Monthly Archives: September 2010

Chain Reaction

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They say that nothing about the Christian faith can be formulated into an equation. And I would agree.

I do think though, that there is a chain reaction element to this faith.  A chain reaction of beliefs, decisions, and actions that all culminate to ultimately create your reality.  But as you know, chain reactions must be started, there must be something that initiates the need to develop beliefs, make decisions, and eventually act in order to create said reality.

It all starts with theology. Your theology dictates your reality. If you really believed what you said you did, would your life, circumstances, relationships, etc. look any different? Would your reality then, reflect the theology that you claim?

The reason I ask is because I had a challenging and thought-provoking conversation with a friend that is much wiser than me and he made the following statement:

Your faith is strengthened and established by your obedience. Your obedience is compelled by your love for Christ. And your love of Christ is activated when you humbly recognize your deep need for His free grace and accept it wholeheartedly.

It never ceases to amaze me how frequently God takes me back to the basics.

 May we never forget from what we were ransomed and how we were set free.  May our love and obsession with Christ be fed daily and may we walk in it, working it out in our obedience.  And may we be filled with the joy of bold and vibrant faith because we simply believed.

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Don’t Leave Me Here

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You beckon the weary come
You invite the wanderer home
You call the prodigal son
You promise I’m not alone
 
But God it’s quiet here
It’s still in this place
My sight falls short
And I stumble in this space
But I trust your heart
And pray you draw near
Just don’t leave me here
 
I feel you by my side
I know your heart holds mine
But I can’t see what’s ahead
Lord, let your light be shed
 
Cause God it’s quiet here
It’s still in this place
My sight falls short
And I stumble in this space
But I know your heart
And trust you’ll help me bear
Just don’t leave me here
 
With everything I can’t see
And in all I can’t do
You show yourself mighty
And all I see is you
 
Cause Jesus it’s quiet here
It’s lovely in this place
My sight’s been restored
And I rest in this space
Cause I trust your heart
And should you choose to leave me here
May my praise be music to your ear

Music Monday

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I’m starting a new tradition here on the blog y’all. A little something I am excited to call, Music Monday.

It’s really simple.

Every Monday, I’ll post a new song that I like and in response you share some of your favorites.

Ready? Here we go! I’d like to introduce “Garden” by NeedToBreathe. Enjoy.

Lyrics

Won’t you take this cup from me
Cause fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
I pray you’ll save their souls with it

Let the songs i sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words i say profess my love
Let the notes i choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

In this hour of doubt i see
But who i am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale

Let the songs i sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words i say profess my love
Let the notes i choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

Father let my heart be…
For you

Let the songs i sing
Bring joy to you
Let the words i say profess my love
Let the notes i choose
Be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you

Awaken You in Me

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So, in the same way I like to pretend I can write songs (please see here, here and here) sometimes I like to pretend I can write poems… er… something like ’em.

But with this, I need/want your input. I want to see what you have to say and hear what you think.

Awaken truth that hides down deep,
Awaken truth that sets me free.
Awaken faith to overcome my doubt,
Awaken what I can not live without.
Awaken who I am in you,
Awaken what it is you want me to do.
Awaken my spirit to hear you speak,
Awaken my soul to feel you breathe.
Awaken your grace where I find my rest,
Awaken my heart to love nothing less.
Awaken who you are in me,
Awaken who you’ve called me to be.
 

 Ok team– your turn. Chime in. Throw out a line; let’s see your ideas and hear your thoughts.

Ready?

GO!

I Communicate… Cause I Don’t Compute

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Research shows that women use nearly twice as many words as men do in a single day.  Estimated numbers vary depending on which website you choose to believe. But on the whole, they all agree that women talk a lot more.

It’s not surprising really. The bigger question, to me, is why do we talk so much to begin with? What in the world are we really saying? 

I can’t answer for every other woman, but I think I have determined my own personal “why”… thanks to my brother.

He asked my a rather simple question on the phone last night. “How are you, Mere?”  My response took about 7 minutes and never actually answered the question. And with a noticeable smile in his voice, he said “I think you just used a lot of descriptive words to say that ____________.” Sure enough; he summed it up quickly, accurately, and in a way that made more sense.  So why didn’t I do the same?

A long time ago, in 8th grade to be precise, my math teacher told me I was stupid because I asked too many questions.  In high-school, another math teacher said the same thing.  My last math teacher, in college, chimed in that she too agreed with their sentiments about my serious lack of intellect. Needless to say, I believed them.

So I decided that since that general consensus suggested I couldn’t compute, I would communicate better than anyone else. I decided that my vocabulary and ability to articulate would be my way of overcoming my lack of abilities elsewhere. I was determined to prove that I was smart; I wasn’t stupid. And if nothing else, my verbose intelligence would be what people noticed about me.

Now years later, I’m finding that even in conversations with my own brother I am striving to impress him with lofty words and really abstract metaphors.  Why? He wasn’t the one that said I was stupid.

I don’t know that I have completely figured it out yet, or pieced all the puzzle pieces together just so, but I have a general idea of why. I haven’t fully accepted that I am who God says I am; that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I wasn’t a glitch in the cosmic system. I was intended, purposed and equipped to do what no one else can do.  What that is exactly is still a little fuzzy, but this I know– it’s not math.  Someone else got that gene.

He says I am loved with an everlasting love. That I have been made holy, set free, and proclaimed righteous because of the cross of Christ. I am who God says I am.

That is reason enough to know that I can do what I am meant to do

And you are who God says you are. Just right, the way you are. On purpose.

More Than Words

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I listened to a sermon this morning that… well, shook me up a little.  Let me tell you why.

The preacher, who was standing in for the regular guy, entitled the sermon “Being Marked by His Name.” Sounded encouraging to me. When I heard the title, I thought “Yes, we’re claimed; a people of His possession.” This guy took it from another angle.

He began in Deuteronomy 5, explaining that after Moses delivered the 10 commandments to the Israelites, God referred to Himself as “YHWH” (pronounced ‘yah-weh’); the most personal, intimate, and relational name of God, given specifically as a convenant between He and the Israelites.

However, YHWH, was more than just a name. It was a mark upon God’s people; they were His possession, His bride, and the recipients of grace, goodness, and provision. They were set apart; the sheep of His pasture, guarded and guided by His sovereign hand over them.

There was (and still is) power in His name.  There is freedom and life and redemption in His name. It is by His name and for His name that we are saved, reconciled, baptized, made whole, and proclaimed righteous before the His throne. For the praise of His glorious grace and by the matchless name of YHWH, we are ransomed and made heirs with Christ. 

Then he said…”So when God says, ‘Do not take my name in vain,’ He’s not just referring to the words you say. He’s referring to the entirety of your existence.”

*blank stare*

Then it sank in. If we claim to be people of His possession and call Him YHWH, then all that we do, the things that we say, how we spend our time, the effort that we put into relationships, how we serve, if we tithe, etc. are ALL reflections of His name. And if in any area of our lives we do not reflect His nature or bear the fruit of His spirit, then we take His name in vain.

If all that we are and everything that we have is not offered in worship, then we profane the name we proclaimed.

Convicting? Yep. Challenging? Yep. Impossible? No.

2 Corinthians 5:14 says “For the love of Christ controls us…” His love, if we surrender to it, will control and compel to do what we ought. His love is greater than and has conquered all that we will ever encounter. He has given us all that we need for life and godliness, if we would but choose to follow and obey.

The pastor concluded with this challenge:

We can not expect Him to be our shepherd if we are not willing to be His sheep.