this is my story…

we all have one…a story that is.

drama.  comedy.  adventure.  a soap opera.  intrigue.  mystery.  sadness.  joy.  romance.  love.

so, share with me…or at least share with someone…your story.

what was life like before you met Jesus?

what did He do for you?

what is your life like now?

what is your call to action?

(if you want to read just a snippet of mine, check out ‘my tempest’…it is my real life storm)

i am looking forward to hearing from you.

grace.

Advertisements

gimme gimme

gimme this…gimme that

gimme a new job…gimme a new _________(fill in the blank)…gimme respect…gimmee contentment…gimme peace and joy…gimme sleep!

We are full of ‘gimmes’, aren’t we?

What if we come to the place in our lives where we can simply say: “Give Me Jesus.” …???

What more do we need?

 

grace.

eat or be eaten alive

The word of God is alive and active… (Hebrews 4:12)

What does that mean?  Does the word of God literally breathe?

Well, maybe not in a literal sense, but God’s Word sure does speak to me?  How about you?  Have you ever read a piece of Scripture that literally ‘spoke’ to you – like it was written to you, for a certain time in your life?

Or, have you noticed that our ‘Papa’ is one pretty smart guy?  From cover to cover, book to book, chapter to chapter, verse to verse – the Word of God fits together…is intertwined?  Amazing, isn’t it?

Take these verses from Isaiah 1:19-20 -If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.

If I am willing and obedient, if I choose to follow what God commands (to love Him with everything I am and my neighbor as myself), I will eat!  Eat of the Bread of Life… not only bear the fruit of the Spirit, but also partake of it…drink the Living Water…

And what does God require?  Yes, to obey His commands, but also “what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humblywith your God.” ~Micah 6:8

Won’t those things just come ‘naturally’ from our love relationship with Him?

But, what if we choose not to obey…”you will be devoured by the sword.”  Taking just a little deeper look at this, couldn’t the ‘sword’ be the living and active Word of God? (Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.)  Although this may not be the original use of the word, is it not possible?  Does God’s Word just gnaw at you sometimes – times when you need to act on something, or confess something, or take care of some God business?  And, in a sense, eat you alive?

Just a thought for today…do you want to eat – to delight in, to relish, to feast…or do you want to be devoured, to be eaten alive by the Word of God?

Taste and see that the LORD is good…~Psalm 34:8

grace.

 

 

my tempest

Books of all shapes and sizes lined the shelves of the old library.  The aroma of paper and ink filled the room.  I ran my hand along the bindings, and chose a book with an intriguing title: “My Tempest”.  I opened to pages filled with a story, one of danger, triumph, tragedy, adventure and love. The words on the pages truly started to come alive as I read them.  Soon, I became an active participant in the narrative that was unfolding.
“It was a dark and stormy night,” was the opening line.  I was curious as to where this was going, so I read on.
As I became enthralled in the words coming alive on the page, I soon realized that this story, this adventure, was not a piece of fiction, but was in fact my story!
“It was a dark and stormy night, maybe not physically or atmospherically, but a spiritual storm was brewing. This storm had started when a cold front and a warm front met in my heart several years ago.
I had always, it seemed, known the Lord. Accepting Jesus to live in my heart at an early age, and growing up in the church, I knew what it was to live as a Christian. I could check off the dos and don’ts of what it meant to follow that lifestyle.
So, what was the problem?
Well, the problem was that although I knew who God was, and obeyed the ‘rules’, there was something missing. There was no joy, no peace. I was living a life of unfulfilled expectations, both from others and self-induced, disappointment, despair, and discouragement. Soon, my life turned into a seemingly hopeless situation with no way out.
The storm came. The confusion, the guilt, the helplessness, the whirlwind of emotions, the rain of despair, the thunder of fear, the lightning of loneliness, and the howling wind of unworthiness and insignificance. The rain beat down, the winds blew, the lightning struck, the thunder roared. Until, finally, I could take no more. There was only one way to make the storm stop, or so I thought. So, in the middle of the storm, I decided the only way out was to take my own life. After all, no one really cared.”
As the words on the pages continued, I was filled with questions. Does anyone else ever try to go it alone? Does anyone else every want to just throw in the towel?  Time and time again, I had read Jeremiah 29:11 and somewhere deep inside, I believed that God really did have a plan for me – a plan to give me hope and a future. So, I read on…
“Through what I refer to as the ‘magic of Jesus,’ the story had an abrupt change in direction. Grace came down, and cleared the skies. The sounds of fear were hushed. The piercing bolts of loneliness faded against the backdrop of the sunlit sky. The winds were stilled. Peace was intruding in the frightful night sky. “
As I continued to read, some of the same sounds, the blustering winds, and the downpours still made their way onto the pages of my life, but each event was shorter in length than the previous one. The sun came out every time, too.
I read page after page with twinges of pain and guilt about the failed business venture and the consequential financial ruin, the devastating end to some of my friendships and the glorious birth of new and fresh solidarity, the brush with death that I had encountered, and my stint in a coma and the subsequent relearning of the basic necessities of life like walking, talking, writing, and eating.  These pages captured both the tumultuous atmosphere that surrounded me as well as God’s all-consuming peace.
As I sat there, reading those words and feeling those emotions, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude swept over me. God, in all of His mystery, was turning my despair into hope, my fear into peace, my bondage into freedom, and my brokenness into wholeness.
I closed the book, and sat back in the chair with a sigh. I breathed a prayer of thankfulness.   As I drifted off to sleep, my thoughts were full of gratitude for the life, the healing, and the strength to survive that God has supplied me.   He alone has brought peace to my tempest.

 

grace.

whine with cheese

Are you a whiner?  Do you have this nasal complaing cry of discontent or annoyance or peevishness?  To my dismay, I must admit that I can whine with the best of ’em.

How many times do we whine when it comes to God?   When we don’t get want we want when we want it.  When we don’t know what God is doing.  When we want to see change.  When we want other people or a situation to change.

Annoyed.  Discontented.

Then we, or at least I, tend to wallow.  And then comes the cheese.  The root of the word cheese means to ferment or sour.  Can you see where this is headed?  Wallow.  Whine.  Ferment.  Sour.

Could it be that when we allow ourselves to whine, to have that cry of discontent, it leads us to wallow which then leads our attitudes to become sour?  Cheese.

That’s right.  A nice, full-bodied whine with some strong, pungent cheese.  Sounds delish, right?

Oh, friends.  I have snacked and ate from that menu too many times in my life.

self-indulgent.  self-satisfying.  Nothing good comes from this.

What can we do to get past this – to get out of our funk?

Gratitude, my friends.  Having a heart of thanks for what God has provided and His constant presence in our lives redirects our focus from us to Him.

And then before you know it, and without you having anything to do with it…those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude. ~Isaiah 29: 21,24(MSG)

Do you want to get back on-track?  I do.

grace.

i am new

I am not who I was

I am being remade

I am new

 

grace.

hold me Jesus

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all When the mountains look so big And my faith just seems so small

CHORUS: So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark It’s so hot inside my soul I swear there must be blisters on my heart

CHORUS

Surrender don’t come natural to me I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want Than to take what You give that I need And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn And Your grace rings out so deep It makes my resistance seem so thin

CHORUS

You have been King of my glory Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

grace.

divided loyalty

Do you try to please, honor, serve two things at one time?

Does your job rule you?  Are you determined to gain as much ‘stuff’ as you can?  Do you want the biggest, the lastest, the fastest, the most attractive, the best?  Do you think about your job all the time – the work, the people?

Are you so focused on change that you neglect the present and what is currently going on?

Does the future and what might happen consume your thoughts?

Your church – does it monopolize your time?

Does your day revolve around your spouse or your friends?

Have you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions?  If so, aren’t you trying to serve two things at one time?

Where does your loyalty lie?

I am afraid, that if we are honest with ourselves and with God, we will more times than not have to say that we have divided loyalty when it comes to service to God.

Although we intend for God to always be first, we allow other things to crowd into our intentions and ultimately take priority.  But, we cannot have it both ways.  We cannot serve both God and _______.  (fill in the blank)

We are called to be free! (Galatians 5:13)

…free from and free to.

Free from the things that hold us captive, and free to serve, to love, to be devoted to God.

We cannot be held captive by one thing (serve it) and serve God at the same time.  It is no possible, nor is it God’s plan for us.  He wants all of who we are, not just the parts we want to give Him.  It is a defining moment, my friends, when the Spirit speaks this truth.  As I read this morning, it is a cold shower of truth (Lipstick Makes Everything Better, Arden Elizabeth).

Let’s strive to please only God.  Listen to the Holy Spirit’s nudging and be obedient.  It truly is liberating!

 

grace.

free at last

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  ~Galatians 5:1

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free ~Galatians 5:13

Do you live like you are free, truly free?  or do things/people keep you in such bondage that you don’t even know you are chained to them?

resentment.  unforgiveness.  worry.  regret.  unsettledness.  the past.  the present.  the future.

My friends, we are set free from those things!

And, we are called to be free to serve God with all that we are!  Free to serve Him.  Free to love Him.  Because we love Him with all that we are, His love compels us to be Christ in our world – to love others, to serve as He serve, to live as He lived.

What a glorious thought – to be free at last!

grace.

the more I seek You…

The More I Seek You, by Kari Jobe

grace.

Previous Older Entries

earlier bits

January 2012
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031