Posts Tagged spirituality

When Laughter Bubbles-Up

Bubbles 3D

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After a good cry this morning over things outside of my control, a laugh bubbled-up from within that banished the tears.  It came out of nowhere, shifting my focus from the crummy stuff that happens in life to Eternal hope.  Ironic really, it was a spontaneous laugh, which had little to do with joy and more to do with declaration. Don’t know that I would call it holy laughter, though it did remind me of my Hope.

In the midst of this transitional moment, Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come”, came to mind (not coincidentally I am certain). I think she laughs in confidence, not because she knows the future or because present circumstances always point to something positive, but because she knows Who holds her future. I suppose that is where the rub is, the unknown can be my undoing as much as the known reality right before me.  Maybe the Proverbs woman airs her confidence with laughter since she knows that strength and dignity are divine, given by God, unaffected by the cares on her shoulders or circumstances at her feet.

Maybe that is where that spontaneous chuckle bubbled-up from—that deep place of trusting the One that holds my future. Being enveloped with divine strength and inherent value will indeed turn dread to delight, lamenting to levity, and gloom to guffaw if we let it.

Today, I let it.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (NIV) Isaiah 54:10

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A Hypothetical Conversation…or is it?

Lord, here I am at your feet…again.  I am disappointed, awash with regret.  The old overtakes the new just when I least expect it.  Old patterns, old voices…all the things I gladly left behind.  I feel defeated when I fail even though Your word says otherwise.  Oh, please forgive me.

My insecurities obscure truth like cobwebs over treasures in an attic.  The treasure is there, at least I want to believe it is, but how will it ever be revealed so long as I wallow in this perpetual state of desperation? I want to be well; I want to be healed, if I could just be closer to You.

I am tired of being manipulated by unhealed hurts, the fear of pain’s return.  Is there some secret to filling the void and keeping my soul at peace when the temporal seems to overwhelm the eternal?  I’ve been here before; I thought I was done dealing with this.  How do I draw close enough to You that the rest melts away?  What can I do or say to manifest Your presence more in my life?

Child, your questions were answered in “Lord, here I am at your feet”.  It is the best place you can be, not your last resort.

Not sure what it is about revelation coming in the bathroom, but I could hardly shower fast enough as this conversation played out in my head and heart, wanting to write it down before it vanished like the water at the drain.  It was as though the Lord dropped this in my spirit as a follow-up to the scripture we read last night in Mark 6:55-56 They ran through that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces.  They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

I could not help but think about those that pursued him for healing vs. those that must have remained at the city gate, resolved to remain as they were.  Healing has never just happened in my life, it has always manifested through pursuit.  At times, it has felt like I’ve traversed vast regions to touch the hem of his garment, other times it was but a breath away.  I do not understand the paradox of its timing, only that it takes place at His feet.

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Freedom’s Call: Standing Firm in Liberty

by selimbk

As patriotic prose stirs the hearts of Americans on the 4th of July, let us consider the freedom we hold dear and its resounding call.  From Pharaoh’s palace, to Calvary’s hill, to Pennsylvania’s State House in 1776, people have proclaimed freedom.  A parting sea, the cross, and the ringing Liberty Bell have all symbolized the triumph.

Freedom’s call is not only to those oppressed by chains or laws, but to the fettered soul as well.  Woven into the pattern of history is humanity’s struggle to attain freedom, often through intense sacrifice.  This beckoning song of liberty resonates in every human heart, regardless of culture, creed, or circumstances—embedded in our DNA by the Author of freedom.  Though hopelessness, intimidation, and fear may tout an advantage, our God-breathed spirit echos any whisper of deliverance.

As much as the heart yearns to be free, the threads of liberty are often intertwined with the propensity to relinquish it through apathy or insecurities, exchanging one form of slavery for another.  The Israelites were free from their taskmasters, but the desert heat and seeming uncertainty left them longing to return to the security of slavery.  Believers receive salvation in Christ, yet forgo the abundant life for institutional religiosity.  America’s founding principles of liberty and justice inspire hope around the world, yet are gradually relinquished through apathy and the complacency of prosperity.

Each year, we celebrate the freedom we enjoy in this great country on July 4, remembering the courage and sacrifice required for our benefit.  Each day brings opportunity to celebrate our liberty in Christ and His authorship of freedom, allowing it to saturate our lives.  Whether it is physical, cultural, or spiritual, there is always a price for freedom, a requisite diligence to maintain it, and someone waiting to take it (or convince us to give it up).  Galatians 5:1 affirms the responsibility of the individual for freedom’s keep—it does not endure if it is not guarded.  May we learn from the annals of human history and stand firm in our liberation.

Sonnet “The Liberty Bell” by R.R.R. Moore

Ring loud that hallowed Bell!
Ring it long, ring it long;
Through the wide world let it tell
That Freedom’s strong:

That the whole world shall be free —
The mighty crowd, the mighty crowd —
That the proud shall bend the knee,
The haughty proud.

Ring, ring the mighty Bell,
In the storm, in the storm!
Brothers! It shall herald well
Fair Freedom’s form.

Ring it Southward, till its voice
For slavery toll, for slavery toll;
And Freedom’s wakening touch rejoice
Both limb and soul.

Ring it o’er the negro’s grave!
Ring it deep, ring it deep;
Its tones are sacred to the slave,
In Freedom’s sleep.

Ring it, till its startling tones
Thrill young and old, young and old;
Till despots tremble on their thrones,
And their blood run cold.

Ring it, till the slave be free,
Wherever chained, wherever chained;
Till Universal Liberty
For aye be gained.

Ring it, till the young arise
To Freedom’s fight, to Freedom’s fight;
Spring gladly toward the kindling skies,
All clothed in light.

Ring it, till the bonds of sect
Be torn away, be torn away;
Till every man, as God’s elect,
Kneel down to pray.

Ring it, till the world have heard,
And felt, at length, and felt, at length;
Till every living soul be stirred,
And clothed with strength.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Hall
Photo by: http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp171/selimbk/Cross-Flag.jpg
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/losing_the_republic.html
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A1&version=NIV
Sonnet “The Liberty Bell” by R.R.R. Moore, Published by the Friends of Freedom, 1844

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