Posts Tagged ‘rich mullins

24
May
13

Really needing some stamps

Several years ago Jesus gave me a promise in regards to our family living on financial support. It was during a group prayer time where we had been asked to write Jesus a letter. Instead he completely turned things upside down, and showed me that the letter that he wanted me to put inside the envelope that we had been given was a letter from him. The letter is us as a family, and the message in the letter is one of honesty, hope, forgiveness and love.

He impressed on me to just write ‘God’ as the sender of the letter, and then I attached a permanent marker and a pencil to the envelope and left it on a chair. What Jesus had invited me to was to allow him to decide how the receiving address of the letter was going to be written. It is his business whether he writes the address with a pencil, so it can be easily and more frequently changed, or if he wants us to be in some location for a long time where he would write the address of the letter with a Sharpie permanent marker.

The symbolism was simple and beautiful, and I heard very clearly in my spirit: “And I will pay the postage!”

Jesus will pay the postage. That’s been our promise that we’ve been clinging to ever since I heard those words from Jesus 5 years ago. We have gone through many challenging situations financially, and he has always been true to his promise. But let’s face it….right now we could really use some more stamps!

I’ve been working on, alongside many other projects that require my attention, a major support raising campaign. Let’s be honest, so far where I’m almost done with it, it’s been hugely discouraging. We really need more monthly support to be able to continue doing what we know Jesus has called us to do. We have received some gifts towards our moving expenses this summer, and we are extremely grateful for those! But as far as monthly gift pledges, we have to accept that right now we are looking at a minus of at least $210. Yep, that was $210 less each month…..

Jesus, we just choose to quietly remind you of your promise. You will pay the postage!

A song I was just reminded of as my thoughts and feelings experience lots of turmoil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4DgESWtCus

And a classic by Rich Mullins, sung by Big Daddy Weave:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOon2xQNZX0

Torben

27
Aug
11

Fear – part of the human condition

Fear…Most people feel it from time to time. Some people feel it all the time. A lot are crippled by it. Some have overcome some of it. The majority of people experience lots of fear, but would deny it, if you asked them. Jesus talked a lot about fear. “Fear not“, he said over and over again, seemingly understanding that his disciples both then and now need endless repetitions of this simple, yet difficult invitation.

Lots of believers feel embarrassed when they experience fear. They quote 1. John 4:18 that talks about that perfect love casts out all fear. So if I feel fear, it must be because I don’t know Jesus (enough/at all?), they reason.

I’ve come to see fear in very different ways recently. Fear is fear, and fear is a part of me as a human being. To deny that I’m often afraid, is to deny my humanness. Jesus is not against my humanness. Jesus isn’t troubled by it. Jesus isn’t ashamed at me or mad at me when I give into fear and paranoia. He understands. He has created billions of people who have all experienced fear. He was surrounded by disciples who often made decisions based on fear. He experienced fear himself. Fear of what was lying ahead when he was crying out to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

If there is no room for fear, there is simply no room for me to be me. I admit that I have fears in my life. Right now, it seems as if I have lots of them. I look to the future filled with huge, unanswered questions, and I experience fear. I am okay with that. I don’t believe that it has to do with lack of faith. I know Jesus is. In me. In my life today. And he is in my future. I know his perfect love will cast out all fear. I know he’ll cause me to walk through decisions and realities that I’m afraid of. Even when I feel terrified, I know he’ll be in me and accept me. My level of fear doesn’t affect his level of love and acceptance for me.

Jesus doesn’t shame me when I feel fear. Jesus doesn’t question my commitment to him. Jesus doesn’t attack me. Jesus comes alongside me. Jesus is with me in my fear. He is not afraid. But he understands that I am. And he invites me to trust him in the midst of it. He wants to show me that he’ll bring me through what I’m paralyzed thinking about. He will rarely take a short-cut. He seems to like walking through the mine fields and go the most complicated paths. I would choose otherwise. But I’ve allowed him to be in charge. He knows that. And he knows that my fear and my worries are not indicators that I don’t want him to be in charge.

So I cling to him, and with my brother, Rich Mullins, I cry out to Jesus:

Hold me, Jesus, cause I’m shaking like a leaf. You’ve been King of my glory, won’t  you be my Prince of Peace

Blessings, Torben

 

16
Jan
10

Hard To Get

I’ve been sick these past few days. It only served to highlight the gray place I feel I’m in. Personally. Ministry wise. It all looks very gray. Not absolutely dark or black. Just gray. I feel stuck. I feel God is far away. I know he is not. But I feel overwhelmed by my feelings. I’m often, as someone once pointed out, a black and white thinker controlled by my emotions. That’s the case these days. And tonight I thought of one of my all-time favorite songs. Considering the fact that many artists have covered a multitude of Rich Mullins’ songs over the past many years, it strikes me as remarkable that I can only find one person, Phil Stacey, who has taken it upon himself to make a cover version of one of Rich’s most honest and powerful songs, Hard To Get.

I guess I understand why. It’s a brutally honest song. We often think, we are not supposed to feel the way Rich feels in the song. But we all do at times. Some of us more often than others. You become very vulnerable if you express these feelings to other people. So most people hide them. We put on a happy smile. We fake it. And we hope these feelings will just disappear. We don’t invite God into them.

This song is an invitation. An invitation to God. A series of questions thrown at God. There are some accusations. Not unfair accusations. It’s not a matter of right or wrong. This is real life. This is not polished-up religion or keeping-up-appearances. This is raw, felt reality. And God is the one who needs to answer. You can’t answer for me. I can’t answer for you. God needs to answer. And he will. I trust that he will. So did Rich. That’s why he wrote the song. He wasn’t afraid to get naked in front of God with the mess that was his life.

I’m there too. I feel lots of things right now. Most of them don’t lead to life. These feelings steal life. I am tempted to agree with them and agree that myself, God, other people and life are all more or less hopeless. But I choose not to do that. I choose to direct my questions to God. My concerns. My hurts. My wounds. I’m walking wounded. And life hurts right now. I feel alone. I feel abandoned. I feel lost. But I turn to God, and ask him to show me the way out of this mess. I trust that he has led me so far, and I trust he’ll continue to lead me. I don’t understand his ways. His path almost always seems to be more complicated and longer than the one I would have preferred. But that’s okay. I surrender the mess that’s me to him. He is the Shepherd, I’m the sheep. Lead me, Jesus. I don’t know where I’m going. And I feel lost.

Hard To Get

“You who live in heaven hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth? Who are afraid of being left by those we love and who get hardened in the hurt.

Do You remember when You lived down here where we all scrape to find the faith to ask for daily bread?

Did You forget about us after You had flown away? Well, I memorized every word You said. Still, I’m so scared I’m holding my breath, while You’re up there just playing hard to get

You who live in radiance hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin? We have a love that’s not as patient as Yours was, still we do love now and then.

Did You ever know loneliness, did You ever know need? Do You remember just how long a night can get, when you’re barely holding on, and Your friends fall asleep, and don’t see the blood that’s running in Your sweat?

Will those who mourn be left uncomforted, while You’re up there just playing hard to get?

And I know You bore our sorrows, and i know You feel our pain, and I know that it would not hurt any less, even if it could be explained. And I know that I’m only lashing out at the One who loves me most

And after I’ve figured this, somehow, what I really need to know is: If You who live in eternity hear the prayers of those of us who live in time. We can’t see what’s ahead, and we cannot get free from what we’ve left behind.

I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears all these words of  shame and doubt, blame and regret

I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here, to where I’m lost enough to let myself be led

And so You’ve been here all along I guess, it’s just Your ways and You’re just plain hard to get”

Written by Rich Mullins for the majestic album, The Jesus Record, which is definitely on my all-time top 3 list!

I couldn’t find the original Rich Mullins-version anywhere on Youtube, but I appreciate this Phil Stacey-cover version:

Blessings, Torben




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