Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Declaration of "Dependence"

Are the Ten Commandments....the law.…a set of rules that God expects us to obey in order to live righteously in His good graces?

If so, how many have attained this?

Only Jesus fulfilled the law completely.  And He did so resting fully and dependently on God.  Fully.  Dependently.

The Ten Commandments show us just how sinful we are.  And proves to us that we will never, ever be able to fulfill this law, no matter how hard we try.  The Law shows us that we cannot attain righteousness by works…. Yet, we still try?  And why? 

Attempting to keep the law is another declaration of “independence” on our parts…an attempt to keep control.  Freedom comes from trusting and depending fully on Him.  Fully.  For everything.

The more independently we live from Him, living by our own standards, efforts, strength and sufficiency, the filthier we become when viewing ourselves at the cross…because apart from Him, we are nothing…and there is no good.


“Jesus laid the demand of the law to rest; it no longer has any power to accuse or command.  Jesus is both the promise and the fulfillment.”


I’ll say it again:  He is the promise.  He is the fulfillment.

I pray this promise is written on my heart, and that my own futile efforts cease.

I pray to make a declaration of  “dependence” each day.

(Romans 3:20, 23-24)

Monday, June 23, 2008

No Debate...He is The Truth

I watched “The Great Debators” last night.  Wonderful flick starring Denzel Washington, and a myriad of other great actors, some old and some new.  I was moved by so many things stated and debated, wrestled with and overcome.  One of my favorite quotes was one introduced in the beginning of the movie, and then revisited at the end with much climactic impact.

Allow me to share.

Mr. Tolson: “Who is the judge?”

Samantha, Henry, James, Hamilton (Debators): “The judge is God.”

Mr. Tolson: “Why is he God?”

Samantha, Henry, James, Hamilton (Debators): “Because he decides who wins or loses. Not my opponent.”

Mr. Tolson: “Who is your opponent?”

Samantha, Henry, James, Hamilton (Debators): “He does not exist.”

Mr. Tolson: “Why does he not exist?”

Samantha, Henry, James, Hamilton (Debators): “Because he is a mere dissenting voice of the truth I speak!”


So I ask myself, “What does this mean for me?  Or for us?”

Speak the Truth.


John 7:16-18  Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own.  It comes from him who sent me.  If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether I speak on my own.  He who speaks on his own does so to gain great honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of TRUTH; there is nothing false about him.”

John 14:6a  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life.”

John 16:13a  But when he, the Spirit of TRUTH, comes, he will guide you into all TRUTH.

We could go on and on…

Bottom line, there really is no debate.

God is the ultimate authority and judge.  Our enemies do not exist, nor do they have any power over us, because they are merely voices of opposition to the TRUTH we can choose to believe, to trust, and to speak. 

And He has already won.  It is done.  Finished. 

(John 19:28-30; Hebrews 9:26-28; Ephesians 1:7-8)


He is God.  He is Abba Father.  He is Son and Holy Spirit.  He is love.  He is hope.  He is grace.  He is good.  He is sovereign.  He is holy.  He is just.  He is mighty.  He is omnipotent.  He is perfect.  He is helper, keeper, protector, preserver, provider.  He is All in All.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He is the Great I Am.  He is the Way.  He is the TRUTH.


Be challenged today…

Truly believe.  Trust Him.  Fear nothing.  Speak the Truth.




Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Fractal: Organized Chaos?

Excerpt from The Shack by William P. Young:

“It was chaos in color.  His eyes tried unsuccessfully to find some order in this blatant disregard for certainty.  Dazzling sprays of flowers were blasted through patches of randomly planted vegetables and herbs, vegetation the likes of which Mack had never seen.  It was confusing, stunning, and incredibly beautiful.”

“From above it’s a fractal…” Sarayu said over her shoulder.

Every step he [Mack] took changed whatever patterns he for an instant thought he had seen, and nothing was like it had been.

“A fractal…something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified.  A fractal is almost infinitely complex.  I love fractals, so I put them everywhere.”

“Looks like a mess to me,” said Mack.

“That IS exactly what this is—a mess.  “But,” she looked back at Mack and beamed, “it’s still a fractal, too.”

The testimony of my life could be seen as a mess.  A complete mess.  Yet repeated patterns of sin and struggles can be found throughout.  Sometimes I wonder if from above, if I could step back and see the bigger picture that God sees, if it is more like a fractal.

What seems to be a mess, is a mess…

Chaos in color…

Disregard for certainty…

Infinitely complex in it’s composed pattern…


Yet to Him, from His view, organized chaos.  And to Him, stunning and incredibly beautiful. 

After all, that infinitely complex composed pattern…well, He’s the composer.  In His infinite knowledge, love, and grace. 


In the details on any scale that my finite mind is given opportunity to see…

I pray to not miss the beauty of each individual, simple or complex, fractal of this life.


And now my mind wanders to ponder…do the fractals of our individual lives intertwine to make even more infinitely complex fractals?

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Refining from the Kitchen Floor...

What is it about the kitchen?  Or better yet the kitchen floor?  Of late, I’ve found that when people gather at someone’s house, we always tend to end up in the kitchen.   And it’s a place where some of my favorite conversations have happened.  We had a party last winter at our place, and most of my time was spent in the kitchen with friends talking, with nobody on one of our three couches sitting in our comfy living room.  And I must admit our couches are very comfy! J  Anyways, sound familiar?  Could it be because we like to surround ourselves around the comfort of food?  Ok, so I spent time with some girlfriends the other night over dinner and good conversation.  We were well into the night, when I found myself sitting with three dear friends on the kitchen floor laughing, reflecting on life, and delving into a depth of conversation that centered on all things God.  We never realized we were there until another friend looked over and laughed at and questioned us.  Why the kitchen?  And the floor, nonetheless?  No food there.  Yet another evening this week, upon visiting my momma, we ended up sitting in her kitchen on opposing countertops in multifaceted contemplation... It was on the drive home that I realized I’d love to throw this question out for feedback…”Why the kitchen?  Is this a common occurrence for anyone else?  Maybe a pattern you’ve never questioned to realize before?  Do you find yourself amongst friends in the kitchen often?  And, if so, does it come accompanied with good convo?  Do your families huddle there unbeknownst to themselves?”


But then I remembered I don’t blog publicly, which is something I’ve prayed about for the last year or so….

And then, like ALL things in my life, another lesson from above…


 (Stick with me…my wandering mind, paired with all things divine, is a crazy one…)

And deriving from the thoughts of the kitchen, here is what I’ve come to….


An imposter is a false self.

An imposter fits everywhere because his personality changes to each evolving situation.  He wants to be safe, to fit in, to be liked.  He’s famous for being a nobody, or non-person.  Blending.  He is preoccupied by acceptance and approval.  He overextends himself, not by personal commitment, but by fear of other’s expectations.  He is what he “does.”  He gains his identity from interpersonal relationships, as well as achievements.  An imposter is born as a defense to pain. (Manning)


I’ve given and written the Lord’s story of my life more times than I can show on my two hands.  He never ceases to amaze me at how He uses each time I give it to speak to my own heart something new about myself.  Yet a different perspective.  A further refining.  In sharing it with a group of gals last Wednesday, I was reminded of the incredible and exhausting amount of life I spent on a journey towards learning to be a great imposter.  Could probably go so far as to say that I almost had it perfected.  My testimony includes many patterns that are deeply rooted insecurity, manifesting itself in people pleasing, codependency, performance based acceptance, and some past hurts that yield guilt and shame.

Without going into great detail (another time), nor being too vague to miss the point, I claimed a relationship with God for a long time, but was still caught up in the bondage of “attemping” to be self-sufficient (do whatever it took within my own power to feel secure, accepted, or accomplished) in order to cover my insecurity.  Yes, just cover it, not face or deal with it.

Not faith at all. 

I was not surrendering anything, and therefore, not trusting Him.  I was ever-changing my outward, but never my inward.  Never my heart.  

Finally there was realization that sin is not what I DO, but who I AM.  I am a born sinner, and in great need of my Savior every second of everyday.  I can’t change WHO I am, like I’ve so long tried to do.  Only He can do that.  But I think it’s not about Him ‘changing’ who I am, as much as it is about Him showing me who He created and always intended me to be.  I’m not who I say, the world says, or who I thought I desired to be.  I am who He says I am.  And I now believe just that, and that alone. 

Praise Him for redemption everyday, and for a resurrected life.

Transforming of heart.  A process.  I’m no longer hiding.  Allowing the Lord to come into, purge, and cleanse even the deepest and darkest parts of my heart.  Light.  Exposure.  Fig leaves removed.  Transparency. 


“You are beautifully and wonderfully made,” He tells me.  To hide myself is to be ashamed of what HE has created. 


We give glory to God by being ourselves.


So me…

A fervor of reading and writing.  Passionate about thoughts and ramblings on paper in an attempt to more fully understand and grasp Him, His heart…as well as His stirrings of my heart and whispers to my soul. 


To put my blogs public is an attempt to remove yet another fig leaf.  To not hide or be fearful of what you may think of my mere “utterings.”  That you may not see me, but Him.  His heart.  To ramble thoughts, questions, stirrings in a public way…may He use it.


Augustine says, “There can be only two basic loves.  The love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God.”


May I get out of the way…forget self.  Love Him.


Love God.  Love others.


So, care to ponder the kitchen with me?