a better life?

8 06 2009

i know i’ve been such an inconsistent blogger lately.  my apologies.  trying to get back on track now.

at church yesterday, pastor jamie used this excerpt from larry crabb’s book the pressure’s off.  it was incredibly profound for me and i wanted to share it.

you’ve cheapened the requirements of holiness by assuming you can do enough right things to bring about a “better life.” sometimes that works. sometimes it doesn’t. you therefore live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want.
you maneuver; you do not trust.
you negotiate; you do not worship.
you analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend.
you seek the “better life of God’s blessings today” over the “better hope of God’s presence.

i came away from that with many thoughts, most of which i am still processing.  what thoughts do you have after reading that?

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you came like a winter snow

6 04 2009

snow2

this post is completely unrelated to the fact that that it is snowing once again here in nashville, on april 6… one day after we had a beautiful 74 degree spring day… but i want to introduce you to audrey assad,  a writer and artist who i recently discovered.  her song “winter snow” has quickly become one of my favorite songs and i want to share it with you.

what a strikingly beautiful and intimate depiction of Christ coming to earth, our Emmanuel… God with us…

winter snow by audrey assad

could’ve come like a mighty storm / with all the strength of a hurricane

you could’ve come like a forrest fire / with the power of heaven in your flame

but you came like a winter snow / quiet and soft and slow

falling from the sky in the night / to the earth below

could’ve swept in like a tidal wave / or an ocean to ravish our hearts

you could have come through like a roaring flood / to wipe away the things we’ve scarred

but you came like a winter snow / quiet and soft and slow

falling from the sky in the night / to the earth below

no, your voice wasn’t in a bush burning

no, your voice wasn’t in a rushing wind

it was still, it was small, it was hidden

wow.

audrey is a client of my good friend kat at the brown book agency, and you can hear more of her beautiful music on her myspace.





are you being seduced by an impostor?

15 10 2008

just saw this video and … wow.  watch it all the way to the end. (props to jay for posting)

it is an amazing depiction of our lives as believers.  finding new life in christ, learning to walk and live like him, discovering what it means for him to provide for us… only to become distracted by something that looks more appealing and courted by what appears more attractive.  before we know it, we have allowed a host of impostors to seduce our affections away and to stand between us and the great lover of our souls.

unfortunately, this is where a lot of people stay… separated, isolated, destitute, afraid… alone.  not realizing that christ is fighting for us, to reach us and that the punishment he took on himself was in our place.

this makes me take an honest look at my own life and the “lesser lovers” that I have allowed to illegally access my affections and steal my gaze from christ as the head and source of my life.

what is separating you from the unconditional love of the father?  what impostor has broken into your heart and is now the recipient of your focus and affection?

christ wants to be everything… what is he competing against in your life?

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:29-39 The Message)





the real me

8 03 2008

// becoming… the real me \\
“the issue isn’t my beating myself up over all of the things i am not doing or the things i am doing poorly; the issue is my learning who this person is who God keeps insisting i already am.” – rob bell from velvet elvis

“We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (The Message)

“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.” Galations 2:19-21 (The Message)