Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Look – 31 Days of Truth {Day 20}

Every day I ask the Lord for things He has already given me. Why? I’m not sure yet completely, other than I don’t fully understand all that He is.

We ask for His presence – does He not live in us? And promise to be with us?

We ask for His blessing surrounded by 4 walls, running water and people who love us.

We ask for peace and He has given Himself to us already.

We ask Him to fight for us – isn’t He the king we are fighting for?

We ask Him to protect the work He is doing in us – He tells us He is faithful to complete what He has started.

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

–       Big Daddy Weave

Look. Stop asking. Look around and see what He has already done. I too often fight a fight that has already been won. Lets start

looking to see His presence rather than asking for it,

 look to see His blessing around us,

look to recognize the peace He has waiting for us to grab onto,

look at who wins the battle and never leaves our side,

look to His faithfulness when we are faithless.

Join me in looking at what we already have. Look at Him.

Today’s Tidbit of Truth: We waste so much time fighting for what has already been won, what could He do with us if we looked and saw all that was ours? 

5 Minute Friday Prompt: Look A Friday link with Lisa Jo Baker


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Quotes – 31 Days of Truth {Day 19}

Truth is – I journal – a lot. I also read a lot. So I’ve combined my two favorite past times and started a journal of quotes that speak to me from the books I’m reading. I’d love to share them with you. 

10/17/12 “when did the validity of the Eternal Word rest on the mood of one of His poor children? Let the promise  be the song you sing. He will hear it and make it true for you.” – E Elliot Music of His Promises pg 5

10/16/12 “from faith, for faith” Romans 1

10/10/12 “we have to believe that the fulfillment’s will be greater than the promise, because fulfillment of God and the promise are mere words.” A.W. Tozer – Mystery of the Holy Spirit pg 43 

10/10/12 ” God is always bigger than any thing God can say, because words are inadequate to express God and what God can do. Any promise God ever made, God has to fulfill it. The reason being, God is so great, His heart so kind and His desire so intense and tremendous that language does not express it. Not the Greek, not the English, no language expresses God. It cannot. If language could contain God then language would be equal to God.” A.W. Tozer – Mystery of the Holy Spirit pg 43

10/3/12 ” ‘forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who apologize’ is the way many of us pray the prayer the Lord taught the disciples. Jesus told us to forgive those who trespass.” – Elisabeth Elliot, Mark of a Man pg 148

9/19/12 Being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God’s interests in other people. Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

9/18/12 there is an absence of the living water of grace and peace in your life – check up stream. Your pride is causing a dam. – Me (Jesus – God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble)

“waiting is not resignation; waiting is an active trust in God to provide fulfillment in His perfect timing, according to His ultimate purpose of glorifying His Son.” C.J. Mahaney

9/16/12 If you have one foot in the future and one foot in the past you’re peeing on the present. – Man I sat next to on a plane

If theres a name for it, you aren’t the first one that has done. – Keith – Man I sat next to on a plane.

We live in a microwave world and serve crockpot God – Man I sat next to on a plne

9/5/12 “Sometimes people talk about how they are “struggling with” certain things, or “working through” them, when what they really mean is that they are delaying obedience.” – Elisabeth Elliot, Mark of a Man

9/2/12 “If the husband can look upon his gift of initiation as a privilege, instead of a right; and if the wife can look upon her gift of response in the same way, instead of as an obligation, both might be surprised to find that Jesus’ promise actually comes true for them; The yoke proves to be easy, the burden light.” – Elisabeth Elliot, Mark of a Man pg 60

8/28/12 “The Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm. Some people get enthusiasm and imagine it is the Holy Spirit. They become worked up over a song thinking it is Spirit-anointed worship. And they imagine that it is the Spirit. Enthusiasm is not the Holy Spirit, because those same people go out and live just like the world. The Holy Spirit never enters a man and then lets him like like the world. You can be sure of that.

Incidentally, that is the reason most people do not want to be filled with the Holy Spirit; they want to live the way they wan to live and have the Holy Spirit as a bit of something extra, as  you might have a diamond stickpin or something very beautiful on your clothing. They want the Holy Ghost to be something added, but the Holy Spirit will not be an addition. The Holy Spirit must be Lord or He will not come at all.” A.W. Tozer, Mystery of the Holy Spirit pg 26-27

8/24/12 “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

― William Wilberforce

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”

― William Wilberforce

Will you help me add to my quote journal? What is your favorite quote?

Today’s Tidbit of Truth – We are what we read (or eat, listen to or watch). “It’s never ‘just’ a movie ( a book, or a song) it’s a worldview” – Dr. Leeland 


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Art or Altars – 31 Days of Truth {Day 17}

I’m incredibly forgetful when it comes to living in the knowledge of what God has done for me. Oh, I can remember and tell you things, but I don’t live like I remember those victories. I often find myself going around and around the same mountain. Coming back to the same struggles, or a different level of the same struggle. I’m forgetful. No better then the nation of Israel.

When I’m on the mountaintop – I can clearly see the valley and the direction the path is heading. But the longer I’m on the path that winds through the valley away from the mountain; the more I doubt what I heard on the mountaintop.

In the light of the brilliant vision I’m so tempted to think “I’ve got this”! God is so big, I can’t wait to see how this all walks out. But the longer we walk, the smaller God seems, and the more I doubt what I heard. The devil whispers the same thing today as He did to Eve – “Did God really say…?”

I had a startling revelation this weekend. I can’t even have faith on my own to walk out in the valley what I saw on the mountaintop.  For the first time in a real way I’m realizing that faith is a gift from the Spirit, not something I can conjure up on my own. Faith is a choice, but it is also a gift!

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, (1 Cor 12; 7-9)

The beauty of faith being a gift is that we can ask for it! Are you having a hard time believing the Lord about something, or something He has called you to do? His grace allows us to ask for faith.

We need reminders when we are in walking in the valley. There is a reason Moses wrote the 10 commandments down when he was on the mountain. Mark Batterson talks a lot about the importance of remembering what God has done in his book “Soul Print”. I will always remember one phrase of his “Art or Altars?” We can have art on our walls or we can have altars of remembrance to the Lord. In my life, art is the things I’ve accomplished, or beauty that others see. Altars have a quiter presence and often only make sense to you and the Lord.I have one wall in my apartment of “altars” of things the Lord has done. It is time to put up another one because I’m heading back into the valley. Seeing those altars every morning as I wake up help me remember the truth of the mountain tops. But I’m learning that the truth of the mountaintops – is only established and purified in the valleys.

We were not created to remain on the mountaintop but to live in the valley. What do you do to remember important things the Lord teaches you?

Today’s Tidbit of Truth: I’m so thankful for His gift of faith. It is by Him alone we walk. This song by City Harmonic “Mountaintop” has blessed me in many valleys. May it encourage you too!


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Questions – 31 Days of Truth {Day 15}

Friends, I need your help with something. I’ve started writing once a month for a brand new blog devoted to teenage girls called – Unfading – Beauty That Lasts.  The passion and mission at Unfading is to be ‘an online gathering place for young women  centered on finding our identity in Christ, rather than any talent, relationship or possession we’re tempted to find it in.’   I’m excited to see what the Lord is going to do over there, and part of the fun for me is that a lot of the other writers are girls I went to school with at Focus on the Family. We are off to a great start, but a readers are a little shy.

This month I’m starting a mini Q&A series and we need a few questions to get us started.  Check out the intro post here. This month’s topic is Change. Do you have any questions on change?

 

Today’s Tidbit of Truth:  If we can name (question) the thing we are wondering about then someone else must have already questioned it because there are words to describe it!

 


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Used – 31 Days of Truth {Day 14}

Hmmph! Used. I’m so sick of feeling used. Used and abused. Are there no grateful people left? When someone invests in you, you should at least have the decency to show some gratitude.

Swirling and bubbling through my mind these thoughts chased themselves in  a cadence  to the frustrated scrubbing of my dishpan.

Splash. 

Hmmph.

Scrub.

I know loving people is worth it, but why when they are better and are going on their merry ways do they never look back? I spent hours investing in these relationships, counseling, tears, prayers and faithfulness as much like my Fathers as I could give them. I didn’t just share the Gospel with them, but my life as well. That is why it must hurt this much!  I gave them me. As soon as there was no need for me, they were gone. Better, whole. But gone.

I argued with myself as I wore a hole by scrubbing through my favorite cooking pot.

But Jesus loved this way right? Did He ever feel used? He must have! I will keep pressing on. No one else might care, but it’s the right thing to do. Jesus did it. So I’ll keep srubbing – er plugging away!

Self-righteous pride began to creep in slowly turning the dishwater a murky grey.

Have you ever done this to Jesus?

Huh!

Scrub, splash, ignore.

Hasn’t the Lord bandaged and healed you? Shared with you the gospel AND Himself? How many times have you grown and then ran on your merry way onto the next thing?

Ouch. The dishwater slowly begins to drain out of the sink.

We are to be like Jesus in how we give to and love people. Even if that means feeling “used”, but we are to be righteous over being right. The bubbles of my frustration, pride and justification of my hurt, and self-righteousness popped in the cleansing stream of the Holy Spirit’s voice.

Pop

The sink drained and cleaned as the fresh running water swept my frustration and anger down the drain.

Lord, forgive me for my ungratefulness for all you have done for me. For the ways you have loved me when I wasn’t grateful, for when you came after me when I refused to come to you. For your faithfulness of always being there for me when I need you even if I haven’t come to you for you are….

Tidbit of Truth for Today: The antidote of gratitude will wash the frustration away.


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Buy Gold Refined – 31 Days of Truth {Day 10}

Did you know that we are to seek after growth? To go after refinement? I think I subconsciously knew that, but a passage in Revelation really recently hit me.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

We are counseled to buy gold refined from the Lord!  Do you know how gold is refined? Through fire. What trials are refining you through the fires of life right now? Do you seek that fire or just endure it? He also says that those He loves he disciplines. I’m thankful for that! (Rev 3:15-20)

So often we hear the popular verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

But look at the context! He stands ands knocks, yes, and He comes to eat with us, but it is after repentance, and us pursuing to be gold refined.

Want His presence at your table? Seek Him with me to buy from Him gold refined.

Today’s tidbit of truth: The Lord not only wants us to buy Gold Refined from Him, but He offers it to us in the first place!

 


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Lead Me – 31 Days of Truth {Day 9}

“How do you want to be led? I hear girls saying all the time that they want guys to lead them, but what does that really look like?” As I looked up at him, compassion and conviction flooded my heart as I caught a small glimpse at the confusion in his. Its true, Christian girls (myself included) are always saying that we want a guy who is able to lead us. But what do we mean when we say that? I stumbled out some type of vague answer; one that I’m sure was not helpful at all, I know it left me with more questions than answers.

“How do I want to be lead? What does that look like not just in theory, but in every day life?” And most importantly, “Am I in a place (willing and ready) to be led?” I can’t ask a guy to step up in his God given masculine role, without first being willing to respond and call out more femininity in myself.

Over the course of this past summer, I had three guys whom I look up to and respect ask my opinion on what I thought it would look like for a “guy to lead” in relationships (while only another man could teach and lead that by example, as a woman I can give you an opinion and tell you what that would look like for me).

And so my dear brothers in Christ, after a lot of thought and prayer, this blog is dedicated to you. Thank you for your heart to seek the Lord and to honor women. I am privileged to know you and call you friends.

Lead me (us) by:

Knowing. Know who you are in Christ. You were created in His image. How do you uniquely reflect the Lord? Which of His attributes did He entrust to you? While I can love and appreciate a guy, the most exciting thing is falling in love with Jesus in that guy. The way you reflect the Lord is what makes you different from any other Christian guy.

When you know who you are in the Lord and are secure in Him, you won’t be looking to us to fulfill you. Believe it or not, incredible freedom is found when the pressure is off of you to find a girl who will meet your needs. You are then free to lead us because you are looking upward and forward, not inward.

We were created to be your helpmeet. Part of knowing who you are in the Lord, is knowing what the Lord has called you to in life. That knowledge makes it easy to say “Hey Babe, want to join me?” We aren’t going to want to follow where we don’t see at least potential for direction. I’m not saying you have to have it all figured out – we are all works in progress, but be in progress. Seeking, not drifting. Knowing what you were created for, or whose image you were created in, frees us of the confusion surrounding “helpmeet”.

Lead me by knowing who you are. And knowing who you are starts with knowing who He is. In the practical sense, leading by knowing, means seeking the Lord first in every area of your life. Any woman worth her salt will gladly take second seat to the Lord. Make Him a priority and you are leading, because He will lead you.

 Learning.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1Peter 3:7 ESV)

While you may not be a husband yet, you are in training! And the good news is, you have friends, sisters and mothers you can practice on. “Live with your wives in an understanding way…” What’s an understanding way? In the Greek “understanding” is translated from a word meaning “know”. Lead me, by learning me. You cannot lead what you do not know. What are my ups and downs, what makes me tick, gives me life and moves me to tears? How do I like my coffee? Does doing the dishes or simply sitting with me, speak love to me?  Every woman is different, I’m sure you’ve realized that by now! And while the basics of love are the same, the practical will be very different. That’s why it’s so important to understand your wife or your girl. Understanding her is leading her, showing her honor as the weaker vessel.

Picture a house. The glass in the windows in weaker then the 2×4 studs next to it, but they are what make a house beautiful and full of life. A house without windows would be a dark smelly box. Break a window and it gets boarded up. Not much gets through a boarded window, even prayers.

Learn how to polish and care for the glass window. When you lead by learning, you know how to lead because you know what you are leading. You have the intense pleasure of helping us shine the brightest we can be or on the flip side suffocating us. Leading by learning means stewarding the relationships God has given you and cultivating them knowing them and helping them reach their fullest potential.

Following. This is perhaps the simplest, hardest and most important point. The most effective way you can lead is to follow.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord….. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:22 & 25)

I think one of the most important qualities in a guy “leading me” is a man who has a surrendered heart. I can submit way easier to a man who knows submission himself – because he is submitted to the Lord. Husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church. How does the Lord lead you? Lead me that way! In it’s barest, simplest, form, leading means leading me the way Christ loves and leads you. How does He lead you? Answer that and you will know how to lead any girl. He has given you the master manual in His Word.

I could talk a lot more about intentionality, definition, curtsey, humility, and dying to self, but I think you get it. Lead us the way the Lord leads you. Knowing Him is the answer to all of our questions.

Ladies – No worries I didn’t forget you! Two questions to leave you with:

(1).  You say you want to be led. Do you know what that means to you? He can’t meet undefined expectations.

(2). We were created to be helpmeets and also imitators of Christ. How does Christ help us? What does He do for us?

Today’s tidbit of Truth: Leading is about following. 

Blog inspired today by conversations with friends and hearing “Lead me” by Sanctus Real. Listen here.

This is also the last day to enter to win a copy of the eBook “Pain Redeemed”. Enter here.


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More Than a Mat – 31 Days of Truth {Day 8}

“Welcome” it’s so much more then a word, an attitude, or a door mat. It’s a life style. Over the last 6 months, the Lord has been redefining the meaning of the words “welcome” and “discipleship” in my life. I grew up with an “open door” policy – the welcome mat was always out for friends and family. In my own home as an adult, I’ve tried to cultivate the same welcome. People are always welcome in my home, but are they welcome in my life? In the deepest parts of my heart, where it hurts to love them?

I “disciple” women and young ladies every week. We meet, study the Word and pray. Tremendous accountability, and deep friendships have grown out of those times together, but I’ve still felt like the Holy Spirit was showing me there’s more. In studying Thessalonians this verse (this treasure!) made a profound impact on me.

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1Thess 2:8)

What does it mean to share not only the Gospel with people, but our lives as well? For me, that’s much harder.

The Lord is SO faithful to give us opportunities to practice and learn what His Word means. This summer my younger sister came to live with me. In some ways it was a big adjustment and in others not as much. Working in a rather higher stress/profile ministry job, my home is my solace, my sanctuary, my quiet place of rest. Opening that to someone 24/7 was a big step for me, but it was something I felt the Lord leading me to do. Harder than my home, was opening my life – but it was worth it.

There is a big difference between sharing your life with someone, and letting someone be your roommate. Sharing the gospel is easy – living the gospel 24/7? Adds a whole new meaning to the word “discipleship”!

I  often wonder if I could have done things differently this summer, been more intentional, focused, or let her see more of the intimate side of my relationship with the Lord. But the truth is, in a small way, this summer was a success for me (and I pray for her!). Tonight I hurt. I miss her deeply, and that is success. It means I have opened my life to her enough to feel it when she is gone. 

Today’s tidbit of Truth: Pain isn’t always a sign that something is wrong; it can be the proof that something is very right.

Adapted from Lisa Jo Baker’s 5 Minute Friday link up and word prompt: Welcome. (yes this is a few days late :).

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