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November 20, 2006

I really wanted to log on today and be uplifting and encouraging, but I’m burdened and I’m dying and I can’t pretend.

Of course it’s good to be burdened and dying, but there’s really nothing inspirational I can think to write about it.

I’m absolutely burdened for the teenagers in my life. I thought I’d been burdened for something before because there was this violent desperation in my spirit for a couple of days. That’s not a burden; that’s a backpack. I can’t stop thinking about the youth leader meeting we had last Friday night, or the kids and the circumstances that came up, or the ones I’m directly involved with/responsible for to some extent … What can I do? What can I absolutely NOT do? How do I pray about this? I don’t know that I have ever prayed so fervently for anything – even things and people that, in the natural, seem like they should be much closer to my heart.

I’m reading Rees Howells’ story and dying in the process. I was reading before service Sunday morning about the amazing financial sacrifice the Lord asked of him (Rees was told not to ask for a need he could fulfill himself. All that Rees had became God’s, so if someone needed finances and Rees had enough, he was to give before he asked for the Lord’s help.) It felt as though my spirit stretched absolutely outside of me to try to get at something like that, but I didn’t say anything – not even a silent prayer. At the end of the service the Holy Spirit asked for an extravagent offering. He practically laughed off the first argument that rose up in my heart (“How will we pay bills this month?”), and silenced the second (“We’re trying to save something for a house someday.”) with a poignant question: “If I asked you to live out the rest of your days in that little apartment and give all of your surplus, would you do it?” Ouch. Fine.

So that’s how I’m doing. I’m burdened in one arena and dying in another. Hallelujah.

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