This morning I sat down to “hang out” with God. I barely opened my Bible where there’s a flyer marking some random book, saw the title of a book and was suddenly flooded with revelation that sent me writing feverishly in my journal and flipping back and forth between books of the Bible, recording, processing, crying.
You probably already know the things I’m about to share, but let me tell you anyway.
The book fell open to Joshua.
First of all, as background I’ve been chewing a lot lately on the idea of holiness. I used to have the view that because it was obviously too hard to be really holy, God didn’t expect perfect obedience from me. He loves me, after all, and isn’t some cosmic police officer. But I’ll be honest- I have often swung between “striving” to please God then giving up exhausted, and falling upon grace. There was a real sense of my unworthiness and God’s goodness and the mystery of his acceptance, but I have never really understood that non-legalistic holiness existed.
Back to Joshua. If you haven’t read it, I’ll give you a little sum up. The Israelites wandered in the Sinai desert for 40 years. On the brink of The Promised Land, Moses gives an epic speech and then croaks, handing the leadership over to Josh… Continue reading “Audience Participation”
Does being awesome have to be such hard work?
I’m coming to believe that as much as I want to live my life on purpose, show as much love as possible and, above all, help people know God better- as much as I want that, I don’t usually want the difficulties that go with those things.
This isn’t where I give you some moral lesson about how I’ve really just learned to buckle down and do the hard work. This is where I admit openly that I don’t want to.
It’s stressful. It’s exhausting, and I’m pretty sure I’m going a little bit crazy… Continue reading “Send Someone Else”
How was Paul the Apostle so confident? So active, so joyful, so sure of his position in God?
How am I so insecure? So easily discouraged, so doubtful of my position?
As I asked those questions, I heard in my head, “because you make it about you.” I make it about how I feel, what I think, what I’ve done, who I am.
When I woke up Friday morning I felt a kind of inner turmoil- like there was something rotten that needed attending. As I sat down to write in my journal I couldn’t really think of anything to say and I couldn’t figure out what my problem was. Because I’ve been slowly learning this lesson about the fact that my identity is not swayed by whatever my current emotion is, I just asked God in my head, “Is my heart in your hands, Lord?” and he simply responded, “It is.”
As I study Philippians, I’ve been kind of astounded by this statement, “If I am in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.” (Philippians 1:22)
Paul knew that his work would accomplish something because he was doing God’s work, following God’s call, living in obedience. He was sure that God would make it fruitful.
He even says later in chapter 3 that he puts no confidence in himself and his abilities – it’s not about what he can or cannot do. He counted all of his former trophies as garbage so that he could cling to the sacrifice and perfection of Jesus. He strained toward identifying with Jesus in love and suffering – looking to position himself firmly in Christ… Continue reading “Failure Loses Its Sting”
God’s goodness and love keep breaking through to me.
This morning I was reading a book and several pages into one chapter I had to set the book down and pray for forgiveness because I realized how far I have been falling short.
Do you do that? Do you fall short? Do you spend much time thinking about this, feeling guilty?
I do that. But lately? When I realize I feel guilty about something and I take it to God do you know how he always responds?
“I love you, Peggy.”
Right out loud in my head… Continue reading “Right Out Loud”
Obedience and disobedience.
It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend the other day that I realized something really good has shifted in my heart and mind concerning obedience. It goes along with the post I made about dancing or being a dog.
I went through this period of time last year when I felt like I kept hearing God telling me to do the most seemingly insignificant, in-the-moment things. While I had been longing to hear him constantly and obey him always, this almost felt like micro managing.
Typing that out it sounds like I’m complaining about God. The truth is… I felt annoyed. It seemed like being followed around by someone who was constantly correcting and judging me.
And I wrestled with this. I didn’t want to ask God to leave me alone! That’s the very last thing I want to ask God. And I didn’t want to tell God he was annoying me. Can you imagine?
Was it even God?… Continue reading “The Greatest of These”
I always want to say really epic things when I post. It’s not because epic things aren’t happening that I cannot find the words, it’s because too many things are happening with too little time to process them.
One beautiful thing happened on Friday. Thursday night I saw this video about a dog named Skipboot (and his owner). Skipboot is the most incredibly smart and obedient dog I have ever seen. I was really moved by the dog’s obedience… to be listening so attentively to hear and obey every small step. While watching the video I thought, “I want to be like that with God. I want to hear and obey Him that well.”
The next morning in class we heard teaching on the book of Hosea. In that story are pieces of Hosea’s incredible obedience to God. At the end of class the teacher invited us to spend some time talking to God personally. She turned on music… to be honest I can’t remember what she told us to seek God about! I just remember that when I closed my tired eyes and set my heavy head in my arms I immediately thought of Skipboot and was going to start praying along the lines of God making me more like that dog.
Almost as immediately I got a picture in my mind of dancing with a man, ballroom style…. Continue reading “Learning the Steps”