Changed?

I waited until later to publish this one…on purpose. I knew, you see, that yesterday’s news would be today’s as well. I also knew that so much would be said yesterday (and probably for a good while to come!) that my words might get lost in the clamor. I’m OK with that. What I’ve got to say won’t change a lot of people’s minds, but maybe–just maybe–it might help someone else out there calm down and focus on something other than the hoopla in the news. Everywhere I’ve turned today, there have been rainbows and recriminations. Even as I type, there’s a rainbow at the top of my screen…and it wasn’t there yesterday. I suspect it will still be there tomorrow. Some things are going to be different now. Some things won’t change at all. I plan to be one of those “things” that don’t change. As far as I can tell, my mission is still the same one that its always been. God said I was supposed to love people like He loves people. He didn’t say that I’d always understand them, approve of their actions, agree with them, or even always like them. He just said I was supposed to love them. So, in case you were wondering, the answer to the unspoken question is a resounding “No.” I am not upset by the conclusions reached and published by five people whose job it is to interpret the laws instead of making them. I wasn’t wondering what they thought yesterday, so their opinions don’t hold that much appeal for me or change my thought process today. I don’t agree with those five people, but I am still called to love them and I plan to do so. And what about those people who are so excited and happy about this ruling? Well, the answer to that question is a “yes.” I have friends and family who see today’s news as a victory. I haven’t changed my mind about them, either. So, yes, I loved them before I heard the news and I see no reason to change that now, either. How can that be? Well, I’m realistic enough to know that I don’t have to believe someone is right before I choose to love them. Realistic? Yes. That word is appropriate because I don’t know of a single person on the planet that I’ve agreed with 100% of the time. In fact, if I was waiting until I found someone I agreed with on every single thing, then I wouldn’t even be able to love myself! (To understand that last sentence you need only remember the last time you said you were “on a diet”, but decided to have that big ole brownie anyway.) Loving someone like Jesus loves them means I am called to love regardless of their choices or opinions…and it means I will still be speaking His truth to them every time they’ll let me. You see, I’m a firm believer in telling the truth. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, therefore I am called to tell the truth. What concerns me, however, is the number of people who aren’t speaking His truth in love…and we are called to do that, as well. It matters, people. It matters a lot, so I don’t plan to do that differently, either. The main thing you need to know about me is that I won’t be different today and I won’t be different the day after or the day after that…because I’ve already been changed. I’ve already made the decision that God knows best and that Jesus came to make a way so I could spend eternity with Him and I already know that He wants me to tell others how they can be changed, too, so here it is: God loves YOU! He sent His Son Jesus to die for you and He’s not waiting on you to get cleaned up or change on your own before you get to know Him. He loves you just like you are today AND He loves you enough to know what needs to change about you…whether it’s something that you’ve made public or not. He’s not worried that the task will be too difficult for Him. He’s also not concerned about whether His Word (the Bible) will suddenly become popular with the people on the Supreme Court or with the ones on the Main Streets all across the world or even with those who might sit in pews with all kinds of sin in their hearts this weekend. The Unchangeable One came to change us into the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29)…no matter where we live or where we stand on this issue or any other. He came to make us righteous and when we become righteous because of His sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21), that’s when we’ll be able to love like He loves…and that will be what changes the world.

Do you know?

Hello, there! I know, I know…I’ve missed you, too! (all seven and a half of you who’ve been faithful to keep checking back here. ha!) I’ve been keeping pretty busy around here and, as I wrote before, God’s just had me being quiet even in all of the busy. Given all of the chaotic news in the world lately, a little quiet has seemed even more necessary than normal. I’ve been edging from my regular introversion toward full-on hermit…with occasional forays into the world of hysterical laughter with wonderful friends.

Along with cleaning out cabinets and closets, ignoring the growing weed collection in my flower beds as I’m roaming out in the yard, recovering chairs for the back porch and taking as much time as I can with my husband, I’ve also been pretty much camped out in Psalm 91…for WEEKS now. There’s still too much learning/brain and spirit marinating going on about that for me to even start sharing right now, but I’ve also had THIS keep popping up here lately and I do feel like I need to share it.

cropped-heartFor this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)

Did you see it? It’s what we ALL need right now:  “I pray that YOU (emphasis mine, but do you see that this is personal?)…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Could there be anything bigger than that? Is there anything any of us need more today? Do you know that for yourself? And if not, can you just take a second and tell God that you’d really like Him to show you that? He really will do that for you, you know. And if you’re already learning this–because the vastness of this blessing is so great that I wonder if we can ever stop learning it?!–isn’t there someone you know who needs to start knowing it, too?

I get that we can’t hide from the world and still be effective in reaching those who really need to hear this, but I sometimes wonder if we don’t stay silent because we’re underwhelmed with our own resources. Here’s a little hint for all of us:  When we just start loving people like HE loves them, then we’re not dependent on our own resources…we’ll be walking out the wonder of God’s resources!

Do you know? and Do you know someone else who needs to hear this, too?

Grace and Peace!

Newsworthy?

Well. This has been quite the week for news, hasn’t it? More than that, it’s been quite the week for anger and vitriol and finger-pointing (from every side) about what is right and what is wrong–especially if your last name is Jenner. Interestingly enough, it is just barely mid-week and the main story in the news…isn’t really the main story…for any of us.

Somehow, in the midst of all of the goings-on, I think we’ve managed to miss a few things.

Here’s the real news:

  • There’s actually something wrong with all of us. What’s wrong with us is that we’re all flawed and we’re all sinful…all of us.
  • NONE of us have gotten it every bit right so far…and we never will as long as we’re still on this planet.
  • Perhaps the saddest news of all is when someone (anyone!) is unaware of who they are created to be…in Christ.
  • When someone doesn’t have that knowledge, it is absolutely impossible for their lives to look like they have that knowledge.
  • LOVE does not equal APPROVAL of every action or attitude. It isn’t even acceptance of every action or attitude. Love is a lot tougher than that…and a lot more resilient than we ever give it credit for being.
  • If I focus on the things that still need to  be fixed in ME, I won’t have time to finger-point…at anyone.

Here’s the better news:

  • God still loves us!
  • God didn’t wait for us to get it all together and act like we should before He decided to love us…or show us how MUCH He loves us!
  • There’s still time to act like we know and believe that.

SONY DSCHow will you LOVE today? How will you LIVE HIM today? How will you entice the world to want to know our God today? (Hint: They ARE all the same thing!)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  John 3:16-17

Grace & Peace!