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Living the Christ Life

Set your mind on things above

 

 

 

I wanted to reflect something amazing.

I wanted to live something noble.

I wanted the Divine to invade in such a way that we all stood in awe of His glory.

But then the kids got up whining.

They fought through breakfast and one wiped his snotty nose on the couch and we stumbled out the door late and I had to take Little Bit to the doctor.

It was rush hour and we literally squished ourselves onto a subway that was packed like sardines with people who had bad breath and B.O.

And when we got to the hospital to have blood drawn, we entered this open air hall crowded with nearly 1,000 people… all of them there to have blood drawn.

It was hot and stuffy and there were no chairs and the wait was long. And that ache for glory, for something noble and worthy, it seemed to slip away, further and further beyond reach.

I could feel the slipping, the slow death, the faith and hope being wrung right out of me by a thief I couldn’t even see.

And I wondered what a person is to do when life has starved her of what really matters. How does she regain faith when it’s been lost? How does a hope-deprived heart regain its health? How does a perishing woman apprehend her life line, that glimpse of Glory, before it’s too late?

 

Set your mind on things above

 

And I’m standing in that huge outdoor hall, waiting our turn for the needle, when the woman beside me asks about my Little Bit. “Her parents didn’t want her?” she asks. “Was she abandoned?”

I wince at such a cruel question, like I’d been elbowed in the gut. Because I am her mother. We are her parents. But it was asked in ignorance, so I overlook the words and speak to the heart of this woman. “My Little Bit was left in a cardboard box the day she was born. But we are her family now.”

We chat a few minutes more. I want it to be enough. I want to go back to just waiting, go back to being numb. I want to retreat into my shell of no- risk living. Hoping for Glory is just too painful. It makes the heart ache.

And yet.

I know this is an opportunity for me to share the good news of Jesus. On the one hand, I want to hope for Glory. I want to live the Christ- life. On the other, I just feel so tired. I’ve done this so many times before, it all seems canned, mechanical, so… futile.

But the prompting inside, that  internal force, the tidal wave of hope… it’s like He’s laid His hand on me and I cannot help but speak up.

So I do.

I can’t say that my heart is totally in it. I’m not full of faith that something miraculous will happen as I open my mouth. I just… simply… begin.

“I’m a Christian,” I tell her. “We adopted because adoption is what God does for us. He brings us who are without hope into His family.”

And no sooner do the words leave my mouth than the lady beside me flails her arms and reaches for her purse. She’s a crazy woman, digging deep in the bowels of her bag. She comes up with a pack of tissues just in time. She bursts into tears.

“I’m a Christian too,” she sputters, dabbing madly at her eyes. “Just haven’t been to church in a very long time.”

And I’m shocked. You don’t meet Christians like this here. Not in this country, not in a hot, crowded, smelly hallway where you are just one anonymous person. I voice a few more words, awkward and tentative. I don’t know where to go with this. I’m listening for His prompting to direct my words, guide my speech.

The life of Christ fills me then and I do know. I know why we’re here, why years ago we left father and mother on the other side of the world. I know why we squeezed into a subway that morning and stood lost in a crowd of a thousand. I know. It’s so we could stand next to this one woman and be the Father’s voice- her Father’s voice- to her. “You are very special,” I tell her. And I’m really just relaying a message from our Daddy.

“There is something He wants you to do, some way you can serve, and no one else can do it. He’s prepared you for it and He’s given you this ministry. He has tailor made you for this job.”

Tears are dripping down her cheeks and her heart is soaking up words that are not mine. We are two crazy ladies crying in public. Everyone around us stares and I’ve a mind to let them in on the joyous secret:

God draws lambs into His fold. He restores hope to His people.

We all like big shindigs. We want church planting movements, big followings, best sellers, and we don’t want to settle for anything less than A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

I get that.

But God whispers to our child-like hearts, “Don’t ever despise the day of small things.”

The Lord rejoices in the small beginnings… and He is a God who leaves the ninety and nine for the one.

And sometimes you can know it at the strangest of times, like in the midst of a very ordinary day when your kid smears snot on the sofa and you feel your inadequacies and you are standing next to someone with body odor. You can know that in spite of everything that’s wrong with you, God has given you the ministry of reconciliation.

You can know He’s made you alive in Christ.

 

 

“I come as one who desires, who seeks, to be prepared to live out the life of Christ today on earth, to translate His hidden heavenly glory into the language of daily life, with its dispositions and His duties.

As I think of all my failures in fulfilling God’s will, as I look forward to all the temptations and dangers that await me, as I feel my entire insufficiency and yet say to God- ”I come to claim the life hid in Christ, that I may live the life for Christ;” I feel urged and drawn not to be content without the quiet assurance that God will go with me and bless me.

May I indeed expect to live the life hid with Christ in God, so as to make it manifest in my mortal body? I may. For it is God Himself will work it in me by the Holy Spirit dwelling in me. The same God who raised Christ from the dead, and then set Him at His right hand, has raised me with Him and given me the Spirit of the glory of His Son in my heart.

Believe what God says about you. Accept what God has bestowed upon you in Christ. Take time before God to know it and say it. The life of every day depends on it.”

Andrew Murray, The Master’s Indwelling

 

Join something new we are doing here?  A 4 week eCourse on Abiding in Christ and living out our new identity? The course begins February 4. Get all the details here. 

How to be rich in 2014 {A Heads Up!}

When you need a new you

 

 

When you need a new you

Five kids, one dirty dog, one messy house, and one demanding husband into life, she lost it.

Took her daughter to the ER one day ~ I remember sitting in the van singing the Romans 8:28 song while we drove her there~ and she walked out of that ER loony.

She went missing and even after they found her and her frightened daughter on a street corner in Tampa, it took a while for us to really find her. It was like her mom before her…and her mom before her. Just like generations of moms past, sprinkled throughout a lineage as far back as I can trace. I come from a long line of women who’ve up and gone crazy, lost their minds, gone stark mad.

And words, they can be weapons. Words like, “You remind me of your Aunt…” “You’ll never be good enough.” “Look how you’ve done it now!”

It’s true that fear can mark you, hunt you down, shape your identity.

If you let it.

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… For if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.”

 

We can  ”let” the word of others root in us… or we can “let” the word of Christ be what dwells in us richly. Not our past. Not our mistakes. Not a lousy year full of regret and bad choices. Not our inadequacies. Not the words of friends, foes, or facebook.

The word of Christ.

And if Christ didn’t come for the healthy but the sick… if He didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners (Mark 2:17), then that means we have real hope. His words are LIFE and truth and everything we need. 

We can stop letting everything else take root and let the word dwell in us richly and we can marinate in those words and that’s how we can live out the new year and the new you. We can remember we’ve been redeemed from the past.

 

 

“You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Your real life is Christ…”

~ Colossians 3:1-4

 

So there’s been this prompting to do something new here in this space.  Something I’ve never done before. Pray about joining in? A way for us to let Words be our Wealth, a way to be rich and full with heaven. Because really? There’s no better way I’d rather spend my 2014…  my life… than feasting on Christ.

In the next 24 hours I’ll be sharing the details!  Whenever I get the invitation ready… perhaps around midnight? Can’t wait to slip it to you!

 

4 Resources for when you need to know who you really are

We are God's treasured possession.

 

 

 

“I just found out everything I thought was true about me is a lie.”

 

After Monday’s post, the notes fall in my inbox.

 

“My husband just told me he is tired of our marriage, tired of me. After 20 years, he just left.”

 

Stories of men and women who woke up this morning sure of life; but now they aren’t so sure of anything. 

 

And we are walking it out quiet, the question in our bones: “Who am I? Really?

 

We are God's treasured possession.

 

And if this weekend finds you needing to remind yourself of who you really are, here are some tried and true resources:

 

The book of Ephesians

Marinate in these descriptions of you. Redeemed. Chosen. Transferred. Adopted. Lavished. This book will tell you who you really are.

 

 

Altar Ego Study Guide with DVD: Becoming Who God Says You Are

Craig Groeschel offers engaging, practical help in working through to our true identities. The optional DVD makes this a great choice for a small group setting.

 

Jerry Bridges Who Am I?: Identity in Christ

I appreciate anything by Jerry Bridges. This book gives solid, biblical statements for living out our identity in Christ.

 

Undaunted

Christine’s story of finding out she was adopted. Un-named at birth and un-wanted by her birth parents, she knows that her identity is all about who she is in Christ. This riveting book puts flesh on the real issues surrounding identity.

 

Out of everyone this whole world over, you are chosen by God, to be His own cherished… treasured… possession. That’s who you are. I’m praying for you this weekend…

Your friend,

AJ

Moving Beyond

overcomer

 

 

**Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for a must-see video.**

She prayed that she’d reflect God’s glory, that she’d be the aroma of Christ in every place.

That with every spoken word she’d minister grace.

And in every place she’d leave behind footprints… His.

But she didn’t expect the breaking. The darkness. The wondering. The pain.

 

my grace

 

Then she reads and remembers. That

 

“He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many.

If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it-hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

And she knows: If power is perfected in weakness, then you can do more than just survive. You can boast in weakness and distress and infirmities.

And if it’s the impoverished desperate who see the Kingdom, then it’s okay to bare the naked soul. If the hungry are filled, the mourners find comfort, the persecuted rejoice, then it really is okay to live upside down and against the grain.

And if today finds you in the battle… not in the fun-and-games of life, but the battle… then you can rightly say you’re an overcomer.

Because players win. But warriors overcome.

 

 

overcomer

 

The title “more than overcomer” was granted us before the battle even started for it’s been decreed that   “no weapon formed against you will ever prosper.” Being an overcomer is our inheritance from the Lord.

We can not only survive; we can take possession.

So today as she enters the battle, she’ll wear her title with faith, wear her wounds without fear. She’s an overcomer.

 

Are you looking for a meaningful gift for a battle-weary one?

Amy has hand crafted this wrap bracelet based on Numbers 13:30. She can customize your word and she gift wraps each purchase with love and prayers! Use code LOVE316 at checkout to receive a 15% discount. 

Visit Amy’s shop here to view the collection of scripture bracelets so far. A new one will be introduced each month.

overcomer2

Still don’t believe you can do this? Watch the video and be encouraged that You CAN! {Be sure to watch to the end :) }

 

The Hair Story {Or why you are adequate for today}

adequate

 

 

**Update: Links to Amy’s Etsy shop are now working. Thank you for letting me know!

 

 

hair

 

“The day I got your letter I had decided to leave my husband,” she writes.

“Three years of his depression and rage. You remember he lost a lung awhile back and almost his life? Well he’s been bedridden. Needs me for everything and hates me for anything. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

My friend holds the bitter cup to her lips and drinks it straight down day after day. Until finally, one day she asks the age-old question: “Who in this whole wide world is adequate for this? I’m sure not.” So she decides to quit it all.

I read her email and feel the ache.

“But then I got your letter and decided to stay with him. To try to make it work. For the past three months we’ve been struggling…working at our marriage. Then yesterday…”

And even though it’s only email, I can sense the pause in her tone. The dread. The raw fear.

“Yesterday I found out I have cancer.”

My heart sinks like lead. It settles as a sickening knot in the stomach.

Who is adequate for these things?

Who is adequate for cancer and depression and death and financial ruin and broken promises, hearts, lives?

Who is adequate for mothering the wounded child and going into the dark places and who is adequate for preparing a cup of cold water for another when your hands are sin-stained?

Who is adequate? And aren’t we each called to that which we are precisely inadequate for?

I can’t email her back right away. I need to read it again for myself first. I need to know everything really is going to be okay, that we don’t have to run from inadequate. That there really is an overwhelming, overcoming solution to all this groaning, hurting mess.

 

“We have such trust through Christ toward God: not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent.”

~ II Corinthians 3:4-6

 

We can trust this: God makes us adequate.

When we step out into our day, whatever stares down at you, like a Goliath threatening your very life, you don’t have to be adequate for it. Your adequacy is from God and He makes you competent. 

I believe this for my friend. I believe this for me. I believe it for you.

The next day I hear from her again. “When I worked I wore my hair super short. Just didn’t have time to do anything with it. But for the last three years, as I’ve stayed home with William, my hair has grown long. I haven’t been able to get out of the house much and now my hair is down to my waist.

“Well, I went to get it cut in preparation for the chemo treatment. They told me they can make a wig for me, from my own hair! I am ecstatic!”

And sitting at the computer with the kids playing around my feet, I praise the One who made women to love their hair. The One who knew this woman’s hair meant so much to her that He made a provision for her to keep it.

In the midst of all those trying, bitter days of her past, the Lord was growing something unexpected. As she stumbled and grumbled through her days, He was doing something beyond her imagination. As she struggled and wept, He was weaving a provision. Inch by inch, bit by bit, bitter drink by drink, He wasn’t absent; He was perfecting a gift.

And as she made plans to leave her husband, God planned a way to crown her with grace.

Through the dark days ahead, she will be encircled with the love of God; crowned with a reminder that He who numbers our hair literally numbered hers, and surely if He went to those lengths to tenderly care for hair, He will bend over backwards to walk by her side every step of the way.

And when she looks in the mirror each day, she can know that she is adequate for these things. God has made her competent.

We can face today.

He has promised to never, ever leave us or forsake us. No matter what. He who numbers our hairs also crowns us with loving-kindness and compassion. And He has made us adequate.

Over email and across the miles that seperate us, my friend and I worship the God of all grace … hearts knit around the beauty of an adequacy that comes from God.

 

And Amy? Has made a beautiful bracelet to wrap us in grace and remind us that we CAN face today, that we are adequate and competent in God. I am so pleased to share it with you!  Will you wear words? When ordering, enter discount code LOVE316 for  15% off!

 

adequate

 

Visit Amy’s Etsy shop here!

Photo credit 1

 

For Where Else Can We Go?

 

 

 

Hephzibah

There’s 20 minutes before service starts and I’m rushing to shower before leaving out the door with wet hair…and I hear His voice speaking to me.

“Take her a gift.”

I’ve never met “her” before, the young woman from Guatemala who is going to be sharing at services tonight. I hardly know anything about her.

“Take her a gift to show how beautiful she is to Me.”

I’m scurrying around pulling my towel-dried hair back in a pony tail and searching for my missing sandal and this is what He whispers to me.

I pause.

The only thing I have worthy of giving a beautiful woman is the “H” pendant I received at Christmas. And I don’t know if her name starts with “H” or not.

“Lord, what about the pendant?” I ask Him. “Is that what You want me to give her?”

And then He reminds me of the passage I read that very morning, the one from Isaiah 62:

“You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. 

You will be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,  a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted,  or name your land Desolate.

But you will be called Hephzibah, for the Lord will take delight in you.”

 

H for Hephzibah. The new name. The new identity.

“Okay, Lord,” I say as I scratch out a note card explaining why she is receiving an “H”  pendant on a string from a stranger. “This is a *little* crazy, but okay.”

I arrive at church and we listen to testimonies and finally it is time for the girl from Guatemala.

She is 22 and she’s never been out of her country before and she is scared to be speaking in front of us.

She grew up hungry. Her parent’s were alcoholics and the 11 kids they gave birth to didn’t have food to eat. She became the surrogate parent to her younger brothers, always scrounging for food, collecting old coffee grounds or gathering plaster from old buildings.  Anything they could fill their stomachs with.

She grew up a castaway. At 8, she was raped by 2 of her older brothers, while her younger brothers were forced to look on. When she told her mom about it, her mom slandered her and shamed her and disowned her.

Then, family members filed complaints and the judge ordered her to the orphanage and life changed for little Velma.

She heard about Jesus. Slowly, she began to trust. Slowly, she began to believe.

After the service, Pastor asks me to come forward and pray for Velma with a “V” and I pray Isaiah 62 over her and when everyone is dismissed, I slip her the gift.

She looks at me like I’m crazy but I’m grinning  because I know why He told me to give a girl named Velma a pendant with the letter “H” on it.

And isn’t it glorious?

Our loving God Himself wants her to know she is no longer forsaken.

No longer desolate.

She has a new name. A new identity.

She is a crown of beauty in the hand of her God.

 

Psst, click here for your “H,” because you are renamed too. Print it and post it on your fridge, carry it in your Bible, or get crafty and make your own pendant. Because you are a crown of beauty in His hand…and He takes great delight in you.

Restless

The clock reads 10:50pm when I hear his shuffled feet outside our door. “Son?” I call to him. “What is it?”

Husband gets up and lets him in and asks if everything is okay.

“I just can’t sleep,” he says.

An hour later I’m having the same problem. I keep thinking about silver and gold and what must I do to have a “get up and walk” kind of life.

I feel the stirring inside. I was made for more.

I was made to reflect and pour out His glory. Indeed, it burns within.

I was made to bless with my mouth.

I was made to nourish with my life.

I was made to succor with my arms.

I’m a woman; I was made to birth and nurture life, wherever I go, from dawn to dusk.

But I have to be real honest. My reality doesn’t live up to my calling.

I feel like the prodigal, feeding on pig’s pods. I should be supping at the table with my Father.

I should be anointed with His oil, overflowing with His wine, spilling out onto others.

Why this wallowing?

The restlessness twists me until I can’t stay in the bed and I get up. I turn to the familiar passage.

“I say this so that no one will keep defrauding you with their well crafted arguments.” Colossians 2:4

And just like that, I know what happened.

I had hopped on the computer before bed to check for an update. While there, I decided to take the risk: I clicked on the link and it took me to a lovely woman’s blog…but she talked about herself and gave all her suggestions for everyone else and it made me think about myself and I thought about everything I’m not doing, everything I’m horrible at, everything that’s wrong or missing or….

I listened to the wrong voices.

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.  For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. And you are complete in Him.” Colossians 2:8-10

How quickly the mind is captured with what others are saying and doing! How quickly we forget where our nourishment and support and life come from. How quickly we fall away from the grace provided us in Christ.

We rely on so many other things, forgetting that He is pleased to give us the kingdom!

He brings to my mind The Flightless Cormorant and there, I see the date these words were written: exactly one year ago.

“Do we only have silver and gold ministries to offer the lame beggar on the temple steps? Or can we, like Peter, say, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I do have, I give to you: In the name of Jesus, WALK!” (Acts 3:6)

All year these things have niggled me. All year I have seen how we, as a culture and for the most part, live the Christian life in the flesh. All year I have been sickened by how much of my life, my 12 years in the ministry as a church planter and missionary, have been lived relying on secondary skills.

The secondary skills aren’t the problem.

The forgetting what we are made for is.

We were made for Spirit wings to indwell us, fill us, empower us, carry us to places secondary blessings never can. We were made for “abundantly above all we ask or imagine,” from Him and to Him and by Him and for Him.

We were made for the kind of indwelling power that raised Christ from the dead. And we are content with diving?”

I’ve discovered something from my time online over the past year. Many, many things out there teach us how to be better swimmers. But very few indeed tell us how to soar.

My friend, we were made to live “get up and walk” kind of lives. Silver and gold can buy a crowd and pay for speaking lessons, but only the power of God can anoint you to tell a lame beggar to get up and walk! My restless heart is finally grounded tonight: In Christ is all the fullness.

And we are complete in Him.

I pray we are not moved away from the simplicity of Him.

**In praying about what God would have as my theme for the coming year, I’m convinced that it is to be “In Christ.” So during 2012, my topic of personal study will be what we have in Christ, who we are in Christ, and how to appropriate His life. I am very excited about how the Lord has led me to this and can’t wait to get started.

When you wonder what exactly God wants from you

4:54am and His voice comes softly, awakening me. “Understand what the will of the Lord is.”

I lay under warm mountain for awhile, pondering these words, especially in light of yesterday’s word, “Keep yourself in the love of God.”

I think of how my traditional upbringing taught me to understand the will of God in terms of “Glorifying God” and “Obeying His commandments.”

Surely these are a part of His will.

But His words invite me to find articulation for what He has been revealing to me over a period of time. His will is not primarily the things I do.

For the next 3 days I pour over scriptures, getting Husband’s help using the Logos Bible study software pastors and missionaries use. Slowly, articulation comes.

“Will” is “thelema” in the Greek. It means desire, pleasure, intent. It is what One wishes or has determined shall be done. It is Christ slain before the foundation of the world. In short, it is the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ.

How skewed we are when we think of God’s will simply in terms of what He desires from us! I must discipline self to think first in terms of His intent towards me.

Ephesians 1 is a gold mine for discovering God’s desire, pleasure, and intentions towards me. His will is “kind intentions” and “lavish grace.”

It is His will to bless me with every spiritual blessing,

to choose me,

to consider me holy and blameless,

to adopt me,

to redeem me,

to forgive me all my transgressions,

to make me the recipient of His lavish grace,

to give me all wisdom and insight into His heart for me,

to give me an inheritance,

to grant me the fullness of His Spririt,

to rescue me from the domain of darkness and transfer me to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1),

to reconcile me to Himself,

to make me at peace with Him,

These things I “know,” but thinking of them in terms of His will for me adds dimension to the knowledge and empowers me in new ways.

After three days of searching, pondering, asking, it comes down to this phrase from Colossians 4:12, “Stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”

This can be breath, blood, and life. As kids wake up and need me and Husband does too and I feel too broken and weak to give them what they deserve, I stand perfect on these words, “Fully assured in all the will of God. ” HE IS FOR ME.

As I dress tired, whiny child, I can do this. I can love and bless and give and pour out, because I am fully assured in all the will of God for me.

As older child grumbles about changing shirt, I can do this. I can take aside and breathe life words into him, exhort him to live up to his identity in Christ as beloved child.

As time presses and stress rises and lunches need packing and dress pants need ironing and children scatter toys, I can do this. I can focus on what really matters and stand perfect, fully assured in all the will of God for me.

Today is going to be a great day.

Repost from last November Can’t believe I missed Arabah’s one year mark~ smile~

Who Is Arabah?

 

 

Daughter throws up all over the living room floor and little brother runs over to smear and track it all over and phone rings and breakfast burns and oldest brother argues with middle daughter while getting ready for school….

And I’m about to lose it, I really am.

I feel like a puppet on a string and I am not cut out for this craziness, this jumping up running from thing to thing. I’m not up for these interruptions and stresses and constant driven-ness and being overwhelmed all. the. time.

I’ve lived in the corporate world and it was easier than this.

I’ve lived in full time ministry and it was easier than this.

I’ve done many things that were easier than this.

I need a new life. And maybe I have one.

The scripture comes to my mind, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…”

So I stop for a split second, literally,  and laugh. “Okay, Jesus,” I say. “This life isn’t mine but Yours; so I guess this mess isn’t mine but Yours. You’re gonna have to come through here.”

James MacDonald says it like this:

“As we set out for a new day and yet another new day, we sort of assess what’s in front of us and we come to some conclusions about how we’re going to live our life today. And if we look to ourselves and our meager fleshly resources and we calculate how we will get by…  That’s a very bad plan. Especially when Romans 8:8 says that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Now I don’t know how it could be made any clearer. Living for Christ is not difficult. It’s impossible.”

From sermon series compiled in the book I Really Want to Change… So, Help Me God published by Moody Press

 

This Christian life was not meant to be lived in the flesh. It was not meant to be empowered by me. It is meant to be Christ using my body, mind, will, and emotions to live HIS life. It’s His life and it’s His power.

“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit…” (Romans 8:8)

God’s Spirit is our power source when we are in Christ. Thank God, these responsibilities truly aren’t my problem. They are God’s opportunities to show His life and power.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells within you.” Romans 8:11

I tune into Jesus and turn off the burning breakfast and chase down a dirty toddler and hustle sick daughter and toddler both to the tub and ask siblings to be kind and somehow, in the midst of it all, faith in Christ within me bouys me and strengthens me and I am kind and confident because He is living His life through me.

Later, I’m getting ready for bed and I realize this is why I’m Arabah. I’m Arabah because who I am doesn’t matter… Because the life I live is no longer lived in the flesh. I’m Arabah because in the flesh I’m a dry, barren desert, a life trying and struggling and failing. An exhausted mess. But I’m also Arabah because the Spirit has been poured out and the wilderness has become a fertile field and the the desert blossoms and rejoices. (Isaiah 32:15, 35:1-2)

So…

Hello, again. I’m Arabah. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

James MacDonald (quoted above) is one of my favorite pastors. If you live in the Memphis, TN area, come hear him tonight at Bellevue Baptist Church. The husband volunteered to stay with the sick babes and let me go hear him tonight! PTL!

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