You Can Feel Jesus In Your Bones.

I read a story once about how a woman, who was deaf from birth, listened to music.

She would turn a record up really loud and place her hands on the speakers, until she could feel the vibrations move into her chest and overtake her body. The rhythms would eventually articulate and she could fill in the melody with her mind.

Knowing Jesus Christ is like that.

We’ve all heard the mockery in people’s voices when they talk about someone who has “gotten religion” or is “high on Jesus.” It’s not their fault; they just don’t know you can feel Jesus in your bones. They don’t know it’s possible for a deaf person to “hear.”

But it is.

When people shouted at me about Jesus, I couldn’t hear them because I was deaf; but I wasn’t blind and I could see they were shouting, which made me resent them.

But when I finally put my hands on that Bible and read it, I was surprised by the tiny hum that rose in my chest. As I read more, the hum grew stronger and engaged my heart, my imagination and my gratitude. When I read more, the drums picked up and created rhythm; the cellos formed a baseline and the violins and piccolos chimed in with a melody. All together now this internal orchestra has surged into something fine and true that I really want to share.

But try as I might I can’t explain it to you. You have to put your hands on the speakers until you can feel it in your own bones. Then you’ll know.

English: The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 7...

The Israel Philharmonic (Wikipedia)

Some people like Bob Goff, Joyce Meyer, Matthew Barnett, Chris Caine and Nancy Alcorn, play gorgeous music with their lives, but I’m still a young orchestra, and I’m sometimes pitchy or behind.

However, I’ve committed to practice and to follow the world’s greatest conductor, who promises the more I practice the finer my music will become. He is the most reliable speaker upon which to place your hands.

So with that, here is my tiny, little solo – a birthday present for Him.

I am raising money to counter human trafficking in SE Asia with The Exodus Road. In a week, we have raised nearly 30% of our $1400 goal. We have until Christmas.

The Exodus Road is playing some beautiful music right now. Please put your hands on their speakers, and when you’re done, put them in your pockets and help them play more.

Don’t Let Him Shake Your Tree.

My husband Sam loves the word addled. Truly, it’s a pretty good word with great synonyms like muzzy, woozy and befuddled.

He doesn’t apply it to me very often, because I’m usually steady. But in preparing to spend all this week serving the urban poor at the LA Dream Center, I was shilly-shallying and futzing around so badly, I thought I might have dementia. I even threw my wallet in the kitchen garbage and walked away with a soggy paper towel in hand. I worried about it to Sam.

“It’s because you’re going to LA to do something you’ve never done and you’re scared,” he said.

He’s right. I’ve never wandered under a bridge to hand out hot food to a homeless person. I’ve never played with neglected kids in a gang-infested urban neighborhood. What am I doing?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing, I’m climbing out on a limb, because that’s where the fruit is, and when you’re a new climber, like me, it’s good to follow the professional climbers. The LA Dream Center, which is the single largest food bank in LA County and serves 40,000 people every month in its 273 ministries, not only climbs to the best fruit, but they pick it and toss it down to everyone else.

The Apostle Paul said, the promises of God all find their yes in Jesus, and I’ve decided there are too many people (Bob Goff, Katie Davis, Matthew Barnett) doing impossible, God-promised things to doubt Jesus’ extravagant yes.

But I don’t want to just pig out on the grace of God until I’m bloated from hoarding it. It’s designed for sharing. Jesus wants me on my feet, darting nimbly through the world as his little cracked-pot, ambassador. As Katie Davis says in her lovely memoir from Uganda, where by age 19 she’d adopted the first six of her 14 orphans, we don’t have to be talented, we just have to be available.

The problem with shouting this manifesto is, the enemy hears it. And when you get halfway out your limb, he starts shaking your tree, hoping you’ll turn back. The devil doesn’t want me learning to serve people like Jesus did, and he sure doesn’t want me telling you how to do it. So he opposes me using the only things he has, anxiety, fear, confusion, rejection etc. The Apostle Paul explains it like this:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12.

Yes, it’s tempting to bail out when I’m anxious and shaky, and can’t hold a coherent thought or keep my wallet out of the trash, but then I think, “bail out to where?” Jesus blew up all the bridges behind me. The only way left is forward.

And in this case, it goes through LA.

LA Dream Center Set to Receive $10.2 million

Whoa! I love these guys and the work they do in LA. I blogged about them recently here. The blurb below is from Pastor Matthew’s blog. The LA Times says the New Market Tax Credit awarded to the Dream Center is $49 million but Pastor Matthew is saying $10.2. Not sure what the difference is, if I find out I’ll let you know.

In either case it is a TON of money and Pastor Matthew talks what it means for the Dream Center here.

“The Dream Center is slated to be awarded $10.2 million dollars through a Federal Government program called New Market Tax Credits.  The funds are available to charities who have invested into disadvantaged communities. The charity must be located in a zone that qualifies as a disadvantaged area of the community. We have invested over 35 million dollars in building improvements over the years….Funding does not come from the government but from the purchase of tax credits by investors.  JP Morgan Chase representatives toured the Dream Center and were so moved that they bid on this project and have worked hard to help this miracle come to pass.”