Grace That Sees Beyond My Dear Younger Me

Old, young, or in-between, I suppose we each tote with us a “dear younger me,” words sung by Mercy Me. It’s those younger-me-activities finding their regrets fostered in the heart that leave scars crying out:

“I wish I hadn’t done that.”

The stern reality expressed in the song’s lyrics, “You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross,” strike for a moment’s solace, but the memories will return again, just wait and see.

Though we all may boast with like-reasoning, some have been gifted to speak and write gracefully on the subject I think more so than others, willing to bear their souls before the accepting, condemning, and critical alike, almost disturbingly having reached a place that harbors only what’s ahead, shucking the weight of the past, even if that past was just yesterday.

Pic IKGGSuch is the writing ability of Jeanna Caldwell, author of the site that bears her name for the world to see, just as the world is welcomed into some of the chambers of her life most of us aggressively choose to keep padlocked.

In a recent article spent thrashing about the delicate agony of failed marriages, titled I Kissed Grace Goodbye, we are made privileged to these thoughts,

“One stolen kiss was all it took to bind myself in chains. I was in a vulnerable place–seemingly rejected–and staring straight at the world with naïve curiosity. I said goodbye to grace and hello to losing. Lost value, lost worth, lost discernment. Contented singleness was devoured by discontented desires. I traded in my values for his, because at all costs–I had to make it work. I planned the wedding without a proposal. We were married 4 years after the stolen kiss. It was only a kiss. It was only a kiss.”

This is but one of a growing archive of moving and challenging articles by this author, and I’ll not be giving away where my blogging buddy’s (I am thankful for the given moniker) anchor finds it’s hold, I have a feeling you know. Still, one final stolen line I share, “Shake that old stuff off…and welcome to the new.” Take a look… you’ll be glad you did.

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Attacking the Watchtower

cropped-desert_monast-sm-682400381Unfamiliar with the entire situation, so admittedly, I speak from a side of ignorance regarding the contention, but as I’ve confessed before, one of my favorite places to read is a site titled All Along the Watchtower, (not sure you can get there without permission anymore) where a reader can mix and mingle with a multitude of different viewpoints on the topic of faith, and walk away feeling accepted even in disagreement, so I feel it’s appropriate to converse.

That upper management of the blog has decided to place stricter entry rules with the statement, “it seems increasingly difficult for some of my contributors to combine free speech and employment” makes it obvious something of a vicious nature has occurred.

We offer sincere prayers today for our friends across the waters, the voices from the Watchtower.

In America, we boast of our liberty to speak freely on matters, even our religious convictions, without fear of retaliation from adversaries. This is a precious privilege God and our Founding Fathers afforded us, but it is one that many would like taken from our lips and pens. The old quip, “What you don’t use, you lose” may very well be a worthwhile reminder to labor (consider especially with words) while it is still day, for no one works when the night comes.

Snaring the thoughts of a favorite author-contributor at the distant site, “The shadows lengthen.”

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The Paradox of Faith

tozerThe greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid — that is the paradox of faith. A. W. Tozer

As our Pastor has now taken us several strides into an understanding of the good news we have heard from God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of how true these words by Mr. Tozer are.

Why does the Bible promote a healthy fear of God as a profitable thing? How do we reconcile this fear and yet embrace non-fear? When a Holy God chooses to enter the arena of his sinful image-bearers, does He come with both sword and dove? What does the future hold for those who will not respond to His offer of grace? In short, what is it that the gospel saves us from? The need for answer beckons us to Lighthouse Baptist Church Sunday morning.

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Standing with the Saints… to Kick Someone’s Face In

Nursing the bruises, listening to the stories, and reading another blogger detail my own sinful sentiments; seems we really are a desperate lot for grace.

6ITP6Titled, “Today I Wanted to Forget About Jesus and Kick Someone’s Face In,” JS Park carries his readers through a day in the life, a day of expressed failure, a day much like those in my recent past. It is those days that bring more questions than answers, more anger than solace, more me and less Jesus.

I can, in no way, express thoughts any better than Mr. Park has. Although minus the black belts and Asian influence, his and my walk seem to have traversed similar paths of contention far from yore, so if you’ve not read his work, I invite you to spend a couple moments embracing reality in the raw… we just ain’t there yet, are we?

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Praying Those People Out Of My Life… or not

Picture 147Take it away Lord,” or even, “Take him away Lord,” is a probable response to those who resident our lives, those contentious ones who make living uncomfortable. We wonder why this person must occupy a space we’d prefer be vacant.

From Psalter it is evident Israel’s David contended with similar struggles, and yet, God chose to leave Saul in his life for more than a decade after making it known the shepherd boy was His man.

A favorite tweeting buddy of mine (well, actually he doesn’t even know I exist save for brief interaction occasion ago) spoke recently of an answer to this leaving people like Saul in our lives. Why was Saul left in David’s life for so long?

My self-decreed friend (who doesn’t know I exist) shares,

“Saul was left in David’s life to ensure his God got rid of all the Saul from out of David’s life.”

That my friends, is deep, so if it didn’t sink the first read, glance again. Of course, there is the question though of which side of this equation I occupy; Saul or David? Hmmm… could there be a little lot of both in all of us?

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