It’s 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. “All I can smell is bacon,” I holler from my kitchen. It’s the same space that we had cooked the bacon almost 7 hours earlier. We had mostly recovered; only the smell lingered, but we had finally been able to close the windows. I used to get mad at people who cooked breakfasts on the weekends, and then left their windows open for all the neighborhood to be enticed. I felt it was elitist…. I never got bacon on the weekends, or any other time for that matter, except for a soggy experience at Shoney’s when my grandparents came to town. No one ever made me eggs, or waffles, or a mixed fruit bowl for the first meal of the day. But now that I try to create a “specialness” to the time my own family can eat breakfast together, I realize the windows of the houses with such accommodations were not to create envy, but to let out the smoke. The incredible amount of grease-smoke that came from making all the deliciousness of the morning items.
I guess that also goes to explain the grease smell at Waffle House, no matter what time of day (or night!) you pay them a visit. But I digress.
I wonder how often people experience our “Christianity” with the same heavy-scented, elitist-dripping, grace-filled, “too blessed to be stressed”, open window mentality. I am not saying let’s pretend that Christ did not die for us, or that we aren’t saved and redeemed by the grace of our Lord… But so is the rest of the neighborhood. Just because we have accepted the invitation of salvation and redemption doesn’t mean we should cook it up on the weekends for our own family, then slyly look across the fence at someone eating cold cereal and think, “Awe, if they only knew”.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
If the law is bacon, then it should be obviously permeated through you for all who come in your contact. The “joy of the Lord” is not mine. It’s not yours. It is not for me to stifle in my own family’s home, only to waft to those who have not experienced it. This does not entice people to come to know the LORD. It only TICKS THEM OFF and gives you another reason to repent. Rather the joy that comes from the knowledge and security of the Love of God is For. Every. One. And instead of partaking of it “indoors”, it is high time that the church comes out of their own “homes” and makes a picnic for the neighborhood.
Toilets (yes, again!)
“Jesus answered, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
Still staying home? Yup. My daughter is even excited about planning her “Zoom” birthday party. “Normal” is just so far from normal.
These are troubling times, not just because of Covid, but also riots, complete standstill of government, and the obvious disregard for lives of people with a deeper skin tone. We either rise together or we fall together. There should not be an America in tiers. The God of all creation is …. God. Of. All. Creation.
But of course, with no prompting from visits of friends, my toilets are dirty. Again. Not that I don’t clean them regularly, but still. I have so many other priorities that sometimes my cleaning and structure of my week slips.
So, as I launch into contemplation about when I will get around to cleaning my bathroom, I was reminded of an old memory of one of my first retail management jobs. I was a new assistant manager of a store in Concord, NC, and I was green. So, with the visit of the company CEO quickly approaching, the store manager had a sit-down with me. I was prepared with all the company lines, standards of operational procedures, and a bit of flare of what I saw as ways I could contribute to our individual store’s bottom line. But instead of those items, she wanted to discuss just one. The bathroom. Seriously!
Turns out, in her many, many years with the company, she learned something invaluable. Mr. Cato’s first stop when making store visits was to the bathroom. And not always because he had to use it. You see, it was explained to me that, if, the bathroom was clean and in order (which the customer doesn’t see), then he could rest assured that the front of the house was in order (which is what should contribute to a great shopping experience). I took this single experience with me to ALL the stores which I was responsible for thereafter, and it served me well.
Well, there it is. How have I been taking care of my spiritual “back of house”? My heart, head, and speech. Because God isn’t interested in the “customer experience”. He doesn’t get impressed with all the awesome things we think we do in His name. His concern is for true relationship, and complete faithfulness to Him. That is not the type of “cleaning” we can do on our own. But, He in all his Mercy has given us a Helper (John 14:16-17), One that will reside in us as we walk in the love that God commanded (John 14:15).
Luke 11:24- 26
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then says, 'I'll go back to my house where I came from.' And returning, it finds [the house] swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man's last condition is worse than the first."
The point isn’t to get the “house” clean before you invite the Spirit in, but it is to invite the Spirit to come into every inch and reside. And as junk gets cleared out, continue to allow the Spirit to move in those areas too. So how do we do that? Prayer, seeking God, following His Word (which means you have to know what it says…), and of course, INVITE the Spirit of God to dwell in you!
John 14:23. It is a PROMISE!
take a walk
I am not a fan of Miley Cyrus. Now her dad, Billy Ray, is a different story. His song (you know the one!) came out when I was at cheerleading camp one summer, and it was quickly incorporated into a dance finale for all the girls. No, I was never any good at cheerleading. But in elementary school, in those days at least, you just showed up, waved pom poms, and learned life skills. Anywho… the point is, Miley came out with a song years ago called “the Climb”. Boy did I hate that song. It did not help that the radio was completely saturated with it. I particularly did not like the concept that it is “not about the destination, but the journey”. How dumb, I thought, what’s the point if you aren’t getting to your destination?
Well, this morning I had to reconsider. I was reading John 4, where it talks about Jesus traveling from Judea and his destination being Galilee. During the travel, he had to cross through Samaria. There he takes a break by the well (Jacob’s) and the disciples go into town to buy food. He proceeds to have the conversation with the Samaritan woman who was also at the well, and reveals himself to her as being the Messiah. A fantastically interesting read in of itself, however what struck me today, was how Jesus took every opportunity on his journeys to be accessible to others. Whether speaking to one, or many, healing crowds of people, or individuals coming directly for his touch, he often took pause to meet needs. And why did he know there were needs? Because he walked.
The concept that Jesus and his disciples walked pretty much everywhere was not new for me. But I never really gave it much thought until today. When your purpose is to get where you are going, your mindset follows that anything that deters or hinders timely completion of your goal is a distraction, and therefore should be shut down and ignored. I don’t mean this as a distinction between “goal oriented” people and “task oriented” ones, this is something else entirely. If Jesus saw a need, I do not recall reading that he ever responded with, “Not now, I gotta keep on schedule to get to my destination”. Sometimes his disciples gave pushback, but not Jesus. And he certainly didn’t see someone who needed healing and retort, “This will have to wait, I’ve got to keep pace to hit the next town. I’ll catch you on the journey back”. Yet far too often, those have been my internal lines when I see a need.
Now actually seeing needs is also something that bears a good time of pondering. You know that whole eyes to see and ears to hear thing? Well it is worth considering here too. If I am not looking, I won’t see. That seems stupid to say, but I think you get what I mean. When I get caught up going somewhere, I seldom look around on the way. And even if I do, I rationalize that my “calling” is to get to where God told me to go. Or even more “everyday moment” is a trip to Target. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen needs all around me on my wait at the stoplight in front of the store and thought, “Well If it still looks like this when I’m on my way back, I might try to help out”. Unless I have somewhere else to go afterwards. Then it just clearly isn’t for me to mess with… or is it?
If we are Jesus’s hands and feet, then we should do what he did. Not when or if it is convenient, not scheduled like a service project, not when it’s comfortable or when we have the proper supplies. Every day, in all situations, in all settings. THAT is how Jesus loved. THAT is what our Lord commands of us too. The verse below references Jesus – we should take it to heart and heed what it implores. Daily.
The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of our God's vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord, to glorify Him.
I’ll admit it. I used to think anxiety was a bit of a joke. And I never thought “panic attacks” were real. That was, until I was diagnosed with them, and it hit me that all those times that I thought I was dying of a heart attack based on my very real, very intense physical symptoms that I was wrong. Now that’s humbling. Kind of like how I thought that when people had a screaming baby in the grocery store that they were obviously bad parents and should just leave. That was until I had a child of my own, and found myself in those situation. “Sorry everyone in the store that I am getting the stink-eye from because I my child is screaming so loudly that even people in their cars outside can probably hear. If I don’t stay and get this food, we won’t eat. And then she’ll NEVER stop screaming.” Why does it seem to take going through the same experience to see someone with compassion? Shouldn’t we look through they eyes of Jesus and give the same grace and compassion he gives us even if we can’t understand their situation? But I digress.
This morning I had a flare up of anxiety and started going through my memorized verses.
Phil. 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
1 Jn 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
So what gives? I’ve been dealing with having a mantra of these verses for years. I cast my cares. I try to humble myself (clearly I still need God’s continued grace with that!). I try NOT to be anxious. I pray, give thanksgiving, and I even started writing out my petitions to God. But the no fear in love thing? Completely failed. I just couldn’t understand why, if I love God with my whole heart, did I still have fear? We are all hard-wired with fear. It is a built-in fight or flight mechanism, to be of use in specific situations. But I couldn’t see how I could just “drive” it out when it came upon me.
Reality – I am not the one who was supposed to driving. It’s not even my car. I was looking at this verse entirely backwards and it seems to be the key connection for both the verses above, and sooooo many others in the bible.
It is not the love I have, but yet the love God has for me. And through understanding and truly believing, trusting, in that love, I can understand that I don’t need to be afraid. But this is not a one time thing, probably why it is mention everywhere in the bible how much God really loves us.
This in turn made me take another look at my perspective of the other verses. Yes, I am to be humble, but the flip of that is to know who I am, but more so remember who God is, and how great a love he has for me. The context of all these verses talk about compassion, God’s love, and pride in verses that come before.
Fear is real. Anxiety is real. But so is compassion, pride, and humbling. But most of all, love is real. And it is in recognizing just how big and mighty of a God we serve that can send the fear packing.
Do you ever feel as though you are coming completely undone? Has there been anything that occurred to make you feel like that while you were wholly committed to our Lord Jesus? I’ll give pause to that, lol, what has happened lately while you are belonging to our God?
Music always speaks to me… I was listening to a song this morning that has a phrase “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God”. And I felt moved by the Spirit. And then the next feeling was, while worshiping, I should clean off my kitchen table. I’m not being flip here, but serious. You see, about 2 months ago I brought my sewing machine out of it’s closet hiding spot and placed it and all other related sewing goods on the kitchen table. That is where they have stayed for the past few months. Jammed off to the side, crowding up the area for any guests to eat, although, who is having guests these days?? Probably why I have been so slack in cleaning it off.
As I went to begin putting the items away, I was thwarted by my measuring tape… it was rudely bunched up, instead of cleanly rolled and because of this, the container that housed all the smaller items would not close. So, of course, I tried to quickly roll it up and shove it in the container. No luck. Then I had to take the time to completely undo the mess and then re-roll it properly. That’s when it hit me. Isn’t that what happens to us?
We come to Jesus all rolled (each person in their own different ways) completely improperly. We can not fit into the “Kingdom’s container”. And our Lord cares far too much for us than to haphazardly “shove” us in… he wants us unrolled… stripped down… made new… renewed in Him. Re-rolled.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.” (2 Cor 5:17-19)
Then the process can begin.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God." He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:20-21)
Calling others to be “undone” and “re-rolled”. Not for our sake… but for His.
Shaken. It’s what I do whenever I have any type of iced beverage in my hand. Maybe I’m the only one, but it is a habit I developed decades ago. Then I perfected it while working 10-hour days on my feet with the only thing getting me through was how many iced lattes I was able to consume. It is such a mindless activity I usually don’t realize when I’m doing it.
Psalm 55:22 popped up on my phone today, and as I read it, holding my “Pause” reusable cup I received at a women’s retreat (shout-out Bonclarken!), I realized that I was doing just that – shaking my coke with ice. It was making this clinky sound, well duh. It’s ice. But my point is, I thought about things being “shaken” and the “pause” that it takes sometimes to realize it is happening.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Ps. 55:22)
Sometimes it takes the type of “pause” that is encouraged repeatedly in the whole of Psalm 55 to consider the weight of the meaning. (It’s in a lot of other Psalms too.) But the word is “Selah”. It is of Hebrew origin and interpretations vary from “pause and think” to “forever” as in declaration, praise, or promise. That being said, I had a pastor years ago explain it with this simple phrase- “meditate on it”. He used to say it with this super funny inflection, and now whenever I see the word, I hear his voice in my head, funnily saying, “meditate on it”!
There is a great song, the kind that will bring you to tears, that Brian Johnson sings called “We Will Not be Shaken”. I love it, especially singing it in worship at church, collectively with my brothers and sisters.
However, today it hit me (only when I paused!) that I may have misconstrued the song… in reference to the verse that it embodies. You see, I was focused on the being shaken part. Like it was a call for me to not allow myself to be “shaken”. Because the Lord is in my corner. But when you read it in context, the action I am responsible for is to cast my burden on the Lord. Like a metaphorical coat that I take off of myself and hang on the arms of my God. This requires me not only “shedding” myself, but coming to God, arms outstretched saying, “thank you for taking this and now I don’t have to wear it anymore.”
The following opposite insinuation must be, that if I don’t take off my burden and give it to God, I in turn, will probably be shaken. Or at least sweaty for wearing a coat when I shouldn’t.
The other thing that struck me about my silly little moment in my kitchen this morning, was that if I don’t pay attention, or Selah, and think about the present moment and what it means, I might not even notice the clinky sound I am making. What a thought – here I go in life talking about bringing glory to the Lord, all while clinking and clanging like a vehicle about to break down. What a joke that projects. Not to say that if you are doing things right that you would be immune to struggle. That’s just not biblical. Instead though, when we have cares, struggles, hardships, or even distractions, we are to present them to God. Like a heavy coat, that you don’t want to wear for a single minute more. You are inside (as in- His family!).
God gives a promise; He will never let the righteous be shaken. But that requires us to have the “right relationship with him” which includes casting our burdens and letting Him be our strength.
So, a few weeks back, my cat died. He was a great cat, but also sometimes a jerk. There was a whole span of time that he would wake me up at 5AM, demanding to be fed. He did this by repeatedly smacking my face with his paw- no claws, just paw, but still (Secret Life of Pets 2, LOL). I am NOT a morning person.
But today, we are considering adopting again. I miss the companionship. And yes, I will probably talk out loud to the new cat. Or cats… my husband wants two. Anyway, the idea of adoption is something that I have contemplated recently. Everybody wants the cute ones. But what about the not so cute ones? Past their prime, have a disease, gone through several foster homes… those guys. The misfits and the ones looked over. But changing pace here, isn’t that who Jesus picked? The regular Joes, the angry hotheads, the too young to know better, and even the one who would betray him?
“He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like one people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn't value Him.”
This verse isn’t to make us feel poopy for being so mean to Jesus- it is to say that if we are His followers, we probably won’t be to awesome looking ourselves. Or to at least suggest that surface is just that, and as we come to know Christ more intimately, we will examine ourselves more closely and see all our stains. (Ps 139)
Today in our bible study the author was going over Gomer from Hosea, the beautiful story of redemption and repurchasing of the Lord and His people. (See, well, the book of Hosea)
You see, God know us. And knows we will break his heart over and over again. But yet he chose us. And just as the verse in Isaiah isn’t to make us feel bad about how we treat Him, the reality is in the choosing of each of us. How valued we are in the sight of God. How wanted we are by him. How included we are in his family. How he wants us to truly know Him. But before you get up in arms, no. This is not an excuse to be flip with God’s grace. We are to humbly come to him knowing our sin as he shows it, and repent.
And the takeaway is not how dirty we are, but a call to return to our first love.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
So, consider- family. Restored by the grace of God. Welcomed by his great love. As we should restore and give grace to others. Stained, but he sees through it. Loves with it and gives opportunity for improvement. What are we going to do with that kind of love? Waste it? Or show that we appreciate it by our actions and attitudes? I may have strayed, but he loves me just as much now as in the Beginning. And that is an adoption worth thinking on.
Rainy day movie
Last night I had a dream that included a soundtrack. Don’t judge. They say Covid has made people have bizarre dreams, and for someone who was always a vivid dreamer, it has only intensified. The song that stood out the most was Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady”, which, of course, only made me think of one thing. Mrs. Doubtfire.
I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. In this movie, Mrs. Doubtfire is a nanny to three children, which actually are his own. Yes, Mrs. Doubtfire is Robin Williams in disguise as a squishy old lady. The character is making a desperate fatherly attempt to be present in his children’s lives after being less then “fatherly” and “present” for all the time before that. And this got me thinking about our Heavenly Father. He never comes to us in disguise. His love for us is real and constant. It never falters, never is questionable, and never diminishes when we don’t live up to expectation.
And the reality of expectation is a serious one. Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) Seriously? Perfect? That’s a tall order. But I don’t think it is actually one he meant to scare us with. Funny, as I contemplate this, Jesus was perfect. But he didn’t command us to be perfect like him, but yet be perfect as our heavenly Father. Why would he do that, say it that way? I think, total opinion here, that maybe it was because the reality of being perfect is daunting. Maybe the reality of a perfect human is extreme. And maybe the reality is that perfection is only found in and through God.
For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD : I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”
With that said, on this rainy day, I am going to go watch Mrs. Doubtfire with my children. Hopefully it is as funny as I remember from my childhood. But more importantly, I am going to pause on the covenant my Lord gave me. One of inclusion, one where I respect his authority and his commands. And one where through the blood of Jesus, he forgives and forgets my imperfections, and takes notice of my heart striving to please Him.
When I first started going to my church, I was astonished to find that not only did the minister pray, and they had an official prayer team available, but that they actually had about a 10-15 minute time set aside smack in the middle of the service where they expected all of us to get together in groups and pray. I don’t mean generic prayer either. I’m talking about getting together in groups of 5 or 6 and sharing what is on your heart. Struggles, praises, pain, whatever. I hated it. It was not comfortable. Who were these people who wanted to be all up in my business? Why did they need to know my struggles? Typical church gossip would probably follow.
So, when that time came, I would suddenly need to go to the bathroom, or perhaps I realized I forgot something in my car, or I had a work phone call that was urgent. Anything to get me out of there. However, the rest of the church experience was wonderful, and this soon became our church home. So, my habit of “stepping out” continued.
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord.”
Well fine, I thought, if it is in the bible, I suppose I should do it. This was about 11 years ago. Since then, I grew to realize that not only had I been cheating myself out of support by not being involved, but I was also disobeying my savior and cheating others from an honest relationship with me. I have, for the past few years, not only looked forward to sharing and praying, but I had come to depend on it. My family in Christ knew what was going on in my life, and they, in turn would lift me up throughout the week. They even rejoiced with me when God would redeem situations. The good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. But isn’t that what a unified body does? We feel when other parts hurt?
1 Cor. 12:18-20
“But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.”
And previously it states in these verses as a reminder – There is One Spirit. A unified Spirit of God.
“Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I can’t carry something that you don’t bring forward. And likewise, I can’t get any assistance with something that I don’t admit exists. This is huge… and it is not pretty. In fact, sometimes it is downright messy. Yet it is what God requires we do as part of the body… His body. Honest? I don’t know that I have any stance to argue that.
So yes, I will share my ugly, and yes, you will share yours. And praise God, we are being molded and shaped, and all the better glorifiers of Him for it!
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.”
I have a great friend who is my go-to for sharing my “mom fails”. She has a special way of making me feel like I am not the only one who has gone through those particular trials. I shared one such thing this morning- my daughter had secretly cut her own hair. She is six. Ahem… anyways, later after I spoke with my friend I began to think. Who do I share my Christian fails with?
We are all flawed. Saved by the grace of God (Eph. 2:8) – and thank God he continues to give that grace new every morning! (Lam. 3:22-23)
Eph. 2:10 says, “For we are His creation-created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
But what do we do when we don’t “walk” in them? Well for starters, turn to the Holy Spirit and ask to be shown those things. (Ps 139:24) Otherwise we may be “righteous in our own eyes” and miss it! If repentance is the tune I continue to whistle, then I am more likely to see my own areas that the Spirit wants to work on. If repentance is the tune I play from a boom box (yes I am child of the 90s!), all I am doing is being a noisy gong. I would be habitually pointing out the splinter in another’s eye instead of dealing with the plank in my own.(Matt. 7:3-5) And FYI – those verses are directed to believers. It is not our job to go around to someone who does not share our faith and point out what they are doing wrong. We are to share the message of Christ – Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!(Matt. 4:17) Not the same as, “look at what you are doing wrong… you suck… you’re going to hell”.
Lam. 3:40 says, “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.”
One way to “examine” is by sharing the failings with a fellow believer. I don’t mean shout it from your church rooftop... “I have been lustful”, “I am struggling with anger”, “I have an addiction”, or I have unforgiveness toward a family member”, etc. But more of an accountability situation with a trusted person who you can go to in your struggles, and they will point you toward your Lord. Reminding you of who He says you are, and His promises for you. We are built for community because only in community (in truthful community, not the rainbows and unicorn kind… we are too “blessed to be stressed”) do we find the unifying grace of being the bride of Christ.
I was a makeup artist for several years. I never met a bride who got ready entirely on their own. I got married at the beach with two witnesses, and still I had others who helped me.
Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only] the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?' Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! '”
The reality is in the relationship, not the renovated outward appearance. Honesty really is the best policy. Besides, God sees the heart and your intentions anyway. Why not just move on that? If you are not in a safe space to do it in your Christian community, then pray to our Lord where he wants you to go. Our God never wants us to sit in shame and fear. We are to be real. Anything else is like having plastic surgery when you have an infection of Gangrene. Superficial, not sanctifying.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.
Niki is a wife and mother of 2 children. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she enjoys everyday moments that ignite her relationship with our Lord and Savior.