Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Believer's Bill Of Rights

As believers we have some wonderful rights and privileges, and it's all because of Jesus' finished work and not anything we've done!  We can be bold and confident because of all Jesus has done for us.  Here's my Believer's Bill of Rights:
  • I have the right to never think about my sins again.
  • I have the right to relate to God without any reference to my sin.
  • I have the right to never be under judgment or wrath.
  • I have the right to never be punished for my sins!
  • I have the right to no more fear - of punishment, evil, wrath, etc.
  • I have the right to fail and know that nothing has changed in my relationship with God!
  • I have the right to never be put under obligation, law, and "shoulds."
  • I have the right to be bold in God's presence.  
  • I have the right to God's approval.
  • I have the right to heaven.
  • I have the right to stand before God unashamed.
  • I have the right to call myself God's child and Christ's beloved.
  • I have the right to know complete security in my relationship with God, no matter what.
  • I have the right to feel no sense of condemnation.
  • I have the right to enjoy total acceptance from God.
  • I have the right to say I'm perfect forever before God.
  • I have the right to enjoy God's presence at all times because there is no separation between us ever!
  • I have the right to walk in victory over every problem, doubt and fear.
  • I have the right to enjoy being loved by God 100%.
  • I have the right to walk on this earth as a lovable and likable person.
  • I have the right to enjoy God's smile even right after I just sinned.
  • I have the right to testify that I am righteous.
  • I have the right to accept and forgive myself.
  • I have the right to share grace with others even though I sometimes fail and don't have things all together.
  • I have the right to see the eternal and live from my dwelling there.
  • I have the right to be over all the power of the enemy.
  • I have the right to walk through this world in joy and peace no matter what my circumstances.
  • I have the right to be myself and know that God delights in me just as I am.
  • I have the right to smile today because He makes life worth living!
When my husband saw the title of this post, he asked jokingly: "What about the Bill of Wrongs?"  The Bill of Wrongs (the Law that condemned us) was nailed to the cross.  It's gone!  There's no Bill of Wrongs against us anymore saying that we don't have the right to be in God's presence.  We are free!  Free to be with Him, free to relate to Him without fear, free to be loved!  Free to run, dance, sing, play and worship in His presence!  So let's celebrate our rights today, "giving thanks to the Father who has QUALIFIED us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." (Col. 1:12)

                               With love,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Are Family

Here's a song from one of my kids' favorite groups.  This is going out to all my "grace" family.. I love you all and I'm so glad to be rejoicing in His grace with all of you!  I am so thankful for each one of you, for your encouragement, friendship and support! 

                                   Much love,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Peace of God

"In Christ = in peace" is always valid.  When I accept the truth of myself, shipwrecked and saved, and give it over to the person of Jesus, I am in peace even if I don't feel at peace.

The peace that comes from God and surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7) was wrought by Christ on the cross and does not depend on my shifting feelings and moods...The "Shalom" of Jesus is not a mere greeting but an authoritative declaration from the Son of God, a crucified word that produces the peace it proclaims.

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1).

                                                         Brennan Manning

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's All Him

We can't carry the load of our burdensome lives.  And we can't even lay down the load, let go, or give up.  God brings us to give up.  Everything is of Him, and nothing is of us.  He carries us, sustains us, strengthens us, and lives for us, through us.

It is okay to be broken.  It is okay to be as hurting, and helpless, and confused as we really are at times.  I think that's part of being a little child before God - being genuine and realizing you ARE needy and dependent on your big Daddy for everything.  We don't have to have it all together - He does.  We don't have to be strong - He is our strength. We don't have to hold on - He is holding on to us.  We don't even have to muster up faith - He upholds us by His faithfulness.

Christ says, in effect, all I have to give You is Myself.  He is our hope, strength, peace, etc.  Those aren't things we try to "muster up," but they are found in the Person who is with us.  He is peaceful when we can't feel peaceful, hopeful when we've lost hope.  He is all we need.  And He never, ever leaves.

In the midst of the long journey, there is always Christ. He never leaves since He is with us always in our spirit and goes wherever we go.  And He is Good and understanding of our feelings of fear, worry, frustration and sadness.  Whether those feelings stay or go, He is deeper and more real than any of them.  His abiding presence is what makes the difference, not anything about us.

We can be falling apart, but since He is carrying us, HIS strength is all that matters.  He is the God who smiles at us, who holds us, who comforts us, who gives us all we need.   He is our Companion as we walk this path of life.  But He doesn't walk beside us;  He walks in and through us.  He lives through it in us, He walks through it all in us.  "Another is living His life in me."  And that Life is adequate for all we'll face today.

                            With love,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Agnus Dei


One of my favorites by Third Day...

A Life of Rest

My dear friend Martha made this statement:  "Just as He was with His Father, our Father, we are always with Him... That's how close we are with Him.  All we must do is to just know!  Just simply know where we are..."

Or as Bertie Brits says:  "We have been made complete in Jesus and need nothing but to be conscious of this truth."

It's helpful to remember the truth, know where we are - in HIM who loves us and made us complete.  Yet even that remembering is a gift.  God will bring it about.  He will renew our mind to the truth.  He will whisper His love songs and make us to hear.  He will cause our hearts to gaze at Him.  He will MAKE His face to SHINE UPON US! 

Truly, we are ever with Him.  Truly, we are one with Him!  Truly, we are ever beholding Him in our spirit and we already know all things, and He is simply bringing that to conscious awareness. And whenever we don't understand, sense, feel, trust or have consciousness of His presence, that doesn't change the FACT that He is still in us and we are still in Him.  We don't have to even be aware of it for it to be true!  And our union with Him is having an effect on our lives, whether we are aware of it or not.

Therefore, we can rest!  He is taking care of helping us understand our union with Christ.  He is taking care of our whole Christian life.  He is living in us and keeping us.  And if He's doing it all, it's complete.  It's perfect.  It's done!  The life of a Christian is so wonderful!  It is so much more beautiful and restful than I ever imagined. Whether we know it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we feel it or not, whether we understand it or not, we are the Beloved of God, and we are in His arms.  We have been since the day we first received Christ.  That's true no matter what we do (sin or not), no matter what happens (good or bad), no matter what!  Resting in the Lover's arms, that's where all of us are today!  

                               With love,


Friday, February 19, 2010


Nevertheless I am continually with You;
         You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
         And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
         And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
         But God is the strength of my heart
         and my portion forever.

                                                                  Ps. 73:23-26

I am writing this while having a particularly bad day.  This may be another holy rant.  So here goes:

We may feel rotten and think our emotions will overtake us.  Terrible circumstances may come.  Troubles may seem to overwhelm.  Confusion and fear may assail us at every turn.  We may be complete and utter failures at life.  We may condemn ourselves and berate ourselves.  Others may judge and reject us.  We may not be able to put two sane thoughts together.  Nothing may seem to make sense.


Nevertheless we are STILL with Him and He is STILL with us!  I don't care WHAT happens, NOTHING can take my God away from me!   And NOTHING can take me away from Him!  I'm in Him, He's in me, and that's forever, no matter what, end of story!  So let trials, yucky feelings, problems, confusion and turmoil come.  So what!  Doesn't change a thing..Someone is still holding my hand, guiding me, taking care of me and everything that concerns me!

Our flesh and our heart may fail, but so what?  SO WHAT!  God is the hidden, inner strength of our heart, and God is our sure inheritance forever. We're just as close to Him, just as righteous, just as acceptable, just as beloved as we ever were. We're still more than conquerors through Him who loves us!  And that doesn't depend on our not-dependable performance, and it doesn't change with our ever-changing circumstances.  It's set in spiritual concrete by the work of Jesus Himself, and His work is finished!  Done once, done right, done for all time!  Thank You, Lord!
                Sending my love to all,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eye on the Sparrow

Sparrows are a dime a dozen in this world; it's even hard to tell one species from another.  And yet, not a single one of them is ever forgotten by God.  I know His eye is on this Sparrow, and He watches over me and takes care of me.  I am never forgotten by my Father.  I may be little, but I am loved.  That's hard to remember when the voices of condemnation whisper their lies, but He reminds me it is true.  He is smiling on His Sparrow today.  And He is smiling on us all...

Peace to all who stop by today!

                               With love,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

                                                   Charitie Bancroft

(Hear SonicFlood sing this beautiful grace hymn here.)

We have a High Priest whose name is LOVE.  Our names are written on His nail-pierced hands and on His tender heart.  When tempted to despair, we look at HIM and know He made an end of ALL our sin!  We see HIM who is our perfect spotless righteousness, the unchangeable One!  As long as He stands in Heaven (forever!), noone can tell us to leave!  Hidden in the One who is Life, we CANNOT die.  We are forever safe, alive, right, and free in Jesus. We are IN HIM!

IN HIM there is no fear.  IN HIM there is no sorrow.  IN HIM there is no pain.  IN HIM there is no sin.  IN HIM there is no despair.  IN HIM there is no darkness.  IN HIM there is no death.

IN HIM there is confidence.  IN HIM there is joy.  IN HIM there is peace.  IN HIM there is comfort.  IN HIM there is righteousness.  IN HIM there is hope.  IN HIM there is light.  IN HIM there is life.

IN HIM there is nothing wrong with us and there is everything right with us.  And IN HIM is where we are today!

                              With love,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow White World

Mountains near home on a snowy morning...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Law vs. Grace

Here are some thoughts on the difference between Law (our performance) and Grace (His performance).  I wrote it off the top of my head, but I know a lot of the ideas are not original to me but things I've learned from other grace teachers.  (I don't know where some of the ideas came from, but I want to acknowledge Louis Smedes, Steve McVey and Rob Rufus for teaching a lot of these things.)

Law says you only get blessed if you've done everything right.
Grace says you're blessed even if you've done everything wrong.

Law is the realm of self-effort.
Grace is the realm of Christ's effort.

Law gives reward and punishment.
Grace give only free gifts with no strings attached.

Law says you're accepted on one condition:  perfection.
Grace says you're accepted, no conditions, based on His perfection.

Law justifies the godly.
Grace justifies the ungodly.

Law depresses and burdens.
Grace lifts and relieves.

Law binds.
Grace frees.

Law makes us feel God is angry with us.
Grace lets us know God is happy with us.

Law says, "Earn it."
Grace says, "Receive it."

Law says, "Your redemption is only in yourself."
Grace says, "Your redemption is in Christ Jesus."

Law makes us sin-conscious.
Grace makes us Son-conscious.

Law says, "You're out because you're not good enough."
Grace says, "You're in because Jesus is good enough."

Law makes us feel unworthy.
Grace makes us feel worthy.

Law causes us to look at ourselves.
Grace causes us to look at Christ.

Law says, "You have to."
Grace says, "You want to."

Law says, "This is what you are to do."
Grace says, "This is what Jesus has done."

Law makes us shrink back in fear from God.
Grace makes us run into the arms of God.

Law focuses on us and our work.
Grace focuses on Christ and His work.

Law means striving.
Grace means resting.

Law means you're trying on your own to get right.
Grace means you're already right because of what Jesus did.

Law means you get what's coming to you.
Grace means you get what's coming to Jesus.

Law says, "It's all up to you."
Grace says, "It's all up to Jesus."

Law says, "You're rejected if you fail."
Grace says, "You'll never be rejected no matter how much you fail."

Law makes us feel separated from God.
Grace makes us know we'll never be separated from God.

Law says, "Heaven is for the deserving."
Grace says, "Heaven is for the undeserving."

Law blesses only success.
Grace blesses even failure.

Law says only the pure and worthy may come.
Grace says whoever wishes may come.

Law makes us resent God, for there's an impossible standard.
Grace makes us fall in love with God, for Jesus met the standard.

Law says, "If you sin, you better get right with God."
Grace says, "If you sin, you're still right with God."

Law says, "Do better."
Grace says, "Rest."

Law says, "You must be perfect before God."
Grace says, "You are already perfect before God."

Law says, "Try."
Grace says, "You don't have to try."

Law is conditional acceptance.
Grace is unconditional acceptance.

Law has strings attached.
Grace has no strings attached.

Law focuses on judgment and death.
Grace focuses on forgiveness and life.

Law makes us feel God is primarily concerned with our behavior.
Grace says God is primarily concerned with loving us.

Just reading over that makes me so glad to be under the New Covenant of Grace!   Grace to all who stop by today...

                                   With love,

Friday, February 12, 2010

According to Him

According to this world, the accuser, the law, and sometimes even myself, I am a rotten, uncaring, messed-up person.  But not according to Jesus.  According to HIM, I am a beautiful, righteous, endearing, lovable person!  According to HIM, I am cherished, acceptable, incredible, and delightful!  No other opinion matters, not even my own!  And that's true for all God's kids!  We're everything He ever wanted, and He just can't get us out of His head!  Let's forget the voices that tell us we're failures, rejects, sinners, and hopeless....let's listen to the sweetest Voice of all calling us His Beloved!  I saw the lyrics to the song below on a blog called The-Nearly-Too-Good-To-Be-True-News.  The song is a "break-up" song, and well, isn't it about time we told off condemnation anyway?  Get lost, condemnation, you jerk!  I'm now "attached" to Jesus!  For there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

According to you
I'm stupid,
I'm useless,
I can't do anything right.
According to you
I'm difficult,
hard to please,
forever changing my mind.
I'm a mess in a dress,
can't show up on time,
even if it would save my life.
According to you. According to you.

But according to him
I'm beautiful,
he can't get me out of his head.
According to him
I'm funny,
everything he ever wanted.
Everything is opposite,
I don't feel like stopping it,
so baby tell me what I got to lose.
He's into me for everything I'm not,
according to you.

-Lyrics to “According to You” by Orianthi

Our Beautiful Love is ever whispering to us who we are according to HIM!

                                  With love,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just See Him

"Grace says, "If you never did another thing for God for the rest of your life then He would still love you and approve of you and be pleased with you!" That is it! So grace takes all the "have-tos" off us and says we don't have to do another thing! You don't have to live for God or try and stop sinning! It takes all the "have-tos" off and when they get taken off then all the "want-tos" begin to come out! All those things in my spirit - the nature and love and passion of God and fire of God is all there! And that wants to come out! Grace awakens your spirit to all the goodness that God put in there at the point of salvation and draws those things out! "Performance" religion will put pressure on us to change, but - just see God! See how good HE is! See how happy He is with you! God takes absolute delight in loving you! Let's focus on how perfect we are in Him and how right we are with Him! And how much He is blessed by us!   Grace moves me!   Unmerited favour moves me!  Not external pressure!"   
                                                Ryan Rufus

Monday, February 8, 2010

In His Arms

Peter said he would never forsake Jesus, yet Jesus said he'd do it three times by morning light.  Surely that was devastating and perplexing news for poor Peter, but I had never noticed what Jesus said next until I read something Bertie Brits had written about this passage.  The very next thing Jesus said was, Let not your heart be troubled or afraid...I'm going to prepare a place for you so you can be with Me (paraphrasing here).

The place Jesus prepared was His own heart as a refuge for us all, His very own Life as our inner home.  And Jesus was saying that to Peter, even knowing what he was about to do.  To me, that says it doesn't matter what we've done or will do, Jesus wants us with Him NOW.  His heart is our resting place NOW.  He knows all about our mistakes, weaknesses, and failures - He already bore them on the cross, took them to the grave, and left them there!  They didn't come out and they are not part of our life anymore!  All that came out of that grave was Him and us as new creations in Him.  IN HIM!  In the place He prepared for us!  We are already there, already dwelling in His heart.  That's where we live FROM - we live from our dwelling in Him, in His love, in His acceptance, in His complete understanding of us, in His embrace.  In His arms.

Our home is Him...and no matter what we are going through, what pain we feel, what failure we experience, what doubt or struggle we face, we are HELD in the arms that will never let us go.  And that is where rest is, peace is, joy is, love is, life is!

We rest in the arms of God.   Our only place of peace is right in His heart.  That's where we have a peace and joy that noone can take from us, because it's in Him.  In Him. In His heart.  And that's where we are today..

Precious One...
Little child
Just rest
In Daddy's arms
Snuggled up
Safe and warm
Cared for
Delighted in...

Precious One
How I love these moments
Treasuring them more than you will ever know
I will always be here for you
Just like this
Never tiring
of holding you, keeping you
close to me
dear to my heart...

Precious One
Oh how I long to hold you tight
and let all of your cares melt onto me
Always know
Daddy is here for you
whenever you need
no matter what
I will always
love you
and hold you
in my arms
and in my heart
(poem by Lydia Grewell)

May you relax in His arms, feel good and loved, and take a nap with Him today!

                                With love,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Eternity Now and the Weight of Glory

I read an article recently by C.S. Lewis called "The Weight of Glory."  The article talked about heaven's joys and God finally giving us praise (glory) once we reach heaven, but....

Think of this idea: we have the glory NOW! Yes, in heaven all will be tangible but in spirit we are THERE already! I never could figure out what glory meant. It always seemed like God's greatness that we were supposed to praise. I love how Lewis defines glory as God's approval, acceptance, welcoming, His saying well-done to us. Just think, we have that NOW through the perfect and unchangeable obedience of Christ.  And not only do we have that now due to the RICH gift of grace but also we have it forever because His work to give it to us is perfect for all time!

The article lists a lot of things that we'll have in heaven.  As I read I just kept substituting "now" in for "heaven," and it amazes me to think of all we have now in spirit:

- The desire to be with God is fulfilled - we are in UNION with Him in our spirits. 
- The desire for His love is fulfilled - He loves us the SAME way He loves Christ.
- We are WITH Christ, in close loving conversation.  We have Him which is infinite bliss, we know the JOY of His presence.
- We are like Christ NOW, for as He is, so are we!
- We are glorified and have glory NOW.
- We have glory in the sense that He approves of us and says well-done, good and faithful servant, He accepts us and has welcomed us in.
- We also have glory in the sense that we glow like holy lightbulbs, as the light of the world, for the TRUE light in us shines forth and is we walk around with a Jesus glow for all to see and be attracted to.  We are the temple of God, and His glory radiates from His temple.
- We are eating from the tree of life, God Himself right NOW.  We're living directly on God, feasting on His life. We are partying and relaxing in glory with Jesus.
- We REIGN in life because of Him, are more than conquerors, have authority over ALL the power of the evil one.
- We are IN! Not on the outside of His life, love and acceptance but IN it!  If we find we are already inside a room, we make NO EFFORT to enter it (Watchman Nee). 
- We belong.  We belong in His country, we belong in His heart! He's satisfied with what He made - us as His new creations and as Jesus' bride!

We were made for another world, the world of Him who is PURE LOVE - that is our native country.  His life and love and acceptance is our air, and breath, and water. That is the world our spirits live in right now.  Heaven is just the new creation of God that is IN God brought to visible expression to our bodily eyes! And though invisible to human eyes at present, just think - we have ETERNITY NOW! Yes!

We are dancing in the dance of The Trinity! Loved with an unimaginable love...taken in...accepted forever without possibility of rejection. Approved!  Glorified!  Given His very glory, the approval rating of Christ Himself!  It's been true since we first believed.  When we first believed we were transferred at that moment to this beautiful Kingdom of the Son, Grace Land, Love Land, HIM! We were lifted out of death and into LIFE. The eternal One! We are part of the Eternal!

I love thinking about Him and I love the fact that my greatest longing and desire - to be accepted and approved of by God - HAS been met through the finished work of Jesus Christ! Glory now, Eternity now.  True for you, me, all believers - even unbelievers are included if they will just accept by faith the acceptance given...

The Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory...
(Is. 60:19).

                             With love, 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

God's Heart: A Safe Haven

It seems the rest of the world, being set in performance mode, will tear us down if we aren't always perfect.  And sometimes, we are the ones that tear ourselves down.  And yet.. God always affirms us and builds us up.

God's heart is a haven of quiet rest from the rebukes, pointing fingers, and rejection found so often in this world.  He will never belittle us, ridicule us, or think us odd.  We are totally accepted by Him with all our thoughts and emotions.

He is Perfect Love:  He is gentle, patient, close, loyal, accepting, affirming, encouraging...and that realization gives relief.  It leaves us feeling better, not worse. 

He is a safe Person.  We can dare to open up to Him and share our real feelings without fear of a rebuke or rejection of our feelings.  He won't be mean but kind.  He wants to build us up, not tear us down.  He always leaves us feeling better, not worse.  He words don't wound, they heal.  He doesn't rebuke but affirms! 

We have been so used to thinking all He wants to do is angrily point out what's wrong with us, but He is busy pointing out what is right with us!  We wait for the "hammer" to fall, but instead grace falls like a waterfall, love pours down like rain, assurance washes over us like a river.  Jesus won't preach law to us but will minister grace every time!  With Him we are truly safe.  His heart is the safest place in the world! 

Everything He shows me about Himself is just so good.  I know I have big gaps in my understanding, fears, and confusion, yet the revelation of His true character - Perfect Love -  shows me I am safe with Him and works to clear up the confusion and dissolve fear. 

No matter how great we think Him to be, His love is always greater! (Brennan Manning)

                                 With love,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walking in Snow


Velvet Shoes
Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
At a tranquil place,
Under veils of white lace...

We shall walk in velvet shoes
Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews 
On white silence below.
We shall walk in the snow.

Elinor Wylie

We had a lovely snow recently.  I loved walking in the woods behind the house through that snow, stepping through the soft whiteness.  I felt I could just stand there and gaze upon the clean beauty of those tranquil woods forever.

We walk with Jesus in the whiteness of His righteousness today.  All sins are gone and we are white as snow.  We walk in velvet shoes, in quietness and peace.  We walk in the snow. 

                              With love,    

I've Always Loved You

I don't know how to explain it
But I know that words will hardly do
Miracles with signs and wonders
Aren't enough for me to prove to you

Don't you know I've always loved you
Even before there was time
Though you turn away
I'll tell you still
Don't you know I've always loved you
And I always will

Greater love has not a man
Than the one who gives his life to prove
That he would do anything
And that's what I'm going to do for you

Don't you know I've always loved you
Even before there was time
Though you turn away
I'll tell you still
Don't you know I've always loved you
And I always will

                                                  Third Day
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14