Friday, December 26, 2008

Days of Mercy, Grace and Peace....

Well, it's December 26th...Merry Christmas. Late. I've been meaning to blog but due to the excessively crazy holiday...yet, striving to remain "Christ"-mas in the season, something had to give besides my last nerve! WHEW....

I've been thinking on some things and I just want to share one thing. I hear the collective, "Ya, right, just one" :) That's OK.

John 3:16,17- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

We are all very familiar with these verses, sometimes I find myself, too familiar. God did not send Jesus to judge the world. I've been struck by what that looked like, 2000-ish years ago. Mary, full-term and in the agonizing labor...desperately alone, naive, terrified. Face it, my sisters, she did not have an epidural or a wonderful labor coach with cool cloths!

Jesus was born. YHWH- God Himself...fully God and fully man, the Word became flesh. He entered this world like any other baby does; with pain, blood, water...relief. He came not to judge. If He had come to judge, the world would have ceased to exist by the sheer presence of His Holiness. He came not to judge but to save.

We live in an unprecedented time, we live in a time of great mercy, grace and peace. We live because He came not to judge. The days are relatively few,as I am becoming more and more aware of. He will come again- this time He will judge. Where is our focus the other 364 days of the year? Christ needs to be our focus of everyday...the mercy, grace and peace He offers needs to be the focus of all our days- until we see Him face to face.

Let the reality of what that looked like...God NOT judging-at Christ's birth, sit upon your heart. Let the reality of His coming not to judge but to offer Salvation, Mercy, Grace and Peace rest upon you soul. Merry Christmas...and Peace on Earth- the real peace that every soul is longing for. Jesus.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Gas Gauge...

Well, we just paid off our van! WHOO HOO!! This is a big deal for us and very exciting too. Of course, John and I have been joking every time we are together in the van..."She doesn't sound so good." One of us responds, "Shhh, don't say that too loud. The van is listening. She is going to break down as soon as she is paid off." We laugh together often, it's like she (yes, the van is a she) knows she is almost fully ours! Windows are not working properly, one door has had trouble and so on. You get the point. No big deal, but very funny.

The latest thing to go is the gas gauge. It always shows at a full tank...well at least most of the time. That's how I realized that it wasn't working. It was full, full, full and then full and then right at empty. Made it to the gas station and I had .2 of a gallon left of my 24 gallon tank. Close call. Please tell me you can already see my problem...I'm a busy woman who admittedly doesn't pay much attention to car details, SO this gas gauge thingy, it could be a real issue for me! The amount of gas left...after driving say a week, is "unclear" to me so I just keep driving until I realize...Hello! I need to get gas. I do not want to run out! Then I think to will be all right and I drive a little longer. :) Still haven't run out of gas...YET! I never realized how much I appreciated the gas gauge and the low fuel light!

I do have a point. It's the holidays...a busy,busy time of year. How is your spiritual gas gauge? Are you like me, driving-driving-driving. Assuming you'll have enough "gas" to get you through? Make sure you take some time to "fill up" with the Word, with worship and just with Jesus- in this His Season. I'm guilty of doing the same thing to the Lord that I do to my car. I'm off to "fill up"now , how about you?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A pile of rubble...

I saw a huge pile of rubble tonight...this particular pile was 20 years of memories and 15 years of lots of my hard work. I saw a pile of rubble of what use to be the building of our family owned business, a business that I was a part of for 15 years. It is all I have ever known in my adult-working life.

I turned the corner on my way to my parents house and it was just gone. My folks sold the building 2 years ago and the door of my professional life (in that business) closed 3 years ago...but I had a reminder every time I went home to my parents, I drove past the place and now it is gone. Tonight, I had tears in my eyes and memories flooded my mind. A very significant chapter in my life closed with that business and now the only tangible reminder of that season of my life is gone- it is now, a pile of rubble.

I loved the 15 years of business I was in. I learned a lot about my industry,business, people...I learned a lot about life. I wouldn't change those years but I also wouldn't go back, it was time to close the doors of the business. Those years molded me and my days there prepared me for what I'm doing now. I wouldn't change how things happened but change can be difficult. I spent 15 years building a business...pouring into it and do you know what is left? A literal pile of rubble. It is a very sobering thought.

I'm no longer pouring into a business but it is an important question to ask ourselves...what are we pouring into and what will be left when it is gone? Will it be a pile of rubble? Am I pouring into a house? Am I pouring into a ministry or church program? Am I pouring into my success or my possessions? Or am I pouring into people? Into Kingdom Purposes? All I have left of the Fringe (that was the name of our family business) is the memories and the relationships. Those are all that is left.

What are you spending your life on? What are you pouring into? Spend a little time in Hebrews 12...there is only one thing that will not be left in a pile of is the unshakable Kingdom of God. There are so few things that are eternal. People and God's Purposes and His Word.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The conversation...

Here's how the conversation went...

Mandi/Mom, "Ummm....who moved this?"

Maggie, "Tommy did it."

Tommy-from the other room, "I did what?"

Maggie, "None of your business."

Does that strike anyone else as funny? OK, I'm have to admit it. I might sound just like this exchange sometimes. Blame-shifting and avoidance. Her objective? To fly under the radar. I'm positive Maggie moved it.

This small and very funny exchange reminds me of often do I do the same kind of thing to people, situations, and even the Lord. OK...I'm a big girl, I don't do it out loud...I do it in my head and that doesn't mean I'm nuts-o! My objective? Get the spiritual spotlight on to someone else...and then tell myself not to worry about it.

Blame-shift, avoid and try to fly under the Holy Spirit's radar. I guess I can be kind of like a spiritual 6 year old...and in a child of the King, it's really not funny or cute. I'm grateful I'm starting to see it. I'm grateful that the Lord will not allow me to "fly under the radar". In reality, with Him, there is no "under the radar"! He sees it all and He is in the business of transforming His Own. Love you all.....