Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

Radical, crazy love September 8, 2012

So, I know I’m already 4 weeks into the school year and the weather is finally getting a bit cooler… but one thing I love about summer is that I have a lot more time to read!   One book I read over the summer was Radical, by David Platt.  If you’re looking for a book that will shake up your idea of what it means to be a Christian in America, I would highly recommend this book.  Through stories and Scripture, Platt asserts that the American Dream isn’t really what God has in mind when it comes to living out our faith.

 

Another book I just finished is Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.  Similar to Radical, Chan challenges believers to live out the gospel in tangible ways as a result of their passionate love relationship with God.  Through stories of “average” people who have boldly lived out their faith, Chan reassures the reader that a life of radical commitment is possible for anyone who is truly in love with God.

 

To continue on a similar theme, I picked up a Timothy Keller book at the library today titled Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes us Just.  I’ve only read the intro and part of the first chapter, but I’m excited to dive into my first book by Keller!  I think it’ll be neat to make connections with this book and the others I’ve been reading… and also see how it relates to my job teaching kids with rough lives outside of school- some who have spent time in jail.

 

The Christmas Tree December 22, 2011

Filed under: Faith,Just for fun — songofjoy88 @ 1:52 pm
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The phrase that replays

It stays in your head for days-

“Jesus is the reason for the season.”

It’s thrown around like a cliché

But at the end of the day

We may implore

“What is Christmas without Christ?”

But lemme ask you something more-

What is Christ without the cross?

That’s why I’m thankful God’s the boss.

 

See, Christmas is just the beginning of the story

Jesus lived a perfect life and even more he

Gave up his life to bring God glory.

This was all God’s plan even before he

Sent His son down to our human territory,

Purposed to die on a tree- that’s grace- not by works, but for free.

 

So the wood that matters isn’t just the manger

If we forget about the cross, this is the danger:

We don’t remember why he came-

But would my life be the same,

If my Savior didn’t take the blame?

 

So as we celebrate this season,

Remember Jesus is the reason.

Cuz Christmas can become all about gift after gift

So we gotta be discerning- we gotta sift

Through- to find the most important one

Look past the three gifts the magi gave the Son.

God came down- the gift of Jesus’ birth.

Such humility to walk upon the earth.

Perfect life sacrificed- now that’s a gift of priceless worth!

 

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??

 

 

 

Little is Much August 26, 2011

Filed under: Faith,School — songofjoy88 @ 8:59 am
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The anticipation builds… on Monday, I’ll meet some of my students at orientation and then I’ll see all 153 of my students on Tuesday!  It’s kind of crazy to think back to a year ago and realize how much my Lord has graciously taught me.  I had no idea what to expect a year ago.  Since I student taught 7th and 8th graders, it was quite a jump for me to have a classroom full of 10-12th graders for six periods every day!  On top of all this, I was still recovering from my jaw surgery and eating mushy/soft foods.  It wasn’t all bad (I discovered the deliciousness of vanilla protein powder!), but it was a nuisance to plan around this different diet.  Also, the shift from college dorm/apartment living to having an apartment all to myself was quite an adjustment.

 

To compensate, I tried to exert more effort, especially at school.  School became my life.  Throughout the year, though, God began to reveal to me that my job was a lot less about anything I could teach or offer my students and more about me trusting God to use me as His vessel of truth and love…  You know that hissing sound when you run cold water over a pressure cooker that has all that steam built up inside?  That’s what this gradual realization was like- a release of all the pressure that I had internally put on myself.

 

I began to understand (and continue to learn now) that I have so little to offer these students.  Students coming from broken homes, evicted because of a parent’s drug addiction, caring for a 2-yr old son, dealing with abuse at home, experimenting with drugs, struggling with depression… the list goes on- so lost and desperate for love.  What can I bring?  How can I possibly have an impact?

 

The answer to these questions is simple.  Nothing.   And, I can’t… at least not if I’m the only one in the picture.  But thankfully I’m not!  There is work to be done, and with the power of God in me, I can press forward.  And the cool thing is I don’t even have to ask God to give me opportunities to show people grace.  He has already prepared the work for me and equipped me for the task.  Let’s get to work as we proclaim with our lives that, because of Christ, little really is MUCH!

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Hebrews 13:20-21

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen

 

Little is much when God’s in it
And no one can fathom the plans He holds
Little is much when God’s in it
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much