Archive for May, 2005

May 25, 2005

>Keep that Love

>Can we keep love.

I live with two of the most amazing people I have ever met…..and I don’t say that because they are perfect…. surely they are not. And neither am I.
We are a patchwork family… from different cloths, yet knit together with the love of God.

Mama Hight and Reco have accepted me into their home….not as a fair-weather friend or a visitor. They have given me not only a beautiful place to stay, continual gourmet meals and kindness overflowing…. they have given me their hearts and unconditional love at all times.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t realize that God alone could provide for me all that He has through them… and I am forever grateful.

Upon reflection… the past year of my life has been filled with people who were willing to open their homes to me. Being so independent in nature… this season of “needing others” has been difficult and yet refreshing. It has shown me purity of heart and motive… and also shown me the lack thereof….in myself and others.
By being on the receiving end of such giving people… I am changed forever.
Before this time of community came into my life, I was not as open and accomodating to others… and probably would not have been able to receive someone into my personal space, as they do.

There are so many excuses we all can use …..finances, not enough space, not wanting to share personal space, “I have to have it this way or that”, they must respect my home by doing things this way…. the reasons are endless if that is the mindset.

It is only now… because of this new chapter in my life that I can clearly see that there is a portion of the word that the Body of Christ has not been great at following. I will be the first to admit that this has been vital for seeing beyond my self righteous attainment. So often in scripture the Lord commands us to put others before ourselves… and yet I find myself falling short of that.

One thing that Mama Hight always says when we’re talking about relational issues is that “If you keep that Love… it all will work out”. The first time she said it, I chuckled inside because of the way she said “Keep that Love”…. but now I remember that phrase throughout my day. It doesn’t matter whether I’m dealing with a client who’s preoccupied, a friend who doesn’t do or say things as I would like for them too, a family member who is unresponsive or my own inconsistencies with self and others… I remember to first love myself and then my neighbor in the same way…. and as long as Love is in the mix… it will all work out.

Maybe this all comes a little easier for you… but I put forth a challenge. Why not today, try something a little different…. (okay, so maybe you’re already doing this…then kudos to you, really….. but if you’re not…)
When you feel those negative thoughts and feelings arising about yourself or someone else…. do yourself a favor and Keep That Love. Ask yourself if you’ve done all you can (notice I did not say all you want) to express love to that person who’s on your mind or heart. If there is tension… reach out to them with love… no matter who’s fault the problem is. Unconditional grace is such a beautiful thing to both give and receive.

I guarantee that if you do something different… and Keep That Love…. things will work out all right!

With a Happy Heart!
Tracye

P.s. Here’s a little scripture bonus that’ll bless you 🙂

The Message
Matthew 25
Read This Chapter
25:34 -46
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation.
And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’
Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.’
“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell.
And why? Because – I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

“Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me – you failed to do it to me.’
“Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”

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May 19, 2005

>Me…..Purity?

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“Purity is the power to contemplate defilement.”
Simone Weil

I have been in the process of writing a book… well let’s say for about a year now. Laughingly, I am getting around to pinning down the central idea.
Now before you shake your finger at me… or roll your eyes in frustration at another one of my attempts to start something… let me say that I had absolutely no clue what it would be like to give life to such an organization of thoughts and ideas. The vast amount of time in research that is needed can be a convenient reason to procrastinate. And if that doesn’t get you… let’s talk about having to live with and live out the ideas that you are talking about. Now that’s hard.

My first subject was purity.
I’m not sure you can imagine what it meant to walk that one out. You see, I was not talking as much about sexual purity, as I was about being single-minded, pure in motivations and truthful in all aspects of your daily life…whether at work, home, church, or just hanging out.
What amazed me most, was how unwilling people were to talk about this issue of purity… and how uncomfortable they were with not only the subject at hand, but their true feelings about it.

Then there was me. How did I really feel about purity??
Each day when I awoke and made my cross country trek into the city… sat down to my Latte in my Book-Writing Office aka Starbuck’s, I was plagued with thoughts of my own life.
Often times, I wondered why in the world, I would be the one to write on this subject. Shouldn’t this be done by my Pastor, or my wonderful friend who is the picture of femininity and quiet grace. You know.. we all have at least one…..that person who is so soft spoken, gentle and “precious” that you’re sure she’s never ever said the wrong thing.
Well that’s surely not me. So if we’re talking about purity…. I KNOW that I have not ranked in the top 100.
But then, I began to think about how Jesus’ blood has washed us. How HE, ALONE is our purifier. And He knew that I and Miss Purity herself, would not be able to walk out this life without ever being defiled.

So… I finally got a clue that there wasn’t anyone who qualified to write that book more than me.
We all, as fleshly beings are defiled on many different levels… and can’t always see it for ourselves.
Is it my job to point out society’s problems… no, not necessarily. But it would be nice to have someone willingly bring it up. Once the idea is out there, maybe someone else will open their heart… and talk about what isn’t so comfortable.

Anyway, my prayer is that my musing today, will at least nudge you to ponder the issue of purity in your own life. Think about it… examine your heart, your thoughts, your interaction with others.
Are you walking in purity?
In mind? Heart? Deed?
What can you do about it?

Good questions…and your answers are what matters most.

I’ll gab on about this topic a bit more in a later post.
Stop back by when you can.
Until then, let’s pray:

Father, God…. Just as you have had me on this path to greater purity… I pray that my friend will begin to seek the same. Lord, may it not be for anyone else’s glory but yours… that we desire clear motives and pure actions….as we seek You.
We realize that your son, Jesus is our only true Purity… and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll be more and more like Him each day

In Jesus Name, Amen.

May 16, 2005

>Tempered Glass

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A nice glass of wine Posted by Hello

It is during the tough times, that we grow.
From the challenges, we learn compassion.Right?
While we were in prayer tonight at a Youth Gathering that I helped out with, I saw a vision.
There were several wine glasses on a belt in a factory. They were being “made”. There was not anything fancy about them, rather they were your typical clear, goblet styled drinking glasses that you would normally drink water or iced tea from at a reception or banquet.I could see the wine fade in and out (so that I would know that these particular glasses werets were made for the purpose of holding wine). All in lines, the glasses were traveling down the conveyor belt and heading toward a tunnel. I heard the word “tempered”… and had a “knowing” that I should study the process of tempering glass.This research proved to be so rich… and the message therein was quite powerful.

We are alot like those wine glasses… meant to hold something that is costly and of great value… and our lives are much like that of the process that glass goes through to be tempered.
In short, part of the tempering process is to apply great heat to ordinary glass… which gives it a strength far greater than a plain, untreated piece of glass. Because it has gone throughthe fire, it can now withstand more adverse conditions, like heat and pressure.
Aren’t we the same?
Though it doesn’t feel good to go through the “heat” of life…. once we have made it through, we are able to deal with more difficult times without breaking.

Another characteristic of tempered glass is that when it does shatter, it breaks into smaller, less jagged fragments… instead of the long, sharp slithers that it would become had it not been tempered.
And such is our life. When we have not been tempered… or gone through heat and pressure, we are more prone to hurt one another. In our brokenness, we are sharp and cutting… whether we want to be or not.

Maybe you feel the heat and pressure of life right now. Be encouraged… your adversity has not come to break you… but to make you stronger! Allow the tempering to take place.
You too, shall be a stronger, less hurtful, more beautiful vessel because of it.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tracye

May 16, 2005

>Endless Journey

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Driving in D.C. Posted by Hello

At this time last year, I was living in the Washington D.C. area. Actually my residence was in Owings Mills, Maryland which was about 74 miles from the city. That 74 miles, my friend, was my daily drive to work! What a wonderful time (I must admit that there are shades of sarcasm and disgust here applied…haha).

Never in my life could I have ever imagined what those 2 months of driving an average of 160 miles per day would be like. For me, it was one of the most difficult challenges of my life.
Not only did each new day bring what seemed like miles and miles of endless road… it also brought thoughts and longings for my family and friends who were now all thousands of miles away (with the exception of two very special friends Renee Tassone and Tiffany Blunt), questions of whether the opportunity that brought me there would be the best one for me, concerns that the present provision would actually last and a deep sense of loss for the land that I love, Nashville.

There were so many things going through my head and heart at that time. So much that those highway miles became both a friend and foe.

It was on those long drives that my soul became exposed. There was no wrong or right way to feel when my heart needed healing and the miles seemed endless. I remember a time when it felt as though the Lord said….”Ahhhh, now I’ve finally got you all to myself”. Many days tears streamed down my face… and at night, I was often too stunned to cry.

In retrospect, this stretch of my life’s road was one of the most profound experiences that I will ever have. I wish I could say that I was happy there.
I wish I could say that I really miss it. Though there are moments from that season which I will cherish… and daily disciplines that I would like to be able to continue now that I am back home… I do not want to return to that lifestyle.
There, I was challenged.
There, I was provoked….
And there, I learned more about owning my life than ever before.

As Christians, we ARE on an Endless Journey. Sometimes the particular stretch of road we’re on seems lonely and deserted. At other times, it’s far too congested… and becomes gridlocked with no place to run from all of the pressure, responsibilites and needs.

Have you ever been in eight lanes of traffic going no where?
Now I can laugh, but at the time… all I could do is cry after the clock hit the 20 minute mark and my Ford had only “explored” a little over a mile of roadway.
That day, because of the rain, my normal hour and a half drive home turned into a three hour ordeal. It was then, that I had my introduction to what road rage is all about. Tears streaming down and cars everywhere you look… a sea of people, all stuck on the same journey… and then there’s that one obnoxious person who decides that he wants to cross 6 lanes of traffic. It was then that I felt a sharp desire to violently react… to scream… honk wildly and possibly even gesture. Lord, help me!

Have you ever felt that way? Had road rage on this life’s journey?
I have.

But just like that day in the car, I have to take a deep breath… call on the Lord for help…. sing a little louder and keep on going.

No matter what speedbumps, detours, rain or other obstacles present themselves…. we are on that Endless Journey… and with each new day, we learned another way to enjoy the ride.

May 4, 2005

>Change of Face

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Here I am… the girl of many faces! Posted by Hello

It has been such an interesting endeavour to begin to study 1st and 2nd Corinthians. As I was considering what to share today… I came across this picture collage created some time ago…out of old and new pictures. Looking at it again, it made me ponder the many faces that I exhibit to the world. Have you ever stopped to think about that? What do you really look like to the people around you?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 states: ( Read This Chapter )
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

There have been many transformations in my life…. my hair has changed (often)….my smile, my laugh, my style. All of these changes were visibly seen. Yet the greatest and most glorious changes were not as clearly seen. They took place in my heart. The more I allowed the Spirit of the Lord to inhabit my life… the more those around me could see His image beginning to shine forth.

Daily, this process continues for all of us. With faces as mirrors, we reflect the glory of Christ.
We do so by taking on His features… His characteristics.
Do your eyes continue to sparkle with hope… when you see the darkness in this world and those around you?
Your smile… does it linger… though you face the insensitivity of a stranger, or the misunderstanding of a friend?
Are your lips soft with kind words…whether they are appreciated or rejected?
From glory to glory each day, may we be changed.

May we see more of Jesus in us today,
Tracye

May 3, 2005

>Glory to God, Alone

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I am a ponderer…constantly wondering and longing
for the One Who has captured my gaze.

It is such an honor to serve the Lord, boldly!
After many years of running away from complete surrender…..Here go I 🙂

May this publicized journal be done only to Glorify
God through obedience in sharing All of the gifts He has so lavishly poured upon me.

I invite you to share… feel free to leave comments and/or contact me by email at anytime.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tracye


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