Sunday, March 19, 2017

Humility.... The Other Side of Any Story...


There is a saying that has been quoted in the middle of disagreements and fights and stories between persons...
My side of the story, the other person's side, and the right side.

What is the right side?

In the middle of feeling misunderstood, it's so easy to cast blame...
on the husband's side,
the in-law's side,
and the friend who just isn't listening.

It's easy to 'see' my side and understand and say, "If... then..."
If they would just listen, then...
If they would just quit doing that, then...
If...

There's a disagreement at work.
A co-worker rubs you the wrong way.
A sibling or friend hurt you.
A parent doesn't get you.
Your in-law family does life differently and it grates.
And the list goes on...

{And here I make a disclaimer... I am not belittling the pain inflicted from another and this does not include rape, abuse of any kind, etc.}

And my heart whispers....
YOU HAVE A RIGHT...
to be mad.
to be upset and angry.
to be heard.


And we so easily forget....
THERE ARE TWO SIDES.
There are two hearts involved.
There are two opinions.

And, maybe, just maybe, I've not understood.  Maybe, just maybe, I've got it wrong...
And maybe, just maybe, I am right.

So,
What does this other side look like?
What does the right side look like?



Jesus says in Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind (this attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

What is this mind or attitude that Jesus wants us to have??  What was the mind or attitude of Christ??

Philippians 2:6-8 (NAS) says, " who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

HUMILITY.

The Lord of lords and King of all kings.
The Maker of all earth and human-kind.
Humbled Himself.  Over and over, again and again.

He came as a baby.  Laid in a manger because no room was made for Him in the inn.
The One who is Life and came to offer Life, to offer Himself, was rejected, misunderstood, spit upon, denied, betrayed, and more.

He had what it took for all man to live eternally and He NEVER abused that power.  He never forced His view on anyone and He never, didn't offer life because of the pain that pierced His heart in the middle of pain.

Yes, He hurt and grieved when Peter denied Him or Judas betrayed Him with a kiss.  A kiss.  An endearment.  He looked at Judas and Matthew quotes that Jesus said, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"

Jesus called Judas, friend.  In the middle of the ugly act of betrayal.  Judas called Him, Master and Jesus called him, friend.

Oh, my heart is breaking in this reality and depth of pain that Jesus, the Redeemer, the Giver of Life, experienced.

HUMILITY.

How could Jesus offer grace to Judas?
How could Jesus look tenderly at Peter after he had just denied knowing Him?
How could Jesus invite the Pharisees to know Him when they rejected His words over and over and were even looking for a way to kill Him?
How could He...??

How can I??

Jesus did not seek revenge.
Jesus knew He was loved by His Father.

Jesus came to save.
He came to seek that which was lost.
He came to offer LIFE.

When we let go of blame and seek to save, we must humble ourselves and love.
We must look to Jesus, the One who knows all about be misunderstood and yet, offered love.
We must KNOW we are loved and forgiven by Jesus.

Then Jesus says to us, "Go, and do thou likewise."
"Freely, you have received, freely give."

There's a disagreement at work.
Humility lets go of the demand for my opinion to be heard.

A co-worker rubs you the wrong way.
Humility may take on the face of kindness or doing something specific for her/him.

A sibling or friend hurt you.
Humility may be you taking the first step.

A parent doesn't get you.
Humility may be that you turn to the One who does get you.

Your in-law family does life differently and it grates.
Humility may be that you learn a different way.

And the list goes on...

Humility does not demand.  Humility invites.  Humility looks to offer life, right in the middle of pain and hard stuff.

HUMILITY.  Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus.






Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pictures That Let You Inhale Beauty and Exhale Chaos... Rest




video






And We Behold His GLORY...


And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we BEHELD HIS GLORY, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

Glory as described in Webster's...
~ great honor and admiration won by doing something important or valuable; fame; renown
~ worshipful adoration or praise
~ the condition of highest achievement, splendour,
~ radiant beauty or splendour; magnificence

GLORY.

Lord, You left glory - heaven.
You came with a glory announcement... Glory to God in the highest and on earth, Peace, good will to men.
YOU are GLORY.  GLORIOUS.

And that glory came in the middle of darkness.
On a dark night.
To those who were ready to receive it.

You came to pierce darkness.
Our darkness.
With Yourself.

With glorious light and truth.
Immanuel.  God with us.
Are you ready to receive Him?

Lord, You gave up
So something greater could be given.

You gave up glory and perfect beauty
to enter brokenness and pain and ugly.
You gave life,
So that we may have eternal life.
You entered brokenness
That we may know restoration.

You gave Yourself.
So that we may know You.

Lord, give us eyes to see You this day and every day.
To find You in the middle of pain, rejection, death, and brokenness.
That is why You came.... to pierce darkness and bring the light of glory to us.










Sunday, October 2, 2016

Guiding or Directing





They sound very similar, but one day...

As I was pushing a grocery cart that was full and I had a bag or two in my hand; I was struggling to keep the cart going straight.
I, then, went in front of it and guided it; and the struggle wasn't so intense.  It was actually easy, as I strolled down the parking lot.

My mind went to parenting.

I give a child a project that needs to be done, like cleaning, my husband has a to-do list, and off go the boys.  We tell them that Jesus is the Way.  We ask them to speak kindly.  We want obedience and honesty.

But do they see...

Sometimes, if I remember the nudging in my spirit and follow the whisper... do it with them, it'll go much easier.  Especially if it's a newer project.  An even harder nudging is... am I honest?  Do I love Jesus with my whole heart?  Do I speak kindly? etc...

Guiding or directing....


Walking the path or like they say, "I can't hear what you are saying, your actions speak so loudly", isn't the easy way.  It calls something out of us.  It calls us to be accountable.

The 'easier way' would be to simply say, to direct, and have the end result turn out...

Maybe this is a bit of a play on words, for we can direct a ship or horse on the correct course, but we are still with them.  We don't give direction and let the ship or horse find it's way, we stay present.

The Lord gave His disciples direction, but was ever watchful and present, if not in body, in spirit.

Like when the Jesus told the disciples to row across the Sea of Galilee.  While sailing, a storm came up and they were struggling; Jesus, then appears on the water, aware of their present situation.

So, maybe we need both, with guiding being the ever present awareness.

Show Me the Way

Lord, You showed us the way.

You left Heaven
and entered this cruel, sinful world.
Why?
To show us.
To show us a better way.
Emmanuel. God with us.
To show us how You want us to live.

You love.
You forgive.
You spoke words of Life.
You walked this earth-trodden soil
So we could see.  another way.

You left Heaven
to give Your life.
For me. For all.
You came to make another way.
Salvation.

Lord, You are our Guide.
The Light for our Path.
Help me, to pass that light and guidance
on to those around me, as I walk with You.

The young ones.  The broken and hurting ones.
The lonely.
For what we see speaks so loudly
and often guides our way.

Thank You, that you take our brokenness
and redeem it.
You take our successes and failures
and create beauty.
A melody pure and sweet
that only comes from a life
who is willing to follow You, Our Guide.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

When There is Silence...





There haven't been any words flowing here on these pages the past few months...

Silence.  Ponderings.  Questions.  and Sortings... have all been happening in this, this heart of mine.

Do you ever feel the need to step back a bit?
And wonder if you'll let someone down in the middle of re-evaluation?

Words draw me.  Stories are powerful.

Words have such power and meaning and depth.

And because of that they bring a tremendous blessing or depth of hurt.
I have been mentored, encouraged, and convicted by many of another's words and would like to pass that gift along to you.

I found myself, in the midst of writing, having that my focus instead of what really needed to be... Jesus. The One who life is really all about... Who He is and the work he is continuing.
Phil. 2:13  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Words are mentors and writers the instrument, through which they are shared.
Only as I live and write out of my love for Jesus, will you be truly and life-giving-ly blessed. (not a word, I know :))

Yes, life-giving.

So, I turn to the Life-Giver.  The One who knows your heart and mine.

I want to share pieces of  my journey and story and I want to hear yours.  For isn't it only as we walk together in the hard and the easy, the joys and the sorrows that the melody of our hearts is deeply heard and felt?

But most of all, I want us to see and know Jesus.  The Life-Giver.
The musician who plays a melody in the lives and hearts of those of us, mere humans.


Maybe today, you too, need to take a step back.  To re-evaluate.  To reconnect with the Life-Giver and Musician of your story.

The world will go on.  That's okay.
More importantly is your connection to the Vine, the Life-Giver; for only out of that will your heart truly find peace and be at rest.

And out of that, fruit will blossom.
And the sweet melody will sound.






Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Promise and the Hope In the Midst of Death




Recently death invaded life.

My aunt is one of half of her siblings that have a genetic issue that affects the heart.  She entered her second open heart surgery with the awareness of the high risk of not living beyond surgery.  Surgery went well, but her heart was too weak and it did not survive the procedure.  A week and one day later, she left her earthly body to exchange it for an eternal one.

Death.

We, as a family, were going to go to our cabin and do some work on it in preparation for renting it out.  Cousins, uncles, and aunts were going to be there.

Upon receiving the details of viewing and funeral, our plans were changed.  And yes, our boys were disappointed and thought we could still go because all the viewing/funeral details were Sunday -  Tuesday.
Yes, in all reality we could've still gone, it simply would've made for a very hectic weekend.

My response to the boys included... death interrupts life.

Initially I was thinking of our life and its plans.  When death happens, it is never convenient.  Plans are changed, lives are disrupted, dreams are ended.

But literally, it is true.  Death interrupts life.

Aunt Lil's life was interrupted.  It seems to be cut short.  Children needed her.  Grandchildren would've benefited from her presence.  Husband is alone.  Many friends benefited from her care.

That is the temporary perspective.  The part we see and feel.

II Corinthians 4:18, says the things we can not see is what is eternal.  The eternal perspective.

The eternal perspective breathes a hope and a promise.




Jesus.

One day, He, who is Life,  will forever interrupt death!  Death will be swallowed up in victory.  forever!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To those who have traded your earthly, human body for an eternal one... we miss you.  We ache to talk to you for you are a part of our lives.

But we know there is more than what we see.

So, until we reunite, we place our hand in the hand of Jesus and choose to walk with Him, trusting His heart and allowing Him to guide us safely home.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Security of the Love of God


Earlier I wrote a post on security, how it is a part of our very being to want security.  We don't usually like to be left alone in unfamiliar territory or walk into a ladies' seminar without a friend, etc.

What is it that makes us secure?
And is there one thing that is relevant to all of us??

I've been pondering this anew lately as I looked a bit at the topic of modesty and why there is a pull for us as women to reveal our bodies.

There was a common thought that kept voicing itself... we as woman want to be accepted.  We want to know we are worth something, and our bodies are one place we want to be validated.  (This subject is much more, but this post was not to expound on it)

Do I have something worthwhile?  Does someone love me?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LOVE.

Love seems to quietly and loudly shout its presence, that I am what makes the difference.

LOVE.

Love defines.  Love quiets the heart. Love secures.

For isn't when we know we are loved for who we are, not what edited pictures proclaim or a moment in when I succeed, that are hearts are quieted and rest is brought to our souls?

When a man asks us to go on a date, we feel valued, like I must be worth something.  Or someone chooses to befriend us and our hearts soar with warm, fuzzy feelings.
When we make a mistake and he continues to want us or a friend sticks with us, we are awed that he/she would still want us.  Our hearts are quieted.

We want to be loved. In our messy-ness.  In our mistakes.  In our successes. We want to know, that in-spite-of... someone sees beyond the moment and doesn't hang our worth on our performance, whether good or bad.

There is power in Love.

Love secures.

But there are moments and times when our close friends and loved ones misunderstand and we feel missed.  Then what?  That ache is still there.  Uncertainty grips our hearts and love becomes a search, again...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When we are searching for love, we search in areas that won't satisfy until we come to JESUS.

JESUS.

The ultimate Lover.
The genuine Lover.

He died for us while we were still sinners.
He pardoned the adulteress.
He called the woman with many husbands to go and sin no more.
He looked at Peter after Peter denied Him three times.
Rahab, the prostitute, found redemption when she chose to follow Him.
and on...

You - ...

Jesus.  stretched out His arms. with love. and died. for you. for me.
His love is endless. eternal. knows no bounds or limits.

Jesus, the perfect Lover.  He is the One who wants our hearts, first and foremost.  He has commanded us to first - love the LORD thy God with ALL THINE HEART and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.

He tells us in Song of Solomon 2:4, just like the bridegroom to his bride, My banner over you is LOVE.

I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jer. 31:3

Friends,
my heart is passionate to stir your heart towards the Love of God; either to remind you of God's love for you or to nudge you on the path to knowing how much you are loved by God.

For when we KNOW we are loved by God, we can let go of our addictions, we don't have to use our bodies for validation; we can rest in God and what He says about me.

Ephesians 3:17-19
 That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being ROOTED AND GROUNDED  in LOVE, 
  May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -
  To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Friends and people are not meant to complete us, that is God's place to fill.  He is a Jealous God and will not give up that position very easily.  He does not force us to have Him fill the aches of our hearts, but He sure woos and whispers to us to invite Him in.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I KNOW whose I am
and am convinced of His love for me
I can be free.

Free. 
Free from needing to perform.
Free from hurting myself.
Free to live.

God's love sets us free!

Like a butterfly perched on the edge of stick
drying its wings as it comes out of a cocoon;
and then...
 taking off in the summer's breeze.

ALIVE.
FREE TO BE.





it was off before I was ready :)
but it's there above the trees...
May you know deep in your heart that GOD LOVES YOU!
(and this is a journey of a lifetime, for we continually need to return to the Anchor of our soul and be reminded of His love and our worth in Him)

And if you are not convinced.... ask Him.  And don't let go until you know.
For where there is LOVE there is LIFE!

He wants you to know!  For His love. is the anchor. of the soul.