Sunday, December 22, 2013

Communion

In classic "Abby" fashion, here I am working on a paper that is due in five hours and I decide now is a good time to blog.  They should pay me to be the poster child of procrastination.  Recently, I have been trying to lean in to passing tugs on my heart or faint thoughts or desires for stillness, solitude and communion.  It is truly beautiful the way that the Lord pursues and allures us to be in his presence.  In the last couple of weeks He has relentlessly laid Hosea 2 on my mind.


“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’
“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold—which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers. I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the Lord“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord—“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one. I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2 NIV)

As I was reading a book for my paper I'm working on I was struck again by a call to rest in the wilderness.

"Come in. Shut the door behind you. It does not want to close all the way. Usually you will have to lean up hard against it. Pressure from the outside threatens to blow it open-and will, unless you get it secured. Have a seat. Or stand. Or lean against something. You can even lie down. You may go to work on whatever. Or you can choose not to. This is your room. Yours... and Another's. The one who gave you life comes here too. The one who thought you up and imagined your leadership and knew you would be reading this page right now comes to this place also. This is where you let God work on your soul. Sometimes the room fills with music. Fresh fragrances heighten the senses, sometimes. Light bathes the experience in a warm glow that gives rise to contentment. You want to stay forever. Sometimes. Yet again you are sometimes startled in here. The entrance of the Other stuns you out of speaking, as if the wind is knocked out of you. What you expected is not what your receive. The agenda is not always yours. You both welcome and fear the intense interest the Other has in you. Sometimes it stinks in here. The stench can be suffocating. Rotting, filthy, putrefying stuff gets dragged out from underneath hell. Stuff stuffed in closets you thought you would never have to open. Stuff that nobody but you and the Other know about. You recoil from the horror of it. You are repulsed. You want to get out of here. But the Other does not turn away. He wades into the mess. He is not put off by having to deal with this. His unflinching presence gives you the capacity to stay in, to overcome shame, to face down the unseemliness. Then, sometimes, nothing happens. Or so it seems. He and you. Like a quiet night spent by the fire absorbed in a book, or like a long drive with a loved one shared without spoken words. Nothing much said. No big agenda. Comfortable. " (A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal)

Thankful for sweet reminders of His desire to be with me.  Me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thank you!

I can't think of a better way to start the holiday season than with the love of each of you on my mind!  I am so pleased to tell you that my personal support of $15,000 has been raised and I am now officially a full time Staff Associate with Young Life!  

Thank You! Thank You! Thank you!

It is hard to express just how excited I am for what the Lord is doing.  If there is one thing I'm sure about it is that He is completely in control!  This is both scary and so freeing.  The past couple months of fundraising have given me such a clear view of God working, both in me and in my ministry.  Each of you played a huge role in that!

If you were hoping to give and didn't beat the deadline for my personal support please consider giving to Jacksonville Young Life.  As I am planting and growing Young Life at Mandarin High and Atlantic Coast High I will continue fundraising from the Southside area of Jacksonville.  (A budget breakdown can be found below along with a link to give.)

Praying that each of you would feel loved and so appreciated in this season!  
Sending a BIG hug,



Budget Breakdown
Actual cost of the start-up of Young Life in Southside Jacksonville.
*Specify "Abby Lynch" in comment when 
giving to Jax YL.* 
CLICK HERE TO SET UP YOUR GIFT TODAY!