Something New

“Remember not the former things, not consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19

“The sun comes up, its a new day dawning…whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.” Lyric from the song “10,000 Reasons”

“You make me new, You are making me new. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.” Lyric from  the song “Beautiful Things”

Ezekiel 36:16-38, right into Ezekiel 37. The ever famous passage of ultimate newness. Holy newness. A total reconstruction of the heart (36). Cold dark stone to warm pulsing flesh. A work He preforms for His glory. For His Holy Holy Name.

Lately I’ve been feeling very beat up and discouraged and not too sure how to make the most of my days here in Korea. Day after day, what am I doing? All this time, how am I spending it? Some days are spent well, others I’d say I’ve just thrown away. As the enemy hovers with chants of failure, I find peace in knowing that what may seem useless and unproductive to me may very well be the definition of productivity and progress to God, the tender gardener of my heart.

The fruit of growth is maturity. Some attributes of maturity are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self control. These spiritual fruits take time to fully ripen. And although He digs and toils and weeds away the bitterness that chokes out the love and peace, evidence that these godly qualities have taken root in a persons life can be unconvincing to people other than yourself.

That is where I often stumble and become frustrated. I see how God is challenging me. I see how He has been working i my heart. I see the change in my habits and behavior. I see the growth.

I suppose people will be people and judge and condemn. Criticize and bruise and discourage and react. Whether these action are motivated out of love or not, I don’t know. Maybe. But my focus doesn’t need to be fogged by other peoples thoughts or feelings. Peace is when I focus, lock eyes, on God and the call of obedience He has put on my heart. A call to love everyone, forgive endlessly, do not resent, harbor bitterness or anger. But be a broken vessel so that the  people He puts in my path can experience His love through me. That is the most important thing. Being filled fully by God so that He overflows through the cracks of my brokenness to other people on this earth.

It is difficult for me not to take attacks personally. But I’m being challenged to trade in hurt and potential bitterness for grace and understanding. A broken hearted perspective for a Holy view on things.

And then, something new.

I am not who I was, I am not my parents, I am not my family, I am not my old job, I am not my old friends, I am not my old church(es), I am not my old self.

I am absolutely something new. He is absolutely crafting and chipping and drawing me nearer to Him. Absolutely. Tuning my hears to hear His voice without the things that distract or discourage me the most. It isn’t my job to prove or show anything. I simply need to be. Do less and be surrendered heart, body and mind to Him.

That is where I find life abundant. In obedience. Abundance in Obedience.

Trusting God, loving God and loving Him enough to love others. . . I am imperfect, but in my weakness and failures, somehow He is made strong and beautiful and glorified. And that is what life is about. Glorifying God. Through the muck and mire, the hurt, the happy, the silence, the noise. God Glorified. He will be glorified regardless of our cooperation (Ezekiel 36-37!!), but participation in praise, sacrificial joy, is sweetness to Him.

Something new is on the horizon. Every moment of every day is ministry. I find it most difficult to be righteous and do think and say what is “right” when I’m alone. Those secret quiet moments are the rich ones where God digs the deepest. Or so I’ve found it to be.

“Now it springs forth” like little sprouts of victory. Green and fresh, vivacious. These sprouts will endure hard rains and difficult temperatures, but through it all, trials and such, they will grow. Trials must come, otherwise there is no growth.

Anyway, just a rough draft of some of my thoughts as of late. I hope to compose a more artistic expression of

-Growth

-Newness

-In the Secret Moments

a few words that have been buzzing in my brian for weeks now.

March Recap| Journal Entries from March

Some of my favorite Journal Entries from March 2015.

March 1st

    “When through the woods, and forest glades I wonder

I hear the birds, sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandure, and see the brook,

and feel the gentle breeze. “

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“Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee; how great though are, how great thou art. Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee; how great thou are, how great thou art!” 

March 5th

A list of Things to Paint

  • Joon Story – all %100 little Korean girl cuteness
  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • ABC
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Psalm 23
  • Imagination – wild, anything goes
  • Swing on a star
  • Korean Kids, seasons, occasions, hairstyles

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March 9th

What a beautiful Day! Sun is slowly waking Songtan. Veil of clouds is drawn as the new day’s canopy – – perhaps will the curtain part with burst of glory? Later maybe.

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~

Such praise to be had! You’re teaching me about this body; fragile clay form. Thank you that I was designed to survive. Created to life. Fully live. Thankful–full of thanks. Graceful–full of grace.

March 12th

Yesterday was lovely. March 11th marked two months of dating Josh. I gave him a rock with the word “Laugh” etched on it, he gave me a patch from his suit (not the actual one, but a copy). The patch he gave me represents the first time he got to shoot from his A10.

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March 15th

Church notes|Hebrews 8:5 (shadow) 

“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” KJV

Old Covenant. . .

  • Priest (8:1)
  • Tabernacle (8:2)
  • Sacrifice (8:3)

. . .shadow, preview of the. . .

New Covenant 

  • True Priest; Jesus
  • True tabernacle; wherever Jesus is (7:25, 9:24)
  • True Sacrifice; the cross (7:27)

Priest, place, price.

“31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

“I will. . .” Hebrew 8:10-12

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” 

Ezekiel 36 (number all of the times “I Will” or “Will I” are used!):

“21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

Heart of Stone into a heart of flesh.

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March 17th

Lauren gave me a long sleeved green and white T last week. Once I got out of the shower, I mozied over to my clothes heap and selected this top and a pair of super cozy blue jeans (real denim!). Then it occurred to me that it is St. Patricks day today.

~

Galations 1:1-5, the greeting:

v1. His (Paul’s) apostleship what given to him by and through Jesus Christ and God the Father “Who raised him from the dead”

v2.

v3. Blessings of grace and peace- – how powerful is that prayer blessing?

v4. “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”

v5. Always give God the glory.

~

Simple truth | key things I need to remember:

  • He will grow you
  • Simply obey (reading, memorizing; spending time with Him)
  • He changes (by design, obedience changes the heart)
  • He give insight
  • What you feed will grow
  • You reap what you sow
  • Sow discipline, reap peace
  • If you want change, then do something different
  • Renewing of the mind

~

Discipline and sacrifice: discipline is sacrifice.

For the joy set before him: for the reward set before him.

~

Live in the moment! Be absolutely YOU! Don’t forget to be yourself–don’t neglect developing crafts, talents and interests! Don’t forget to be yourself! Be patient, it takes time.

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So many strawberries this month!

March 23rd

Simple Truths I’ve learned

  1. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart always.
  2. Control/perfectionism/fear cripple the spirit (and creativity)
  3. gratitude multiplies joy
  4. discipline is sacrifice
  5. consistency — new habits, new life
  6. Trust and obey. Love God, love others
  7. Doing what is right is always best. Peace.
  8. Doer vs. hearer–show people what you believe.
  9. You never regret obedience.
  10. I don’t want control
  11. don’t worry–do
  12. fruit takes time to grow–obedience nurtures ground/roots.
  13. “Lord, I’ve done what You’ve asked me to do today.”
  14. Do what is right (right in God’s terms).
  15. Challenge = change; want change? Do something different.
  16. Be changed by the Word. Thats why it was written.
  17. His perspective of me. More important than mine.
  18. Contrasting the world–thats the point. Point to YOU!

March 27th 

Call to Biblical womanhood|”…-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4)

Fully live. Beauti-ful (full of beauty). Grace-ful (full of grace). Grate-ful (full of gratitude).

March 31st

  • Hurried life empties a soul.
  • gratitude multiplies joy.
  • Slow down time with weight of full attention.
  • Giving thanks makes time.
  • Lack of time isn’t the problem; lack of thanks is.
  • When I am thank-full, I am time-full.
  • The slower the living, the greater the fullness.
  • The fast have spiritually slow hearts.
  • Eucharisto keeps focus simple; sacred.
  • Full attention slows life’s time current.
  • With each passing minute, each passing year, there is this deepening awareness that i am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.

~

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Definition|Transfigure

1. change in outward form or appearance; transform

2. to change as to glorify or exalt

“One Thousand Gifts”

Excerpts form pages 96-101, chapter five titled “What in the World, in all this world, is Grace?”

 written by Ann Voskamp

I awaken to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn’t it always been? Pit of darkness, God spoke forth the teeming life. That wheat round and ripe across all theses fields, the swelled as hope embryos in womb of the black earth. Out of the dark, tender life unfurled. Out of my own inner pitch, six human beings emerged, new life wet and fresh.

All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness. The fullest life itself dawn from nothing but Calvary darkness and tomb-cave black into the radiance of Easter morning.

Out of the darkness of the cross, the world transfigures into new life. And there is no other way. Then. . . yes: It is dark sufferings umbilical cord that alone can untether new life.

It is suffering that has realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace. And grace that chooses to bear the cross of suffering overcomes that suffering. I need to breathe. I roll down my window. I inhale the pungency of a passing hayfield in bloom of clover, ditches with those all together wild black-eyed Susans swaying in the early air. I try to think straight, truest straight. My pain, my dark–all the world’s pain, all the world’s dark– it might actually taste sweet to the tongue, be a genesis of new life?

Yes. And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy.

So, God transfigures the world? Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing–“make everything work out according to His plan” (Ephesians 1:11).

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We sit in a room with bodies broken and casted, bent over walkers…durned, the skin dressed in gauze, the skin exposed, grafted, mottled, scarred. No one speaks. We try not to stare at each other but I can’t keep myself from saying it to God, the raw sob echoing St. Teresa of Avila’s: ” If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder you have so few!” Can I be that honest? I am David, lamenting “O Lord, why…?” (Psalm 10:1). Why this broken world punched through with losses? “O Lord, how long?” (Psalm 13:1). How long until every baby thrives and all children sleep down the hall form mom and dad wrapped up in love, and each womb swells with vigorous life, and every single cancer clinic sits empty and we all grow old together? How long? I know a neighboring Mennonite woman folding away the clothes of her dead some and I sit in a room full of the battered and busted and I lament: please. And He takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of Love. You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? Isn’t everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Loves ones lost still belong to Him–then aren’t they still yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren’t then all provisions, in Christ also yours? If you haven’t lost Christ,, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember, “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” [Acts 14:22 NASB], and in “sharing in [my Son’s] sufferings, becoming like him in his death” you come “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection” [Philippians 3:10 NIV]. 

And I nod sift. Yes, Father, You long transfigure all, no matter how long it takes, You long to transfigure all. The wrinkled man in the wheelchair with his legs wrapped, the girl with her face punctured deep with the teeth marks of a dog, the mess of this world, and I see–this, all this, is what the French call d’un beau affreux, what the Germans call hubsch-hasslich–the ugly-beautiful. That which is perceived as ugly transfigures into beautiful. What the postimpressionist painted Paul Gauguin expressed as “Le laid peut etre beau”–The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace.

In infant psychology at university, I learned that newborns, shown side-by-side images of two faces, spend more than 80 percent of their time looking at the attractive face. So to see through the ugliness to beauty, won’t I need to wear a lens? I’ll need my own transfiguration to enter a kingdom where the Prince is born into a manure-smeared feed trough, where Holy God touches leper sores, breaks break with cheats, where God wounds himself through with nails on a cross and we wear the symbol as beauty. Is the Son of God nauseated by the stench of twelve years of soaking menstrual cloths when He speaks tenderly to the bleeding woman? Is He repelled by the crazed eyes, the foul talk, or bad breath of the demon-possessed man. Staggeringly, doesn’t even Beauty Himself become the ugly beautiful? “There was nothing beautiful…about his appearance” (Isaiah 53:2). He became ugly that we might become beauty. The God of the Mount of Transfiguration cannot cease His work of transfiguring moment–making all that is dark, evil, empty into that which is all light, grace, full.

I take to heart the words of Thomas Aquinas, who defined beauty as id quod visum placet–beauty as that which being seen, pleases. And if all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God, it is a work of beauty. Is there anything in this world that is truly ugly? That is curse?

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I see what I am. I am amputated. I have hacked my life up into grace moments and curse moments. The chopping that has cut myself off from the embracing love of a God who “does not enjoy hurting people of causing them sorrow” (Lamentations 3:33), but labors to birth grief into grater grace. Isn’t this the crux of the gospel? The good news that all those living in the land of shadow of death have been birthed into new life, that the transfiguration of a suffering world has already begun. That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart–and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty. Can I believe the gospel, that God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son?

What in the world, in all this world, is grace? I can say it certain now: All is grace. I see through the woods of the world: God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo. Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Las Supper, showed us to transfigure all things–take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into joy that fulfills all emptiness. I have glimpsed it: This, that hard eucharisteo. The hard  discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks for all things at all times because He is all good. The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace because as the surgeon would cut open my son’t finger to heal him, so God chooses to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole. All is grace only because all can transfigure. 

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Pursuit of Righteousness| always doing what is right.

Pursuing righteousness is doing what is right vs. doing what you want.

Righteousness (obedience) is always rewarding. You never regret doing what is right.

“Right” in God’s terms as quilled to us through His word.

It is a pursuit that can often be tainted by temptation and then compromised by indulgence. While in actuality the treasure of  peace hidden beneath such obedience is the most radiant of its kind; blindingly glorious joy; gold to a heart depleted by the fleeting cares of this world.

Like every breathing pulsing and beating being on the planet, I am constantly confronted with opportunities to make choices. Most every choice can be boiled down to these simple descriptives: One is ‘right’ and one is ‘wrong’.

Choosing what is right is like taking a step forward, inclined toward mountain peak. Once atop the vertical hike eyes will be raptured by the view drenched with glory. 360 degrees of sun, sky, landscapes of green, rivers doodled in and out and around pines and poplars. Reward that leaves you breathless.

The climb is difficult. Steep, lonely (usually), long, challenging. But always rewarding. One right choice at a time. You’ll make it to the top of the peak, where you can bask in the peace that God gives to those who love and obey Him.

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“Donne-Moi la lune” | Translation 2

“Bercée par sa lagune, la cite de Venise rêve et danse sous la neige qui parsème ses pétales de coton. L’hiver est la, il souffle mais une foule blottie s’amasse au centre de la place San Marco.

Marcello, le poete vénitien, joue du violon, et les nuages arrêtent d’avancer pour l’écouter. La tete penchée sur son instrument, il ne voit pas les jeunes filles émues de le regarder. ”

New Words and phrases

  • Bercee – rocked, cradled, lulled,
  • Lagune – lagoon
  • reve – dream
  • parseme – to scatter or scatter with
  • foule – crowd, droves (quantity)
  • (se) blottie – to huddle up
  • s’amasse – amass, accumulate
  • nuages – clouds
  • arretent – stop, arrest or check
  • tete – head
  • penchee – slanting, bending, leaning
  • emues – heartfelt (touched, moved)

” Cradled by its lagoon, the city of Venice dream and dance under the snow which scattered its petals of cotton. The winter is here, it blows [but] a crowd huddled accumulates to the center of the San Marco square.

Marcello, the Venetian poet, and the clouds stop moving forward to listen to him. His head bending over his instrument, he did not see the young girl’s heartfelt gaze. ”

Trouble Translating: 

  • ” L’hiver est la, il souffle mais une foule blottie s’amasse au centre de la place San Marco. “
  • ” . . . les jeunes filles émues de le regarder. “

I think that these language translations don’t have to be word-for-word… I think I’m trying to be too articulate.

“Donne-Moi la lune” | Translation 1

images (2)
I’ve started translating un livre de Francais pour enfants aujourd’hi.
For my own sake, I’m going to rewrite my notes here. I welcome any and all correcting and guidance through this process!
(1)
Donne-moi la lune “
en italien, en anglais ou en allemand,
un violoncelle se dit <<cello>>,
peut-etre a cause de cette historie . . .
(2)
Un contre de Roxane Marie Galliez
illustre par Cathy Delanssay
(3)
“A Mstislav Rostropovitch et Jean-Sebastien Back dont les notes soufflent si souvent sur mes mots. ” -Roxane
(4)
“Pour mes parents, Pierrot et Colombie a dix sept ans.” -Cathy
New words or phrases (ones I had to look up):
  • Violoncelle
  • Peut-etre
  • a cause
  • conte
  • “dont les notes soufflent”
  • “a dix sept ans”

My attempt to translate:

(1)

“Give Me The Moon”

in Italian, in English or in German, a cello says “cello” perhaps because of this story. . .

(2) A story by Roxane Marie Galliez

Illustrated by Cathy Delanssay

(3) “To Mstislav Rostropovitch and Jean-Sebastien Bach, whose notes blow so often on my words.” -Roxane

(4) “For my parents, Pierrot et Colombine to seventeen.” -Cathy

Those are the first two pages (inside before the story begins). I’ve already completed about 66% of the next two pages (I will translate the book in twos).

Je souhaite apprender beaucoup.

” J’ai dit à la lune que je t’aimais, elle m’a laisse l’apprivoiser.”

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“I told the moon that I loved you, it left me with the tame.”

(I don’t think that is correct…)

Simple Truth: Truth is often simple.

Truth is often simple.

Its the human mind that shuffles facts with feelings, which make for one heck of a card game.

Maze, like Alice trying to escape the queen of hearts, but is so lost in confusion that her only escape is to wake up: get out of her mind and into reality.

Why make life so complex?

Want a life rich and real?

“Love what you have, and you’ll have more love.” -R. Spektor

Open your eyes. Vision; blessing.

Open your ears. Hearing; blessed.

Beat in your heart, pulse in your veins, breath in your lungs, mobility in your limbs, capacity to learn in your head.

Blessed.

Even with every year aging on your tired body–you’ve reached a distance in life to which many have not had the privilege of surviving.

Gray hairs. Life; blessing.

Simple truth: “More blessed to give…”

A person will give as much as they count as gift given to them.

Start counting (1 Thessalonians. 5:18, Ephesians 5:20).

Christ modeled the greatest giving, how can I possibly agree with greed when One so great gave up is life for my soul?

Father thank you for instruction that simplifies my life: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35

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