Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
To say that I am directionally challenged in a huge understatement. In most cases, I make sure to get very specific directions to get from Point A to Point B. Yet, when I come to fork in the road (or an approaching exit), I didn’t get directions, and I have about ½ a second to decide my destiny – I tend to go with logic.
Such was the case driving to West Palm Beach from Orlando, Florida. I-4 East or I-4 West? Well, I’m heading toward the Atlantic Ocean, so east it is. I soon realized by my surroundings that I was going to wrong way. I then pulled off of I-4 to look at a map (finally) and ask for directions. Finally I was heading the right direction towards home. The money and miles were a waste, but the lesson was learned.
Life is a constant journey and logic can be very dangerous as a direction; especially at the moment of decision. “This road seems to be going right where I want to go: security, love, acceptance, relationship and fun.” I had been with the Guide for years, but His Map stayed folded up on a box. Pride took me down a path that, years later, ended at an exit ramp and a crash landing. Totaled my heart. Took years of repair.
At the end of the road was the Map and the Guide. The years were a waste, but the lesson was learned. I may speed and swerve. I may crash into consequences. I may get distracted and miss my desires. But with every mile, I know that logic lies and the Lord loves. He is my only hope for Home.
Enjoy Him, Michelle
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
“Whenever you are ready, your Father's house is waiting." Rev. K.K. Devaraj, Mumbai, India to orphaned children, drug addicts, and prostitutes.
My dad divorced my mother when I was five. Though I come from a divorced family, I never thought that my father abandoned me. I simply thought that a normal life consisted of not living in the same house as my father. Not having constant conversations with my father. Not revealing my heart to my father. I would only visit him on weekends, with a little more time and attention on Christmas Day. Blessings were bountiful when we were together and life carried on as usual when we were apart. Sound familiar?
When we hear the name “Father,” we often tend to view Elohim Abba the way we view our earthly papas. This is not conscious. This is not consistent. But it is natural. Whether our earthly fathers were abusive or adoring, the truth is that our papas are parables and our Father as incomparable. As He is, not as I imagine He should be. I have a choice in laying down all of my life before my Eternal Father. Either my experiences can determine my view of Abba, or my Abba can direct me through my experiences.
If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God… Faith based on experience is not faith; faith based on God’s revealed truth is the only faith there is. – Oswald Chambers
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. I John 4:16
"The Christian confidence that you and I can approach God as Father is the unique and pressing gift of the Son" - Jill Carattini God is Holy. God is Perfection. God is Love. He is Everything; with or without a relationship with me. Then there’s a gift received. A shift in me. Immediately. The Father of the Son becomes my Father. Love beyond knowledge, beyond comprehension, beyond measure. He resides above all as infinite and He resides in me...most intimate. His greatest delight and desire is to hold me. Wow.
Now, with all of this truth of Who My Father is...how do I relate to Him as Dad? My friend Beverly reminds me, “Just keep trusting Him with everything, crawl into His lap and let Him brush your hair with His strong fingers, feeling His grip holding you close to His heart, and His heartbeat becomes yours.”
Click: Francis Chan (from Crazy Love) talks more on Abba's lap
Enjoy Him, Michelle firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
“I love when she calls me Daddy. Melts my heart every time.” – David Mitchell, Father to two year old Belle who is battling cancer.
Abba, I belong to You. – Brennan Manning
Dastan was caught stealing. He was terrified. He tried to run, of course. But a criminal’s consequences will always find him out. This day, however, he was under the gaze of the king. Just as the sword raised to smite him, the king’s right hand raised to save him. The king’s left hand raised to receive him. In an instant, Dastan was offered redemption and adoption. The famished had a feast. The beggar had an inheritance. The king became his father; the orphan became his prince. Dastan deserved death; the king gave him destiny. Raised in royalty. Lavished in love. Hardships of humanity will never steal his identity. Saved. Chosen. Redeemed. Loved. Son. Heir. Prince. Forever.
Dastan’s story is my story. Each of us begins in the market. Orphaned from day one by our separation from God. We are condemned by a law that we cannot keep. We try to run away and hide, but we will never our run our consequences. We are brought before a merciful king. His right hand, scarred with salvation, is lifted to save us from death. With His left hand, the King extends to us the option of adoption. Either we deny the king our sonship (and ourselves His Home), or we accept His amazing grace to call Him Abba Father forever. To accept His offer, we admit to our crimes, look Him in the eyes, and sign in Jesus’ blood. Then we are lifted on His white horse and taken to our inheritance. Dastan’s story is fable; our story is forever.
This is only the beginning, but it must begin to be. He created me to love Him, but I choose my destiny. Taking His hand, my journey begins. Love takes me in. (Click here for Abba's adoption song): When Love Takes You In by SCC
Enjoy Him, Michelle email@example.com
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
“Maybe the truth of the Adam and Eve story, maybe the greatest power of the story, is not so much that it happened, but that it happens.” Rob Bell
Pelicans are especially vulnerable to oil. Not only could they eat tainted fish and feed it to their young, but they could die of hypothermia or drowning if they're soaked in oil. - AP
Along with having oil-slicked feathers, the pelicans gather food in their normal feeding grounds and feed it to their babies. They don’t get CNN, NPR or the Gulf Times. They are completely unaware that death lurks inside the fish that they are feeding to their young. Can you imagine the outrage of finding out that you routinely bought oil-stuffed fish at the market, fed it unknowingly to your child and your toddler died as a result? You had no idea, but it never changed the results: death.
Yet, everyday we swim in death. We eat death. Then we feed it to our family, our friends, our co-workers, our children. We are deceived that our portion is pure. But really, it's filled with death. The first feeding started with the First Family:
Deception: "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." – Genesis 3:4-5
Delivery: When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. – Genesis 3:6
Death: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned; -Romans 5:12
We are, in fact, born with “oil on our feathers and toxins in our mouths.” How then shall we live? We are not hopeless to die because into death we are born.
Unlike pelicans, we can choose to come clean and eat clean.
“…every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! – Hebrews 9:13-14
Unlike pelicans, we can choose feeding grounds of death or life.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21
Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink," he says to you, but his heart is not with you. Proverbs 23:6-7
From these verses comes the phrase: “a man thinks in his heart, so is he” and I might add, “so he calls to his friends to eat and drink from the tainted well of his heart.”
Unlike pelicans, we can choose to feed truth or toxins to the world around us.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1
From my mouth to the multitudes, I choose pure.
Enjoy Him, Michelle firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
At least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf, though some scientists have said they believe the spill already surpasses the 11 million-gallon 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska as the worst in U.S. history. -Bluestein and Brown, AP
Purity cannot abide with contamination. For example, obviously oil and water don’t mix. Even one drop causes the pure to become impure – affecting the water and every living thing around it. How much more damaging is gallons of gushing oil pouring into pure waters; constant contamination? We see this first hand in oil spills on the open seas, but how much more impurity contaminates our souls...every moment of the day. Disasters of environment are mere reflections of disasters of the soul…and they are everywhere.
We were born with BCUs (Broken Contamination Units). Like oil in water, sin is not under our control. Even a drop of disobedience results in death. No exceptions. Man tries in vain, but he is not able to contain the flow. Eventually, it will kill him and damage everything around him.
There is only one way to contain the sin from spilling out. Jesus' Blood is the only tried, tested and proven purifying solution. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. – 1 John 5:6,7
In the beginning, God sanctioned water as the cleansing agent. The water itself was only a tool; man's obedience to immerse in the water was the door to purification. At the moment of the Saviour’s death, water and blood mixed to provide the ultimate door to purity. Just by asking for the solution, we are given the purity from contamination and the seal of salvation. His Word keeps the purity in place; our prayer keeps the purity in practice.
So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word. - Ephesians 5:26
Once purity is within, it flows without. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." – John 7:38 Everywhere, everyday. Just as constant as the river that flows before the throne of God. May we be one, just as the Father and Son are One. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb – Revelation 22:1
Enjoy Him, Michelle