Keeping Wisdom in View.

Somewhere over the last couple of months, maybe after one too many conversations about the need to be upfront and honest with people, I must have decided to give myself permission or find the need to be totally upfront and honest with people.

Sounds great. Until you, unfortunately, stick two people pleasing roommates with one roommate who, I’d say most unfortunately, can’t be pleased and even more so finds great (unhealthy) frustration in misplaced motivation for people pleasing. That’d be… me. What started off as honestly was soon tumulted into fiery insults and bad attitudes… and sooner or later I found myself wedging a huge vice in between some of the greatest friendships I have. What once was pleasant, joyous fellowship was now being choked slowly by frustration and a growing terror. What would happen next if they tried to wake the sleeping bear?

Somewhere a long the way, rebuke was delivered and so began the growing pains.

Do you ever look in the mirror and not like what you see? Try holding a mirror up to your heart once… it was so… disappointing. Oh, I know, I’ve been praying to grow in gentleness… but it was just like- Teresa, who are you?

A dear brother shared a verse with me one Sunday morning “When words are many, sin is not absent; but he who holds his tongue is wise,” he reminded me. Yes. I remember that. I used to have that one memorized and repeat it to myself daily. Now, I couldn’t even remember the reference. (It’s Proverbs 10:19, btw) What happened?

I started flipping through Proverbs and found good conviction and affirmation of my foolishness.

“A man who lacks judgement derides (ridicules, mocks, scoffs) his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.”  (11:12)

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (12:16)

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (12:18)

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (13:3)

Oh they go on and on! So why did this all happen?

“A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eye wanders to the end of the earth.” (17:24)

I stopped keeping wisdom in view. Sure, I was reading the word… trudging slowly through the prophets as I’ve been, maybe flipping to the NT every once and while. But, storing up wisdom? Reading through the Proverbs? Wasn’t doing that. Wasn’t searching for it as for silver or hidden treasure, wasn’t binding it around my neck or writing it on the tablet of my heart. Just being foolish.

So what hope is there for a fool? Well, Jesus for one. He paid for my sin in all of this, painfully, on the cross. So, forgiveness and a hope of sanctification as I pursue him more and more.

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. [...] My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” (Proverbs 2:13-18, 21-26 NIV)

And so because I do what I do… here’s a song I wrote tonight. “Keeping Wisdom in View”

If I could take back
all that I said
and it could be written
by someone who cared
cared

someone like you
someone like you

I gave up control
and my tongue had its own
and I turned a deaf ear
revealing a fool
fool

and silenced the truth
silenced the truth

Wisdom won’t you come at my gate
I’m ready to let you in
For all of my friends might have thrown me to waste
unless I bind you within
unless I bind you within

My wandering eyes
led me, poor, in disguise
now truth is a witness
to uncover these lies
lies

now how poor am I?
Oh how poor am I.

Wisdom won’t you come at my gate
I’m ready to let you in
For all of my friends might have thrown me to waste
unless I bind you within
unless I bind you within.
Please Jesus, come abide within.

Here’s a link to hear it, for what that’s worth.
http://youtu.be/cJ400KmndOw

Carry on in faith and love, and wisdom!

Teresa

Wonderful Savior

Wonderful Savior
Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who appointed was anointed
For our sake, and love.

I dwell on my sin
What heartache- but grace!
Will lift me again, right out of this grave.

Wonderful Savior
Your Spirit within,
Though scolds me, You embolden me
A sweet, comforting exchange.

I dwell on my sin
That’s been nailed to the tree.
Oh let me hear twice, how far ‘way it must be!

Wonderful Savior
And a Father to lead,
Who is gracious and patient
And loves everlastingly.

I dwell on my sin,
Though led me astray,
Has now brought me here
To remember your grace.

Oh Wonderful Savior,
Oh how worthy of praise.
Thank you, oh thank you for taking my place.
Thank you, oh thank you for loving this soul
in all of your many wonderful ways.

Hibernation.

my obsession has become a dangerous addiction
one that’s tempted to distort my own inhibitions
and i admit i’ve tried on my own will, conviction
couldn’t come soon enough to kill this belabored premonition

i was just trying to take the edge off.

but no one ever mentioned the way up the mountain
was dangerous, heavy, and steep
and that the path to the valley, though catalyzed by folly
was slippery, swift, and sweet.

now i’m not sure which way I’ve been walking.
and i’m not too sure I’m sober to see.

on this long lonely highway, many memories precede
but it’s this damned premonition that keeps on following me.
A truth I say I never wanted to see, but the much greater truth is
I just wish it would be.

And so much has stemmed from this dangerous addiction
One I try to cover with purposeful distorted ambition.
All I’ve caused for this journey is intense intoxication.
I’ve fallen in love with these secrets told to me;
could be just lies, but you see they’ve really just sold me.

and I admit I’ve tried by my own benediction, conviction
couldn’t come soon enough to bury this soul;
so now what I’m suffering is prolonged by agony
in awaiting the future. Unfold.

I was trying to take the edge off-
some lonely miserable existence.
I better hope this is just some terrible mountain climbing experience.
Or that your grace will be there waiting
when Reality sets in to replace my belabored hibernation.

Either way, I am ready now, Lord,
to face the wind and the resistance.

To hell with consistency.

This is my lesson from the past month and a half.

My roommate asked me maybe a couple weeks ago if I thought it was exciting not knowing when I was going to work or get my next paycheck or pay my bills. She didn’t ask it like that… it was more like “Isn’t it kind of fun not being committed and tied down to responsibility?”

I was like:

grumpy cat.

I was at a point where I was starting dislike that whole waiting for the job, picking up strange side jobs, and cleaning up dog poop. That whole “do everything without grumbling or complaining” thing wasn’t working out very well for me. But God helped me see one thing through my discontentment which was what I was putting my hope in: consistency.

Then as I was observing the lives around me it hit me… when is life ever consistent anyway?

What is the point of putting hope in life being consistent? It’s just not. Life’s not stable. It’s ever changing. You get a job, you lose a job; you get a bonus, your car breaks down; people come in your life, they leave your life; someone’s born, they grow up. I think parents probably get what I’m talking about right? It seems like life is more about learning to make adjustments than searching for stability, conformity.

So I say… to hell with consistency. With this world at least. Of course all this points to the longing hope of our hearts for dependency on a rock. The Rock. An I’m not talking about Peter. I’m talking about Jesus.

Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same today, and yesterday, and forever.”
He who said “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

What’s greater about God is that, during this time of teaching… He provided all a long the way. People gave me work when I was out of work, I got my foot in the door of a really great company with an internship, I was able to serve families in my church, I was helped financially a lot, and my courage was restored. God is so merciful. And a good teacher. And a patient  teacher. And consistent. God is consistent.

My roommate (Kitt) and I just listened to this this song and did the hand motions together. It was a special moment.

Here you go:

Carry on in faith in our UNCHANGING God!

-Teresa

Bereavement

I could close my eyes for a while
and when I’d awake I’d see you smile
or maybe the grumblings or your disapprovals
about this town and all of its fools.

I could close my eyes for a while
and remember that spirit lit up like a fire.
Maybe I’d hear you say my name again
and tell you you’d become like a father, my friend.

But when the light pours in and I squint to see
its been a year and all I have is your memory.

If I could close my eyes for a little while
and not remember the pain of this trial
to hope you’re in God’s sweetest grace
because of his truth you did embrace.

But when the light pours in and I struggle to see
at least I have your memory
of that last weak embrace on your dying day.
Until then, I pray we meet again, my friend.

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In memory of Jeff 9/27/13

Captain’s log, stardate 1264.93

Our destination is still working full time, but in the meantime we’ve been witnessing some supernatural activity amongst the family members. Sister’s new boss turns out to be a Christian and is taking her to a bible believing, Jesus loving church, the entire deck is singing Hallelujah. Unfortunately, in attempts to bring the nephews- the spouse is strangely apposed. More prayer is necessary for softening his heart. But the oldest nephew is interested which was of greatest shock. Mom has found a fellow Christian at her work location who is on fire for God. Together they will do a bible study twice a month. Brother was in a tragic car accident, but survived. Recently he’s communicated and expressed guilt and regret for absence from our lives for the last 5+ years. We are corresponding back and forth, praying for gospel opportunities. He’s also healing very quickly. Praying God keeps his heart soft. Other brother has attended church with sister-in-law and family. Praying the church is a church that preaches the gospel and that they grow closer together as a family. Save log for future acknowledgement of the mighty work the Lord does and the prayers He answers in baby steps a long the way.

Psalm 65:5 (NLT)
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.”

I’ve been waiting so long that I forgot I was even waiting.

Tonight I was laying in bed thinking about all the things God could do in my life or teach me in the future as I grow up. I was thinking about the relationships he could restore with my siblings and me, the qualities of Christ and sanctification I could go through. Those are tough processes, I’m sure; and I’m glad they don’t happen all at once.

I was driving back from my part time internship today with the warm sunshine beaming into my skin and just rejoicing at how I feel at ease lately. Not too trial filled right now. It’s kind of nice… A little weird… Not very normal, but nice. Later as I was mentioning that to someone else, after I mentioned my lack of trials I remembered… Actually I am going through a trial right now… I lost my full time job a month and a half ago and I’m still not sure exactly when it’s going to pick back up and I’m commuting to a part time job that sucks up $45 on gas each week.

The thing is, God has blessed me so much through this time with opportunities to work (my boss is paying me to pet sit, mow his lawn, paint his house, weed and garden ect.), serve, and God has provided financially with some extra graduation monetary gifts and also having my job not realize my contract was up for 40 days(!!) after it was supposed to be over and allowing me to make a dent on my student loans and establish an emergency account to pay for this layoff (and my car breaking down… $320 later >.<) not only that but we sold a bunch of sheep to Canada (my mom and I have a sheep farm back in WI).

God has provided me an internship too that has turned out to be a great fit.

God's provided so much that I forgot that I was even in this trial. I've been waiting for so long to start working again (I'm waiting yet for more paperwork to get processed) that I really haven't seen it as waiting at all because I know in all of my heart and soul that God is in control and, as my perfect Heavenly Father, provides for all my needs. He is faithful and I'm thankful that he's been opening my eyes to see that. 2 months ago that was my prayer: "Lord, help me to see you provide." I was going through a rough time then understanding God as my Heavenly Father comparing him to my blood dad. So that was my prayer and God answered and is answering still. His preparation and timing of all of this is amazing!

Reminds me of Matthew 6:31-33
Jesus says, after remarking on the great care of the lilies God gives to them and how we certainly are of greater value then they, "So do not worry saying "What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after these things and your Heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

Carry on in faith and love,
Teresa

The view of my ceiling when this post was conceived:

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The Glory of Zion

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We have walked these crooked roads
and we have known no paths of peace.
Justice is a distant thought
and righteousness we cannot keep.

Darkness has come upon us, all around
though a brightness we hope to seek.
But fearfully we grope as blind,
stumbling we cannot see.

We are crawling, growling bears
moaning mournfully like doves.
Waiting for a day of justice,
waiting for when our salvation comes.

But it seems too far away.

We acknowledge our iniquities
our rebellion and our treacheries.
Our many sins that block out truth and honesty.
Uttering lies our hearts conceive.

Who will intervene?

Arise, shine, for your light has come.
His own he will redeem.
His glory, the Lord, rises upon you,
and darkness will not be seen.

Lift up your eyes and look about you.
Come near, even if you’re now afar.
Look and see your radiance beaming;
darkness covered by the blood of God.

Arise, shine, for your light has come.
Jesus, with power, has redeemed.
With joy your heart will swell and throb,
proclaiming His glory, the Risen King!

A great Hope.

I hit a rocky place a few months ago. Despair enclosed in on just about every side and I started to forget why all this life was happening in the first place. So discouraged I remember praying “God, I don’t even know what hope is anymore.”

Out of hope and out in the mountains I spent some time in Colossians and came across the verse that says our hope has been secured, stored, sealed in heaven. (1:5) I started to do more in depth searches which basically meant I did a lot of dictionary searching and translational stuff. Hope is the expectation of good. And that goodness comes from having redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. (1:13)

Getting my right perspective back on track, I began reading through Isaiah again. (Most of the time I read Isaiah and I’m frustratingly like “Lord, I don’t understand any of this.” Amen?)
I wanted to share this though:

Joy of the Redeemed (Isaiah 35:1-10 NIV):
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will greatly rejoice and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of The Lord, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf un stopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongues shout for joy. Water will gush forth in wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not he found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of The Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

What a great hope of joy for those of us who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus!

Carry on in faith, love, & hope!

You are wanted.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight in love. He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace,  which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” Ephesians 1:3-8a (NIV)

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt wanted before or have ever wanted to have felt wanted. Maybe by a lover, a friend, brother, mother, company, team… something. To know that you were special, longed for, loved. Desired. I know I’ve wanted those things in just about all of those capacities and circumstances. 

My parents love me, they do. Even if they fail to show it or maybe don’t know how, I’m sure yours do too. Even if they do they love you maybe its because you’re theirs, but they didn’t choose you. They just kind of ended up with us, right? 

It’s not like one day my parents flipped through a baby catalog and were like “Wow, I’d really like to bring Teresa into the world. I’d really like to give her life. I’d like to put her in my womb.”

"Hmmm, should we pick Stewy or Raphael?"

“Hmmm, should we pick Stewy or Raphael?”

My parents didn’t even plan on having me. My mom once confided in me that she was planning on leaving my dad until she found out she was pregnant with me and then the pregnancy was really difficult too. They thought I miscarried 3 or 4 times and my dad swore I would be the last. They love me and were excited to have me, but they didn’t choose me. 

God did though. Psalm 139 says God knit us together in our mother’s womb. God caused all of my DNA to line up to form me and he breathed his spirit in me to give me life, my soul, my spirit, my personality. In the deepest places he formed me, hemming me over and behind to make me and you. God said “I’d really like to bring Teresa into the world so I’m going to put her in this womb at this time, in this place.” God chose and wanted me and you to exist in this time. (Acts 17)

Not only did he choose to bring this individual to life in this world, he also chose to reveal His spirit and truth of Jesus’s death on the cross for my sins so that I would have eternal life. God not only wanted to create me, but He wants to spend all of eternity with me as well. As Ephesians says He chose us before the creation of the world and predestined us, those who believe in Jesus Messiah to be adopted as his children because it was God’s desire and pleasure to do so. 

So you are wanted. And if you don’t know Jesus yet as your personal savior and friend, Jesus says that if you ask you will receive- and an eternal relationship with the one who created you and wants you at that! (Matthew 7:7-8)

Carry on in faith and love and knowing you are wanted. 
-Teresa