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

Gift Giver

laughing-santa-merry-christmas-2015
Spreading Kingdom Cheer For All To Hear

I wanted to lighten the mood and communicate some truth through this next piece entitled Santa.  There are some really healthy concepts we can take from the fairy tale relationship society has with Santa that would be correctly applied to God.  If this offends you, you should probably stop reading this and do something else that makes you happy.  🙂

Here we go.  For some reason Santa always is depicted as the nice guy, he’s in a good mood!  God, however, he’s the scary guy.  He’s the mean, tight-fisted, we gotta perform for him to get us to love him guy.  Santa on the other hand loves us all unconditionally.  He doesn’t put anyone on the naughty list because he wants to, its just what he’s gotta do and that’s on you.  God on the other hand sometimes get depeicted as delighting throwing people in a hell they deserve.  That that kind of justice makes him happy inside.  Mr. Cruel.  😦

Joy, abundance, generosity, celebration, warmth, comfort, safety, color, wonder, awe, love, and all those other things so many people associate with the idea of Santa and Christmas all come from God, that king born in a manger.  He’s the guy that’s not a stubborn, boring, unfriendly stoic savior.  He nice.  And not only that, he’s funny.  He’s understanding and patient.  He likes you and enjoys your company.  He delights in your creation and is full of wonder of the person you are becoming.  He looks forward to time with you and believes in you more than you believe in yourself.

Stickler

When it comes to giving Santa’s reputation far exceeds Gods.  When it comes to getting something from God, I picture intercession, fasting, declaration, and sacrifice.  When I picture getting something from Santa, all you have do is tell him and sometimes he just knows because he’s that good and nice!  And he always wants to know and give us what we desire just because he’s that awesome!

In my dreams I sometimes have Christmas dreams.  I know God is revealing himself to me as the generous giver of glorious, wonderful gifts.  He’s doesn’t mind the correlation when it raising our expectations of receiving good things from him.  He loves giving good gifts to each of us.  It brings him delight.

People always depict Santa as being for us! He’s on our side, but God, sometimes he likes us, sometimes he likes us less, or at least that’s what people believe!  I’m sorry to say this but Santa didn’t die for you.  He didn’t need to because Christ already did.  If Santa died for you, he would have died, but you would still have needed an incarnate savior.  Santa doesn’t possess within his endless resources the gifts we truly need in this life.

We never question where Santa gets his funding or what his real motives are for all of this generosity.  We never wonder if he has enough resources or enough gifts that pertain to our specific desire.  Availability is never questioned.

What’s In His Bag?

For some reason we put limits on gifts from God especially when it pertains to ourselves.  God can’t possibly have enough joy for each of us, can he?  I don’t really deserve that much joy?  There obviously isn’t enough peace for my enemies and me, is there?  I can’t possibly have peace and health today if I had it yesterday, right, I mean, that’s just not the way God works right?  What does God want from me, what is he trying to do, is he just going to take this thing that I like away? We never just reason that God’s good to us because he’s good.

I’m not talking about God giving us plastic junk (not that he can’t communicate love to us through those things).  I’m talking about our lives being filled with abundance of his goodness and our hearts overflowing with heaven’s wonders.  Goodness no price tag can buy and the stuff rich men long for, sometimes found in abundance among the poor.

I love the Christmas season.  It is a tiny prelude to the abundance of heaven’s eternal warmth, goodness, love, forgiveness, togetherness, sparkle-y-ness and generosity.  Merry Eternal Christ-season.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

 

Who God is Not

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God is not a feeling of rejection telling you you don’t measure up and just aren’t good enough

God is not the one who continually brings up your past accompanied by feelings of bitterness, regret or shame

God is not the one telling you you deserve to be treated poorly, with persistent difficulty and grief

God is not the one who has left you, abandoned you, is very close to giving up on you, and disqualifying you

God is not the one telling you you have never been good enough and never will be

God is not the one calling you fat, ugly, stupid, and unwanted

God is not the one causing you to fear and have anxiety and worry unto dread

God is not he one telling you you need to figure it out on your own and fix yourself up already

God is not the one who says everyone else has a right to dream but you shouldn’t waste the energy

God is not the one telling you you are too far gone, hardened, unloving, and dried up

God is not telling you to expect terror, collapse, hatred and violence

Abusers, cowards, and thieves deserve to be called out for what they are and the lies they perpetuate to steal joy, peace, love, and faith.  God gives empowerment, inner-peace, and love inwardly and outwardly.  His reign is indestructible, unmovable, unshakeable and seeks the liberty, freedom, and strength of each one of his children.

You do not have to tolerate any longer negative self-talk, destructive or discouraging ways of thinking, or anything that undermines your worth, your value, and your right to exist and succeed here today.  Liberty is yours my friend and anything less is a sham.

Peace and trust are two things so much more powerful than they are given credit for; they conquer and overcome all doubt, hesitation, uncertainty and whimpering.  They break apart fear, control and manipulation, and illusions of terror.  The word terror itself is the fear of something rather than anything that has substance in and of itself.  Peace is not passive.  Live apart from any enemy tolerated within your midst and TRULY LIVE.