Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. Psalm 46:10

“Let's stop here for a moment...Oh, Jesus,” my friend Mike prayed as he paused. He pauses often and prays even more. Due to a medical malpractice brain injury over a decade ago, Mike's mobility and cognitive movements cause him stop his steps. Due to an even deeper love and reliance on God, Mike's heart causes him to still in prayer.

Walking with someone who causes me to stop, still, wait, and pray – literally every few steps – is one of the most extraordinary experiences. I am overwhelmed with the presence of the Shepherd; calling me to still and know Him.

To most everyone on the planet, the response is, “Unless you live in a monastery, that's just not realistic. I have places to be, people to see. It's a beautiful dream, but not an everyday reality. ” Demands are as much a part of life as breathing. Even the most anointed accomplishments and relationships are an ever present reality. The call of our Saviour is not to neglect our lives, it is to focus our sights on Him along the way. “Choose the better. Intentionally still your mind to refocus your heart on Me. Look at your moments from My eternal view as you walk with Me, not before Me. When you still, I will reveal.”

Step a little slower. Soak in a little longer. Speak a little louder. Be here with Him. Oh, Jesus...

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15

Even from 70 miles per hour on the interstate, the sight was clear. The orange flames danced between the green blades; the white smoke billowed in the breeze. “Did I really see that?” I wondered. I pulled over, parked the car, and ran back to the scene of the crime. As I ran, I watched the cars continuing to rush by. “They have to see what I see; why is no one else stopping?” I stopped to grab a piece of plastic on my way. I certainly wasn't going to put out a fire with my bare hands.

Out of breath and in time, I snuffed out the small ring of fire. Still no one stopped. Or even slowed. I wondered, “What if I had not stopped?” The fire would have spread quickly and eventually out of control. All the while, we watch a firestorm brew. Yet, instead of stopping the blaze, we spread the blame. “Someone (else) should have stopped that fire,” we would mutter in contempt.

A small flame in the grass quickly became a view of anyone's life and soul. All around me are lives burning out of control. I may stop to soothe external disasters, but how often do I throw living water on their eternal flames? How much a more deadly fire rages to consume thousands of lives that I pass by every day? With the eternal vision of the Spirit residing in me, I can see the soul's fire spreading by the second. What if I don't stop and snuff out the enemy's destruction? Will anyone else who passes by this life stop and send a rescue?

The fire will either spread or stop. I pass by this way, by this person, by this life, because I was meant to reveal the One who “seeks and saves that which is lost.” That which is drowning, dying, decaying in darkness. Here I am, water in the smoke filled furnace of eternal combustion. Every life, every second counts. Speak Lord, your people are dying.

If grass consumed by fire is enough to bring pause, how much more is each beloved life worth saving from separation from God? How much more. 

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking of you

How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they should be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18

“Reach down and hold the sand in your hands, Michelle. He thinks of you, every moment, more than every grain of sand in your hands right now,” my friend exclaimed. “Much, much more.” Suddenly, I was touching His thoughts; holding His heart, hearing His mind. Isaiah 55:8

He is breather of stars, carver of mountains, painter of sunrises. He is Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi. He is King, Father, Husband.  He is not limited. Not in time. Not in thought. Not in heart. He literally sends billions upon billions of “thinking of you” cards in just a moment's time – rushing over me so quietly. Washing in waters living, constantly in all eternity and history, are His thoughts...for me. I cannot fathom, but I can see. His Word as Reality. Each tiny grain, beyond the beach's barriers into the ocean's depths, transformed into an unfathomable number of His thoughts of purity, intimacy, freedom, joy...and so much more. I am not called to count each one. Only Christ's mind can comprehend; He only ask that I soak Him in.

I come overwhelmed in the Presence of His beauty, His power, His grace. I fall humbled to His feet, listening for His heart, searching for His face. All the earth is filled with His glory; all the moments are filled with His love. Commune with the Christ.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Waiting Warrior

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Though drenched in Eastern mysticism and ideals, one word conjures up images of good, evil, dark, light, war and peace: Jedi.

I recently viewed the coveted cloak of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the iconic character of wisdom and warrior. Tattered and cheap was his hood. In fact, all Jedi were styled in simplicity, not armor (until only one, Darth Vader, was given armor in addition to his Jedi robes). Why? Costume Designer John Mollo explains (paraphrased), “We wanted the monk’s cloak to portray both meditation and battle; versatile for either at any time.” In fact, for the Jedi, meditation is the means of the battle.

In this philosophy, "The Force” is the object of meditation and power in battle (whether dark or light, evil or good). Though fictional and deceptive, this concept taps into an actual reality and truth of every life: we are all designed to meditate on God and to allow Him to be the driving “force” against our enemy. Our very real, powerful, dark and deceptive enemy. Script after script (Moses, David, Paul, and countless others), pleads with us to live His truth: We are called first to wait, then to war. Wait on Jehovah consistently. War with Jesus constantly. Wait for Him in the meditations of your heart, and He will strike down dark strongholds waging war in your mind. He is…our only hope.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Monday, September 12, 2011

More than Monet

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

It was my first time in an art museum. I was my first time beholding the canvases and colors that once stood in the studios of art's most astounding.

First was Picasso. Abstract. Lines straight and meanings blurred. It probably made perfect sense to him in his own mind. Yet, his imaginations produced thousands of interpretations over the centuries. What is priceless genius if not practical when I walk away?

My thoughts have been called “abstract” over the years. I reflect His artistry and beauty, far beyond my own surface colorings of daily life. Here is how His design paints me. Yet, I am not made for my own museum of my own mind; I am His display to be applied to lives around me. Even now, in looking to express the thoughts of my mind, my abstract nature emerges. Picasso paints me, personally.

Then a corner is turned, in every way. From abstract to alluring. From questions to quiet. From stuttering to stunning. A Monet. As if I could walk into the painting itself. As if I could literally feel the flowers in my fingers and the breeze on my neck. Pure beauty. Not be interpreted, but to be immersed in. THIS is the life Jesus calls us to live. THIS is the life that draws us to Him. THIS is HIS beauty pouring, calling, inviting: “Walk with Me.”

Paintings are priceless, but paper. How much more is a heart and life that impacts lives day after day?  With both my mind and heart, everyday I aspire to be the masterpiece of HIS art reflected through me. As I draw closer to the Creator's hand ,be drawn in by the beauty of His heart.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Monday, August 29, 2011

Walk in Water

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:1-2

My sister carried my three year old nephew toward the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean. “NO! I don't want to go!” screamed Mason. “What is his problem?” I asked my sister. “Yesterday, he was tripped and landed face down in the water,” she explained. “So, today he's terrified to get near the ocean. But, he needs to learn that it's safe to return.” After a few seconds, Mason's mom carried him back to the calm of the shore. All the while, Mason watched intently as his father stayed knee deep in the ocean's waves.

About an hour later, Mason quietly walked right up to me at the water's edge. His arms and his eyes were open wide. “Do you want to go?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said. So I picked him up and carried him out to where his dad stood. “Do you want to get in the water, Mason?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said. So I lowered him in the water and raised him up again to his sheer delight! He looked at his dad and said, “Look Daddy, I did it! I did it! I stood up and didn't fall!”

The same day Mason fell in the ocean, my heart fell into despair. A trusted friendship was torn apart. I fell face down into confusion, hurt, and fear. My ocean was called “Trust” and my heart was terrified to return. I knew that I needed to trust again, but not now. Just like Mason, there was a time to wait on the shore. My heart must heal before it can return to feel. Not with time or experience. Waiting on God and waiting with God is the only way for the broken to truly be made whole. Just like Mason, I would not be carried, but would walk alone to face my fear. Step by step, a heart of faith transforms waters  of fear into waves of delight. I would simply come into the arms of one waiting and welcoming; thrilling in the immersion of love, trust, and relationship.

All the while, gazing at my smiling Father saying, “Look Daddy I did it! I stood up and didn't fall!” Adding, “It's only because of You. Waiting patiently for me to return here by Your side. These are YOUR waters of trust, love, intimacy, and joy that wash over my heart. You call to me by my name, reminding me that I am Yours and and I can trust You here. Always. You are my delight, I am with You here, in the desires of my heart. Thank You, Saviour, Redeemer, Father and Love!"

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Monday, August 22, 2011


Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. And at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split.” Matthew 27:50-51 
The thickness of the veil was a handbreadth. It was woven of seventy-two cords, and each cord consisted of twenty-four strands. It was forty cubits (60 feet) long and twenty (30 feet) wide. - Rabban Simon b. Gamaliel
At the exact moment that the Passover lamb was slaughtered in the temple, the Passover Lamb was slaughtered on the cross. At the exact moment that the temple veil was torn, heaven’s veil was torn. Jesus became the sin veil that kept me from the Presence of God; He was torn, just as the veil was torn, so that I could know the fullness of God.
“But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:14-17
Oh how many threads of life weave together to veil my heart. Pride. Idolatry. Doubt. Unbelief. Fear. Finances. Self-dependence. Self-distraction. Knowledge without wisdom. Service without compassion. Time without prayer. Offering God my mind, while veiling my heart. Presenting my problems, while veiling my praise. Only the blood soaked, nail driven, hand of Yeshua could tear away the ancient temple's massive veil. Only His blood soaked, nail scarred hand can tear the veil that eclipses me from His Light.  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in a spiritual experience, never by mere instruction....there must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield, trust, confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified...Let us remember that when we talk of rending the veil, there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience, that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; to tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us, to make us bleed. There is a moment when [we] die. After that is the resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for job that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God.” - A.W. Tozer

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hedges to Husband

Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ Hosea 2:6-7 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.“In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. Hosea 2:14-17

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been engaged in a partial fast (based on Daniel’s fast of certain foods and drinks found in Daniel 10:2-3 to shun idolatry and focus on God). I thought I was seeking God’s presence; having no idea how much He was seeking mine. As I was blocking out certain foods, God was walling out false loves (any idol of my life). He was hedging my heart to see my Husband. He lead me to Hosea 2, where I read my life unfold.

I watched the thornbushes rise up: conversations being blocked, time being stolen, expectations being thwarted, hopes being crushed. At first, I was extremely frustrated. I began to hate the thornbushes. They were blocking my time and interactions as I desired. Then I realized: my desire, my words, my time, my expectations, my hopes. Subconsciously, it was all about me. He showed me that, subtly, my selfish desires were tempting me away from my away from time with Christ alone. 

El Quanna, the God who’s Name is Jealous, (Exodus 34:14) was quite over my adultery. He wanted me to share my heart with Him. Alone. He used thornbushes to take out whatever is necessary for His Presence to be my true passion and life.

Here I wait in the wilderness for Him to speak tenderly and intimately. His name is Husband. I am His and His desire is for me. Alone. (Song of Songs 7:10). From here the Shepherd leads, loves, delights, desires, and showers me with the good and perfect gifts. When He is my heart, He removes the blinders to reveal the truth of His incredible blessings..covered in His true love.

From the wilderness to the land of Your Promise, I will not move one inch without Your presence. Nothing is worth one moment without You here with me (Exodus 33:15).

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1

God had been speaking to me about tithing from every direction. One friend. A second friend. A third friend. Each one, not knowing the other, was talking about God’s call to tithe and His favor to pour. I was starting to get the message. Then the temple spoke.

In the same week as these conversations, God continued His calling through my church's tithe challenge. A “money back guarantee” they called it: “If you tithe over the next three months, and you do not see the blessing of God pour over your life; if you come back to us and say, “This scripture is wrong,” we will give you all of your money back. Blessings pour in ways that are specific to you – it may be financial, it may be relational, it may be physical, but God promises that He will open the floodgates over your life.”

…this was just over the top. God had already been overflowing my life with so much blessing and favor in the prior months. Becasuse God is my source, I knew this truth: It’s never about the money. It’s never because the church is asking, or in this case, daring. It’s never about giving to get. It’s all about His call and my obedience. This is the only was to respond.

So, on Sunday I joyfully brought my full tithe to the storehouse. On Wednesday, my boss announced my bonus. (I think that God has a particular affection for “waiting three days”). I was floored. The amount bestowed was four times my expectation! I knew immediately that this was God’s generosity; giving to me so that I could give more to Him. All Him.

On this day, He said very clearly, “When I call, listen and respond; trust and obey. My Word is true and trustworthy. I alone am your great reward.” How much more I fall to His feet and seek His face and grace over me.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speaking of Jesus

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Talk to God about your friends before you talk to your friends about God.

This weekend I called a friend to see how he was doing. Turns out, his life is in shambles. He is 60 years old. He is out of work, out of health, out of companionship, and, to him, out of hope. I met him where he was, at a local bar. I placed my coat on his shoulders, walked with him to a table, and watched despair cloud his face.

He asks: “What do I do? Join the Peace Corp? Tell me, Michelle, what do I do?”

I said, “I know that you pray your rosary every day. I know that you pray for me. I know that you believe that Christ came and died to save the world…”

He said, “Of course I do, I believe what my faith tells me that He came and died and saved us and we’re all set.”

I said, “That’s true. He did come and save us, but to receive Him, we have to ask Him personally to come into our lives. This is different than your every day prayers…”

He said, “I ask Him every day…I ask God to save me, every single day!”

I said, “You only need to ask Him once. Just once and He will flood your life with Himself. I know you believe He came and saved; tell Him that you believe. You asked me what do; this is what to do…”

He said, “You have the Good Lord in your heart…I have the devil.”

I said, “That’s the offer. Ask Him to come into your heart and He will take out that devil. Just ask…”

He said, “I will pray when I get home. I just want to go home. I know God has always taken care of me and He will take care of me. I just want to go home.” And with that, he drove away.

From that encounter, God revealed so much to me about revealing God to others. I know that there is much for the Spirit of God to work into this heart and life. I know, as I told my friend, that as long as there is breath, there is hope. I know that I followed in obedience and cast a mustard seed.

Still, there is so much that God spoke to me about speaking of Him.

I spent less time at God’s table than I did at my friend’s table. I spent more time scattering seed than I did soaking in God’s words. I was more anxious to see a result than I did to wait on the rain.

And the greatest of much did I speak the Name of Jesus?

Very clearly, I got a powerful lesson – in beautiful conviction to my own heart – the power of the Name of Jesus. Only His Name removes the blinders. Only His name tears down the blockades. Only His Name tears down strongholds. Only His Name brings salvation. So simple. So powerful. So God. He brings such a greater praise and honor and glory to His Name! Praise Ha Shem (The Name), Praise Yeshua (Jesus), Praise Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit).

There is so much more known and to be known…as a lifetime of spending time with God produces His words through me…but in this encounter, I was drawn to know, praise and speak the powerful Name of Jesus over each that I encounter. Each one.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love, Dad

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:8-9

"Even though he knew what would happen, what heartbreak and suffering and devastation would follow upon our disobedience, God chose to have children. And unlike some hyper-controlling parents, who take away every element of choice they can from their children, God gave us a remarkable choice. He did not make Adam and Eve obey him. He took a risk. A staggering risk, with staggering consequences. He let others into his story, and he lets their choices shape it profoundly. “ – John Eldredge

A recent interview with Billy Ray Cyrus focused on his view of his daughter’s infamous life and the effects of her choices on their relationship. Not with blame, but with lament, pain, and regret.

He remembers the day she was baptized. He remembers her entering fame full of faith. He remembers the days when they resolved to be lights in a dark, dark world. Like a child’s “see-saw” – every inch the she rose, their relationship fell. He watched the storm slowly and surely roll in. He advised, but never forced, her, choices regarding her life and their relationship. Though he has chosen to step back and separate from her actions, he remains active in his love.

He continues to send her messages that read “Here if you need me” and “I love you still”..but they haven’t spoken since the latest scandal. He says that she’ll be home for Christmas, so maybe they’ll talk then. Meanwhile, he watches with the rest of the world, but not as the rest of the world. This time, he watches as her father, much more than her friend (admitting that he should have acted this way years ago).

Those that try to steer her life, literally called “handlers,” have told him that it’s “none of his business.” How much he filled with hurt, and all the more longing, to be a part of her life. Not as her manager, not as her friend, but as her Dad – the one and only heart connection between a father and child. “I would take back everything that tore us apart; I would take it back in a second, just to have us together as a family again.” His daughter followed up with an angry retort that her father has been cut off from her life. Anger. Hurt. Destroy.

Mr. Cyrus is admittedly flawed, especially in his own mistakes regarding the relationship. As God has used flawed fathers over time to illustrate His love as my Perfect Father, I saw a tiny smidge of His view over me.

I believe that I am who people say that I am, good or bad, and live my life accordingly. The more I rise, even in my own mind and in my own fame, the more I slowly and subtly ignore the advice of my Father’s words. I come into the day ready to be a light to the dark, and in some cases, I may be. But if I am not listening to Him, conversing with Him, living in love with Him…I begin to believe that the light is me (inflamed by my own fame) and not Him. I believe a lie, become a lie and live a lie. I snub and snuff out the true Light.

Inevitably, I’ll receive His messages, but not respond with messages of my own. I’ll be in my home, and He’ll be in His, not to meet except maybe on holidays for a week or two. Meanwhile...He really does hurt watching my life unfold without Him. I am too busy to notice or, quite honestly, to care. I know that He is there watching over me. What I don’t know is how much He only wants to be with me. It’s a focus shift – from what I think of Him to seeing how much He thinks of me. From a temporal to an eternal, this view changes everything when I see me through His heart.

He has taken back everything that has kept us apart. He took back my past, my present, and my future at the highest and hardest cost – more than I can imagine and certainly more than I dwell on. He waits on me to come running Home…just to sit across the table and talk. Not like it was, but like it is.

Nothing brings a father more joy than his child’s presence. Not to be good, but just to be with him.

My Father is Holy and Holding, Infinite and Intimate, Lord and Love. I am my Father’s and my Father is mine. "Come Home to the table," He calls. "Just come home and be with Me. You will be amazed, Child, at what you hear and see."

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Thursday, February 24, 2011

See the Light

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12

Despite the many tests made, scientists emphasized that they still are at a loss to explain how the image got on the shroud. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's house magazine, "JPL Universe," July 5, 1977.

"How did the image get there? Not only do I not know how that image came to be, but scientists don't know. For me personally, it's a great invitation to say maybe there's a miracle here. Maybe it truly was the power of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that brought that image.

There's two schools of thought on a miraculous image. One is that the image is purely miraculous. The other school of thought is that the image was somehow created by a byproduct of the miracle of the resurrection…radiation. In other words, light. We have to start logically thinking that the body somehow is the source of this radiation.

I think, personal belief, based on--based on scripture and based on science is that the very split second that Jesus' soul zoomed back into that lifeless body, there was an explosion of light. Whatever the source of the light may have been, light only travels in one of two ways--in a focused manner, such as a laser and in a way that is spread out and diffused like a light bulb. If the light traveled straight like a laser, the image should be a harsh silhouette. If it spread out like a light bulb, it should be an indistinct blur. Neither way could've created the image we see here.” - John Jackson, a professor of Physics at the University of Colorado. In 1978, Jackson led a team of American scientists which was given exclusive access to the cloth for five days of intensive scientific examination. Jackson has continued his analysis of that data until the present time.

Oh, imagine! His natural transformed into His supernatural state. At the precise moment His Father brought Him back to earth, His body BECAME the Light that He is! He is not a light that we know anywhere in Creation. In fact, I would imagine that the word “light” is the closest adjective He gives us to describe His being…considering John’s account in the Revelation.

This Light, that raised Him and is Him, is the same exact Light that dwells inside each of us who welcome Him! Not a light that we know, a Light that we LIVE. He divides the light and the dark because He IS the Light that divides the dark…and He is always, always, always within us in power, truth, and love beyond our greatest imagination. This Light remains a mystery and an intimacy. A power and a Person.

He is not grand for display, He is grace for redemption and glory as King. He isn’t meant to be “figured out” or even “understood” – He is meant to be experienced, enveloped, and lived to the fullest! And when His light comes through in full force, the impression will leave many within a state of “how?” because we confine ourselves to the natural…oh, to experience Him in His native, eternal life of supernatural. A powerful new view of the Christ that resides within me – here and now. Wow.

Click here to hear of "Light of the World"

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Thursday, February 17, 2011

See the Blood

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. - Isaiah 53:5

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Cor. 5:21

Everything that we see on the shroud with regard to the injuries that the man sustained are perfectly consistent with what we see in the gospel account. You have a man who was both severely scourged and crucified. There's a lot of blood on the shroud: There's a tremendous amount of blood that flowed from the head; there's blood that flows from the side wound. These stains tell a horrifying story. They beat this man to hell. – The History Channel

I could only whisper: "Yes, sir...they did." Words have been written, said, cried, and shouted for centuries over the moments that Jesus the Christ took on Michelle the Fallen. Here, my words fall silent. Mangled in my brokenness...He speaks. Somehow, only by His Presence, His words rise with passion and pain as blood stains rise before my sights.

Bring me beneath the blood and all that means to me. My hope, my healing, my purity.
Here you will find me, silent in His grace. Gazing at my freedom, my love...His face.
My sin sliced His skin, my wounds became His scars. All so He could heal me and hold me in His arms.
This was not for the bad I'd done, this was for the evil I'd become. Horror as it's height, all to save my life.
He took every pain, He drove out ever fear. I know because He was there, and because He is here.

I try to muster a whisper of thanks, praise, and love. I am further drawn just to listen to Him. I'll soak in here for a while as He continues to wash over and heal.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Face: Life

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 40:4-5

Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 19, 1976. American Physicist John Jackson and his team of USAF colleagues scanned a Shroud photograph on a VP-8 digital image analyzer. The VP-8 image analyzer is an instrument used by NASA to convert a series of photos into one 3D topographical map – showing mountains and valleys of earth, the moon, etc. by converting “lights and darks” into “highlights and shadows.”

The VP-8 image analyzer produced a perfect 3D image of the Shroud photo. Despite numerous attempts before and since this moment, the photograph of the Shroud is the only known two dimensional image to produce a 3D topographical result. Ever. – Compressed explanations from History Channel

Just like the series of photos of landscapes used to create a 3D map of mountains and valleys, my life is a series of constant events, relationships, words, experiences, etc. that create the “mountains and valleys” map of life. That map, may look like it’s in 3D, but at the end of my days, I have literally said, “my life feels very two dimensional (and that was just yesterday). Outside of Christ, it always will. Life is put in its place in the Presence of His Person.

God said, “I’m with you on the mountain, Moses and I’m with you in the valley, David.” Mountains and valleys are part of the life God gives. They are the designed as the stories of our lives. It’s not about changing the life that I’m given, it’s discovering HIS light and abundant life that levels those mountains and raises those valleys. It’s seeing His glory revealed from within. It’s going beyond the series of experiences to find life in the Savior. Constantly. An entirely new way to see and live every day of life, as He (not me) IS the Life.

Mountains and valleys are analogies of experiences; light and dark are realities of heart and soul. Once the heart of the eternal Christ Himself rises under the shroud of my everyday living; He separates light from dark, life from death. This is where 2D living becomes Trinity/Dimensional living.  From one source alone, Christ alone,  

He notes, “So from the beginning, you choose: dark/death, light/life. My design of your life will bring a great story of mountains that I give as gifts and valleys that I will allow as tests. I will be with you with every step because I love you. I will reveal to you, when you seek only Me, that I am so much more than you see and experience and know in this glass darkly. I am infinite and intimate in you. Like the drape dropped before my brothers three, your humanity is a shroud holding inside the only true Life: the Holiness and Glory of Me. When I rise within you, rivers of MY life will flow and you will truly live.”  

His glory will be revealed. He has spoken. 

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Face: Truth

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29

The Shroud of Turin, a 14-foot cloth in which many believe Jesus Christ was buried, may be the most studied artifact in history—and the most controversial. For centuries, scientists and historians have pored over this bloodstained piece of linen that bears the faint outline of a crucified man, hoping to uncover what the image represents and how it was created. The first documented reference to the shroud dates back to the 14th century. Historical records suggest it changed hands many times until 1578, when it wound up in its current home—the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. – History Channel.

In March, 2009, the History Channel released a documentary titled “The Real Face of Jesus?” on the Shroud of Turin. I recently viewed this feature with quite a response. Insights from that night were so powerful and so profound that, with much trepidation, I decided to write on what was revealed to me personally through this one man’s journey to find the face of Jesus.

To be clear, I am very aware of the controversy over whether or not this cloth is, in fact, the actual cloth the laid upon Jesus in that tomb. Claims of its authenticity or forgery are valid arguments and are welcome, but not in this setting. Revelations to my own being are more coming from viewing the painting in its entirety, not in its brushstrokes. This is not about accepting a “fake as a fact”, it’s not even about the cloth itself. It’s about Christ and how He moves consistently in His Word and in my own life. In the end, it's all about whether I accept Him or reject Him for who He is - far more than who He appears to be.

Christ Dismissed
We tend to absolutely "accept or dismiss” anything based solely on our “findings and facts." For example, the authenticity of the “claims of this cloth” are accepted or dismissed based on the “carbon dating” results done on this relic 20 years ago. The results: this cloth is from the 13th or 14th century. The responders: this cloth "was obviously a forgery created by a medieval artist and is to be dismissed as a fraud” (again further discussions on conclusions from that test are for another time)

Based on the law and prophets, the Pharisees had a very strict checklist of who the Messiah was to be...and this Jesus was not fitting in with their "facts." As a result, the greatest charge against Jesus from these “experts on God” and was this: “He’s a fraud. He’s a fake. To believe anything He is “revealing” is to fall right in line with a lie.” In fact, this was the very charge used by these “experts” to “send Him to the cross.” (The “trial” itself was the real rouse. The charge was the cover for a much deeper issue of sin, but at the time, they could only see the surface of the depths of our despair).

Christianity does not promise that you will have every question fully answered to your satisfaction before you die, but the answers it gives are consistently consistent. There may be paradoxes within Christian teaching and belief, but they are not irreconcilable. – Ravi Zacharias

To dismiss claims in the natural world is understandable, regardless of whether or not they are undeniable. To dismiss Christ is the most personal, deadly deception was could ever fall prey to.

Like the scientists examining the cloth and the Pharisees examining the Christ, we sometimes come to God with a “checklist of expectations.” If any one of those expectations is not met, based on what we know, feel, experience or understand (as factual as they may be) then we dismiss Him: “He’s not real. He’s not authentic. And He’s certainly not Love. …and here’s why…” Experience becomes god instead of God being in experiences.”

It’s not about the cloth. It’s not about carbon. It’s about Him. He IS the only authenticity to seek and to know. He is the embodiment of truth; not to be boxed into our natural experiences, but heard in our everyday lives…however He chooses to reveal Himself into our hearts and minds through His Word and His life in the details of our days.

And so He reveals to me…

To be continued… 

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Monday, January 17, 2011

Know This Love

"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

As I walked with my family toward the stadium, we walked past him. He was decked out as the walking Bible billboard; right down to the terrycloth headband that read, “Jesus saves.” I see him at ever concert, every sporting event, every time tens of thousands of people walk by. This time, though, it was personal.

He never said a word, just handed out his flyers. This moment, it landed in the hand of my family member. She looked at the flyer and scoffed, “I know that God loves me, I don’t need a brochure to tell me that.”

My mind flashed to her anniversary. I wondered the reaction of her husband if she had said, “I know that you love me, I don’t need a card to tell me that.”  

My mind flashed to my own treatment of God’s Word. I wonder how many times, silently, I have said to my Father, my Husband, my Love: “I know that you love me, I don’t need to actually read Your Word to tell me that.”  My pride often pulls me away from my greatest joy: listening to His Love song, reading His love letters, and basking in incredible romance beyond my imagination. 

How much we are deceived in minimizing the incredible, powerful, indescribable love of God to "I know." He is beyond our knowledge, but as close as the Words in our hands. We have no idea, but we do have a chance.

In 68,000 people that day, someone read that God loves them. By the power of the Spirit, they were moved to know a love that is wider, longer, higher and deeper than they can begin to imagine, comprehend, fathom. I was one, all over again. May I be one to hunger to experience His Word more..

May I be one to shout back to the enemy who lies to those around me with deceptive pride: we do need to read of His love…constantly. This is to be rooted and reaching into His love…and to show the world: we cannot begin to fathom, but we can begin to know measureless love. 

Click here: Word of God Speak 

Enjoy Him, Michelle