GRACELISM

My friend, Mary, added this pic and I thought ,”That is EXACTLY how I feel living under a GOD OF GRACE WHO LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT! I  want to live like this! Arms lifted high-RECEIVING. Lately, I find myself in awe of the overwhelming vastness of GOD’S GRACE.  Is grace really free or do I need to do some things because I am in a  “divine pay-off” relationship with God? Am I living in GRACE or LEGALISM? GRACE IS UNMERITED FAVOR-no question-but I think the depth of this would shock us. We often think of the word “SIN” as an action or thought when it can also be a state. Why does it seem as we live in 2 worlds? The busy, daily grind when we don’t think about God at all on Tuesday, yet we can experience the spiritual HIGH of a Sunday morning.

I CORINTHIANS 3 TEACHES US THERE ARE  3 TYPES OF PEOPLE. 

  1. NATURAL MAN” (one not knowing Christ as Savior)
  2. “CARNAL MAN “(person having come to know Christ, but not obeying Him as Lord)
  3. “SPIRITUAL  MAN”( person having trusted Christ as Savior & obeying Him.) With Romans 7 as our guide, we are stuck! When you can, read ROMANS 6-8 in one sitting. If you want, write down what you see. GOD’S incomprehensible GRACE breaks that ridiculous chain that we all wear- STRIVING FOR GOD TO LIKE US!

When I look through these chapters, I think, why do I do what I do?  If I am a legalist, it’s  because a vine of deceit has woven itself around me that says “work for God”or sadly, impress others with my devotedness. If I live in GRACE-REAL FREE GRACE-I walk with God BECAUSE I’M RESPONDING to Him in BROKENNESS. I know, I mean really, I can’t do it. I can’t obey without God’s Spirit, I can’t desire time in His Word without His gentle hand, & I want to be self-centered at least 30 times a day. YET, HE WAITS….KINDLY, WITH OPEN & GENTLE HANDS & ALWAYS A BETTER WAY! CHECK YOURSELF WITH THESE QUESTIONS. THEY HELP ME!

  1. WHY am I doing this activity (bible study, speaking, or serving in the church kitchen)?
  2. Do I believe God would STILL love me if I didn’t do these activities? Do I RECEIVE His kindness ?
  3. Do I “feel good” about myself when I do “religious things”?
  4.  Do I reckon myself dead and crucified with Christ and that nothing good dwells in my flesh? I love it that LIFE STARTED AT A SYMBOL OF DEATH- A TOMB! ANY GOOD IN ME IS HIS GOOD.
  5. I have to ask God to break me any spiritual pride, really, to help me see the true state of our humanity. When I do, I am be surprised (maybe discouraged, sometimes?). Then,& only then, do we awaken to see OUR COMPLETE NEED AND HIS MAJESTY…and THAT IS GOOD.

May our lives be open to Him in True Humility,

Tristie 

How To Speak

Librarian Shushing

I bet you are like us-trying to raise kind, thoughtful, and strong kids.

Challenging ? Yes. Impossible? Not with JESUS. Worth it-totally! 

THINGS NOT TO SAY

1. Anything SARCASTIC. Sarcasm is the world’s attempt at humor by tearing another down and then applying the bandage of “Just Kidding!” I learned a quote from my hubby, “Sarcasm always contains a kernal of truth.” In every relationship, sarcasm leads one person to think, “Do they really think that?”

2. Anything DEMORALIZING about an individual’s appearance or behavior. Challenge kids to  turn away from this age-old (and socially acceptable) form of bullying.

3. Anything impugning AUTHORITY. The greatest example I can give my children is to respect God, my husband, the governing authorities in my life, and other people. We want our kids to get good jobs and have good marriages. The book of James is very clear. We can be, too.

THINGS TO SAY

1. Anything that is BUILDING. A great action verb! Let’s ask ourselves,”Am I an encourager?”. It seems like a discipline but over time,”verbal building” becomes a language. Ask your kids to write down 3 positive things about people in their lives. REHEARSING TRUTH CHANGES LIVES!

2. Anything that UNITES. Many of our kids are good at this. This is nearly natural. SHARED EXPERIENCES + SHARED GROWTH=DEEP FRIENDSHIPS. How can we foster this?Moms can constantly remind kids about these kinds od memories. This is the kind of postive habit that can heal.

3.Anything that LOVES. Maybe the greatest satisfaction in our children’s lives will be that they left a LEGACY. We want them to have a legacy that honors God, their marriages, their children, and their friends. A legacy of kindness is a legacy of reward.

God promises to give us His power to obey His commands. We can shape the next generation. No regrets, only rewards!

 

Ground Bound to Free Flight

There are two creatures that amaze me-the caterpillar and the butterfly. In a sense, they are both butterflies. Yet, only one operates AS a butterfly.
I once read a quote said, (Classic Christianity? Bob George?) “Nobody looks at a butterfly and says ,”Hey, look at that converted worm!” Reality says the butterfly has been utterly transformed. This is the ultimate “Opposite Day”! From ground bound to free flight! Dull gray to delicate yellow. Once ignored as common, now celebrated as unique.
Is there any creature that reflects our identity as believers in Christ? Death to life. Peasant to princess.
Adjust our vision, Lord.
If we have are believers in Jesus, we know (but struggle to believe) that God HAS a life planned for us. The life He longs to gives is new beauty, not former shame. It’s not even a makeover! It’s a Make New.
Proud? He can give us His humility and security.
Vain? He can give us His beauty and peace.
Weak? He can give us Resurrection strength.
Every day, I have to have to answer the question “Will I accept myself for who God says I am ?” If you are a human, you will instinctively see the slimy caterpillar as your “mini-me”. You will think of yourself as only suited for the ground. You feel like you are a creature meant for lowly living-primarily in the dark.
Ask Jesus to help you see the truth of your new identity. He does not see you as a worm!
Picture the old chrysallis husk cracking open and falling off. This is your past. Maybe yesterday?
Now, imagine our wings. Our wings are light and free, yet strangely out of proportion! Our remake reflects God’s design for us.
I have always loved butterflies and never knew why. I think it’s because they are transformed beyond imagination and just so beautiful to watch! They seem unhurried, secure, and quietly content in their new form. I want to live like that-my function being reflected by my form!
Believe truth and look up to your heavenly stylist. The strength of His smile shines on you. Open your wings!
Now fly because you can.12592669_1258143814201274_6705495360334083828_n