Triage

Some say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that’s true,

but all villages include thieves and liars and fools.

Whether we like it or not, each makes an imprint the child carries with him always.

So what our children really need is a triage team that prays;

some who see the yearnings, and some who see the fears,

some who battle the enemy, and others who know the tears

the child has cried, alone in the night,

as well as his greatest delights.

Every day brings another load of emergencies to prioritize, stabilize,

and heal from the inside out.

It takes a triage team, waiting nearby, standing in the gap,

knowing when and what to pray about

to raise a child who’s always protected,

knows s/he is loved, now by us,

and eternally by God.

Amen and amen.

Magnify

Old people connected by family ties

to a young virgin girl,

not only a virgin in body,

but surely innocent of the ways of the world.

 

Old Zacharias did what he knew to be right

and served his Lord but that

shred of doubt made him

deaf and dumb, unable to tell even

Elizabeth the wonderful news

or hear her joy and delight.

 

Like Zacharias, Mary could not believe

the marvelous truth at first,

but God did not need to shut

her mouth or ears; she and

Elizabeth both pondered

these things in their hearts.

 

The Holy Spirit so sweetly and

powerfully at work in this

time and place to birth

the only way back

to the God of the world.

 

Old Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth,

the young peasant girl Mary,

and the babies who would

herald and fulfill the dawn of

salvation; every soul ever born now

able if willing to magnify the Lord

through His Son Jesus Christ.

Amen and amen.

(From Luke 1:5-80, NKJV)

Fully Human

Jesus was fully human and fully God

all at once throughout His lifetime

until His death on the cross.

And then, His human body was fully dead,

but His Spirit lived on,

even before we were able to see Him

outside of the tomb.

 

The Scriptures tell us

He did battle with Satan and won

while we still thought Him dead, entombed.

 

Before the cross

came Gethsemane,

where Jesus fought with His humanity.

His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.

He longed for friends to watch and pray and stay with Him.

But even that smallest request

was too much for even His closest friends

who could not stay awake, even for an hour.

 

In that garden, in both His humanity and diety,

Jesus saw both the torture and the victory;

He knew the earthly pain and heavenly glory to come.

His earthly humanity rose up against that unbearable pain

of flesh and Spirit;

the nails piercing flesh and crushing bones

was nothing compared to

the seering torment of His Father turning away,

His heart ripping hatefully from His chest

and our sins marching in with sickness and wicked evil

and hate and pride and selfishness and everything

unholy poisoning and ripping Him to shreds.

 

He saw it all

alone, with no friends to comfort

or even sit by His side.

Knowing all too well,

He asked for what His humanity

and ours always desires,

“Take this cup from me.”

None of us, even Jesus in His humanity,

want our part in the kingdom

to include suffering.

 

Like Jesus, we know,

if He’s graced us to know,

that all things are possible

for our Father in heaven.

But here in our humanity

we rarely if ever

truly say and mean what Jesus said and meant:

“Not what I will,

but what You will.”

That is the process of life,

the work of our decades,

the ultimate going-home goal.

Amen and amen

(from Mark 14:32-42 NKJV)

For my Grandchildren

May the love of our Father God,

who has infused us with love for our children,

pass unbroken from all those who loved

my Grandma, Anna Lupeny Jenkins,

down the line to my parents,

MaMa Betty and Elmo Jenky,

to me and the father of our children,

and be strengthened as it flows through my sons,

Josh and Jake,

and on to their children and children’s children,

from everlasting to everlasting.

“But Lord, Your endless love

stretches from one eternity to the other,

unbroken and unrelenting

toward those who fear you

and those who bow facedown in awe before You.

Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise You’ve made

passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren,

and beyond.” Psalm 103:17 (TPT)

Amen and amen.


	

Water of Life

In the mornings when I wake up
I often have pervasive, eager hope,
not for anything in particular
but for something I cannot see
bubbling under the surface,
charging the air with electricity.
This hope comes from the Holy Spirit;
I could not feel it until Jesus baptized me with Him.
This hope has nothing to do with the circumstances of life;
it comes as it may without reason or rhyme.
It is the hope that springs 
from the river of living water
flowing through me;
water for others
but also for me,
water to cleanse
and carry us along,
water of life
so our souls may live and not die,
water to swim and play in as the otters
and water to swim upstream against as the salmon.
Water of hope, carry me along
to my appointed destiny.

The View

Blindness comes in many forms–physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational. For some, healing happens in stages over expanses of time.

A dear friend of mine has a form of blindness that typically begins early in life. This beautiful young woman cannot see how fearfully and wonderfully and perfectly God has created her, inside and out. Somewhere along the way, the enemy enticed her to look a little too long at the uber-thin, air-brushed, models in magazines and the tiny, botoxed actresses who’ve had teams of make-up artists and lighting directors spending hours making them look “better” than reality.  My friend bought in to the enemy’s lie that if she did not fit into a certain size of clothing or look like these models and actresses, she should be ashamed of her looks.

God understands how easily so many of us fall into this trap. We don’t realize that it is a trap when we start comparing ourselves to others whose looks conform to our society’s current standard.  The enemy also uses another related ploy to keep us down in the pit of body-shame: he tricks us with false feelings of humility. My friend is kind and considerate, easily puts other people first and has a genuinely humble heart that never boasts or puts herself above others. The enemy can slip in the back door unnoticed and twist our God-given and God-honoring humility into a self-loathing that no longer honors God because it puts the world’s image of what we’re “supposed” to look like above the uniquely wonderful body God actually gave us.

Of course, we need balance too. God expects us to care for these amazing bodies and minds He gave us, and He certainly doesn’t want us to hate someone else because she’s beautiful in the ways our society values most. But He’s given us a roadmap for keeping that balance:

I beseech you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV

I pray that my friend learns to see, over and over again every day, how amazingly beautiful and valuable and perfect she is, just as she is today. I pray that her perception shifts from seeing herself through the lens of the world’s totally unrealistic expectations to seeing herself from heaven’s view–fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image, beloved, strong, and uniquely perfect. I pray the same for me because I still struggle with that perspective problem too. I pray for anyone who has only seen how they don’t measure up to the world’s standards, that we may each be transformed as God renews our minds to see ourselves through the love of Jesus.

Amen and amen.

Can you see?

Miracles happen, sometimes in an instant, but sometimes over decades. Sometimes we recognize the miracle, but too often we allow the enemy to provide an explanation that puts the miracle into terms of our every day world view. When we stop seeing the miracle through God’s divine sovereignty, we lose it. The miracle happened, but we only see how it occurred in the natural realm.

Jesus rebuked Peter for speaking against the divine plan for salvation that required Jesus to go to the cross, be killed for our sins, and then rise from the dead in ultimate victory. See Mark 8:31-33. Jesus knew that Satan was the source of Peter’s inability to see the Father’s plan, and He immediately rebuked Peter for going along with Satan’s lie, lowering the sovereign plan of God into the realm man’s limitations. If we are willing to listen, Jesus will rebuke us too when we speak out against His miracle-work on earth, calling it merely an everyday occurrence stripped bare of God’s power and authority.

I have a friend who had a serious, acute medical issue. She asked me for prayer, and I gladly prayed for Jesus to heal her completely. The tests results were negative; none of the problems she feared showed up. She was relieved that the doctors had found a simple problem with an easy solution. I was happy that she would not have to face the worst, but I failed completely to rebuke her for not seeing the miracle God had given her. I have confessed my sin, and God faithfully forgave me. But my friend lost sight of the miracle God gave her.

I pray now for the courage to always speak up when I see a miracle in my life and in other’s. Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus comes to give us life, but not just life on earth bound by our own explanations for how all this works. He comes to give us an abundance of miracles that cannot be explained away with our logic or intellect. See John 10:10.

May I and everyone to whom He has connected me accept the divine truth of miracles every time we receive them.

Amen and amen.