Posts Tagged ‘free’

I often have the privilege of speaking into the lives of the young men around me who are hoping and praying that God brings a wife to them soon. This hope and desire can be confusing and often selfishly motivated but it presents a fantastic moment in our lives to learn a great deal about ourselves; things many men never learn.

If a man is in deep pursuit of God I know that God is building into this man at all times. He is creating a man of God, a warrior, a champion who will be willing to lay his life down for his princess and family. If we allow God to work on us there will be a time that you will not recognize yourself if you could stand in front of your past self.  A big part of that re-creation and re-structure is our willingness to be re-created. A willingness to stand aside in humility and offer ourselves to the process. You must lay yourself down, to the side, so that God is then free to bring the abundance on. Think about that verse in Malachi (Malachi 3:10), “Test me! Tithe…give…lay your self down…put your control aside…and give it to Me. Bring in the entire tithe. See if I won’t bless you in crazy ways; overwhelming ways.”  When you are ready to lay yourself aside, God then is ‘free’ to give to you that which is ‘fragile.’ Like leadership, or vision, or creativity, or the lost, or…a woman.  He is free to give you those things that you have the capability to ruin, to destroy, to abuse, to kill.

The ultimate in a man’s life is his sexuality. When you have given that over to God and he can count on you not to destroy the fragile flower of a Godly woman….you are then ready to receive that great gift.
So, “Are you ready?  If God brought a woman into your life do you have the strength to protect her? Protect her trust, her body, her faith, her intimacy?”  That is the question that you must answer. If you are asking yourself this I truly believe you are on the precipice of an amazing discovery in your life.
There really isn’t anything more beautiful and attractive than a woman who is completely in love with God. A woman who pursues God with abandoned worship is the most gorgeous woman on earth. (The same goes for a man.)
Sadly we decide the pain of being created in God’s likeness and being prepared to receive the fragile gift is much too hard to we take matters into our own hands. We go find for ourselves someone who we can put up with. But because we didn’t do the hard thing up front, the hard thing will be lived out with much pain in the future.
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Pen Down

Posted: March 10, 2009 in poetry
Tags: , ,

My pen is down on paper white,

to write

a story of pure delight.

I see visions of love and joy,

like a kid with a brand new toy.

Transformation that’s our cry,

singing out our tongues so high.

It seems so easy to say

to pay

to relay

and to sway

but Aurora is tough, rough stuff,

easily missed, like a kiss,

blown in the wind.

Do I understand what’s rotten,

here in Denmark?

or under the bench forgotten

in the city park?

The story is about redemption

bringing back a relation- – – ship.

But there’s so much corruption

Like a spiritual erruption- – -flip.

A changed life

once full of strife,

Wrists under the knife,

to stop life.

But now there’s reason to live

and reasons that will give

something new,

It’s a re-creation

A new vocation

full of satisfaction

like a sweet attraction

He reaches out to the those who are weeping

sitting on the edge of the world looking for a way to get off.

He extends his hand to those who are leeping

standing on the edge of the bridge ready to step off.

He thinks he has to change

to try and rearrange

before coming to the Man.

The followers of The Way

say you have to pay

before coming to the Man.

But you don’t.

The fact is we can’t do enough

fixin’ ourselves is so tough

there’s nothin’ we can do to be good enough.

That’s where Grace

enters the race

to embrace

the corrosion

the erosion

the explosion

of self.

Grace gives life

when we deserve death

Grace gives joy

when we deserve sadness

Grace gives victory

when we deserve defeat

Grace gives love

when we deserve hate.

And he takes us by the hand

so that we can stand

next to the King

and be free.

Can you see?

You can be free.

And when your pen goes down

to write words of the heart,

may love and joy spill over

as through you God creates art.

GraceRecently a friend of mine asked me write a blog on the topic of Grace. That was a week ago and since that quick technologically facebooked exchange of typed words I have had several divinely appointed opportunities to speak about Grace to individuals who think they understand, and with those who have no clue; including a Muslim man, who doesn’t believe in Grace.
This weekend at the Epic Life Worship Celebration I spoke on the last couple of paragraphs that Paul penned to the Philippians some 2000 years ago, as he sat in a prison cell. He ended this encouragement laden letter with some thoughts on Contentment, which if understood correctly has nothing to do with Comfort. Comfort deals with how we respond, positively and negatively, to circumstances and the allowing of circumstances to control our emotions, whereas Contentment deals with our outlook on life regardless of circumstances.  It is within the walls of Contentment where we discover that we live in the best house on the block, regardless of what the house looks like; it’s where we learn we drive the greatest car on the road; where we realize we have the best job; where we feel fully satisfied in all that we have and do.

Seeking Comfort is all about how we feel and feelings come and go and must be continually serviced. Being Comfortable is a fleeting temporary experience, which forces us to buy, seek, and strive for the next thing that will make us feel Comfortable. Our world thrives on the next thing. We buy, we’re fulfilled temporarily, we buy again and the cycle continues and we are never fully satisfied.  Feeling Comfortable is alright as long as we are also alright with feeling unComfortable; it is in this understanding of Comfort where we discover Contentment and can see and experience true joy and beauty and love.

I write about Contentment because the etymology of the words Contentment and Satisfaction are closely related and have a lot to do with Grace.  Content = “Satisfied with what one has or is.”  Satisfy = “To fulfill desires or demands, to give full contentment to.”

And this is where Grace enters the dialog in such a beautifully fulfilling way…

The only way to truly understand Grace is by relating it to what Jesus did on the cross. Grace cannot be fully understood in any way in the secular society. Christ lived on earth for one purpose; to die on the cross as a payment for the sins of mankind.  Humans cannot stand in the presence of a holy perfect God because of sin. Sin and Perfection cannot share the same space. Humans are sinful and the penalty for sin is death. Adam and Eve were not content or satisfied with 99.9% of the Garden of Eden, so they felt a sort of disComfort and to fulfill that disComfort they sinned against God.  From that Sin humans have been saddled with the guilt of sin, a debt that we cannot pay. (We try, but no matter how much we try; as a sinful being we cannot get ourselves to a perfect state.)  Something has to Satisfy our debt. So Jesus, in his perfection, died on the cross as our substitution, to pay the price for sin. In his death he fulfilled, Satisfied, the debt for all humans. He paid the price fully.

We are offered a gift, a free gift. The gift of a Satisfied debt.

A definition for Grace is; “Getting something we do not deserve.”  We deserve death; to pay the price for our own sin. If we accept the gift offered to us we receive life; the something we do not deserve. We receive Forgiveness for our debt. Our debt is forgiven or Satisfied.

As a Christian I no longer have to look for ways to Satisfy the debt of sin. It was Satisfied in Christ’s death. I can now be Content. (This is not saying that I will cease to grow; that’s another subject.)

So, Grace…A free gift, that we do not deserve and cannot afford or acquire on our own, but is offered to us anyway, so that upon our acceptance, our debt may be satisfied fully in the view of the perfect Holy God.

The Circus at the Seattle City Center. This looks really cool and we plan on being there.

The Three Cathedral Tenors. This, I am sure, will be one High C performance and well worth the trip to the Cathedral.

Fireworks over the Space Needle. What could be better than taking the family or friends to the Space Needle for a pretty stellar fireworks display. The 605-foot Space Needle once again will display Seattle’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks show with thousands of pyrotechnic effects at midnight on December 31.

Go to Redmond, it’s not to far north of Seattle and they have a great downtown holiday celebration.

Participate in or go and watch crazy people polar bear swim on the first of the year at the Resolution Run 5k. sounds really cold.

May be a cool stop to get some creativity flowing.  Breaking the Mold features Pratt instructors who work in kiln-cast glass and cast metal sculpture. This exhibit includes work by artists Scott Ball, Susan Balshor, Cathy Chase, Jeanne Ferraro, Carol Milne, Alex Montgomery, and Ed Trobec.
Where: Pratt Gallery at Tashiro Kaplan Studios, 306 S Washington St, Suite 102

The Children’s Museum has a NewYears Eve gig for the family, looks like a good possibility for a cheep night.

I will try to keep adding things as we find them. Hope you are able to get out for free or very cheep this holiday season.