Monday, May 31, 2010

Soul Whisperer

Lying voice:  You are lacking.
God's whisper:  You are complete in Christ.

Lying voice:  You are dirty, sinful and wicked.
God's whisper:  You are 100% clean and righteous.

Lying voice:  Those evil thoughts and selfish feelings come from you.
God's whisper:  Those good and loving desires come from you.

Lying voice:  You've messed up too much to be used by God.
God's whisper:  You are a vessel of glory!

Lying voice:  Bad things will happen to you because you sinned.
God's whisper: No punishment is left for you; Jesus took it all!

Lying voice:  You're not good enough.
God's whisper:  You're perfect in Christ.

Lying voice:  You're not faithful enough to be blessed.
God's whisper:  You're already blessed with every spiritual blessing.

Lying voice:  You can't overcome your problems.
God's whisper:  You have already overcome.

Lying voice:  You're ugly to God.
God's whisper:  You're beautiful and flawless.

Lying voice:  You're just one of millions, unimportant to Him.
God's whisper:  You're special and highly favored.

Lying voice:  He's angry with you and rebukes you.
God's whisper: I have sworn never to be angry or rebuke you.

Lying voice:  He could be harsh.
God's whisper:  A bruised reed I will not break.

Lying voice:  He's pointing out your sins, bringing them up.
God's whisper:  Your sins I will remember NO MORE!

Lying voice:  You must do better, try harder, work to measure up.
God's whisper:  Jesus did His best for you, you stand in that.

Lying voice:  You're condemned.
God's whisper:  You're accepted in the Beloved.

Lying voice:  You're a failure.
God's whisper:  You're perfected forever.

Lying voice:  You're always a loser.
God's whisper:  You're more than a conqueror, always led in triumph!

He is so good to whisper truth into our spiritual ears!  His truth sets us free from the influence of lies.  No matter what we hear from our own feelings, other people, or the enemy, it's His word that whispers of true reality. 


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Self-Rejection Contradicts the Sacred Voice

"Over the years, I have noticed that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection.  Success, popularity and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger tempatation to self-rejection.

"When we have come to believe the voices that call us worthless, unlovable, then success, popularity and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.  The real trap, however, is self rejection...Self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us 'the beloved.'  Being beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence."

                                                           Henri Nouwen

Satan wants us feeling terrible about ourselves.  He wants us to feel that we're terrible and rotten people, failures, worthless.  These thoughts heap shame and condemnation on us and they are LIES!  We can't speak of God's holy, precious children - US - in that way!  He has made us beautiful, righteous, perfect, and pleasing in His sight.  The sacred voice overwhelms and drowns out all other voices and tells us we are BELOVED!  We can hold our heads high because we are beautiful to Him by grace through Jesus Christ!

                  Love to all from

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There Is NO "Grace, But.."

My blogging friend Lydia of Joy To Be Me blog once wrote a post on how there is no "Grace, BUT.."  (You can read her wonderful thoughts here.)  Here are my own thoughts on the very same thing:

Why do people sometimes think in terms of "Yes, Grace is true, BUT..."?  Why do we add to the perfect, finished work of Christ to make us RIGHT with God?  Why do we put some religious qualifier at the end of the work of God called Grace?  People sometimes say, "Yes, Grace is true, BUT we mustn't give license to sin.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT we have to live holier lives.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT we need to focus on avoiding sin more.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT we must teach on God's wrath.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT I still have to improve myself.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT God is still dealing with my sins.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT I have to do something to be worthy to receive it.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT I have to do my part.  Yes, Grace is true, BUT not for me."  I have struggled with thinking some of those things myself.  And yet...

There is NO qualifier to God's grace!  It stands on its own, pure and radical and true!  No strings are attached or it wouldn't be GRACE!  There is nothing we have to do to add to it or get it, or it wouldn't be GRACE!  It's free acceptance and unconditional love given to us!  It's crazy!  It's amazing!  It's too good to be true, yet it IS true...we are loved and accepted and forgiven for FREE through the work of Jesus, a work He did once and for all, a work that is now finished.  How can we add to His complete work?  It's perfect and stands for all time.

Because Grace is true, we are free to fail and still be "in."  Because Grace is true, we are holy NOW.  Because Grace is true, we are FREE from sin and never separate from God!  Because Grace is true, there is no wrath on us EVER!  Because Grace is true, we are better than improved - we are NEW!  Because Grace is true, God is finished dealing with our sins FOREVER!  Because Grace is true, we don't have to be "worthy!"  Because Grace is true, we need do NOTHING!  Because Grace is true, it is true for ALL of us, even you, even me.

If we even add one little qualifier or "but" to Grace, what we are really doing is adding in Law.  And we know what that does!  Law only stirs up and points out sin.  Law can never make anything righteous.  Grace is the ONLY way to have the righteousness before God that we all want.  And we already have that righteousness for free, as a gift, by Grace!  We have no need for Law, then.  Christ's work was complete and sufficient to give us exactly what we need for free - real Life in a perfect, wonderful, intimate relationship with God!

It's like the scene in Back To The Future when Doc is about to take Marty to the future and says, "Where we are going, we don't NEED roads!"  We don't need the road of the law to guide us when we are already at our destination, soaring in the heavenlies with Jesus!  We don't need pathways to walk on when we can fly!  That stuff would only distract and keep us from the joy of experiencing the freedom we already have!  There is NO such thing as Grace, But..

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. Gal. 2:21.

Law isn't the gospel.  Grace is.  I'm sticking with Grace!  And there are just no "But's" about it!

                                With love,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Son-conscious, Not Sin-conscious!

(I can get confused and start looking at self and seeing my failures sometimes, and that does nothing good at all.  Jesus is so good to bring my eyes back to Him and all He's done for me.  So here's a little talk with myself about that very thing:)

Let's forget about sin!  Let's forget about trying to avoid it, resist it, get rid of it, or stop it in our lives!  Jesus took it all to the cross, and all our sins, past, present and future have been done away with at the cross!  They have been taken away (John 1:29) by the Lamb of God.  They have been brought down to the grave along with our old sin-natured selves and they did not rise!  They are gone, erased, eradicated, and thrown away.  God has said He will never remember them again!  So let's forget about sin..He's brought us to life with Christ as brand new, sinless, perfect, righteous, blameless creations in Him with His very righteous nature and life as our own - now there's something to think about - Jesus the Son, our Life!

Let's enjoy Jesus Christ!  He has come into us, never to leave us!  He is not just our companion for the journey, not just someone nice to have around in a pinch - He is our very Life!  He is the very source and center of who we are.  He is our spiritual point of origin from which all flows in this spiritual life.  Our spirits are in union with His forever - forever!  We're alive in Him!  Alive with the uncreated life, alive with resurrection life, alive with the life that conquered death, Satan, sin and hell and REIGNS forevermore!  Alive with the Life that is Love in a Person.  That's the life that is our very center now - it's Him loving us forever and being love in us forever!  Talk about a wonderful relationship - we are in union with Someone who will always be on our side, who will always see the good in us, who will always accept us, who will always speak kindly to us.  Someone who will never leave, never reject us, never treat us coldly or harshly.  Someone who will do nothing but LOVE in and through us! 

We celebrate Life today - we celebrate the Son today and all He is and has done for us!

                With love from

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Filly at Dad's Farm

Here's the beautiful horse at my parent's farm and her new filly!  Aren't they beautiful?  Just had to post some pictures of the horses.  Our family loves the new foal.  In these pictures she's about 3 weeks old.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Gift of Freedom

Being totally free from all requirements before God (free from the law) is the only way to ever live from your real desires deep in your new heart.  When we find we can do whatever we want and God will still be there, that no sin we commit will ever cause Him to reject us (we are truly secure with Him - this is my favorite part of being free from the law - no matter what we do, there is no condemnation or punishment or rejection), we are finally free to ask ourselves, "What do I really want to do?"

The answer is so surprising and good.  When I look in my heart after God overwhelms me again with the good news of grace, how I'm accepted freely forever, no matter what, completely secure, what do I see in that heart?  I see the desires that come from my new nature (which is Christ's very nature at the center of my being).  I see the desire to be with Him and be loved by Him.  I see the desire to love others into grace too.  I see so many beautiful things naturally coming out.  And they come out not because I have to do those things, but because I want to.  And that makes all the difference!  We always find it easy to do just what we want!  And we can't know just what we want until all restraints on us are removed!

Sometimes it can seem scary to live in our freedom.  We might be used to being told just what to do, so used to the fear of punishment being a motivator, so used to thinking our hearts are wicked and can't be trusted, so used to thinking that without rules we'll go "wild."  Yet we can trust Christ in us never to desire evil.  Noone ever has to tell Christ what to do or try to keep Him in line. His desire is always to love, and that's the desire God has put within us by making Christ our very Life.  The love of Christ compels us from within and manifests itself as our own desire to love!   Rules and requirements and laws would only tie us down; we don't need them at all since we've got HIM!

We can step out of the open door of the cage and fly free, as we've always wanted to do.  We, the children of the Loving One, never wanted anything other than to love - it's the real desire of our new heart.  He's set us completely free to follow that very desire and to soar!  "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1).

                         With love from

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One Thing I Love About Grace

One of the wonderful things I love about grace is that it's always there, working in good ways no matter what.  It's grace that shines light in our darkness, clears up our confusion, makes us sense His acceptance when we're in a self-hatred mood.  It's grace that loves us when we're acting unlovely, brings peace in turmoil, strengthens in weakness, and is a healing balm in the midst of pain.  Grace opens our eyes to the truth and chases away lies.  Grace gives faith, gives hope, gives joy.  Grace is what transforms our dark thought so that suddenly all is clear again and we're happy in Him.  Grace rescues us from our messes, and grace is always working in us to bless.  Grace is just God loving and accepting us no matter what. It's God always with us, working and holding us, no matter what.

It doesn't depend on me.  I don't have to do or even believe anything in order to make grace come.  It's already present.  I don't have to seek it.  His grace has already found me, already come to me, and always flows in me.

Grace is Jesus.  And no matter what I do, say, think, or feel, no matter what happens, He is there keeping the relationship going, keeping the conversation going, keeping my spiritual life going.  He holds the relationship, not me!

Grace is given when we're weak, given before we do anything, given before we ask.  Grace is already there and has made everything okay between us and God.

"Jesus gives you His love anyway." (Barry Cook)  No matter what, He gives His love anyway.  That is grace.

                 With love to all,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Filled with His Spirit, Filled with His Love

When God poured His Spirit on us, He poured His love on us because God is love.  To be filled with the Spirit, then,  is to be filled with His love.

Alcohol makes people lose their inhibitions and feel free to be themselves and express themselves.  It makes them forget their problems - problems seem to fade to the periphery.  God's love (so therefore His Spirit) does the same.  His acceptance, grace and love free us to really be ourselves and be "bold, happy, and of high spirits" (Martin Luther).  Doesn't that description sound like a person affected by strong drink?  And problems fade into their proper place as He, unconditional love, is in full view.

The Holy Spirit truly IS a strong drink!  He is a river of living water that God makes to spring up and overflow in us.  He is the love of God that He has poured into our hearts.  That love is never ending, always sufficient, forever satisfying!

                            With love,

The Question

The question for me always seems the same:  "Does He love me unconditionally?  Does He accept me no matter what?  Is He okay with me and on my side?  Is He here to stay?"

Satan says, "No."

Circumstances say, "No."

Certain teachings and teachers say, "No."

Feelings, fears and anxieties say, "No."

But Jesus says, "Yes."

And that's all that matters!

                              Love from

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chesed - Love That Won't Let Go

He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)!  Assuredly not!                              Heb. 13:5

I'm doing a study of the Hebrew word Chesed, usually translated mercy, lovingkindness, or steadfast love in the Old Testament.  It can be thought of as God's steadfast loving favor.  I read that it is the Old Testament word closest to the New Testament concept of grace, so I thought it would be interesting to study and see grace in the Old Testament.

One thing I have learned so far is that the word Chesed contains the elements of (1) strength, (2) love, and (3) faithfulness or loyalty (security).  His is a strong love that won't let go of the other person, no matter what that person does.  It's not only that He loves and favors us right now, but also that He's strong and CAN keep on loving/favoring us in the future and that He's faithful and WILL keep on loving/favoring us in the future - forever.

This love will go with us into whatever dark corner we run; it will follow us every day of our life (Ps. 23:6).  Day or night, it's there (Ps. 42:8).  It is a love that endures and is on our side no matter what the enemy throws against us (Ps. 52:1, 59:10, 86:13), a love that continually holds us up and preserves us whole and safe in His arms (Ps. 40:11, Lam. 3:22), a love that endures through our failures and uplifts us even in the midst of them (Ps. 94:18).  It's unconditional, forever love that is better than anything this life has to offer (Ps. 63:3) and the only thing that will truly fill the ache in our hearts (Ps. 90:14).  And God delights in showing this unbreakable, unconditional love to us (Mic. 7:18)!  It will never fail to be there (Jer. 31:3, Ps. 136:2).  It won't let go.

I see the same idea in the verse I quoted at the beginning of the post (Heb. 13:5).  God's love just won't let us go.  He won't leave us or relax His hold on us.  His love won't fail to hold and support us.  That is part of what grace is to me, a love that just won't let go.  So I don't have to do anything to make sure it stays.  I'm safe and secure in this love.  This love is here to stay - He will always keep on loving me, will stick with me no matter what.  This is such a comfort to me.  God has bound Himself to me with the eternally strong bonds of love.  He won't give up on me.  He won't reject me.  He's in this for the long haul.  If He's totally forgiven all my sin and made me a perfect new creation joined in an eternal love-union with Him, how could anything break that up?

"For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain.  My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you"  (Is. 54:10).

                         With love,

Friday, May 14, 2010

We Are Loved And Accepted For Free

We are loved and accepted for free.  Without having to do anything.  Without having to change.  Without having to be worthy.  Without having to understand it.  We are loved and accepted right now, for free.  No questions asked.  No improvements required.  We need do nothing to get it and need do nothing to keep it.  It's already ours.

We are loved and accepted for free.  Without our trying to achieve it.  Without our effort to make it so.  Without our help at all.  We are loved and accepted right now, as we are.  Not as we hoped we'd be.  Not as we wish we'd be.  Loved and accepted as who we are in this moment.  And any moment.  Accepted no matter what we've done in the past.    Accepted no matter what we will do in the future. It's ours forevermore.

We are loved and accepted for free.  Without any possibility of losing this wonderful gift.  Without any risk of rejection.  Without any risk of ever being unloved or unaccepted.  No matter what happens.  No matter what people say.  No matter what lies the enemy hurls at us.  No matter how confused or doubtful we get.  No matter what failure grips us.  We are loved and accepted still.  It's free, so nothing we do or don't do can change it.  It's ours without condition, no strings attached.

We are loved and accepted for free.  No matter what we feel.  No matter what we think.  No matter what we've done in the past that fills us with regret.  No matter how much we think we've failed or gone too far.  No matter whether we feel hopeless or despairing.  No matter whether we feel all is lost.  No matter whether we feel all alone.  We are loved and accepted no matter what!

We are loved and accepted for free.  There is a light shining upon us.  There is a hand in ours.  There is a voice calling our name.  There are arms wrapped around us.  There is a wind lifting and carrying us.  There is a breeze blowing on our face.  There is a Lover loving us and calling us beautiful, forgiven, free, and delightful.  There is a place where all is Perfect Love.  There is hope, joy and peace.  There is a home for our heart.  We are loved and accepted for free!

We are loved and accepted for free.  It is already true.  We simply see and enjoy what is already there!

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself (accepting them), not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them].. (2 Co. 5:19)

Jesus is God loving and accepting us for free!  Thank You God for Your unspeakable gift!

              With love to all from

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Schizophrenic About the Gospel?

"The whole idea that is you do poorly, God's going to be angry at you or judge you is wrong.  For Him to be angry He'd have to trample underfoot the work of the cross.

"You cannot be schizophrenic about the gospel!  The gospel is GOOD news, so we can ONLY view life throught he eyes of the goodness of God.  What does that mean?  Noone's safe from a blessing!  Noone's safe!  It doesn't matter what they do or what they are - noone's safe from the blessing of God.

"We have to stop being schizophrenic about the gospel, that "God loves you but He's going to beat the living daylights out of you."  What is THAT?  The whole image that we're giving off is that God is moody, and you never quite know what you're gonna get.  So you can't really relax.  That is a rank, bad gospel.

"Our role is to demonstrate what God is REALLY like - He is love, He is goodness, it's His goodness and His kindness that have so touched our lives and turned us into different people.  I'm still finding out about the kindness of God.  I love who God is.  I love His laughter.  Every time we speak with God we end up smiling.  He has a way of making you feel good about yourself.  John 15:11 - 'For this reason I've spoken to you, so that My joy may be in you.'"

                                                    From "God Is Good"
                                                    By Graham Cooke

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dance, Dance

 Dance dance
Everybody dance
Everybody sing
For joy is in this place now

Amazing grace how sweet the sound 
to save a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found, 
was blind but now I see

Shout shout
Everybody shout
Everybody shout
For joy is in this place now

Tim Hughes

Sunday, May 9, 2010

People Pleaser

Why do I care so much what other people think of me?  And why do I think they won't like or accept me?   Yes, why?  It's driving me crazy caring what others think, trying to live up to expectations and meet their approval, wanting them to accept me.  Ugh!  And why do I assume I will fail to be a loving person to them?  Why the negative and self-condemning thoughts?  Why, why, why?  I can think of a devilish reason why...

The evil one doesn't ever want us to enjoy our freedom or acceptance in Christ.  He lies to us that we're worthless, a person noone would ever like, a weirdo, and he tries to make us think we MUST get others approval.  When all along we are just fine in Jesus!  And we have all the love and acceptance and approval we need from the One who matters most, the Only One who sees us as we are and accepts us as we are!  Total, free, unconditional love and acceptance!

Here comes a holy rant...

  • We are the righteousness of God in Christ!
  • We are accepted and dearly loved!
  • We are beautiful to Him!  His masterpiece!
  • We are okay right now with Him.
  • We are full of Jesus and all our needs for love and acceptance are met in Him.
  • We can hold our heads high because we are uncondemned!  He approves of us!
  • He delights in us!
  • He calls us His own and says of us, "You are MINE!"  We belong in His family!
  • We are wanted and special!
  • We don't have to meet anyone's standards or be pressured to be something we are not.  We are free people.
  • We don't live under the expectations of others.  We are free to be ourselves.
  • We don't have to perform for people.
  • We are perfect in Christ and His performance right now, even if we never do another holy thing as long as we live.
  • We STAND in the grace of God!
  • We can be ourselves because who we are is a great and wonderful person in Christ.
  • We are beloved and cherished.
  • We don't have to compare ourselves to others and think they are better than us or know more than us.  We are just where God wants us to be and He's proud of us right now!
  • There's no condemnation on us ever!
  • We are people worth knowing!
  • Love flows out of us!
  • We don't have to be a people pleaser because we are pleasing already to God in Christ, and that's all that matters!
  • We can love people for free without needing a thing in return, for Jesus meets all our needs.
  • We can accept people as they are, because God does.
  • We can accept ourselves as we are, because God does.

Thank You, God, for GRACE!

                            With love,

Friday, May 7, 2010

God's Main Thing

What is God's main thing?  I used to think His main thing was pointing out my faults and working on my sins.  But the truth is, the cross took care of my sins.  They aren't just forgiven, they are gone!  God has promised to remember them no more!  So why would He be thinking about them now?  Why would He be pointing them out to me all the time?  Why would He be obsessing about working on my sin problem?  He already fixed my sin problem, and His solution was named Jesus!  Jesus took every single one of our sins onto Himself at the cross and He became sin for us.  He killed off all those sins, the sins of the whole world, and He took them down into the grave (even took our old sinful selves down too), never to be thought of again!  Never!  If Jesus won't remember my sins any more, why should I remember them all the time?  Why should I try to work on my sin problem?  I don't have a sin problem anymore!  My sins and even my old sinful nature or self have been cleared away like the morning mist that disappears in the sunshine.  They've been cleared out to make room for the Life Himself to move into me!  I have Jesus, the Sinless Life, within me now.

So if sin is not God's main thing, what is?  Sin is not on Jesus' mind, WE are!  God's main thing is loving people!  And the main way a person loves another is by sharing their life with that person, being together with them, valuing and delighting in them for who they are.  I believe that's God's main thing: loving us!  God loves without demanding love in return.  He gives without requiring anything from us.  He freely shares His very life with us in the person of His Son, with no strings attached, no obligations pressed onto us.  God loves us by sharing His own Life with us forever, received by simple faith.  We're linked to Him forever and made alive with His Life!  Just as Jesus took our old creation selves down with Him into the grave, He brings our new creation selves up into the heavenlies with Him in His resurrection!   That's what's on God's mind, I think, loving us by bringing us into union with Himself forever!  He loves us so much He wants us with Him always.  Being held in God's embrace forever, being ONE with Him in perfect relationship, sharing all eternity together, sounds like the best thing going!  And it's God's main thing.

"Immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus."   Eph. 2:4-7

                      Love to all from

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grace Changes Our Outlook

Grace makes a great change in us.  It changes our perspective on living, our outlook:

"The change of which I speak is the change from living life as a painful test to prove that you deserve to be loved, to living it as an unceasing "Yes" to the truth of that belovedness."

                                                                Henri Nouwen

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Tale of Two Camellias

Here are contrasting pictures of two camellias.  The one on the left is the one we planted.  It was purchased at a reputable garden center.  It was carefully planted, mulched and watered.  But no matter what we did, it struggled and did poorly.  And now it is pretty much dying.  The sickly yellow leaves are falling off; half the buds simply turned brown and died before they even opened; and the one bud that did open (pictured) is deformed and puny-looking.  All we have to show for all our effort is a diseased and dying plant with ugly blooms.  Camellia one is soon to be uprooted and replaced with a lovely little Japanese maple.

Only three feet away from plant number one is camellia two, shown on the right.  This plant is a stray seedling that came up by chance.  Noone planted it, it just came up.  Noone mulched it.  It happened to come up right at the spot where rainwater drips from the roof during showers, so it got amply watered without any of our efforts.  We did absolutely nothing for this plant, did not even notice it or realize it was actually a camellia for years.  But it always grew vigorously and had the most beautiful, spotless, healthy dark green leaves.  Then this spring I happened to glance under some of its branches and discovered not one but 4 or 5 beautiful double blooms on this "wild" plant!

It dawned on me that these two bushes really illustrate the difference between struggling to live under law and enjoying life under grace.

Camellia one is like living by the law.  It's life by trying, struggling and striving to keep all the right principles in order to produce righteousness.  It's all about self-effort and behavior.  It's feeling as if you will be rewarded if you succeed and punished if you fail.  It's life where everything is up to you.  It's stressful and draining and doesn't produce righteousness or life at all!  Living this way made me tired, frustrated, and depleted.  No matter what I did or how much I tried to improve this life, things only got worse!  Trying so hard only produced 'dead works,' lacking in the life of God.  We just can't produce the Life of God, and we were never meant to; we were meant to contain it!  The result of my own self-effort in trying to produce Life was, for me, just a sickly and weak "plant" that had lost its bloom..

Camellia two is like living by grace.  It's a life where all is given for free as a gift.  It's life where you don't have to do anything to earn the reward.  A life where you are not punished or rejected even when you fail.  A life where righteousness and life are handed to you on a silver platter.  Freely given with no effort required on our part.  We receive the Life of Christ by faith and He brings to life a new creation, whole and holy, thriving and strong, fully alive.  We actually contain the very Life of God!  His life pulses within us and blossoms out of us.  And that is true because of the free gift of the Life of Christ in us, by grace and not by our effort or trying!  We are basking in the Son, enjoying the Life of God inside our very being - we live in perfect and intimate union with Him always.  That is the kind of "plant" He has made us as new creations in Him!

So to think of myself as weak, sickly, inadequate and "blossom-less" is a lie.  I need never try to produce on my own what I ALREADY AM because of Christ!  I'm a new creation "plant" in Christ.  I'm thriving, fragrant, nourished, beautiful, abounding and strong, filled and blossoming with the Life of Jesus Himself!  All as a gift of grace!  Just call me "Camellia Two."

And that's true for every believer - we are Grace Camellias, lovely and vibrant and alive forevermore in Him, by grace!

For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.  Is. 61:10b

                          With love,

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grace Bombs

I read these quotes recently on a Facebook Discussion Group called Grace Revolution.  They are grace bombs that explode joy and peace within my heart!  They were posted by Dahleen Enslin - thank you, Dahleen!

In Christ, I walk on solid ground!

We are 'being-driven' and not 'law-driven' anymore.

If God changes your nature, why fear sin?

Don't try to finish what God has finished already.

God didn't send His Son while you were a sinner, with the idea that you should pay Him back later.

Your advocate is not there to judge you.

He is in your genes, why use the law as a guide?

The message of the cross is the power of God!

Don't let time deceive you about who you really are..

Jesus 'crossed out' your sins...

The Holy Spirit will never accuse you of anything, that is the work of the accuser; the work of the Holy spirit is to comfort, for He is our comforter.

Faith is to believe you're righteous just after kicking your neighbor's dog, or even your neighbor.

To receive Jesus is to 'take Him personally.'

                                                        Dahleen Enslin
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