Not yet … not yet …


My attendance at this church of blogs has been sporadic this past week. The loving congregation is mighty, and so very full of words and pictures and love.

Conversing with each “promptly” as I have liked for so long is becoming a job rather than an expression of love and affection:

If I do not reply to a comment quickly, if I do not read every post “quickly” – or maybe ever at all – if I do not write my own words and press publish … then I am letting myself down, letting you down, letting Him down. The “job mentality” is creeping into my heart. The good stuff remains, always will. Yet my eyes are seeing Him less. My head is seeing an increasing list to read and a gap in my own writing. My heart is looking in more – and looking out less.

About “what will they think” … about “am I hitting my own standard I imposed” … about “stuff” not of Him or of you or of Love.

In the space left by a quiet keyboard He brought me the wonderful Heather (http://insideheathershead.com/), and He brought me the wonderful Denine (http://de9k.wordpress.com/). He brings me all of you as He desires – one at a time – at the perfect time.

Because you each have Him within. All of us connected. All of us dirt family. His family. And Heather and Denine reminded me I do not have to worry (even less than I think “is okay”). That I simply have Love.

That love does not have a date stamp and a best by-date. To remember that this church of blogs is a church of Him. Not a church where I must attend every day to “look good” – to look like I belong – to fit in – to impress you and you and … It is a church – a “proper church” – of Love. Nothing added, nothing taken out. Just Love.

So whilst my love in this wonderful church grows, He wants me to realise that pounding the blogs, bashing out my blog each day, shaking your hand as soon as you write, tapping out a few words, pressing the like button, pretending my reading list is not actually taking over, all of that kind of stuff … should always be of love. Not to become another job. Another list.

That kind of love is not love. It is fitting in. It is of work. It is of transaction – and creeps in so effortlessly. And it has no place here. Nor anywhere.

It has no place in family. And especially not His family. It has no place in my heart. Because it simply drives a wedge between Him and me and you and you and … And that is what I see written about with sadness so often here. About so many solid-non-virtual churches we like to call “family.”

And I had not intended to write any of these words this morning. Not as they are written and read here.

What I wanted to say that was this: for the second time since coming to this church He has asked me to step back. To restore my life and relationship with Him first and foremost. In private. He wants me. All of me. And what a gut-wrenching gift that is.

Because I have wondered if this is what others refer to as a “dry patch”. He said He has no idea what a dry patch is.

I wondered if I was (again) being asked to stop writing. Just like last time. He looked at His hands and shook a little. Smothering an explosion of laughter.

I wondered if this was maybe a “retreat”. He chuckled at that word. Not a going back – never a going back. Always a stepping forwards.

I wondered if I was missing something? He sighed His wonderful loving sigh.

Not missing something, Paul. Getting something. Something important.

He has words. We have words. Strap yourselves in. Because – oh boy – is there a bunch of words brewing inside!

Yet today He whispers (again) …

Not yet, Paul. Not yet.

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40 thoughts on “Not yet … not yet …

    • Big thanks for your comment, Katie. Even as I was typing, I could sense that same discomfort: what will people think … you want to say it out loud … you sure … really sure … what if you offend … what if …?

      Your words mean a lot!

  1. If you read this haha. Spend more time with them. Both heavenly father and earthly family. Blog when you need to or he prompts you to. I laugh because of the joy I have that you realize this. No issues here. l love when you write I enjoy reading your post. if you don’t blog or don’t respond I know you are still loving people and the world my friend.

    • “I could write all day on the love and admiration that God has for us.” – your post “You Can Hear Him”.

      You have just added to my reading list in the most wonderful way!

      “I laugh because of the joy I have that you realize this” You have just added to my day in the most loving way!

      πŸ™‚

      Thank you!

  2. Paul, it is funny you write this today, because so many of the same thoughts have been swirling around in my own head. I am realizing the “work” that comes into being connected in the internet world, and it is very much like a part time job. It is one I enjoy, but the thing is, I have my job as mother to five children that is not getting my full attention, and that concerns me.

    Please know that you have that freedom to write as words come. Do not feel obligated to write everyday, or read and comment on every post. I want to thank you for all the comments you have left for me. Your words have been very encouraging, and you have brought many smiles to my face. You have a tender heart, and it shows in your kind words, and your focus on love.

    And I do plan to reply to the comment you left me today, but I want to think through it a little more, so not yet….not yet.

    • Not yet … not yet! πŸ™‚

      I was reading a “combined gospels” book Don mentioned the other day. It made the point that the shepherds came, rejoiced, and then hopped it back to their sheep! No night-off for them. Come, rejoice, get back to “the day job.”

      Your words today connected in an odd way. I sat on a response for quite some time. And then hoped I was hearing love clearly when I wrote it. You share something precious and beautiful in your journey.

      And the “come, rejoice, now hop it back to work” has also been in my mind all day as well! So now I am hopping it … πŸ™‚

  3. Paul, I’ve thought of what you’ve said since I commented to you. The longer we are on here the more relationships are forged and the more difficult it gets. I understand exactly what you are saying. We aim to please and then it takes the joy and love from it and makes it a task. Maybe if we just write from the heart and scripture folks can see and feel our real intent and love to them. Praying for you today!

    • Levi, that is a fabulous return and addition. Thank you. And spot on.

      Another step in this journey He gifts. More learning in the way He allows if I allow. And the oddest thing? Today’s words and responses (several hours later) seem integral to the “Not missing something, Paul. Getting something. Something important.”

      I have yet to meet another teacher like Him. With the connections here a part of his classroom. Truly wonderful! πŸ™‚

  4. Wow, oh wow, oh wow!! I have been trying to serve the Lord (I said trying!) for almost a full 5 decades – yeah, I’m getting up there!! But I am still amazed how the Holy Spirit leads and directs! This is not my first blog, though it is new (and thank you for stopping by!) and it is the realization of the Lord telling me to get back at it after about 14 months of health and computer problems. But, even though I have only had this one going for about two weeks now, the same thoughts I had before, are cropping up again and were just echoed in your post! Coincidence? I don’t believe in it, or luck! I believe in the Holy Spirit guiding our steps and laying out choices before us. He KNEW ahead of time, I would need to see your post and the comments of those before mine, to let me know that I am NOT alone in these feelings!!
    I also, am an avid reader and love the inspiration that pours forth from the gifts given to others from the Holy Spirit! At the same time, I know the importance of obeying His prompting. Samuel said it best, when he stated, “obedience is better than sacrifice.” I KNOW through experience just how true that Word is! So I understand whole-heartedly brother!
    I truly believe I needed to see your post and the comments of others to CONFIRM to my heart, that our Lord, through His Holy Spirit will lead those He wants to see a post or article at the time that is HIS choosing! I used to have websites and forums and this medium is a bit different, but I truly experienced that feeling (dilemma) in the forums. There are only so many hours in a day and our first priority it to be obedient to the gifts and callings He has given to each of us! He WILL prompt us when it is time to gain a little more inspiration, or encouragement or maybe a bit of edifying!
    Those that truly serve Him with an obedient and loving heart will know this because the Bible tells us that our spirits will bear witness with one another! And it’s so true. There is a real connection here with those doing what our Lord is telling us to do despite what others “in the real world” might believe or say! The true Church, the Body of Christ, those true disciples of Christ Jesus, know that we worship our Heavenly Father in SPIRIT and TRUTH. Not always in the natural, not to say it doesn’t translate into the natural. What an awesome medium to allow the Church to understand, it is not always, the holding hands in prayer, or meeting together in fellowship, for our connection to one another truly is, spirit to spirit! If I have learned anything in the past mediums I have used to obey my service to the Lord and to others, is that true worship originates from the individual’s heart and spirit and that is what makes us the “Church” and not the brick and mortar building.
    Do not let guilt rob you of your JOY. That Fruit of the Spirit, is like fruit in the natural in the sense that the seeds of Joy are spread only when Joy is evidenced in YOUR heart and spirit. The enemy, our adversary would love to rob you of that and thereby rob all of us who are truly being joined by the Holy Spirit of the Lord!
    If this medium teaches you anything, let it teach you that it is widespread and our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit does the work! It’s like a saying I have had for years by my desk and in my Bible;
    Religion says; I do the work, God goes along with it, and I get the credit.
    Christianity says; God does the work, I go along with it, and God gets the credit!
    Anyway, thanks so much for writing what was on your heart. I needed the confirmation and it seems others did also. That is the Lord at work, no doubt! God bless you for that AND as time permits I will be following YOU as well. It didn’t take but a couple of seconds to realize it was the Lord leading!! Again, God bless you richly!!

    • Dear Roland – what a gorgeous bunch of words! Thank you.

      “Religion says; I do the work, God goes along with it, and I get the credit.
      Christianity says; God does the work, I go along with it, and God gets the credit!”

      That is cool!! My own is (it varies slightly): “He guides me to drop a pebble and my work is to listen. Whatever the ripples they are His work not mine.”

      Your comment is His ripple I could never have known or “worked” – ever! Sometimes the ripples come back – I take that as His way of giving a “high-five” – keep listening and plopping Paul, see – I had someone in mind for these ripples.

      It is a partnership I find a joy: I plop – He owns. And a loving relationship – listening / hearing / seeing wherever / whoever / however He guides. I guess His high-five is His joy!.

      >>> and your internet ministry: without having any science in mind, the community here has become very much “church” in my mind. A daily communion without much in the way of ritual. Just a lot of building up, a lot of perfectly timed connections, a bunch of God-lovers coming together and sharing their love and relationship. Discipling and learning, safe and honest, no hierarchy or seniority, each with different gifts and talents. Each perfect for another. Together perfect for so many.

      And that seems to feed back into my local life. My connections with others here. The flesh and blood connections. Yet this virtual church provides me with so much. Perhaps more than locally. For locally there is hierarchy, body language, personal preferences, habit, history, budgets, objectives, competing interests, all of that “real stuff”. That can “withdraw” energy. This virtual church “deposits” energy. Builds up. Restores. Allows my relationship with my Saviour to keep blossoming – sort of a greenhouse.

      And then the “too much” communion and too little real time. And the response? Problem, what problem Paul? More building up. More communion. More together.

      Roland, I have no idea of your background, calling or guidance. Yet when I read some of your words earlier I found myself hearing “yes” … “yes” … yes” … again and again in my heart. Internet ministry! Blow me down with a feather – never thought of it that way!

      As you say – these connections and ripples. They seem never – ever – to be just one-way traffic!! I so love the way He works – if we allow! πŸ™‚

  5. My Argonaut Friend

    I sense that the tides have turned out to sea
    The ebb has come between you and me
    Through prayer and discernment with much reflection
    Believe the winds have changed in their direction.

    And He and you are on a journey
    For a season, for a reason
    With purpose surely; no need to worry
    I’m trusting in, with confidence
    His ministry, purpose and intent
    His aim, endeavor in your life
    Assured that β€œWE” will be alright.

    I know our relationship is safe and sound
    In God’s hands secure it can always be found
    So as I will wait patiently and watch so faithfully
    In anticipation with gladness, not with tears or in sadness
    For returning days of sweet laughter
    Shared fellowship and merriment
    When the tides roll you back again, on the sand swept shore
    And reunion will come as we’ve once had before.

    So during this ebb know I will keep “US” in prayer
    Be assured that I Love YOU and will always be there
    But have placed you in His hands, His love and His care
    Where He’ll lead and direct you back safe and secure
    And look forward to that day, with expectancy and joy
    Of sweet communion and reunion
    Intimate sharing and prayer!

    • Dear Joyanne – what a beautiful gift you have offered so freely. Thank you for your heart, your words and your relationship with our father.

      Your words – lifted with love and placed here – also touched me: “Your part is to do the impossible. Our part is to believe, no matter what our circumstance, even when things don’t turn out like we hoped or planned; continue to believe.”

      He connects for a reason. Our part is to accept without understanding. Thank you πŸ™‚

    • “Precious Lord, I am most authentic when conformed in your spirit and released from the bondage of β€œmy self”. ~ Amen :Y”

      Thank you. And your words also touched me. Released from fear. Released from the bondage of my self. Released to be free. To be what we are, as much as intended, as glorious as created. To be.

  6. Paul, you have said here much of what has been on my heart as well. Time for others has been measured in fits and spurts and has often felt like it has robbed my time from God and from my virtual church community, these “bunch of God-lovers coming together and sharing their love and relationship.”

    You are one of these loved and loving bunch. While “bunch” may indicate a large crowd, this bunch is really an intimate, transparent, compassionate few who understand and encourage, who love Him deeply and who desire to follow Him first.

    Bless you, dirt brother. We’ll come together again when the time is right in words of explosion and joy and perfect brew.

    Love, Susan

  7. Hello, Paul! I loved this post. Pretty much it confirms what I felt like the Lord has been speaking to me about guarding my heart from feeling like I need to please everyone whose blog I follow. I feel Him saying there will be times when there are some blogs I need to read more than others. Then other times where He wants to use another blog for a season to speak into my life. He’s given us all a voice to use and while not everyone is going to read our blogs or the same person might not always read what we write, we can trust that the person He wants to speak to through our blogs will find their way to our little corner of the blogosphere. Amen! Blessings in Christ!

    • Hello to you. And I have to say that anybody who writes “Now, I’m just spit-ballin’ here, so correct me if my view is wrong …” gets my attention for the most wonderful reasons!!

      What you say here pings something deep. This “some times more than others” I have pondered. Yet never found a thought with the clarity you bring. Being drawn to words at a time, for a time, in His time … that has me quietly thinking. You have taken this whole “connections stuff” to a whole new level in my heart. Thank you.

      Might just go and do some spit-ballin with Him … πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • LOL! Just like my pastor says I write only as the Lord gives it to me. haha! He talks to me the way I speak. For example when I’m worrying about what is going to happen with my loved ones He says, “What’s it to ya?” In other words, He saying, “You’ve got enough in your life to deal with besides taking on others worries.” Thank you for stopping by, Paul! Happy spit-ballin’. πŸ™‚

  8. I feel like that often, and I’m glad you have articulated it. It makes it clearer for me too. And yet as I read your words, the Lord put a picture in my mind of a pail being filled by a tap.

    It’s not full yet…wait. not yet.

    • Stephen – thank you for your words and thoughts. I think I have a hole in the bottom of my bucket – it always seems less than full. Yet isn’t that the real joy? Every time I think I have “got it” along comes more “you sure you get this – what about …. ?”

      So thank you from the bottom of my bucket. We are all connected if we allow. And when your pail is spilling over, that will be a moment to connect!

  9. These past few weeks have been in-the-ring matches with God pummeling me with convictions. They are hits I can take as he gave me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. He is showing me the hidden sins of my heart and putting me through quite the spiritual workout. I have missed poring over the blogs of this online church, but I have missed yours in particular. Your words echo the rhythms of my own heart. Especially when I read posts like this one. I am humbled and blessed to have such a dear friend as you.

    Lately, I have been hearing God’s sweet melodic “Not yet” whispered across the vein of my life. He is assuring me that “not yet” is about trust and living without fear. It’s about shedding that old sin skin and donning the patient, faithful robe of “Your will be done”. It means putting it all in His hands and saying, “OK God. I belong to you.”

    There have been days when I wanted to scream, “Really, God? Really? You want me to give it all to you?!?!?” Then I reach for my handy “what if” gloves, thinking they will protect me. “What if I miss a week of reading blogs? What if I don’t post anything for a month? What if a comment I make isn’t received well? What if I can’t make a difference for you, God? What if I’m wasting my time?”

    But see, He has shown me that my “what if’s” voice a lack of trust. They are rooted in fear. The letters in “IF” even stand for “I Fear”. God is saying, “Answer your questions of ‘what if’ with My Name!” Because, Paul, it’s all about Him. Always. He is all we need. He is the answer. In Him there is no fear. There is love. Simply love.

    I heard this week that the phrase God utters most in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid/Fear not.” Next time I meet God in the ring, I will take courage with me. And I won’t be afraid of the ‘what if’ when He whispers, “Not yet, Heather. Not yet.”

    Thank you, Paul, for listening to God’s “not yet” and for being such an inspiration in my life.

    • Did you know my god picks his nose, and then examines the findings? As he lounges on the sofa behind me as I tap away here. Godly bogies don’t seem to stick when He flicks – and that is really cool!

      It is words like yours here that give me the freedom to write that little vignette. It is a vignette like that which makes my god as real as you. And it is this communing that allows me to shed my suit of fear day by day. You inspire. Always!!

      ((hug))

  10. Pingback: Not Yet … Not Yet … (revisited) | Just me being curious

  11. Love you Paul!, Thanks for this, I missed it and some crazy way I found it. I have been missing a while now on WP funny this is the first blog I read. I needed a break, and to remember why I was writing too. One can get addicted to followers and likes, then it starts to feel too much like people pleasing and a need for validation. My weaknesses. see you soon

    • What a lovely comment – as I was reading this I too was reminded of something I hold dear: All connections come at the right time, He doesn’t count like we count, and He wastes nothing. Because your comment brought me back to these words as well – and a reminder that my joy may be writing, but my love and foundation stones are in relationship. Thanks Denine – and it is lovely to see your words again!

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