Poem, Spiritual

A Child’s Faith


A Child's Faith

The faith of a child
Knowing He’s in full control
Resting securely

To be like a child
No longer doubting His word
Great measure of trust

My child-like longing
Cocooned snug in His presence
Leaving lies behind

Do you  ever get confused when it comes to philosophy and worldview? I do.

I’m not saying that I’m doubting my faith. Nor am I struggling with what I believe. I would never leave the one who set me free and gave me meaning.

I will never understand it all – The world, philosophies, ideas and so on. I get confused. Unable to be still and at peace. When that happens, I need to just come back to what I know, leave things in the hands of my more-than-competent creator, and realize that I am an individual – unique, cherished, precious, lovely – in the eyes of He who carefully crafted me and breathed life into my being.

Oh to be like a child.

Do you ever get confused with the myriad of ideas and philosophies floating around out there?

Life, Poem, Spiritual

The Bamboo Tree


The Bamboo Tree

Planting the seed
Tending the soil
Every day
Not missing one.

Sun shining
Rays of hope
Eyes see nothing
Expectancy continues

Crying my tears
Watering the soil
Watching, waiting,
Persevering, persisting

Not giving up
Holding on by faith
Though nothing appears
To others seems bleak

Beneath deep roots grow
Creating structure
Building strength
Preparing the ground

Then all of a sudden
Before my very eyes
Ground breaks
New life appears

Rapidly
Swiftly
Spreading
Up, up, up it grows

Do you know much about the Bamboo tree? I just heard about it’s growing process yesterday and was so inspired by it.

Once planted, it takes five years for a Bamboo tree to sprout from the ground and give evidence of life. For those five silent years, it seems as if nothing is happening. It must be watered daily in order to see growth. If a day is missed, it will not grow. Once it grows though, it does so at a rapid rate. The Moso Bamboo tree grows about 3 feet over 24 hours, reaching 90 feet in six weeks ( the size of a 9 story office building). During these seemingly fruitless years, the Bamboo tree is developing the required roots and the strength to support the height and width of it’s explosive growth (Information taken from here).

I can look at this story for a number of different things in my life and be encouraged by it. Yesterday though, it encouraged me concerning life purpose and work. As a Christian, I believe that my life means so much more than just the cycle it goes through biologically – birth, growth, reproduction, death. It’s much more than just physical and existing within the measure of time and space.

I sense that I have been going through a time of waiting. I’ve been planted, watered and have been growing strong roots that run deep, in preparation for whatever is next. Without this time of preparation, I would not be able to handle all that God has for me.

How about you? Can you relate the story of the Bamboo tree to your life at all? Have you been longing to see fruit in some area? Have you persisted and persevered in order to see growth in your life? If so, how?

Songs, Spiritual

A Wordless Song


A Wordless Heartsong.jpg

When I sing into the night
A wordless song from deep within
My unbelieving heart
Is filled with doubt and sour fear

Don’t know what I believe
Seems all faith is gone
Lord, would you help me please
See with clear lenses, sing a new song

Do you ever feel like giving up? Like what you’re doing isn’t making a difference? Or that what you are trying to achieve will never come about? Like it’s just some sort of pipe dream? I do.

The above is part of a song I just started to write. I wrote it in tears. It’s more of a prayer, than a song. Kind of like a Psalm, like the many one can read in the Bible. The Psalms is a wonderful and poetic book because it’s a collection of poems and songs written from the heart. Written by real people, with real problems, and filled with emotion. Some are out of sheer joy, but many are out of deep desperation.

I want to be like the Psalmists. I want to be real with God about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. I believe he would have it no other way. I would be lying if I said my life was easy and always rosy. As if I never had any problems and my faith was constantly firm. I don’t want to be putting on a mask or be someone I’m not. I want to be real.

My husband is a filmmaker, and a risky one at that. He is a Christian and produces films that speak into the real issues of societies and realities. Films that give a voice to those that don’t have a voice, so to speak. The most recent film, “Internal Mazes” was made to combat the issue of human sex trafficking and the worth of all individuals, including prostitutes. Every person involved received their pay, except him. We have received investments from others in order to produce it, even our house is in the hands of investors until we are able to pay them back. That was a giant leap of faith.

I loved the quote by Dale Carnegie that I read over at “Soul Gatherings” today.

  • “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

How about you? Have you ever strived for something you really believed in and lost hope? Have you had dark days where it seemed like a hopeless cause? How do you deal with it?

Creativity, Poem, Spiritual

The Divine (clogyrnach)


The Divine.jpg

Sublime intelligent design
Emotion and reason entwine
Creativity
Precise artistry
To a tee
The divine

Do you believe in intelligent design? And if the universe, and all within it were intelligently designed, do you think that requires only reason and logic? If so, why would we, humans, have such strong emotions?

I was doing some research on intelligent design and found a few quotes that really caught my attention:

  • “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created. – Bill Gates”
  • “The believer in the God of creation is the rationalist.”
  • “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” -Issac Newton
  • “We are intelligent beings: intelligent beings cannot have been formed by a crude, blind, insensible being: there is certainly some difference between the ideas of Newton and the dung of a mule. Newton’s intelligence, therefore, came from another intelligence” – Voltaire

I have always been an emotional person. Often times I’ve acted impulsively off of my feelings. This hasn’t always worked out well. I’m so glad I married the man I did, because he is a strong thinker. So then, he being the thinker, and I being the feeler, I guess you can say we compliment each other. I have learned so much during these past 10 years of marriage. Trying to not let my emotions guide me, stopping and looking at things rationally, recognizing that feelings can often blind a person and cause one to regret impulsive actions. These are some the lessons I’ve learned.

Being a Christian, I believe in intelligent design. In considering the fact that everything in the universe is bound by laws which have no choice but to obey, and the complexity and logic that is involved in order that the universe runs orderly and smoothly – I find it hard to believe that an unintelligent being could have done it all, or that it merely happened by chance.

I’ve often thought that humans are such extremists. We have a difficult time finding balance. I find that some Christians are very strong feelers and live their lives by emotional/spiritual experiences. Then there are others that tend to shun the emotional, because they know that feelings can be deceptive and often blind people. They may know all there is about the Bible and be able to debate logically and intellectually about philosophy, theology and what have you, but are scared of having an emotional experience.

What I am learning now though, is that there is a balance.  If God made me with intellect and emotions, then there’s a reason for it.  I have had some phenomenal emotional and supernatural experiences with God, but have left the reason and logic off to the side. Now I find myself reading and researching out more of a rational basis for my faith. Because ultimately experiences and emotions can be found and generated in any belief system, but I want to know what is true and what is real. I used to read the Bible and pray to find peace and have an ‘experience’ with God. I don’t want that to go, but I want the balance now. The balance between reason and emotion.

How about you? Do you believe in intelligent design? Do you find yourself more of a strong feeler or thinker? Do you long to find balance between the two?

 

 

 

 

Poem, Spiritual

Embracing pain


 

Embracing Pain - Robert Hafley.jpg

The taste of my pain is sour

yet bittersweet

Embrace it I will

with courage and determination

For I know that only through

the struggles undergone

of trials and sufferings

of body and soul

The trickle of salty tears

Anguish of heart and facing fears

will there once again shine a ray of hope

and the muscle of faith will be strengthened

Do you find yourself trying to flee the afflictions of life? Pain and suffering? Sadness and hurt?  I used to detest these times.  Of course, nobody really wants to experience pain.  And the pain I’m talking of here isn’t in the physical sense, but the emotional sense.  The pain of the soul.  Of the heart.

After 40 years of life, I’ve learned that pain is inevitable.  I’m trying to accept it as something that is strengthening though.  Just as a body builder lifts weight to make his muscles grow, if he stops training, his muscles will atrophy. Pain and suffering builds muscle, and in the absence of it, we remain weak and shallow.

As a Christian I can also use this analogy for my faith.  If I don’t undergo the trials and sufferings that this earthly life has in store for me, my faith will not grow, in fact it will just weaken.

So I will embrace the pain.  I will let it grow me.  I will allow it to shape me into a person of perseverance, character and tenacity.

How do you feel about pain? Emotional pain? Pain of the heart and of the soul? Do you allow yourself to be defeated by it? Or do you allow it to cause growth and maturity?

Photo credit:  Robert Hafley

https://stacilys.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/tenacity/

Spiritual

The Power of Faith in God and not Money


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Ok, I can not pass up this opportunity to brag about my hubby and this amazing accomplishment.  I can not pass up this opportunity as well to just say that all things are possible to them that believe.  When, in the eyes of man, this project seemed impossible…  Many thinking that Daniel would just be a frustrated dreamer… The dream has come true.  And not just a dream, but a God-given vision.  “The Value of a Dream”, our first feature-length film has just been awarded the following at Brazil’s National Christian Film Festival:

Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Soundtrack, Best Director (Daniel) and Best Film, Best Script and Best Photography.  Not to mention that it was the only feature-length film that was nominated in every single category.

The story goes like this: After returning from Asia in 2008 with the desire of working in the area of video production, Daniel had in his mind to produce a film based on the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son.  After sharing with a number of people, we noticed a lot of unbelief.  Many thought the idea was interesting, but saw it as something impossible, due to lack of funds and trained professionals.  They did not think that anything of good quality could happen.  However, we never gave up believing.

We left our home YWAM base in Contagem and moved to the north-east city of Vitoria da Conquista, where we started an operational office for media and video production, but still connected to our home base.  We contacted some churches, as well as friends and acquaintances that could come on board with us and embrace this vision.  Bit by bit we were able to establish partnerships, and as the project went forward, they started to embrace it as something personal for them as well. They really dedicated themselves and renounced many things in order to see this film completed.

Even though we had a good team of people with us, we still had one giant to overcome – lack of finances.  We had some proposals to obtain funding from the government, however, after praying about it, we understood that the movie should be done only on a voluntary basis, even if it meant double effort and especially greater confidence in God and his power. Daniel’s understanding, after reading the story of Gideon, was that if the film was produced with all necessary finances and resources, we would be just one other group making a movie.  And if it was of good quality, the glory would be ours and not God’s.

We completed the movie and exhibited it for three night in our city.  Each night was packed and the final night was sold out, even turning people away.  It has been viewed by people all over Brazil, and even outside of Brazil.  Lives have been impacted and people have been influenced by the values and principles portrayed in this film.

Summarizing this process, all I can say is that it wasn’t because of our own competence or professionalism that all this happened.  Our participation was simply to continue believing in the dream that God put in Daniel’s heart, even when it seemed impossible.

Do you have a God-given dream that hasn’t been fulfilled yet? Do you believe that God has all the power to make it happen?  Do you trust that it’s not by our wimpy human power or might, but by His strength?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think?  Also, if you would like to know more about what we are doing in the area of film production, please like our Facebook Page, “Ponte Filmes” (like button on the side).  And hey, come by “A God Coloured Girl in a Grey World’s” Facebook page too and press ‘like too.

 

Spiritual

Am I Relevant?


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Have you ever felt like your life didn’t make much of a difference?  Like you’re not very influential or relevant?  Like you’re not being very active in this world?  That’s how I’m feeling today.  Ok, I’ll confess, I’m already kind of an up and down type of person. I’ve even thought that I could possibly be bi-polar at times in my life.  But I really am such a feeler.  I’m often driven by my feelings, which makes it difficult for me to see things logically at times.  Thank God that he gave me the husband that he did (strong thinker).  Anyhow, this is how I’m feeling today.  I used to be so active in world missions.  I’ve traveled all over the world to reach out and share Truth with people.  Since I became a mom things have been a bit different.  Oftentimes I long to do something “relevant”.  To be used by the all powerful in a way that makes a difference and touches lives.  Because ultimately, there is no greater ‘feeling’ than when you are given the opportunity to impact someones life.  Albert Einstein had it right all along.

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Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.  WOW!

But then again, I am living my life for others.  I am raising two little people to be responsible, caring, gentle, Truth-loving individuals.  I have two little disciples that are in my care.  Two little beings that I am totally and completely responsible for. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.

I also have an awesome husband that has an amazing talent in the areas of sociology, teaching and filmmaking.  I really want to see him grow and be successful in this area and so I am available to serve in any way that I can – be it translation, social media, administrative stuff, etc.  Who ever said that a missionary had to always be out on the front lines.  What about all the other necessary stuff that others just don’t see?

I also have my blog, and who knows, maybe someday, sometime, somewhere, someone may be impacted by what I have to say.  Or may be impacted by one of my songs.  Or maybe even just a simple recipe or fitness routine I post.  Who knows?

I just don’t want to be a doer.  Trying to search for something to do so that others may see and think I am of relevance and significance.  So that others can say, “Hey, look what she’s doing.  She’s really reaching out.  Amen.” Uh uh.  No way.  I’ve learned that I am not defined by what I do.  I am not defined by what others think of me.  I am not even defined by what I think of myself.  Nope.  I am defined by what my creator thinks of me.  And he says that I am precious.  I am worthy.  I am loved.  I am cared for.  I am special.  I am beautiful.  I am even lovely (even with my strong temperament and all.)  He sings over me and calms me with his peace and the quietness of his love.  It can’t get any better than that.

So, I’m not going to be a Martha, worried about needing to be “busy”.  I want to be Mary, sitting at His feet and listening to Him.  Allowing His sweet presence to wash over me, bringing tears to my eyes, health to my spirit, peace to my soul and tranquility of being.

What do you consider to be “being relevant”?  Please leave a comment and let me know.