Sunday, 30 March 2008

a poem i wrote

Who Knows My Steps, Who Ordains My Ways?
A poem by Lindsey Diacogiannis

I am searching for meaning,
My life is in need of cleaning,
How long has it been,
Since my life has seen,
The touch of your hand

My ways are shifting,
I am sifting,
Through what is right,
And pure, and just,
To find that which leads to life

I have seen hardship,
And have been hurt,
But I’m seeking Joy,
And learning to be still,
Listening for the Words of the LORD

My steps are laid out,
He has made them straight,
He leads me through the narrow gate,
But sometimes I stumble and fall away,
Then He picks me up and shows me how to pray

I am still,
Listening for His voice to speak,
I try to be humble and meek,
He whispers to me,
Calling me to obey,
But which path to choose,
Is what I ask when I pray

Morning and night I am seeking Him,
I long to be righteous, living upright,
But sometimes I cringe and shrink back in fright,
I know He holds the universe in His hands,
I know he laid out all of my plans,
Trusting is Word is hard for me,
His daughter is who I long to be,

How can I walk with justice in cause,
It is this question that makes me pause,
I long to see Him smile at me,
I long to walk in liberty,
But some people only choose to see,
My past and all the mistakes I made,

I know I hurt many,
But this time I’m sure,
I want to be different,
I want to be pure,
My life is no longer in my hands,
I give it to Him,
That He show me His plans

His purpose is what I want fulfilled,
His kingdom is what I want to build,
That many more would surround His throne,
His life and light would always be shown,

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Psalm 23

Last night we had family devotions before bed, and being that it was March 23, we began by reading Psalm 23. Usually this psalm would be so familiar to me, but I asked God to speak to me in a new way, and He did.

As Dad read aloud verse 4, the words of the last part seemed to stick out to me and I began to mentally calculate this new meaning. "I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
"Your rod and your staff, they comfort me", the words rang in my ears... This psalm is about the LORD being our shepherd, and a shepherd uses his staff for guidance and his rod for discipline.

Hmm.... I definitely knew that God was calling me to restore my vision of Him as my Shepherd. He is there to guide me and discipline me, but the verse doesn't end there, it says that these things are a comfort!
I not only needed to see God as my shepherd, but needed to rest in comfort of his guidance and discipline. Sheep tend to be dumb animals, and they NEED a shepherd's direction because the shepherd sees the bigger picture, He sees the cliff at the edge of our "grazing spot". He knows the temptations of "better grass" and warmer winds, and wants to gently, lovingly bring us back under His protection through "the staff and the rod".

-Lindsey <><

Monday, 17 March 2008

The Dash

When I think about life I realize that my time here on earth is short! God has only given me a fleeting moment to complete His will and plan for me. In American culture the contemporary wisdom says that success is measured by the amount of money one has, or the magnitude of possessions they acquire. But according to the wisdom of the Bible, the man who finds his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life for the sake of Christ will find it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose even his own life. In the poem called “The Dash”, Linda Ellis grasps the depth of the shortness of life.

The Dash
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Another sobering quote I like says this, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.”

Thursday, 6 March 2008

"Choose an Identity"

While posting a comment on a friend's blog, I noticed an option that said "choose an identity" allowing one to post using their email address, IM screen name, blogger name, etc. My thoughts were sparked and I began contemplating who I am and my identity. Most people would say that I am an American, a twin, etc. These descriptions are true, but they do not describe the totality of my identity.
"In Christ... I am completely loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted and made complete." (Robert McGee in The Search for Significance)

1 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." Ephesians 2 describes us (Christians) as: alive in Christ (v.5), seated in the Heavenly realms (v.6), God's workmanship (v.10), and fellow citizens with God's people (v.19).

1 Peter 2:9 gives this description, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
According to John 1:12 I am a child of God, and 2 Corinthians 6:1 says that I am one of God's workers. So, I thought I would challenge you to consider who you are, and encourage you to be content in your identity of who God says you are and is perception of you!

"Your understanding of who God is and who you are in relationship to Him is the critical foundation for your belief system and your behavior patterns as a Christian."

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Thoughts of future....

Hmmm, I sit here and think about what the future holds. New siblings from Africa, Carissa's departure to Argentina, Gregg's arrival from Iraq.... but what about me? In this season of my life God has been growing and stretching me in so many ways. His mercies continue to be new every morning and his unconditional love is astounding!
When I think about the word "unconditional" I have to grasp the fact that it means that it doesn't change based on situations, conditions, or one's actions. Christ's love is not based on the fact that we are "good enough", because we aren't! It's not based on how well we worship in church, help our neighbors, care for our family, or even how much we tithe. Christ's love is unconditional and it comes from His heart of admiration towards us - His children made in His image! "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10) This brings me back to questioning what my future holds.
At this point I am content in what I am doing right now, but am so excited for what God has planned for me! Right now, I look beyond to a far off future. I think about where I will be in 5 years from now.... ten... twenty... Will I be married? Will I have children? A lot, or just a few? Where will I be living? In the USA or somewhere doing missions? These thoughts, however, do not create in me anxiety, but quite the contrary. I am filled with a sense of hope, a sense of purpose.
My dear sister, Cassie gave me a book a while back entitled, "Soul Cravings" by Erwin McManus. He says this about hope and future, "Without a future, there is no hope and hope is essential for our souls to thrive. Hope exists only in the future, and if the future does not exsist, there is no hope... Without hope there is only despair." In Jeremiah 29, God assures us of a hope and future, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This verse is so familiar to many of us, but sometimes we don't realize that it doesn't end there. He continues by saying, "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." It is my desire to seek the Lord, to go to Him and pray to Him, and know that He is listening. I am calling upon His name with the desire to find Him. For it is when I find Him that I come to know His hope for me, and that my future rests in the hands of the Almighty God, who is beyond time and has known the very intricate details of my life, even before the world was set in motion. Going back to Ephesians 2:10 - not only are we God's workmanship, but He has prepared good works for us to do, even before the world was created. In Greek, the literal meaning of "in advance" means "before the foundation of the world" (more or less).
So... It is in this time, that I rest in the assurance of my future with hopes to complete the good works that have been prepared for me by the Creator of the Universe. May it be that each act is carried out in His name and in glorification of Him.

Matthew 5:16, "...Let you light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in Heaven."

Looking forward to His plans....

Lindsey <><