Cemetery Prayers

b8cc58074a7811b6df25019e55d74494

God? I am haunting my ruins again. Wandering past the old gravestones of long dead hopes and dreams.

woman_thinking_j0381855_wide

Lord?

Why do I do it?

Why do I keep coming back here?

25742-scared-woman-1200_1200w_tn

Why do I haunt this place?

These dreams no longer dance—no longer sing—no.

13834-girl-woman-waiting-watch-look-bored-food_1200w_tn

It’s so silent here and dark, but I keep coming back, sometimes to weep and feel the pain again, sometimes to just stand and stare—feeling so lost.

Oh, God!

3572571326_d99a600ce0

I’m lost to me but I’m not lost to You.

You know the answers to all my questions.

I thought I’d surrendered all my Why’s?

CRITICALTHINKER

I guess not.

Maybe it’s time to ask some new questions.

Questions like…

arton2724

“Where?” or “Who?” or “What?”

Anything but, why?

Such a useless thing—why.

What good is why?

Will an answer bring a resurrection or breathe life into these graves?

spiritualgrowth_onewomanstory

Don’t answer God.

You don’t need to.

We both know the answer to that one!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAa3AAAAJDY0MjAzNmQ0LTM3YTAtNGY4Mi05MmM3LTM3ZjU4MTA0ZWEzMg_edited

Save me from myself God.

You’re the only One who can!

sad-man

Forget these graves… breathe life back into me!

My heart feels as cold as these marble monuments.

alone-girl-sitting-sad-lovesove

And just as hard.

Only You can save me…

17709-sad-man

Heal me.

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved.” Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba… Daddy-God, I have no hope but You. I have no prayer but this,”Heal me …breathe on these dry bones.”

 

The Tumblers Will Click

603-146

Oh, God! When did I stop believing this?

depressed-woman-grayscale

“The tumblers will click someday.”

(I used to believe.)

 

I used to think, “One day, some day, some way—He’ll come. You would come!”

You’d spin the dial on the padlocks in my life and I would be free!

d 2

 

But, now?

 

When did it happen?

482731450

I just stopped.

I stopped looking for You.

I stopped expecting things to change.

imagesC4D55NF4

I’m looking back over my shoulder trying to see the day or the moment when my hope turned to stone.

 

 

 

imagesMAQJ2ZU7

 

 

Now I stare at my cell and my locks and I feel nothing at all.

images08B2QNYX

It just stopped.

It all stopped working for me.

All the songs, all the sermons; people of faith look like aliens to me now.

Two-headed creatures from another planet!

depressed-sad-woman

I know You promised God.

My head knows.

But, my heart?

It’s over there, in the corner of my soul, curled into the fetal position, stillmutecold.

129038-128258

How did this happen?

Where?

When?

Why?

imagesK7MTSFJ9

I should weep or wail.

I should be terrified, or furious, shouldn’t I?

My heart is on life support.

My hope is D.O.A.

And, me?

I don’t feel anything at all, except… curious.

Depression300X210

When did I stop believing God?

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us, This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'” Isaiah 25:9 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

God? What good is church to one who no longer believes?

I can’t relate to those people God. (You know I can’t.) What am I supposed to do? Lie? Fake it? I hate that stuff! (And so do You!)

The only Believer I can relate to now is that honest-heart from so long ago. (You know the one.) His cry is mine as well: “LORD… help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Cotton Candy Comfort

4916863932_a3f052aca1_b

O LORD, how long?

stock-photo-56124042-man-looking-anxiously-at-watch

I am so sick of candy-apples-church and cotton-candy-comfort.

How long, LORD?

rel3

Is this all there is until You return? These so-called men of God, who offer much, but deliver little!

Each week I go to the well for a taste; a touch; of You. Each week I go away with sugary words that melt away to nothing.

It all sounds so sweet, but years and years of this have left me so…

HL 1

(What?)

Hungry? Thirsty? Both?

imagesNWXZP9DV

Where are the true men who speak for You?

The ones whose words don’t fall to the ground?

Isn’t that supposed to be the mark of a true prophet?

images5S5ZK8SK

I know no one is perfect. I know we all get it wrong sometimes. But LORD! These people are all empty words – promising all – delivering, oh so little!

fed-up

Where LORD? Where?

On my left, vile ones; tombs filled with vipers and dead men’s bones.

imagesAAYAJZ1A

(I couldn’t run fast enough!)

To my right? Sugary fluff! Looks good; sounds better; delivers less than nothing…

Because these ones leave you more empty, more desperate, than when you first came!

images6CY2MBLR

 

God, help me!

(No wonder I’m depressed.)

imagesYLTPGBIC

Your word promises You will not leave or forsake.

So here I am.

Please.

untitled

Feed my hungry heart with Your truth.

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for who is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” 2 Peter 2:17 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Oh Holy Spirit, how we need You! Many of our churches are dry wells, with little, or no Living Water.

Remember us, Your people LORD. Baptize us with fresh fire!

Come again like before… with Your mighty rushing wind…come!

For Judas and The Thief

“…What shall I do with this man you call your King?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

Mark 15:12-13

mob

My enemy came to me today,

I wanted to turn and walk away!

“Who does he think he is?” I said.

A Voice, from deep within me, pled…

painting-th004

“He is another for whom I’ve died,

Like you, he’s stolen, cheated, lied;

Yet what you two must understand,

Is for your sins, they pierced My hands…

Crucifix-Jesus-hands-Nailed

The BOTH of you, are dear to Me.

Oh, child of Mine, why can’t you see?

That what you think is “Ministry”

Is really PRIDE – it isn’t ME!

whiteblackhand

I want you two to listen well…

Perhaps the others you will tell;

I have no enemies – none at all!

And if you’ll listen to My call…

004-jesus-washes-feet

I’ll take you where no pride can grow;

You’ll have to kneel and bend quite low;

With basin, towel, and love anew,

You’ll wash the feet of those who threw…

006-jesus-washes-feet

The stones that made your poor heart bleed;

You’ll find new ways to meet their needs.

And when you’re tempted to forget,

You’ll remember that your needs were met…

cross2

By One who laid beneath your stones,

With bleeding wounds and broken bones

Yet harkened to his Master’s Voice,

Renounced his fear and made the choice;

stock-photo-27640481-jesus-washing-feet-of-man

To look not on the things you’d done

But offer up the gift he’s won,

Of mercy from a brand new heart…

I’d given him—he’s done his part.

judas 1

And now I turn to look at you,

Like Judas and the thief who threw,

Betrayal and curses into My face

When I had offered loving grace-

Jesus-Christ-and-the-thieves-on-the-cross

You must decide what you will do

When you are hated by a few

Who still don’t understand or know

I have NO ENEMIES here below…

6420219

Just wounded hearts, in need of love,

That you are called, like One above,

To give away – forget the cost.

For sinful pride, how much is lost!

9608941

A new heart here I have for you

With Mercy, Love, and heaven’s dew—

Of thankfulness for sinner’s blame…

Forgotten Forever—because I came!”

 

 

Comfort My People

a03a2a35dbb7c694115c8c8387fd745f

Comfort my people? With what? (I know I’m your kid God but, jimmeny-crickets! Have you seen what’s goin’ on down here?)

How is comfort supposed to flow from such a dry and barren place?

ParentChildArgue

Besides… they are Your people God. You comfort them!

(I don’t even like most of them.)

Me?

(Oh no, You’re right.)

I don’t like me, either.

imagesC9VA83N8

I’ve become like them… mean, bad, and nasty.

Disillusioned and hard, and yes, dry.

This vineyard has destroyed whatever I once had.

images8DDMGD2C

I had such high hopes once.

“Rivers of living water flowing OUT of me…”

That’s what I thought… hoped. Not this.

imagesCOLUS18P

Habakkuk’s Vineyard and living water… now THERE’S an oxymoron!

(I guess I just don’t get it.)

Oh, I know what “the crowd” will say…

What the crowd always says, “We told you so!”

tb 3

The crowd.

(The mean-bad-n-nasty, you mean.)

imagesU5UIXJFM

Well let’s see… (Huh? Whadda ya say?)

imagesE3RH7D3E

I don’t GET it?

(Yeah God, I just said that.)

imagesPL6T8QZJ

(You love them?)

The mean-bad-n-nasty crowd…

You love them?

Why?

imagesUXAT3NZI

(I TOLD You I don’t get it.)

How can You love them? Me …them!

tb 2

I can’t stand to be in the same room with… them.

TB1

(You know that?)

“Comfort them.”

…comfort?

images145VUEOG

(How does one comfort The Enemy?)

I’m sorry God. All I have left are questions…

Mean, bad, and nasty questions.

mock-trial

I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do what You ask.

tb 4

(It’s not in me anymore.)

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“Comfort, yes comfort My people! says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

I know I’m supposed to forgive my enemies God. (I know.) But I don’t even know where to begin… there’s so much stuff!

So many wounds. (They wanted to destroy me God!) They tried. Oh, how they have tried! Over, and over, and over again, and they almost succeeded God… so many times. (You know. – You saw.)

How do you forgive someone who is dedicated to the task of destroying you?

You know sometimes I feel just like a little kid again. Dad is standing over me telling me to, “Eat my yellow squash.” (I hate yellow squash!) I know it’s good for me… but that doesn’t mean I want to do it! (Yeah… just like forgiveness.)

Jesus help me. I can’t do this on my own. (They hate me so much… they wanted me dead!) It’s there in their eyes… in their deeds. Pure hatred.

So much, I can’t even bear to look at them anymore.

Where do I start Jesus? Where? The cross?

(We always come back to that, don’t we?)

 

My Cross

Jesus-carrying-cross

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto

the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Psalm 51:1 KJV

~~~

In all my woe I ran to Man

Hoping for successful plan

“Show me options, and a way,

To fix my broken life today.”

~~~

But nothing could they do or say,

To end my pain and sad dismay.

In fact, their offers came to me,

With strings attached – nothing for free!

~~~

“Fix us! Fix us!” their deeds cried out.

“We, too, are bound by fears and doubt!”

“Dear God,” I cried. “What can I do?”

Man’s help is useless, only You…

~~~

Can bring the mercy that I need.

“Where do I go?” is what I plead.

Do for me what no man can,

Deliver by Your awesome hand!

~~~

~~~

THE CROSS, my child, is where to go…

That is where “free mercy” flows;

Where pain is healed, and woe erased.

THE CROSS is where you find such grace.

~~~

crucifixion-of-jesus-christ_edited

Man can’t give you what you need,

On that, you and I agree.

THE CROSS is where fear is undone;

THE CROSS is where REAL life’s begun.

~~~

Abundant life with joy and peace;

Freedom’s found and you’re released!

It’s all right here awaiting you,

And here is all that you must do…

~~~

Come, hungry, needy, wanting more…

That is what MY CROSS is for!

To heal your wounds – replace your strife,

With Living Water bringing LIFE!

~~

Come, drink your fill… and still, there’s more!

This is what MY CROSS is for.

A heart that’s healed – your life restored

At Grace and Mercy’s open door…

~~~

MY CROSS! That’s why I came and died.

Plunge beneath its crimson tide…

God’s grace is bountifully applied.

Mercy is free. Not one denied!

Sinning Saint On Sinking Sand

quicksand_warning_sign_bluetooth_speaker-r07c69761ce214293850040f2ba93ab48_zxfkh_512

A sinning-saint, that’s what I am!

Disappointed-Woman

(Talk about your oxymoron!)

Disappointed-woman-on-courthouse-steps

I accuse myself God:

  • of failure
  • of fainting
  • of fatigue so deep…

disappointed-man_2265307

(Are these excuses or accusations?)

Why do I do it God?

Disappointed-black-woman

Why do I choose the thing I don’t want?

The words I wish I hadn’t said… the deeds so petty… so unkind?

disappointed-asian-woman-tired-stressed-59287739

If “saint” I be (and this I know) for Your own word declares it true…

Then why this “un-saintly” behavior?

Headach

I do not understand myself.

I let You down, and others, too.

crying-girl_thinkstock

I do things even I can’t stand, and think, and say…

(Well, God… you know.)

appearancecomments-feature

I’ve no excuse.

(I give You none.)

It’s for my failures that You died.

All I can do; all I can say; is hushed in shadow of Your cross.

2-In-the-Shadow-of-the-Cross

I bow my head in shame’s disgrace, and wait for cross’ crimson tide, to sweep away sin’s heavy load.

Oh God… I thank You for this gift!

b669882f11759ca656ffb73f18fa0c39

(You truly are my only hope.)

My hope is built on nothing less; than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame; but wholly lean on Jesus name

On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned;  but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.
So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”  Romans 7:21-25 The Living Bible

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba! When will we learn? Apart from You, we can do nothing. [John 15:5]

Apple-Seeds-Dangerous

 

 

Angry Christians Versus Faking It

angry-birds

Not supposed to happen. Not supposed to exist. Not, us!

(I hear it everywhere…)

Denial.

“Tut-tut… shame-shame… don’t talk about it. Behave yourself… or please shut up!”

We’ve gotten so good at faking it.

Why do we in the Church think that trying to pretend to be something you are (quite obviously) not, is the way to go?

It’s everywhere, but then, so are angry Christians.

(Those crazy birds don’t have anything on us!)

Some of us are angry at the Church, the society we live in, and some of us, are really just good-and-ticked-off at ourselves. And, “Oh-my-oh-my!” some of us, are Mt. Vesuvius, ready to explode all over any poor soul who unfortunately gets a little too close!

It’s an angry world these days. Workplace violence, road rage, domestic violence in our homes, crazies attacking our kids at school, or the zealots who just plain lose it and gun folks down in our workplaces, shopping malls, and airports…

Why do we try to act like there are no angry Christians?

Is God unaware of our inner battles and angry frustrations?

(Of course not.)

Is the world?

(Not likely!)

I think they see and hear just fine.

So, why in heaven’s name, do we pretend like the problem doesn’t exist with us as well?

The bible says, “…be angry, but don’t sin.” [Ephesians 4:26] It does not say, “Pretend like you’re not angry, even when you really are, and everybody else knows it.” The bible admonishes us to deal with it quickly. Don’t let it last more than a day.

Doesn’t denial simply prolong our anger?

Personally, I think our anger goes on and on, because we continually try to deny it, bury it, or excuse it away, as something else. Let’s face it, there is a lot in this world to be angry about. I can totally relate to Jesus going into the temple, blowing His top, and overturning the money-changers tables. (The money-changers are alive and well in today’s church.) Perhaps we should, get a little more hot under the collar, when it comes to the pretense and phony posturing we see. Hypocrisy should make us angry, especially our own! Sin should make us angry.

Sins involving the exploitation of the innocent, bloodthirsty brutality, or the blatant evil we see all around us. These are the things that make God angry. The pain of the exploited and innocent. These are the things that should propel us to righteous behavior and righteous choices.

People? Especially the ones we dislike or disagree with? God valued them so much, He sent His only Son to die for them!

So, (if we are angry) perhaps we should ask ourselves some pointed questions like:

  • What am I angry at?
  • Or, who?
  • Or, why?

And, where am I pointing my anger? And, what will be the consequences of my anger? Will this anger of mine “…work the righteousness of God?” [James 1:20]

Or…

“Will I be numbered among the foolish goats?”

sheep-and-goats

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:31-40 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba, help me to be angry about the things that make You angry. Give me the strength to let go of the stuff that is simply “the anger of fools” lest I be numbered among the foolish.

LORD, open my eyes to every opportunity You give me to make a difference in this world before You return for us. Forgive me for every time I’ve missed it… missed You, and what You wanted to do, and blown it BIG TIME!

Holy Spirit, give me wisdom to take every “talent” I’ve got and invest it for the Kingdom’s sake, for You, and for others. Lord help me see, betrayal is a huge boat, and I am not in that boat alone.

Preaching To The Choir

8ef6fdc3943c3969e0d5e6281e2cf51b

How we love to sing our own praises.

(Don’t we?)

Much of the “Christian” stuff I read nowadays is just filled with super-sweet-fluff, talking, talking, blah, blah, blah… about how “spiritual” we in the church are.

Really?

I shake my head and think to myself, “Have you read the latest statistics about how there is little difference between how we “the church” live, and our current society?

(Those of us who are talking to, and coming clean, to the pollsters anyway.)

We have just as many serious problems in the church as those out. We struggle with the same demons “the worldly” do. Sexual promiscuity, sexual abuse, pornography, addictions, not to mention the “little” stuff, like gluttony, gossip, and marital meanderings. Hang out on any given Sunday listening carefully to the casual conversations among church-goers about the politicians, radicals, and the anti-church folk, not to mention, those worldly sinners who are going to hell in a handbasket, and you will get an ear full! (But doubtful you would call it loving.)

When I read most of the stuff… (not all to be fair) but most, of what passes for Christian? I think, “Who are we fooling?” And when will we be honest enough, or brave enough, or just plain Christian enough, to tell the world who we really are?

I guarantee they are hip to our act!

If we really want to save the world… which surely we should all want, (for we are the ones who are supposed to know where this whole thing is headed!) then maybe we could lose the plastic Jesus routine, with all our pretenses and pretending, and just get real with people.

Starting with ourselves maybe?

Matthew_25_40

Should there be any such thing as homeless, in a country with this many churches, and bank accounts such as ours? Should there be any such thing as an unwanted child, here or abroad, in a country claiming this many Christian Believers?

I think if I read one more blog, or hear one more sermon, on “glorious grace” I shall vomit!

Of course the grace of God is glorious. I am not saying it isn’t…

What I am purposing is that we first—stop abusing it!

prison_484212482

Do not tell me you actually care about “saving” the world, while people are starving, believers are murdered for their faith, women and children are being “trafficked” as sexual merchandise to any  pervert with a few bucks, and you are planning on taking another “Christian cruise” at a price tag of $1500.00 to $4500.00 a pop!

Nope.

a5ae1c38f4a8d2bbbaecefcf872f5e51

We love to trumpet the word values don’t we?

Blowing our own horns about what we say we believe?

So where are our values?

f7bdea85accafd9d9c0c704dd9c4d85f

Look carefully at your bank statement and you will have a crystal-clear picture, of what and who you value. Check your schedule. Where is your time spent? And with who?

That’s where your heart is.

We in the Western Church like to talk a good game… but living it?

Doesn’t the word of God say, that when He begins to clean up this planet He will begin first with us, those in His church?

I guess I am suggesting we clean up our own backyards, and start living-grace to the broken, downtrodden, and fallen all around us. Not to mention behave in a more loving manner to those who vociferously disagree with us!

Jesus, who was the epitome of grace, and is our only and true model of grace (not ourselves) led by example. And we all know the kind of people he hung out with, spoke to, and oh my goodness, actually loved!

Is this grace we love to sing and talk about just for ourselves alone?

How about a few less sugary blogs for the choir… and instead, a more consistent redeemed-reality-walk for ourselves? Being Jesus to a desperate and hurting world, instead of just regurgitating our own tired rhetoric, endlessly singing the praises of ourselves, to ourselves.

maxresdefault

Or, we could just keep doing what we’re doing…

(Yeah, that’s really working.)

On the choir, for sure.

The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19 NKJV 

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Abba, my prayer is simple: Unstop our ears, open our eyes… before it’s too late.

A21