Monday, January 27, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 4 - God is Light, Life and Love!

God is Light"  (1 John 1:5),  "I am the Life"  (John 14:6),  "God is Love"  (1 John  4:8).  

Walking with Jesus, beginning before the beginning, we find that He is the Word and that He is God!  Back before time began, before creation even happened, there was God.  God IS!  He always just IS!  A Present God!  A God who is truly I AM at all times!  The Word Jesus IS God!  Jesus is the perfect expression of God to us and is God!  And who does He express Him/Himself to be?  How can we describe this wonderful God?  I look at scripture and see that God describes Himself so beautifully..."God is Light"  (1 John 1:5),  "I am the Life"  (John 14:6),  "God is Love"  (1 John  4:8). 

I love thinking of how God is defined as Light, Life and Love! There aren’t any bad words used to describe Him, only good ones, only beautiful ones..for He is ONLY beauty and goodness and grace. It just makes my heart sing to know that there is nothing evil or harsh or upsetting in Him, but only attractiveness, loveliness, tenderness, and delight..

God is Light..and that means there is no darkness in Him at all! There are no ulterior motives, no hidden self-centered agenda, no ‘using’ us for His own ends. There is no harsh side of God, no ‘dark side’ of Him; He is ONLY and EVER pure light! To me that speaks of purity of His essence, so pure love, pure goodness, pure truth, with no shadows. He is the Light that dispels all the darkness of lies and delusions of the enemy, showing that they are actually NOTHING, having no substance at all! He is so good to know and His light doesn’t expose us or shame us; rather, it enlightens us and shows us own own beauty and purity, since we are made in His image! Thus, we also are light beings, without dark shadows in us. That tells me I don’t have to worry that I am ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ at the core. At my core is His Spirit of pure light, and that describes me as well!

God is Life…and that means there is no death in Him at all! He is exuberant, joyful, fulfilling, ever-blessing and ever-refreshing life..His very life is our life, sustaining and carrying us along in Life. His Spirit of Life gave us our breath, and as Andre said, His very name ‘Yah-weh’ is the sound of human breathing!! We are truly of His breath and have His life pulsing through us, wow! In Him is no death – this tells me He is never, ever destroying me, hurting me, tearing me down, crushing me, or sucking the joy or vigor from me – NO! He is always building me up, invigorating me, filling and fulfilling me! Jesus said eternal life is knowing Him, and to be part of His very life, eternal and immutable, is to know Him with a depth of intimacy that I can’t even fathom. I feel I am only beginning to even know Him, but He tells me that it will only get better and better as I get to know Him more..I have been so afraid of Him in the past, and it is taking time to recover from years of thinking He was angry or harsh or demanding. I am finding Him so full of pure love, without a bit of harshness or meanness, and also I am finding Him so refreshing and enlivening, never taking away from my quality of life but always making it infinitely better. He is not scary at all, what a relief! Which brings me to the final word to define Him..

God is Love….that means there is nothing to fear in Him! He is perfect Love, the kind I’ve only dreamed about but always longed for, the kind that causes us to just be still in awe and wonder at such pure and beautiful love that holds us all in such tender embrace, in such a place of innocence and sweetness! He is the Perfect Love that truly loves me as I am, understands me, accepts me, never demands that I change but instead celebrates that I am perfect for Him right now! In fact, He is the Perfect Love that never takes from me but instead gives to me constant affection, affirmation, strength, joy and peace, always giving and never asking anything in return. And this love is safe – He isn’t going to hurt me, harm me, wound me, or be against me. He is going to protect me, shelter me, always hold on to me and never let me go! Finally, I have found Someone who will love me unconditionally, with a pure and satisfying love!

Thank You, dear Lord, for just being wonderful YOU and for being so different from who I thought you were. You are so much better than I ever dreamed or imagined. It is a dream come true to not feel afraid of You but instead drawn to rest in Your arms…and what a surprise to find that I have been held in those arms, embraced by You in love, since before time began! I was never lost to You, but always found and cherished in Your heart..what a wonderful Daddy and wonderful God You are..I couldn’t ask for a better God than YOU! I just want to know You more and really enjoy the intimate union fellowship that is mine even now, even in my recovery time from all the lies I had been told about you and about myself. What a relief to know that I am safe at home with You and that my enjoyment of You will only get more and more expansive and satisfying as eternity moves along!

Friday, January 24, 2014

His Gentle Heart

God is so gentle with us!  He never hurts those who are already hurting! He never wounds the wounded!  Instead, He understands us, He tenderly caresses us, He soothes us, heals the wounded places, loves us back to sanity and life!  I write this especially for those with low self-image, for I have been wounded by that and still feel its weight on me!  God is showing me lately that He truly understands and is so gentle with us, and that He is a safe place of complete love and acceptance, that His heart is truly a sheltering, healing place for those with low self-esteem!

He knows why we have felt the way we do, He sees the hurts and wounds that have brought about such thoughts, He truly understands us!  He is so gentle with us and never breaks the bruised reed!  He says and does exactly what is perfect suited for our healing and His touch is always good, uplifting and healing, never harsh or hurtful..

The Gentle Heart of God is our home, and what a safe place He is!  He is a place where all feel completely safe, never judged or shamed, always accepted and included, always made to feel better and not worse...where burdens are lifted, not put on anyone!

I have often felt that with my issues, there was something I needed to 'do' to get better, receive my healing, make things manifest, etc.  But God is, I think, telling me to just forget all that and rest.  When I woke up this morning, there was a verse on my mind from Him - "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
-  (Ex. 33:14).  How wonderful that He will always go with us, no matter what, always be there for us, and that He will GIVE us rest!  It reminds me of another verse,  "The Spirit of the Lord caused them to rest" (from Is. 63:14).  He will even bring us/cause us to rest!  We don't even have to 'try' to rest!  There is truly nothing to do!  Wow, what a relief.  There is nothing we have to 'do' to recover from low self-esteem.   God is not pressuring us or requiring anything of us..we can completely relax...He is taking care of us!  We are helpless, totally dependent on our dear Father for help and relief, and oh how wonderful that is, for He is absolutely faithful and successful in all He does!  He will drive away the lies, that is HIS department, not our worry at all!  It's HIS department, because HE is the One who is Perfect Love that drives away fear!  His love will continually wash over us and heal us of all shame and low self-esteem, no matter how long it takes!  And we don't even have to worry that we're not 'getting better fast enough' for He has no expectations of us, just expectations of Himself and His love...He knows His love is powerful and stronger than anything, and He is confident and sure that He will eradicate the enemy's lies from our lives!  His love never fails us!  He will always love us, and He is going to convince us of our belovedness!

There is nothing at all wrong with us, He does not think we are 'deficient' or 'messed up,' He isn't wishing we'd just 'get it together,' He doesn't see us as messed up, side-lined, or self-absorbed!  He truly sees us as innocent in the whole matter, sees us as innocent little children who have been lied to, and He is so full of wrath at those lies and will drive them away so that they cannot hurt his little babies anymore!!  He always relates to us from a place of perfect innocence, sees us as innocent and always has!   He knows our hurts, our wounds, our past struggles and confusions, He knows what is in our hearts, sees our pure little hearts that just want Him, that just want love, and that have been denied the full joy of experiencing that love because of the lies that the enemy has attacked us with, the lies we've heard growing up through media, religion, school, work, and other confused people.  His love is for us even when the whole world and even we ourselves sees against us!  He has never had any thought toward us except perfect love and acceptance!

God is really impressing upon me lately that for those of us who struggle with low self-image, or really any struggle, that He doesn't see us as sick, still needing to 'get to a goal,' or 'not yet fixed.'  God is saying we are complete and whole and perfect right now!  That He is happy and pleased with us at this very  moment!  That even if the mess in our brains never gets straightened out, we are a-okay to Him!  He is just fine with us right now, as we are, no changes needed or required..He doesn't even see us as 'people with low self-esteem' for He sees us as WHOLE and FINE!   HE just sees us as HE always has, as we REALLY are - His beautiful, precious, beloved little children!  Perfect!  We are His darlings and the apple of His eye, the light of His world, His delight, His pride and joy!  Each of us is His favorite, and He will convince our hearts of that, and we'll enjoy His loving presence for all eternity! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guest Post - On God's Opinion of Us (by Dave of Pure Grace Gospel blog)

My good friend and fellow blogger Dave N. has written a wonderful note on the loving acceptance of God, and how His opinion of us sets us free to live loved..and I wanted to share it here.  These thoughts have encouraged me so much, especially the idea of God praising us and being so well-pleased with us, and the idea of leaving behind old lying voices of shame and enjoying the freedom found in God's acceptance - freedom to be ourselves, to live life with joy, to accept ourselves and others!  Hope you all enjoy this note from Dave:

On God's Opinion of Us
by Dave N.

We just need to be forgetful people.  So many believers are consumed with past mistakes but Paul specifically says:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, FORGETTING those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Paul says, "This one thing I DO....FORGETTING...."  This is a very important practice we should follow.  We are to forget what is past but never forget what manner of man/woman we are in Christ Jesus.  We are not to walk away from the Law of Liberty forgetting our glorious image we truly are (James 1:24) but we truly have died to the Mosaic Law.  The Mosaic Law will always point a finger to condemn but the Law of Liberty only speaks glorious freedom. 

When we focus on our sins is when are considered "blind" and have "forgotten" that we had been forgiven of past sins (2nd Peter 1:9).  So many believers are consumed with some sin of the past (5 minutes ago or 5 years ago).  This is why the author of Hebrews stated there is "no more conscience (remembrance) of sins" (Hebrews 10:2) because of the once for ALL (behold the Lamb of God which taketh AWAY the sin of the WORLD) sacrifice.  God remembers our sins and iniquities "no more" (Hebrews 10:17).  If God remembers no more then we are to "forget."  We are to forget what we were or what religion claimed we were and behold who we forever are as sin has no room for display in our thinking.  We are what He is and not what we do. 

"God has just been showing me this, how important it is not to pass judgment on myself (or others)"

This is where freedom truly lies. Romans 14:22:

"Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." 

Paul said this about himself in 1st Corinthians 4:3:

"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I JUDGE NOT mine own self."

Paul went on to share how the Lord judges in verse 4 but we know that there is no "condemnation" in Christ Jesus and that is why Paul said in verse 5 "...and then shall EVERY MAN have praise of God."

The glorious thing about the gospel of grace is that the verdict was already passed before you or I even committed a single act.  We are justified, sanctified, and washed.  The problem with behavioral modification teaching is that we are constantly looking for approval by our performance.  Every person who says, "I am a good person" is probably telling the truth but such a statement means that they are hoping that God will one day pass the same sentence upon them by their performance.  Performance oriented thinking leads that person to keep assessing themselves before God where they live in a state of condemnation (Oh God, I did that sin again). 

People live backward lives because of religion.  We do not perform to gain God's approval but we perform because of God's approval.  Even when we "think" we are huge failures is to know that we are always "accepted in the Beloved" (accepted = well pleasing).  We can be assured that when we are judged by the Lord that "we shall have praise of God."  Acceptance always precedes behavior.  Love always precedes behavior.  God loved us when we were sinners and Christ died when we were enemies.  We are that special to God.

Remember, we always sin but we are NEVER to associate them to ourselves as they can no longer define us.  People who worry over their sins or performance before God will be a slave to low self esteem.  God highly esteems us and that means that if we never do another good work for God is to know that we remain highly esteemed.  We are and always will be well pleasing to Him.  We shall have praise from God.  We are the trophies of His grace.  He is forever proud of us. 

It's sad that much of our lives are spent trying to gain approval of others.  I cannot tell you how many times I daydreamed making myself into something I was not as I would picture the world around me rolling out the red carpet.  I cannot tell you the freedom of forgetting those things which are behind (either good works or my sins) and simply living in the reality that I have all things in Christ. I no longer strive to gain the worlds approval. 

No believer has it better or worse than us as we all are complete in Christ.  I do not need the world to pat me on the back.  I do not need to esteem myself better before others more than I ought.  This is why pride goes before a self esteem fall. When we seek to live up to a certain worldly or religious standard then experiencing a emotional fall is to be expected.  This is why so many believers hate themselves and call themselves, "A good for nothing Christian."  This is why so many doubt their salvation because of the religious standards (law/bondage) they strive to follow and when they fail is when they experience an emotional fall that wears them out.  It even wears out the legalist who continually performs and seems to be doing a good job at maintaining his/her religious duties but inwardly they are burning out..

We cannot live up to religious or worldly standards or we will ultimately crash.  Depression is often due to failed expectations.  We live trying to be accepted but that acceptance is almost always based on appearance/performance.  It is when we see God's loving hands embracing us is when we can lovingly embrace ourselves and those around us.  We can embrace flaws.  We finally allow chaos to be a part of our lives as we can live without things being perfect.  We can finally relax and simply be ourselves.  We can take off the religious masks and be the very person we are.  We can live life loved. 

I am aware of my flaws but I no longer hold them against myself.  My poor self esteem was due to trying to live up to religious/worldly standards.  I now forget those things that are past and that includes my so-called righteousness as but dung for the excellency of Christ.  I now see myself robed in the excellency of Christ and am satisfied. 

The key to victory is throwing out those religious/worldly expectations and live free.. "Cast out the bondwoman and her son and live free!!!!"  Living free lies outside of religion, law, and this present world.  We cannot be bound to any of those things because they come with expectations/standards that follows with condemnation for failure.  The world, the law, and religion are critical and judgmental of themselves, people, and their environment that will affect us the same way if we follow.  We are not to be conformed to this world (world often refers to the religious system) but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Beholding our glorious image in Christ transforms us into that same glory (2nd Corinthians 3:18).

We are to follow Paul's advice and not care what people think of us.  Let's not judge ourselves.  The one thing that we are to do is forgetting what is past.  I like how the New Life Version translates 2nd Timothy 2:15:

"Do your best to know that God is pleased with you. Be as a workman who has nothing to be ashamed of. Teach the words of truth in the right way."

Do your best to know that God is pleased with you but performance, past behavior, or even people's assessment of you has no place in knowing whether or not God is pleased.  

Dave N.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 3 - The Activity of God Before Creation

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God."        John 1:1 

As I take this walk with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension, I see that this story of Jesus starts before the Incarnation, even before the creation itself!  For Jesus is the Word, the original thought of God, the perfect expression of Him, existing before creation, before time itself! 

What was God doing before creation and time? I imagine what that was like, that ‘time’ outside time and that ‘space’ outside space, where all just IS, where God is and is I AM, present tense…the God who IS! And I think of how God is Love, love defines Him, He is the definition of love..pure love, infinite love, love with no shadows or dark sides…love with no harsh with nothing withheld, a love that is completely transparent, self-giving, open…And I think of how God is there before creation in a circle of fellowship and love, all the members of the Trinity loving and sharing with each other. And I imagine God thinking of creating beings to share in this love circle, this happy fellowship, and I realize that I am on His mind! When He was in fellowship in that loving Tri-union, I was on His mind..When He was thinking of beings to share love with, I was on His mind..When He was thinking of creating the universe and tangible realm as a gift to them, an environment where His love could be shared and between those beings – us! – and Himself, I was on His mind…When He went ahead and chose and loved us, I was on His mind…When He called us by His own family name, called us His children, I was on His mind…When He knew He would do anything for us, these children of His, even to the point of Jesus’ giving up all for us to rescue us from the trap and ruin of living in a false identity, I was on His mind…When He planned for us to rule with Him, I was on His mind..on His mind, in His heart, and actually existing in Him in that eternal, Spirit realm! Already there in loving union with Him in the eternal heavenly realms! Wow!

Back in the time before time, the space outside space, where everything just IS, where God is I AM, I was there, hidden in Christ, snuggled into my Daddy’s arms! This place is a place of total innocence, where I have never seen what right or wrong is, where I have never been hurt and never will be, where I have never had an evil thought and never will, where there is no battle, no striving, and of course no separation from this Father who is this place all needs are satisfied and I am full, whole, complete, safe, warm, enjoyed, celebrated, adored, loved by my Daddy! That is the real me, my spirit identity that has existed even from before time and creation, wow! And through all the years on this earth, through all the turmoil and confusion, through all the feelings of aloneness, I have been there in His arms! And that is where I will always be, forever and ever!

God is a unity of Love, and He loved us before there ever was a world! Back before He planned time and creation, He had us in His mind and in His heart, and that’s where we always always ARE, yesterday, today and forever!

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 2 - Understanding the Bible

"....He has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."   Heb. 1:2-3

Walking with Jesus through His finished work, I will be looking at different scriptures and know I need to see them in a proper perspective. So what is that perspective?  There is something deeper to understand than just words on a page.  The Word isn't a book, really, is it?  The Bible itself tells us that Jesus is the Word!  What does that mean?  What does it mean to see the scriptures through the lens of Jesus BEING the Word?  I think it means He reveals Himself through the Bible, that He is the ultimate and original Word or thought of God!  Jesus is the perfect expression of God and God's thoughts, "the exact representation of His being!"  We can read the words of scripture and encounter THE Word of God, Jesus, there!

I feel like there is so much about the scriptures I don’t understand. I seem to have interpreted so much of the scriptures through ‘performance’ lenses for so long, that some parts I just have to set aside for now and realize that eventually God will make all clear and show me how to see those passages through His ‘grace’ lenses, which really means seeing all of scripture through Jesus and His finished work! Wow, that gets me excited! Just thinking of how we began, not in our mother’s womb, but in God, in His thoughts, in His mind, in the Word or logic of God, in Christ Himself! We are of Him, and so we are like Him! These truths are so new to me that I can barely grasp them…but how wonderful to rest in His knowledge about me..

A couple of days ago I shared the quote from Francois du Toit with a friend, that it’s all about Jesus, and Jesus is all about us. My friend replied, ‘But that makes us God!’ I didn’t know how to answer at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I realize the powerful truth behind my friend’s reaction, for the statement shows, not that we are God Himself, but at least God-like, for we are in the image of the very God of the universe, and Christ is like a mirror showing us how very God-like we are! It makes my heart sing to think of it!

All my life I have struggled with low self-esteem, feeling unworthy as a person, dealing with lots of shame. But now, I find that the deepest part of me is not bad and sinful as I had learned all my life, but instead in God’s image, like Christ, and thus very good and beautiful, pleasing to God and of infinite worth! Who can put a value on Christ? And yet, the scriptures are all pointing to Him, and to the fact that not only is He IN us but that He is an example OF us! So we, too, are of infinite value…We too are lovely and whole and good…We too are a delight to the Father…We too are wrapped in beauty eternal, wrapped in love, wrapped in God Himself, intertwined with Him in union down in the depths of our being, for that is how we were actually existing long ‘before’ time began, existing as love dreams in the Father’s heart!

That’s my true home, that’s my true essence, and even though I don’t fully understand many scripture passages, He is showing me that the written words point to a much greater reality than I ever imagined: Christ in me, representing me, mirroring my true, good, perfect, in-union-with God identity! It is such a relief to see myself and everyone else as basically good people, children of God who have simply believed a lie about themselves for far too long! The scriptures address that, too, for they not only point to Christ and our beginning in Him, but also to the wonderful way He freed us from the lies of the enemy that have confused us for too long and kept us trapped in a belief that we were inferior, shameful, sinful, ugly and far from God.
I am so glad to wake up in the morning and know that I am complete in Him, I am His very good girl, I am loved and close to Him and don’t need to ‘do’ a thing to make all that so, for it is already so. It has always been so, and Christ came to free my mind to see and believe and live in that reality. (Just writing those words almost seems heretical, because it seems too good to be true, and yet I am finding my heart leaping forth and believing these new ideas!)

So that is my understanding of how to read the scriptures – not as a book of ‘how to’ get to perfection before God but as a book revealing Christ, the perfection of God, who shows me who I am and where I come from and makes me able to live in that reality – that I am His perfect child already, originating in His thoughts of love, ready to share this love with the world so they too can awaken to the truth!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thank You, Dear Friends..

I just wanted to say a big thank you to you, my dear friends who read my blog..the fact that you are willing to read my humble musings means so much to me..I have had this blog a long time and have never really had a big audience, but that is just fine with me as I am sort of the quiet type anyways, and crowds can intimidate me a little, lol!   Sometimes I have thought of shutting down the blog, because of hard times I went through with depression and such, or not being able to post as much at times, but somehow Under the Waterfall of Grace kept on going and I'm glad for that. 

I have always wanted this to be a place were people could come and read something about God's love and acceptance and grace and be uplifted, a place where people would be safe from any shaming or blaming or demanding messages..and I hope that nothing I write would ever make anyone feel condemned or pressured but instead loved and accepted!  

I just wanted to thank each of you that read my blog and tell you how much I love you, even if we don't know each other face to face, and even if you have never commented or anything.  I am so glad we are all family here.  I am so glad we can all celebrate and bask in the grace of God together. I am so glad we can feel safe and be ourselves and relax together in the gentle acceptance of God.  I feel like we have a cozy little place here on the web where we can chat, a quiet place off the beaten path to just rest and enjoy talking about His love together..

I love to read the comments that some of you share, they uplift me so all teach me new things about Him and His love, just by being yourselves and sharing your beautiful and grace-full thoughts!  So I thank you Alexander, Patrick (Woolly!), Dorothy, Mathew, Dave, Alan, Luke, my Anonymous friend, and anyone else that comments (I hope I am not leaving anyone out!  You are each so important!), for all that you share, and if anyone else who reads would like to introduce yourself, please leave a comment - I'd love to 'meet' you! 

So I want to thank each of you, my dear friends, for being YOU and for sharing of yourselves, for reading my humble thoughts and encouraging me so many times when I have been down or discouraged, and for always pointing us to Him who IS grace and love!  He has made life worth living again for me, and I pray for each of you, for His blessings of grace and love and peace and joy and gifts and everything else to just overflow to you at all times!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walking with Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension - Day 1 - Meditation on the Truth

I am so excited about this study!  Learning from Jesus all about His finished work of grace for us, all the way from the Incarnation to the Ascension!  I have wanted to understand more about grace, and I am looking forward to all He will teach about this wonderful topic!  There seems so much more I want to know and understand...I really want to have my mind opened to explore new vistas of truth, grace and love with Him!  (I am going to be writing this in first person as I share my personal journey with Jesus...I will just be sharing what He is teaching me as we go along...I hope that type of format is okay!)

Seeking to understand the finished work of Jesus, from the Incarnation to the Ascension, seems like an overwhelming can I understand something so deep that theologians have studied and pondered and thought about for hundreds of years? 

"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth."    1 John 2:20-21

These verses in 1 John truly touch my heart, as I feel I have been ‘trying’ to understand some of the new ideas about my original identity and God’s grace for the past 6 months, and at times it has been such a struggle. I think the struggle came partly from resisting new ideas and also from the feeling that I was lacking understanding and had to somehow ‘get it’ by my own effort. I have struggled so much with legalism and living by ‘Christian performance’ in the past, and I’ve often thought it was all up to me and my effort to make growth or understanding ‘happen.’

Yet these verses reassure me so much. We are reassured that we already know all things and already have the riches of understanding within us. The Spirit has anointed us, for God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh to touch our deepest parts and remind us of what it true, of what we inherently know deep within. So I do not have to struggle to ‘get’ some understanding or knowledge – it already resides within me! I do not have to feel lacking in any way – I am full of Him and His wisdom!

So how do I draw this knowledge out? Perhaps that isn’t meant to be an ‘effort’ either. I think of the definition of grace as ‘the influence of God’s love on our hearts and its reflection in our lives.’ I know that I am under grace, not law. So this reassures me that it isn’t up to me to ‘pull’ knowledge out of myself somehow by my struggle. God in His grace, by the Spirit, will draw that knowledge out, and it will be seen in my life, a reflection of His grace. It is not a struggle to pull up one’s reflection in a mirror – it is automatic, as soon as you gaze into the mirror itself, the image of the person, their real self that they truly are, is reflected back immediately and perfectly, without the person having to ‘do’ anything to make it happen! So this helps me relax. All I need to ‘do’ is look to the mirror, the Word, and He will automatically show me the truth of who I am. He is working within me to draw that knowledge out, and it will reflect in my life naturally as I gaze at Him.

I can relax and cease all my ‘trying.’ I do not have to figure everything out. I can be reassured that deep down, I already have an inner knowing. I don’t even have to stress about how to access that inner knowing. I need only look to the One who knows all and rest assured that He will show me what I already know deep down to be true – about God, about my identity in Christ, about the worth of all mankind before God. “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am.” (Mirror Bible) That sounds restful, not stressful!

I like the idea of this study being restful!  I love the fact that it is an easy and light journey, that it is not up to me..that He will draw the truth that is already inside me up to the surface where I can see and understand and experience it!  Wow!  Thank You Jesus!  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"I Believe" by Lewis Smedes

I love this powerful set of statements by Lewis Smedes...from his book "Shame and Grace" - just thought I would share them here, because they touched me so much!  God loves and accepts us more deeply, totally, and unconditionally than we could ever fathom - it's truly a grace beyond our wildest dreams!!

"I believe that I am accepted by the grace of God without regard to my deserving.

"I believe that I am accepted with my shadows [struggles, issues] and the mix of good and bad I breed in them.

"I believe that I am worthy to be accepted.  (!)

"I believe that grace has set me free to accept myself totally, and without conditions.

"I believe that nothing I [am] asahmed of [any past failure or any weakness I perceive in me] will make me unacceptable to God.

"I believe that I can forgive anyone who has ever infected me with shame I do not deserve.

"I believe that I may forgive myself for anything that I have ever done to shame myself or another person.

"I am gratefully proud of being who I am and what I shall [be revealed] to be.

"I believe that grace is the best thing in the world."

Thank You, Papa, for Your grace that accepts us so fully, so completely, so compassionately, so unconditionally, so permanently!  There is nothing we could do that would 'mess up' this grace upon us or make it be withdrawn!   Thank You that we are forever accepted, forever taken into Your arms and held there forever, no matter what!  Thank You for accepted the whole of us, with our mistakes, our struggles, and our 'real life' issues!  Thank You that through Jesus' finished work You banished all the shame the enemy has tried to place upon us!  Thank You that there is no shame on us in being who we are, that we are never shameful or unacceptable to You!  Thank You that we never have to be ashamed in Your presence - we can be honest and naked and real and KNOW that You accept and love us no matter what, and that nothing we do could change Your stance toward us!  You have taken us into Your heart and will never let us go, never be disappointed with us, never have anything but songs of joy to sing over us!!  Thank You that You want us, You see no fault in us, You find us absolutely beautiful and perfect!  Thank You that You love having us near, You wouldn't want to exist without us!  Thank You that we are Your dear little children in whom is all Your delight forever!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Grace Always Comes To Us

God has no expectations on us..
God has no requirements of us..
God has no stipulations for us..

God loves us for free, blesses us for free, sticks with us for free!

There is nothing we need to do, think or even believe in order to 'get' this unconditional companionship, love and help..

It's ALREADY and ALWAYS ours, freely given! That's grace!

Grace is uncaused by us...
We don't have to do anything to make it come..
We don't get it going or keep it going..
And we can't 'turn it off' either...
That is the whole definition of grace, isn't it? It's freely given, not matter what! 
Grace ALWAYS comes to us, the waterfall of His grace ALWAYS pours over us!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Series of Posts Coming Soon...

I recently completed a course given through Andre Rabe's ministry, all about the Person of Jesus, and I am going to post some of the things I learned in the course here on my blog...sort of as a study of Jesus' Person and Work...I thought I'd call it "Walking with Jesus from the Incarnation to the Ascension" -  how does that sound?  It is wonderful to think of how everything He went through, He took us with Him, and how His work really is finished and done and we have the benefits right now!  I love that!  It brings such relief and rest to my heart!  So I think it will be wonderful to walk through this study here on the blog.  Coming soon!!

Who You Are Is Wonderful and Special...

You matter...You are special...You are God's voice in this world, and what you say is important!

You are special...You are a unique light of Christ in this world...nobody shines just like you do!

You are have a special something to share that noone else can...and you share it just by being you!

Who you are is wonderful!

Please never put down what God calls 'His masterpiece' - you!

"For we are God's masterpiece..."  Eph. 2:10a
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