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I am always always always amazed that God comes right into the filth of my heart and offers His healing love to me; all I have to do is admit my need for Him, and He is right there walking me through to victory, working within me a pure heart!

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9 Amplified
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

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Because I am an introvert—a shy introvert—I am sometimes tempted to study the Word for all the wrong reasons. You might be shocked to know that a shy introvert could take the sacred Word of God, build a monument to self with it, and dream of the “wow” moment of its unveiling.

But that is what I do when I spend time in the Word looking for “right” answers to “wow” others without that Word first being applied to my own heart in a way that effects change in my life.

Don’t get me wrong; this problem is not exclusive to introverts. I just happen to be one, so I am qualified to talk about it from that perspective.

Being a shy introvert can lead me to face all kinds of temptations to speak “wow”: an unhealthy longing for people to realize that, just because I am quiet, I am not a spiritual moron; a desire to promote self in spite of the fact that God has promised to do that for me—when the time is right—if I will just humble myself; a propensity to envy others who are able to aptly articulate aloud what they know about who God is.

When I open the Word, I remind myself that my time spent with Him is not about anything other than my intimately knowing Him: His love for me, His promises to me, His character, His correction, and His direction—our relationship; it’s not to build up an erudite bank of knowledge about Him to use to win the respect and acceptance of others and draw attention to myself.

Everything becomes all about Him—His glory—and who I am quietly becoming in light of the revelation of the Great I Am.

As I know Him more, I love Him more; as I love Him more, I cannot help but speak (at just the right time) the testimony of Who I know Him to be… without any thought of “self.”

And that is a genuine “wow” moment!

Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
—1 Corinthians 8:1
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

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“You know, bicycling isn’t just a matter of balance,” I said. “its a matter of faith. You can keep upright only by moving forward. You have to have your eyes on the goal, not the ground…”

—Susan Vreeland

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

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My “quiet time” reading this week is in the last part of Luke 8. Today I’ve been thinking about the people in the country of Gerasenes.

You may know the story about how Jesus was compelled to travel by boat and even press through a storm to get to the country of Gerasenes [aka Gaderenes] in order to heal a man filled with demons. Jesus indeed healed Him at the expense of a herd of pigs when the legion of demons begged him to send them into the herd of swine, thus rushing them to their death.

Instead of the people of that country responding with joy at what Jesus was able to do in their midst, with the pigs gone, they began to fear what else they would have to give up in order to be healed. So they asked Him to leave.

Here are my thoughts:

“Pigs” are the things in my life I keep trying to hang on to—having long discussions with God over, often trying to get Him to change His mind about—that keep me from embracing the perfect plan He has for my life.

This plan that He has isn’t just a random set of circumstances that God pulled out of his LG—life is good—file and has chosen to put into motion so I can get on in the world.

It was intentionally and uniquely designed with one thing in mind, and that is to bring me back from death to life…not the generic, cardboard LG life the world has to offer but that dynamic Abundant Life that rids me of the unclean filth in my heart that is clogging my spiritual arteries—the very life of Christ Himself.

His plan is often one that is antithetical to the “perfect life” my flesh has dreamed for itself, and is certainly opposed to the ideology of entitlement.

It is sad to think I would ever choose to hang on to my unclean herd of swine, a symbol of my preeminent desire for worldly ease and affirmation, and tell Jesus to get back in the boat because I don’t really like His plan—that I would rather keep slopping my pigs.

I mean, God forbid that this following Jesus as the path to God should cost me something.

But there is a far greater expense involved in sending Him away, and that is this: I constantly am having to manufacture a false peace because the Prince of Peace, Who stood ready to enter my heart and heal me, has been set a sea.

I have my pigs in the pigpen and am ever busy trying to manage them, but I am restless and empty—more or less have become a selfish pig myself, indifferent to what God wants to do in and through me—miserable in my sin.

Even the prodigal eventually came to his senses and, seeing the error of his ways, ran to embrace the Father in repentance and trust.

God was his portion; and He was enough!

God help me to come to my senses and, in trusting you, choose to pursue Peace over the pigpen!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow
  • Sandi

    your commentary does present an ugly picture. I saw myself in the center of it. Very descriptive and a visual description I will not forget. Thank youReplyCancel

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Wearing this lovely scent today…that my sister gifted to me several years ago…yumminess in a bottle!

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

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This is what I’m eating for lunch right now…as I type…what are you having for lunch today?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

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a·nom·a·ly

əˈnäməlē/
1. something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected
synonyms: oddity, peculiarity, abnormality, irregularity, inconsistency, incongruity, aberration, quirk, rarity


I’ve been waffling—trying to logically figure out something that I have no business trying to figure out. The Lord is calling me to deep [for me] waters. For some, we are probably talking about the shallow end of the pool known as the “baby pool,” but my flesh thinks we’re talking middle-of-the-ocean deep; it keeps insisting I am going to drown if I dare take another step into that place He wants me to go.

I used to think when God called someone He sent them to a foreign country or domestic city or called them to a ministry with a title —you know, like “she’s a homeschool mom” or “he’s involved in street ministry” or “she teaches third-grade Sunday school or women’s Bible study” or even “she’s a stay-at-home mom”…things like that.

How many times have I said, “I just want to know my calling” or “I just want to make a difference” or “I’m your gal, God; let’s go!”

Well, He’s been talking to me, asking me to join Him where He’s at work, and it’s not like He’s asking me to go out and do any “thing.” He is asking me to “be” —who I am where I am—where He’s chosen…even if who I am deviates from the standard of the place I’ve been called to go and the people there.

We’ve been talking about this—me and God. I’ve been telling Him how I think it would be best for me to find a place to serve where I will thrive—”fit in”—you know, be more effective, not so “different.” And He’s been telling me I don’t really know what true servanthood is. The last thing He said to me before I came here to write this post was through Oswald Chambers’ February 25th entry in My Utmost for His Highest:

“Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, ‘It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.’ ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor…’ (2 Corinthians 8:9). And Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s. He did not care how high the cost was to himself— he would gladly pay it. It was a joyful thing to Paul.”

Maybe he’s calling me to a place where He can work in others’ lives to bring them closer to God—reveal Himself to them more deeply—use the anomaly of “me” to, perhaps, open up a dialogue between Him and them to talk about their judgements, prejudices, insensitivities— their own flesh.

Or maybe He just wants me to experience and know Him in the reality of what Oswald Chambers wrote. Maybe He wants to finish that conversation about 2 Corinthians 8:9 that He started with me  waaaaay back in 2002 that I wrote about here.

Maybe…just maybe he does want my flesh to drown in the shallows—to be baptized—immersed until the life is sucked out of it—because He wants to teach me to be a champion swimmer—one who consistently swims by His Spirit in the “deep-end” of the ocean of Grace.

Maybe I need to realize what a high calling He has given me and, like Paul, be joyfully willing to let Him use me in my deepest poverty!

I don’t have to know all the details right now….I just need to trust and obey—to say, “Here I am, Lord; send me”—and trust that His ways, although past finding out, are indeed, perfect!

Okay……I’m taking the plunge! See you at the deep-end!!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow

8C1A0955-7I stand just so

your camera winks me into permanence

acne scars

tired eyes

wrinkles on my forehead

more naked than I have ever been

(especially to one

I love so very much)

I used to be afraid to look completely real

the sun was just my friend sometimes

when brown from sea and sky made things all right—

always afraid to be anything but young

and envying beauty

even on the face of strangers

Is this what growing up means

the reality of lighting over public mirrors?

Or is my confidence in love so great

that I worry not

to let you see me at my worst?

—Rod McKuen

The cameras pictured, with the exception of the bottom left, were given to me by an old college friend who knows of my love for photography. He was cleaning out an old house and found them. I was so blessed to receive a large package in the mail with these beautiful vintage cameras inside—how thoughtful my friend is, and what a kind expression of love to me from my Heavenly Father! Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you encourage me, Tom!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I write so I can know what I am thinking." —Linda Dillow