Lent begins.Jesus invites.

Lent begins.Jesus invites.

Because let's face it... Easter begins with a focus on DEATH. And death doesn't "sell" It's not as sexy as Santa and presents and holiday parties and "White Christmas". 

So maybe we can breathe deeply, and being free of the distractions that a secularized distortion of a holy day brings, we can fully submerse ourselves in it. All it's drama. And ugly. And beauty. And mystery. And hope. (the bunny has NO power to compete with this!)

the lie that Jesus is fixing you up....

I love to improve things.

A recipe.

My home decor or garden.

My hairstyle, wardrobe, or shoe collection.  :/ 

boots in snow.

 

I could easily buy into the  >Jesus is my spiritual handyman<  idea.   (maybe I have at times!)   You know... thinking that says:  He's here to help me be a better person.  He is working on me.       I'm working on me.  The Bible is the perfect 'self-help' manual...that kind of stuff.  There is no shortage of well meaning books, articles, posts, friends and messages to encourage this idea too.

But actually, Jesus doesn't help me become someone better...  He totally and completely RE-CREATES me into a NEW person.  

New creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Jesus in me. Me in Him. That doesn't make me "fixed up" or repaired or improved upon. It makes me an entirely NEW creation! As in - the old stuff: the pride, worry, fear, anger, selfish, jealous 'me', is actually ... 

DEAD!

Gone!

Have you ever noticed that when Satan talks to you about "who you are" he ALWAYS talks about the old you? The former you - before Christ??!! That's because his intentions are to make you BELIEVE that's who you still are!

But in Christ you are NOT that dead person! So stop agreeing with the liar and start agreeing with who your CREATOR says you are!!!

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, 

old things have passed away,       

behold, all things have become new.    

2 Corinthians 5:17  NKJV

Abide - Meditation # 3 on John 15

Abide - Meditation # 3 on John 15

I’m not too keen on the idea of someone searching my life, rifling through my actions, words, thoughts and intentions.  I’ll share what I want to share thank-you-very-much!  Funny how in a Facebook saturated culture, we’re all about sharing… but really,… we’re all about sharing what we want others to see or think of us. 

And that’s all.

Abide - Meditation #2 on John 15

Abide - Meditation #2 on John 15

Meditation #2 on John 15

... He is mysterious and big and wild and gentle and unpredictable and a bit revolutionary and there is so much that must have been confusing to the people who heard His voice.

Yet His purpose was to reveal. 

“I Am the true vine …”

This idea of the “true” vine has always felt like a little speed bump to me.  If Jesus is making a point to identify that He is the “true” vine, then there’s a reason for this distinction.  

abide - This is how to live the "present" life - meditations on John 15

abide - This is how to live the "present" life - meditations on John 15

How to live "present".  It is to dwell.  to remain. to stay in a place or position or state.  It's about abiding.

But to abide must start with my thinking and beliefs.  

Join me in a series of meditations on John 15:1-16 where jesus gives you and I a beautiful picture which holds the key to this kind of life.

 

I often want more. I usually want it NOW and I quickly forget.

I often want more. I usually want it NOW and I quickly forget.

It’s easy for me, (us), to read this and look at those silly, ungrateful, forgetful, greedy, grumbling Israelites and think, “what is WRONG with them??!!”

But the Word is a mirror that shines on my own fickle heart and when I’m willing to gaze into it I see how much I am the same as the grumbling crowd.

I often want more. I usually want it NOW and I quickly forget.

One Word - Do you have yours?

One Word - Do you have yours?

- sigh -  I’ve fallen into the same trap that the majority of us do though … thinking forming a list of resolutions, (whether you write your list or hold it secretly inside), will be enough to form the discipline required to cause that list to move from ink on paper to boots on the ground.

Real change happens in small steps. Incremental steps. Choices made in each, present moment, supports goals.  Moment by moment decisions are easier when we don’t have an ocean of lists to recall and stay committed to.

where to find hope for your 2016 & a different kind of list

where to find hope for your 2016 & a different kind of list

It’s enough to make us dizzy, all this turning of shortcomings, around and around in our minds.  And perspective is skewed with dizzy, spinning hearts.

But the wisest words for this New Year for me, (maybe you too?), words to stop the drain, the emptying, the dizzy, self-absorbed perspective, are words worth repeating:

 

    “But THIS I call to mind, and THEREFORE I have hope:
    ...

Emmanuel - God is with us

Emmanuel - God is with us

There's something about sky.  It speaks of God's bigness.  It pulls me from my small perspective and reminds me that His is infinite.  And He is everywhere.  He is not limited to the 

present, because He's been in my past and has already traveled to my future, but somehow, is in my right now too.  He's that big.  That whole.  That complete.  

Emmanuel.

My Christmas decorations are moving towards their boxes for storage and carols still linger in my mind and Emmanuel could easily feel like one more thing to pack away until next December