Not Unredeemed

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


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Bounce

Compliments of Fotolia.com

Bounce, jump, and shift are all redirect words that mean starting in one place but ending in a different one. They signal a movement from one area to another. Over the years various guy friends have shared with me a principle they call ‘bouncing’.  In order to keep from lusting when they see an attractive women in a way that would tempt them to lust they “bounce” their eyes onto something else and look away.*  One friend told me “the first look isn’t sin – we can’t help when someone walks in front of us – it’s when we keep looking or look again that it is a problem”.  I tend to agree with him.

As with all sin, we first start with the temptation to sin before we do the actually sinning. James 1:14 says:

“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”

We need to stop sin when the desire comes – before it births sin in us.  Temptation isn’t sin – we sin when we give into the temptation. We need to bounce our looks, or thoughts, or words.

Ladies, I think the guys are on to something here! What if we ‘bounced’ whenever the desire for sin appeared? Rather than just lust, what if we applied it to worry, pain, hurt, unforgiveness, a bad attitude or discontent?  Continue reading


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Tired

Tired.

I almost always see this word as a bad thing. For me it means limitations, that I’m not super woman as much as I want to be. It means I’m human.  I’m learning it means He’s God. I’ve known for years that God is my strength and when I’m weak He’s strong and yada yada yada…. But lately it’s making it’s way from my head to my heart. I KNOW that when I’m tired and at my end – it is my end and the beginning of Him. For all of my tiredness there is an opposite in Him.

Tired of being sick (physically) all fall – tired to the point of not functioning.
Tired of seeing the pain and evil – tired of my heart breaking.
Tired of the Lord revealing things to me I can’t do much about or fix – tired of surrendering it all back to Him.
Tired of fighting my own selfishness.

And yet – I’m thankful He’s not tired of me. For every time my heart breaks, it’s only because His is too.  Fighting my selfishness means that it’s dying. That He is living more. With sickness comes compassion and patience. In revelation comes responsibility to pray – utter reliance on Him. For in the end of my understanding begins His. When my heart can’t take it anymore – His is larger. Perhaps tired is a good thing. It keeps me on my knees.

5 Minute Friday Prompt – Tired. Real, raw unedited writing for 5 minutes. Join us over at the Gypsy Momma.


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The Bridge of ‘So That’

So That.

Two tiny words that form a transitional phrase and a conditional clause. They are the bridge between cause and effect and the signaling/ushering in of another season. A continuation of one season as it simultaneously prepares for the next.  “So that” can explain part of the ‘why’ in life as you look back over the circumstances they bridge to the outcome, purpose and result.

The only problem with the “so that” bridge is when God is still building the bridge in our lives we can only see the “so” part. It doesn’t make sense yet – and that is exactly where I am right now. I’m in a season of wrestling. Wrestling with serving/loving/living fully in the now as God pricks and prepares my heart for the future. He is stirring things in my heart I don’t understand and don’t know how to put into words yet. My heart is breaking for things it never used too. I long and ‘weep as a man, longing for his Home’. I see God working and moving pieces in my heart but not how they connect. Continue reading


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Kite Strings

The very things that tie us down give us the freedom to soar like kite strings.  They are balance and tension between the concepts of life and reality.

Dreams. Visions. Goals – God driven ambition. Lofty ideas, concepts and philosophies that soar right into and from the gates of Heaven – slam into balance – painful. Hard. The day in and day out reality of character forming drudgery. Patience and waiting. Endurance. Growth. – The kite strings of the minute-by-minute details that allow for and are the working out of the dreams into realities. Continue reading


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Painful Growth

Grow. Equally synonyms with growth in my mind is pain. I’ve never grown without pain. It’s either a painful circumstance that humbles me and I grow from it, or it’s the pain of dying to self as I grow closer into the likeness of Christ. I have a lot of pain left to experience! The thing with painful growth lessons is you remember them. The clique “No pain, no gain” is even more true in the spiritual realm than it is the physical.

A close girlfriend once told me she thought I was addicted to pain. I laughed but since have realized it’s true. I’m addicted to pain, to growth. Why? Because that is where Christ is! Katie Davis sums it up well:

“I realize that the hard places are good because it is there that I gained more wisdom, & though with wisdom comes sorrow on the other side of sorrow is joy. And a funny thing happens when I realize this: I want to go to the hard place again. Again and again and again.”

Growth. Pain. Joy.

Do you shy from the hard places? From the pain that comes with growth? An other friend joked that he wished he could invent spiritual growth painkillers. Again I laughed, but then – should we take them? Wouldn’t we miss the growth that comes only through the pain?

I don’t like pain, but at the same time is missing out on the blessing of the intense fellowship with Christ that comes through the pain worth the temporary fix of the ‘pain killers’ we like to use? Continue reading


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No Expectations

We all plan against it. Fear it. The unexpected, unknown, and most often the unwelcome. But yet isn’t that life? The most meticulous planner can’t control the unexpected in life as much as they try. If they could it wouldn’t be unexpected.

What if we embraced the unexpected instead of fearing it? Embraced a philosophy of no expectations? I’m not saying no standards to hold people too – God knows where our society is because of that, but no expectations on the Lord, and the ones we love and how we love? No one can meet all of our expectations and so we constantly battle a little disappointment and frustration even if it is subconscious. We want what we want, when we want it, and we want to control it. We want the Lord to move, but we want it our way.

How much more joy and gratitude would we have for the Lord and life if we just let the Lord work? Expect the unexpected with God. Expect Him to move, but not how He should move? Let go of the futile control and embrace adventure. We’re on this ride of life whether or not we want to be, so stop fighting and start enjoying!

Loving with no expectations is what Christ did and it’s there in that love that the unexpected happens. Instead we love people with preconceived biases of how they are going to act and we try to tell the Lord how to move in our lives.

Lets live a day with no expectations and see what freedom the unexpected brings!

5 Minute Friday Prompt. Word – Unexpected
. 5 minutes of unedited writing simply for the joy of it! Come join the fun and link up your blog at The Gypsy Momma.
Thanks to Jolyn for teaching me about the unexpected. 🙂


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Passion – Beyond the “What” to the “Why”.

The purpose of our passions is to honor the One who created them in us, but we can’t worship Him with what we don’t know we have. I firmly believe everyone has a passion. Sometimes we just have to search a little bit for them. So I challenge you, do you know what your passion is? What steps do you need to take to either identify your passions or cultivate the ones you already know you have?

Be it art, music,or service we all have passions, both heart passions and physical passions. To continue reading about Identifying Your Passions please join me over at YLCF.

Created in His imagine there is no room for us not to spend time seeking Him for, and honoring Him through, our passions. Go past the “what” in your life to the “why”!

Photo Compliments of The Notes on My Desk


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Ashes

Ashes – the gray between death and new life, fire and new growth. The pause between the living sacrifice, and a purified beauty.

“Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Rom 12:1-2

An old friend and fellow youth worker always said, “The problem with living sacrifices, is that they crawl off the altar”. How many times have I surrendered something to the Lord, to later take it back? Or to have Him ask me to surrender in a deeper way or on a new level than before? Countless times!

Recently though I’ve encountered a new level of being a living sacrifice that has left me in something of a conundrum. What am I to do with the ashes after I’ve surrendered something completely to His will? Continue reading


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I Took the Red Pill

You choose – the red pill or the blue pill?

  “You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” Morpheus – The Matrix

The thing with the red pill is that once you take it, there is no going back. But the choice is yours – it’s never forced on you.

Friends, I have a confession. Almost exactly a year ago I had the choice of whether or not to choose red pill.  Tonight I’m sitting on the lakefront near my home amazed at what this past year has brought and what it has taught me. Funny thing is, it all started here on this lakefront. Last July I sat here too, but in a different frame of mind. I sat begging the Lord for wisdom, guidance and direction for me life. I was confused, burdened, and overwhelmed. As I cried out to Him for wisdom and discernment I clearly heard Him say to me “ Katie, am I not Wisdom? Am I not Discernment? Seek Me!” And so the journey began. But then again maybe it didn’t, maybe it started long before I was born… You see for me, this journey, this choice, to take the red pill – it’s the journey of discovery, a journey of pursuing and being pursued by the Holy Spirit. 

Like the “red pill” and the wonderland rabbit hole from the Matrix, the Holy Spirit was a mystery I knew was out there, but in the end terrified me.  The journey of how I came to make the choice was a long one full of wrestling, logic, scriptures and questions. A friend of mine but put some of our discussions on his blog if you’re interested.  The more I sought the Lord, the more I wanted of Him.  Perhaps the journey is a story for another day – but in the end – I chose the red pill. I chose to surrender and let the Holy Spirit fully come into my life.

By this I mean, I asked Him to invade my life with the fullness of His presence (beyond what I got at Salvation, or a refilling, a Baptism of the Holy Spirit as some call it) giving Him permission to grow and use the gifts in my life. I was terrified to give Him control of that part of my life. My biggest fear was that I would turn into a charasmaniac. That I ‘d love the gifts more the giver of the gifts and abuse them like I’d seen others do. What if (horrors!) I started speaking in tongues? Up until this point I’d been able to control my Christianity. What if I could no longer control my emotions? What if I turned into one of THOSE people?

At this point, please note that the terms “baptism or re baptism of the Holy Spirit and being filled” all come with various connotations. In fact I dislike those terms immensely because of that. Whenever we “get saved” or come to the Lord we get a full measure of His Holy Spirit. We get, but we (or I!) don’t always use, tap into, or allow the Lord to work out that measure or the gifts that come with it, into our lives. For me it was the next step to go deeper with the Lord, to be come more serious about Him. That is why I had to choose to take the “red pill”.

When my desire for more of the Lord grew bigger than my fear of people, I surrendered.  At once my world changed. My walk with the Lord had always been steady, strong and beautiful but it was like I took off my sunglasses. Everything was brighter, sharper, and more beautiful – more of Him. The rabbit hole is longer than I imagined. Wonderland lacks words to describe. Scriptures come alive. I understand passages like “the love of Christ constrains me”, “I wrestle with the power that so wonderfully works in me” and “The Spirit is our guarantee” in the very core of who I am.

I could go on but that is not the point of this blog.  You see, I have wanted to blog on this for a while but, because the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is such a controversial issue, I haven’t. I was also scared of what all of you would think – that you’d think I was nuts! I’ve tried to just live this part of my life but I haven’t talked about it much.  Till I remembered that one of the very things I asked the Lord that day was that He would use me to be a balanced light. To live a powerful Spirit-filled life without crossing the line and abusing the gifts so many of us hear about all the time. That I would never be the stumbling block to others that people were to me.

So my friends, I have a confession to make – yes, Focus on the Family dramatically changed my life and I came home very different. But I also came home different because of what the Holy Spirit was doing in me, and the choice I made almost a year ago to take the red pill.

I can’t go back. There are days I wish I could, simply because with knowledge comes responsibility. Jill, in C. S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, describes the tension and the worth better than I ever could

“I almost wish–no I don’t, though,” said Jill. “What were you going to say?” “I was going to say I wished we’d never come. But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Even if we are killed, I’d rather be killed fighting for Narnia than grow old and stupid at home… and then die in the end just the same.”

I’d rather embrace this scary adventure than always wonder if there was more – the more I read about in scripture. He is Wisdom, He is Discernment and with more of Him came more responsibility – but more joy. And passion, and the desire to write for His glory.

Operating in or being baptized in the Holy Spirit (whatever term you want to use) doesn’t make anyone person any more holy than the next. In fact, I know a lot of people that use the gifts and never had an experience where they “choose” or they don’t even know they are using some of the gifts. But for me the path was a choice. A choice to allow the Holy Spirit to give and use through me any of the gifts He decided I should have.

Each of us have “red and blue pill” choices in our walk with the Lord. As unique as each of our walks with the Lord are, so will the choices be. But we all have them. The choices we make will detract from, or add to our walk with the Lord, choices to go deeper with Him, to live more dangerously. What’s your red pill choice?

For me, the red pill was choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in my life – it simply heightened the adventure. And so that my friends, is my confession.

Photo Compliments of Fotolia


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Life is a Highway

Metaphors can be found anywhere in life and although fun to see, they are not always easy to apply or relate to on a personal level. That is until they stop you in your tracks. Until you’re King David and Nathan the Prophet says, “you are that man”. Ouch.

Driving back from a recent road trip I had one of those moments. Not quite a King David but still a metaphoric moment coming alive.  A couple hundred miles from home I had a sense of where I was and where I needed to be going. I knew I needed to head directly north but my GPS insisted on taking me east around a city and on a toll road to boot. It was mid morning on a Monday and almost no traffic so going miles out of my way made no sense. I kept heading northbound while Tomtom (my GPS) protested loudly from the dashboard. “Exit here!”, “Exit left – toll road”, “Recalculating”, “exit left ahead”. He kept insisting I take a different route. I’d had a bout enough of him! The day before Tomtom left stranded in DC as he couldn’t recognize HOV lanes. According to him we were on unnamed roads and he was freaking out about it. Continue reading