Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Covenant of Love. The Greatest Gift Advent Journey Day 10

I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope. –Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Oh the love I find in these commandments given to us on the 2 tablets of stone. It hasn’t always been this way, for most of my Christian life I avoided them, and if I am honest, the entire Old Testament. I, then, was met with what I thought was condemnation and would quickly say to myself…the Old Testament and all it holds doesn’t mean anything…it’s old and all things have been made new.

God help this thought pattern…..and with all His grace….HE DID!

A few years ago I buried myself in the Old Testament. In the burial, I found myself covered like the chuppah, I was covered in Truth. Like a mikveh, my stoney, stubborn heart began to purify. Like a ketubah, this contract for love is the very essence of living.

It is all part of my undoing. As you may have picked up on in the video, this message to us, children of God, is one that is so full of Truth, the enemy goes to great length to twist it, crush it, and pervert it. (usually, I record without fear of perfection and performance. It is what it is..kinda. This particular day, the camera cut off numerous times, our little whirlwind of grace was “off the chain”, the lights flickered, and the tears welled and I….just kept reading.

Oh that their hearts….Oh that my heart, your heart!

Because it’s my heart that these words speak to.

However God’s Word finds you…still your heart, speak these words, feel how they saturate you…quicken you…lavish you with His full-on desire for you to be with Him, like Him, committed to Him as He to you. A love to the death.

Jesus. The fulfillment of these commands.

Jesus. The spirit of Christmas.

Jesus. The very substance of Advent.

Oh that our hearts might receive this…in the love that it was written, given to us and fulfilled for us.

“To love vertically, to love horizontally, to love relationship–and it’s not a suggestion.”


Never Undone. The Greatest Gift Advent Day 9

“But out of a family line that looks like a mess,God brings the Messiah.”

What a wondrous thought…assurance…promise.

The Creator of all, Abba Father, takes the messed up, jacked up, and dysfunction of our lives and through it glorifies His Son, the One and Only. Jesus.

This day of Advent resonates deep within my soul. It stings. It twist…It frees me.

I am forever grateful for the word’s God speaks through Joseph. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”  This covers the wrong others meant for us as well as the wrong we meant for them…either way you look it…it’s all grace. We are all being positioned so that many lives will be saved because of Him.

Take this time to thank God for His plan and forgive yourself for your intentions….He already has. And allow Him to position you in a way that others will see His work in you!

We come undone with the assurance that He never will.


The Stairway of God. The Greatest Gift Advent Journey Day 8

Surely, The Lord is in this place and I wasn’t even aware of it!”

Why did Jacob run from his home?
If we look back a smidgen, a few verses, we learn of the exit of Jacob from Beersheba. A little family dysfunction grabs hold and Jacob is blessed with the blessing of his father, intended for his brother Esau. Esau wept, and anger enraged him, vowing to kill Jacob.

What makes us run, become homeless? Aimless? Sleepless? Friendless? Bankrupt? Anxious? Guilty? Fearful? Hopeless?

If we are honest with ourselves, we run from the very things God wants to use to draw us near to Him, these things, happenings, circumstances, are but scarlet threads used to weave us into knowing our true identity.
Stop.  This circle of hopelessness we run.

The God who met Jacob unsolicited and without reproach is the God reaching for you now.
Promising.
A ladder.
A love that comes down.
And Grace to carry you.

When your past and your lowest encounter Him, they become the very stairway to His Glory revealed in you.

The Greatest Gift Moments of Reflection

  • When do you find yourself striving, reaching, grasping for the next rung to try to pull yourself closer to God?
  • How would your perspective on the dailyness of life change if you could see that here is holy?
  • Take a moment to thank Jesus for being the ladder to heaven and to God.

God Provides! The Greatest Gift Advent Journey Day 7

“God always sees–and He always sees to it.”

This story of God testing Abraham has always intrigued me…always pulled me in deeper.

Why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice his only…his God promised son? It seems so out of character for Him, it went against the very grain of His nature. For years, I thought this gruesome and over the top, as a little girl I can remember thinking that was “mean God”. As I grow closer in Him, He has revealed to me the answer…it can be found in the thickets. Had there not been a promised son, not been a test, not been obedience, we would have missed the ram. In the thickets.

He provided that day not only for Abraham, not only for Issac but for you. for me. It foreshadowed Himself coming.

There was one other thing I explored in deeper waters….the parallel to Jesus, the only begotten Son and God… because God always sees me…He always sees to me. He SO loves me. I found it…in these two places, the first mention of love is in our reading, God said to Abraham, take your son, your only son whom you love and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.

LOVE is the vehicle to obedience…obedience is the vehicle to PROVISION.

Take comfort in the assurance that you cannot perform, worry or produce your way into Christmas….Advent….His coming for you…His provision is in the thickets.

He sees you…He is seeing to you.

The Greatest Gift Moments of Reflection

  • When do you feel the pressure to perform, to produce?
  • Name the ways God has provided grace for the gaps in your life.
  • Take the time to thank God for the ultimate gift of salvation

Laughter! Day 6 The Greatest Gift Journey

“Laughter–it’s all oxygenated grace.”

I love to laugh, you know the kind…to the point you’re begging to stop, because the ripping sensation in your stomach…the needing a paper sack just to catch your breath.

BAAAAAAHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAHHAAAAAAA!!!

I wonder if that’s what Sarah experienced when God spoke pregnancy over her old and barren life? If her face was in pain and her eyes swollen from the laughter.

Have you been there? Has someone shocked you with a statement of request that makes you erupt in laughter even now?

Has God asked you to do something that is laughter worthy, almost ridiculous, to the point you question if it were Him?

Go ahead laugh. Make it fun. Then…..

Accept. Obey. The joy and hope that fills you because of it will bring on a downpour of Holy laughter…peace…Him.

He’s coming!!

Laugh! It’s all grace…coming for you!


Living By Faith. The Greatest Gift Advent Journey

The birth of the child into the darkness of the world made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. — FREDRICK BUECHNER

“It’s strange how that happens–that any place becomes the Promised Land when the blessing of His presence becomes the gift we receive–and give.”

Blessings.

They come wrapped in many forms, and are limitless. Parents, step-parents, siblings, the aunt and uncle that cover you in grace while everyone else shakes their head or their fist, the cousin or more like sister, the legacy of a grandmother with hair like fire, the friends that God threads into our lives that are more like family, the random text messages from a sister in Christ that penetrates to the very core of your spirit and fills us with God’s Truth….

the husband…the three cord strand strength of the marriage covenant, the green-eyed carrier of grace – only child of this girl so young and broken, the two beautiful children that come along with the I do’s of the said marriage covenant……

the letting go of regret…the apology made…forgivness recieved and given…the letter written to the unborn baby given no chance, the tears once choked back erupting from the deep….

the spacious place of His presence.

The all of His blessings have brought me to this place of Living by Faith.

I’m learning……this whole living by faith, and God in His magnificent way, knows just how to make my journey all the grander. You see I am one of those…one of those “crazy people who quit their job, take the child tossed aside, abandoned, orphaned and love them…love them like crazy…for a season…until they are reunited with other family or with a family that has been praying for a child of their own. It’s the blessing of receiving and giving. It’s living by faith. Faith in grace…Faith in timing…Faith in His coming.

*****How are you living by faith? I’d love you hear from you!!*****

The Greatest Gift Moments of Reflection

  • How has God blessed you, as He blessed Abram?
  • In what ways have other people overflowed God’s grace into your life?
  • What are some ways you can be a blessing to others?

Rise. The Greatest Gift Advent Journey Day 4

 

Strange, this familiar Father of prodigals whose love, too much for one lifetime, wills that we shall share the feast of forgiveness and joy in the epilogue of eternity.  Strange this daily advent of EMMANUEL.  —J.F. WILSON

 

I get the floods of emotion. Whether excitement, disappointment, or just plain heartache.

In all transparency, my heart is overwhelmed tonight. So much so, that I can say nothing other than how grateful I am for His heart lovingly threaded to mine, the pain that He felt that I might hear His whispers of Hope, for His Grace that allows me to rise from the ashes of life. To be His.