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Saturday, November 3, 2012

the truth

Thankful for friends who share very timely Henri Nouwen quotes:

“The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: “These feelings, strong as they may be are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in His eyes, called the beloved from all eternity and held safe in an everlasting embrace….

You have to keep looking for people and places where truth is spoken and where you are reminded of your deepest identity as the chosen one. The limited, sometimes broken, love of those who share our humanity can often point us to the truth of who we are: precious in God’s eyes.”

Monday, September 24, 2012

so much extra

Oh how I so easily forget how much grace we have already been given!

On my morning commute today, I found myself struggling to pray against the incessant flow of complaints that were going through my head. Just as I was praying against the negative thoughts and feeling quite inadequate, I turned a corner and saw the biggest, most vibrant pinkish-orange sun I have ever seen rising over the beautiful green, rolling hills of Oregon. Simultaneously, out of the radio station I unconsciously flipped on someone was saying "His anointing is enough." It was a very needed, sobering moment.

His grace is enough....anything extra is extra grace.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

not an even trade

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise  instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness,  a planting of the LORD  for the display of his splendor.
           Isaiah 61:3

Friday, August 31, 2012

It matters who God is

"God is the map whereby we locate the setting of our life, that God is the water in which we launch our life raft, that God is the real thing from which and toward which we receive our being and identify ourselves. It follows that the kind of God at work in your life will determine the shape and quality and risk at the center of your existence. It matters who God is."

-Walter Brueggemann

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I trust Oswald Chambers

I just came across this excerpt from a devotional someone posted. I have found many of Oswald Chamber's devotionals to be rich in substance and oftentimes quite personally applicable. As I strive to love the people in my life better with greater understanding, this devotional reminded me that loving people better doesn't mean putting our faith or trust in them. Of course it's hard to fully love someone whom you have difficulty trusting but that's where the beauty of God's perfect, gracious love lies. It's such an interesting thought....loving our neighbor better means trusting our neighbor's not so much that our love needs to be "distrustful" but that trust simply isn't part of that perfect love equation.

"If we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ...Our Lord trusted no one, and never placed His faith in people, yet He was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God, and in what God’s grace could do for anyone, was so perfect that He never despaired, never giving up hope for any person. If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone." Oswald Chambers from John 2:24-25

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

permanent, earthly ache

"...our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honour beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache...At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door." (p. 15)

-The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis 

Monday, August 6, 2012

gratitude for forgiveness of ingratitude

I am thankful for forgiveness when I am not so thankful.

We are commanded to be thankful always, in all circumstances. This is hard because we don't and can't love God perfectly. Our love for Him becomes more perfected when we begin to more deeply realize and offer thankfulness for His perfect love for us. Gratitude is at the heart of the Christian life. 

Gratitude is more than a mental exercise, more than a formula of words. We cannot be satisfied to make a mental note of things which God has done for us and then perfunctorily thank Him for favors received.
To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is grace, for it brings with us immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder, and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference… Gratitude is therefore the heart of the Christian life.  
-Thomas Merton, one of my favorite desert fathers

Sometimes I just need these reminders that:  ALL of life is grace