Monday, September 29, 2008

Owen It All To You

Jen and Owen Lambert -the Picture of Miracle

I'll never forget when I heard the news
like a punch in the stomach
that brought me to my knees
and all I could do was hold my palm over my mouth
and cry out for my friends and that precious little boy
who just days before held that same hand on the playground.
Mother hen panic as I forgot to trust You right away
that look in Jen's eyes at the hospital
when she said "I know God has a plan
I just hope my plan and His are the same this time"
astounded at her faith
like looking up at a giant
a whisper from a mother to a mother
and a glimpse of Mary's heart at the foot of the cross
but then
the blessings in the week of tragedy
a doctor whose name tag should read minister
with words of wisdom beyond any medical textbook
only the truth of faith in You
a nurse who stayed until three a.m.
to pray and talk just a little longer
and a family who held onto each other
and You like never before
when the power of prayer
suddenly became a neon sign
behind all of our sleepless eyelids
Why does it have take a miracle
to remind me?
All we need to do is ask.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." Abraham Lincoln

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” C.S. Lewis

"The Doctor and nurses say it is amazing and we state that we have been praying for this. He is truly a miracle. A week ago, Owen was not alive, today, he is with us and responding. God has shown us a miracle. We are still praying, and know that thousands of people are for his complete recovery. " Micah Lambert (Owen's Daddy) e-mail update Sept. 28, 2008 (Owen's Website)

"Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I've got—
Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
God's works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are his memorial—
This God of Grace, this God of Love. " Psalm 111:1-4 (Msg)

Update: Journal Entry 10/5/08
"When I walked in the door, Owen looked at me and grinned. It was a GREAT feeling! Although I struggled seeing his body struggle to sit and stand, it was encouraging to see that he was making progress. I have to remember, baby steps. I also have to remember that Owen is on God's time, not ours.
I am convinced that Owen will one day tell me of his experience with Jesus. I can see it in his eyes. His eyes have never looked more clear and beautiful to me than they have these past few days. When he looks at me, he seems to be talking. Of course, no one knows what he is saying, but I look forward to the day that he says, Daddy, why were you worried? Jesus was right there with me the whole time I was in the water. I know that Owen is making a difference in my life as well as others. I know God has something tremendous planned for his life. Although I can't see it now, I must trust that in God's time, I will see what it is." Micah Lambert

Friday, September 19, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

"My Dear Wormwood,
. . . You will notice that we have got them completely fogged about the meaning of the word 'real'. They tell each other, of some great spiritual experience, 'All that really happened was that you heard some music in a lighted building'; here 'real' means the bare physical facts, separated from the other elements in the experience they actually had. On the other hand, they will also say 'It's all very well discussing that high dive as you sit here in an armchair, but wait till you get up there and see what it's really like'; here 'real' is being used in the opposite sense to mean, not the physical facts but the emotional effects those facts will have on the human consciousness. Either application of the word could be defended, but our business is to keep the two going at once so that the emotional value of the word 'real' can be placed on one side of the account, now on the other, as it happens to suit us. The general rule which we have now pretty well established among them is that in all experiences which can make them happier or better only the physical facts are 'real' while the spiritual elements are 'subjective' . . . Thus in birth, the blood and pain are 'real', the rejoicing a mere subjective point of view . . . The creatures are always accusing one another of wanting "to eat the cake and have it"; but thanks to our labours they are more often in the predicament of paying for the cake, and not eating it . . .
Your Affectionate Uncle,
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

mr. insomnia stopped by for a visit again
reminding me to make good use of our time together
urging me to give up sleep for more needed reflection
time to paint the reality of the last two days
as You hold out the pallette, letting me choose the colors
first instinct is to sit up and wince
at some lost dream of perfection
cues missed, technology ghosts, that look in my volunteers eyes
that said . . . "but we practiced it perfectly . . . "
and that embarrassing moment my mind keeps turning over
like those loud industrial dryers at the laundromat
I've never had a screaming coach, a sarcastic heckler,
or a stage mother who counts calories
and uses starch on everything
but You and I both know--it's worse
it's the monster inside my head
and I rub my eyes a little too hard
like trying to erase the wrong answer on a scantron
and you rip a hole in the paper
and I cry out to you as my hand shakes
holding the brush to the canvas
but then
there it is
Your gentle whisper reminders of the beautiful reality
that in my mourning over flawless plans
You had something better in mind all along
something better than perfection
something real
a sticky holy spirit humidity
everyone in the room could feel, touch, breathe in
and take home with them
still soaking in way beneath the skin
the thighs of our jeans trickled with tears
as time had stolen the dreams of Your promises
but we chased them down today mob style
to reclaim our rights to the joyous burden
of that great commisssion
and it's simplicity
that can feel so complicated
so we get back in the game with new passion
passion that is real
as real as paint on a canvas
or a cake that crumbles and sticks to the roof of our mouths
as real as the lyrics we heard with more than our ears
Because "after night
comes the light
dawn is here
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same
Oh, The glory of it all is
You came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all."

"Balance is not a goal. Someone who is balanced is standing still. You don't want to be balanced, you need to be leaning. Lean into your marriage. Lean into your relationships. Lean into God. People say, 'But if I'm leaning, I might fall down.' Yeah, that's right. It's risky. You might fall down sometimes." Mark Beeson "Stop Talking" Innovate Conference 08

"Between the promise and the payoff, there is always a process. We forget the promise, and forfeit the payoff because we’ve fainted in the process. But what if the process is what it's all about?"

"We have point of view. God has view."
Madelaine Le'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

“The Gospel is not only to save souls…it is to save ‘wholes.’ The Gospel is not only verbal proclamation. That is not incorrect; that is incomplete! We must bring up there down here! Demonstration proclamation transforms! We don’t just give a hand-out…we give a hand-up!” Rob Wegner, "Missional Moves" Innovate Conference 2008

"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-10 (Msg)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bowstring Prayer

these are flight of the bumblebee rhythm days
and our arms are getting tired
but all we can feel is our passion for the music
the beauty of painting You in new ways
a simple bowstring prayer
in my frenzied fatigue
Let us keep our eyes so fixed on You
so that our arms forget to be tired
and the melody of You takes over
and our toes even start to tap
For You are the true innovator
the giver of all inspiration
and the writer of our melody
let it all be for the glory of You.

"Work. Prayer. As with all life, it is a rhythm; tension, release; tension, release. Work, discipline, obedience; pull the bowstring taut, and then let go . . . The balance of the tension and release is somewhat like that of a violin; the strings must be taut before they will play, but if they are not released, they will break . . . The balance is, as always, delicate. We seldom find the center. We are constantly falling off one side of the other. But the center is always there, waiting for us to discover it . . . It is another of those things which does not belong in the realm of do-it-yourself. But it does make a difference. It is part of my becoming Christian--for it is never fait accompli; it is always a becoming." Madelaine L'Engle, Walking on Water

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Romans 8:26

Monday, September 08, 2008

Abba Sneak Peeks

baptism photos by Sarah Koutz

sometimes I wonder about Your Father-Son talks
how You look into each other's eyes
the give and take and give
and then I get these little sneak peeks
of what the love of Abba father looks like
on earth as it is in heaven
my family in a hammock
or a slow dance on the porch
looking into Daddy's eyes
that say a million "You're so pretty"s
and "I'm a lucky daddy"s all at once
then my friends in a private public moment
three little girls looking into Daddy's eyes
for the three most important questions of their lives
above the marriage proposals we all hope won't come too soon
then Your underwater embrace
and up through the looking glass surface
like a kiss on the forehead
hugs from mommy and daddy
and the cheers in the sunny faces
and I pray
because sunny days don't last forever
as they grow, the winters will come
and I pray
they will always remember the warmth of Abba
on earth as it is in Heaven
and I look up, blinking bliss drops into my tissues
to look into my daddy's eyes
and say thank You
for a few sneak peeks of Agape
in three daddies'
Abba eyes

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6