Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

My favorite word October 31, 2011

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 8:15 pm
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During my prep period today, my student helper- I’ll call her Laura- asked me what my favorite word was.  I thought for a second and told her that I don’t think I have a favorite word.

 

Laura proceeded to tell me that her favorite word was antidisestablishmentarianism.  This caused to me consider what the criteria for a a favorite word should be- does it have to sound cool?  or is it the meaning that matters more?  I guess if it’s my favorite word, I get to decide.

 

So, as I was reading What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philp Yancey, I realized that if I had to choose a favorite word it would be (drumroll please…) forgiveness.  This word embodies the character of Christ- His great act of love and forgiveness on our behalf and his commission for us to live a forgiveness lifestyle. 

 

I really like how Paul puts it in Colossians 2:13-15-  “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”  -WOW!  Praise God!

 

In Yancey’s book he contrasts grace with ungrace and also contrasts forgiveness with revenge.  He writes that “Revenge… never settles the score.”  And he quotes the words of theologian Romano Guardini: “As long as you are tangled in wrong and revenge, blow and counterblow, aggression and defense, you will be constantly drawn into fresh wrong… Only forgiveness frees us from the injustice of others.”

 

So, that’s my favorite word- forgiveness… with grace as a close second. 🙂

 

What’s your favorite word??

 

 

 

All poured out October 26, 2011

Filed under: Faith,School — songofjoy88 @ 6:25 pm
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All poured out

I’m left here weak

Can’t even stand

No words to speak

I’m falling fast

When will I land?

He’s calling past

My circumstance.

 

He’s led me here

Despite my fear

So thankful cuz I know He’s near.

But I’m feeling a bit precarious

Because He’s living vicariously

through me.

He’s giving me eyes to see

What I missed before

Everywhere-

An open door

But when opportunity knocks,

Will I usher her in?

Or just tell her to come back again?

 

Now’s not the right time

So much to do and I’m

Barely doing what I’ve got to do

What makes you think I have time for you?

But wait, this is the very reason He placed me here

I think it’s time that I finally faced my fear.

Step outside my comfort zone

Until outside myself begins to feel like home.

 

Keep Me Abiding October 8, 2011

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 1:52 pm
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Two weeks ago I attended a women’s prayer retreat with about 30 women from my church.  The theme was John 15:1-17 where Jesus describes himself as the vine, God as the vinedresser and his followers as the branches.  The key verse was John 15:4- “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. ”

As I walked up the narrow winding road through the woods, I asked God, “What does it mean to abide in You?” 

He answered Unscheduled, uninterrupted time with me.  You don’t plan what you’re going to talk about before you hang out with friends and you don’t keep texting or talking on the phone when you’re with them- more like that. 

Not just asking (or telling) me stuff.  As you would with a friend, ask what I have been up to.  Listen and receive.

As I processed what God was revealing to me, this is what I wrote…

Abiding is not a thing to do-

it’s a posture of the heart,

a stillness of the soul,

a focus of the mind,

an openness to hear Me speak,

an eagerness to respond to My presence.

Stubborness can make me a slow learner sometimes, but slowly it started to sink in that abiding is less about what I have to say to God and more about what God desires to reveal to me.  Wow! 

God persisted with this truth: Maybe what I have to say to you, dear child, is more important than what you have to say to me.

As I processed the passage and went through the prayer guide, God continued to reveal His truth to me.  One of the questions was “What are the barriers in your life that make it difficult to abide?”  I wrote down busyness and that abiding is not viewed as productive.  Gently, my Teacher helped me see how faulty that logic was!

When there is a difficult situation in my life or lots of work to be done, my initial thought (perhaps yours too) is to buckle down and get to work.  Act now- pray for God’s blessing and direction later.  I need to DO something, even if I sense a lack of clarity.  Lack of action can be viewed as nothing more than weakness and cowardice.  Or maybe not.

John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  This verse directly opposes my human logic.  The only way to bear fruit is if I abide in Christ.  Without Christ, nothing matters.  If I want what I do to matter, Christ must be the source of it all.  I need His help to understand that abiding must preceed action!

Echoing these thoughts, I can’t think of a better song than “Full Attention” by Jeremy Riddle. 🙂  Lord, keep us abiding in You.