All You Need

Do you get it yet?

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources God will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in his love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and height and depth of his love, and to know the love of Christ surpasses knowledge so that you will filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Can you feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in you?

Do you feel the Father’s unabashed, unadulterated, unrestricted, inexhaustable, indiscriminate, unlimited, unconditional love for you?

Have you embraced Jesus’ pervasive, comprehensive, abundant, profuse, bountiful, monumental, extravagant, immeasurable love for you?

I admit, it’s a huge banquet to take in at once. So take it one portion at a time.

…from his glorious, unlimited resources God will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit,

Matryoshka dolls

Matryoshka dolls

Scripture tells us we have the exact same Spirit in us that descended on Jesus the day he was baptized. When we abide in the Spirit, who abides in Christ, who abides in the Father, we are in God. We are already so embraced by him we are inside his heart, just like Matryoshka dolls nest inside each other.

Our God is limitless. He brings us his power and grace and wisdom through the Spirit. When we spend time with him, we learn to hear his voice.

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

There is nothing we need to do; we simply trust and believe. We follow his guidance knowing full well he created each of us as a masterpiece. We are here because of a loving God who grants us new mercies every day, who has plans for our future and surrounds us in love.

…and that you, being rooted and grounded in his love,

Our loving God does not want us to be shamed or guilt-ridden over anything. Of course we will make mistakes – we are human. And our mistakes are no one’s business. In our relationship with our loving Father, we talk with him about our momentary failings, and he provides forgiveness, mercy and grace, and lifts us up again. His desire is for us to to reach out to him and to walk with him, unafraid.

…may be able to comprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and height and depth of his love, and to know the love of Christ surpasses knowledge

While we may experience his love, we won’t fully understand it in our human capacity, just as we don’t fully understand the peace we feel when we accept him into our lives. It is not a “head” thing, but a heart thing. It is not something we can explain to those who have not taken him into their hearts. And if you haven’t fully taken him into your heart, you can’t fully feel the love he has for you.

so that you will filled with all the fullness of God.

Oh, but once you have taken him in fully – breathed in his sweet fragrance, let the full measure of his love and grace overcome you and overwhelm you to the point of tears – only then are you able to give his love and grace away freely and fully to others.

God is love. And all we need is God.

Inspiration for this post came from Mel Wild and Denine Taylor published by Melissa Roland (Secret Santa article):-)

Relationship Status – It’s complicated: Secret Santa Blog Day

freedigitalphotos.net  ©graur razvan ionut

freedigitalphotos.net ©graur razvan ionut

Jesus isn’t just a facebook page or a status or a thought. But if it were to be that we were engaged in a relationship of sorts that’s exactly how it would be: it’s complicated.

For all the times I have given Him grief, fought Him, argued with Him, strayed from Him and yet He still waited ever so patiently. I like a histrionic muse back and forth into His arms. I want so badly to please Him but find myself wrestling with the false covering of this world. The job, the money, the house, the worldly inspiration- it all looks so innocent lovely. But-

It is missing the meat

the substance

the depth

the love

the insides

the outsides

the spirit

So when I grab for those things and they dissipate in my hands, I am drawn back into my lover’s arms, the loving arms of Jesus.

In the hours and the times and the ways that I spend with Him, I find myself wanting, panting for more time. Like an adulterer, I steal away from my husband deep into the night to find Him. I creep downstairs and seek Him. I close my eyes and caress my rosary to know Him. I want Him to see me, to know me and to love me to.

Oh my beloved, I already do.

I find my days are filled with thoughts of Him and I drift and I dream of the hour that I may escape for our lunch time escapade.

I slide down my chair and past my office door to make my way to the church next door, slowly moving as not to give away my secret. I see Him, just past the street sign, the park.

He is waiting for me.

The smell is familiar, an old oak and the smell of old. It is inviting me in. I look around to see who is watching.

Will anyone find out my secret?

Door creaks, people peek, silence buzzes and I creep into the back pew kneeler and all.

Slowly, gently I lower it and slip into His arms. Hands to forehead, my blessed before me. The others do not exist, it is only Him and I.

The buzzing is still ever present, I am lost in His call. His blessed mother watching us, it all seems so wrong.

But He has called me this way, for this time in this place. It is our lair, our time, our love and nobody else’s. He is the only one who has my heart. So they all can watch, including the uncomfortable glance from His mother.

But she too knows why I am here.

I can’t and don’t want to go back to the place from which I came. He is magnetic and wanting but tells me I must go. It is a tug o war with my heart. It becomes complicated.

So I cross my body and steal a final glance, mother approving, as I gather myself together to re-enter the world.

The sun is too bright.

The trees too tall

The air too thin

I can still smell Him, and it is lovely

I must, have to go back. It is a back and forth. An in motion. A this and that. A long embrace.

My hiding place, my rest my all in all.

Where were you? My boss says

It’s complicated…

What Jesus Didn’t Do

Susan Irene Fox:

As Mark Myers so poignantly writes, “The next time someone in your life is going through heartache, loss, or sorrow, remember that words will almost always fail and there will be time for action later. Take a cue from what Jesus didn’t do and simply weep with them.”

He knows.

Originally posted on Life in Portsong:

Yesterday we attended a dedication of some benches at the local high school. Our freshman daughter wanted to support a friend whose brother died last year. I’m proud of her for asking to be woken up on a Saturday. I am equally proud of about a hundred kids who got up early to celebrate with this boy’s family. They even put their phones in their pockets for twenty minutes! It was heartwarming.

There are times when you think you are doing something for someone else and God has different plans. I thought I was going out of respect, but I was deeply moved by the event. We can uniquely and unfortunately sympathize with parents who have lost a child. While we have so many questions about Kylie’s death, as the parents of a child who took his own life, they have more. None will ever be answered, but we can…

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Rescue

livingwater2

My mind lives in an oubliette

Despairing doubt, exposed to threat.

My joy this gloom does full displace.

I thirst to feel anew Your grace.

 

Like dreams slung from a trebuchet

The past returns, I can’t forget,

Evade but simply can’t outrace.

I thirst to feel anew Your grace.

 

Without You I am parched, beset.

I view You more in silhouette.

Transforming Spirit, please make haste,

I thirst to feel anew Your grace.

 

The devil fills me with regret,

My shame a stumbling block – and yet,

You’re cracking wide my carapace.

I thirst to feel anew Your grace.

 

Returning to Good News Quartet

Your voice, my heart: sublime duet.

This living water soothes my taste.

I drink to feel anew Your grace.

The Dignity of Love

The Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “… love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Oswald Chambers

landscapehdwalls.com

landscapehdwalls.com

Jesus doesn’t see a prostitute, a tax collector, a liberal, a conservative, a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a drug addict, an LGBT*, or someone who has had an abortion. He sees a child of God and he loves us deeply.

Jesus didn’t exclude, he invited. He didn’t seek out vice, he sought virtue. He didn’t disgrace, he offered dignity. We are here to do the same – to be imitators of God.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Eugene Peterson’s The Message pulls out the meat of this verse beautifully:

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Those who don’t understand this kind of love have a diminished view of the Gospel. Those who think their only call is to evangelize and convert haven’t taken the fullness of God’s love and peace into their hearts.

He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.  If you had known what ‘I want mercy, not sacrifices’ means, you would not have condemned innocent people.” (Matthew 9:13, 12:7)

The nations include our own nation. And no matter who we are, what we to or have done, we are unified by the same Jesus who sacrificed his earthly life for us to be his brothers and sisters in love and grace in the family of God. We are all children of the Father. We have the same Holy Spirit inside who was inside Jesus and his disciples. We are not to judge or pull out verses to condemn people; we are to offer mercy and grace to all so the light of Jesus is reflected to all.

In order to be a light, we must allow God to remove any and all harshness, shaming, and value judgments.

This love Christ asks of us isn’t weak; it isn’t easy to maintain. This love is not reactive, it is responsive. In order to offer it, we must practice daily wholly surrendering our own feelings and thoughts; mind and heart; opinions and actions to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. These are the rivers of living water he told us we would have flowing from within our hearts. (John 7:38)

The alternative to fresh, flowing, living water is a cistern holding stale, putrid water no good for drinking, no good for healing, no good for delivering.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

 *BTW, homosexual in the Greek is arsenokoites – (Strong’s 733; GK 780), the same word for homosexuality, heterosexual oral and anal sex, bestiality, and pedophilia. Western culture used to lump these same things together in our own “dark ages,” before we became a more enlightened society.
Anyone judging monogamous homosexuality a sin and continuing to liken it to bestiality and pedophilia, then, must also confess your own heterosexual oral sex as sin. Sorry boys and girls – we either step back into the DARK, dark ages, or step out into the true light of Christ’s love. We did it with slavery; we can do it with this.

Lesson in Black and White

Jumping

Too often I ignored what’s in my sight.

Leapt off a cliff awaiting God’s rescue.

His lessons spelled out in plain black and white.

 

The devil said to Jesus one dark night,

“Jump! From here your Dad will surely save you!”

Too often I ignored what’s in my sight.

 

For decades I have tested God’s great might,

Daring Him to let me fall, prove anew

His lessons spelled out in plain black and white.

 

Yet, now lighter, I step to a new height.

Spirit changes, lifts me as he imbues.

Too often I ignored what’s in my sight.

 

New eyes to see with which to view the Light;

His word alive in me – a new venue.

His lessons spelled out in plain black and white.

 

And finally the moment came – delight;

All I thought then I know to be untrue.

Too often I ignored what’s in my sight.

His lessons spelled out in plain black and white.