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Monday, November 24, 2014

Loving Father or Ashamed dad?

When I pray, do I view God as a loving Father, or a dad who loves me when I'm good, but ashamed of me when I'm bad?

This blog is going to be raw.  I cried buckets of tears this morning.  I am not ashamed to say God and I wrestled.  Ok, I wrestled, he sat and listened, waiting for me to calm down so he could hold me and let me know he loves me.

I thought I felt free to come to my father with anything, at any time.  I have found I can't say "daddy" when I pray.  Why?  Because I grew up without a daddy.  I never had an example of a dad when I was a little girl.  My dad was absent.  Forgetful.  I felt dismissed.  Forgotten.  Forgettable.

I have lived most of my life feeling like no one would ever remember me if they crossed my path.  I have felt that from God at times.  I try to live a life that is Godly.  I try to do the right thing and yet my blessings are held away from me.   I don't live my life trying to be Godly in order to get blessings.  I live that way because I want to reflect my Father.  I so desperately want to feel loved.  I want to feel like my Father wants to be with me and that he is proud of me.  Proud to call me his daughter.  His child. 

I've lived my life feeling forgettable.  A mist that blows in and then fades away, so the sunshine of those behind me can shine through.  Why?  I'm suffering from the sin of my father.  One who left and forgot me.  He raised another daughter and never left her.  He still to this day floats in and out, like the fog does off the misty shore.  If I'm a product of him, doesn't it stand to reason I too am mist?  Its what I've grown to believe.  

God is chipping away at that.  Little by little he's letting me know He has never left me.  I may have strayed.  I may have done things that are shameful, but he isn't ashamed of me.  He wants to hold me, with my head in his lap.  He wants me to tell him my deepest fears and doubts.  He wants to wipe them away and give me hope.  He wants me to listen to his heart, his teachings, his guidance, and feel safe and secure.

Its my hope that one day I won't feel like the mist.  That my life is meaningful and purposeful.  That I can and will be more than I could ever imagine.  That God's mission for my life is being lived out.  Whether single or not, whether poor or rich, whether in good times or bad, I will strive to live my life for Christ alone.   No matter what I feel, I stand on the promise of God.  That I am loved, that I am His and He is mine.  That I am bought with his blood. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

His Garment

We take for granted what Christ did for us.

We take for granted who Christ is to us.

He was perfect.  Holy.  Seamless.  Pure.

He went to the cross wearing a seamless garment of perfection.  At the cross he was stripped of that garment and clothed with our wardrobe of indignity.  The indignity of our sin.

This perfect, spotless man became all that we are - liars, cheaters, murderers, thieves.
He walked through the streets carrying a cross he didn't deserve so that we could be free from it.  He did all this and we take what He did for granted.  We squander the gift.  We do what WE want to do and forget the sacrifice that was made to give us that freedom.

Yesterday was Veterans Day.  A day we celebrate all who fought and died for our freedom.  We honor those men and women publicly.  We uphold them and thank them for their service to us and our country.  Yet, the man who died on a cross in our place we fail to honor daily.   We ignore his gift, his sacrifice, his death. 

We say we don't have time to read our Bibles, we don't' have time to spend with Him, we are too busy to go to church.  We are too busy because we are enjoying the freedom His death bought us.   We find time to do the things we love - play sports, go to the movies, watch our favorite TV shows, text our friends, etc., yet we can't seem to commit to spending time with the God who gave his ONLY son to die on a cross for us so we would have everlasting life.  Why is this so hard for us?

Giving God our time, our money, our attention is something we struggle with - yet he willingly gave his life for us - in a brutal death - a death full of indignity.  Every aspect of the crucifixion was meant to not only hurt the victim, but to shame him.

He wore our sin on that cross so we could wear his righteousness.  Heb 3:14

We come to the cross dressed in sin, but leave dressed in the "coat of His strong love" Is 59:17

We leave the cross dressed in CHRIST himself Gal 3:27  "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"

Jesus didn't just prepare a feast, or reserve you a seat at his table.  He didn't just pay the price - He let you wear his own clothes so that you would be properly dressed.  He did that - just for you.

So lets find a way to Honor and Praise Him daily for that sacrifice - that gift.

Is it too much to ask??

Thursday, November 6, 2014

God's Hands

God's hands are powerful. 

They created the earth and all that is in it.

They parted the red sea.

They furrowed truth into the tablets. 

With a wave of his hands, he toppled the tower of Babel.

From his hands flew the locusts that plagued Egypt.

From his hands he sent the ravens that fed Elijah.

The hand of God is a mighty hand.  So, why did he lay on the cross, palms open, and let the nails be driven into his wrists?  Why didn't he clench his fist, flex his bicep and push the nail and the hammer and the guard away?  He could you know.  The same hand that did all of the above is the same hand that stretched out on a wooden beam to be nailed down.

Why didn't Jesus resist?  We always reply "Because He loved us".  Yes, that's true, but only partially true.  In my morning reading today I realized that Jesus didn't resist because between the wood and his hand was was a list.  A list of my flaws, my lies, my sins, my lusts, my bad attitude, all of my mistakes.  Dangling from that cross was an itemized list of my mistakes.   The list can not be read though.  Because my sins are blotted out by the "blood of Christ"

Col 2:14 " He has forgiven all your sins; he has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it to the cross."

He refused to close his fist because he saw the list.  My list.  Your list.  And he knew in order for that list to be blotted out, his blood needed to pour down over it.  Our list was hidden by his sacrifice.

I think sometimes we accept what Christ did for us, we appreciate it, but we don't live like we do.  We continue to live in sin, we continue to swipe his Grace and Mercy as if it was a credit card with no limit.  But, we need to remember what He did for us on that Cross.  He could have gotten out of it.  He is God after all.  He could have said "They won't appreciate this.  They will take my sacrifice for granted".  But He didn't.  He knew we would struggle, continue to sin, continue to add to the list.  The only way for our sins to be covered was for his blood to pour down.  

He opened his hands for the nails so that the door of heaven would be open for us. 

What a sacrifice.

What great love. 

Something to remember and reflect on as we enter this season on Thanksgiving.  

I'm most thankful for God's Hands.