My hope is that this blog will be a conduit for conversation between you and me, between you and others, and most importantly, between you and God. Experience has shown me that my best conversations with the Lord and with others come coupled with the stillness of morning and a cup of coffee. Whatever your experience has been, I hope you will join me as I share what God puts on my heart.

Friday, September 25, 2015

To look for the one.

I've spent the past couple days being overwhelmed by God's love for us. It sounds cliché. But for a performance-obsessed, results-driven person like myself, sobering reminders of God's intoxicating grace and undignified love for me stop me dead in my tracks.

That God would chase after us. 

Like a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to look for the lost one.

Like a woman who loses one of her ten silver coins, but scours the house until she finds that one.

Like the father who compassionately runs to embrace the greedy son who squandered the father's property and returns empty handed to again depend on the father.

How can I not respond to the God who loves every one of us with this sort of reckless abandon?  

My fixation on this lately stems from a terrifying circumstance where a family member was on a seven-day hiking adventure in the mountains when he became separated from others at nightfall without any trace of his whereabouts. Our world instantly stopped as our family exhausted every means of finding the one we loved. During that time, nothing else mattered besides our search for the lost one

We found him. We found him. We found him. Like God finds us, we searched all night, relentlessly, unabashedly, illogically, at every expense, counting each minute, waiting for him. 

And I can't stop thinking about how this parallels God's love for us. The kind of love that's nauseating, scandalous, irrational, illogical, inebriating, consuming, and usually costly for the giver. 

Archbishop Desmund Tutu illustrated it best when he described our traditionally inaccurate church imagery of Christ carrying this pristine, put-together sheep back to the flock. In reality, that sheep is dirty, disheveled, scruffy, dishonorable, frightful, helpless, and terrified. We can imagine the sheep being anything but clean. 

I was and often still am that sheep. I imagine you can relate.

Praise God for graciously and gently reminding me of my disheveled condition, to ultimately remind me of His all-consuming and unchanging love for me in that condition.

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing." Luke 15:4-5 (ESV).

"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?" Luke 15:8 (ESV).

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 (ESV).

Down the hatch, my friends.

Much love to you,


Friday, September 18, 2015

My advocate on high.

Christ is our advocate.

When we're wrongly accused.

When we want to defend ourselves.

When we feel mistreated.

When someone doubts us.

When someone speaks ill of us.

When someone misunderstands us.

When someone mistreats us.

When someone believes negative information about us. 

When we want to explain why we took a certain course of action.

When we want to persuade somebody to take our side.

When we're helpless.

Christ is our advocate always--incessantly working for His glorious purpose and our good.

I usually think of Christ as our advocate before God.  Lately, I'm learning Christ is just as much our advocate before others. 

God reminded me of this recently when I wanted to defend or explain myself, but felt God prompting me to let Him handle the situation instead.

There are certainly times we're called to explain or defend. But maybe there are also times we're called to be silent, instead humbly trusting our Advocate is at work. 

It's tough to discern those times and even tougher to be obedient during those times when I want to make my case. Trusting the Holy Spirit to make my case is getting easier as I understand what exactly that means.

Advocate (noun) - one that pleads the cause of another.

One that defends.

One that supports.

This greatly resonates with me because being an advocate is the central role of an attorney. In the legal world, there are certain names of successful attorneys you don't want to see on the opposing side because you know that attorney will kick tail for her client. I liken Jesus Christ to that successful attorney you don't want to see on the opposing side. But Jesus Christ is always on our side, working all things for His glory and the good of those who love Him. 

In my circumstances, I'm learning the Holy Spirit can often make my case far better without my voice. Sometimes this means relinquishing control of what exactly that case should be. Maybe you can relate.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. . ." John 14:16 (NIV).

"Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel." Daniel 1:9 (NIV).

"And we know that in all things God is working for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV).

"Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend." Job 16:19-21 (NIV). 

"You will lie down with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor." Job 11:19 (NIV). 

In lieu of coffee art, my husband forced me to rep his favorite team. This is a desperate plea for affection from a current football widow. Happy game day. ;)
Much love to you,