Hidden Royalty

for such a time as this

Genesis 3 and the Big Fat Lie

If you are familiar with the Bible or grew up going to Vacation Bible School, you may be able to immediately point to Genesis chapter 3 when someone says “The Fall.” This is the pivotal moment in Mankind’s story: the history of when we exchanged glory for shame, life for death, and relationship for rules. What strikes me now in reading this passage is the depth of deception in the Serpent’s big fat lie. And what really blows me away is to realize how he is still using the same lie and how deeply it has been woven into the psyche of the world and even the Church.

The story opens up with telling us plainly that “the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made….” And here is the part that makes me angry; “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (v. 4-5). Big. Fat. Lie.

Why is this a lie? After all, what he says comes to pass as far as Adam and Eve knowing they were naked and also not immediately physically dying that day. This is why he is cunning, and why his lies continue to entrap people every day.

Let’s skip to verse 8: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” At Creation, Adam and Eve were given the garden to lovingly tend, they were given each other to love and cherish, and they were given intimate access to walk daily with the Creator God. Discipleship was always God’s idea, not just a part of His Redemption plan. Don’t you think that walking daily with Love Himself would produce in Adam and Eve a life of righteousness, peace, and joy? They didn’t need the knowledge of good and evil to be like God. They had a daily, intimate relationship with Him.

An apprentice learns from a master because they are hands on together; it is an experience. Knowledge is passed on through relationship. If given the choice, would you rather learn from your hero by reading books about them or by living life with them?

This is the real point when law became the way of life. Many Gentiles think of Jews as the ones who are slaves to the Law, but anyone who is attempting to sort through good and evil by any means other than walking in relationship with God, is living (or dying) by the Law. Now I am thankful for the law, both that as laid out in the Bible and also through civil government, because it is mercy for us in our brokenness and it points to the way; but it will never produce righteousness. We must come to the Way, the Messiah Yeshua, and find that great miracle of the Redemption Story—the veil has been torn!

This is what Salvation is about, God coming down to us and defeating death and restoring that open access to our Creator, our love, our life, our righteousness. And there is more to come, when He creates the New Heavens and New Earth and we are once again walking together in glory.

So now we’ve read the beginning and we know the end, so let’s jump into the Story!

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Journal through the Bible | | Leave a comment

Genesis 2

Wow, there is so much depth to explore in Genesis 2! Since I am not attempting here to write a Bible commentary, I won’t—but wow!

Verse 7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” I would like to just point out here that God created man both body and spirit from the very beginning. This was not Adam’s fallen state, but God’s original intention. Why is this important? There are so many reasons, reasons with implications for our theology, eschatology, and our view of ourselves and others. One simple reason is that it proves how much God cares for our whole person. He designed us with purpose, intention, and love. When we love God, we do it with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. That includes not just our emotions and “inner man” but also our brains and our bodies. We are His temple. OK, I am really challenged now and have to seek the Lord on what this means for me today.

Verse 9: “And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food….” When I read this verse, I immediately thought of how Yeshua taught that we are to bear fruit, and that we are called trees of righteousness. This means that the fruit of our lives, and our personhood itself, should be both “pleasant to the sight and good for food.” I’m not talking about being “good looking”; rather, being the light that attracts people to the Lord. At the same time, we don’t want to be sugar coated and empty. We must have real “nutritional value” in what we say, how we interact, and how we live. There will be times for righteous anger and zeal, but what is the constant and consistent fruit of our lives? Let’s not compare ourselves to others; let’s look at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7); let’s look at Jesus.

Verse 15: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Work was not part of the curse due to the Fall. Toil was the curse. God always intended that we should partner with Him and that we should have meaningful responsibility. He gave Adam the privilege and responsibility to tend the Garden. This was a gift. What is the Lord asking each of us to tend and to cultivate? Are we thankful for the gift of responsibility and purpose? Are we thanking God for His blessings but neglecting to tend and cultivate those blessings? Let’s ask ourselves these questions: Has God blessed me with a family, with a talent, with a property, with a vocation? Am I sitting back and enjoying it, or am I tending and cultivating it to grow into all its God-given potential?

These are just a few thoughts. I hope they encourage you to read the Word and listen to the Spirit today.

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Journal through the Bible | | Leave a comment

Exciting Outreach in Berlin

Artwork by Livia Tiersch. Handmade welcome card she gave me.

Artwork by Livia Tiersch. Handmade welcome card she gave me.

Our team from Herrnhut spent four days ministering in Berlin with dear friends and two special congregations. They had invited us out of a hunger for deeper understanding of God’s heart for the Jewish people and the role of both Israel and the Church. These days were so rich in fellowship, worship, and teaching. We were so blessed by their hospitality and so grateful for the new friendships that we made.

We also joined with our new friends in outreach to the homeless and ministry on the streets. I was overjoyed as a local Berlin Believer and I were able to lead a woman to faith during one outreach and see others touched by His love and truth. We also met two Turkish women who didn’t speak English or German. I only know a few phrases in Turkish, but I was able to sing two worship songs that I learned in Turkish, and the women’s eyes lit up as they communicated to us that they also believed in Isa (Jesus)! They were so blessed and we were able to pray healing and encouragement over them.

The Turkish ladies we met, and my new friend Anja from Berlin.

The Turkish ladies we met, and my new friend Anja from Berlin.

“Steh Auf! Nie wieder Judenhass!” Stand up! Never again Anti-Semitism/hatred of the Jews!

God always has more on offer than we realize. It was not until after our trip was planned that we learned that the last day fell on the same day as a massive demonstration rally at the Brandenburg Gate calling Germans to stand up against anti-Semitism.

For years, the Lord has been showing us the calling on Germany to rise up in blessing Israel, to be a leader for righteousness and God’s purposes on the earth. We have seen many believers and congregations carry this growing revelation in their hearts, and we felt the historical impact on this day as both the governmental and spiritual leaders of the nation spoke out with one voice.

Among the speakers and representatives were the heads of the Catholic and Evangelical churches in Germany, the president of the World Jewish Council, and governmental leaders including the Federal President and German Chacellor Angela Merkel. We stood in the midst of thousands listening to such statements as, “Anti-Semitism is more than prejudice; it is a sin against the Holy Spirit.” “The Jews in Germany are a national treasure.” And “A single act of violence against a Jew is an act against us all.”

We know that there is power in words and in authority, and when we heard the leaders of this nation speak out with boldness and clarity, we knew that Heaven was listening and a blessing was released over Germany in that moment.

Two Israeli women had just flown into Germany for the first time and suddenly found themselves in the midst of Israeli flags and banners of support. After months of running to shelters, they arrived in Germany to find thousands of friends who were standing by their side. They heard our team translating into English and pressed in close so they could hear what was going on. Afterwards, many were able to bless and encourage them. They were amazed and deeply touched. God is above and beyond good.

My view during the rally in Berlin

My view during the rally in Berlin

October 5, 2014 Posted by | Life | , | Leave a comment

Genesis 1

Creation blog

Genesis 1 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and of any book. I love its poetry, the rhythm, and the amazing wonder of it all. I like to read it slowly and let it play out in my imagination; then meditate on the fact that its grandeur so far exceeds my imagination. 

I have been blessed to have traveled and seen many amazing sites–from German forests to tropical waterfalls, the Grand Canyon to the strange beauty of an expanse of desert; this world amazes me and delights my heart. It astounds me that such beauty exists in a fallen world intermingled with wars, injustice, and greedy misuse. I wonder at how God’s original Creation would compare to what we can see today. Then I get excited because, if His original handiwork excites my imagination, what will be when He restores all things. Isaiah 65:17-18 says, “‘For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.'”

So, I love the Creation account in regards to poetry and nature, but there is so much more. As I read today, I was drawn to verse 2, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” From the very beginning, Creator God has been bringing definition, purpose, and value. Just as he took a shapeless void and brought forth the complex and beautiful world we live in, so too He desires to draw us out of the confusing void and emptiness our flesh is drawn to sink into and give us meaning, identity, and purpose. It is such a beautiful picture to me. 

The last thing I will journal about today in regards to Genesis 1, though certainly not all there is to say, is that beginning in verse 11 and throughout the rest of the chapter, He is constantly creating things to produce after their own kind and whose seed is in itself. Then we arrive at the magical (yes, it just seems the best word to describe at the moment), magical verse 26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….'” When I read the chapter slowly and get caught in the pattern of the preceding verses, this change stands out and shouts to me. And this is why:

Growing up, one of my favorite things has always been to hear retold the story of how my parents met and came together. The foundation and genesis of our family. Somehow their story adds meaning to my life and makes me realize that I am special, that had things not happened the way they did, I would not exist. That’s what Genesis 1 is to me, and the fact that we have access to a first-hand account (all Scripture being inspired by God) to make sense of our world and discover meaning in our lives, is a gift that we should hold dear in our hearts. The memoir of our Father, choosing to create us, to make us in His very image and likeness, to provide for us, and to give us purpose on the earth. It truly is a beautiful story–and it’s only the beginning. 

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Journal through the Bible, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Journal through the Bible

WIN_20140804_150145 (2)So, I haven’t blogged in a really, really long time. I also haven’t read through the Bible Genesis through Revelation in a long time either. In an effort to change both of these facts, I am going to journal through the Bible and share it with you.

I hope that you will be encouraged to open up this incredible Book, which is truly the Living Word and allow it to restore your soul and bring healing and revelation to your life. Feel free to comment and join in the discussion. Think of it as a virtual book club of the best book.

I don’t know what it is going to look like, but I think I’ll just start and not overthink it.

See ya soon!

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Independence Day

The older I get, the more meaningful these holidays become. And celebrating Independence Day outside of the United States seems to highlight to me the memory of what this day is about, stripped of the parties, food, and fireworks (which I greatly miss).

We hear a lot of talk about the American Dream and about the rights for which men fight so bravely and families sacrifice so much–the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is so much accusation thrown about between those who cherish these words and believe in them, and those who see the injustice around us and decry them. I believe that this feud could be settled if we would read a bit further, and linger on the conclusion of this incredible document: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

This is the paradox that speaks to the true value of freedom. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can only be true and noble in the context of pledging to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. I think we sometimes have the mindset that those in battle make this pledge so that those back home can enjoy these freedoms. But what if we changed that mindset? What if we valued this sacred pledge as we value our individual freedoms?

Our forefathers proclaimed freedom from tyranny because they wanted to be free to build a society on mutual respect and honor. The independence they craved was from a distant tyrant, not their neighbors. They wanted the freedom to be locally represented by those who understood the reality of their daily lives. The American Dream was not birthed from the desire for personal freedom, but the hunger for authentic community, for countrymen who shared the same values to be free to live according to those values. I know it sounds idealistic, but the freedom to dream is something I value and something that men and women have laid down their lives to fight for.

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Thoughts | , | Leave a comment

Legacy

Today, June 2nd, is my grandmother’s birthday. When we said goodbye to her in the hospital 7 years ago, it was such a hard, surreal, and uncharted experience. It came so unnexpectedly as she had not been sick for a long time; yet, we were together as a family, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. I remember the hardest part was when I had to call work to let them know that I would not be coming in. Something about actually saying the words that she had passed away unlocked the emotions like a flood.

The next week was painful as again and again the realization of what I had lost came like a wave; but it was also a beautiful time. Family coming together, going through boxes of pictures and putting together a slideshow of her life. The memorial service was so special and such a time of honoring her life–her love, how she brought together family, the legacy that she left behind.

Looking back at her life, there were so many beautiful and joyful times to celebrate, but also some really difficult and painful seasons that she had to walk through. But this is where the comfort came the greatest, the knowledge that now all of her tears were being wiped away. All of the pain and dissappointments were swallowed up in joy. She is in the very presence of her Creator. Can you imagine?! I think almost everyone has experienced rejection in his or her life and knows that pain. Now think about being introduced to someone who not only chose to love you, but the very one who purposed you into being. The one who decided that the world was not quite complete without you. The one that does not just accept you the way you are but made you the way you are! It is such an incredible thought, and it’s not just an idea but the truth.

When I remember my grandma now, that pain and empty feeling has been healed. I think back and smile and my heart grows warm. I remember her smile and her voice. I remember her snack drawer and legos. I remember riding in the car with her to pick up my cousin Lacy from school. I remember how much she loved to be surrounded by her family on holidays. I remember her generosity with all that she crochetted for people. I remember her committment to the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers. She was so cute on Sundays sitting in her comfy pink chair with a large afghan on her lap that she was crochetting and her notebook nearby to keep stats of the game.

And then my thoughts always move to her in Heaven and I can only get joyful. I have lost something so special; but when I think about what she has gained, I can’t help but rejoice. She loved to listen to old hymns and gospel music. My mom’s favorite hymn “In the Garden” has this chorus: “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” That is the joy that my precious grandma now fully knows.

I want to share the memory of my favorite season with my grandma. In 11th grade my family moved from Grand Prairie to Roanoke. My sisters and I wanted to go ahead and start school in our new school district at the beginning of the year even though our house was not yet ready to be moved into. So, the first six weeks of the school year we lived with my grandma in Justin so we would be closer to our schools. Every morning, I would wake up and get ready first. Then my sisters would wake up and get ready and I would sit on the front porch with my grandma and we would drink our morning coffee together. She lived in a small mobile home at the bottom of a hill on my aunt and uncle’s ranch. I love the country and it was so beautiful. I remember one particular morning that was just breathtaking and so perfect it was funny. There we were, my grandma and I, sitting and chatting with our hot coffee. The sun was rising over the hill and suddenly the horses began to frolick about and were literally playing with each other. It seemed like a movie. We just sat there in awe enjoying it together. It was lovely. Wherever she lived, I remember my grandma always having hummingbird feeders out. I also loved to watch the hummingbirds with her.

My other favorite memory related to my grandmother happened when she was not even with me. I was in Missouri and was visiting my aunts church. This old man came up to me smiling and said in his shaky but sweet voice, “you look just like this girl I went to school with–Zelna Ola.” “That’s my grandma,” I replied and we both smiled really big. Here I was a stranger, and I look so much like my grandma that this man recognized her face in mine after probably over 60  years. That is still one of my proudest moments in life. I love my grandma and am proud to look like her. I am so thankful that she was such a good mom and gave me my mom. I am so grateful that she was such a caring and loving grandmother. Most of all, I am so thankful that she loved Jesus and that she chose to make Him Lord of her life. Beyond the legacy of facial features, of family, of love; the greatest legacy of her life is her faith.

Zelna Welker can now boast 5 children, 17 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and counting. I love you Grandma. Thank you for being such a special grandmother and giving me so much love. Enjoy the Father’s love and all the wonders He shows you, and when I see a hummingbird I will think of you and how you are more free and joyful now than even the hummingbird.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Life, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Love’s Invasion

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Show me Your glory, Father, so I can see the brightness of Your unimaginable beauty. Wrapped in mystery, You come to me—call me to turn and set my gaze on You.

I’m afraid of the Light, a penetrating laser into my life. The rooms of my heart stand trembling—shaking—bolted doors rattling, hidden stairways faltering.

Something knows, in the hidden place, the secret rooms of unknown space are facing, bracing—for the gates are sure to be flung open, not able to withstand invasion, devastation, a flood of love, a surge of life. A squall to overcome this fleshly
strife.
The cities I’ve built within my heart, the faulty foundations, the chipping facades; the alleys and highways on which my thoughts fly and creep, the dull rooms in which I fall asleep.
Who I am is hiding in these corners, finding meaning through cracks in doors. Then suddenly—
As if being called from death, I turn and face a light and feel Your breath. You’re at my door, Your wanting in. You wait for me; yet I know, if I open, I will explode.
My carefully built city is beginning to falter, but still I know I am its master. My palms are sweating, my heart beats fast. Do I run to You or hold myself back?
And then I hear it, a mysterious sound; You are singing a song familiar and I am found enraptured, captured; as if my very DNA is reverberating a long ago dance it was meant to know.
I ask for grace to respond, to open the door and let the music resound.
Come like a flood! I surrender.
The city I have built is falling to the floor. I’d rather gaze on the One I adore and be melted than wander around in safe control of a house of wax.
I hear You knock again and now I respond. Lord come, I want to hear Your song. I want to see Your eyes. I want to be acquainted with Your smile. Come love me. Come devastate me.
Your flood will destroy my town of wax and in the rubble something precious will be found: the seed of me, my true identity. You’ll breathe Your breath and life will be born in me.
On Your rock, my only solid, I’ll grow and blossom as You sing over me. You’ll wash away all the debris and pick me up and dance with me.
And I’ll know Your truth and the
promise that You’ll never leave. You’ll never forget or count me a bother. You’ll proudly bring me to Your Father.
You’ll introduce me to Your Spirit. You’ll be gentle and firm in Your steadfast love and you’ll never be fooled if I attempt a façade.
I’ll be a precious stone and a seal on Your arm, and as You become my master, I’ll find true freedom as I’m carried in Your Love.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Thoughts for a New Year

ImageSitting in my room my second night back in Herrnhut–having just unpacked and re-organized everything–I sip tea from my beautiful chinese teapot I finally brought with me from home, and think happily on the blessings of books, lovely music, warm thoughts of family, and a beautiful new year before me.
I don’t know what’s in store, but I hope that it plunders the depths of my heart. Should there be grief, I hope that I may feel it to the depth of His comfort. Should there be joy, I hope that I may know it in its boundless possibilities. Should there be trials, I hope that I may run face-forward to the challenge. Should there be victory, I hope that in His grace I will triumph. Should there be dissappointment, I hope to be vulnerable in His presence. Should there be comfort, I hope to find joy in the sharing. And should there be love, I hope to give a heart that is whole; a heart that has chosen the depths–to give every ounce and to recieve, unapologetically, all that Love Himself shall give.
Twelve is a good number: 12 tribes, 12 apostles, a dozen eggs, a dozen roses. It sounds complete, doesn’t it? It’s a full number, good and round. More then ten, it just feels like an overflow. Let’s give it all this time around. I’m not talking about running away with your emotions, but embracing the depths of real life. Forget the pixilated stampede of endless notifications. Let’s be generous in real time. Have an interesting conversation and ask some real questions. If you found that you have neglected someone, turn around and go back. When you realize you are having a truly grateful moment, take it further and do something to make someone else thankful. When you’ve done wrong, make it right; and when you’ve done right, make it better.
Be inspired and inspire others. It’s what breathing’s all about: taking it in and giving it out. And remember that man’s first breath was the breath of God. Maybe we should start that way each day.
So for all of us out there in the bumper cars of life, remember, it’s more fun to drive around and get hit than to sit in the corner.
Happy 2012!!!

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Break Forth

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A land swollen with hidden seed,
A land hungry, with unspoken need.
They yearn to cry out,
But it is caught in their throats.
They desire to shout,
But have said that they don’t.

Oh God, hear a cry
Of a nation in pain,
So much shame held inside
That is keeping them lame.

Muted and silent,
Or so they have believed.
But a cry is growing
That must be relieved.

I see an earthquake
That is coming to shake
Every heart and mind
From this lying snake.

As a tongue is released by
The first obedient sounds,
Let the groaning break forth—
Let the seeds break through the ground.

The fields have been planted,
And the Lord sends the rain.
The heavens are being released,
And is washing the stains.

Daughters and sons,
It is time to untie.
Your chains are released;
You have been waiting to fly.

Righteousness spring forth.
The ground is not dead.
Sing out for joy
For Jesus is your head.

O Germany, arise.
O Germany, you will shine.
O Germany you shall release
What has been growing inside.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Poetry | , , | Leave a comment