Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Keeping My Head Down

Remember that time that I love Easter a lot but I didn’t really tell anyone that there was an Easter post on the blog? Usually I share on all social media outlets whenever I publish a new post to the blog. But getting the word out was the last thing on my mind this year, I was too busy with a great Easter weekend and family time to remember to “share.” I haven’t checked yet, but I’m willing to bet that only a few people saw the Easter post and my stats were low, but it’s a price I gladly paid. Being present is so much more life giving than being popular.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter is here




It’s Easter. It is here. He was He is exactly who he promised he would be. More than that! He is who the prophets promised he would be! He is who God promised he would be! Easter is TRUE. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

You have sorrow now, BUT

Sometimes I just feel like giving up on this whole writing business. And with Easter approaching I somehow feel like if I skip out on my Easter posts, then I’m done for good. I can’t imagine a world of writing without an Easter post in it. So since I’m not giving up on writing just yet (I feel like this has to be a normal writing torment right?), here we are.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hosanna!/Crucify Him!

Today was glorious. It was glorious. Everyone was worshipping. Everyone had joy. Everyone knew we had been given a gift. Not everyone was aware of it, but you’d be hard pressed to find a soul in our community who wasn’t exponentially more joyful. Today creation held church and worshipped and invited us to join in our backyards and on bike paths and at parks and in cars, with windows open and homes refreshed. Today was just a Saturday.

I can’t help but imagine that this is what the weather was like for the Triumphal Entry. I love that people were so eager to praise and bless and honor Jesus. They grabbed their coats, whatever they had and they covered the way for him. They waved palms, which was symbolic of victory over an enemy. People expected Jesus to overthrow a government, but he had so much more victory waiting for us.* This is what we think of when we think on Palm Sunday, yes? A picture of joy and worship and expectations that would be far exceeded. But Palm Sunday should also serve as a warning for us, a cautionary tale of sorts.

Those people who crowded the streets and yelled “Hosanna!” they were the same people who yelled “Crucify him!” only a short time later. Did you know that? That’s crazy right? It seems absolutely asinine that people could so passionately swing from one extreme to the other. But friends, it could have been us. It still can be us if we don’t guard ourselves. You know what the difference was between those who stuck with Jesus and those who wanted him dead? True honest-to-goodness belief. People who "worshipped" him on (what we call) Palm Sunday did so because of what they heard about him around town. They celebrated him because of what they thought he would do for them. They celebrated him because they thought he might be the next big thing. Their adoration was fueled by motives about two inches deep. And when it stopped looking good, when the glamour had faded, when Jesus didn’t meet their vain expectations…that adoration crumbled. If our worship of Jesus is something to make us look better, if we use him to fit in, if we base our belief on our own plans…our insincere adoration will crumble too. And what’s most sad is that sometimes we don’t stop long enough to see that what we are offering is artificial, sometimes we even have ourselves fooled.

I want to be the real thing, to know down deep in my gut that no matter what I LOVE him and I live to see him gain glory upon glory. I want to have a growing disdain for “what makes sense,” for what can be controlled by me, for what I have planned. I want to live in complete trust, trust that grows my love and surrender to whatever God has. Come what may, I won’t find myself standing shoulder to shoulder with the status quo.



*I used the ESV Study Bible for historical insight and highly recommend it!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Release



We make life hard for ourselves at times don’t we? In a culture driven by self-motivation, ambition, and the American Dream…sometimes we get really caught up in our own minds. We start believing that the way we think is the best way, the way other people think is likely less enlightened than our way, and view everything through a critical lens. Everything is sifted through the tight filter of our preferences and our assessments. It’s so tiring. Wouldn’t it just be easier to let go for a day and let life be simple, to choose to enjoy rather than to evaluate. Releasing the constant strain for the potential perfection we have concocted and breathe in grace. Grace is here, now, illuminated by the imperfections and flaws and mistakes that engulf our reality. Don’t stop being who you are, but be the truest of who you are. Enjoy the fullness of who you are in Christ.

If you’re a thinker, think through grace and dwell on joy.
If you’re a free spirit, embrace grace and put down comparison.
If you’re straight laced, stand on the tension between what has come and the glory that will be.
If you’re just getting through life, look up at the clouds and be moved by the worship that even nature proclaims.
If you’re bruised and beaten, take heart. He has overcome the world!





Saturday, April 5, 2014

Love & Friendship

So I guess I’ll just keep writing about Jesus and either this blog will just eventually dwindle down and die or ? I know don’t even know the other side of that equation. Sometimes I feel so frustrated that we are so obsessively application oriented (myself included). Why are the viral posts and articles all about our roles? Why can’t we just enjoy community by way of enjoying Christ together? Is it that hard for us to look beyond ourselves and marvel at Jesus? Is it that hard to lay down my preoccupation with me?

Today I was reading in John 15 and realized that I’ve glazed over this so many times…
         “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

(John 15:12-17 ESV)

I’ve never stopped to really think through this. I’ve always just seen it as an instruction like “if you love me, do what I command” (which is still true), but I’ve never stopped to think about what happened before that. Jesus literally gave his life so that we could share friendship with God. And so now he is saying “look that’s what the love of a friend compels you to do. It compels you to lay down your own life. So stop doing life your way. Give up your way out of love for your Friend, and live God’s way. Enjoy a friendship with the only friend who has ever gone the distance to love you.”

That’s worth a thousand “Dear young mom” or “What I wish I knew” viral blog posts. I can live wholly and completely through that kind of love.




**I don't think that viral posts about women's roles or marriage or family or anything are bad. In fact upon publishing this post I'm reading through my blogroll all about cooking, marriage, ministry, family, and fashion. I just want to push past the surface temporal things periodically and know my focus hasn't changed.