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Monthly Archives: February 2014

In Sickness and in… More Sickness

Portrait Photographer MissoulaIf you’re married chances are your vows included something along these lines

“I ________ take you to be my __________ from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…”

I’m pretty sure our vows should have just said, “In sickness and in more sickness” because I don’t think my poor husband is ever going to see me in “health”.

But then, isn’t that true of all of us?

If we’re breathing, the sickness of original sin is inside us and will present itself in countless ways throughout our lifetime.

It bothers me when I hear someone say of their spouse, “He/she isn’t the person I married…I didn’t sign up for this!” So many DID sign up for this, though they may have failed to fully consider the words before they said them.

If our marriages are meant to be a model of Christ’s love for us, perhaps we should contemplate what His vows to us would be. I imagine they would be something like this:

I love you __________. And I will never stop! I will love you in your physical sickness; in your sickness of pride; in your anger; in your gluttony, laziness, addictions, and doubt. And I will rejoice with you as I help you overcome those things. I will never leave you.

The thing about Christ is that He is the only one who knows how to love this way. We are called to love this way because Christ does (see 1 John 3, 4:7) but we need Christ in order to make that happen. Only by His spirit in us will we be able to love in the way we should.

Let us ponder that today. Whether we are single, or parents, or spouses, or friends…are we allowing Christ to love through us?

This may sound silly, but I actually consider myself fortunate to have had all the health issues I did before Nolan and I even started dating. I love that Nolan knew exactly what he was getting into when he married me. He knew I may never be “well”; he knew I would suffer, and that my suffering would cause him to suffer; he knew loving me would take work; and he did it anyway…with JOY. That will forever be a stunning illustration in my life of God’s love for us.

He loves us anyway. Any way. Every way. Whichever way. No matter which way. All ways. Always.

Praise Him!

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

No Trespassing

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A couple of years ago I was in West Virginia doing a concert at a homeless shelter, and there was a young guy there about 21 years old I think, we’ll call him Marshall. After the concert we were just hanging out, visiting with people, and Marshall starts telling us about a dream that he’s been having. He said he has had the same dream every night for the past few months and he doesn’t know why.

In the dream I’m always sitting in my living room, and I’m not doing anything, but this guy (I think it’s Jesus) is walking around the outside of the house. And he keeps looking into the windows but never coming inside. I keep waiting for him to come in but he just keeps looking in the windows.

Now, I’m no prophet or interpreter or anything, but the meaning of this particular dream seemed so clear to me, I had to say something.

Not that you asked for my opinion, but I think God is just waiting for you to invite Him in.

I think about Marshall and his dream from time to time because I think it has some great reminders in it. Here are just a few:

  1. God is a gentleman. He will not force His way into our lives. If He forced us to love Him it wouldn’t really be love, it would be coercion.

  2. God is not a watchdog. Sometimes we treat God as if He’s merely there for our protection. You stay outside and protect me from bad things, we say, but don’t come in here, I don’t want you messing up my house.

  3. The Safe Zone is not the Satisfying Zone. Sure it seems like the best of both worlds to have God on the parameter, in case we need Him, while we get to have our own personal space. But just like Marshall, if God is not on the inside, we aren’t really doing anything. Things might seem to be going really well and you might just be minding your own business, being a “good” person, but if God is not allowed into our lives…into every crevice of our being, nothing we do is going to fully satisfy, so we might as well be sitting doing nothing.

I could keep going, and talk about how God isn’t interested in a lukewarm relationship with us, or how we tend to think we should clean up our house before we invite Him in to stay, but I’ll save that for another post.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Oceans

ImageWe’ve been doing this song at church lately, from Hillsong, called Oceans. You have probably heard of it, because…well, because it’s Hillsong and everyone knows their stuff. Anyway, it’s a really fun song to sing and, like many others, the bridge is my favorite part.

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders

Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

 

I love that 3rd line!

 

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

 

Perhaps this is reading too far into the lyrics but what I take away from them is this: we are never going to simply stumble into a deeper relationship with God, because His love is not accidental. His love and His mercy and His grace are completely intentional, and we need to at least turn ourselves toward Him so that He can lead us into the great unknown.

 

It’s silly for us to acknowledge that our earthly relationships take work, (they take time, energy, and dedication, in order to make them great) yet we fail to apply that same knowledge to our relationship with God. We think we can just call ourselves Christians, show up to church on Sunday morning, and flip through the Bible on the rare occasion we need a “pick me up,” and think that constitutes a relationship.

 

There has to be a giving up of ourselves. A moment when we say, Spirit, You know all things, your way is GOOD, please lead me in it. I’ll go wherever you want me to, even if I don’t understand it, or it’s uncomfortable, because I know it means more of you when I get there.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized