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Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging

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dance

Unforced Rhythm in the Dance of Life

image“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

When God was handing out athletic ability, gracefulness, and rhythm, I was dropping the ball, tripping over my own two feet, and dancing to the words not the beat of the song. . .not to mention singing either flat or sharp. I just did not find the fun in running, hitting, or catching and though I longed to dance never really grasped the rhythms of it all. I have been clumsy and awkward most of my life, including having an eating and drinking disorder–I spill or drop food on myself often. I have envied, yes, yes, I know that envy is sin, especially the kind that turns to coveting, actually hoping the graceful fall. So easy to fall into the trap of coveting and so very wrong.

As I have aged I have not become any less awkward, but I have learned to enjoy some sporting activities, even some as a participant [tennis]. I took lessons which helped. And yet, the truth is physical grace lies outside my purview and that is okay now. I am not the scrawny kid chosen last for the team. God gave me other abilities and I am still learning the grace of those rhythms.

I am also still learning the Rhythms of God’s Grace, that fill me, lift me and give me peace. The world is a tiring place, full of responsibilities, chores, physical deficits, mental, financial, relational challenges, full of fun stuff that tasks physically and mentally as well. Face it! We’d be Super Heroes, if we didn’t get tired.

God promises that if we keep company with him, which should be easy for us Christians, since the Holy Spirit lives within, but unfortunately I still try going my own way only to plunge into a series of missteps, fatigue and often depression. Why? When as The Message puts it God desires to lift my burden and give me rest, if I will

Come away with him
Walk with him
Work with him
Watch how He does it
And He will
show me how to live freely and lightlyIn other words, if we put our feet on God’s feet, He will guide us through the rhythms of the dance of life effortlessly no matter how graceful or in my case not graceful we are.

Filling My Dance Card

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Do you believe in coincidence? The older I get, the less I do. Certainly, some events in our lives and the world’s happen because of decisions someone made…that I get, but things that happen that call us to pray for someone only finding out later that at that exact moment a great need arose, the flat tire that prevents my being involved in an automobile accident, the telephone call from someone with just the right word, when you hit rock bottom, the chance meeting of two people leading to a lifetime together, the “coincidences” of life…are they really happenstance? Call me foolish, but I doubt they are.

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At SHE READS TRUTH this morning, the scripture was Mark 5:25-34, the story of the bleeding woman, her desperation, her courage, even her defiance of Levitical Law. The devotional and many of the readers’ comments emphasized how many of us bleed without actual blood and how Jesus responds when we reach beyond human solutions and reasoning for his healing. For me the devotional hit me right where I am at the moment.

On Monday, August 26th, I am scheduled to have two surgical procedures by two physicians. My problems have been with me for several years but increasingly have become nearly unbearable. Without going into detail, WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!, three pregnancies and deliveries, previous surgery, combined with family history and gastrointestinal issues have brought me to the point of desperation. While I am counting on the expertise of two seasoned surgeons to do their jobs efficiently, I am putting my faith in Jesus for the outcome.

Of course, there is the concern about my recovery and the pain management(not a big fan of pain), but do you know what I am also trusting Jesus for? Our household, two men, my husband and my brother, having to do the extra little things I do as well as all they already do, my two inside dogs, feeding the outside dog…get the picture, I am bleeding over the small stuff.

It takes a lot of courage to ask Jesus for the small stuff. We often feel like we should not bother him with the small bleeds. We should only ask for help when we are bleeding out. How foolish I am, we are…Jesus cares about anything that causes us to worry or fear or to bleed, small or large.

It was no coincidence that SHE READS TRUTH focused on the woman with the issue of bleeding today. After reading it a bit of verse came to me and as I prepare myself and my household for my surgery, I do it hanging onto Jesus like he was my last and only chance.

Last chance, last dance,
danced with medical teams,
danced with old wives’ tales,
nothing worked, everything failed.
No need to draw attention
because they’d send me away,
hiding my shame, my ugly stains,
This is my last chance,
fingertips stretched
touching the hem,
Feeling the power
from tips to my core
Feeling assurance that yes, I am well!
In an instant I stand ready to run,
knowing I’m healed but ready to go.
He turns and he searches
His eyes find mine, he sees me,
He smiles and blesses my faith..
He was my last chance
His glance fills my being
as I start to dance.

When it comes to mental, physical, relational,or spiritual needs no chances, coincidences, even medical marvels can I am filling Jesus name into every slot on my dance card

Every Dance of Life with Jesus
Every Dance of Life with Jesus

GET OUT OF THAT STINKING BOAT. . . and dance?

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Just had to share the text and devotion in total from http://shereadstruth.com/ written by Sarah Matheny.

Text:  1 Peter 1:13-16, Romans 12:1-3

“Peter is one of those Biblical figures that I just get. He’s just living his life, doing his thing, working hard at what he does, when he encounters Christ.  And then everything changes. Because Jesus doesn’t just see Simon Peter as a hard-working fisherman, crusty, focused on the tasks he’s got on his own horizon and, more than likely, a little smelly. Jesus sees him as a rock. A fisher of men. Jesus sees Peter as holy.

When Peter writes in 1 Peter, we get the advantage of knowing his story. We know he himself wasn’t always prepared for action (1 Peter 1:13a, NIV). We know he himself has lived in ignorance (1 Peter 1:14, NIV). And we can believe him when he says we too can receive grace and be holy in all that we do (1 Peter 1:16, NIV), even when we fall short, as we know Peter himself did.

The Lord doesn’t call us to be something we cannot be. We cannot be perfect.  But we can be set apart, just as Peter was, despite his crusty, smelly, self-interested ways. Being holy, though, has less to do with being without fault and more to do with the state of our heart once we’ve come to know Christ. We can intentionally cast our nets, steer our boat and ask Him to wash off as much of our stink as we possibly can with the resolve to invest our lives in the work of His kingdom.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  (Romans 12:2, NIV)

Jesus raised the bar for Peter, and He raises the bar for us. He wants to be your all in all, in every part of your life.

All you have to do is let Him help you out of your stinky boat.”

Carolyn’s Comments:

From The Message in the Romans 12:1-2 passage: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.”   Well that one hit me right between the eyes.  How often do I just go along to get along?

Then I read Sarah’s devotional and pow again, right off, something I don’t often consider.  Jesus saw Peter as not perfect or ever likely to be perfect, that is before Heaven.   He saw him as HOLY, set apart to represent God in his world and his culture. Today, He sees you and me that way.  Not perfect, but perfectly HIS!  Called to make a difference, not just slide along with the whims of societal changes. 

How easy it is to cocoon ourselves and simply wile away our time in safe places, church, SRT, our homes as long as the TV is off! 

Or to enter the world to creep along the fringes of cultural needs and even atrocities, like the wallflower I was in High School. Silent, hoping not to be noticed. 

Or simply to keep our faith as something “personal” and maybe not dive right in to the crowd, but certainly to drift along in that direction. 

In the Old Testament God called a people the Hebrews and set them apart to be Holy unto God…not so they would become a clique but so they would be Light to the World. They didn’t get it, or at least most of them didn’t. They were supposed to make a difference in the world. 

In the New Testament God gave His only son to die and then to rise so that WE could be Holy unto God…not a clique, a beacon, not bland, but salty, seasoned with his grace and love. 

We are called to SHAPE THE WORLD not BE SHAPED BY THE WORLD! 

I cannot do that hiding in the walled city, or skirting the walls at the dance of life. 

If God sees me as Holy, set apart, then I need to see myself that way and look to where He is working in the world, take His Hand and join the DANCE even if it uses new steps no one else is using. 

I am leaving you with the verse that really hit me from three different versions. 

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. (1 Peter 1:14 NLT) As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. (1 Peter 1:14 MSG) Like obedient children, do not comply with the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance, (1 Peter 1:14 NET) 
Abigail