I’m thankful for….Me?

I admit, it was a little foreign to write it down on the paper leaf with the Bible verse on the other side that said “every good and perfect gift” came from Him.

But, at the same time, there was a quickening in me that just knew I had to.  Because I was fighting it again.

You see, we women, mothers, daughters, and sisters — it’s not that we don’t get selfish and sinful and self-obsessed and needy.

It’s just sometimes we think the gift we give is what we do, and that’s it.  And that the gifts we give can only be good if they are compared with other gifts and found to be more.  But the gift…it really is– who we are.  Beloved. Because knowing that you are a gift– remembering this– destroys these questions of worth that cycle me around like the laundry, spinning all the motivation and compassion right out. Because this:  I can only love, if I first know I am loved.  And He said it right there! “We love because He first loved us.”  And the liar is always roaming around looking to eat those words before they take root in me.

And is this the very problem with us?  How did the blushing of the cheeks when called beautiful and loved turn into a barricade of protection against that which would save me.  Acceptance.  Again the Gospel quiet shouts the simplest and most profound message.

And, if my Father is dancing over me– if it’s my name and your name engraved across the lines of his Mighty Hand;  If His banner over me is love– if His delight is in me…

Then, I am thankful, truly thankful…for me.

…And I hand her the pen, this daughter learning and watching like a hawk.  She writes it too, unblinking.

As a family we are writing our daily thanks each night at dinner!  On these leaves that we hang on our “thanksgiving tree”!  Great idea from Mrs. Voskamp!  Just copy the URL below and  paste it in your address bar to see and print for yourself!!

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/11/a-christian-family-thanksgiving-activity-the-thanks-giving-tree-free-printable/

When mountains move

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A friend of mine recently wrote a great blog about a similiar passage I thought was worth sharing, you can find it here http://weaklyexperience.blogspot.com/2012/08/fig-trees-and-mountains.html

I was thinking about these ‘moving mountains’ today, too.  About how the ego in us wants to be involved even in being the “best” Christian, the spiritual giant of our time.  Then, I was thinking how Jesus always seemed to be pointing us to be doing the secret, almost imperceivable things to be great in His kingdom.  I wondered, how can our faith moving a mountain not get us some kind of spiritual clout?!  What does moving massive boulders have to do with loving others?

Here are some thoughts:

Perhaps, it has to do with the prayer of faith that literally changes the atmosphere.  That that which was once an immovable obstacle to a fellow sojourner has disappeared as we join our faith with the heart and will of God.  That, when we trust in Him, lean not on our own understanding, acknowledge Him in all our ways, He makes our paths straight.

That, when we strengthen ourselves in the Lord, we “make level paths for our feet, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.” Heb. 12:12-13

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God..” Hebrews 12:15a

What do you think?

“You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded…

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.  You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”  Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24

What is real?

“Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

Some of my most cherished times are those when I am reminded so intimately of the grandeur of Himself, His plan.  Though, of course, I don’t know the details of all He has in store- but the bigness of it all.  And this God, who makes me sway and hug tight in His Perfect Father arms, makes me awe and coo, enables me to laugh in strong arms.

Who can laugh with peace?  In these days of all too serious.  To laugh, it would seem, would be to deny reality.

Those who laugh with peace.  Who are they?  Those blinded idealists?  Those blissfully ignorant of pain? I have been the cynic.  But who hasn’t seen it here?  Who could hide?

To laugh with peace there must be a reality- by nature, the only one- that is secure, safe, perfect.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

It is not a denial of the real suffering we find here.  Perhaps, an acknowledgement that it is temporary, though.  The agreement of something eternal.  The clinging of the eternal Spirit emerging from the earthen temple, crying, “King of Hope!  God of Joy!”  Is that where this peculiar, holy hope, peace, joy, faithfulness and love begin?

It is only the working of evil forces, rotting flesh playing illusion that make this Spirit-fruit look boring, mundane, unnecessary.  Isn’t Spirit-fruit  the very sustenance for the nations, multiplying?  Joy-smiles ripple effect like salt waves.  Internal peace spills Christ proclamations, stars in black night.  Patience kneels, damming up the waters roaring, enduring until the time is right, water subsides.  Goodness quiet shouts!  Of right, wrong, the Truth, the Way, the Life.  True humility ignites hope when kings and kingdoms are all left with the same lot as the poor and needy: only a question.  The Messianic question:  “Did you receive My Love?  My Grace? Me?”

What is real is what will remain.