Monday, April 20, 2015

Make Disciples //

Because there is some raw skill, some biological hard-wiring, and some years of training, but you never actually know what youre doing completely. And thats really a good place to be. So we keep stepping into new territory, branching out a little, taking new routes to familiar places, going deeper, and growing together.

A child is a disciple [follower, student] being made. Children of God are disciples being made. And part of the purpose of our growth is to reproduce, to bear fruit, to MAKE disciples. No matter how you live you are an example, an influence. People who no longer live but Christ lives through them stick out as examples in the earth like a foreigner in any country does. This family is a melting-pot of races and cultures, a crazy mix of stories, so diverse and yet unified as one because we are His.

Walking in this new life, knowing our Papa more, and growing in sanctification by the Spirit as individuals engaging intentionally in community with the Body and all others around us, this is the making of disciples. A follower influencing another to follow, to become. A student being an example to someone else to come and know, to taste and see.

So an invite went out to the area, any who follow or want to, to gather together and become more like-minded and to sharpen each other. It wasnt about studying or about displaying knowledge, it was about meditating on truth and sharing what it stirred in our hearts. Calling forth identity and encouraging each other in the walk. "Its the best kind of competition", this pursuit of knowing Him and of holiness through His righteousness. Remembering Whose we are and living according to that joyous freedom and through that steadfast power.

The group that came together today was different than the group that gathered last week, I suspect it will continue to ebb and flow. I love the open-arms of it, the way life is shared through it, how seeds will get scattered and carried far and wide, and the opportunity to consistently water them week by week. Anyone who showed up today could have led this gathering. This unified gathering can continue with or without me. It needs only a coming together of family.

You dont even realize that youre making disciples this way everyday. Youre discipling your family by the example of Jesus coming out of your words and heart motives and choices. You disciple your friends when you listen to them and they see your life. Youre discipling the people you work around, shop around, drive around. Who you are influencing them to follow is what depends. There are only two kingdoms, dark and light. How you treat, think of, speak of your family, your leaders, your followers, your neighbors, the strangers, represents either Heaven's kingdom or the Enemy's. Remember Whose you are.

Youre no longer a slave but a child. You need no longer live as a slave but have been counted as forever free and granted bold access to all you need to walk free. The Blood was sufficient before God, we must count it as sufficient as He says it is, and remember always that any accusation of guilt the Enemy brings against us is answered by the sufficiency of His Blood. Hallelujah! Rejoice, Church! We arent surviving until heaven, we are living in celebration thats a stark contrast to all still living bound -- our freedom draws eyes and its our privilege to spread the Good News that freedom has been bought for everyone, not just me, that this celebration is for all who believe. "Silver and gold, I dont have, but what I have I give you: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, stand up and walk."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Knowing Him More //

God, a community in and of Himself, three in one, desired a people to draw near to. Angels wouldn’t cut it. He made the pair, He walked with them, they made a choice that led to separation from Him. Two kingdoms now existed, for while the Lord had created all and ruled over all, His Enemy now had dominion over the people God had made for Himself and over their habitation. God is Love though, and Love doesn’t give up. His heart was still set on a people and He put a master plan to work in the world immediately to regain the object of His affection. 

While the Enemy reigned in the earth, taking all the territory in hearts and lands he could, sowing destruction in the unfolding of a reconciliation plan, God tirelessly and mightily worked redemption again and again through great mercy. When He had written His heart in the very dust of the ages, made Himself known, and foretold His mysterious coming victory, recording it all by the hands of a faithful few and preserving it for every generation, His Spirit entered into the body of a woman who had never been entered by the body of a man, and His only Son was formed and brought forth from that fleshy home. The only Son came to restore relationship with the Father to all in order that the "One child" might become the "first born of MANY". 

The kingdom of heaven had advanced on the territory of its Enemy. With the unjust death of one perfect Man, filled by the Spirit of God, three silent days of death over His still body, and the dawning of one morning that would forever mark the changing of the tides for humanity, authority in the Earth was transferred by perfect justice. Instead of “you shall surely die” looming ahead of every life from its first breath, humanity was now offered afresh: “eternal life; life abundant” and the “Holy Spirit without measure”. The Prince of Darkness has roamed and ruled defensively and ruthlessly ever since, knowing his thrown is promised to be removed, knowing that life can now be worked in any life he has effectively held in death, that light can drive out the deepest darkness he has surrounded or filled anything with, and that the call of our Father’s love resonates with our hearts more deeply than his most torturously rooted fear and it holds the key to release the tightest-wound bond from any soul. 

The King has reproduced after His nature and His children, filled with His powerful love, and given authority over all, walk the earth with the purpose of being fruitful and multiplying -- not merely by the flesh but by the Spirit. No longer living of ourselves, no longer children of the Evil one, but living by Christ alone, with everything that is available to Him available to us and subject to nothing His own Father didn’t subject Him to or that His Enemy claims to have authority to subject us to through lies and deceit. Secure in this identity, in Whose we are, as the Beloved and rightful children of God by the blood of Jesus which we profess -- having been baptized by the water signifying the recognition that our death was bought when He died and that His resurrection bought our birth into new life -- we live and move and have our being. Living as pleasing sacrifices in this most reasonable service to our King. Counting all other lives above our own, knowing we are seated in a place we can never be removed from by the Enemy or by man, and that the most fruitful way we can live is to die that others might live. We are marked by favor, by presence; known by love, by the very essence of Him. 

Is it possible for our fleshly life to continue without rest or nourishment or the strengthening exercise of its use? No. Is it possible for our spiritual new life to continue without the very blood and breath, the very Spirit, of God flowing through us, or without the communion with Him by bold access through prayer, or without the every word in every book of The Book He recorded for us to renew our every fiber in the truth of Who He is, what He did to make us who we were meant to be and tell us how to live? No. 

Did we free ourselves? Certainly not. But since He has set us free are we indeed free? Completely. Walking in freedom every moment of the day, all the old ways passing and the new ones replacing by the Spirit, as your mind is renewed by the Word... Can your mind be renewed any other way? No. So is it satisfactory or safe to rely on another to read and relate to you all you need to know from the Word? Was it not given to all because we need it for ourselves as much and as regularly as our very body needs nutrients? Isn’t His heart to know and be known intimately? Hasn’t He revealed Himself to us through His Word and indwelled us by His Spirit that we may experience Him as well as know Him? A true knowing, a real intimacy in the perfected freedom of covenanted-oneness between a Lover and His faithfully, relentlessly pursued Bride? So to search Him out and become ever more familiar with Him are we not meant to have our face in the Book? We are. We are! 

He is not far off, He has not hidden Himself. Quite the opposite. As soon as we had set ourselves far off from Him in the Garden, He was already pursuing afresh. As soon as the veil was draped between us to cover our faces from His, He was planning to tear it in two and restore our bold access to His presence. When we seek Him we will find Him for He is both available and more willing than we ever will be to be found. 

Can anyone utterly know another after one day? One year? One lifetime? Is it not a continual seeking to know, reading the heart of another as it is written out by their every move throughout their life -- even for a spouse with their spouse, the one they are literally two-made-one with? It is. It is! [Ive been through the Bible cover-to-cover twice in my twenty-two years, and thats more than many that make up His Body, but that doesn’t mean I'm through. Does my heart, mind, soul and strength know every word? Is my every fiber familiar with the Word's every piece and part? Do I KNOW it cover-to-cover? Not yet. So Im in it again; seeking His face afresh, newly familiarizing myself with His tone. One book per day, one day at a time, for sixty-six days. And were I to repeat that every sixty-six days for a year I would meet every page in the Book from front to back five and a half times over. If I repeat that every year for the next eighty years of my expected life, I will have seen His written heart in its full context four hundred and forty times. Perhaps, by then I would have a glimmer, a taste, of intimate, deep familiarity with Him. Is it worth the time? Is that a joke? To know Him and be able to make Him known is the point of the time that makes up life itself.] 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stitch Fix >>

Stitch Fix nailed it.
Every "fix" has been delightful but this one, "fix" #5, this one takes the cake. I wanted to keep every single item in the box. That's never happened before.

Mystree Hobart Sweater >> M
I cant even describe it, I just felt so at home in this item. I probably would never have picked it out for myself but I loved it. The fit was perfection, the style marvelous.

41Hawthorn Trinidad Chevron Striped Henley Top >> M
The stylists know that Im a sucker for henley top. This was my favorite one for fit and fabric style by far.

Mystree Andria Maxi Dress >> M
Ive been drooling over Anthro's spring line so when I opened up this maxi dress I did a very happy dance. It was the dress of my dreams!

Urban Expressions Trevor Woven-Top Hobo Bag >> brown
Seriously, how did they know that hobo bags just like this one are my weakness?

Honey Punch Wakeman Crochet Open Cardigan >> M
I have a cardigan very similar to this one but I like this one even better than the one I already own. The weight of the crochet is heavier so it falls nice and long.

There you have it. Hands-down my favorite "fix" yet. When you purchase all five items in your box you get a 25% discount. A really nice perk to falling in love with everything they send. 

not sponsored by Stitch Fix