Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grace is the word, is the word..

Pardon the cheesy reference to that famous movie...

Well, so many events in the past few months have led me to some personal soul searching. It seems over and over I have found myself in a place to be... offended. Now, I know that offense is wrong. I have set through some phenomenol teaching on how offense is trap meant to set us up for failure and discontentment, broken relationships and isolation. Satan will do anything to distract us from pursuing Gods call on our lives. His worse fear is that we would truly KNOW God, recognize WHO we are in HIM and finally start living like we have the hope of heaven in our hearts. Yet, knowing this, I STILL find myself entangled in this nasty snare.
What I am in the process of learning is that: People react out of their hurt and people react out of their insecurities. I am learning I MUST have grace for people and realize when its the hurt and insecurities talking.
What I am learning about myself is: I am a fixer. I want to change people. And SOOO many times I want people to come around to my way of thinking. (Oh, I am definitly NOT a debater. I'm no good at agreeing to disagree) What GOD is showing me is that there is PLENTY to fix right here in my own heart. I should apply my eagerness to my own untended garden. I realize now that my obsession w/ "fixing" others and even condemning the actions I disagreed with, was not because I wanted them to live a more abundant life, "walk in all God has for them" (though I DO want that for them) it was really about me, well... avoiding me. In trying to help others all in the name of "ministry" I was actually avoiding all the issues and hurt and insecurities in my own heart. All of my outward actions have been less about the inward change and more about control. I have recently been challenged to examine my life and my actions . I never realized how much of what I do is more about self-protection and less about living out whats happening inside of me. More about insecurities in my self, my past...instead of security in Gods word and His plan for my life, His work in my heart.
I know that I can only change me. I am only in charge of me. Any change, any growth, any depth that I expect to see, I should start first with myself. HA! Thats where God sent me cause He knows THAT will take a lifetime.
Grace comes in where I have to give people the benefit of the doubt that God is working on them, that they have insecurities just like me. If I MUST assume things of people, I must assume that they too are a work in progress.
We're all in this together. The best thing we could do is support each other on this journey. Extending grace for grace...
One thing I KNOW of myself... I am a Truth seeker. At all cost I want the truth no matter what, even when it's ugly. Well, grace and truth go hand in hand. I don't think one is greater than another. I believe that grace is unending and though I feel I grasp Gods grace in my life more than I ever have, I cannot nor will I ever be able to truly fathom its extensiveness. I believe that Truth is truth no matter what. Wether we choose to believe in it or walk in it does not change the fact that truth is truth. They work together in that Grace makes living and facing truth possible and truth makes grace so, so, so, so, much more precious.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This weekend I was listening to a guy talk about that story in the Bible, you know the one that talks about the woman with the issue of blood, she had been sick for like, 12 years or something? Anyway, he was talking about how Jesus was surrounded by all sorts of people and he was bumping into everyone and how she made her way through that mess, knowing that if she could just touch the hem of His cloak that she would be healed. As this guy was talking, I was picturing the whole scene. And I saw something there that I have never seen before. That woman touched Him on PURPOSE. It was her INTENT. While everyone there was crowding Jesus and accidentally bumping him...she reached forth, pressed her way through the madness, with expectation and touched Him. It was then that Jesus felt that power leave His body.
As all of this played in my mind I thought.. "I want to be that woman". I want my faith to be intentional. I do not want to be one of the crowd, walking and talking with all the others and merely brushing up against the saviour, only making contact because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I want to pursue Him, reach for Him. I want my PURPOSE to be that I touch Him. In the mayhem of life, I want to push through, with intent, and grab, with full knowledge of what I am doing.
I don't want to be one of the ones who is pushed along by the crowd, being tossed this way and that, never quite sure of my destination. I've come "here" for a reason. My life has purpose. .. I have spent so much of that life merely surviving the throngs of people and circumstances...
I know that at different times in my life, I have been part of the crowd and I have been the woman with the issue ( I'm ALWAYS the woman with an issue). Sometimes as part of the crowd I have brushed up against God. But it wasn't the same as when I was actively pursuing Him. Those were the precious times. Those were the times that saw me through, that built up my faith. Those times that I sought God unreservedly, apologetically, with complete abandonment. I sought Him ON PURPOSE, and His power flowed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reduced to nothing

It's only in HIM that I find ANY worth. Any value . Anything of substance. The longer I live and the more I come face to face with my torn and tattered humanity, the more I realize that I have nothing to offer this world. On my own I don't have a leg to stand on. I cannot trust my own heart. My mind deceives me and tempts me down roads that I am sure lead to destruction.
But then He comes, through a song, through a book, through my husband, through His precious spirit and he touches that place in me. He reveals my sin and ever so graciously uncovers all that has been hidden. Then He RESTORES me!! He places value on my broken life. HE makes me worthy. And the worth that He puts in me cannot be taken away, by anyone.
And He loves me. The more layers of filth that He strips off, the more I see that He loves me. The more layers of "Monica" that He takes away, the more I see of Him and that HE LOVES ME.
.. as I am "reduced to nothing"... He is gently, tenderly, fully, completely, undeniably, patiently, in- no -way -like -I've -ever -been -loved- before, loving me .

Monday, March 30, 2009

The things Emma has learned in Kindergarten the past two weeks:

1. Never Trust a Jack.. any of them "There are two Jacks in my class, one is good and one is bad. Jack *** (name witheld in case I ever make friends w/ Jacks mom) knows everything" ME- "how do you know he knows everything?" "He told me"

...I have to wonder if this is not actually "bad Jack"

2. There is a future in fundraising: Emma says to Nate as she is getting in the van " Dad!! I have to tell you about what we are doing. This could be BIG dad. This could really be BIG. All YOU have to do is sell this stuff and I get all these prizes."

3. A rhyme she learned. And I wasn't sure whether to laugh or march up to the school.. " There were too many kids in the tub. And I accidently scrubbed , someones behind, that wasn't mine" ..

I'm actually wondering if she didn't write this herself based on real life experience...

4. Manners - "Another way to say you farted is to say you broke the wind". ( all credit goes to Jack.. again, I'm not sure which one... )
But I intend to find out. Tomorrow I'll have lunch w/ Emma at school. I can't wait to tell you what I learn!!!!

So that, my friends, that is your tax dollars hard at work. Thank you.