Tag Archives: anchored

Open Letter to Singles

Stop writing open letters to your future spouse. You marry the person so you can share things that you can’t share with the rest of the world. If you’re willing to share these thoughts intended for your future spouse with the world, what else are you willing to share? As we wait on the gift of being able to share here’s is how I would aim to be single. There are two types of single people. Single and loving it or single and hating it. If you’re single and loving it, then I write to you in hopes that you’re loving it for the right reasons. If you’re single and hating it, then I write to give you hope. You are single for a reason. Learn that reason and have a happier life. There is selfishness in our life that we tend to ignore. We don’t want to let those parts of our flesh die. What I’ve learned from being in relationships (dating, post-dating, friendship and family) is that they will draw those things out of us. In a healthy relationship, those things get called out of and you have help in the battle. Your selfishness will kill your relationships. This is especially true with marriage and children. Now my point is not to make your goal in life to be “marriage material”, but to live up to who God has called you to be. Yes, singleness is a gift, but it’s not an excuse. If your friends have seen your worst and not called you higher, then you need better friends. They are not being friends, but being tolerant. If you feel called to be single, be willing to make people jealous of your singleness. Be a great example to others of how to love well. Jesus was single, but He was also desirable. He is the greatest example of who a husband should be. Clearly He knew how to navigate thirsty people without hurting them. There are wells inside each of us that need to be filled. There is one that thirst for eternity and Jesus is the living water that satisfies its thirst. But there are other wells for relationship and purpose. The well of purpose is only filled by you doing what you’re designed to do. The well of relationship is filled with friendship and family. And a well especially to be filled by your spouse. The depth of these wells are up to you, and being single is your chance dig deep the well of your marriage’s beginning. As unmarried christians we tend view singleness as the season of finding the right person. A wise man told me that dating without intent is practice for divorce. Without intent you get together until the benefits run out then you go your separate ways. I would add that dating with too much intent is practicing for divorce as well. I was ready to marry every girl I was interested in. I thought I was being honorable in doing so. Honorable to the girl, maybe so. Honorable to God and the call He placed on my life, not so much. I was fully committed to girls that I was not supposed to be committed to. The gift of singleness is not happiness up until you find a date or marriage, but to fully engage with what God has placed before you. It is being able to go to coffee without planning the wedding. It is being able to lead and serve without expectation. It’s being able to genuinely tell the opposite sex that you love them without them thinking it’s weird or you want something. Where the motives of your actions come from love and not manipulation. You don’t need to impress someone for them to really love you. Dating should be an invitation to join with you in what God is already doing. Willingness to risk rejection to make the invite can only come from the security of sonship. Don’t wait until you’re married to stop being selfish. Who you are before marriage will be who you bring into it. The truest gift of singleness is preparation for marriage, whether on this side of eternity of the next. The gift of singleness is not a ticket out of marriage. Don’t miss your opportunity to get yourself together before you multiply or step into eternity. The gift of singleness is something you offer your spouse at the altar. What have you saved and prepared to offer them, and ultimately Jesus. Thus the gift of singleness is the sacrifice of marriage without the benefits. Do you still accept this gift? What we need to be asking ourselves daily is, how can I be a living sacrifice today? Blameless and holy, worthy to present myself at the altar. We will all present ourselves to Christ, but some will also present themselves at the altar to a spouse. I know what I offer will never measure up to what I receive, but all the more I will cherish the gift. For I aim to offer my very best. The best I have is all of me, seeking to become more like Christ.

1 John 4:10
1 Corinthians 7:7
Ephesians 1:4

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Harvest Time

Today I harvested olives for the first time in my life. On a hillside in Marcellina, Italy. Some might romanticize the idea of picking olives in Italy. There was nothing romantic about the experience, it was hard work. Let me first say that an experience doesn’t need to be romantic to be fun. This was not a light day of picking olives, but a harvest. And I am going to do it again tomorrow, because it beats walking around looking at monuments in Rome. While I was harvesting today these thoughts came to my mind. As christians we tend to separate our lives into terms of seasons. “I’m in a planting season right now.” or “This is my season of pruning.” (which is actually during or after harvest BTW) But as we all know when we say those things, we are longing to be in our harvest season. To which we think will be our season of rest and receiving. We fail to realize that that harvest season is one of the busiest times. And a good harvest requires hard work, even sometimes specialized equipment. In my work the passage in Matthew 9 came to mind.

Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”
Matt 9:35-38 NLT

I thought to myself, why would someone not want to be a part of this great harvest? The reality is we don’t want to be a part of the harvest, but we do want the fruit from it. We want to sit back drink our cappuccino and post cool photos with the perfect scripture. All in hopes that someone’s life will be changed from it. Let me be clear that I am not saying to neglect your social media influence for the cause. What I am saying is, that’s not enough. Jesus said we will do greater works than He had done. If Jesus had social media, first of all He’d have so many followers that Socality would manage his account. Secondly, His ministry would not depend solely on it. Why then would yours? You can’t plant seeds, expect them to bear fruit and expect the fruit to simply appear in your hands one day. When fruit falls off the tree on its own, it has ripened beyond its peak flavor. Social media is a great seed planter, but a bad harvester. You know when a post is planting a seed or sharing bad fruit. A harvest requires workers. All the testimonies I have seen and been a part of from social media went far beyond the reach of post. The harvest of the seed can only be reached face to face. Be the worker that answers the prayer that Jesus prayed in this passage. Go into the fields announce the Good News, heal the sick, teach the confused and helpless. These are His fields and knows which fruit is ready for harvest. Will Jesus be your foreman?

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Master of Peace

Every step you take is a step into power. Can this be true? Can I really step out in faith and there be power behind it? The biggest deterrent to stepping out in faith is the doubt that it will even make a difference. The second step may be harder than the first. Every step you take in faith changes you and changes the world around you. We sometimes forget that we stepped out in faith, that is when our feet fail us. When Peter walked on water every step he took literally changed the physics of the world around him. We see Jesus out in a storm and everything in us says get out to where Jesus is. But we forget that Jesus is standing in the midst of a storm. We head His way and all is good, then we look around and think well….this is a storm. We expect Jesus to stop the storm before we make it out him, but He didn’t calm the storm until He was back at the boat. He took Peter through the storm before He calmed the storm. I hate that. I want to walk on water, but calm water. No one wants to walk through a storm. We often mistake the demeanor of Jesus as the condition of the call. In the same respect we should not let the condition of the call determine our own demeanor. We want our step to be what changes the conditions. Peace is the condition of your heart, a raging sea is only a condition of your circumstance. Jesus walked in peace, with every step He took He created peace. But walking in peace is different than walking through a peaceful place. You can walk in peace and be walking through a storm. Two interesting things about peace. One, you can’t walk in peace until you’ve walked through a storm. Two, peace cannot be walked through. Peace is a strong tower. Peace is authority. Peace cannot be shaken. Peace is a position we, as Christians, are entitled to. We are adopted into the inheritance of Christ, and He is the Prince of Peace. He has mastered peace, therefore we also should master peace amidst the storm.

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Persona and Platform in Perspective

I’ve had a few things come up recently that got me thinking. One was an interview of a guy, who had a popular show that I personally didn’t care for. In the interview I discovered that this guy has a tremendous Spirit filled relationship with Jesus. Instantly I became more interested in the show. Another was a TED talk from a guy who has a very different belief system than I do. He started his talk stating some parts of his belief system and how it pertained to his talk. I was very interested in his talk and it was very insightful. But I was tempted to dismiss what he had to say because of his first stated beliefs. Holy Spirit urged me not to dismiss or devalue what he had to say simply for believing differently. I observed these two instances in the midst of the @socalitybarbie increase of popularity. Authenticity and real community have quickly become the height of most conversations, and very much a part of my internal conversation. I viewed my interaction with these two guys in a very unique way.

In our nature we have the proclivity to judge people in one of two ways. We either judge them by their performance or persona, by the image they put out there. The other way we judge is by their beliefs. A persons performance is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply may be the image that the character they are playing has. Someone my host a show as a character and be a totally different person in reality. We see actors do it all the time, they play the role of the protagonist and we don’t hold it against them. The second is a bit more dangerous. We know their belief system and we judge everything they do or say through that lens. Whether or not what they have to say has value, we blow it off because what they believe goes against our beliefs. We let what we disagree with become the thing that comes between what we do agree on. As a follower of Christ, I believe certain things are sin that a non believer will not count as sin. Until they become a follower as well, I cannot hold them the standard I hold myself to. Are they still in sin, yes. Are they acting against their beliefs, no. My job is not to point out how bad their sin is, it is be kind and lead them to the Christ I follow. When someone begins to act against their belief, that is when we can call people out. Jesus didn’t go through a casino and turn over the tables, He went into the church where they were using religion to steal money. Stealing is wrong in both places, but one is structured around taking people’s money. Until the casino believes that taking people’s money is wrong it will continue to take it. Let’s be honest though, if a casino gets your money it’s your own fault. We’re getting into legal vs. moral issues now. The reverse is also true. Someone may present something we wholeheartedly believe in, but at the core you have very different beliefs. My warning is to not let the fact that someone is presenting a single mutual ideal lead you to believe that you are kinsmen. See people in their wholeness and their hurt. The masks that people hide behind are only a reflection of their pain. Whether you believe the same thing or not, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying each others company. Live by your convictions and lead your friends to Christ through your love for them.

This is where @socalitybarbie comes in. Her account is based on the following. Instagammers are posting photos that are or seem to be staged with tags such as #liveauthentic or #adventure. Her frustration, some of these grams are not authentic and staged. Her solution, call out the inauthentic by making fun of it and being exaggeratedly inauthentic. She now has the popularity of all the accounts she makes fun of thru this exaggerated inauthenticity. I ask this of @socalitybarbie, to steward her influence well. She is now heard, and what she has to say can either keep people in check or simply become inauthentic. She must remember her beliefs and why she started. She got me thinking about the point of all the social platforms. It reminded what exactly they are, social platforms. In the same way someone can have their own show or share a TED talk, social media is your platform to share your beliefs and your persona. The original intent of social media was to keep people connected, but is has become so much more than that. My human brain can only keep a handful of healthy relationship before some begin to fall off. No computer program can help me with that. No matter how much of someone’s status I see, our relationship is my responsibility. Relationships are maintained through communication not status updates. Social platforms really have very little to do with real relationships. They are the platform for which people watch their friend’s personas. If you stage a photo, this doesn’t mean your whole life is staged. This is the way you choose to use your platform. If you don’t share all your darkest moments, this doesn’t mean all your days have to be primrose and daisies. The greater your platform the more cherished your privacy. You’re not going to tell the world what you tell your closest friends. That comes against the intimacy needed for healthy relationships. Don’t let the fear of being inauthentic keep you from expression. Don’t live life through your platform, live life through real relationships. Use your platform to share what you love. Whether that’s pictures of your kids or of your Kinfolk magazine. Remember this, everything you do sends a message whether you share it or not. If you have 100 or 100k, people are listening to you. Jesus only sought to influence 12 men, yet He changed the world.

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Joy Through the Promise

What does Joy look, sound and feel like? It’s not simply putting on a smile and singing happy songs. I can do that and still be depressed or bitter about one thing or another. Does happiness equal joy? I wrestled with this thought for awhile. I know that Joy is our strength, but does that mean we simply grin though trails? Whether that be temptation or painful circumstances. For Joy to get us through something, it has to be something tangible that we can hold onto. A strong point that we can tie off to when the winds and the waves come crashing in. The essence of Joy beyond the feeling of elation it is an unshakable trust. Trust is the backbone of Joy. Being able to rejoice in what is not seen. Everything we do and say stems from this core. What the enemy does is attack it with fear and doubt. Getting us out of alignment. When we are out of alignment we respond from a misaligned place. We respond through pain and not through Joy. We have to get ourselves back into alignment. Fear says you can’t and doubt says it wouldn’t matter if you did. The truth is you can and it matters that you do. Joy is not birthed from a the result of an action. Joy comes from being able to do what God is asking no matter the outcome. Not putting our faith in the outcome, but in the God who controls the outcome. Joy is knowing that you are delighted in no matter if you fail or not. Joy is a little boy walking up to a tee with the strut of a MLB player. He is not confident in his stats, he has none because he’s eight. His confidence is in his father that is sitting in the stands. He knows that no matter if he hits it out of the park or fouls it, his father is cheering him on. His dad is not delighted that his son performs well, but simply because he is on the field and he is his son. We put so much confidence in our performance that when we fail we think God is disappointed. We hide behind our stats, when they go down we think His delight in us goes down as well. Eventually it will take us out. We won’t even want to play anymore. 

Often we try to avoid the juggling act. We want to keep everything up in the air and balanced. But we miss understand juggling. It’s not an act of keeping things in the air, but throwing things up and letting them fall. It’s the rise and the fall that gives the illusion of things suspended in the air. We expect everything to stay up, that is why we fumble. We want it all to stay up, we throw it all in the air expecting it to stay. When it falls we frantically try to pick it up and in that process everything else falls. Then we say, let it all fall and God will take care of it. I just won’t even try to juggle. Stop, just stop. Letting things fall apart is not trusting God. Trusting God is being unafraid to catch what is coming your way and unafraid to let go of what needs to be tossed to God. Juggling is misunderstood because we think we have to keep our eyes on our hands to be successful. In actuality you have to keep your eyes up to juggle well. Knowing where your hands are you see the ball at it’s peak and you know where it will land. An awareness of where everything is. If we were to translate this into our lives. One hand would be you and the other God. The ball would be trials, opportunity, or blessings. Know where you are and know where God is, and keep your eyes on eternity. See what God is tossing your way and how it affects eternity then catch it. The most important part of catching is having an open hand to do so. To have an open hand you have to release what you’re holding on to now. Toss it up, watch as it arcs across your eternal perspective. But when it leaves your line of sight, trust that God is going to catch. So often we perceive God through our mistakes, if I fumble the ball surely God will fumble it too. We have it backwards, we are made in His image not He in ours. We need to perceive ourselves through His perfection, He doesn’t fumble the ball so I am capable of not fumbling it. We try to watch it all the way into God’s hand to see what He does with it and we lose perspective. When we lose perspective, things seem as though they fall apart.

So much I’ve tried to figure out. How will this journey end what will it look like? What am I missing trying figure out the future? We often step out in faith with this big picture in mind of what God is going to do with this step. Mid way through it the questions begin. If we were to put a twist in the juggling analogy for a bit, and say that the ball is our perspective. We are nestled in God’s hand and He whispers, “Hey I want you to do something great.” Then we step out in faith, He tosses up. At the peak of the arc we see the big picture and become filled Joy for what He is going to do. Then we catch the ball, we are walking out what was asked of us. But where is God, what is He doing? We want God to be doing the big picture things right now, right in front of us. Well He is doing those things, maybe not right in front of us. This is where Joy comes in. Being able to trust what God is doing with what you have let go of. Remembering the elation of being in His hand. Avoid being caught up with the results or the stats. So often we search for the results of the promise given and we forget the one who gave the promise. Even the greatest examples of faith didn’t hold onto what was promised, but who promised. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. Hebrew 11:13 Long for heaven but don’t long for the end. Welcome the promise, don’t worship the promise. Want for God, not what He can provide.

Will we be like Abram and try to conceive the promise through his doubt. Which has caused much turmoil for many generations. The size of the promise will be the size of the problem if we try to conceive it in our own time. Or will we be like Joseph and trust the promise is coming, outside of his timing inside a prison. I’m sure Joseph had his doubts, the difference is he never acted on those doubts. Rest assured that no matter how we wait on the promise or what doubts we act on, God always comes through. God gave Abram a new name and followed through with the promise.

He’s preparing us for the promise: Joseph learned the Egyptian language and how to manage both a household and a prison.

He’s putting purpose to the promise: Joseph came to terms and forgave his brothers, and saved his nation.

He’s pulling our pretexting from the promise: God showed Joseph his dreams were about more than being worshiped. 

Let’s get back to tee ball. Your Father wants to see you on the field. Whether you hit a home run or strike out, He is there to cheer you on. Your performance doesn’t change the outcome of the game. We are playing in a game that has already been won. How much we win by is up to us.

(Don’t take this as me advocating the “everyone’s a winner” philosophy. Every game has a loser. It’s just not us when it comes to eternity)
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Love Wins

I debated weather or not to write this. Should I take the dive into the deep end of this discussion? I tend stay away from the hot topics on my blog. They tend to go towards battles of he said she said. And frankly they usually have very little to do with why I write in first place. I write so that my generation will start to get their voice back, that the words I say might instill boldness and strength to those that read. Either to approach God with their questions or to take God to other people. My goal is not to pick a fight with flesh and blood, but against the enemy of our souls. Who has planted lies into our generation and our society. My goal in writing this post is to combat some of those lies.

I’m not interested in whether or not the Supreme Court made a right decision or not. That is beyond the scope of what I write today. I will not have a later post about it either, I’ll leave that to the political blogs.

I write first to the LGBT community. I’m sorry for the way some christians have reacted to the ruling, as well as to you as human beings. Will you forgive us? I love you and want to see God’s best come to fullness in you. It is not my place to tell you whether or not your lifestyle is outside of the will of God for your life. I am by no means better than you or less in need of a savior. It is my belief that to practice homosexuality is a sin. But by no means should it be magnified to something greater than any other sin. My list of sins is just as long as the next persons. I say that so not to deny the reality of my beliefs, at the same time not intended to push them on you. If I were to spend my life serving my church and community, but neglected to show you Love then would’ve failed. If I were to point out someone else’s sin, far greater my sin would be to not show them Love. So let me take a moment to pour out the richness of His Love for you.

My dearest beloved child,
How I long to be with you. You may not know me, but I know everything about you. I know when you sit down and when you rise up. I am familiar with all your ways. Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. For you were made in my image. In me you live and move and have your being. For you are my offspring. I knew you even before you were conceived. I chose you when I planned creation. You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. And brought you forth on the day you were born. I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. For I am the perfect father. Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Because I love you with an everlasting love. My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. And I rejoice over you with singing. I will never stop doing good to you. For you are my treasured possession. I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. And I want to show you great and marvelous things. If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. For it is I who gave you those desires. I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. For I am your greatest encourager. I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. He is the exact representation of my being. He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. I have always been Father, and will always be Father. My question is…Will you be my child? I am waiting for you.
Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

At this time a lot of hurtful things have been either online or face to face. Possibly bringing up other past hurts. I want to step in right now on behalf of your father, mother, brother, sister or other close friend or family member or people in ministry or authority over you and say I’m sorry, will you please forgive me? I repent from the harm I caused you physically, I should not have touched you in such a way. I repent from the hateful things I said to you, I should not have spoken that way to you.

If you want a safe place to talk about anything that has been stirred up in the last two paragraphs please go here or here.

To my fellow church goers, I say it that way because I am unsure of your beliefs. I love you too. Please do not be lukewarm. Do not pick and choose what scriptures fit your belief for the day. Fresh and salty water do not mix. The bible is clear on this issue. If you say those scriptures are outdated, then you’re operating on a different belief system than Christ. Get with God about that one. Most of all do not use scripture to spread your hate. Love does win, but only if it fights. It is a beautiful thing when Love fights. But you’re fighting for souls not your belief system or the right to be right. The Bible is also clear on how we are to Love people. Do that and people will be led to repentance. It is not our job to get everyone to believe the same way we do, but to Love them.

Love Letter

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Unshamed

I’ve found myself lately putting greater value on certain sins than others. I have equated the value of the sin with the amount of shame that the enemy sends with it. The goal would be to not feel any shame, not to be confused with sorrow. To get to a place shame is not a factor in how we handle our sin. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NLT) Why do we deny our healing just because we let some sin get in the way? With the “big” sins, like pornography or cheating on your taxes, there are incredible amounts of shame poured on you so you deny confession. With “little” sins, like a white lie or taking God’s name in vain, we feel little or no shame so we don’t even think to confess. In reality all sin is the same, whether you kill someone or you disobey your mom. It all separates us from God and is all equally important to confess. Your healing is far more valuable than the mask you think you’re hiding behind. Imagine how much easier your healing will be without heaps of shame on you, due to hiding and repetition. To be clear I’m not talking about physical healing, there are lots of non sin related factors that go into that. I’m talking about emotional and spiritual healing. Becoming one with the Father. Let’s not let the fear of our sins being exposed keep us from intimacy with God.

Most people don’t know this, but I was addicted to porn for 10 years. In fact I can only think of a maybe 25 people that did before this. Which in comparison is quite a lot considering most people will never tell anyone, sadly continuing their addiction as a result. I used to say to myself that I was grossly addicted to porn, but that is just too narrow of a word. Needless to say that porn is a gross perversion of a gift from God, this does not make the addict a gross person. It can if you let your addiction become your identity, this is what happened to me. I was voraciously addicted to it. The more I consumed it the more I wanted, I couldn’t get enough. What I didn’t know was that what I consumed was consuming me. In my mid teens I was a pretty witty kid, I am still today its just a bit dryer and sprinkled with dad jokes. But back then my ammunition was corse jokes, I became the master of “that’s what she said”. I got the laugh, but it came with a cost. I remember like it was yesterday. I was a part of a summer internship that my youth group facilitated. We were sitting in a technical college class room, when the girl behind me made a remark and I turned around cracked a corse joke. She didn’t laugh but gave me more of an “h’s are ew” response. I just turned around a thought to myself “yeah, I didn’t think it was that funny either.” Later that day I was in the restroom with a friend, no we didn’t intentionally go together. We were washing our hands when he looked over at me and asked “Conan, do you know what we call you?” “No, what?” Anticipating a positive remark. “We call you the pervert.” “Oh…why?” “Because of all your jokes.” My heart hit the soles of my feet. All that I thought I was instantly became a lie. Though I didn’t recognize at the time, the Father stepped in at that moment. I felt the tug on my heart, I knew exactly what I needed to change. The next youth service I found a guy that later became my first spiritual father. I walked right up to him and told him I needed to confess. We began to meet and my healing process began. I didn’t choose at random though, so be at peace. You don’t have to pick out of a hat who to seek help from and random guys likely won’t come confess to you. There was relational equity between us from serving together. Though it was not a lot of equity at the time it was enough. Always be building relationships no matter how lighthearted. My life was changed because of relationships.

As much as my addiction consumed me, so did my fight. My every thought became fight this massive sin. How I was going to beat it tomorrow. I was misguided where the fight really was. We are not fighting to beat evil, evil is already defeated. The fight is not to conquer sin, but to get in the presence of the Father. To be present with the Father is to be absent from sin, and vice versa. To surrender to His battle for my heart. Will you surrender to the God that has waged war for your heart. He has already beat your enemy. The battle is yours to win. Your battle is not with computer screens or magazines, but with principalities and spirits of darkness. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5 (NLT) The Father has already extinguished the darkness, it is our choice to walk in the light.

What had kept me from the light the most was shame. “I can’t come to God with this filth on me.” Wake up, God can’t see sin. In the same way that parents refuse to see when there kids are making poor life choices, He refuses to see anything other than our true identity. But to deny the existence of the bad choices would be bad parenting, in the same way He does not deny your sinful nature. He just won’t call you by it. Would a good parent call you by your bad choices? “Drug addict come here.” “Hello my cutting daughter.” NO! Not only are you ashamed of yourself, mounds and mounds of shame are dumped on you that way. This where wounds come from. Daddy does not inflict wounds, He’s a healer. He simply cannot see you when you sin. Its impossible for Him to be with sin, therefore when you’re in it He cannot be with you. Have you ever been in a room with someone and they’re not there? They’re on the phone or lost in thought. You’re both in the room but you’re not in relationship. They’re denying your presence in the room. This is what it means when He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is always in the room, it is your choice to acknowledge His presence. To truly welcome Him in is to deny sins entry. When we sin we leave the room, the Father will be right there waiting anxiously for you to come back. But He still cannot see sin when you re-enter. He never sees sin enter the room, but sons and daughters. He sees righteousness and goodness and all the wonderful things He calls you. This is the first thing He says, “Where are the robes of righteousness I gave you? I had them tailor made for you.” Shame really does make you look fat, at least that’s how it makes you feel. When the prodigal son returned the father didn’t acknowledge the rags or the sin, but called for the best robe to be brought out. Grace is like the little black dress or tailor made suit. You look good in it and walk with that extra bit of confidence. One thing is required though, to put on the clothes you were designed for. You have to take off your bed clothes, take off the shame.

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:20-14 (NIV)

You have to answer, why are you wearing shame? This question cannot be avoided if you want shame removed. This is how confession brings healing. This question is not for the sake of the Father, but for you. The truest answer I can think of is that we forget who we are. Shame is what keeps us from coming to ourselves. We sit in the pig pen because we have forgotten who we are and who our Father is. So get up and run to the Father. He will run to you. Become alive again. Let your sin nature die, don’t let it breath the air your spirit is supposed to. Then begin to celebrate.

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Anchored to Set Sail

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭5-8‬ NLT)

We’ve all been there. The place that feels like you have to hear from that one person. Where seems as though everything hinges on whether or not they reach out to you. You feel like your swinging from a string and their response will cut it, how they do so determines whether or not you fall into a pit of despair or a pool of refreshing water. While you wait you’re swinging between emotions of hopeful bliss and doubtful despair. Will they offer a job after that interview or will she say yes to coffee/will he ever ask me to coffee? It’s the most natural of human responses to situations we’re not sure about. Yet the most complicated. If mismanaged can lead to some pretty dark places. We let this happen when pursue something out of ambition rather than faith. Decisions made out of ambition and not faith are destined to fail. Ambition is trusting in the plans you’ve made, faith is trusting in plans God has made. Both seem grand and quite impossible, but only one is able to be fulfilled. When you start to achieve ambitious goals your pride grows, when faith goals are reached you trust grows. 
Ambitious decisions will always cause a wavering soul. Using a perceived ability to achieve an unforseeable outcome. When we are anchored in our abilities and those abilities fail us, we are cast freely among the waves. You will never be truly trusted, because you will be known as ambitious and not faithful. Big things are not given the ambitious, but to the faithful. 

Decisions made in faith will always be solid. Using an unseen force to make up for your inability to achieve an unforseeable outcome. We know our abilties will fail, just as we trust God to make up for our weakness. Though at times we feel that the waves will crash over us, our anchor holds in Christ. A person that can be tossed about, and still trust God will be given a bigger boat. 
When we’re anchored in Christ, we move when He moves. Being anchored doesn’t mean being stationary. God is the master of the sea, the shore and the anchor. The sea is what is happening around us. It’s what we see when we cast our nets, the wind and waves. What people think and say about us while our nets fill up. When God is working under the surface, pushing fish beyond our capacity into our nets. The shore is our rest, it’s what we search for while at sea. The shore can be found two ways, by searching for it or crashing into it. The anchor is what we hold on to when the shore seems far and the sea is rough. 

Near the end of August 2014, I got a word spoken over me to not be anchored. Be mobile and ready to move, God is going to take you lots of places. You’re going to learn lots of things before you start your ministry. A few weeks before that I had committed to God, that I would stay planted where I am as long as He says so. Whether that’s two or ten years. As soon as I heard don’t be anchored, the little man inside of me that actually expresses excitement did a cart wheel. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be where I was, but because I wanted to move. I wasn’t looking for a way out, but a way into obedience. 
Ever since then I’ve been very careful of what and who I anchor to before I set sail. As well as taking up anchors where need be. Through all this every song or scripture that has anchor in has stood out to me. I began to ask, how do remain unanchored while being anchored in Christ? I found that God was not saying unanchor from me, but from where you are. So often I would be tied off to a place that God did not want me to be. Not even necessarily bad places, just places where God already wanted me to move on. Faithfulness is not just staying no matter what, it’s moving no matter what. No matter how good it feels to stay, when God moves be anchored to Him not the situation. We want to be anchored in Christ, but when He moves we freak out. Because, God can’t move without our permission…right? We say things like, “God I’m not going to me till you move” when He has already moved. We fear our movement will somehow disrupt the shipping channels God has set up. The reality is we can go in any direction we want. So long as we stay anchored in Him, He will pull us back on track when we need to be pulled back. When we keep Christ centered, we can operate with in the radius He has set. Now here is where you think I should say, faithfully operate in a small radius and God will expand it. This is true only for the size net you can cast. The longer you operate within the anchoring of God, the more you learn how He moves and trust Him. Thus the smaller your operational freedom needs to be. Your freedom then is no longer based on your ability, but your trust. 
When I’m anchored in Christ and He moves, I’m just along for the ride. If I were to be anchored to something else as well, I’d be pulled two directions and one of the lines is going to snap. How much I hold on to one will determine the amount of pain caused. Also the one that doesn’t snap is the one I worship. If your line snaps to your anchor in God, the other thing you’re anchored to is not firm enough to hold you. It will not keep you safe from the storm, you are just going to drag it into the storm with you. When you lose hold of your anchor in God, I’m not talking about your salvation. Even though your line may snap that is tied to God, He is still master of the sea and the shore. He just may let you drift at sea a while, before you crash into the shore. Before Christ you didn’t even have boat to float in. You were just drowning. You can spend your life drifting in a life raft or you can learn to set anchor in the Lord. Where your anchor is where you place your trust. The stronger the anchor, the bigger the boat it can handle. Right now I feel as though I can barely handle a paddle boat, but God wants me to capitain a warship. I’ll never learn the open seas until I set sail outside the pond. My prayer is not necessarily smooth sailing, but an unshakable trust in a God bigger than the storm. 
Will you be anchored in your ambitions or your faith? 
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