Doesn’t Get Much Better

Let me just take a minute to breathe in the goodess here. I believe God’s up there winkin’ at me. It doesn’t get much better than this ~

…a morning spent playing with a giggly little 2 yr old & cute wiener dog

…a good work out @ the Y, and then

…a quiet lunchtime with a delish salad, a cold glass of lite lemonaid & the Bible

Man, life is grand!

salad

My Salad:
Lettuce (romaine), shredded mozz. cheese, feta cheese, manderine oranges, sliced deli ham, grape tomotoes, crispy turkey-bacon, salt & pepper.

I love salads!!!! For a more protien-packed twist, substitute tuna-mix for the ham & small apple chunks for the oranges, then top w/some craisins. Mmmmmm.

The Bible – to search & research

I think it’s important to never shy away from, or let fear get in the way of searching out answers in the Bible.

It may jar your theology … it may chip away at some of the rock you stand on – the rock of ingrained doctrine & a preachers’ take – the rock of your parents’ interpretation or of  a commentator you respect .  All the little threads woven together that now make up your way of thinking about God. It’s scary to confront issues… but at the same time, if you use the Bible, even discover its original meanings of key words, it’s comforting & gives power.

I don’t do it enough (search & research the Word) usually waiting until my beliefs are challenged. But I learn so much when I do. I am so thankful for an infallable resource, this Holy Spirit inspired book, that is always available to me.

i’m not good enough

just a few truths i’m pondering this morning:

i will never be good enough. that is why Christ died, because He was the only person good enough. that is the good news of the Gospel! i no longer have to strive to live up to expectations! i can do my best, but it’s not to gain God’s acceptance. it’s out of a willing heart to love him back.

i no longer live for his approval, but from his approval.

my standing with God does not depend on my performance. ever. Christ’s blood has made me righteous – right with God. not a ‘sinner’, but a saint who happens to sin.

my actions & sins are never a surprise to God. and because they aren’t, he’s never disappointed. b/c in order to be disappointed in one’s behavior, you have to have some higher level of expectation. God has no higher level of expectation. He knew before i sinned, i would sin. so all i need to do is thank him for the opportunity to be reconciled to him because of Christ’s sacrifice, accept it, repent once & be on my way. why do i complicate it?! why does the church add to it?


hmmm…

fathers, sons, love & forgiveness

wait! this one’s a long post, but it’s a good thinker, hang with me here!!

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Gal 4:4-7 (NLT)

i love how God sent his Son to earth, spoke to him as his Son, & treated him as a Son should be treated. now we have the awesome privilege of making that comparison with our own children. we can see so much more clearly how to parent our own, and even more importantly, how to view ourselves as the precious, priceless children of God we are. when we hurt ourselves, are hit w/sickness or feel pain by another (in any way), he is immediately there to pick us up, squirt some bactine, give us a bandage & a hug if we will dare to reach for him. ok, not literally, but at least thru the body of Christ if you’re plugged in somewhere & absolutely thru His Word. but so often when a natural father disappoints, we attribute those failures and faults to our heavenly Father. why?!?! i guess doubt creeps in…squelching our faith in any kind of father figure. with every shattered hope, from sexual abuse to never receiving a hug; from an unfulfilled promise of a phone call to a no-show during the birth of your daughter, comes an opportunity to do one of two things. either

a.) build walls of protection to no longer “feel” hurt (which like denial, never really works) or

b.) dare to reach with faith as a child in a desperate state, for our Father in heaven.

hmmm…case in point ~ it’s 2:18am & my daughter, who’s fighting a fever & goopy droopy eyes just woke up crying. it was only natural for me to get up at the sound of her cry and go to her, give her medicine, pray & rock her in my arms. i wonder…how much more does our own Creator & Saviour long for that closeness every time we cry.

i’m learning (from books by john bevere & also nancy missler), that a danger in building protective walls is while they seem to keep hurt out, they also keep love in. in order to love as God does, unconditionally, we h a v e to make ourselves vulnerable. if we hold anything against them, we for our own growth need to say to our earthly father figures (if only in our minds), ‘you may have wounded me. it’s not okay, but i will still love you, because now that i am a child of God, i aim to love as he loves. completely opposite of natural love…it is this new agape love. the kind that is not selfish. expects nothing in return. gives until there is nothing left to give…& wants to then give more. nothing you can do can weaken…or strengthen it.’

it’s really hard for me to understand this love. the more i think about it, the more i want to crouch in a corner & hide. it seems like just about everything i do has some kind of ulterior, self-seeking motive. i used to hate the phrase ‘oh, get over it’, but it’s starting to become my friend these days. i so don’t want to be that easily offended person people talk about & tip toe around.

because we let the sins of an earthly father figure offend us to the point of resentment, trust seeps out the cracks & our love grows increasingly hard. as the Bible puts it: “and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (matt. 24:12 KJV) what an image this scripture conveys! like candle wax when the flame is snuffed out, the surrounding air within minutes begins to harden it. we are surrounded by iniquity like air. but this says to me that only when i choose to overlook an offense, will my love remain soft, vulnerable, and of God.

He is that burning light that feeds my love for others, every day. i wish i could love, serve, speak, parent more like him…but i’m so glad that he sees my progress thus far, and accepts me as i am.

praise you, God.

“Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure.

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.”

– A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) from The Root of the Righteous.

a must watch

http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/habakkuk/2

the word ‘dip’ has been on my brain this week. my daughter’s been really into dipping things, odd combinations like grahm crackers in ketchup or pretzels in yogurt. i’m callin’ her my ‘little dipper’.

this 35min. msg speaks of (& illustrates like an upside-down bell-curve) when we find ourselves in a ‘dip’ ~ a struggle, trial or source of pain that just seems unfair. craig groeschel tells us 3 things we need to do @ that low point, in faith. important. pls watch it & share it w/a friend in need

http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/habakkuk/2

raise ’em high…but why?

a way of expression…to open & raise your hands.

why? well, here’s a few why-nots to get things rollin’- nobody should be doin’ it if they feel pressured to or they’re just mindlessly complying with a worship leader, or if it feels extremely awkward or inappropriate. but it’s sure not a good idea to make a habit of  ‘following your feelings’. sometimes i know that i personally have to go against my feelings & raise my hands in times of worship. worship & praise is often a sacrifice, after all. i was thinking today while driving home from a dentist app’t, why i sometimes raise my hand while worshiping in the car. i figure, well, i do it @ church & @ home; why not the car? so people might think i’m weird. Jesus was weird. what i got ta thinkin’ today was:  why do people do it in the first place?

so i did a short study in the Word for some examples of raised or open hands & here’s what i found!

Aaron dedicated the Levites to the Lord as a “special offering“.  later, he raised them to bless his people. solomon prayed in this way w/dedication & sanctification (setting israel apart from all nations, as God’s special possession). One man raised his hands to heaven as he took a solemn oath,  ezra worshipped the Lord as a huge crowd joined in bowing w/hands raised & faces down. the psalms didn’t let me down w/references as a cry for mercy, an offering of praise, & my favorite passage in this study, ps.145:14-17, refers actually to His open hands (rather than raised); it is a beautiful mentioning of 3 ways He satisfies our needs, only possible w/an open hand (italics added):

14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.

so that’s some of what the Word reads. everyone, if they choose to express themselves this way, may do it for different reasons.  if i do, it’s usually…

  • as a symbol of surrender. in battle, when you give up your rights, when you give up fighting, & surrender to someone’s authority, that is what you do.
  • as a way of saying ‘i give all i have’. everything ~ inside & out. you cannot give w/closed fists.
  • to show outwardly that i want to rec’v (His blessings, forgiveness & mercy). again, you cannot receive gifts tangibly w/closed fists down at your side. i’m realizing again that these are all gifts, unearned, that i need to symbolically grab a hold of & accept as my own.

i guess some more reasons also could be to:

  • physically change posture, helping you to focus & to humble yourself
  • show as a response, “i know the Answer!” or “I agree!”
  • show to God “here i am, i’m Yours! i am set apart & special…use all of me”… & in saying & displaying this, my grudges, my insecurities & my own agenda are pushed aside.