Monday, December 29, 2008

One of the lovely ways God convicts me...

Prepare yourself. Truth, coming at ya. ::Sigh::

I've had an ever building revelation over the past year or so. It's not pretty and I wouldn't mind if Will Smith came with his little flashy thing from Men in Black and erased it.

I've noticed that things that irritate me about other people, I do. It started out with my mom. I actually knew that one a long time ago. The whole, too much alike, that's why we get on each other's nerves and why it is a physical impossibility for us to live in the same dwelling.

Over the past year or so, I've noticed that it really irritates me when people ramble on about nothing. hmmm... Yeah, I tend to do that. It irritates me when people are harsh. Yeah... Probably because of copyright infringement. I WROTE THE BOOK ON HARSH. ::deep breath, followed by very slow exhale.....:: These are just a couple of the *cute* examples.

Transformation is a slow process.

This whole business starts with pride. I used to be in an AMAZING small group Bible study. A group of women that studied and wrestled with Scripture, poured their heart and souls out to each other and prayed for and with each other. It was beautiful. I bring that up to say, there were times when we'd be sharing prayer requests, and I couldn't think of anything that I needed prayer for that day. Nothing major that God wanted to change in me, I had it all together, pretty impressed with myself. I was one of those people who, when I heard a sermon, I'd think: Wow, what a shame that so and so isn't here to hear this. Pride, much? Yep. Ugh.

See? I force God's hand ALL THE TIME! Oh really, He says? Can't see it? I'll help you. You're so good at seeing other people's short comings... As He reaches into His bag of tricks and extracts His handy dandy scalpel of self-righteous bull. ::another deep deep sigh::

So that's where I've been for awhile. Observing ugliness in other people, realizing I have the same ugly ugly tendencies, and then begging God to change my heart. It's working, but it's a very very slow process.

People are so incredibly messy. It's a lot easier to just hide and avoid them. If there was a place I could hide from myself, I'd be at the post office right now, changing my address.

Instead, I'm embracing Nathan. Remember the prophet from 2 Samuel 12? He tells King David a little story about a man who stole and killed a little ewe lamb. King David burns with anger and then Nathan says, YOU are the man! And not in the modern day way that means, you're super cool... In the way that means, uh - hello? You stole a man's wife and then killed him so you wouldn't be found out, and you're fired up about a guy who steals a lamb and kills it? Doofus!

I'm not sure if God deals with you in the same way He deals with me, but if He does... Be aware of the messy people in your life. They may be God's way of holding up a mirror and saying - You are the man...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas vs. Giftmas

Our pastor said something about Christmas being hikacked. I love it. So so true. We can't afford to participate in giftmas this year, so we are left with Christmas. And I love it. Don't be fooled, if we could be we would be, but I'm thankful that we can't. This is the first year that I haven't run around like all kinds of maniac spending way too much money and way too time little reflecting on what the season is really about. Today, I am honestly praising God for our circumstances. I can't think of another way He could have brought this revelation to me more clearly.

I'm overwhelmed with the gospel this year. I've never thought about Easter so much in December. I'm humbled that my Savior came for me. ::Deep sigh:: I don't even know how to articulate what I'm thinking and feeling...

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music this year. My absolute favorite is the Selah Rose of Bethlehem CD. I love the lyrics of the song Mystery.

A child was born on Christmas Day
Born to save the world
But long before the world began
He knew His death was sure
The pain and strife secured
Mystery, how He came To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands

The Christmas trees
They glow so bright
With presents all around
But Christmas brought A tree of life
With blood that sacrificed
The greatest gift in life
I am just a man and
Can?t begin to comprehend
When You look into this traitor?s eyes
What do You see that justifies the Lamb
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His plan
Mystery, mystery

This CD is amazing. I highly recommend it.

Shane and Shane also have a Christmas CD out this year. It is also fantastic.

Born to Die - Shane Barnard

When the babe was born.
In a manger on the hay.
God saw a veil torn.
He saw Good Friday.
He was born to die.
Gold laid before the Christ.
Incense, His presence is sweet.
Myrrh to signify victory over death's sting.
He was born to die.It came in a dream.

To Joseph late one night.
That Herod sought the King.
But could not take His life.
He was born to die.
He said, "You won't take my life.
You won't take my life.
You won't take my life...I lay it down."
We came here today
to celebrate His birth.
But let us not forget
why Jesus came to earth.
He was born to die.

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Fruit, fruit everywhere I turn! It seems God is trying to show me something...

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8 This verse keeps coming up, along with many others that reference fruit.

Let's break it down, word by word, using my trusty friend


1. to bring into existence; give rise to; cause: to produce steam.
2. to bring into existence by intellectual or creative ability: to produce a great painting.
3. to make or manufacture: to produce automobiles for export.
4. to bring forth; give birth to; bear: to produce a litter of puppies.
5. to provide, furnish, or supply; yield: a mine producing silver.


1. any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals.
3. the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana.
5. anything produced or accruing; product, result, or effect; return or profit: the fruits of one's labors.

in keeping with something (from the free dictionary)

1. because of something. There will be no flowers at the funeral, in keeping with the family's wishes.
2. suited to something. The new windows are in keeping with the colonial style of the house.


1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like.
2. regret for any past action.

So - bring into existence a product, result or effect that goes along with your deep sorrow and regret for past sin.

That stuff that you used to do, (Ahem, that I used to do - lest I forget that God is speaking to me, and you are just innocent bystanders...) not only quit doing it, but be grieved that you (I) used to do it, and do it no more. AND what you do do (yes, I meant to say do do), make sure it reflects your sorrow over what you (I) used to do. Make sure people see you have been transformed, and not because you raised your hand, repeated after someone, and have since tried to be a better person. No, because you entered into a binding, eternal and covenantal relationship with the creator of the universe and He is making you a new creature in Christ Jesus.

In other words, if we are truly repentant, our present and future actions will not look like our old ones. And not because we are suddenly "better" people, but because we have invited God to live in us and have welcomed His transforming power into our lives. The whole new creation business...

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Further, if our fruit doesn't look like love, we cannot be claiming to be producing it in Jesus' name. If we are looking to get credit for what we are doing, or doing it in hopes of getting something in return? Nope. Try again. Be ever mindful that our righteousness is as dirty rags to God. Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Philippians 3:9 not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Oh yes, the law! One of my favorite things to rant about!

Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Galatians 2:21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Look out for the pharisees. They are alive and well. You know who I'm talking about. Those people, I like to call them professional pretenders, who appear to be perfect. The key is appearances. It's all about convincing everyone around them that they have it all together and know all the answers. There is a Shane and Shane song that I love that says, "what the law could not do, God did." If we had the power within ourselves to get it right, to be "better", holy, righteous, than Jesus died for nothing.

We mustn't set aside the grace of God. It's by His grace we can do anything. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Apart from Him we are nothing. John 15:5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

There it is. More fruit. With out a living, breathing, active relationship with the Vine, we got nothing. We can do nothing. We are nothing.