Oh, the selfish heart! We all have one beating inside us. Such an ugly sound...
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Dear Life, please slow down a little. You see, you've just been moving too fast for me the past few weeks and I'm finding it difficult to keep up.
Maybe take it easy for a few days? Maybe even a week?
Just think on it for a while, k?
Please? Purdy please?
Other than that, I've been well. I'm staying spiritually focused, which is helping me with all the other not-so-legitimate anxieties. They're all still their creeping around in my brain some, but their footsteps aren't all that loud right now :-) I've been in the Word and reading some great Christian books about deliverance and grace. As long as I stay focused.... I'm fine.
Constant vigilance! Constant!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
There is nothing that you can do to deserve His love. In the midst of your sin and failures God extends His love to you. This isn’t God turning a blind eye, or simply winking at sin. This is a radical, crazy love. God’s love for you is just flat out undeserved.
Isn’t that different from human love? We love each other - if; we love each other - because; we love each other - when. The world loves conditionally, and if our standards for love are not met, then our love grows cold. It's not that way with God; He loves us regardless, and He demonstrated this by paying the ultimate price to offer us the opportunity of a relationship with Him. When we fail it's important to remember that we were bought with a price.
Jesus would come and live and die and buy us back – redeem us from slavery to sin and death. It’s a picture of God’s love for us.
We've all fallen, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 He’s saying that all of us have missed God’s mark in our lives. We become slaves of sin and the things of sin in our lives, the Bible describes this as bondage to sin.
If you read the next verse in Romans it reads, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” Rom. 3:24 God presented Jesus as a sacrifice for us. We were in a position of sin and death, then Jesus came as the one who would redeem. He came as one who gave His life and literally paid the price for our redemption to buy us back.
God is a just God. Sin had to be punished. He couldn’t just forget all the things that had happened. God was willing to put the punishment for sin on the shoulders of Jesus so that the mercy and free grace could be delivered to us.
Do you know what you do with God’s love? You receive it. You don’t earn it. You can’t achieve it. You can’t accomplish it. You don’t keep score. You receive it. You begin to live as one who has been bought by a price. It means you hold your head up a little higher. You can even kick your shoulders back a little bit. Why? Because you were bought with a price. It means you stop telling yourself that you are worthless and you’re meaningless and you’re awful and God hates you - because He doesn’t. Because you were bought with a price.
God loves you undeservedly, so much so that He paid the ultimate price to have a relationship with you. When you fall, be sure to return to the One who redeemed you.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Resident 2: I don't know. Its hard because you instigate people and piss me off. And when your sexually inappropriate it makes me feel... what's the word? Uncomfortable? Yeah. You make me uncomfortable.
*True talk from a 12yr old. I love it.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Over the past year, I've become accustomed to reading God's Word online or via an app on my smart-phone. I couldn't even remember the last time I actually held the book in my hands. I had looked here and there, but never really dug for it. That is, until the nagging intensified.
One morning, I just couldn't sleep. In hindsight, I should've been on my knees praying, but instead of thinking my Creator may have wanted to have a word with me, I was just pissed to be awake. I would later realize that while I angrily longed for sleep, something awful was happening to someone else, someone I should've been praying for.
I decided I would look for my bible again. The bible. We have several in the house. I wanted one in particular. And there it was, in a bin under the bed. It took lots of lifting and shifting, along with a healthy dose of grumpy moaning and groaning, but I found it.
This bible has seen its days. It's about fifteen years old, and a paperback, split into two sections somewhere in the middle of the book of Proverbs. Because of where the book is split, it always falls opened to Proverbs: that's just physics, the law of broken book bindings.
So naturally, I was intrigued to find the pages turned to anything but Proverbs, and I found myself reading the thirty-sixth chapter of the book of Ezekiel, where God was speaking to the mountain's of Israel. They were crawling with enemies and lifeless with famine. But God made a promise to reclaim the Mountains as His own. He was going to purge the land of enemies and replenish it with rain, so His people could return and live in the mountains in worship of Him once again.
Hours later this chapter would minister to my heart when I'd learn of the horrible things two of my group-home boys did to another child. These boys are mountains, once inhabited by God, now overrun with the enemy. They are lifeless; full of death. But God can reclaim them. He can drive out the enemy and restore them, making them new, making them His again.
This story is becoming painfully long, but I don't want to miss any detail in how God spoke to me that weekend.
The next day, after a long shift at work, I sat with a co-worker talking. He's a new believer, super enthusiastic about God and, as a young man raised in Haiti and exposed to voodoo witchcraft and mysticism, he held no doubt or the slightest hesitation that the Holy Spirit could do and does miraculous and unexplainable things. Along with his enthusiasm, he's also fresh out of the military, so the more exciting our conversations about God gets, the more colorful his language becomes (which is a refreshing experience!).
"Alright, man," he said, "this is some crazy $%&!, but I feel like God wants me to tell you to get into His word. Really dive into it, and not no computer, iphone bull$%&!, but the actual book. The actual &%*$!@# book, man! Hold it in your hands while you read it! And pick up that %&*$%#@ guitar and write that @#$% and sing it, deliver that %$@#! Do it with confidence! He's giving it you."
Like I said, my chats with him get colorful, but I love them. I love the way God has used us to speak into one another's lives the past few weeks.
I didn't know how to respond. After a silent moment, I explained to him how I've had a nagging feeling to find my bible for weeks and that I had actually found it just the day before. Then I also told him about a new song that has been placed in my heart, about how writing it has seemed to trigger a lot of insecurity in myself and that I had set it aside because of that...
I'm short on ideas of how to wrap this up in a clever way, and I don't necessarily have a conclusion, just a reassurance that God is present and that He speaks, and, as with all my posts tagged "God Speaks," I want to be sure I never forget how.
Monday, July 9, 2012
The agressors remained unconsequenced. They acted oblivious to their transgression. They showed no remorse, seeming angered and unable to comprehend why anyone would be anything less than happy to see them.
I wanted to throttle them. The last thing I wanted to do was cook and care for them. Each kind thing I did for them, each time they ungratefully accepted the kindness and care as though they were entitled to it, it fanned a flame inside me. A flame on a fuse. And eventually, it happened. I blew up. I screamed. I cried. I threw things.
In all the years I've worked with delinquent youth, I've never lost composure in front of clients quite like that before. I battled with myself mentally, "This was so unprofessional! But did I really say anything I regret? Was it really wrong? Should I feel bad?"
I was conflicted.
And then my phone vibrated. "Righteous anger is understandable," she said. A Godly woman and mother and grandmother to all she meets; God must've been stirring in her heart. She didn't know what had just happened, she was simply obedient to God as His messenger.
And just like that, I was set free from the conflict, comforted by the Mighty Counselor. My anger was, and is, righteous. It will fuel me as I continue pushing for justice and community safety.
I will not be intimidated or soothed into being anything but angry. I will not feel guilty or conflicted. I will do everything I have to do to be sure there is justice and that all responsible parties will be held accountable.
Righteous anger is understandable. It is useful. It is fuel.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Princess Fiona is locked in the tower.
I ask one of my residents, "How does she survive in there? She has no bathroom, and where does she get her food?"
"Home pass," he simply says.
Oh, how quickly we become institutionalized. Lol!
Monday, July 2, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Its not just the cruel.
Its the opportunistically cruel.
It sickens me to see. It turns my stomach knowing people are maliciously preyed upon with no sign of justice.
I almost spit in one of these predators' food today. The thought of doing such a thing disgusts me and I'd never even been tempted like that before, but today.... today.... I was so close.
I didn't. I didn't spit. But the temptation was strong. The vileness in them brought out the vileness in me. I let that happen....
Its time to rely on God. Its always time to rely to God. But right now... right now I need to rely on God to teach me to love to the unlovely, to love in a way mankind is incapable of loving...
To love the predatory.
Not to just say I love them.
To fix their meals.
To keep them safe.
To treat them kindly.
In Jesus name, Amen!
Kimberly held me while I cried in the shower like a baby tonight. Yeah, not awesome. Work was unbelievably... I don't ever know an appropriate word for; it was bad. Bad, bad. My heart is broken for one of my kiddos who discharged today. After a year and a half of making lots of progress, his last memory of his treatment experience will be a terrible one. I probably should leave it at that :-(
My mind has been racing with negative thoughts the past few days and basically I feel like dirt. Dirty dirt. With scum growing on it. Under a pile of pooh. Yep, graphic. Sleep has not been fantastic and I keep having these terrible dreams that all my friends really hate me and I feel terribly lonely and even have panic attacks in the dreams. Not sure if I'm actually going into the attacks in the real world because, well, I'm asleep. But a dream panic attack sucks just about as much as a real one.
And certain things that mean a lot to me just don't seem to be... important. Maybe they are, but they're just not panning out, which leaves me wondering.
And I realized today I'm keeping God within reach but not fully embracing Him. Maybe that's why I feel like this, IDK. I just know surrendering is hard sometimes, even when it should be easy, and I should be reaching out to Him with both arms fully.
And I miss my mom and dad. A lot.
There. I'm done complaining... for now.
Bummer mood log!