Monday, April 4, 2016

Do you know that you are loved?

When we know that we are well loved we will be able to love well.

I'm not talking about being loved by someone with human flesh on, I'm talking about knowing to the core of my being that I'm loved by God.  Only His love can transform me.

If I don't know that I'm loved or if I question that God really loves me, then I look to other people and other places to somehow show me and or validate that I'm worthy of love. It's like walking around as a beggar, cup in hand, and stretched out.  We reach our cup out to our family, our friends, our co-workers, our jobs, our ministries, and the positions we hold.  With each person or placement we say, "will you make a deposit in my cup to validate me?"  Somehow we have convinced ourselves that validation is the same as love.  It's not!

Jesus loves me, is not just a children's song, its deep theology, and we should get up and sing it to ourselves everyday! Instead of marinating in the things we think we lack, we should bask in the truth of who God is and what He has completed on our behalf.  Then my sweet friends we should meditate on who we are because we are IN Christ!

Lest you think this writer has this perspective 24/7.... I don't!  In my previous post I talked about acorns smacking us on the head and us coming to God to say; "what do I do with this?".  My acorn had family written on it.  Is there anything more distressing than to feel unloved by someone you call family, the people that should love you no matter what? And yet, my family and your family are made up of fleshly, sinful, people...just like me.  When I have these unmet expectations and they cause me to feel blah....I realize I have held my cup up to someone that can't fill it. The yuck I feel is because I am wanting my self-identity to be validated.

The good news is that if we are in Christ we have been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) The not-so-fun news is that we will be learning to run to Jesus instead of other people until we draw our last breath, it's called the sanctification process.  My definition of a mature Christian is not someone who has it all together or someone who has "got it".  No, I believe a mature man or woman of God is someone who recognizes more quickly their need for Jesus and then runs more swiftly to Him, their true source.  The more we do this; an eclipsing happens in our lives.  Jesus begins to eclipse us as more and more of Him is seen and less and less of us is visible.  The really great news is that we have been given God, in the form of the Holy Spirit!  He lives in us and is our constant leader to truth. I'm convinced that God is less interested in fixing me and all the things that I think are so important but really don't have any eternal value and is more interested in me knowing Him and who He has made me.

We must be people who spend time in the book and in communion with God, we will never know Him any other way.  We must also know who we are because we belong to Him.  I'm not talking about mental assent that only brings about an outward change for a little while, I'm talking about God teaching us and sinking His truth deep within our hearts so that we respond out of that truth.  If we don't, we will walk around like beggars with cups in our hands. And, we will never really love well because we will never know that we are well loved.  Our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world need people who are so convinced of God's love for them that it overflows and splashes on those around them without us getting our feelings hurt or feeling rejected because self has gotten in the way. If we walked around with our "love tanks" so full of God's love for us, what would change in our churches, neighborhoods, communities, and world?

A few tools that God has used in my life in this area;
1. There is no substitute for God's word, reading it and studying it!
2.  A book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me
3. The below chart that I have lost count how many times I have gone through it or given it to another.
4. Living in community. Having a group of people around you that really know you, will ask you the hard questions, and will hold truth up to you when needed, because they love you with a God-like love and not a what-can-you-give-me kind of love.  They are flawed...but so am I. But, it's how God intended life to function for His kids.

Always Learning....
Much love,
Kim
kimday1964@gmail.com

The lie we want to believe           What God says                             Write the truth
I am unworthy / unacceptable
Romans 15:7, Psalm 139




I am alone
Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39



I feel like a failure/ inadequate
2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Philippians 4:13



I have no confidence
Proverbs 3:26, 14:26, 28:1, Hebrews 10:19, Ephesians 3:12


I am confused/think I’m going crazy


1 Corinthians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 1:17


I am depressed/hopeless
Romans 15:13, 5:5, Psalm 27:13, 31:24, Hebrews 6:19



I am not good enough
Hebrews 10:14, Colossians 2:10, Ephesians 2:10



There is nothing special about me
Psalm 139, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:13


I don’t have enough
Philippians 4:19, Psalm 23:7





I am a fearful/anxious person
Psalm 34:4, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 4:18


I lack faith
Romans 12:3, 10:17, Hebrews 12:2


I am not very smart
Proverbs 2:6-7, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:17


I have no one to take care of me
Psalm 32:7, Psalm 91



I am unloved
John 15:9, Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 2:4, 5:1-2


I don’t belong
Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5, 1 John 3:1-2


I feel guilty
Psalm 103:12, Colossians 1:14, 20, 2:13-14, Hebrews 10:10


I have no strength
Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:19, 3:16, Romans 8:9-11



I can’t reach God
Ephesians 2:6, 1 Peter 2:5,9, Hebrews 10:19-20



I feel condemned
John 3:18, Romans 8:1, Colossians 1:22



There is no direction/plan
Psalm 37:23, 138:8, Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11


I feel like nothing will ever change
2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22-24









Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling!

I grew up with the story of Chicken Little running around exclaiming, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."  She told it to anyone who would listen.  She did have something fall on her head but it wasn't the sky, it was an acorn.  Big difference! We, are so given to this kind of perspective as humans aren't we?  As I have said here many times, God has been about the business of busting my perspectives over the past six years.  Just when I think possibly we are going to take a break....an acorn falls on my head! Often these perspective shifts are truths that I know and yet somehow they have not consistently marinated in my heart.  If they have not taken up residence in my heart, I will not respond out of them.  Instead, I am prone to run around and exclaim; "the sky is falling, the sky is falling."

We have acorns all around us that are hitting us on top of our heads, they force us to respond.  To name a few, terrorism is rampant and appears to be loosed to do whatever it wills, slavery, sex trafficking, no water, no food, and our political conundrum, to name a few.  Then we have our own personal acorns. These are the acorns that fall in our dailies.  When one smacks us on our head it forces us to respond.  The truth is we live in a very broken world.  Sin broke everything! When we let our attention be captured by the brokenness it has the ability to drag us around, dictating how we will respond, think, and feel.  But, we as God's people according to His great mercy have been given a living hope, this world is not our home. And though we live in the consequences of the brokenness, it does not have the power over us to dictate how we live. The acorns/trials that we find distressing us are used by God to proof our faith.  (1 Peter 1:3-12) Fun? Not hardly.... Necessary? God said they were....   Worth it?  Yes! I can be mad at the acorn for falling, let it drag me around, and or let it consume my thoughts and emotions, or I can let God use it to capture my thoughts and emotions to be conformed to His.

I was wrestling with my own acorn and asking God, "what do I do with this?" In His faithfulness He had Jim and I read our devo together this morning.  I don't usually do this, but today I'm going to re-print the words we read. I pray they help some of you that are dealing with some brokenness in your lives and not knowing what to do with it.

Always learning....
Much love,
Kim

Excerpt from; New Morning Mercies, A Daily Gospel Devotional

"Living in this present broken world is designed by God to produce longing, readiness, and hope in God.  It's not natural for us to think about our lives in this way, but the difficulties we all face in this broken world are not in the way of  God's plan.  No, they are part of it.  The fallen world that is your address is not your address because he didn't think through his redemptive plan very well.  You are living where you're living and facing what you're facing because that's exactly how God wanted it to be.  The hardships that we all face between the "already" and the "not yet" are not a sign of the failure of God's redeeming work, but rather a very important tool of it.

What we are all going through right here, right now is a massive, progressive process of values clarification and heart protection.  God is daily employing the brokenness of the present world to clarify your values.  Why do you need this?  You need it because you struggle in this life to remember what is truly important, that is, what God says is important.  You and I place much more importance on things than they truly posses, and when we do so, these things begin to claim your heart allegiance.  So God ordains for us to experience that physical things get old and break.  The people in our lives fail us.  Relationships sour and become painful.  Our physical bodies weaken.   Flowers die and food spoils.  All of this is meant to teach us that these things are beautiful and enjoyable, but they cannot give us what we all long for--life.

In this world that is groaning, God is protecting our hearts.  He is protecting us from us.  Our hearts can be so fickle.  We can worship God one day, only to turn and give the worship of our hearts to something else the next.  So, in love, God lets pieces of the creation die in our hand so that increasingly we are freed from asking earth to give us what only he can give.  He works through loss to protect us from giving our allegiance to things that will never, ever deliver what our hearts seek.  This is all designed to deepen our love and worship of him.  It is all crafted to propel the joy that we have in him.  And in so doing, he is preparing us for that moment when we will be freed from this present travail and give all of our being to the worship of him forever and ever.

Your Lord knows that even as his child your heart is still prone to wander, so in tender patient grace he keeps you in a world that teaches you that he alone is worthy of the deepest, most worshipful allegiance of your heart." 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lessons In Trusting

TRUST

Its a word we use, it sounds spiritual, and to be sure it is spiritual.  But the spiritual part comes not by speaking the word in trite sentences or pat answers,  but in living the word and wrestling around in the mud with the word. It means to be attached to something secure, to be confident, to rely on, a sense of well-being which results from knowing the rug won't be pulled out from under you. And yet, it does feel like the rug is being ripped out from under you when you have to "trust".  The well being comes from knowing that what is being laid down on is not a rug.
something...
Someone...
much more substantial than a rug.

IN THE LORD

All of who He is and all of what He is capable of doing. That's what we lay down on, that is trust, that is well-being.  When we get into bed at night, we never ask ourselves, "I wonder if the bed is going to hold me up tonight?" No, we climb in and never give it a thought.  A laying down without question of "if " I'm going to be held.
O, you and I are going to be held!

WITH ALL MY HEART

With all of who I am. All of my mind, all of my emotions, and all of my physical body.  All of me is to lay down on all of Him.

In recent days as He has offered me more lessons in trusting. I have chewed on these words and wrestled with trust again.  As I have been practicing the laying down part and rehearsing the all of who He is part, He has spoke to me gently and peace has replaced fear. To be sure the lesson will continue and I'm not sure it will ever be easy or look pretty.  Lessons in trusting come to us in all sorts of packages.  Some packages are harder to unwrap than others. It really is never about the package but about the One handing it to us.


Still learning to abide and to trust,
Kim

Words to chew on, words to lay down on....
Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 26:3-4, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Psalms 61:1-2, Psalms 9:10, Psalms 13:5, Psalms 56:3

Monday, January 11, 2016

Navigating

Navigating; to move on, over, or through
                       to position on a course
                          to pass over
                            to walk or find one's way in or across

Navigating; isn’t that what we are doing?  Trying to move on, or over, or through something?  Don't we want to be positioned on a course? Some of us want and need just enough light to walk and find a way in or across what we are facing.  Our lives are filled with decisions that have to be made and steps that have to be taken.  It can be overwhelming at times. There have been times that I have been paralyzed, thinking if I make the wrong decision that somehow I will be out of God's will and taken off course.  This comes from a faulty perspective that was ingrained in me from the time I was a little girl.  The thought that God's will is like a tight rope and I must make every step with perfect precision or the results will be disastrous. Somehow thinking that once off the tight rope there is no recovery.  From where I stand now on this journey, I clearly see that kind of thinking doesn't mirror at all the character of the One who I am following.

It's more like white water rafting!  There is a guide in the boat and you are in the boat WITH him.  He guides and directs you as you go down this river called life.  Sometimes you can't hear him because the water has captured your focus and you choose to go right when it might have been better to go left.  When you get to the left, you realize it, you turn to your guide, and he with the perfect precision that only he has, directs and guides you so you can navigate the water you find yourself in.  The point is, you are still in the boat with the Guide and you have never left the river! Harder paddling? Sometimes.  Messy waters?  Often. Could have been easier another way?  Possibly.  Mistake? I'm not convinced.

We get so hung up on making a mistake mostly because we don't want other people to think we have made a mistake. Been there.  And, Jim and I have had people think that we must have fallen down and hit our heads on a few occasions, when we knew we were following.  In navigating and participating with your Guide, you have to able to live with people not getting or understanding your course. The only way you do that is by seeking to keep your ears open to the Guide.  Our decisions do set trajectory in our lives and should be made with as much light and wisdom as can be granted us.  But, we won't always make the right decisions.  We are going to have water in our ears sometimes and go right when we should have gone left.  The One we follow is all about speaking to stormy waters and making them calm, making beauty out of ashes, and making things for our good and ultimately His glory. Let that soak in and breathe deep.....

All of it then is material in His hand.  In my seeking to have my perspective swallowed up in His, I have been reading about and drinking from men and women's lives that participated with Him and the navigation of their lives.  The constant awareness of Him the guide is evident in every life.  And, the thought that God is using it all and can use anything to accomplish His purpose is what is ingrained in them. These things kept them moving instead of paralyzed by the rapids that raged around them.  What I am convinced of is that all is not lost by a misguided turn and He is still in control.

One of those lives from the 1700's wrote this,
"You seek perfection and it lies in everything that happens to you- your suffering, your actions, your impulses are the mysteries under which God reveals Himself to you."

I'm asking God to navigate me through this portion of the river, to position me on the course to run my own race, and to show me how to find my way into more of Him and less of me in the coming year. Can you open palm the entire course to Him?  The waters you have already come through and those that are still up ahead?

Still learning to abide,
Kim
Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, Romans 8:26-32












Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Easily Offended

We are living in a time when everyone is getting offended!  Our culture has put us in a choke hold with political correctness.  In my opinion, which really doesn't mean squat, the reason we are  offended is because we are self-absorbed.  It is easy for many of us to say amen to that, but not so fast.... What about us, those of us who call ourselves Christ followers?  Are we easily offended?

Just this morning Jim shared a situation with me and I immediately became passionate about why the situation was wrong.  I gave strong argument to how it needed to be corrected so that it could be set right and the dangers of what would happen if not corrected.  After he left, I thought why did I have such a strong reaction?  I recognized that I strongly reacted because it threatened me and it threatened a place that I have let my identity be found.  I became offended with those that I felt were not as passionate about something as I am.  It's so easy isn't it?  And, to sound righteous while ranting?! (this is something, much to my shame, I'm very good at!) We believe we are following the Lord, doing what He has asked us to do, and everything is great as long as there are others alongside us doing it also.  The minute we feel alone we can either become arrogant and say, "they just don't get it" or question what we are doing, become frustrated,and want to flee.

As a woman who has lived in bondage because of where and what I let define my identity, I believe I/we must constantly be asking ourselves some questions.  Who or What do I believe I can't live without?  Who or What has my attention?  What evokes strong emotion in me? Is that where I'm getting my identity? Why am I so easily offended?  What disturbs my peace?

In Christ Alone, I love to sing it, I believe those words, but how that moves itself into the cracks and crevices of my daily life is still a learning process for me. It's a battle!  One that takes sitting long and often at Jesus' feet. (there are No Substitutes for this!) Before we get so riled up about our culture, political correctness, and everyone being self absorbed, (except us of course!) let us consider how we are easily offended and often put a "righteous" spin on it.

Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have those who love your word, nothing can make them stumble."

Amy Carmichael
"If I have not compassion on my fellow-servant, even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
"If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points: if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "who made you to differ? and what have you that you have not received?" (1 Corinthians 4:7) then I know nothing of Calvary love."
"If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

Painful reminder of my desperate need.....
Laid bare....

Still learning to abide,
Kim

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Drinking from the saucer

I had a conversation with a dear friend about the "flow principle" the other day.  I'm convinced we will will be learning this principle as long as we walk this earth.  

I have included a link that contains five minutes of words about abiding and drinking from the saucer. I pray it encourages you this day, wherever you are, and with whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

Still learning to abide!

Much love,
Kim

kimday1964@gmail.com



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It Is Well

The words "it is well" have been gently pushed into my heart over the years by the hands of a loving Shepherd.  How does a woman say, it is well, while living with chaos, hurt, loss, sickness, insecurities, and uncertainties?

Instead of writing this post I have linked a teaching that I did recently on 2 Kings 4.

https://vimeo.com/142842640


Still learning to abide and still learning to say, it is well, when things around me are saying something else and when my own body is screaming different words.

Much love,
Kim