Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What do you "VOW" this Year?

 What do you “VOW” this Year?

My crossroads and a hard choice to move forward..
To self, to others, to God…

So here before us is a New Year and the tradition of making those far reaching promises to improve ourselves is the talk on radio, blogs and cable shows. Do you listen? Do you care? Yes, you’re the one reading this blog. Or are you looking for the escape X to opt out of this conversation. 
Bare with me a moment,  I won’t keep you long!

Not long after, say January 15th your list of commitments to do better, be better has dismally been washed in your favorite jean pocket twice and soon looks like lint.

If you had a running list of what you said would be your New Years resolutions from 30 years old and up, would you be. “Oh so disappointed” or “Pleased as punch?”  Yep, take that frown off your face!  Why? Because God has created GRACE and man created the rear view mirror!
Don't get caught looking in two directions, reflect and move on

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead...” Phil 3;13

The thing about God is that he doesn’t look back, he guides you forward. God created timing and the calendar of the New Year after all.  The start to all things fresh! Look, he invented fresh starts with his son Jesus Christ! A forgiven past is certainly refreshing. Look at Lot's wife and how she looked back and lost her life, or the Israelites looked back and saw a battle to big for them and lost their hope.

“One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend" Proverbs  22:11 NIV

So whatever your desire in your flesh will be tough to accomplish. But that which the Lord Jesus is calling you to do deep in your spirit be led by the Holy Spirit and washed in grace!

So don’t lose hope this New Years. Spend time sitting quietly and asking God what your focus should be... The talk shows have their own version but God’s is accurate. Trust him to lead you in going forward. After all, if you fail he has the grace that no man really can pour over you!

A reminder to me what my focus will be!
So for me, 
  I am committed to grace ! 
Be Grace, 
Serve Grace, 
Have Grace 
Repeat Grace when I fumble !
May the  grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with my dear friend in your spirit. 
Happy New Year,   Rebekah  

A compiled list of Resolutions for you if you are looking for one :) 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fishing for the Peace

It could’ve been a clear or even an overcast day on the sandy shore. Several boats are moving up and down in the waves nearby at the harbor. You hear the husky voices of many men each with his own opinion on where to cast the net. One says cast it to to the aft, several says to the starboard. Frustration has mounted, feelings are frayed and ropes have tangled. The waters are murky and unclear and very dark.

On the shore a man stands in quiet strength as the morning dew gives way to a glimmer of growing light. He is unrecognized by those in the boat who are closest to him. The fisherman’s focus is on the water with attention drawn into the perplexed situation of no provision. Searching for a sign of fish. Any fish.

They never knew a dark night
always had the Son's light
on their face
Perfect in glory
Broken by the story
of untold grace...
come that day

This man who is strong physically and in spirit and who has the wisdom the men need for their situation is now lighting a small fire. Short distance separates the group from the man who is nearby. Frustration of the fisherman is countered by a man of peace. This single man is not alone as his spirit is full and he is at the helm. The group of men are depleted wrapped up in nets and boats and looking for their provision. They’re vision is shortsided. Little do they know as they are looking into the deep dark water around them how much they need that man. If only they would pull their eyes up away from what has them occupied. That which is draining and frustrating their spirit. 

Majesty had come down 
Glory had succumbed now 
to flesh and bone
In the arms of a manger
In the hands of strangers
that could not know
Just who they hold

If you were to close your eyes and think of this as a fantasy movie you could envision the dark cloud hovering over the boat. The net that is dropping from the sky as this unseen rope is entangling them. With no fish to be found and a night has been wasted with vacant holds, and the weight of empty pockets. If you were to take your supernatural vision to the shore you would see the light shining brightly with rays that glimmered gold like that of a fantasy movie. Maybe the angels are gathered whisking the darkness away with their wings. And the man on the shore knows where the fish are swimming, where the provision of Spirit is.

          But it is no movie. It is our reality.  It is Jesus.

To break the chains
Of guilt and sin
To find us here 
To pull us in 
So we can join in Heaven's song
And with one voice around the throne

In our hustle of doing the traditions. Buying gifts that are not for the one we are celebrating. Getting impatient with others as we drive and stand in lines. As we prepare for what? The purpose of Christmas and the Christ child gets buried under the nettings of the stress. Financial spending and overload. Family drama. Feeling alone and for some left alone and uninvited. Just to much to do or not enough!  Lost in the wrong flow of the season. It can all feell like heavy wrapping paper covering up the issues that we wish were different. Bright and shiny instead of dark. 

And all fell silent 
For the cry of an infant,
the voice of God
Was dividing history
For those with eyes to see,
the Son would shine
From earth that night

What do we need to reclaim the things of Christ? To be like Jesus who touched the lives of those in his path. Or in training to fish for men? To forgive those who are persecuted by their own sins in a world where everybody is a sinner. Many are moored in un-sailed rigs. The pier is comfortable. It bridges our own fears, anger, or justifications we have let sink in our mind and lives. Like a lure on a hook. It dangles until more weeds than fish are caught  As we let it flow we work really hard during these holidays not to go under. To put the smile on our face to those around us. Only the closest know the hook is full and weighty. 
All the Angels filled the sky
And I can't help but wonder why 
Why this King would choose to be
Be a baby born for me
Be a baby born 
Be a baby born to die

So how do we open the door to the cargo to unload the burdens? You know how! Stop! Spend a moment reflecting on the baby who was born to die! For you, me, and this sinful imperfect world. This perfect child, Our Savior! Ask Christ to fill your heart and take away the burdens and rest in His peace. He was born so he could die for all of this stuff. The man-made Christmas. Our dramas, opinions, spending and unloving spirits.. 

Join Christ, Be Christ, Live Christ, Love Christ!                          

Love and Merry CHRISTmas to you as you seek and catch His Peace!

*Born to Die 
Bebo Norman