Monday, July 28, 2008

Grace Makes Life Not Fair

What? Surely I don't mean that, but I do. This has been echoing in my head for a couple of weeks now. I have a paper route and I often listen to my favorite music while delivering in the middle of the night. Most times, I have it on and it serves merely as background music to disrupt the monotony of driving my route, sometimes it is more than that. Recently as I was listening, I heard the lyrics "but the beauty of grace is, it makes life not fair." I was kind of awestruck at first--"did I really hear that right?" Then, as the meaning of those words sank in, I was again awestruck, but because of the truth disclosed in that phrase.

God's grace is not an easy thing for us to grasp. An almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite God, who created the universe, also sent His son to die a sinner's death for me. This is a concept that is far beyond the reaches of my mind, and I have relinquished all efforts to understand it. You may be wondering, "how does grace make life not fair?" It's kind of like this, through the death of Jesus you can have eternal life with the God that created the universe, and all you have to do is say yes to Jesus--He paid your sin debt. Is that fair? The answer of course is no, we are free to accept something that we have neither earned, nor deserve. Isn't that what fair is, getting what you deserve?

There is more to come on grace, but for now, I am going to leave this here, I don't want what I deserve. I want to remain wrapped in the grace that was freely given by God to all who call on and accept the salvation that comes only through the redeeming death of Christ's crucifixion.


BTW, the song is "Be My Escape" on the Mmhmm album by Relient K


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Who I want to be

There are only a few people we meet in life that truly change us forever. They change our walk with Christ for the better and make us want more of Jesus. They humble us without accusing us of anything. I have met someone like this and it makes me want to be that person to other people.

I want to make Jesus my only pursuit and I want it to be obvious in my words and my home. I want it to be obvious in what say and what I don't say. I want it to be obvious in what I hold dear and what I let go of in life.

I have recently been so blessed it brought tears to my eyes. It showed God's love in action in many people and I believe it will have an impact on eternity. It urged me to good works for Christ, it caused me to be more passionate for Jesus. It amazed me. I truly stood in awe of a awesome God.

I know few people that let Christ work through them to His fullest potential! I am not one them. But I know one and I want to be one with all of my heart. I pray God will use my life. I pray I live a surrendered life. I pray I will mean it.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What is Truly Awesome?

Lately my family and I have been in what you might call a slump. It feels kind of like we are all standing around looking for God, wondering where He is. It is through this time that I have come to a stunning realization. The thing that we long to have, the thing that compels us forward and keeps us going is something that we have long believed to be found in the church (read as church-building.) This could not be further from the truth.

We had been involved in a church plant several years ago that was a truly awesome experience, and through it we learned more than most church-goers might learn in several decades of attending church. I do not say this to brag or to make more of us than we are, just to illustrate the point that God was there--and was really making a difference in people's lives. The plant lasted for about five years when it ended in miserable failure. Truths were revealed that cut deeply, and we were left standing around confused, frustrated, angry, and asking God "How did this happen?" The sting of this has haunted us for many years, and has been a large factor in our involvement in church and how close we will let people get to us.

What we have learned from all of this is that we have expectations, and that we put those expectations off on God and think that He is in some way obligated to fulfill them. Reality check folks, God does His thing and has no obligations of the sort to maintain for us. The first thing that we needed to admit is that we really thought that God let us down. He didn't. Job lost way more than we did when God allowed Satan to put the screws to him, and he never felt that God owed him anything. We also needed to realize that although we met in a church building, it was really, truly, only God working in the lives of the people there that compelled us forward and gave us the strength to carry on. We didn't do anything special there, we were just real people with real problems, seeking after and serving a real God. It says in the Psalms that "our God is in Heaven and He does as He pleases." It is not for us to understand God or even try to, (I don't want to have a God that I can understand.) What we do need to understand is that God is in His people, and living out our lives in service to Him and helping strengthen His people, is what the "church" should be doing.

I have said all of this to say that I have seen a miserable failure become the de facto standard that I have been measuring all other churches against, and that is exactly what I need to be doing. It was in this miserable failure that I have seen the truest manifestation of God in a body of believers, ever, period. Despite the hand of man doing it's best to mess it up, God has shown me what it is that I need to be doing. That is the answer to the question "what is truly awesome?" Seeing God take something that I have labeled as a failure and showing me the success in it is truly awesome. That is the God that I serve, one that can make awesome out of utter disaster.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Have we hit a snag?!?

Lately it seems we want so badly to get on track financialy and we have the tools but we are not applying them. We are just using the "head in the sand technique". I don't even want to know how bad it is. This is showing a lack of faith in God's ability to work in our life.

I am sure this is a snag and a valley! I know this will pass not because we are doing nothing but because we will start doing what God has called us to do. It is time to stop dwelling on the past and start putting energy into what changes can be made and make them.

It is so true we spend alot of time trying to get forgiven for something that the Lord has forgiven long ago and it keeps us stuck. We need to stay current. We need to keep our joy and be obedient to Christ in all things, through His strength.

I am so thankful for a savior that is faithful in all things, and through all things. I am grateful for loving family and friends in Christ who are praying us through and by God's leading have helped us through when we were in trouble. Please continue to pray with us through this struggle in our life, as we want victory.

In Christ,