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June 23, 2014

One year...

Unchurched. Not driven. Confused. Questioning. Isolation. Uncommitted. Inactive. Unmotivated. Defiant. Reserved. Rebellious. Quiet. Internalized. Seeking. Asking. Knocking. Doubt. Fear. Withdrawn. Unsocial. Uninvolved. Bitter. Angry. Asking again. More questioning. Peaceful. Disturbed. Naked. Vulnerable. Stripped. Uncomfortable. Unsatisfied. Questions. Lots of questions. Seeking some more. Discontent. Changes. Pain. More confusion. Declaring. Begging. Praying. Ignoring. Walking forward. Retreating. Mood swings. Religion. Laws. Grace. Mistakes. Successes. Condemnation. Shame. Realizations. Accusations. Resting. Expecting. Hoping. Reaching. Marching. Running. Limiting. Not caring. Loving. Judging. Forgiving. Learning. Contentment. Burdened. Disgusted. Let-down. Inspired. Strong-willed. Relieved. Letting go. Joyful. Enjoying/hating...

Life...

One day at a time.

Each day.

Each moment.

One-by-one.

A year...how can one person experience so many emotions within just one year? How can one find so many flaws, in the life they have been living, in just a year ? How can one learn so much about themself, others, and God in only one year? How can one have everything "figured out", and end up being "stripped" of what they know, only to have them replaced with new revelations and thoughts, in just one year.

This past year has been a journey. I was silenced by (what I thought was) myself, only to realize that God needed me to be in silence so I could hear what He had to say. I have questioned my faithfulness to God and to the church because I just needed to STOP...stop all the "churchy-ness", stop all the unsolicited advice, stop all the "routines" and "rules", stop the "judging", stop the "finger pointing", so I could go back to being taught by Him...

Back to the "basics". But not to what I THOUGHT the basics were! Back to the "basics" HE wanted to teach me.

I'm not talking about "scriptural basics", theology, laws, rules, grace, or doctrines.

I'm talking about RELATIONSHIP! Not the kind of "relationship" we THINK we are supposed to have. Not the kind of "relationship" we hear others talk about. Not even the kind of "relationship" taught from the pulpit:

"Jesus 'loves/receives/accepts/forgives' YOU....(BUT will take away your salvation if you don't continue to be a 'good' Christian, follow the 'rules', and don't commit the 'unpardonable' sin.)" 

The kind of relationship I'm talking about is the kind that Jesus had with Peter, the man He KNEW would deny Him 3x. The relationship that Jesus had with the woman at the well, the woman who He knew would ruin His reputation because of His PURE love for her. The kind of relationship Jesus had with the disciples who would not recognize Him and needed physical proof He was indeed Jesus.

Let's not forget about Zacheus, the dirty, rotten thief who everyone despised, yet Jesus sought out intentionally.  What about the relationship Jesus had with the woman who was accused of adultery, about to be stoned. In today's society, she probably would have been called a slut or prostitute. Jesus STOOD UP for her, in front of all the religious leaders! In front of the community! In front of His friends and family! He gave her DIGNITY when she had none! Jesus saved her LIFE!!! 

I'm talking about the kind of relationship Jesus had with the close FRIEND who would betray Him for coins. Jesus loved this man! Judas was like a brother to Him! He was in Jesus's "circle". Jesus spent His last meal, and loved on, THIS MAN who would "narc" Him out and turn Him over to His enemies to be tortured and killed. Talk about greed! Disloyalty! Betrayal! Heartbreak!

This is the kind of "relationship" I have been having with my Jesus for the past year!!! THIS is love! THIS is UNCONDITIONAL love! THIS IS JESUS!!!

So......through my ups and downs, my good and poor choices, my doubt and unbelief, my anger and questioning, my lack of committment and "slacking", my thoughts and feelings, my defiance and rebellion....

I am finding "the" Jesus, I have always read about in the Bible!!!

I am finding out what "this" relationship is supposed to look like. I'm finding out what the word "unconditional" really means. In turn, I'm learning to love myself, and those around me.

I'm learning to open up my eyes to the people in the world around me...we really aren't much different after all...you & me.

---I pray God would "nudge" you into this journey with Him! It is NOT comfortable! It's NOT easy! It does NOT always make sense! It will NOT make you popular or help you to "fit in"! Your journey will NOT look like mine!

You MAY question everything you "thought" you knew! You MAY go back and forth, feeling like you are being the "double minded" person! You MAY resist most things you learn! You MAY be unpopular! You MAY find yourself gravitating towards, and apologizing to, the people you previously "outcasted". You MAY see your "flaws" in full color and you MAY just want to puke at who how you have treated people! You MAY be lonely! You MAY doubt! Your journey will look like YOURS AND JESUS'! 

If you say "yes" to whatever journey Jesus wants to take YOU on, you can guarantee that you will NEVER be the same! And it is soooooooooooooo good!

Blessings friends!


May 15, 2013

The "Holy" list

Somewhere in my finite mind, I have made mental rules "lists" of what it means to be a "good" Christian. Despite "knowing better", I frequently line up my flaws and compare them to this "list" to determine if I am still on God's "nice" Holy list or if I have crossed over to the "bad" "wretched am I" list. 

Now, I understand that you may SuPeR "spiritual" and may be thinking, 
"Heaven, that's silly! That's not how God is. The Bible says....x, y, & z."

I totally understand! 
It does sound VERY silly!

If I heard someone else saying such a thing, I would assure them THAT is NOT what the Bible says, and that is NOT how God views them. One of my biggest passions is that people know the truth about who they are in Christ! One of my biggest flaws is that I know who I am in Christ until I "mess up", sin, or make a mistake. THEN, I'm all about excluding myself from the race because I don't "measure" up. I don't "qualify" for the grace of God, because....ooooohhhhhh, my sin is toooooooo big! 

"I know better than to sin!" (my biggest chastisement to myself)

Most of us KNOW right from wrong. If not, we learn very quickly, whether through natural consequences or by being convicted of the wrong we do.

So......
Back
to
the 
"list"...

 Immediately Upon "sin"/mistake, I dig out "the" list from my mind. 

It goes something like this:

- "good" Christians serve God at all costs.
- "good" Christians don't "do" depression.
-"good" Christians do not make "big" mistakes.
-You need to punish yourself (suffer) in order to be forgiven.
-Your sin is not covered until grace because you purposely sinned.
-Don't repent & move on or you are "abusing" God's grace.
-Other Christians don't do THAT kinda' stuff.
-Can you say FAILURE!!!
-You "blew it" again. God's grace is running out!
-"good" Christians don't make the same mistakes over and over.
-Your sin is bigger than God's grace.
-"good" Christians would have it "together" by now.

Now, you may or may not have a similar list that you survey to determine if you are in "God's good graces". Look at my list. Is that list pointing back to Jesus or is it pointing towards my sin/actions/behavior? Is it filled with love and grace or is it full of condemnation and shame?

Check out this "list":

-You are forgiven.
-I remember your sins no more.
-My grace is sufficient for you.
-You are made in my image.
-Press on toward the goal.
-I ordained every one of your days before they came to be.
-I know you inside and out.
-I don't keep a record of your wrongdoings.
-When you are weak, I am strong.
-I love you.

What "list" are you living by?
Which "list" is embedded in your mind and your heart?

~Holy Spirit, I pray that you would open our eyes to see the glorious inheritance we have because we are sons and daughters of the Most High King. I pray that you would reveal the incorrect "lists" we have been living by. I pray that you would pour out YOUR Truth of who each person is in Christ...not just when we are acting "good", but all the time. I pray for Your Spirit to rise within each person reading this. Draw them into the Truth. Draw me more into Your Truth. Let the lies be revealed and a renewing of the Truth be instilled deep within each person. In Jesus' name, Amen.





April 25, 2013

Writing again...

It has been quite awhile since I have publicly written for I have been privately living. Much has crossed my mind and my life since my last entry months ago. Although I have written over 400 posts on this blog, I'm beginning over with this post. I'm not sure what the focus of my writing will be...

I just want to write again.

Sometimes, in one's life, focus is lost. Life gets distorted. Forgetting one's purpose can also disappear.

I write. I encourage through my writing. I love to write. I love to encourage.

I do not claim to be perfect at it. Grammar is not my strength. Expressing my emotions is. Sharing my stories and my experiences, to encourage another, is.

So, here I go again...