Monday, November 25, 2013

Closing Those Doors

I'm not one of those people that likes to stay in a constant place of looking into the past. I used to do that a ton, but I've found that God is way better at revealing things from before in just the right time for His perfect healing. Ever the Gentleman. I'm certainly not denying their existence...Lord, I see the damage from that perspective all the time in the lives of great people who live less because of it. Just doesn't work. What I'm saying is...I'm not a wound hunter. Instead I've decided to take the posture of obedience when God reveals those things and spend the rest of my time allowing Him to release me into the beauty He's created me to be.

So...lately...God's been beckoning me into a season of looking back and allowing closure.

The clue God's been giving me that it's time??? the face of unfathomable honor from someone, I find myself grieving moments from my past where I was not treated honorably. Guy vs. Man. The grief means some doors are still open...and God's getting ready to help me close them.

Terrifying and exciting at the same time.

So...just a reminder that God is both wild and good. He has a ferocious anger for the pain of His children and the gentle goodness to walk us back to painful places to breathe His healing out. He fills in broken places so our forward movement into greater strength is unhindered.

If He gives you the invitation...take it. :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Powerful Story

Wow. Such a powerful story! The healing and freedom obviously take time...but when we let God have our pain...Wow...Amazing.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guess Who's in the Seat of Honor?

I was so struck by something in Growth Group on Sunday. November is our "Spotlight on Service" month...encouraging a life of intentional honor and kindness. The discussion, which highlighted Jesus washing the disciples' feet, began with setting up the scene. The way the story was written indicates where some of the people were sitting.

John on Jesus' right as the was customary for a close friend to sit nearest the door in case of attack. 

And on Jesus' left, a person deserving of honor...Judas.

I find that SO VERY fascinating!!

Jesus actually placed Judas, the one He knew would betray Him, in the seat of honor. Even in the face of impending injustice, Jesus chose honor. I'm so...awed.

It's a good challenge for me. I don't always react so the face of betrayal. But, Jesus did...and makes it possible for us to do the same. 

AND...when we are the betrayers, the bringers of pain and suffering...Jesus would place each of us in the seat of honor too. That makes me come undone. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Can't Get It Out Of My Mind

It's true! I have a mind that grabs ideas and thinks and thinks and thinks...hoping the Holy Spirit will give me a bit more insight. Why?...well, OCD could be a contributor...Haha! But...I just really want to know more about kingdom realities..."know" in an experiential way...because I suspect our understanding is so much less than God's design.

Wouldn't it be so amazing if we as the church could live out more accurately the desires of God's heart?

So, I can't get "Grace" out of my mind. It spins over and over and over... The reason is that the definition that the church tends to live out seems so lacking and actually inappropriate sometimes...limiting our ability to love, forgive and invest well. We live something like this, "God's grace forgave a loser like me and keeps me from a life of eternal fire and damnation. I try to remind myself daily how much His grace puts up with crap like me." That or we do something like this, "God's grace means I can live however I want because He and I are cool. If I want to keep doing things that break my own heart or the hearts of others, no problem! He's just happy I'm saved." It all seems...severely limited. Especially as we get to know God's heart more.

I'm starting to think that it might take all of eternity to grasp the magnificence of Grace. That long because God is so beautifully good and beyond our mind's comprehension. We will experience it but not be able to find the words... I love that.

Here's my thought this week. A snapshot of Grace. The focus of Grace isn't sin. It speaks to it, conquers it...but its focus is more permeating in the spirit. It has its sight set on sources of sin...the roots, the wounds, the brokenness. He knows those things can be healed and restored, and He actually can and does! AND...beyond its cross-hairs is DESIGN. Grace embraces "becoming"...believes that the words of powerful identity divinely written on the heart can truly be illuminated by His presence and unleashed in this lifetime!!!

It ain't just forgiveness and a "get outta hell" ticket for life's losers!!! It ain't just "get outta hell" and live apathetic to growth and freedom!!!

It's this...He takes a girl like I was and as I can be...forgives me, heals my broken heart and the wounds that torment me and fills them with beauty and wholeness, and inspires and launches me into a life where I will express the identity and the gifts of the daughter He's made me to be. I'll know eternity today...and someday even more fully.

I want to see myself like that...and the world. A life of compassion and investment.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Your "Grace" Is Showing

I'm starting to realize how much our true understanding of grace is shown in our response to the sin of others.

Not the "grace" that is relativistic, permissive...

Not the "grace" that utilizes shame as a tactic to maintain behavior...

The "Grace" that values the heart, that invests in people no matter the baggage or stain, that has higher and deeper standards for wholeness than the behavioral regulations of legalism. Truly, so beautiful.

Once in a while I encounter people who use the word "grace" in their every day Christian language like they are pro's at it but who cannot display with their actions the realities of "Grace". Tending towards anger issues and snap reactions. Incapable of the forgiveness they would long for from others. It's so frustrating because they just jump from church to church in constant dismay that "everyone else" can't get it together like they can.  Sigh. (Yep, irony intended.)

But then there's Jesus. Oh, I love Him so much. He sees the heart. He sees the divine story written for that heart...and believes it can happen because of His matter the unsightly condition to start with. I'm sure He loves accountability, healthy boundaries and all that...but He always offers His hand to get back up.

I think that's His heart for the church in America. The high hopes of His kingdom. pray that into reality more. Sigh. Encounters with Jesus that redefine a poor definition.

Praying that for myself too. Goodness knows Jesus' Grace also has a heart for them too. ;)