in a vauge yet personal way.
i am a songwriter. i write the songs that God gives me. i call them my God-songs. cuz they ain't My-songs!!!!! i have a vision that one day i will have the opportunity to share them with more people, people around the world, so that the words God has given may minister to them if He brings the song into their possession. i have no aim for fame, i cringe at it, actually (seeing as how i'm a rather private person!) and would rather see them go anonymously (so long as no one else takes them and claims them as their own - they are GOD'S songs.) thing is, i can sing, but my voice is hoarse and my lungs are weak. i can play guitar, but only enough to write with, not enough to be able to perform. and i can play piano well enough i suppose... but just haven't used it much. and conservatory piano is one thing, worship piano is quite another.
i am an artist. i see visions in my head and want to get them out of me so much that it hurts, but.... i can't. practical reasons... asthma, dust, inks, chemicals, achey hands, i sit too much at the computer already than to sit some more to do art. but mostly those are excuses - it's really becuase there is so much pain and vulnerability when you are an artist, and i am not yet at the place where i can express visually without pain. i can't discuss this anymore right now. :P
i am a writer. i like to write and express my thoughts, feelings, and relationship with God. i like to encourage others. i like to write what i hear God saying, and what He shows me.
and finally, i am God's possession. i am His, 100%, completely. sold out to Him. do i try to take possession of myself? you bet. i'm not perfect. but when a righteous man stumbles, 7 times to boot (ie over and over again, totally, completely falls), he GETS UP AGAIN. and that's what i aim to do my whole life. to have no agenda but Jesus.
hmm, i think i'll change the name of my blog to that: No Agenda But Jesus. that's my goal, that's my aim, that's the target for me and a huge part of the purpose of this blog. to encourage myself, and others, to have no agenda but Jesus.
i am clover. i am stuck in myself, don't ya know. aren't most of us self-absorbed humans?
but God is here, and He is my whole point of being. and i found Him a ways back...
but i want that extra something special, that four leave clover hidden in the patch....
i want to be hid with Christ, in that tight knit relationship we are called to have with our Beloved.
... a three-fold cord is not easily broken.... and a four-leaf clover is a prize worth searching for.
...i chose that name, because i want to search - my whole life through - to find that something special in the clover patch - that which is rare and precious, that being: koinonia, fellowship, being one with the Lord, as the Father and the Son and the Spirit are One ... y'all know how one illustration for the Trinity is a three leaf clover? well, my spirit has been joined with His, and i'm seated with Him in heavenly places (tho i don't deserve it), and a four-leaf clover expresses that truth really rather well. i want to be so very knit with Him that i know His mind and heart, and seek absolutely no other agenda than His.
note: in general, i don't capitalize proper nouns except for those of the King, because He is the only One deserving of such (so please don't be offended).want to know more about me?