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Monday, February 25, 2013

The redundant invitation.

When will Christians stop with the redundant invitation?
When will there be an awareness of how arrogant it is?
Would you consider going to your neighbors house, greeting them as you enter and then proceed to invite them to join you?
Well, that would be rude, wouldn't it?

Why is the same invitation made at church every Sunday?

"Father, we invite you to join us here today." Your house....that You gave us....on the planet You created.....and told us many times over how You are always with us.....Omnipresent God that You are....yeah, never I join You?

God has no need for our arrogant invitations.  He's been waiting for our RSVP.

Christianise is a messed up language.  Its full of misdirecting phrases and stuff man made up.  What bothers me the most is that these phrases plant seeds in the minds of people....seeds of a false image of God.  I don't believe they are intended.....I think they are little phrases spoken ages ago that just somehow became accepted without being questioned.

Like the woman who cut off the ends of her pot roast.  (Tell me you haven't heard this story somewhere before....) Her daughter asks her mom why she cuts the ends off her pot seems a waste of meat.  The mom says "My mother always did I do too."  The daughter asks why grandma did it.  The mom can't come up with an answer so she calls to ask and the answer is surprising.   "Well, my oven and my pan were small so I cut the ends off so it would fit."  

How often do we just accept things as truth, as necessary, without examination?

Where on earth did this theory come from that says we should invite God into our presence?  Why do people not see the arrogance of that?

I'll add another phrase "Give us more of you God....Send more of your Holy Spirit."

That one makes me bite my lip to keep from uttering "Do you really think God phones it in?  Is He really just kinda half-assing His presence right now?"

"God showed up."  Another face palm moment.  

God is all knowing, all powerful and fully present....everywhere, every time and at the same time.  God does not give of Himself in partiality.  He doesn't say "Well you folks don't raise your hands enough so I'm not going to bother hanging out too long."   No.  He only gives with the fullness of Himself.

WE, the ignorant, arrogant people of this planet are the ones who need to give of ourselves.  WE need to accept HIS invitation.  WE need to SHOW UP.  He is already there....has been since before time began.  This is His creation and we cannot, do not have the ability to stop Him from being right there with us...we are breathing His very breath.

When I hear people use these phrases I hear a message being taught....seeds being planted....that God has limitations.  That God is a God who can be blocked, that He is small enough that He needs our meager invitation.  That He is a God who chooses where to be present and how present to be....a God that is contrary to the God of grace.

It is we who show up in body but not in mind or heart.  Which is exactly what He asks for.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
Matthew 22:37 

When will we stop asking Him to do all the work and take responsibility for our part? He showed up before we did and He's waiting for us to show up.  God is fully present here in every molecule in and around us, waiting for us to be fully present and aware of Him.  God has no need for our invitation, He wants our RSVP.

Say yes.

Blessings for new awareness of the fullness of His presence, the expanse of His power and love and grace and for the courage to jump in with both feet.....because you know that He will catch you.  He never misses.

the Mrs.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who do you think you are?

I think everyone has that moment when they utter the words "who am I?"  Its a question that bubbles up from the depths of a soul.

When something is cracked and broken.

We are a culture that looks outside of ourselves to find our identity.  We seek labels and neat packaging with clear indicators of the contents.  We ask people who we are, who they think we are.  We eagerly wait for responses and for some reason.....we believe them.

It's taken as truth, generally unquestioned.  Until we have taken in so much conflicting "truth" that the labels and layers of packaging are so thick we really aren't sure of the contents anymore.

Then suddenly....something deep inside those layers cracks under the pressure and out bubbles "Who. Am. I.?"

When people tell us who they think that we are...shouldn't it be taken as a comment instead of a fact? ...something to be weighed and measured for truth, dismissed when false and simply taken as affirmation of what is already known if true.  But perhaps it simply says "In this moment, this is what I see in you."   And that in general often says more about the person delivering the comment.  They are telling you what you are to them, maybe what they see in you that is in themselves - whether they like it or not.

There are times where something ugly sprouts unnoticed.  We are always growing.  Frankly there are things, like weeds, that initially look like they could be a fruitful plant, so we watch....and wait to see what it emerges into.  Sometimes we don't notice that it's become something thorny and ugly and bears no fruit until it has matured and needs to be removed by the root so it doesn't return.  But this - this kind of uprooting, this kind of "commentary" that points out those weeds in our character can only be affirmed.....should only be affirmed by someone who isn't full of their own weeds.  Someone who can see you clearly.  Someone who can lovingly help you to pull the weed without damaging the fruitful plants around it.

Currently I find myself more secure in who I am than I have ever been in my life....perhaps its age...season in life....or the fruit of labor.  At the same time I find I am seeing people around me in crisis over who they are.  Desperately seeking the answer to the question: Who am I?

A friend posted this song: 

What struck me was...there is your answer.   When there is nothing left of us, when we are broken and on our knees and we find Him.....we find ourselves.  

When we try to "figure out who we are" we are typically looking with the eyes of the world.  What they see, what their measure for success is, the worlds measure of worth.  None of that matters.  

I am not worth X if I don't accomplish Y.   Who says?  Who says that you are not exactly what you were meant to be right here in this moment?  Do you honestly think that the God of the universe, the one who created you before time began, before you were even one single cell, didn't know you would be this beautiful mess right here right now?  You think He didn't know you'd make the mistakes you have?  You think He didn't already know you'd choose to compromise what He created you to be?  You think He wouldn't give you a way out?  No.

He made you.  You want to know who you really are?  Find Him.  Find your Creator and He will show you what He designed you to be.....a reflection of Himself.  He knew the flaws in yourself that you would add to His design but He wrote the program, so they aren't permanent....they can be corrected.  

The Lord is always before us but we have such a habit of looking behind us.  Trying to change where we laid our footsteps and calculate the 'what ifs' into something that might end in a more pleasing present.  

We cannot change the past.   We can learn from it, that is all.  

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; give me life in Your ways."
~Psalm 119:37

Do not search for your identity in the eyes of people around you.  They didn't create you.  They don't see you completely.  The world tells us to "find ourselves"....honestly the way the world tells us to do so is to forget the world around us and look only at ourselves.  Focus deeply on "me".  Yes, there are seasons where we need to closely self-monitor.  When we are training new patterns and trying to uproot weeds, this does take some careful introspection to find them and get the whole root.  Guess who the ultimate gardener is?  
The first One.  
When we focus only on ourselves, the way the world would tell us to, our eyes are not on Him.  We make ourselves an idol before Him.....something we are carefully crafting independently from Him.  What that really is....what it really amounts to.....fruitless labor.  We cannot undo what He has created.  We cannot change the purpose He created us for....the purpose is still there.  Used improperly for a time perhaps, but the purpose still remains.  

We do so much out of selfish desire.  We whine "what about me" all too often.  You know, I think I've finally found out that when I am whining about me, that is the precise moment that I am the most miserable.  When I am in full out "its not about me" mode.....I am the most at peace.  I am the most confident and capable person when I am simply a serving vessel.  I'm sure I'll have those moments where I will slop out an exhausted "hey I'm over here, what about me"....we all will at some point and I'm nowhere near perfect.  But I think I finally get it.....when I make it about me....I make things miserable.  I wasn't designed for me, I was designed for Him....when I am all about Him....I fulfill my purpose and find contentment.

I am not who you say that I am.  What you think I am may affirm who He created me to be, but it does not define me.  Your label doesn't stick anymore.  The layers of packaging are disappearing and what is left is who He made.  Who He asks me to be.

Who are you?  
He's told you time and time again.
You are His.

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek me with all your heart.
~Jeremiah 29:13

Blessings of beautiful brokenness that leads you to see who you really His eyes only.
the Mrs.