"Always- before the King of Kings- Bowing"- Chantel, via the willow

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What if we all?

What if we all walked around yelling angrily at others, because, you know, we feel like it, and "It's my raw emotions and I have a right to get it out how I want to", inciting others to angry outbursts, lashing out in retaliation until it escalates into violence and death...

What if we all walked around frowning, getting deeper and deeper into gloom, making it easier and easier to find the negative in everything, causing everyone around us to feel unmotivated to aspire to anything because, what's the point if it's going to just disappoint me anyway...

What if we all walked around  selfishly caring about no one but ourselves, shrugging our shoulders at the plight of others, kicking others down to "make it to the top", and turning a blind eye to the hurting of others-  getting what we want even at other's expense-

 And what if we all FAILED to realize there was someone who could rescue us from that, and transform our corrupt thinking into a right thinking, and provide a miraculous way to start life over and BE DIFFERENT FROM THAT....

There'd be CHAOS.

Jesus wants to free us from the chaos!

From the clamor 
From the sexual immorality that's painted as freedom
From the violence that's called being in tune with your emotions
From the broken marriages
From the cycle of temporary pleasure to pain to temporary pleasure to when-will-this-all-stop pain...

But What if we all decided to break free from the surreal life and get back to the REAL LIFE? What if we all recognized this temporary existence is , just that, temporary, and we began to focus on our created-for purpose?
no copyright infringement intended

What if We ALL?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Teaching Moments- Safe in his Grip

There I was sitting on my knees in the dim light of the early morning. The light that tried to push its way through the slits of the blinds just made it seem, foggy. Or maybe it was my mind that was foggy- still trying to shake off sleep. Whichever it was, I felt like the psalmist David whose pillow was made a pool by his tears. 
I risk baring the naked truth here, yet I was at a point in my mind where I could not see the worth in this set apart life. I was growing weary I suppose with all the doing well. Where is the reaping, God, I thought. I feel constrained rather than liberated. I feel imprisoned rather than free. Yes, yes I know the right response, but it failed to be a heart response at the moment. 
Then Baby J ran in the room, or it could have been Z- but that detail doesn't matter. He went to, let's say,  play with a a plug and I grabbed his hand. . He struggled to free his hand from mine and his struggle only tightened my grip. As he relaxed and submitted to my grasp, my grip loosened to a casual hand hold. As soon as he lunged toward the plug, I gripped his hand ( also popped his hand), and instructed him to sit beside me and he did. 
Then it dawned on me. When I  feel the grip of God, for instance, as opposed to his hold, could it be because I'm struggling against his protection, and against his grace? The times I feel imprisoned rather than held, could it be just the arms of grace bracing me from the hit of my own fall? I suppose it's just like the times my father threw his arm out across my chest firmly to brace me from the force of an abruptly tapped brake, though I was strapped in.
Suddenly my perspective shifts. When I feel trapped by Him rather than simply held by Him, it reveals I am longing for something outside of Him. Because of free will, there is nothing wrong with this longing in of itself, but this longing is fruitless, because outside of God, there is nothing worth going after. Outside of God, is a hopeless existence. In God is hope-filled living. The pleasurable things this lawless age has to offer appear appealing for the sake of drawing the flesh. The appeal is in giving in to the entitlement of the flesh, which which is rooted in pride. It in turn is rooted in idolatry. We think, I can do what makes me feel good- I am my own god. This is a dangerous pit to fall into, and it only takes one moment to send us there. It only takes one moment of  wallowing in self-pity. 
Commitment is a decision. Not a one time decision, but a " I die daily" like Paul, decision. Everyday we have to be renewed in the Spirit, and renewed in our convictions and commitment to the cause of Christ- ups and downs alike. See in this life we will have trouble, but with Christ we overcome those troubles rather than those troubles overcoming us.
Maybe you feel defeated, or conflicted, or constricted and feel like you are ready to throw in the towel with this set-apart life- this holy life- the Christ-following life. 
But what if God is trying to teach you something in the moments around you. Listen and you just might find a perspective where you can see yourself and your situation and others around you through the Savior's eyes.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thoughts on true Liberty: Independence Day

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
(verse 4 )

 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.- 2 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Just like a child

Daddy and Baby J
Daddy's truck pulled into the driveway. They could all see the front end through the window from the basement. I heard all the "Daddy's here" exclamations, so I went outside. I'd sent him for a quick run to the store to pick up a few things on the way home from work, and ran out to help carry them in. What a sight as I got to the door and through the glass was a little face excitedly pressed up against the glass. The eyes were wide with anticipation. "Z, open the door for mommy, baby." He looked past me grinning, watching. Daddy reached the front door and the eyes gleamed. Literally. 

I can't remember how we got through the doorway with the the 3 year old pressed against it, but as soon as the door cracked open, the jumping and squeals began. And Oh! there was the baby right behind him, yelling with delight- "Daaaaa! Da-Da!", over and over. It was a loud reception. Daddy was home.

Later that night when daddy left the room, J was not happy. He went into a heartbroken cry and, like a scene from a  Oscar-worthy drama held onto the foot board of the bed, reaching toward the door for his dad. Really, J? Really?

The next day as I prepared to spend some time with the Lord, I gathered my thoughts. I began as normal: A deep breath in, and a relaxing breath out- I get to be with my Father for a set time; then, "Father, I thank you..." I thanked the Lord for all that came to my heart to thank him for, but then the memory of yesterday came.  I felt like the Lord was asking me, how would I be toward him if I was just like that. Just like a child.

Good question, God.

 I then imagined being before Him like a little child. How would I feel?  Without worries, happy, no care in the world. Just me and my dad. What would I see or hear? He's smiling. He laughs. My carefree joy is his delight. What would I do? In response to this I began smile, to dance and lift my hands toward Him. I began to jump up and down and tell Him how much I love Him. I felt light and free. It was the joy of the Lord. I felt him smiling. I want to remember that.

 He takes pleasure in us. Psalm 149:4, Psalm 147:11.  I can come to Him just like a child- excited for his presence and agonized at the thought of not having him right there. Like a child I can just trust, and not be afraid. Like a child I can believe what he says, and treat it like the words of a God- for that's what He is. Like a child I can share with him my fears, my accomplishments, my likes, dislikes, joys and frustrations. Like a child I can be real, and not fear losing his love. That is real freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. This is something liberating about being a child. Our Father invites us to that freedom in Him.

 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.Luke 18:17