a little bit of Christmas in the heart

i loved christmas as a child. and i love christmas now. even if it's a significant amount more work & sacrifice to love it now.  christmas has become a real skill & discipline. a discipline in keeping perspective. a guarding of my child-likeness & a submitting of my heart. to be able to tune out all the hassle & hussel & clamour & keep tight grasp of the quiet truth & revelation behind it all. because if i'm not careful all the shopping & wrapping becomes tiring, meaningless ritual. the cost & discomforts of travelling to see family & friends from afar will rob me of the fellowship of the heart. the early mornings & late nights will overtake the giving heart.

and so i am trading tradition for truth, selfishness for selflessness. i chose to enjoy these sleep scarce, sometimes thankless, uncomfortable, tiring few days because i know it's all about an encounter. an encounter than started long, long ago that has grown into this grinch-like heart. that it is an encounter with the Giver of all good things. and it's from Him that i can give past my capacity. and it's that continual encounter that i carry in my heart all year long.

"he who has not christmas in his heart will never will never find it under a tree."
 {roy l. smith}
"we consider christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God & mankind. he who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice." 
{Pope Paul VI}
"christmas, my child, is love in action. every time we love, every time we give, it's christmas." 
{dale evans}
"love same down & rescued me." {jesus culture}
"i will honor christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
{charles dickens}

* looking to change some things next year to more accurately reflect our heart in bold new ways. doing some reading on some very cool 'traditions of truth' that others are embracing {posting anything interesting in the sidebar.. feel free to read alongside me!}


early bird

i actually wrote this really early, a few weeks ago to be exact but forgot to post. so here it is... late but still early. :)
my husband is away in the uk at the moment.  and whenever he is away, i love to set little projects & goals to complete while he's away.  like a focus. almost like a distraction, but better because it's productive! any other time and those little projects would just be tedious.  but for some reason, while hubby is away, they become an exciting challenge. sometimes the goals are simple, other times they're huge.  but either way, it's always rewarding & something to look forward to. they usually surround some kind of training with the kids {establishing a new bedtime routine, weaning susu's & sippy cups, getting on top of unbecoming behaviour, etc.}. but this trip, i got so carried away that i set my new year's resolutions... i know, i know... waaaay to early! but as said before, i am an avid goal setter.

so ready or not... here they are!
1. to value knowledge: in the age of google, i have so much knowledge that i rarely pay heed to it.  i know refined sugar is bad, but i eat it. i know the great outdoors are a great healer, but i watch tv. i don't really value the knowledge that i have, otherwise i'd be living it.  so here's to valuing knowledge.

2. to value the Presence: i have been woman of great principles with excursions in & out of the Presence. i want to be a woman of His Presence, who rarely has to use her principles. nothing wrong with principles. they are there for when we can't hear but the ambition should never be to live by principles alone because they then becomes law. which leads me to my next resolution...

3. to live grace: the difference between law & grace isn't that law has commands & grace doesn't. grace has much harder commands.
"the law says sacrifice an animal on a certain day, grace says be perfect. the law says rest on the seventh day. grace says heal the sick & raise the dead." 
{bill johnson} 
it's not like one has commands & the other doesn't. the difference is that the law commands us to perform, to act a certain way. but with grace, when the command comes so does the Presence. and He comes to enable. it's the only way i can be perfect. the only way i can heal the sick & raise the dead. His presence enables, He performed. {romans 7* just in case there were any theological questions there} and to truly rest in grace, is life changing.

and last but certainly not least... and maybe it should be the even the first...

4. to be loved: to truly learn how to be the 'beloved'. to just be an object of His love. to see Him in a way i've never dared see Him. in all of His overwhelming affection towards me. and to really believe it.

and that's all. everything else will fall into place.

it's gonna be a good year marked by a revelation & experience of His love, His grace & His presence. and that deep well of knowledge bubbling up as tangible in all areas of my life.
happy early new year!


the God in him

we have had a tremendous weekend. yes, even through the hurried, sleepless, christmas clutter of a season.  even after swells of demands this month, i just feel full to the tip top of my spirit.  i just can't wipe the silly grin off my face or stop humming as i buzz around. God is just that good.

i could say that it's because we've just spent some time with Chris Gore as a body, a great encourager & equipper who happens to walk in the supernatural gift of miracles everywhere he goes. but that's not really the reason for the humming or the grinning. nor was it the time i spent watching him operate in his gift or listening to his life-lived convictions. it's the time i spent with the God in him & his team. the imparting of the very nature of that mighty, loving King.

i write a lot when i am learning. it's like a line in the sand, marking the spot where everything changed, where tangible transformation happened. and so i thought i might highlight some of those moments for me. but as this humble writer knows, some things are just impossible to articulate. words just can't entirely express Spirit in all it's fullness.  i could probably explain it much more intelligibly in tongues.

here is my feeble attempt at documenting just some of those nuggets of gold from this weekend for those who didn't get the chance to be there {i realize some of these may sound a bit strange outside of the context of the conference but hopefully they make sense & bring life as they were intended... these are just the coles notes}:

it's all of Him in & through all of us, that is the transformation of the mind. it's not just who we are in Him but who He is in us.

walking in healing miracles is just about walking in an absolute confidence in Him & His heart, in an unshakeable confidence that my prayers are already answered. it's impossible for my prayers not to be answered.

God isn't sitting in heaven choosing who He will & won't heal. He already chose to heal everyone at the cross. 

disappointment, if not dealt with, shuts down fruitfulness. both the burden {of not seeing people healed} & the glory {of seeing people healed} were never designed for you. both the glory & the burden belong to Christ. and i am trust.

when someone dies or isn't healed we bury them. we grieve with the family, we take it to the Lord & then we get back up again & pray for the next one. grieving is biblical {grieve with those who grieve} as long as it doesn't lead us to a place of unbelief, a hardness of heart. * {there was much more on this, i just couldn't write it all... including his incredible testimony of his daughter... he's seen thousands healed, including other kids with CP totally set free, but his daughter still has severe CP}

we owe the world an encounter with God's love. that's what heals. an encounter with God's love. the cross isn't about how much we love Him but how much He loves us. he doesn't heal because of how much we love Him but how much He loves us. it's the revelation of how much we are loved & we are alway in need of a greater revelation of how much He loves us. i am not just a son but a beloved son. knowing you are loved & believing you are loved are two different things.

the foundation to everything we do is intimacy with Jesus. all fruitfulness comes out of that. lovers make better workers.

we are learning to not just celebrate results {like when someone gets healed} but also celebrating risk. celebrating fearless faith. otherwise it's can become performance. we position ourselves for risk for heaven to back us up. it increases the anointing we walk in. we redefine failure. failure isn't not doing anything with what you were given. success is doing something with what you've been given.

hunger without breakthrough or an encounter with Him will lead to frustration which can lead to unbelief. 

are you a thermostat or a thermometer? do you set the temperature or just take it? we carry the atmosphere inside us {it's not when the atmosphere is right around us}. glory will fall when someone knows who are walks into the room. i am aware of the One in me more than the ones around me. i focus on the answer not magnifying the problem. minister to people out of how God sees them, not how you do. He doesn't see the missing arm, He sees the arm that's missing.

it doesn't matter if i feel the presence. the bible talks a lot more about trust than it does feelings.  by looking for the God outside of us we are despising the God inside of us. 

like His disciple John, He only reveals the secrets of His heart to those who know they are loved, those dependant on His love for them, who lay their heads on his chest & listen to His heartbeat. 

english {french, spanish...etc.} is not God's first language. He speaks through colours, nature, music, numbers... He isn't limited. so don't box Him in & wait for Him to speak in english. 

the fear of God does not make me run from God but to him. i don't repent for forgiveness but because i am forgiven.

i will always be a novice. but when we plateau in experience, we lower our experience. our role model, our perfect theology is Jesus. when Jesus prayed 100% were healed and we can't be satisfied until we see the same.  we minister out of HIs track record not ours. i refuse to create an identity or a theology around our 'perceived' powerlessness to justify our lack of understand. the peace that passes understanding comes when we give up our right to understand. feast on Gods goodness instead of changing my theology to suit my experience. 

revival is a choice not an event. as for me & my house we are going to have revival.