I write because…

I’m a learner at heart.

As I read and write…I learn about myself, about God, about others, about life.

When I write, I want to capture a moment, a feeling, a piece of truth staring me down, and share that with whoever is listening.

And just maybe, sometimes, the words might strike a cord with someone else’s heart like they did with mine. They might bring up a question, bring them back to a moment, touch them, make them feel alive, let us share life.

Because when I feel deeply, the words are part of the story and what I see.  I don’t want the moment to go unnoticed, to slip away.  So, I capture the memory in the words that portray beautiful truth.  And when this happens, how can I not share the painting?

As life truly is a work of art made up of brush strokes that move us along in the journey.  So, I splash words on paper to evoke inspiration, encouragement, freedom, and the simple every day moments.

Good writing changes me, deepens me, makes my eyes go big and sometimes makes them green with tears.  And good writing itself makes me want to write to stir up the paint to make something beautiful that expresses the abundant life in Christ.

Why do you write?

Salty Two Cents of God-Flavors

Mm, I wanna be salty! I started out today reading 3 different posts about salt!  I thought I’d just leave my two cents, but then realized…my two cents really looked a bit too lengthy and sent me on some bunny trails all starting with this verse:

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?  Can you make it salty again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”

—You are here to be salt seasoning that brings out the GOD-FLAVORS of this earth.

After doing some inquiries into salt here, I found quite a few ponderous nuggets to chew on:

  • Salt was required in all the sacrifices (Lev. 2:13)
  • If we don’t have salt in ourselves, how can we spread it out to others? (Mark 9:50) We need to be spending time with Him, loving Him, and letting Him fill our cup to overflowing so that everything comes from that and goes back to glorify Him.
  • To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host’s interests (Ezra 4:14).
  • The Arabic word for “salt” and for a “compact” or “treaty” is the same.
  • Salt is emblematic of loyalty and friendship.
  • I wonder also if the salt reference has to do with the gospel we present…are we presenting the gospel in its full “saltiness” or are we only throwing in a pinch because we are fearful or so watered down ourselves?

Lastly, I love the version of the verse in the video…Mmm, I wanna be salty, but even more I want to BRING out the GOD-FLAVORS of this earth. I want to ooze with joy and give the world a taste of this God that loves big…I want to bring out these God-flavors in others. To empower, equip, and enable all those around me to live the ABUNDANT life in Christ.

But, how can we do that if we’re not salty ourselves?

Are you salty? What are you doing to stay salty? Are you spreading your saltiness? What do you think God-flavors are? Thoughts?

Laying on the floor…

Love this! Here are some of my favorites with my comments in italics:

I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

Lord, here I am, send me. Keep breaking my heart for what breaks yours. Let Your love overflow.

No moment from my God is a rock of burden…it’s just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones.

Even this moment…this moment when I’m laying on the floor crying. You are using it to make a stepping stone toward something beautiful.  You are the potter. I am the clay.

choose joy

here am I. I choose You tonight and Your joy.

if what you do does not resonate with you… it is not really going to matter to anyone else.

talking about passion gets me energized and makes me come alive. talking about kids and life changes and God completely invading your heart…yeah, that’s the good stuff.

some pursue happiness..others create it

I may not control the circumstances, but I choose joy and I choose to let God give abundant life in Him.

fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds.

let everything I say and do be a reflection of You.

Re-created My World

cards“I love you more than my clothes (dress, socks, shoes).  I love you as a teacher and as a friend.” -Sylvia

“To someone who thinks not only for herself but thinks for everyone.  And that person is you.  You have re-created my world and made me a believer.  My life is a more Holy and loving place than before.  You have been my pillow of strength throughout this course.  I appreciate you and I don’t know how life would’ve been possible without you.  You have taught me a lot and I hope you’re gonna keep on changing many other lives as you changed my life.” -Malefu

sylviaLoved the cards that I got from my LaunchPad students today.  They caused my heart to overflow with love and served as a reminder of how I want to live:

To let everyone know of the abundant life in Christ by living to glorify God through following Him, speaking words of life, and coming alive in order to do everything with love that overwhelms, empowers, and transforms.

Something More.

“Dreams are fuel.
They fuel us to victory.
But most of the time they stay just that.
Dreams.
I lived most of my life “about” to do something.”

“But we also realized that the American dream of white picket fences and a 9-5 isn’t our shtick.
And here is the harder truth.
It isn’t a lot of yours either.”

I love these quotes from this post mostly because I’m right there.  Right there knowing I could play it safe.  I could get that 9-5 and the steady paycheck.  But I’m not.  I know that I only go to the 9-5, white picket fence, happily ever after because it appears safe, comfortable and a great decision.  Except it’s not what I’m supposed to do right now.  God calls me to jump into the water and get completely wet while not holding back anything.  Complete surrender of my heart, desires, hopes, dreams, and life.  Except the amazing thing is that He’s right there beside me ready to bless me and show me what an abundant life looks like when I’m walking with Him.

Uprising, Part 3: Forgiveness

Here’s the final segment from Uprising!

Page 122

When you refuse to let go of the past, you lose all hope.  When you walk backwards into the future, you cannot see anything to hope for.  This is one reason why a person who is embittered ultimately cannot be encouraged into a new frame of thinking.  Until he is willing to let go of the past, he is not ready to take hold of the future.

Bitterness will not only rob you of the joy of the present, but will steal from you all the promise of tomorrow.  When we refuse to forgive because we do not want to let those who have hurt us move on to a fresh future, we sacrifice our own future in the process.  Forgiveness is like a breath of fresh air.  You must inhale it and receive it and also exhale it as you give it.  As we grow in gratitude we find ourselves forgiving more quickly and more freely.  Our readiness to forgive will draw others to ourselves in that we will be known as a safe place to fail.  When you are grateful, to not forgive is unthinkable.  How could you even consider holding something against another when you yourself have had so much forgiven?  When you are the worst of all sinners, to withhold forgiveness from another is inconceivable.  Matthew 18:22-35

To receive the grace of God and yet treat others ungraciously is an act of wickedness.  No matter how much we are required to forgive in others, it pales in comparison to what God has forgiven in relationship to us.

The end of 2007 challenged me to really evaluate forgiveness and what it looks like to “forgive.”  One major thing that I needed to remember was that forgiveness does not mean that one has to fully trust the other person again/right away nor does it deny that his/her actions were indeed wrong and hurtful.  In fact, sometimes just saying the words “I forgive you” permitted me to lull myself into a false state where I denied the actions/words and pretended they did not happen so as to avoid pain.  This technique works for a while, but for me whatever happened keeps playing in my head and eventually I twist it into something I did wrong…back to the whole “why me, why not me, what did I do, was I not enough, ect.”  Such a fixation trapped me into a self-made prison and prevented the freedom that the above passage includes.

I find that forgiveness must consists of so much more than just the words.  In the past, I have said the words and then turned around a few days/weeks/months later to find myself holding onto the offense and using it against the person in an argument.  Our hurts are real and should not be taken lightly, yet holding on in a negative way fosters bitterness and resentment.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” Acts 8:23

–Christ forgave so much and came so that we might have “abundant life.”  By denying others forgiveness, I trap myself in bitterness and restrict the fullness of life in Christ.  In the same way, I must also see myself as forgiven and forgive myself to find freedom.  Forgiveness and repentance (180 degree turn).

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16

–How radically different would forgiveness look if we each thought of ourselves as “the worst” sinner…

-Katy Rose