Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grace is Messy

There's no other way to aptly describe God's grace except to say that it's messy.

It forgives the unforgivable.

It loves the unlovable.

It believes in the hopeless.

It strengthens the weak.

It weakens the strong.

Grace is messy.

It doesn't come all neat and crisp and dressed pretty with a bow on top.

Grace looks beyond the surface, then past the next layer or two or ten or twenty or one hundred layers that have made a person who and what they are and do.

Grace searches and seeks to know and understands how we got the way we are.

Grace came in the form of a human being, wearing the flesh of our mess, yet not giving in to the temptations we all give in to and suffer.

Grace takes the punches of rejection and loves anyway.

Grace takes the punches of arrogance and pride and humbly offers more of Himself to the self-righteous.

Grace loves beyond all human understanding.

Grace gets us.

Grace loves us anyway.

Grace came for us, to be with us, to suffer the sufferings we suffer with us, not against us.


God's Grace.

His Name is Jesus.  He came for you.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday or not, He's still the Christ of Christmas

I've been noticing how afraid people are to say the word Christmas this year.  No one talks about their "Christmas" shopping or their "Christmas" cookies or their "Christmas" cards.  It's all been replaced by their "Holiday" shopping, "holiday" cookies, and "holiday" cards.

Ok.  So it's offensive to say Christmas now.  Sad.

But not surprising.

And He knew it would end up like this too.

He knew, before He every left His throne and put on the flesh of a human being, it would be like this 2000 years after His birth.

The One who was born to be familiar with our sorrows, not just a bird's eye view of the pain and distress and suffering we bear silently, but a familiar acquainted feel it down deep in the bones and hidden cells of His DNA familiar acquainted with our sorrows.  He feels our pain.  Not just a catch phrase kinda feel either.  He feels it, He felt it, He lived it when He lived in the same flesh we live in now.

He knew He would be despised.  He knew He would be called a just a man.  He knew He would be rejected.  He knew He would be mocked.  He knew.

And yet, He still came.

Some find His story a fairytale, some find Him a deep offense.

He knows.

And He came anyway.

Maybe it is all a fairy tale.

And if it is, I'd rather believe in this fairy tale than not have anyone or anything to believe in.

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty never claimed to be familiar with my pain and sorrows.

He did because He was.

There is no one, great or small, royal or not, who can truly feel what we feel.

He was a man of sorrows.....not one sorrow, but sorrowS.

He was familiar with suffering....not just a pat on the head or a sad look and "sorry man, it's tough," but He was familiar, He yada - He knows, he learns, he knows by experience, he perceives - He Knows.

He knows.

He knows you.

He knows your past.

He knows your pain.

He came for you.

His Name is Christ.

Whether we say His name or not or deny His existence, doesn't make Him less so.

His Name is Christ.

He is why this "holiday" is still in existence.

You who deny Him and His name cannot take away how it all got started.

He is the Christ of Christmas.  The one who is familiar with your suffering.

He came for you.

Praying for that Peace for you,

Isaiah 53
Hebrews 4:15

Monday, December 16, 2013

what's your motive?

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.


something as a need or desire that causes a person to act

moving or tending to move to action

of or relating to motion or causing of motion

Boule - from the Greek boulomai - to will.  I will, intend, desire, wish.  Boule means counsel, deliberate wisdom, a resolved plan.

Webster's synonym discussion of motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad:

Motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act.

Impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution.

Incentive applies to an external influence as an expected reward inciting to action.

Inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another.

Spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor.

Goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire.

What are your goals?  What's your motive for the things you do in your life?  If you have the courage, think a little more deeply on this question.

I've been thinking of my own motives and goals lately.  The whirlwind of this summer and all its activity and almost constant levels of adrenaline have now subsided.  We're falling into a routine and I think some of the emotions of this summer that were put in a box to be dealt with later are now climbing out, wanting to be aired and set free.

I've had moments, random moments, where I am overwhelmed, OVERWHELMED, with a deep feeling of sadness.  Like if the time is right, I could just start crying and not stop.  I even find myself during those times of overwhelming sadness, ask the W word....sshhh, you know the one.....why?

There have been thoughts that find their way into my mind that go like this:

How in the world did we get here?  (It's minus 10 degrees BELOW zero for crying out loud!)

Even though at the time I knew, and still know, God was at the forefront of the whole journey of leaving comfortable, I'm finding myself asking Him these questions like a four year old throwing a tantrum when she doesn't want to go to bed but is miserable staying up past bedtime.

What in the hell happened?

Why are we here?  (It's minus 10 degrees BELOW zero for crying out loud!)

I write these thoughts now with a somewhat smile on my face, but I'll be honest, I'm still working through it.  And God has been encouraging me all along, bringing to mind truth over my emotions.  Those emotions can feel so real and OVERWHELMING, but God's truth is what steadies my heart when I'm enjoying my new surroundings and our new opportunities at the same time feeling OVERWHELMING sadness and, yes, even grief.

I've been checking my motive, it can be such an ugly companion when it's not lined up with what God wants for my life, and believe me, I've had my moments when it's MINUS 10 degrees below zero and I'm saying to Him who made the Universe - "surely, you didn't have this in mind when you, yes YOU, ripped us from our home of 15 years, away from our children and our life there, SURELY, there's been a miscommunication somewhere!"

Faith isn't pretty sometimes.  Sometimes it can be downright tantrum-ish when we follow where we believe he's leading but we don't like where He's taken us.  (It MINUS 10 degrees below zero for crying out loud!)

It is my goal that when my motives are exposed upon the return of the LORD  He reveals a heart motivated by desire to follow where He wants, not where I think I need to be and forgives me for the tantrums I throw in the process and the moments I do what I think is best and ignore what His best is for me.  (Yes, it IS minus 10 degrees below zero, somehow, someway, that's what His best is for me.)

Wishing you a peace that motivates you to follow His will for your life.

That little Baby, born to be King is sooooo worth it!