Joy

The lead pastor at my church spoke about joy maybe a month ago.

 

Joy in the presence of suffering.

The greatest joys

sometimes the marks of

great suffering.

I don’t fully comprehend it yet, in the sense that I embrace it all for my own life.

I’m starting to get it though.

 

I’m looking forward to telling you my full, un-edited story one day.

Unapologetically

without shame,

without fear,

and with gladness.

Maybe it will be when I am 85.

Maybe when I’m long dead.

For now I’m just building up the pages of this book that’s my life.

 

So let’s go.

To another day.

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Celebrating You.

June 21, 2019

I am weird. Very weird.

Most of my close, good, steadfast friends will confirm that.
I struggled with that and being insecure about that for a while though. Even now, sometimes I feel hints of that.
But the wisest people have said:
The only thing you can be certain about being the best at and that people will love you the most for
is you being you. Simply you.
And I’ve found that to be true ūüôā
For all those struggling to get out into their skin. Know that I’m here with you. You are loved, in more ways and by more people than you could ever imagine.

On Psalms

I am embarking on a reading journey through Psalms, and I’ll update this post here as I find words daily that resonate with me in some way or potentially for where I am at a given point in time.

 

Feel free to check in and follow along:

Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man[a]
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

 

Psalm 2:

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

Psalm 3:

O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ÄúThere is no salvation for him in God.‚ÄĚ

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. 

5I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

 

Psalm 4:

O men,[a] how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

4 Be angry,[b] and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
5 Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.

6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
¬†¬†¬†¬†Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!‚ÄĚ
7 You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 5:

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.

9 For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

Psalm 6:

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O¬†Lord‚ÄĒhow long?

4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?

6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.

 

Psalm 7:

O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;

    save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
    rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my friend[b] with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

6 Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
    over it return on high.

8 The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.

Sermon Notes Day of Pentacost: TGC Williamsburg, June 9, 2019_Tyler Staton_When the Advocate Comes Series & Personal Reflections

What does a pentacost filled community look like?

Spirit with the father

Spirit in the son

Spirit fills us

Spirit through us

 

Unity

Unity with God that could never be taken

Most of us feel based on our performance near or close to God (a problem)

The Holy Spirit assures us of our belovedness to God

Unity with One-another : seeing the worst in each other and continuing to love

The bible says power always serves love.

Mandate: Simply, humbly, intentionally love.

Suffering

“We must be careful not to pray ‘come holy spirit’ unless we are prepared to ‘go with the holy spirit’ – Simon Ponsonby

Passion:

root in latin: willing to suffer for

“We live in a city suffering for things with an expiration date.”

The path to glory comes by way of the cross

 

Joy

“Energy is cheap, joy is costly”

An experience: “Every single one of the kids so filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit carried a story that dragged” with the tragedies and sadness of their experiences (kids with trauma of some kind of sexual abuse)

“The holy spirit puts Jesus back at the center” always.

Joy when you know who you’re dealing with in Jesus.

“A dislike of enthusiasm is one of the greatest hindrances to revival”

Martyn Lloyd Jones


A reflection:

For a while, I wanted to end the pain I felt, the life I could not feel one semblance of joy in, a life I thought was beyond saving, a self I could no love. At the height of my depression in 2014, God met me in my dark, lonely place beyond hope and touched a scared & broken me that had cried out blindly in vitriolic hate and anger to a God that was supposed to exist.

He struck with me so much light and love– I had thought those two didn’t exist in my life anymore.

Yesterday, I walked into Trinity Grace Church with a heavy heart, worn by the cumulative emotional and mental weight of my experiences the past 3 months, but expectant and filled with a certain hope still that I’d praise and seek comfort in the counsel of my one great Father, my God. During worship, a song came up that I’m very familiar with, and these verses

And I will build my life upon your Love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

struck me and brought me back to a memory at a Bangkok church one Sunday morning in July 2014, where I made a promise to God to start living and to stop existing.

 

In TGC I feel God’s presence so tangibly, like I’ve never before.

I am grateful to be nearer to him. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to feel. I am grateful to have suffered. I am grateful to love. I am grateful to be alive right now to drink from the deepest wellsprings of happiness and to share in the joys and sorrows of my life and those around me. And for that all I feel joy this morning.

 

 

Prayer

6.3.2019_Monday_Paris

After reading Acts 8-9

Lord, sometimes we go on our ways thinking it is the right thing to pursue only to find that we’ve been working against you and your glorification.

We’re praying all along, but we’re not praying for the right things, asking to see the right things.

Help me God to better hear your voice. Teach me to pray and meditate so that I may be closer to your heart and your will.