Soul Chocolate

giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets…

It’s time to fight September 29, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 11:37 pm

at worship rehearsal tonight, my worship pastor prayed something that made my eyes pop open. she prayed that God would renew our “fighting faith.”

fighting faith.

faith that’s not just holding on. faith that’s moving beyond simple belief. faith that is active in its pursuit. faith that is in motion, battle, war for its object.

i’ve been struggling with having faith, any kind of faith, for the past couple weeks. much as i believe IN God, much as i believe that He is, and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, I’ve been having trouble having faith for a few particular things. as i told a couple of friends, i’ve been finding it difficult to hold onto hope. i started to feel that hoping, in and of itself, was cruel. i was suffering from the very malady described by Proverbs 13:12: a heart made sick by hope deferred.

Hope deferred. I truly think this is one of the greatest killers of fighting faith. For when you battle, push, attack, defend, constantly war for a hope and it just never seems to happen…eventually you tire. Eventually, you say “i’m over it,” lay down your weapons, and just take a nap. In Christianese, you say “maybe this just isn’t God’s will.” sound uber-spiritual, and accept your perceived stone. You fast, pray, hold a meeting, fast some more, read every affirming scripture you can find, then…just give up. Your hope is delayed. You are left waiting. watching.

And that’s where I found myself tonight, walking into worship rehearsal. My hope was delayed, just long enough that my heart stopped caring. My sickness was manifesting itself as a certain callousness, an almost involuntary decision to stop wanting because it hurt too much. I kept asking for bread, and it seemed like I was constantly handed a stone. To hope, long, plead, and not receive – it was enough to make me say “surely i have kept myself pure in vain.” (Psalm 73). I was able to worship because I gave up on my hope. I couldn’t reconcile worshipping while hoping – because the very act of hoping seemed to say that God was cruel, that He didn’t care to provide.

But that prayer, it kindled something in me. My fire was reignited. I was reminded: I must fight for my faith. Not just my faith in God. No, I must fight for my faith in what God will do. Fight for my faith that He cares about the things that make me cry. Fight for my faith that He is able to turn stones into bread. Fight for my faith that He will give me the desires of my heart. Fight for my faith that He is fighting beside me. Fight for my faith that He has a future and a hope for me. A hope.

This type of faith, faith that makes it through the nights of weeping and pleading and days of smiling and pressing; this type of faith isn’t easily held. This type of faith comes through a fight. It is a battle to hold the faith that fights for the matters nearest to our hearts. It is a war, a war that the enemy of our soul wants to win to keep us just slightly less effective. It is a war, and we dare not lay down our weapon and walk away.

Join me. Think of the matters closest to your heart – the things that you cry about in the night, the things that you only dare ask those closest to you to pray for because you are so vulnerable there. Join me in fighting for the faith to keep hoping for those things – the salvation, the relationships, the marriages, the children, the dreams that make you say, “if i just received that desire of my heart…” Take a deep breath. Pick up your weapons. Take position – raise your hands, get on your knees, lay on your face, whatever is your posture of worship and prayer. Now.

It’s time to fight.

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my story: bible version September 27, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 12:51 pm

when i was in undergrad, i told someone that Psalm 73 is basically the story of my life. whether related to career, relationships, anything, read Psalm 73 and you’ll see how i’m feeling. i was recently reminded that this is true.

 

Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
   I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity[b];
the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
11 They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”

12 This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
   and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.

15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.

21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
   you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
   I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
   I will tell of all your deeds.

 

choose: faith or fear September 26, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 1:45 pm

I will be secure in the Lord my Redeemer.

I will trust that the God who I ask for bread will not give me a stone.

I will rest in the knowledge that He holds my heart, my life, my plans in the center of His palm.

I will believe that I am the apple of His eye.

I will trust in the character of Christ.

I will choose faith over fear.

 

teach me how to love September 20, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 1:33 am

“___? I love him!” “umm. Cha. you love everybody.”

My friend said it and moved on through the convo like it was as much a fact as the earth is round. Yet, that sentence has haunted me since it was made last Thursday.  It’s stayed with me during my prayer time. Hung over my head when I’ve been in pissy moods. Tapped me on the shoulder at dinner. Made itself at home while I’m doing my makeup, curling my hair.

“you love everybody.”

no. no, i don’t. there are far too many people who spark ire in me. too many who make me clench my teeth and give what my kids called “the angry Chocolate” face. the one that will make anyone reconsider their walk with the Lord, because surely they will meet Him soon. even more who inspire nothing more in me than indifference. oh sure, i see the needs of the “least of these,” but do i love the neighbour right beside me, the one without the visible needs?

so why would this person, someone who only met me a few short months ago, think I love everybody? i’m effusive in my compliments of those I care for.  i try to be reticent about my dislike of others (at least when not in the close circle of friends).

i got this uncomfortable sensation yesterday as i realized: i only appear to love everybody. truly, surely, deep down in my heart,* i know the truth: there are far more people who i dislike than i love. and this is my greatest conviction, the sin from which i must most often repent: i do not love as commanded by the scriptures, fervently, deeply, the ones i can see.

i am excellent at caring for my friends. very good at reaching out. but loving?

loving requires me to see through the eyes of Christ. to hear with the ears of the Holy Spirit. to feel with the heart of God. loving requires me to forget myself, my prayers, my heart’s desires, and reach deep down to be patient, kind, longsuffering, remembering no evil, keeping no record of wrong, never failing. loving requires me to lay down my life – my all. and to do it for the ones i truly don’t care for.

Cha, you love everybody. may this one day be truly said of me.

*remember the old sunday school song: “i love you Jesus, deep down in my heart. talkin bout deep deep, down down…” with a little ‘sanctified’ wine down to the ground? no…oh okay.

 

a peek inside my head September 14, 2011

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 10:37 pm
some random pictures that capture the myriad of thoughts going through my head at any given moment this week…

even in my complaining, griping, moaning - I know HE is. and that's all I need.

embodiment of my prayers:how utterly, completely, beautifully breathtaking.

a hug, a good hug is a thing of beauty. sometimes, i just want a hug.

am i the only one who thinks about this at night? about how to be a great friend? oh ok.

”] *note: pictures taken from trolling the internet/postsecret.com