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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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Kyrie Eleison

In Greek, the phrase means, “Lord, have mercy.”

What catches my breath in my throat is how beautiful the phrase sounds. I remember singing it in high school for Honor Choir or All State auditions, I’m not sure which. I am sure I was drawn in by the mystery of its beauty and its tragedy … but not understanding why.

Today, the mystery wound itself around my heart’s cry for my students. As I sat at the mechanic shop (praise the Lord my severely overheated car only needed a simple little tube that cost 2 dozen eggs and some change!) reading Think by John Piper, I thought about how we are called to be both like children (Matthew 18:3), but not children at all (1 Corinthians 14:20).

I can think of many times I’ve been accused of being excessively childish and an almost equally amount of times I’ve been accused of being too serious. And, um, the accusations are often true. The pros and cons of this see-saw are something only the Lord can measure out. But, I’m not going to give up that easy.

I love that the God of all the universe suggests we become like children… completely dependent for every need and completely abandoned to all kinds of joy; completely honest about doubts and completely transparent about fear. We need Him just as desperately for joy as we do for our bread and I think He delights equally to give them.

I love that when Zaccheus heard Jesus was coming to town, he lost all sense of shame or fear and scurried right on up that Sycamore tree. And oh how I love Jesus when he gives Zaccheus (see this sermon by George Whitefield) the invitation to come down … and to please host him (Jesus) at his house for a celebration! Zaccheus abandoned all pride and position just to glimpse the Man with the power to give him a place in eternity.

Can you believe it? God didn’t move Zaccheus to walk stoically up an aisle at an altar call and calmly confess by repeating a mechanical prayer. God moved in Zaccheus and the little guy couldn’t reach for the branches fast enough. He desperately wanted to see Jesus and nothing else mattered. Only a child would act like that. And I love that Jesus loved it.

On the other/same hand (I refuse to think these things are actually separate), Paul cautions the church in Corinth to not be children “in your thinking.” We are to be infants in regard to evil, but mature in our thinking. It is much easier to do the opposite – mature about evil and infants in our thinking. We are not called to be infants about everything… just evil. The act of thinking will bring us into maturity, just like a child who learns to walk or start mumbling phrases. Those lessons require thinking. Sometimes we get so concerned about being “relevant” that we start to be mature about the evil in the world. I can’t say I know what it means to be innocent of evil (Romans 16:19) and wise about what is good, but I think it has a lot to do with Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

As we actively think on these things, in the pursuit of Scripture and its application in our lives, the evil things of our dark world becomes less appealing, while the wisdom about living in the darkness makes our light shine like a million suns.

It’s getting late and I should wrap this up.

Basically, when my heart cries out Kyrie Eleison today, I am saying, “Lord, have mercy on me when I am mature about evil and innocent about good. And, Lord have mercy on my students as they choose what to think on, be wise about, and be innocent of. Oh, Lord please have mercy!”

What better place to learn about this desperate plea than through music… through the beautiful voice of a child. Here’s a young English boy singing Kyrie recorded live in Dublin with a full choir and orchestra. Also this article from the Gospel Coalition, “Ordinary Evil and the Factory that Made Corpses” has provoked some thoughts on what it is to be innocent of evil, or completely mixed up in it.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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