A letter to my 16 year old self.

Dear 16 year old self,  Don’t try so hard. Those people you are trying to emulate will still be those same people in 10 years, and suddenly the tables will turn. You will look back at old pictures and think, … Continue reading

Finding Peace with that Proverbs 31 Lady.

I really don’t like that Proverbs 31 lady. She is just so… together. Her life is perfectly organized and well managed. She has everything figured out. And everyone just loves her. She is not a normal woman- she stands out big time.

I want to like her, really. The problem is when I look at her I see all of my inadequacies. I see the inevitable dust on the shelves and the dog hair that reappears the second I put up the broom. I see the imperfect relationships in my life. I see my inability to master anything half as well as her.

So instead of looking up to Proverbs 31 lady, I bitterly resent her. I have this vision of her in my mind. She’s totally gorgeous- no acne, skinny, flawless. She’s balancing a quiet and clean baby on the hip with one hand, sewing clothes the other, and dinner is cooking in the background (and you can bet it won’t be burned!). Ugh.
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But the closer I grow with God, the more I can stop picking at my flaws and imperfections. I can start to understand that I am enough, exactly as I am. And it has nothing to do with my performance or perfection. It has everything to do with God being the utmost priority in my life. More than a clean house or an employee of the month award is my relationship with God. When He is my priority, He spills out into all of the other areas of my life.

Every single day I need God’s grace to save me, heal me, and make me perfect in His sight. It is God’s grace that gives me a purpose, not my performance or perfection.
So maybe I can find peace with my friend in Proverbs 31 when I look at her with this light. She isn’t a checklist of who I ought to be, but a reflection of who I can be when God’s love is my first priority.

God wants us to be so filled with Him that others cannot possibly look at us without seeing Him. His love should change us and make us stand out. Others should see something different about us. Just like Proverbs 31, we should stand out.

God’s love for us is what makes us stand out. Despite my shortcomings, God chooses to love me. I can extend love and grace to others because love and grace have been extended to me.

We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Walking Daily.

They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  (Acts 17:11b) How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. I have stored up … Continue reading

Welcome to this New Year.

Happy New Year friends! Please take a moment to read and share this- it truly blessed me! Let Jesus carry each day for you. Don’t worry about the weeks ahead. Avoid letting the activities and expenses of the coming month … Continue reading

A Glory Not My Own

I’m really not a sports person.
After moving to the South, I’m learning that you can’t really be here without being a sports person. Especially during football season.
Everyone has their team. They talk about it, follow the scores, buy the merchandise, and boast like crazy when they win.

Boasting can be defined as speaking of or asserting with excessive pride.

Pride? Pride is bad. Pride is a sin. Right? And ‘excessive’ is never good either. So boasting is bad? No. It isn’t so much a matter of whether or not to boast, but a matter of what we boast about.

But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.
(Galatians 6:14 HCSB)

Paul boasts. But Paul recognizes that there is nothing worthy of boasting about in his life except the victory won by Christ on the cross.

One of the most unappealing things to witness at church is broken Christians boasting about their (sometimes visibly) broken lives. To hear a Christian puff up their own victories should be sickening. Regardless of the quality of your spiritual walk, you are weak and helpless to sin outside of the power of Christ.

So lets boast- we have much to boast about! But let’s remember Who is worthy of glory, because I promise you, there is only One.

Lord God,
You are worthy of all our praise and boasting. Let our pride for you be greater than our pride for ourselves or the Georgia Bulldogs. Thank You for Your victory on the cross, and giving us a reason to boast. May we always remember our purpose in You. Amen.

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Get Up and Live.

You will know that I am the Lord, My people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.

(Ezekiel 37:13)

It is the very essence of God that He will receive glory through our salvation, through bringing  us to life. As I read Ezekiel 37: 1-10, I see myself laying in the valley. Remnants of myself, what once was a body, now dry and disassembled. Scattered amongst the remains of others. Surely I have been picked over by scavengers. Maybe my belongings were looted by passerby. Whats left now is a skeleton of a man, if it can be called that.

Those who look out over me see hopelessness. They see what once was but is no more. To them, I am finished, useless. What could have led me to this state? One act. One act that lead to a terrible fall. One bite, if you will. It set me on a downward slope of never-ending consequence where each action leads to an exponentially greater fall. The more I tried to save myself the harder and faster I fell. Then I hit the bottom. It’s there, in the valley, that I lay, among others who met the same fate. Each of us trying so desperately to save ourselves. But now we lay here. Dry. Dead. Disassembled. Desperate.

That is when He comes along. He sees us not in our current state, but in a restored and brilliant manner, powerful and worthwhile. It’s with one breath that life begins to come back into us. With one breath we become reassembled. With one spoken command we are more than restored, to a holy and blameless state. His Spirit is within us, His power is among us. We are more than the men we once were. We are a new creation. A great and powerful army.

The same shell that was once useless, lifeless, and broken now has purpose. There is now a reason for its existence. In living, the Breather of Life receives glory. Our life in its restored state is a testimony to His power. It shows that He is good, He is strong, and He is the Lord.