Sunday, October 11, 2015

Circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the Law. 

His praise is not from man, but from God.

| Romans 2:29-30 |

I read these verses and I think of myself and I think of my friends, and I cringe because I see the lies that we've all been told and how far from the light they have led us, all the while we thought we were doing exactly what was asked of us by God. I think of myself growing up and all the of the praise I received and all of the praise that I sought and all of the confusion I felt because I was doing all the right things but I felt so empty. I think of myself the past couple of years and I think of all the praise I did not receive and all the praise I did not seek and all the shame I put on myself because I was doing the opposite of what I thought was right. And I think of myself now and I think of all the thanks I feel  because I can see that God is there and He loves me and He is listening and I can see that He has always been there loving and listening, I just wasn't looking for Him. 

 We are told to attain to high standards, to behave in a way that makes society smile, to have regular church attendance, to do a daily devotion, to pray about big life decisions before we make themWe are told that these things make us good people and they make us Christians and they give us a good life. But if you've lived for a minute, you know that they don't.

Because Christ did not ask us to do any of that and He did not die for that. He did not die so that we could pretend like we have it all together; He did not ask us to have it all together. He does ask us to leave everything behind and follow him and in exchange He doesn't make us feel like good people, He makes us complete. He looks at us and knowing that we are far from perfect, loves us anyways. He realigns our thoughts from thinking about here to thinking about Home. He opens our eyes to see the bigger picture, to feel our purpose, to experience and to share love and grace and redemption in an undeniable and infectious way. He prepares us for Home, and He invites us to help prepare others. And when we see that, when we see what Christ has for us and we see that He is not looking for our checklist, but for our love, the opinions of men become laughably insignificant. When we can stand in confidence in what He has for us, 
the expectations of our peers, of the Christian culture, of society, they all shatter, 
because in the face of God they have no voice. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks 
for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses 
in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers 
that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and 
all the good things that a good God gives.

| Ann Voskamp |

This season has been one of thanks. There's been lots of good and there's been lots of learning, and I am filled with thankfulness for it all. Thankful for all that God has been doing, thankful for seeing His hands in everything. Thankful for being given open eyes and an open heart that wants to seek Him. Thankful for wanting to be present in life. Thankful that even though it's been a long past couple of years and in spite of everything that has happened, God has brought me here, to this place, in this moment, where I can see that it wasn't for nothing and that there is a purpose behind it all.  

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