hashtag grateful.

It is gone. Beyond my reach. My hand wavers as it goes, it goes far. It’s past eleven at night yet I see it, the moon makes it so: it’s so high and it’s with the clouds, so small yet I see it. It is my balloon. And I have let it go. I carried it so long and my skin has marks from where the string I had tied around my wrist cut into it. It hurts but the pressure is gone. There is something I wasn’t expecting, I was anticipating some sense of exhilarating freedom and for the clenching of my shoulders to somehow release and yet here it was.


For all the holding on, the refusing to seek Truth and to trust it, it was now that it finally was.

When I was supposed to have lost it all. When I had lost it all.

Because now, this is the only time I’ve ever had anything.

Because peace isn’t something that comes because your dream comes true or the boy falls in love with you.

It’s a Truth that resides so deeply and widely and it breathes when you give up what you have in Jesus.

You can call it surrender or losing or letting go or giving up when you trust Jesus you are saying that the worry really is infidelity and...

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once...
If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down and out, your lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places – firm muscles, strong bones.” Isaiah 58.

It’s not a reward. It’s not do this and I’ll give you that. It’s the Truth that when we give up what little we have, every bit of it and absolutely forget about ourselves and our own gain and all that – we will find life. Light. We will find ourselves living as Jesus did. And yes it hurts to lose because that’s not how we’re taught to live in this world, it’s the farthest thing from it.

this is jimmy-jay. he's growing up a lot lately...

We’re saved because of all the grace You pour over us. I sin and You are on the cross and the darkness and hatred, it’s spilling all over You because of what blackness and evil occurs in me. And so it can never be me saving me. And it is always You breathing grace and it is me who must cultivate thankfulness and gratefulness and completely follow You.

And the balloons, the ones I’m holding because they’re supposed to make me fly, they’re the reason I’m rooted to the ground and if I can let it go I will lose myself and all the things I think I need.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot.

Everything is permeated with Oneness and do you know what, of all the things I’m holding onto, because of Christ there is nothing to lose and therefore I must give up everything. 
There’s courage in both holding on and letting go. And for me, it’s high time I let go.

Let go of the string and watch it fly up to You. Into Your arms. The only place there’s any Life at all.
When I am weak, then I am strong. 'My grace is sufficient: it's all you need.'
“Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with ever fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” CS Lewis

God said don’t be anxious and instead of being anxious, He said to pray.
Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the grace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Miracles happen and God heals in our brokenness and His mercy, the 'dewdrops of mercy, they shine bright' and He breathes miracles through our desperate pleas. 
I doubted that and I prayed and prayed and I found that, the sentence above, I found it was Truth.
There's a verse in Matthew 10 and it says, 

"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now." 

Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess at the coming of the King. It's not a story, a legend, a tale. It's Truth. 

You know those times when your sense of reality suddenly diminishes and you can’t clearly process and you can’t communicate and it’s as if you’ve been completely rid of the ability to cohere  coherence and you can’t properly function and it’s as if this is not real and it is completely unreal and yet – to most people the world is as normal. It’s you, your senses, your perception, is completely changed and you can’t do anything about it – you’ve been completely caught off guard.

Like in The Hunger Games movie and Katniss has just been called onto the stage for her interview with Caesar Flickerman and she’s got no idea what he’s saying, all she can see is all the people and – “What?”
Like all the stars who win their awards and sometimes they can’t even get out of their seat, they’re in shock, and somehow they’re on the stage on their two feet and – “I’d like... to... thank...?”

Why do famous people write and rehearse their speeches before they actually win? Because if they do win and they’re all in shock they will have something to say. To rely on.
Why do they teach you how to use your diaphragm and all that technical stuff in singing? Because if you get on the stage and suddenly freak out – you’ll be able to rely on it.
Maybe that’s what it’s going to be like when Jesus comes back: we are making the decision now for then. Jesus will be here and He’ll be separating goats and sheep and OH how the only thing will matter is that we completely gave up everything.

why is compassion so carelessly tossed aside!?!?! as if we can just live here in our materialistic world and pretend their own broken souls mean nothing like our own do?!?

Because in that moment, that moment it will come and it’s the scariest thing because there’ll be no more justifying with our words it will simply be our lives.
And we will know that, that we really could never hold onto everything. Anything.

Oh how I fear You.

The rest of my life, in everything, I want to follow You. I want to trust You when it’s simpler to fear, for in You it is the exact opposite.

I want to talk to the stranger beside me and give them the little I have that You’ve blessed me with, blessed me with to cherish but not hold on – no matter what I’m afraid they might think or say or do.

And when I feel down I want to remember that it’s okay to have a little rest before we head Home... but to not use it as an excuse to become aggravated or mean.

And I want to take each day in stride, knowing full well that this day, this is all there is for now: and I can’t take anything Home with me so I might as well give it away today. 

Because we’ll find that’s the only way we’ll end up with anything and we’ll end up with everything.

By Your grace.

Love and peace and joy and all of it. When we should rightly by law in this place have nothing we’ll find dependency in You brings Life. Hosea 14, Jesus read that our loud and He said, "I'm the one who will answer and satisfy you, I'm the only One you need." Because these balloons, the ones I've been lugging around, they had all sorts of names, things I'd started relying and depending on for truth and happiness and peace -- turned out they'd become my gods. 

 We’re blessed with today, and sometimes we don’t really figure it out for a long while.
Then things happen, and we’ve lost the control we thought we could easily maintain and hold us Jesus and hold onto the promises because they’re real He’ll never leave us never forsake us and there’s these moments in seeking Christ and Truth and His grace and what He did, it resonates in our Spirit, Him in us and it means something that opens our eyes to grace and our ears, too.

I guess it’s an ongoing thing, and we’re constantly given opportunities to die to this world.

Jonah 3, “Everyone must turn around, turn back from an evil life and the violent ways that stain their hands.”

I read once, “I wonder what the world would be like if people acted less like Christians and more like Jesus.”
We’re called to live like Jesus. So let us go and sink ourselves into the words that tell us how that really goes, huh?

And don’t forget, we’re strangers in this place and we’re headin’ on Home and today we’re blessed to give by Jesus’ grace.

“I can do anything through Christ who infuses me with His strength.”
Yes, I must be grateful for what is, for who You are, what You’ve blessed me with and not afraid to lose.

Oh and there’s this verse I found, amid Truths of grace, on eradicating poverty:

“At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.” 02 Corinthians 8:14.
We’re all about security and storing up in this place.
I just wonder how it would be if we followed Jesus and gave up. Despite everything and found ourselves just forced to trust Him and trust in His promises instead of keeping it all on the backburner in safe keeping.

In James 1:1, James introduces himself as a slave of Christ and I read that and I was like, “Gosh glad I don’t have to call myself that.” Just think of the commitment!
Because I’m not really living like a follower of Christ. More of a well-it-depends-how-I-feel. And then I realized why I’m scared to become a slave of Christ and it just dawned on me.

Because then I’ll lose my life.

Do I really think I’m so high and mighty that I deserve to be something besides a slave? Oh, Emily. Take last place. It’s your place. It’s not some worthy act. It’s your place.

Be grateful you have one at all. Because of Grace.

Jesus is sitting here, too. He took last place. Because he loves us, all of us, in our brokenness. 

And oughtn't we do the same.

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