Grace does not mean that there aren’t consequences. In fact, many times it is just the opposite. At the very beginning of the bible, in Genesis, we see accountability for our actions. If God would have just said to Eve, It’s ok if you eat that fruit… well, the Bible, and our life would look completely different. Instead, God loved Adam and Eve, even though they sinned and made bad choices. He loved them, but there were still consequences. It’s foundational to our beliefs as Christians.
As I reflect, I’m struck with how much pain and agony we see on the news, and yet how quickly we move onto the next thing. We continue to hear about persecution, and yet how are we responding? Where on our prayer list does it fall? Is it there at all?
I’ve written this post in my head a hundred times in the past week. At first I contemplated writing it differently, but then I realized that if none of us talk about the real stuff, if none of us share because it is embarassing, or because we want to protect our kids, or a variety of other reason, well, then, we will all think we are the only ones. So, while it is hard to share, I feel like someone has to be the brave one that says let’s link arms and fight this battle together, instead of hiding in shame.
Woke up this morning full of condemnation. Starting new today and declaring, I am not a pharisee!
In a very secular world that focus on the value of making a profit, what might happen if we were able to shift our focus and sincerely commit to tithing business profits?
Just as quickly as the peaks and valleys came, clouds covered. I’m reminded how quickly God can change things. Within seconds, I’m no longer able to see the Earth. What a stark reminder that God changes things quickly. Perhaps this week, it will be in the life of just one victim, or one john, or one trafficker. Perhaps more.
Many times, it feels like everyone else has it all together, and Christmas at others homes is like a Norman Rockwell painting. And then we look at our Christmas, and struggle to hold it together. Our relationships with our family are many times hard. And while our hearts desire is that everyone could not only get along, but actually enjoy and treasure being together, reality is that many times this isn’t the case. If you’re like me, the holidays are a time of joy, but it’s easy to lose sight of the miracle of Jesus in the middle of the mess of family life.
As I watched our 25 year old Marine embrace his 8 year old sister, being #homeforchristmas took on a whole new perspective. Let’s be honest, family stuff is complicated, and all the gifts, tinsel and glitter doesn’t always fix that. For many of us, family and extended family and time together when the expectation is that we all play nice together and be happy, well, it is overwhelming. Some family moments are like this reunion, and others, well, maybe we don’t look forward to them quite so much.
What if others looked at us and felt a stirring to be a better them. To live according to the light and not hide it under a bushel basket for fear that others may see it and think less of them. If we listen to the Spirit Jesus left behind, instead of being put off by difference, we may find a new passion and excitement, not just in our love for the Lord, but also in our Love for our work. And, when we are passionate, hiding is not an option.
I didn’t expect that the year of the Lord’s favor would be filled with sorrow and depression, surgeries and sadness. Bit it was in the midst of all of this, in the digging out from the darkness that I found favor in Him and Him alone.