Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Proof of Heaven

Sometimes you need a change in perspective. I received the picture and info for this little boy, on resurrection Sunday. Tingoya was born with limb deformities and given in love to an orphanage in Sierra Leone by his teenage birthmother - in the hopes that someone could give him a better life. When I look at this child my heart churns with questions for my God who could take his suffering away. If I didn't know of God's ways, this picture would HAUNT me the rest of my life. But instead of a HAUNTING I have HOPE. Where are you in this God?  "I'm preparing a place for you (John 14:1-4)."  Why would this child be born for such suffering?  "A place where there is no more suffering or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4)."  What hope does he have in his life, with a deformed body like this?  "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:20-21)."  You see, Tingoya is proof of the ressurection. The suffering in his life testifies that this world, full of brokenness and pain is not our ultimate home. May Tingoya inflict a confidence in your soul today that this life of sorrows and tragedy CANNOT be all that there is. May his broken body provoke a longing in your heart for everything to be made right, and for the Day when it will be. Today, may you be encouraged by the Savior's words, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)." A resurrection life, one without tear stains, and grave stones, wounds or scars, broken bodies or broken minds, is God's promise to us by way of His Son, the Risen One, Jesus. He leaves His proof, His arrows pointing to heaven all around us, though sometimes they come in unexpected, upside-down ways. Will we have eyes and hearts to see them?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grace Abounds.

The question churned in me for days. For an entire season in fact. I gazed around my church, watching them raise their hands high, singing and claiming those lyrics, "Oh how He loves us." And I couldn't myself sing. Because I doubted those lyrics. How can God look at me - He who sees ALL that's inside of me that I can hide from others, and He who sees EVERYthing that I have ever done - and yet, still love me? Yes I'll loudly claim the popular, the cool sins. The drunkenness and the rebelliousness of the past. But what about the vicious, the hidden, the shocking sins of now? The anger which births rage held secret. The murderous attitudes of the heart. Is there still grace for the already Christian? And He whispers what King David discovered. King David, the already Christian, found knee deep in adultery, murder and tangling of lies kept secret. His whisper comes and I am freed. "My grace knows no boundaries." So THIS. Could THIS be how King David earned the most glorious of titles 'a man after God's own heart'? Because there, in the horror of his sin, he saw how far God's heart reached. And so I have found...you don't really understand grace, you can't really sing confidently of God's love, until you realize just how much you need it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

15 Keys to Parenting: What No One Tells You

Oh mommas.  This post by Ann Voskamp is SO beautiful and SO real.  I can't even take it.  I've read it four times today and am still digesting it.  One of my favorite lines:

I didn’t know that you kids would birth me deeper into God and I didn’t know that you’d drive me crazy and I didn’t know how you’d drive me to the Cross.

Here it is: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/04/15-keys-to-parenting-what-no-one-tells-you/