Somewhere Between Ordinary and Divine

I’ve been busy lately. There’s work and writing, editing and ministry, blogging and play dates with friends. Life has a way of sneaking up and consuming the moments. And that’s not always bad… until you find that those moments are no longer filled with the things that really matter. The things of God.

It’s all too easy to find yourself drifting. To look up and realize that you’re a long shot from where you want to be. To wake up and realize that you’ve let so many other things get in the way of what’s truly important. And the thing that amazes me the most in the midst of all of this is that it’s not that the things that are keeping me busy are bad. In fact, they are all necessary things. Things that I’m called to. Things that are vital to my existence.

The amazing thing is that God cares about these things. He concerns Himself with the details – both the big and the small. And yet… yet He calls us away from those details. Away from the intricacies that consume our time. The mundane things that inhabit our existence.

Sometimes God has to intervene. Sometimes He has to pull us away and help us recapture our sense of wonder. Sometimes He invites us back to the fantastical world where pumpkins turn into carriages and kisses end curses and there’s always the hope that dreams come true. Because we weren’t meant to struggle through life as if it is some sort of burden. Sometimes, perhaps more often than we realize, God invites us to drink deeply of His Presence, lose ourselves in His love and dance unhindered in the courts of His Kingdom. That’s what this life is all about.

And, of course, it’s necessary to fulfill our duties and press on through the little things in life, but the danger is in losing our sense of wonder. In failing to see the greater picture in the midst of all the details. We walk a fine line between the ordinary and the divine and somehow find ourselves leaning toward the ordinary every time. What is wrong with us?

Know that I’m talking to myself when I say: Consider this your invitation to step out of the mundane details of your ordinary life. Allow your heart to become enraptured in thoughts of a heavenly realm and let the King of the Universe sweep you off into the fantastical wonder of His “once upon a time” tale.

You Are.

Confrontational Savior,

When I read John 8, I find that it’s no wonder the Jews wanted You dead. Children of the devil? Liars? Snakes? Hypocrites?

You called them out. Publically. You slandered their holier-than-thou reputations. Don’t You know that these aren’t the kind of people You want to anger?

You used every way possible to tell them that You were the Messiah. God incarnate. Immanuel.

They didn’t believe You.

It’s hard to believe You. Even for those of us who know how the story ends.

They hated You. Wanted You dead. But the words that incited them to pick up their stones are the same words that move me to awe:

“Before Abraham was born, I Am.”

Such a bold statement from such a dangerous God. Those two, simple words are all it takes to describe You. You Are. You just Are.

And because You Are, my life has purpose. Because You Are, there is meaning in every moment of my existence. Because You Are, I am free to simply be.

#4 – Back to the Basics

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I scoff at the basic truths of Christianity. Not that I don’t believe them, but it can seem that I’ve heard them a hundred million bazillion times. Sometimes when I hear the words, “Jesus loves you,” I just want to shout, “Okay, I get it already! Do you really have to remind me again and again?”

As a matter of fact, yes, I do need to be reminded. Because, while I know the truth in my head, sometimes I forget to let it sink into my heart. Sometimes I don’t really believe it. Sometimes I don’t let it reach into the depths of my soul and transform me from the inside out. Sometimes I move to the rhythm of faith completely out of habit rather than passion.

But think about it. Those three seemingly simple words carry a lot of weight. Jesus loves me. Me. The God who created the universe, set the stars in the sky, and keeps the world in motion truly cares about the tiniest details of my life. That’s huge. No other religion in the world boasts a God who loves His creation. No followers of other faiths can revel in that fact. And sadly, most Christians (myself included) don’t really revel in it either. We accept it as a basic truth, a simple rule. It’s as routine as “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.” We don’t even consciously think about it anymore; we just write.

But the Bible isn’t meant to be a rulebook; it’s God’s love letter to His children. The words “Jesus loves you” aren’t merely lyrics to that first song you learned in Sunday school; they are a reality with the potential to turn your world upside down. It’s time to go back to the basics of Christianity and allow the marvelous truth of God’s love to break through our religious routine.

That’s My King

Right on the heels of my post about running, God yet again reminds me of who He is. Bible study yesterday morning started off with this rousing video about my King. I know God’s talking to me, and I hope you’re blessed by this powerful reminder of what kind of God we serve:

I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable.

That’s my King.

Do you know Him?

Back to the Basics

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I scoff at the basic truths of Christianity. Not that I don’t believe them, but it can seem that I’ve heard them a hundred million bazillion times. Sometimes when I hear the words, “Jesus loves you,” I just want to shout, “Okay, I get it already! Do you really have to remind me again and again?”

As a matter of fact, yes, I do need to be reminded. Because, while I know the truth in my head, sometimes I forget to let it sink into my heart. Sometimes I don’t really believe it. Sometimes I don’t let it reach into the depths of my soul and transform me from the inside out. Sometimes I move to the rhythm of faith completely out of habit rather than passion.

But think about it. Those three seemingly simple words carry a lot of weight. Jesus loves me. Me. The God who created the universe, set the stars in the sky, and keeps the world in motion truly cares about the tiniest details of my life. That’s huge. No other religion in the world boasts a God who loves His creation. No followers of other faiths can revel in that fact. And sadly, most Christians (myself included) don’t really revel in it either. We accept it as a basic truth, a simple rule. It’s as routine as “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.” We don’t even consciously think about it anymore; we just write.

But the Bible isn’t meant to be a rulebook; it’s God’s love letter to His children. The words “Jesus loves you” aren’t merely lyrics to that first song you learned in Sunday school; they are a reality with the potential to turn your world upside down. It’s time to go back to the basics of Christianity and allow the marvelous truth of God’s love to break through our religious routine.

What simple truth are you going to allow to revolutionize the way you’ve been thinking lately?

Unearthing Life

A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post about unearthing new ground. Now, maybe it’s partially because I witnessed some of these struggles Mandy wrote of uprooting, but I found myself deeply moved by her post. You can read the whole thing here, but this is what I got out of it:

I’m often amazed by the things God uses to teach His children. What was supposed to be a peaceful day working in her garden turned into a time of healing and freedom for my friend. As she cleared the ground for her garden, God did a work in her heart, revealing things she had long kept buried, digging them out of her spirit as she dug things out of her garden.

What Mandy found in the end was life. Life in her garden and life in her heart. In her own words: “Underneath all the pain, the disappointment, the lies, there is life.” 

I truly believe that God wants all of us to have that life that Mandy unearthed in her garden. He wants all of us to be free of the pain and the lies that are rooted into the soil of our lives. Jesus came that we might have life – abundant life. To the full. Overflowing. But so often we find ourselves trapped by past hurts.

Today is the day to release the disappointments, to relinquish the bitterness, to restore the hope that we have lost long ago. There’s a piece of life that God wants to unearth in your spirit today. So open your heart to the hands of the Master Gardener and allow Him to remove some of the weeds that have choked out the beauty in your soul.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” -Deuteronomy 30:19

A God Who Loves

Christianity is the only religion that is centered around a God who loves. Maybe the thought that a God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in it is too much for people to handle. I’ll admit that it can be pretty mind-boggling at times, but I’ve learned to accept it. I figure that if God loves me as much as the Bible says He does,  He probably wants me to accept His love. How would you feel if someone never accepted the love you extended to them?

Before I ever learned to dance with Jesus, I witnessed another person’s dance with Him. Some friends of my family (a married couple portraying Jesus and His bride) were going to dance for their church, and I was able to watch them practice. I guess my heart has always secretly longed for this dancing relationship with God because I was enraptured by the beauty and romance of this dance. In the end, they were asked to re-choreograph their dance because it was “too intimate” to be performed in church. Too intimate? Jesus is very intimate. Ephesians 5 talks about how marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Could God explain Himself as being any more intimate? Traces of His romantic love are scattered throughout the Scripture. It could take me all day to pull out every reference regarding God’s immensely intimate love for us, but I’ll leave you with this one thought from Hosea 2:19-20:

I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.

Those are God’s words – His promise to us. Maybe that promise doesn’t capture your heart like it does mine.  Maybe you aren’t moved by verse 15 where God says we will call Him “my husband.” And maybe your heart won’t leap when you browse down to verse 23 where God says He will show love to the one He called “Not my loved one.” Maybe your heart isn’t stirred by the fact that God has called you “His people,” but I know that mine sure is. And sometimes it makes me feel like dancing.