Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Hardest Commandment




Oh, Paul. You've written a lot of hard words. Words that I don't like. Words that cause a lot of confusion and disagreements among the people you wished to unite.

I know you didn't mean to. But you did. 

I read this article by Sarah Bessey, and I was so relieved to find out I wasn't the only one to think these things.

We take the bible literally and black and white. But I wonder....

Jesus never spoke in literal terms. In fact he always spoke in parables. His words made the disciples head spin from confusion in trying to figure out exactly what He meant.


"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3

Quite honestly, it still does the same for us.

The World Vision debacle a few weeks back made me sad...and mad. Sad that the corporation didn't realize what they were doing when they made such bold changes to their policies about their hiring, thus causing thousands of children to lose their funding. And sad/mad for the christians that pledged to sponsor these children and dropped them like a hot potato to state a point. 

Since when did children's lives become disposable in order to make a point?

Oh, how we must grieve Jesus. We take his words and pluck, and twist, and use for our own self gain and self-righteousness.

What makes us any different than the Pharisees?

Old Testament claimed the Good News of a savior that was going to destroy his enemies, make footstools out of them. He was going to save and redeem his people.  

Naturally the Jews were waiting and expecting another David, a warrior, a fighter, a hero.

And what they got instead was Jesus. 


Who was this man that wanted peace and love? Where was the judgement and condemnation they were hoping he'd bring?

There was something different about Him.

He was different.

He was not who they were looking for.

He was a  man that didn't fight, but instead he taught and loved and ultimately died. He did these things and they didn't understand.

They didn't understand because the thing they needed saving from was themselves.

But God.

He knew. 

He knew how hard it would be to love, how hard it's always been and will continue to be until He returns.

He knew how we, his people, would continue to fight amongst ourselves. How verses in the bible would trip us up, make us question and wonder who's really right in their versions and translations.




Love when we're angry.

Love  when we're hurt and confused.

Love so that outsiders can see we disagree but yet still LOVE each other at the same time.

It's all we have when our words, sides and viewpoints fail us.

Love is hard and beautiful.

The Bible says a "Tree is recognized by it's fruit," that we are known to be God's by how well we love.

Today, let's choose LOVE every time we get the chance.

"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him." Matthew 11:35,35



Linking up with #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose, Three Word Wed, Winsome Wed, and Thought-Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Live For The Applause



Let compliments go to your heart not your head.(Lysa Terkeurst)

I'm calling out my Love Idols as Jennifer Lee calls them. The ones that say I'm not good enough and that I have to keep striving to find my worth.

Remind me who I am

My need to be known (or seen), recognized, loved, appreciated has elevated itself to idol status.

I measure my worth in comments, like, shares. And then I realize how empty it all is. It doesn't fill and satisfy the way I thought. I want my words to hold value and be well received.

lest I forget

My good enough depends on it.

The comments flatter and I don't really need you to say, "Alecia, of course you matter,"as nice at that is and I love hearing it I really need to BELIEVE it in my own heart.

Because when the words stop and I have to pull away from this space, a little bit of my heart panics a little.

God knows the voices are a plenty in this world and there is no void. But I'd be lying if the thought, "Will they forget about me?" didn't cross my mind.

I belong to You!

In those moments when I doubt my worth and if I have anything of real value to offer.

My God whispers to my heart, "You  will never be forgotten. You are valued, loved, seen, appreciated, and recognized, but not for the reasons you think. But because, YOU.ARE.MINE.

My approval and my love is ENOUGH. Believe this, child."

That's why I pull away at times. When everything is going great. I pull back. I have to ask myself for whom am I living for? For whose approval?

I know my pride well enough to know I can get caught up in the praise.

Make me empty

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting it. But when my hearts starts writing and craving it more than God, that's when I stop. And do a heart check.

Till you are my one desire

Feeling the 'have-to's come on I know it's time for a break. I 'have to' write this post, or I 'have to' send out this FB or Twitter update, or  I 'have to' do this or do that because if I don't .......

I don't want this space to ever be about filling a hole in my heart, but a pouring out from the overflow.

Fill me with you, Lord

Isn't it like that with all dreams? We have to make sure we aren't living for the approval of others to fill a need to be seen or appreciated but because we already know these things, we live out our dreams to grow even closer to God and live out our calling.

Am I writing the words you want me to write?

Human nature wants the approval and the affirming nods, He knows this. He just doesn't want us to want it more than Him.

Ultimately it's about the connection-with God and others more than the applause.

Let them see You in me..in all I do, all I say, and all I write, Let them feel You. 

It's about living out whatever dream God has laid out on your heart because you can't not do it any longer.

It's about wanting to not 'having to.'

It's about living out the dream with God and not making it about you.

Take it all. Take everything. Who am I without You?
The only thing we were made to be consumed by and filled up with is Jesus. Everything else with which we try to fill our emptiness leaves pangs of dissatisfaction and regret. It feels good in the moment but not in the long run. (Lysa Terkeurst)



*Hey friends, thanks for hanging out with me, it's been a while since I've posted. Sometimes I need to be quiet when my world gets loud. And it's been really loud lately. I'm so glad you are here, you are the reason I keep coming back. Love you!

I'm linking up with:


                        

 and of course,

Thought-Provoking Thursday, and Imperfect Prose :)

(The italics are lines from songs I had running in my head as I wrote this post.
 Maybe you recognized them? :) 
Jason Gray-Remind Who I Am, Sidewalk Prophets-Keep Making Me, and Colton Dixon-Let Them See You.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Are You Burying Your Talents?



I  have many dreams. They vary anywhere from being a writer/speaker to owning my own children’s clothing consignment store. They are all over the map and I love talking about each of them. You’ll find me saying a lot, “One day I would love to.....” or “Wouldn't it be great if some day.....”
Talking about my dreams is great, but doing something about them is a different story.
The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing. (Walt Disney)
Ask me what I’m going to actually do to realize those dreams and all you will get from me is a blank stare.
Taking Action is risky.
There is usually too much involved and not enough time or money. I like safety and comfort, not risk and the unknown. So when God lays something on my heart that is out of my comfort zone, I stall. I make excuses and sometimes I outright ignore His nudges.
I recently heard a sermon on using our gifts and taking risks. The pastor said, “Discipleship doesn’t mean a safe harbor….venture out to what’s unknown and God will meet you there.” (<==Tweet that)


Will you join me over God-sized dreams to read the rest?



Blossom Bunkhouse




 

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