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Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to Embrace the Cross

Recently, I was asked, “What does it mean to embrace the cross?” What a power-packed question! Pondering that question, my heart was refreshed and ravished once again.

Embracing the cross only happens when I’m being rather than doing… being in the Presence of Jesus, God’s love sacrifice, the slain, bloody Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world. With arms flung wide open, He is calling, “Come as you are”. This love invitation overflows with kindness to needy people like you and me.

Embracing the cross, I see afresh the beauty and joy of all that Jesus is and has done. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

“God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him [Jesus], we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

 Wouldn't you and I be fools to reject God’s love invitation offered so freely? It's the great exchange! We give Jesus our inadequacies and insecurities, our guilt and shame, our pride and self-righteousness, our doubts and fears, and tendencies to please and perform. Jesus gives us forgiveness and worth. He lavishes upon us a no strings attached love, hope, encouragement and comfort.

Embracing the cross, receiving the height and depth and width and length of Christ’s love, compels us to love with the same immeasurable love. (2 Corinthians 5:14) “Our sin” looks no greater or less than “someone else’s sin.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Real Life Looks Like and How to Find It

I heard that voice again. Suavely proposing that real life is merely getting and gaining more, to impress others and please myself.

What happens when I gain all the gadgets and pricey high tech devices I want?  When I claim life as my own?  When I use it to benefit myself?

Is real living truly about gaining the whole world?    
        
That version of real life strokes my ego; it makes myself appear righteous.
_ It insists real living must use precious people to serve me. 
_ I must have your good opinion.
_ I live to self-indulge and serve my purposes.

I know better! That voice, an impostor, grates on the truth!

I see what happens. The impostor wins and life turns stressful. Jealousy drains the soul. Right becomes confusing and sometimes wrong.

So how is real life found?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

5 Reasons You Can Get Through the Tough Times

My caring friend, a dedicated Christian, introduced me to “Prayercentral.”  It’s an online prayer site established to recharge your prayer life or help you learn how to pray.  

Prayercentral, at www.prayercentral.net, features daily devotionals, prayer tips and inspirational words. Its purpose is to help you build a closer connection with God.

Let’s be honest, we all need a tighter connection with God. This year we’ll face new challengestough times. J We’ll need spiritual stamina and mental toughness. Kathleen Dillard, director of Prayercentral, recently shared “Getting You Through It”. Keeping in mind Kathleen’s quoted key truths (below), along with my spiritual insights, you and I can confidently step into 2014.  We can get through the tough times!