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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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Sunday morning started what I like to call the parade of palms. They hang out of windows, attach to cars, frame doors, and suffocate in the fingers of the scurrying crowd of church-goers. The triumphal and humble entry began without much pomp and circumstance here, though I did relish the louder-than-normal worship songs drifting from the streets.

As I read, write, and listen to these messages from the Gospel Coalition conference, I am making note of beautiful things. If you have a chance, take a peek or a listen and see what you think.

  • This is an artist I really admire and a song that has roots than run deep to the very character of God and our refuge in Him. Also check out the hymns of Isaac Watts, remade.

  • This sermon hit me HARD today. We are either true disciples of Christ or not disciples at all. It’s not about becoming a disciple or helping people on the way to becoming disciples. We either are or we’re not. We are either encouraging someone who is truly a disciple or we are encouraging someone is not yet a disciple at all. And how can we know if we truly are or truly are not? If we abide in the Word. I need to hear this Truth this morning! I can divide my time with books and sermons and journals and still not abide in the Word – in Christ Himself. Anyway, take a listen and treasure the invitations to abide!
    If You Abide In My Word, You Are Truly My Disciples.
  • Recently (I have no idea how… it’s a social networking story, I’m sure), I found Here’s Life ministry – an organization that is mobilizing the Church to live out God’s heart for the poor in US inner cities. You should DEFINITELY check out what they are about and what they are doing for Easter!
  • Check out this new book… AH! So many new books to read! Here’s a book trailer for The Greener Grass Conspiracy. Sidenote: I love that books have trailers now. Why should films get all the screen love?
  • This article is interesting, from the Wall Street Journal on Gandhi. Might surprise you what story history tells.
  • We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Yemen! Read up on the news here.
  • Okay, this is awesome to me because I am not necessarily a  “Steve Green” fan, but I can wholeheartedly agree with what he’s all about!
  • I just saw a few movies I would totally suggest: Walkout – a refresher in history and specifically education in the States. It’s worth a view. Also, Empire of the Sun – the Japanese occupation of China through the eyes of an English boy. I really can’t believe I hadn’t seen this classic before! Away we Go – okay, so it’s more than a bit unconventional. But, I think the film communicated how deep brokenness can be and how strong a desire to mend it through relationship. I also laughed a lot 🙂
  • I haven’t made mention of this during the Lenten season, but now may be the right time. Please check out LIVING WATER INTERNATIONAL – an organization that is daily drilling wells all around the world in an effort to bring physical, clean water to people who have none. In the process, they offer the Living Water of the Gospel. Being a part of this special H2O project for Lent has been one where I’ve realized my tendency for things I don’t need that confuse my heart for the things I want most.
Okay. I’m back to reading. I finished a book today and hope to finish another one tonight, before or after I chase down some students. Rest is truly a gift I cannot measure. I can only hope that in this time God would fill me up to be sent and poured out once again.
Lastly, I am praying for this kind of Holy Week (Blog post taken from the Desiring God blog).

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is not intrinsically holy, except that all time is holy, since it belongs to God. But we can make it holy by setting it apart for sacred focus.

May I encourage you to do that, for the sake of seeing more of the greatness of Christ. He reveals himself through his word. Take up his word and focus your attention on him in his last hours. Set aside some time this week to fix your gaze steadily on him as he loves you to the uttermost (John 13:1).

The passages in the Gospels that record his final hours are:

You may find that a volcano erupts in your soul. Like it did for me 28 years ago.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy!

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