prodigal daughter Someone recently asked me what my greatest fear is. Immediately I knew…

“That my life will not matter. That I will waste it.”

This is my greatest fear because I am routinely tripped up by habits and patterns of defeat.  I have allowed old lies to quench the fresh power of the Gospel in my heart and mind. Why can’t I just believe God and obey?
I’ve been an easy mark for the enemy. I don’t put up much of a fight. He knows my wounds and knows there are STILL parts of my heart that are not whole.

A little over a year ago I was in the Middle East serving alongside godly men and women who have given their lives in service to the Gospel. During that trip, an attack on some of our team members was evident and I was not prepared (spiritually) for my personal assault. A bitter root had grown in my heart and I foolishly did not rip it out the minute it took hold. One morning, around 3 a.m. I awoke to a familiar sound. It was different this time – I truly felt the enemy “singing” over me and it penetrated my soul. He was taunting me.  I never really talked about it or prayed about it -but I should have.

God knew where I was about to go- He knew my failures before I knew them. Yet in His GRACE He planned an escape route, deep healing, new purpose, godly guidance, financial provision and specific scripture – all in a matter of days – all waiting for me on the other side. Fully restored, fully cleansed and fully forgiven. I only had to reach out and take it! Jesus had already paid my debt and I am in awe.

I am still in the midst of this battle but I am praying the armor – fighting again and praying for WHOLENESS. Pray for me that God will not let me waste this experience. I am determined to stop living in defeat. But I (obviously) cannot do it in my own power. I have tried and I have failed and failed and failed…You’d think I would get the hint by now!

But I am HOPEFUL! Trust me…I have cause to be full of hope because of what I am learning about myself and what God’s word promises. I want FREEDOM!!!!

“Don’t be afraid that your life will end,
be afraid that it will never begin.”

Grace Hansen

300px-Augustine_of_Hippo …that we may, out of our dead sins, make stepping stones to rise to the heights of perfection. What did he mean by that?

He meant that the memory of our falls may breed in us such a humility, such a distrust of self, such a constant clinging to Christ as we could never have had without the experience of our own weakness.”

~James Stalker

watch_meToday I decided my past will not dictate my future.

I’ve toyed with specific lies my entire life and built my identity around them. I’m learning more about myself and myself in relationship to God than I ever have before.

There’s no point in pretending I understand how my heart works or why I do the things I do. There’s no reason to pretend that I have any power to change myself. I sing about being a captive set free because that’s who I want to be. I want to own my identity in Christ. I will wear a garment of praise today because of what He has done for me. I am Gomer. Hosea’s love scares me and I run…but He runs faster.

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20

chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian-aslan-and-edmundDo you remember this scene in Disney’s “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”? The one when Aslan brings Edmund back to camp and his siblings see him for the first time since his betrayal? Aslan and Edmund are seen talking by themselves in the distance, alone. When Aslan brings him back to face his brother and sisters he says,

“Here is your brother and there’s no need to talk about what’s in the past.”

As another blogger points out, Alsan did not excuse his behavior but did not condemn him either. We are led to believe that Edmund repented of his actions to Alsan (Jesus). Once forgiven by Jesus there is no need for any mention of it again by Christian brothers and sisters. That’s is what forgiveness and restoration is. So why is it that we as Christians seem so intent on making the sinner suffer even when forgiven and restored by God?

My thoughts :

1.We Are Afraid

We are creatures filled with fear and anxiety. If a person betrays us once they could do it again and we live in terror of this. The most frequent command Jesus spoke was, “Do not fear.” He knew because of our sin we will live in fear because our sin separates us from the assurance and comfort of God. As Beth Moore says, “We are not born brave and He knows it.”

2.We Need To Control

When others let us down it is almost impossible for a human to grant trust to that person again apart from God’s help. But honestly, giving trust to someone is always risk. Because our frail emotions are so inextricably tied to the actions of others we only extend trust if we get something in return. Ideally, trust and love should be given by the Christian with no expectation of anything in exchange. If we are filled with Christ we need nothing else from others. This is a lofty goal but is what Jesus taught – impossible to live out apart from the Spirit of God in us.

edmund-eats-white-witchs-food3.We Are Idolaters

So often we find our worth or reason for life in who someone else is rather that who we are in Christ. When they let us down we no longer know who we are. We lose our identity. Our leaders, our family, our bible teachers…all people – not gods. What would you do if the Christian teacher you most admire revealed moral failure? Would you feel betrayed by that person or by God?

5.We Are Hypocrites

We immediately distance ourselves from and gossip about those who have moral failure all the while ignoring  the planks in our own eyes. We measure sin for sin and at the end of the day feel better about our private sins when others’ are made public. We convince ourselves we are “not as bad as that guy!” Whew!

6. We Gravitate Toward the Law

No matter how much we talk about Grace we don’t live it out. When tested, our checklisted-boundary-filled-guidelined-clean and tidy lives have no room for deviations by others. Rules are safer than the messy life of those that love the bleeding and broken. If we live as Christ taught us to, we are guaranteed to be hurt by those we love. 100% chance of getting our heart broken. Yet, the precious gift is the power God gives us to leave our safe lives and get dirty with those would will betray us and still have the capacity to extend unmerited, scandalous grace. “They will know you by how you love each other.” “Forgive others as you have been forgiven.”

Your thoughts?

dd_narnia

Team DAXKO - Mercedes Marathon Relay  2009

Team DAXKO - Mercedes Marathon Relay 2009

Birmingham News Picture of Team DAXKO

Birmingham News Picture of Team DAXKO

Big Brother Mason runs too!

Big Brother Mason runs too!

February 15th I ran in the Mercedes Marathon Relay with several of my friends from DAXKO. I intended to train but didn’t (and I paid for it the next day! Sore, sore, sore!)
As much as I feared running because of my lack of preparation I had the BEST time!

Much of the money raised benefits The Bell Center in Birmingham, Al. My cousin Joshua goes there currently and his brother Roman just graduated 🙂 Their big brother Mason and mom Alison ran too!

Just being out there with thousands of people all running for a common cause felt really amazing- like I was part of something bigger than myself. Like being a Christian but on a smaller scale 😉 Running the race (just a part of it) and keeping the faith (that I could actually finish)…

I was the least likely to be out there on that course. Just like I was the least likely to be chosen and loved by the God of the universe! I am not a runner but I ran and I finished. I am not a “super-marathon-Christian” but I keep running and I will finish -Maybe not at the “front” but I will cross the finish line – welcomed into my heavenly home – to lay my reward at His feet.

He carried me through the entire race after all 🙂

Little Joshua

Little Joshua

Roman making a silly face!

Roman making a silly face!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mercedes Marathon“, posted with vodpod

Related Post: Running Is Not Everything

taco_soupTaco Soup – This is a variation on a well-known recipe. This is taken from my sister, Katie’s version. The Rotel  adds a bit of a kick as does a dash of chili powder.

2 Cups water
2 Cans white corn
1 Can Rotel – mild or spicy
1 Can diced tomatoes
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 pkg Dry Ranch Mix
1 Pkg Dry Taco Seasoning
1.5 – 2 lbs ground beef
1 onion – diced

Brown meat and onion. Mix in dry ingredients. Mix with all other ingredients in large pot. Use all juices from all canned goods. Simmer for 2 hours.

Simmer for longer, adding water for more intense flavor. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and Fritos!

buttermilkcornbread_top

Buttermilk Cornbread – * Cook in a seasoned iron skillet!
Buttermilk makes this SO moist! Like cake 🙂

2 cups self-rising white corn meal
2 tablespoons flour
1 Egg
2 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup of oil

Heat oil in pan in oven as it preheats. Mix oil back into batter – pour in pan.

350 degrees 40-45 min.

You Are…

katie....wild. beautiful. independent. mom.

katie....wild. beautiful. independent. mom.

mom-amy-and-henry

dale....laughter. defender. comforter.

allison....giver. thoughtful. prayerful. grace.

allison....giver. thoughtful. prayerful. grace.

jenny....bold. brave. prayer-warrior.

jenny....bold. brave. prayer-warrior.

april.....beauty. kindness. unconditional love. friend.

april.....beauty. kindness. unconditional love. friend.

amber....thinker. inquisitive. loyal.

amber....thinker. inquisitive. loyal.

heather....gentle. kind. grace.

heather....gentle. kind. grace.