Dusting off the Stories of what God has Done

God is always the same and what he did once he would do again.  God is not a respecter of persons and what he would do for one he would do for any.  These two statement encourage the hope and possibility of what God did once for someone else, he would do for me.  In saying that, something he did twenty years ago for me, he can do for you now.  So I’m walking down the memory lane of life as it is always the front page of who God still is today.  Take anything as hope of what can do for you.

  1.  I trusted God with my love life and he brought me the most amazing husband any woman could ever dream of.  As I’m writing this he is charging my cell phone for me and asking if I have water because he was going to refill it for me as I’m sitting in bed on a Saturday typing this about him.
  2.  I’ve never made over $10,000 a year in my entire adult life yet God has financed sending me to 23 different countries over the course of my life. For whatever reason, the way my heart is wired is that I feel most romanced by God when he sends me to travel somewhere. I know I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to do anything without him sending me.
  3.   I’ve screwed up, meaning I’ve failed at something he’s asked me to do, and yet he’s never fired me, punished me, abandoned me or quit being kind to me.  Because of this I really realized the grace of God is truly a gift.  It is not earned.
  4.   God redeemed the ending of my family when we were younger.  My parents separated and both happily remarried.  My siblings are all risking love in some measure in their life.  This sometimes requires the greatest courage.  I am proud for the measure they continue to risk being known and loved despite how we’ve seen it can possibly end up.
  5.   God has given me peace.  In different seasons of life due to different things I have different measures of peace but in all of life I have a strong underlying trust in God that always imparts to me a steadfastness that I feel all the time.  Like I’m being held, or embraced, or hugged and I feel safe and sturdy.  I love God for imparting this feeling to me on an ongoing basis.
  6.   I realized through frequency to get over myself, my understanding, my ways, control, anything I would hold on to for fear or security.  From plans to stuff, he really does take care of everything and often, when I let him, way better than I could ever put things together.  Like I really am blind and dumb compared to all he sees and knows.  It is wisdom to trust him, let him lead, and put everything in his hands.
  7.   Unity, relationships, connection, obedience, service, humility, love, faith, truth, these things really are the majors in life and everything else is truly unimportant and meaningless in comparison.
  8.   I really feel like my death is in God’s hands as much as my birth was. I didn’t control my birth, God did.  In the same way, I don’t think anything is random and he knows all of the days of my life and will work out the plans and dreams he has for sending me here in the first place.
  9.   I don’t fear death in any way.  Almost daily I feel the fragility of this realm of life and time.  It is such a thin veil and my true self is timeless and in an always state.  I do not want to miss what he wants to show me and teach me and also truly enjoy the day with him as this is me loving to be alive with him.  This is living.
  10.   I feel humbled by God’s goodness and love.  I definitely don’t deserve any of it, but he shows me that I’m worthy because he says I am.  Who am I to disagree?!   😉
  11.   I thought I was going to go into tangible stories about specifics God had done for me–
  12.   Oh-my father’s transplant was an answer to prayer-he met my husband and is still alive!
  13.   And also my grandfather’s life was spared in a time where he was being killed by being given the wrong medication in the hospital but the error was found out and he became himself again to pass in peace at a later time.
  14.   Also I was filled with the holy spirit, a tangible experience in my body that overcame me that I still feel today and a way I interact with God directly spirit to spirit rather than just mind to mind, early morning alone in a gymnasium in a Lutheran church!
  15.   I received God’s forgiveness and being made right with God through what Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf on the cross, making a way for me to stand blameless and confident before God because he has made me his family and his friend.
  16.   I thought I was going to write more specific stories like the ones above, but it appears God is an active living miracle in my life.  I am so grateful to have the ability to see and breathe and feel and taste and express myself and sit in peace and have freedom.  I am so thankful to share life with my husband and spend the passing of time in his company.

These are a few thoughts that come to mind when thinking about what God has done for me in my life.  May it be an encouragement and blessing to you.  Oh yeah – don’t waste your time overly concerning yourself with what other people think of you.  It is not your responsibility nor does it matter beyond your upright heart before the father.  Acceptance or praise of man is not the bread that that gives life but rather the word of God.  Blessings!

Joy

He keeps turning my eye here.  I try to focus on other things in this world or his kingdom and he keeps pointing me to this thing called happiness, this thing called Joy.  Perhaps the wide road is the one of worry, fear, anxiety and frustration and the narrow road of heaven we’re actually invited to traverse upon could just be the road of trust, peace, contentment, love, rest and joy.

Joy somehow sparkles with glory and a supernatural existence; it is a gift of heaven without limit and often overlooked.  Joy has a lowly state.  It is often seen as ignorance or immaturity.  Serious, urgent things are looked upon with esteem and great importance.  But Joy is not news.  It is not urgent.  It does not fight for power.  Joy is meek and unassuming.  It is persistent and unexpected, playful and a welcomed guest.

There are things we must chose to not give attention to in order to participate in Joy.  We must look away from the fears of our own condition and any worries ahead.  We must turn away from decisions gone awry behind us.  Joy requires us, or allures us rather to be entirely present once again.  We must let go of performance in it’s company.  It is participation with someone wholly other than ourselves.  A different source from which this magical river flows; Jesus’ side.

It is God’s expressed desire for our Joy to be full, not finding lack in our experience of this wonderful gift of heaven.  But the realist would ask, what is Joy’s purpose?  How is it productive or long lasting?  Joy is a fruit to be enjoyed, not to be made into a gadget for a machine to use.  It’s expression is as purposeful as the beauty of a flower.  It is meant to be enjoyed.

The treasure map to finding joy is clearly shown in scripture.  Psalm 16 says the fullness of Joy is found in God’s presence.  Everlasting pleasure is found at his right hand.  Not on this earth or in a thing or an activity or a person, but in God’s company.  His nearness, his friendship.  Where can you find his will for your emotions?  In the goodness, safety, commitment and gladness of himself!

So many things can happen in life that deter our hearts from this child-like track.  Perceived failures, tragic losses, disappointed expectations, and hurtful betrayal are just to name a few.  The eternal part of joy is that we don’t derive it from what we see around us, what people are saying, or doing.  We derive it from his presence within us.  It is truly powerful and absolutely unassailable.  Nothing has truly threatened or will ever be able to take away this gift of Joy that has been given to us through Christ Jesus.   He has overcome everything that claims to have overcome his presence in your walk with him in this life.  His Joy is yours.  His Joy is mine.  And it endures.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

 

Praise

You make this…

This is heaven’s secret weapon on earth, and it is my secret weapon.  Even though I have it tattooed on my arm, I didn’t realize it until later.  I’m not talking about a religious stream of words engulfing eternity aimed at a distant enthroned God either.  I’m also not talking about dancing in white dresses in the front of a church with prophetically painted flags.

Heaven is whimsical and mysterious, but also entirely practical.  What is the good of any of those above forms if when you walk out relationship you are critical of the people you live or work with, if you berate yourself, or are pessimistically ‘real’ when it comes to life.

Whatever you do unto other people, you do unto God; basic heaven 101 stuff right there.  Well, have you praised him lately?… in other people?  One of the windows of life I entirely love and adore is really seeing an experience or event or circumstance in another person’s life and getting to celebrate it with them, even if they haven’t begun to celebrate it themselves yet.  I have concluded that this is praise.

I could dance on top of mountains and high buildings, but I love cheering someone on as they take their first step at the bottom of the mountain; often it’s the hardest one.  I love laughing in the face of other people’s self doubt when they surprise themselves about what they’re capable of.  I love celebrating who people are, even when they’re forgotten to see their divine shine.  It really is there all the time.  This is my joy in life and it will not be taken from me.

Praise is the water that freedom and life grows in.  And I’m not talking about lying to people either.  Or puffing them up.  The glorious part about praise is that it’s all true.  Love never sets honesty aside, they’re completely compatible.  Do you know you will be surrounded by praise in heaven?  Not just of God, but all of culture will celebrate and not condemn?  No one will remember or bring up the bad stuff, ever, to you again.  No one will accuse your heart of evil, but your goodness will be known to yourself and others, just as He is good?  Rest in knowing he has no end in celebrating with you, about you, and is excited about what’s to come.

…and I see this. Not even that you would make a perfect piece of pottery one day, but that you have already begun a beautiful journey of process that involved risk of failure and therefore required courage.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love