Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When the Kingdom Comes in a City

This is a podcast by Kris Vallotton. I just couldn't agree more!!!!

When the Kingdom Comes in a City 

Ministry of Kindness

My high school volleyball coach is a mentor for me to this day. She's a wonderful friend too. In her words and actions she continues to remind me of the verse that says that God's kindness is what leads us to repentance.

What a fantastic reminder...and calling...I want to live like that too.

A life lived as a ministry of kindness.

I don't want to be a judge. I want to be an investor. I don't want to elevate self in pride. I want to confidently serve. I don't want to require "cleanliness" as a pre-requisite to belonging. I want to welcome and love without stipulations. I want to invite, beckon, encourage...

Hmm...things to think about.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Victor's Crown

Man, ever since the Beth Moore conference, this song has been in my heart...and rocking my socks off... :)

"Every high thing must come down. Every stronghold shall be broken..." To me it's such a beautiful picture of bringing heaven to earth. The reality of kingdom life...Jesus' resurrection life...TODAY. Mmhmm...amazing.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grace for the Graceless

I think I've put my finger on the issue. Definitely seeking God for His recommendations.

I don't have grace for the graceless (at least towards the graceless by my definition).

It has always been a stark contrast for me...noticing how I can apply grace in both perspective and approach to those who seem outside the "club" of the church (Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the "club" mentality.) but finding it absolutely revolting to apply grace to the legalistic and judgmental "saved" ones. The anger I feel sometimes for how I feel Jesus is so misrepresented by the very ones who claim His name...oh man, it can be overwhelming. I understand that I don't always display the true heart of Jesus either, but for some reason I can extend grace to myself a bit more than to "those" others. (Wow...that's probably not cool at all. Hehe.)

Yet...the frustration is not productive. It just sits there building resentment...and a disdain for association. in judgment of the judgmental. Sigh.

Knowing that it is true that "hurt people hurt people" doesn't always help. I'm sure it should, but it doesn't. The truth is that most legalistic and/or judgmental people face a reality of fear and shame every day. A nasty, heart-crushing prison that so strongly dictates their actions. Really tragic when you think about it...but for me, it's difficult to hold on to the sympathy in the face of their cruelty to others.

What to do. What to do.

Seemingly, this is a God-sized problem. One that our tips, tricks and self-help books can't remotely address.

Show me the way, God. Show me the way.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Patience Is Tapped Out.

Patience is a virtue, they say. And if I ever find out who "they" are...there's gonna be trouble. Hehe.

For whatever reason, it seems to be a season that requires a great deal of patience, and I'm discovering that I'm lacking any reserves. Just about every "pet peeve" button has been or is being pushed. Irritations...most definitely...abound.

I think what adds to the tension is knowing that many of them can't be changed. So, putting in the energy to address situations knowing any modification is unattainable???...I'd rather just loath from a distance. Haha!

It's the grace quandary really. The grace of the invested challenge...or...the grace of the prayerful silence. Knowing when to highlight an issue and when to walk away. Sigh.

"God grant me the serenity..." or get me drugs. ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Temple Without Levels

I heard a sermon last week that referred to the Jewish temple. I didn't know much of anything about the various courts inside. Quite interesting. Click here for more information on the Temple.

Of particular interest to me was all of the separation that existed within this holy place. A court for Gentiles...Jews and Gentiles could interact here, but Gentiles couldn't go further inside. Up a few stairs to the Court of Women...a place for Jewish men, women and priests to interact, but women couldn't go further than this place. Up a few stairs to the Court of Men...a place where Jewish men and priests could go, but only priests could go further. Through a gate into the Priest's Court...a place for all Jewish priests, but the lesser priests could go no further. And finally through the veil, the Holy of Holies...a place for only the high priests and God.

Over the years, I've focused on the tearing of the veil during the Crucifixion of Christ. That spectaculor moment symbolizing that God would not be contained or isolated but would now occupy the human heart. Wow...still so precious to me. But knowing that there were all of these courts of separation, I was so blessed by how the life, death and resurrection of Christ also became the grand equalizer.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Can't you just see it? In addition to the tearing of the veil that kept the Holy of Holies closed off, the various, raised levels separating Jews and Gentiles, men and women, and priest and layman were collapsed. The tiered temple became a level place...all have equal access to Him and are equal in Him.

Oh man...what a visual. What a gift!!! Now to place our faith in alignment with His wide-open spaces of Grace. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Those Dry Bones

I have noticed a trend in the last two weeks...the number of times the story of the dry bones from Ezekiel has been mentioned in a variety of circles. Many times, referencing concerns for the current church at-large. It's seriously been quite much so that it slapped me in the face to pay attention. :)

When you look at the church in America today, it's not difficult to see the "dry bones". (Note: I am looking at myself in the analysis as well.) Those ruled by appearances...putting forth the "show" to pretend to be someone they are not. Those ruled by legalism...putting forth the "rules" that would "earn" God's favor and often using their Belt of Truth to abuse others. Those ruled by self...seeking only what makes them happy and comfortable, all the while being "me-me-me" and "milk-dependent" rather than challenged to grow in maturity and servanthood. Those ruled by a gospel of sin this life in constant remembrance of who they've been without seeing that His cross was also a gate to true freedom and to becoming who He made them to be in the first place. Those ruled by consumerism....seeking the perfect church of entertainment without any attention to the condition of their heart or the nature of true worship. Those ruled by performance or duty...working out a social gospel or gospel of doing without any focus on the personal relationship with Jesus.  Those ruled by offense...isolating themselves from community and permitting themselves a seat of judgment rather than forgiveness and healing. It goes on and on and on...

To me, it feels like all of heaven is groaning for Abba's children to come alive be filled with His breath of experience intimacy with Him that unleashes allow His power and presence to be made manifest in their own hearts and in their realms of influence...the truest tales of the kingdom expressed today.

So...let's live in agreement with the prophesy..."Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may LIVE!" Because...there's MORE! There's MORE! There's MORE!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Living the Dream

My Ragamuffin friend sent me this link some time ago, and I've been coming back to it over the last few months. If you have the time, it's worth a viewing. Living a life of purpose, calling...dreams. :)

 * Have courage to share your story. The risks you fear in the telling are likely smaller than the beauty that comes...that is its telling.

 * Our dreams often come from our brokenness...those places where we've experienced hell and have risen up to say "Hell, no!" to evil. Look there!

 * Our dreams often come from glory too...those places where we find ourselves coming alive in the experience. Look there too!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014