not a child’s fairy tale

“When preached purely, His Word exalts, frightens, shocks and forces us to reassess our whole life. The gospel breaks our train of thought, shatters our comfortable piety, and cracks open our capsule truths. The flashing spirit of Jesus Christ breaks new paths everywhere. His sentences stand like quivering swords of flame because He did not come to bring peace, but revolution. the gospel is not a children’s fairy tale, but rather a cutting-edge, rolling thunder, convulsive earthquke in the world of the human spirit.”

Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God 

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
      He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
 for through him God created everything
      in the heavenly realms and on earth.
   He made the things we can see
      and the things we can’t see—
   such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
      Everything was created through him and for him.
  He existed before anything else,
      and he holds all creation together.
 Christ is also the head of the church,
      which is his body.
   He is the beginning,
      supreme over all who rise from the dead.
      So he is first in everything.
 For God in all his fullness
      was pleased to live in Christ,
  and through him God reconciled
      everything to himself.
   He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
      by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

Colossians 1:15-22

These words from Manning and Colossians stir up a fire in my heart. I hope they do the same for you. We have so much more to live for and we have the power of Christ behind us. If we really take hold of these truths nothing can stop the glory God can produce with our lives. 

The power of God lived out through Christ to include us in eternity…earth shattering!  This is not a child’s fairly tale. It is the only story that matters.

     To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 

elusive joy

“If we don’t rejoice today, we will not rejoice at all. If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will still be waiting when we die. If we are going to rejoice, it must be in this day. This is the day that the Lord has made.” 

“Nothing is too small if it produces true joy in us and causes us to turn toward God in gratitude and delight” 

I love this thought. Recently joy has been elusive in my life, especially right now when my circumstances are not as I want them to be. This quote is taken from John Ortberg’s book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted. This quote helps joy not to be such an escaping idea.

I never realized, until recently, how much I let the conditions in my life dictate my joy, or lack of joy. I‘ve always been a very positive person and many around me would say a joy-filled person. Looking back over my life much of that was because I was okay with the conditions in my life. Now, they have not always been easy conditions, but I was always at peace with my conditions. Since I was at peace with what the conditions were in my life I found it easy to have joy. I found it easy to spread that joy to others. I found it easy to pull joy out of those around me who were joy-less.  I found it easy to be thankful for all that was in my life, even the times that were hard.

I’m afraid I have come close to making a 180° on this joy issue. Now, that I am in a place where I am not completely sold on the conditions that are my life, I have less joy. I still have joy, don’t get me wrong, but there has been a lot less of it lately. I am realizing that this is due to me basing my joy off of my circumstances, and not on Christ.

While I may not be getting everything I want right now, God is giving me many wonderful blessing to help cultivate that natural joy he has created me with.  I naturally have a joyful outlook. It’s weird and feels unnatural to find joy elusive, but that’s why I love this quote. It reminds me that there is joy in everyday life. Joy is NOT elusive for those who follow Christ. God gives you and me things each day to cultivate joy deep within us, and to draw us closer to him.

This is not a new lesson, but one that I am learning in a new way. To reflect on that fact that every day God is giving me something to give me joy brings me joy. Looking back on to today there have been some moments that have not just lead to joy, but brought real joy into my life. This joy has caused me to turn to God with graduate and delight.

Here are two things that brought me some joy today. 

I got to spend time with my sister today. My sister and her husband have been hit left and right with hard conditions in their life recently. It is amazing to see them trusting in God more. I have seen their faith grow leaps and bounds through these trails. It really is a beautiful thing to see and it brings me great joy.

 Coffee…I had a great cup of coffee today. Coffee always makes want Christ more. I know that might sound funny. But whenever I have a cup of coffee I want to sit down and have a real conversation with someone. If I can’t do that I want to sit down with a good book and my journal. Those are all things that cause me to reach out to God more. It is the little things that get me. 

Today is the day the Lord has made!