Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beckoning

Lush pine, enticing citrus blossoms, heady fragrance of deep florals and fauna. Soft soil beneath His feet. Every step leads Him closer. The Lord. Walking through His creation - the Garden of Eden - during the cool of the day. He beckons for Adam and Eve, His children, to join Him as they had numerous times before.

... Only this time is different, Adam and Eve attempt to hide from the very One who loves them most. Drawn to Him, yet deeply ashamed. Yearning for Him, yet immobilized by their sin. Even so, pure Love in His voice drives them from their hiding place...

... into the arms of Grace.

Do you sometimes feel that way? I mean, why would the God of the Universe call for me? I'm a far, far cry from holy. Shouldn't I change some things in my life before attempting to spend quality time with Him?

Yet, I hear His call. His beckoning. Even in the middle of the mess of who I am, He still desires to LINGER with me. Oh... and how I desire to LINGER with Him. I'm so thirsty. Do you feel Him drawing you too?


Come my children and listen to me... Ps. 34:11

"Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord..." Isaiah 1:18

"Or else let them come to me for refuge..." Isaiah 27:5

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." John 6:37

Do you hear Him in the rolling thunder? Do you hear Him calling on the gentle breeze? Do you hear Him in the cry of your little one? Do you hear Him in the stillness. Do you hear Him calling you through His Word? Read the above Scriptures above again. Read them as His personal invitation to you.


How can we respond to Him? The One who loves us beyond our understanding. The Holy One... Abba. Daddy God. How do we respond?

The reality is, most of us live our lives by the pages of a well-worn calendar. So many activities clutter our hours each day. How do we dare even tiptoe into the throne room? Our minds are a jumbled mess of to-do's. It's all about tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll spend time with Him. Tomorrow I'll clear my calendar. Tomorrow I'll be better prepared. Have you noticed that we don't live in the moment anymore?

How do we, as the frazzled women we are, bring Christ into our daily moments - ALL of them? There is the short answer. And that is: He IS in our daily moments. And HE IS. But let's look deeper... How do we consciously connect with His unending, always-open invitation to settle ourselves into the throne room in middle of our chaotic days?

For those of you with young children... How do you LINGER with Him while mothering? Caregivers... how do you LINGER while caring for a loved one/loved ones? Women in the workforce, how do you LINGER with your God in the middle of daily business? How creative are you in finding LINGER moments with God through the grind of each day? Will you share them here? Perhaps your encouraging words will offer an answer to the challenge of lingering for someone perusing this blog today - or tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Linger... in Melody

I can't think of anything better than hanging out with my girlfriends. And is there anything better than Lingering for just a few minutes with our Father - together? Transparent conversation and open hearts. How I thank God for each one of you.

Today, I want us to Linger a little differently here. I know you have the time, or you wouldn't have ventured this way to begin with. The reason I want to use this form of media to Linger this week is because we posted about music as being a source of saturation from the Lord. Would you find time (daily) this week to hit the play button and interact with the message that Kari Jobe brings from the Lord? In fact, listen for glimmers of the Word in the melody she sings.

And Linger...

Are you still thirsty? Or did He fill your cup? Will you share? In fact, will you share each day as He offers something new? I want to read words from your heart. Words He's given you as you as you've Lingered with Him through song.

Day after day, you'll become more acquainted with the lyrics and melody; and you'll find yourself singing easily along. Enjoy, relish, Linger in His presence. Let Him wrap His loving arms around you. It's just a few minutes each day. You can. And I'll join you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturated... The Word of God

Ladies, your transparent conversation is SOoooo refreshing. I’ve enjoyed every bit of our interaction so far, and can’t wait to read more. Last week, we discussed how interruption, well… interrupts our time with the Lord. Whether the distraction is of our own making, or from some kind of outside influence, interruption interferes with our God time and can be very frustrating.

On the other hand, we heard from a couple of you who talked about interruption as sometimes being orchestrated by the Lord to capture our attention. Certainly, we should be aware that the Lord can and will use any means He chooses to influence us to pursue His will, but how do we listen? How do we define His voice from everyday distraction? How do we listen distinctly for Him when the enemy would like nothing more than to sway our attention from our Father’s voice to his own?

Two words… The Word. Reading God’s love letter to us is one sure way we define the Father’s voice from the enemy’s. But if we are interrupted or distracted from our reading, how can we fill up on the Word? Think outside of the box, pray and allow the Lord to show you new, creative ways to hear and see His Word. And then, will you share your ideas with us? Perhaps you’ve already found an out-of-the-ordinary way to feed on the Word of God. Will you tell us what works for you?

We need His Word for so many reasons. To name just a very few…

·      Luke 8:11 The seed is the Word of God.

·      John 17:17 His Word is truth.

·      Ephesians 6:17 The word of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

·      Hebrews 4:12 The Word of God is living and active.

·      1 Peter 1:23 The Word of God is living and enduring.

·      1 John 2:5 In we obey His Word, God’s love is made complete in us.

·      Rev. 19:13 His name is the Word of God.

This list is by no means, complete, but it declares the power of the Word, the aliveness of the Word, the Son of God of the Word, Jesus. Tell us, how do you saturate yourself in His Word everyday? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interruption, 'ruption... What's Your Function?

Last week’s post, It’s Not Your Mother’s Quiet-Time spurred some healthy and worthy-of-note conversation. If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s comments, you may want to review our conversation. And ladies… conversation through this blog network is exactly what I’m hoping for. My desire is that we will all interact according to the topic of each week.

And BRAVO for the first couple of weeks You’ve done well. I love the way each of you presented your comments. Authenticity is so important to a topic like Linger. Some of you (and you know who you are J) desperately wanted to plunge into the weeks ahead; and even though I SO wanted to go there with you, I restrained my dancing fingertips to slow the progress – just a little.  

Alright, now that the Linger blog-stage has been set, it’s time for us to tackle a topic we can all relate to…. INTERRUPTION. As you read this post, will you ponder the interruptions of your own life? And think about ways you weave your course of conversation with the Lord through one disruption after another.  Do you hit the pause button – tell the Father you’ll be right back? Or does it dawn on you, later in the day, that you left the conversation somewhere between “Good morning, Lord and AMEN?

Interruption is typically reserved for two-way dialogue or interaction with others, and over the course of life, all of us have experienced it in one way or another—more times than we can count. Whether we’re listening to the Lord through reading His Word or making a conscious effort to be still, waiting for His voice during prayer, we almost always face interruption. Sometimes it comes from an outside source, in the form of another person, activity or distraction, demanding or grabbing our attention. And other times, it is internal, such as our internal thoughts chasing a bunny-trail smack in the middle of our time with the Lord. 

Will you share some of your own personal experiences of interruption? Did you recognize it when it happened and take 10 from time with the Lord? Or did you seemingly just drift from your one-on-one with Him into another activity or thought process?

Here’s just one (of many) of my experiences:

 One of my favorite times to pray is right before I sleep. I love to conversing with the Lord during the last quiet moments before slumber. Some of these times have been most precious to me. Other times, slumber comes before I utter AMEN. And sometimes, I’m really praying for something close to my heart, yet even so, my eyes become a natural barrier between awake and asleep. In this particular case, sleep becomes the interruption, robbing me of listening - stealing my words at the end of the day.

Granted, it takes discipline to pray while physically exhausted (and in bed), but it’s become habit. I enjoy sharing my day and last minute requests with the Father before I doze. Sometimes I get to AMEN; sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m frustrated with my lack of discipline to finish; other times, I simply welcome the rest.

I know there are many more interruption experiences, and mine barely begins to touch on the wide scope of them. Share yours?

Flight Delay...

Due to travels these past four days, Linger will be updated this evening (Tuesday) for the week of January 12. I apologize for the delay, and am looking forward to your input on the topic of:
Interruption... What's Your Function? 

See you all tonight...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Warning: It's NOT Your Mother's Quiet-Time

I remember giving my life to the Lord - I was 14 years old.  A nudge from a friend sitting next to me and my heart already stirring with anticipation, set my legs into motion, carrying me from my seat to the altar. I'll never forget that night, which led to my pursuit of God and all things "church." If the youth church doors were open, I was there. If youth camp was happening, you guessed it, I was there. I LOVED church then, and I still do.

My ECYs-early church years-were filled with brand new Biblical and Christian lifestyle concepts; and I couldn't get enough of Bible study or worship. My discovery of Christ overwhelmed me in a wonderful way, so I pursued a deeper relationship with the One I called my Savior, and I still do.

Through core groups (small groups for teens), I pledged to spend an hour each day with the Bible and my Lord, not just at church, but at home. Wow. I moved through the rest of my teen years full of guilt with a pledge for the most part unkept. Accomplished on the days I set aside my hour, yet self-condemned on the days I didn't, I felt like a failure, mediocre at best in my walk with Christ - and sometimes, I still do.

Do you?

Years later, I'm a far-cry from that teenage girl, but the challenge of quiet-time in the "spend-an- hour-in-prayer-and-Bible-reading-everyday" sense, still haunts me on occasion. Especially when the day has sped by and I'm jolted from near dozing by the thought of, I missed my hour with the Lord today. I breathe a prayer, asking God to please forgive me. And again, sometimes, I still do. 

Ladies, transparent conversation starts here and now. Will you share your feelings authentically? Do you feel guilty for missed time with the Lord? What is it that keeps you from quiet-time? Work? Family? How do you feel when the day whisks by and you haven't had a moment, let alone a full hour, to be still before God - with Him. Do you feel like you've neglected an obligation? How do you move beyond that? Do you? Or do you tell yourself you'll start over and tomorrow you'll do better?

First and foremost, as the foundation for Linger is laid, my intention is not to make you feel guilty or condemn you for misuse of your daily time. No one can do that, and His Word declares why:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

Girls, this is just the beginning of our journey. And where best to start, but at the very beginning of a challenge. Take a look at the above questions again. Will you join me in sharing your thoughts and experiences? For the sake of our journey, we're not looking for answers to our dilemma - yet. I believe we will first be encouraged by knowing we're not the only ones, but that we all struggle when it comes to our mother's version of quiet-time. And my prayer is that through our upcoming weeks - months - together, we will find it is easier to Linger with our Savior, constantly and consistently. 

Here we go...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Introducing LINGER... A Fresh Concept for a New Year


A New Year. 

A Brand New Blog. 

And a subject I am most passionate about - Abiding in God's presence. 



But what does that really look like, especially in the midst of a woman's chaotic life? This is the question I will endeavor to practically and creatively address together with you. Girls, our lives may look completely different, but I guarantee each of us struggles with the balancing act of our daily routines. Lingering conversation and devotions with God are often some of the first things cast aside, reserved for more reverent times - quieter times. 

Need it be so?

Oh ladies, I can hardly wait to begin seeking His presence more fully with you. Will you join me in discovering what quiet-time really is, and how we can enjoy God's presence in ways we may have never considered? 

As a desired participant, you are most welcome to comment freely with your own experiences and stories. In fact, I encourage your feedback. This blog is the humble beginnings of a book I'm currently preparing and if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to possibly include your thoughts in the text - with your permission, of course. But before that - for now - I'm ready begin our journey into The Art of Lingering. Are you? Oh, I pray so...

It's a good year for a new concept. And always a good year for Lingering with the Father.