Nothing New Under The Sun

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When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a mommy. A mommy who could stay home and raise her children and do mommy stuff, whatever that entailed, in my five-year old mind. In the late 70’s we finally moved into the 20th century and got shag carpet! Think mult-colored carpeting in avocado; brown with shags of gold and tan; and blue. Each room had its own color designation; a true kaleidoscope of color! However, before that time we had hard wood floors with a huge area rug in the living room. I would lay out a blanket and line up all my dolls and play house. Some might say that during that era, that’s what little girls did; played house, but there was something more to that for me. My mom was a stay at home mom, or in those days, housewife. Despite her flaws my mom was really good at her job. So good was her love of being a mom that I wanted that for me too. My mom modeled to me motherhood.

Recently, a dear Friend posted the above picture and caption on social media and it caused me to stop and wonder, “Indeed, when did we get so far from this?” The same morning I began a journey through the Book of Isaiah; this was days ago and I am still only on chapter 1! The method that feels comfortable to me is asking Holy Spirit to highlight words, thoughts, themes or ideas and He never disappoints, because, well, He is the Spirit of God and his job is to reveal to us insights into God’s word. Holy Spirit is really good at his job.

As I was reading through Isaiah chapter 1, verse 4 really stood out at me.

Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD: they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their back on him.” Isaiah 1:4.

As I thought about Isaiah 1:4 my mind connected it to what my Friend had posted. Initially, what came to mind are the words from Ecclesiastes.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9.

When I sat down to journal this morning Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of Moses.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

How did we get so far from what God originally intended? Somewhere along the way and over centuries there has been a consistent breakdown of the commands of God. Rather than adults modeling lives of morals and integrity, we have adults leading innocent children into corruption.

Precious One, be the person you want the children in your sphere of influence to be.

#Churcharise

Shalom!

Grace Wins Every Time

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Greater than hate…God’s grace.

Redemption and righteousness…God’s grace.

Acceptance…God’s grace.

Christ in me…God’s grace.

Eternal life…God’s grace.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17.

God’s grace is for you, God’s grace is for me, God’s grace is for all creation.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.

Precious One be the change you want to see happen.

#stophate #stopviolence #prayerworks #PRAY more than you talk.

Shalom!

We The People

Summer landscape with storm sky over rye field

 

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Not long ago, our youngest lovebug told a young man she was ‘talking’ too that if he started coming around to our house to expect to have a conversation about Jesus. I love that!

I use to be an in your face Jesus freak. Oh, I’m still a Jesus freak but then I met grace and grace completely dissolved the legalistic world view I had. As a believer in Christ I believe it is important to realize and understand that, unless God has opened up the mind of someone yet to believe, they can’t understand the revelation of Scripture because they don’t yet have Holy Spirit living in them. For that matter, I believe many of us who do have Holy Spirit living in us don’t take the time to consistently dig deep and have a relationship with the holy Scriptures. They, the Scriptures, are alive and crying out to have a conversation with us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

You see, Scripture is Jesus and having a relationship with Scripture is nurturing a deep and intimate relationship with Christ.

What we’ll find when we talk with Scripture is that God loves all his creation and he wants none to perish but all to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is this going to happen if we spout our frustration about current world events all over social media? I can assuredly tell you, “no, it is not.” And the reason it is not is because you are spouting to a world that doesn’t understand. The change you want to see happen begins with you and it begins with me.

2 Chronicles 7:14 above confirms this for us. Are you called by the Name Jesus Christ? Then it is your responsibility to humble yourself, to pray and seek God and turn from your wicked ways. Yes, you are forgiven of all your sins and yes sin no longer identifies who you are, but we still sin and we are to confess and repent of our sins because sin stands in the way of our fellowship with God. (1 John 1:8-10). Here is the best part, when we take responsibility for these things God promises to forgive our sins and heal our land! Not simply heal but completely heal, which is the original context of the word and land is not only physical land but the people in the land!

We can’t cause anyone to have a relationship with Jesus, that is Holy Spirit’s job, but we can live our life is such a way that others notice the difference and want to know more about why we seem different. Those are the moments we pray for; moments to share Jesus in a loving and grace filled way not an in your face beat them over the head way.

Precious One be the change you want to see in your sphere of influence and ask God to multiply that around the world. Jabez did and God granted his request.

Shalom!

Tough Love

The cross of Golgatha

Sometimes I believe we mix up tough love with God’s grace, especially when it comes to our children. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences for their unwise choices or actions, but it is how we mete out those consequences that make the difference between tough love and grace.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor, but even more than that grace is God’s favor freely extended to us because He gives Himself away to us and others and is always leaning toward his beautiful creation that is created in the image of Him.

I think of the Samaritan woman at the well, who had been married at least four times and was living with a man that was not her husband. She was an outcast and wouldn’t go to gather water from the well in the cool of the morning with the other women because she was shunned and judged by them. Instead, she would wait until the hottest part of the day, when no one else would be there and she could gather her water in a bit of peace. Then she met Him, the Man, who would die an excruciating death of pain and asphyxiation nailed to a cross for her sins, my sins and your sins. Yet, what did Jesus do? He offered her grace and set the foundation for a culture of honor.

A culture of honor is where we recognize that we all fall short of the glory of God and realize that we all mess up and sometimes those mess ups have consequences and to give those consequence in a way that honors God and not simply feels like the right thing to do. Many times the consequences in a culture of honor feel counter cultural to what society says we should do. But Jesus was radical in his thinking, perhaps that is part of the reason the Pharisee’s didn’t like Jesus, because he didn’t play by their rules. Jesus also calls us to think like him.

But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16b.

Which means we have the intellect to receive God’s thoughts through faith, which also means we must stay connected to God consistently to create a culture of honor in our homes and in our communities.

Precious One, you and I, we deserved to die that torturous death on the cross but Jesus took our place. That’s grace and grace is what we ought to extend to others, nothing less. Even when, no, especially when the actions of others are deserving of consequences.

Live radical. Live like Jesus.

Shalom.