Saturday, July 05, 2008

Upstream


I just said no to a great opportunity
claiming immunity for the sake of community
and what You have in mind.
There You go raising the stakes
a stomach ache for soul's awake
and freedom unconfined.
a year ago I would have jumped at the chance
at first glance a logical advance
but then I stopped . . .

to ask You first.

a new calling sounds
the mind confounds this new out of bounds
so much bigger than me.
my plans for Yours
empty junk drawers, passion underscores
without a neon marquee.
listening for dream exchanging
life rearranging in your unchanging
love
to stop

and ask You first.

flapping my fins
on needles and pins, it's about to begin
diving in to swim upstream.
giving up little
childish noncommittal for a final acquittal
of a selfish regime.
abandoning the golden fleece
for some elbow grease and a senseless peace
all because I stopped

to ask You first.

walking alongside,
learning to abide, matching Your stride
to avoid a collision with standing still
Mind swirls like the little girl
trading pop beads for pearls
toward the center of Your will
to say what You need to say
the next act of the passion play
as I learn to stop

and ask You first.


"Following Christ isn't something that can be done half-heartedly or on the side. It's not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we are. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream." Francis Chan, Crazy Love

"God has something better than this. It's all about pop beads for pearls." Mark Beason, New Community Sermon 7/3/08

"It is hard to bear with people who stand still along the way, lose heart, and seek their happiness in little pleasures which they cling to . . . You feel sad about all that self-indulgence and self-satisfaction, for you know with an indestructible certainty that something greater is coming." Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands

"Greater things are yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city."
Chris Tomlin, "God of This City"

"One of the ways to partner with God in bringing order out of the chaos of our lives is to say no to (fast from) doing more activities . . . We need to fast from the idea that we'll miss something if we don't say yes to everything. Jesus himself walked away from some people and situations to keep the priorities of prayer and the kingdom of God first in his life. We are finite. We cannot do everything, we are not called to do everything." Valerie Hess, Spiritual Disciplines Devotional

"Moses said to the LORD, 'O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.' The LORD said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'" Exodus 4:10-11

"The exciting thing about the Christian life is that God can break in when you least expect it. . . . Many people over the centuries have tried to find God in all sorts of ways. That desire is certainly good, but as Moses discovered, God is already there . . . That's why prayer is so important in the Christian Life; it helps us stay in touch with God's timing and God's ways . . . You can be sure, God does have a good plan for your life and he uses every detail--even tough times--to accomplish it." Whitney T. Kuniholm, The Essential Bible Guide

4 comments:

Sherry Ingle said...

Swimming upstream definately produces stronger muscles...!

sherryLsmith said...

Awesome, Kris!
Way to go on joining BSF this next year! I'm actually thinking of getting back into it myself since I LOVE the Bible disciplines BSF encourages. You bless me by remembering those informational pink sheets. What a beautiful mother you are, and how blessed is your daughter to have you! :)

Stephanie J said...

You inspire me! Thanks for this.

Sarah said...

hmmm makes me wonder what im doing or more so NOT when not informed of an opportunity such as this...im sorry i havent been a friend to you like you have been for me. i love you!