My Everything, cont’d

It’s amazing how the same scripture continues to speak to us over and over again.  You may remember a blog I wrote several months ago about Ephesians 1:22-23, Jesus filling us in every way.  Well, God used that same scripture to meet me in my time of need again.  He is continuing the work He began in me (Phil 1:6).  This past week I had one of those rough days where it feels like everyone is against you.  That evening I had a full blown pity party and just cried.  I felt soooooo empty!!!!  As I was pouring my heart out to God, telling him how empty I felt, that same verse (Eph 1:22-23) came to my mind again.  I realized that I am not empty.  I am full of Jesus.  He fills me in every way.  He lives in me and fills me up.  As I focused on all these true thoughts, my empty feeling began going away.  I chose to believe what God was saying and not what my emotions were saying.  God worked a miracle in my heart that night.  God’s Word is truly alive and active!  (Heb 4:12)


Emotions Can Lie

I often battle listening to my emotions vs. listening to God’s truth, so this excerpt from Joel Engle’s book, The Exchange:  Tired of Living the Christian Life On Your Own?  really encouraged me.  I hope it does you, too.

Psalm 125:2


Eugene Peterson wrote, “My feelings…tell me next to nothing about God or my relation to God.  My security comes from who God is, not from how I feel.  Discipleship is a decision to live by what I know about God, not by what I feel about him or myself or my neighbors.  ‘As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people.’  The image that announces his dependable, unchanging, safe, secure existence of God’s people comes from geology, not psychology.”

Think about it:  our security has nothing whatsoever to do with how we feel.  Peterson says that just as the mountains are not going away, so the Lord’s surrounding of His people is not going to change.  Ever.  If you lived in Denver, you wouldn’t wake up every morning wondering if the mountins were still standing.  You would be certifiably insane if you first had to “feel in your heart” that the mountains were still there before being convinced they were there.  So just as surely as the mountians remain around Jerusalem, so remains the faithfulness and love of God.

You don’t have to think about it anymore.  It’s settled.  You can stop doubting God and begin to rely on the immovable bedrock certainty of His Word.  Christ has won the fight over your eternity; the only battle still raging is the one going in your head.

My Everything

Ephesians 1:22-23 

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

We were blessed to attend the Annual AELM (Association of Exchanged Life Ministries) Conference a couple of weeks ago.  What a refreshing weekend!  I heard (in my heart) God speaking to me all weekend long.  One of these experiences was while we were singing.  The chorus of Revelation Song says, “You are my everything, And I will adore You…!”  I wanted to sing these words truly from my heart, but I was struggling.  I understood the concept of God being everything to me, but I didn’t feel it.  I didn’t feel full and satisfied by Him; I felt empty.  I told God I was having a hard time believing that these words were true.  I told Him I wanted to believe and asked Him to help me.  I asked Him to show me this concept in His Word, so I could really believe it deep in my heart.  (Because I know that God’s Word is true no matter how I feel.)  After I finished this prayer, my mind went back to a sermon I had heard a couple of weeks before.  I could see and hear so clearly in my mind Louis Giglio standing on the stage and quoting, “…the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”  God had answered my prayer, reminding me of Ephesians 1:23.  He fills me in EVERY way!  He IS my everything!


I Love You MORE!

It’s amazing how God heals and speaks when we are willing to deal with our hurt and listen to Him.  I recently had an encounter with someone that left me feeling hurt and rejected.  I realized that my anger was building, and I did not like that.  So, I sat down to journal and talk to God about it.  I asked Him to take away my hurt & anger and expressed my willingness to do whatever it takes to cooperate with Him.  I thought through the situation and how I felt, pouring out my heart to God (Psalm 62:8).  Then I prayed, “God, I give you these hurts and ask that You heal my heart and teach me Your Truth.  I’m listening if there’s anything you want to say to me right now.”  Sure enough, He did have something to say.  This is what I heard in my heart:

I love you MORE!!!! (more than this person ever could or will)  Rest in my love.  Be full in my love.  Keep loving this person whether they love you back or not…And forgive.

I accepted His love and chose to forgive the person who hurt me.  I was filled with an overwhelming peace.  WOW!!!  God is GOOD!!!!  (John 15:13; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-11)


Your Rod and Staff, They Comfort Me Pt. 1

I am continuing on to the next phrase in our 23rd Psalm series.  We find ourselves looking at the phrase “Your Rod and Staff, they comfort me”.  I am going to break it down in two parts so we can see what the Rod is and represents and then look at the Staff and what it is and represents.  Before we dive in I appreciate many of you praying for Tony and I as we traveled the first of this week to North Carolina for his best friends funeral.  It has been a difficult but emotional week for us we see God’s great demonstration of grace all over this.  While we do not always fully understand things of this nature, we can find much comfort in the love of our Abba Father.  He knows what He is doing and will never allow us to hurt needlessly.  This world is not our home and we eagerly await our Savior who is Christ the Lord to come and get us as He raptures His church – the Bride of Christ!  Take heart…for our Lord is coming soon!  We will not be separated very much longer from our loved ones who have gone on before us so take heart and prepare yourselves, Church!  Now….back to the 23rd Psalm…

What is the Rod:  an extension of the owner’s right arm.  It stood as a symbol of his strength, his power, his authority in any serious situation.  The rod was what he relied on to safeguard both himself and his flock in danger.  And it was, furthermore, the instrument he used to discipline and correct any wayward sheep that insisted on wandering away.

 The sheep asserts that the owner’s rod, his weapon of power, authority, and defense, is a continuous comfort to him.  For with it the manager is able to carry out effective control of his flock in every situation.

 The rod speaks therefore of the spoken word of God – the expressed intent, the extended activity of God’s mind and will in dealing with men.  It implies the authority of divinity.  It carries with it the convicting power and irrefutable impact of “Thus saith the Lord.”

 Just as there was much comfort and consolation in seeing the rod in the shepherd’s skillful hands, so in our day there is great assurance in our own hearts as we contemplate the power, veracity, and potent authority vested in God’s Word.  For in fact, the Scriptures are His rod.  They are the extension of His mind and will and intentions to mortal man.

 *The 2nd Dimension where the Rod was used by the shepherd for the welfare of his sheep was that of Discipline and for this purpose more than any other.  If the shepherd saw a sheep wandering away on its own, or approaching poisonous weeds, or getting too close to danger of one sort or another, the club would go whistling through the air to send the wayward animal scurrying back to the bunch.  It has been said of the Scriptures so often, “This Book will keep you from sin!”  It is the Word of God that comes swiftly to our hearts, that comes with surprising suddenness to correct and reprove us when we go astray.  It is the Spirit of the living God, using the living Word, that convicts our conscience of right conduct.  In this way we are kept under control by Christ who wants us to walk in the ways of righteousness.

*The 3rd Dimension is that the rod was used to examine and count the sheep.  In the terminology of the Old Testament this was referred to as passing “under the rod” (see Ezekiel 20:37).  This meant not only coming under the owner’s control and authority, but also to be subject to his most careful, intimate, and firsthand examination.  A sheep that passed “under the rod” was on which had been counted and looked over with great care to make sure all was well with it.  Psalm 139:23-24

 f we will allow it, if we will submit to it, God by His Word will search us.  There will be no “pulling the wool over His eyes.”  He will get below the surface, behind the front of our old self life and expose things that need to be made right.  This is a process from which we need not shrink.  It is not something to avoid.  It is done in concern and compassion for our welfare.  The Great Shepherd of our souls has our own best interests at heart when he so searches us.  What a comfort this should be to the child of God, who can trust in God’s care.

 Wool in Scripture speaks of the self-life, self –will, self-assertion, self-pride.  God has to get below this and do a deep work in our wills to right the wrongs which are often bothering us beneath the surface.  So often we put on a fine front and brave, bold exterior when really deep down below there needs to be some remedy applied.

 *The 4th Dimension of use for the rod is as an instrument of protection both for himself and his sheep when they are in danger.  It is used both as a defense and a deterrent against anything that would attack.

 The skilled shepherd uses his rod to drive off predators like coyotes, wolves, cougars, and stray dogs.  Often it is used to beat the brush, discouraging snakes and other creatures from disturbing the flock.  In extreme cases, such as David recounted to Saul, the Psalmist no doubt used his rod to attack the lion and the bear that came to raid his flocks.

Your rod…..comfort’s me.”  It was the rod ever ready in the shepherd’s hand used in His own encounter with that Serpent – Satan-during His desert temptation.  It is the same Word of God which we can count on again and again to counter the assaults and attacks Satan.

Wow!  What a Rod we have in the inspired Word of God!


Even Though I Walk Through The Valley…Pt. 2

Hello Friends of NLD,

I am back working on the 23rd Psalm series here on the blog.  Interestingly as I type this Tony and I are on I-85 as we are on our way to Charlotte, North Caroline for the day to visit his best friend since Middle School who is dying with Cancer.  He was diagnosed a year ago with a malignant brain tumor.  He is now down to 4 or 5 weeks left to live and will leave a precious wife and three young children (ages 7, 5, & 3) behind.  We don’t always understand the valley’s we travel.  My Father died at the age of 50 with a malignant brain tumor as well.  Death is overwhelming but praise our kind, good Shepherd who took the curse of sin that was credited to us through the law upon Himself and shed His own blood and presented it in the heavenly temple before God and it satisfied God’s wrath against sin and we have forgiveness, freedom and LIFE! 

This part of the 23rd Psalm has been quite the popular passage to be quoted in those moments when someone is about to pass from this life to the next.  But even here for the child of God, death is not an end but merely the door in to a higher and more exalted life of intimate contact with Christ.  Death is but the dark vale opening out into an eternity of delight with God.  It is not something to fear, but an experience through which one passes on the path to a more perfect life.  But for those of us who remain on earth, there is still a life to live here and now.  So let’s look at some ways our Good Shepherd takes care of us in these “valley’s”

Let’s look at some reasons why the Shepherd takes His sheep up on the mountain ranges and long treks of the spring, summer and early fall.  As with ordinary sheep management, so with God’s people, one only gains higher ground by climbing up through valleys.  And notice it doesn’t say “we die there”, but rather, “I walk through…”.  We will have many “valleys” that we will walk through.  The disappointments, frustrations, discouragements, dilemmas, the dark, and difficult days, though they be shadowed valleys, they need not be disasters.  They can be the road to higher ground in our walk with God.  These thoughts bring me to point number one….

1.  The trek up into the mountains is the easiest route to get us to this “higher ground” with Christ.  We will see this when we receive our trials and adversitys….when we surrender it all over to Him, thanking Him for the dark, difficult days.  We will then see that He is here with us and has never left or forsaken us.  We will see that He is working out all things for our greatest good to the honor and glory of His name.  To come to this conviction in life is to have entered into an attitude of quiet acceptance of every adversity.  It is to have moved onto higher ground with God.  Knowing Him in this new and intimate manner makes life much more bearable than before.

2.  The second reason why sheep are taken to the mountaintops by way of the valleys is that not only is this the way of gentlest grades but, also it is the well-watered route.  Here one finds refreshing water all along the way.  There are rivers, streams, springs and quiet pools in the deep defiles.  During the summer months long drives can be hot and tiresome.  The flocks experience intense thirst.  How glad they are for the frequent watering places along the valley route where they can be refreshed.  Our good Shepherd is Living Water!  He said if we would drink from Him we would never thirst!

As Christians we will sooner or later discover that it is in the valleys of our lives that we find refreshment from God Himself.  It is not until we have walked with Him through some very deep troubles, that we discover He can lead us to find our refreshment in Him right there in the midst of our difficulty.  We are thrilled beyond words when there comes restoration to our souls and spirits from His own gracious Spirit.  Any other “source” we turn to for refreshment will NEVER satisfy and we will remain thirsty. 

Interestingly, the one who can minister to the broken heart best is the one who has experienced a broken heart.  Don’t avoid the valleys….you never know how God might use your experience one day, but know that the refreshment you can find available in Christ will fulfill like nothing you have ever seen!

3.  A third reason why the rancher/Shepherd chooses to take his flock into the high country by way of the valleys is that this is generally where the richest feed and best forage is to be found along the route.  The flock is moved along gently-they are not hurried.  The lambs have never been this way before.  The shepherd wants to be sure there will not only be water but also the best grazing available for the ewes and their lambs.  Generally the choicest meadows are in these valleys along the stream banks.  Here the sheep can feed as they move toward the high country.

Ironically, these grassy glades are often on the floor of steep-walled canyons and gulches.  There may be towering cliffs above them on either side.  The valley floor itself may be in dark shadow with the sun seldom reaching the bottom except for a few hours around noon.  The Shepherd also knows from past experience that predators like coyotes, bears, wolves ,or cougars can take cover in these broken cliffs from their vantage point prey on his flock.  He knows too that these valleys can be subject to sudden storms nad flash floods that send walls of water ramping down the slopes.  There could be rock slides, mud or snow avalanches, and a dozen other natural disasters that would destroy or injure his sheep.  But in spite of such hazards he also knows that this is still the best way to take his flock to the high country.  He spares himself no pains or trouble or time to keep an eye out for any danger that might develop!

Our Shepherd knows all of this when He leads us through the valleys.  He knows where we can find strength and sustenance and gentle grazing despite every threat of disaster about us.  It is  the most reassuring and reinforcing experience to the child of God to discover that there is, even in the dark valley, a source of strength and courage to be found in God.  It is when he can look back over life and see how the Shepherd’s hand has guided and sustained him in the darkest hours that renewed faith is endured.

The person with a powerful confidence in Christ; the one who has proved by past experience that God is with him in adversity; the one who walks through life’s dark valleys without fear, his head held high, is the one who in turn is a tower of strength and a source of inspiration to his companions.  We are going to have some valleys in this life.  “in this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 

The only question left then is… will you and I face these valleys?  How will we handle them? 

Well, with Christ – we will face them:



and with surety that only with them can I pass through on to higher ground with God.  In this way not only shall I be blessed but in turn I will become a benediction to others around me who may live in fear.

Thank you, Jesus!  You thought of everything we would ever need on this side of eternity!  I’m crazy about you!


Why We Worry

Recently, I have been reading Max Lucado’s book, Fearless.  This part really caught my attention, so I wanted to share it with y’all.  It’s really good insight on why we worry and a great example of the conflict & frustration created when we depend on ourselves. 

Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you’ll worry over every dollar.  Seek first the kingdom of health, and you’ll sweat every blemish and bump.  Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you’ll relive every conflict.  Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you’ll jump at every crack of the twig.  But seek first his kingdom, and you will find it.  On that, we can depend and never worry.

Matthew 6:25-34

Cease Striving

Cease striving and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10 (NASB)

Last weekend, while at a Casting Crowns concert, God spoke to my heart in a special way.  Near the end of the concert, the question was asked, “Is there anything God wants you to lay down?”  He said to lay down my pursuit.  I thought of the verse above.  God wants me to quit trying so hard to get what I think I need and let Him give me what I need– recognizing that He is God, and I am not.  It wasn’t long before I had an opportunity to practice giving up my pursuit of significance and my pursuit of doing things just right.  A few days later, when I took a lunch break, I found myself very stressed—about feelings of insignificance & unfairness, finding a location for a Bible study, and making decisions about auto insurance.  I realized that my trying to figure things out only made it worse.  I wrote out this prayer “casting my anxiety on Him, because He cares for me.” (1 Peter 5:7)  What relief!  Thank you, Jesus!

God, I give you these concerns, these burdens.  I lay them down, surrender control over to you.  I will let you bear my burdens, and I choose to trust you to do things your way–the best & most loving way.


He Guides Me In Paths of Righteousness for His Name’s Sake

Well, I hope each of you have had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I can tell some of our folks have the January Blues already with the cold weather we have been having.  Stay warm and Roll Tide tonight to all my fellow Bama fans!

In our study of the 23rd Psalm phrase by phrase we find ourselves at David’s thought, “He Guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Let’s dive in a see what this means and what kind of picture the shepherd David was painting for us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There are two thoughts that we need to zone in on here.  First off, the Psalmist David would have known that sheep are creatures of habit.  Seriously, if left to themselves they will follow the same trails until they become ruts; graze the same hills until they turn to desert wastes; pollute their own ground until it is corrupt with disease and parasites.  Sheep can not just “get along anywhere.”  No other class of livestock requires more careful handling, more detailed direction than do sheep.  This brings us to the second point that we need to focus on…many pastures are ruined beyond repair by overgrazing, poor management, and indifference or ignorant sheep owners.  When this happens, sheep owners get a bad reputation or name.  It was very important to a sheep owner to have a good name and reputation as a shepherd.  David knew that if the flock was to flourish and the owner’s reputation was to be held in high esteem as a good manager, the sheep had to be constantly under his meticulous control and guidance.  Due to the behavior of the sheep and their preference for certain favored spots, these well-worn areas become quickly infested with parasites of all kinds.  In a short time the whole flock can thus become infected with worms, nematodes, and scab.  The final upshot is that both land and owner are ruined while the sheep become thin, wasted and sickly.  The owner’s entire name and reputation depends on how effectively and efficiently he keeps his charges moving onto wholesome, new fresh forage. 

The intelligent shepherd is aware of all this and has a plan of action.  The predetermined plan of action usually centers around rotation from one grazing ground to another in line with right and proper principles of gound management.  This is precisely the sort of action David had in mind when he spoke of being led in paths of righteousness.  The testimony of a good shepherd will attest to the fact that following this plan of action is the one thing that commands more of the shepherd’s time and energy.  He must map out his plan, constantly survey his fields, move his flock at the right times and repair fields that have just been used.  One shepherd said with an adequate field you needed to move your flock to a new field every week.  The shepherd must go over the ground of his fields again and again seeing where his flock will thrive and knowing where the feed is poor.  One shepherd said that a point worthy of mentioning was that whenever the shepherd opens a gate into a fresh pasture the sheep are filled with excitment.  As they go through the gate, even the staid old ewes will often kick up their heels and leap with delight at the prospect of finding fresh feed.  How they enjoy being led onto new ground.

Let’s look at some parallels between us and sheep now.  It is no mere whim on God’s part to call us sheep.  Our behavior patterns and life habits are so much like that of sheep it is embarrassing. 

First of all, Scripture points out that most of us are a stiff necked and stubborn lot.  We prefer to follow our own fancies and turn to our own ways.  Isaiah 53:6 says it best, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”  We do this deliberately, repeatedly, even to our own disadvantage.  This is locked into our own personal pride and self-assertion.  We insist we know what is best for us even though the disastrous results may be self-evident.

Just as sheep will blindly, habitually, stupidly follow one another along the same little trails until they become ruts that erode into gigantic gullies, so we humans cling to the same habits that we have seen ruin other lives.  Turning to “my own way” simply means doing what I want.  It implies that I feel free to assert my own wishes and carry out my own ideas.  I do this inspite of every warning.  Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”  In contrast to which Christ the Good Shepherd comes gently and says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”  John 14:6.  John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Second of all, most of us don’t want to come.  We don’t want to follow.  We don’t want to be led in paths of righteousness.  Somehow it goes against our grain.  We actually prefer to turn to our own way even though it may take us straight into trouble.  Yet, Christ our Good Shepherd comes and says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).  We don’t want to deny ourselves, give up our right to make our own decisions.  I think some of us…or really most of us, if confronted with this charge, would deny it.  We would say that we are “led of the Lord.”  We would insist that we would follow wherever He leads.  We sing songs to this effect and give mental asssent to the idea.  But as far as actually being led in paths of righteousness is concerned, precious few of us follow that path.  This is actually the pivotal point where a Christian either “goes on” with God or at which point he “goes back” from following on.

The fact of the matter is there are many willful, wayward, indifferent, self-interested Christians who cannot really be classified as followers of Christ.  There are relatively few diligent disciples who forsake all to follow the Master.  Jesus never made light of the cost involved in following Him.  In fact, He made it painfully clear that it was a rugged life of rigid selfdenial.  It entailed a whole new set of attitudes.  It was not the natural, normal way a person would ordinarily live, and this is what made the price so prohibitive to most people. 

If we are to be led in paths of righteousness then we need to adopt 7 fresh attitudes.  They are the equivalent of progressive forward movements onto new ground with God. 

1.  Instead of loving myself most, I am willing to love Christ best and others more than myself.  What is love?  Any ideas?  Love according to this world is a soft, sentimental, moving and/or passionate emotion.  A feel good feeling.  Love according to God’s Word is a deliberate act of my will.  It means that I am willing to lay down my life, lay myself out, pour myself out on behalf of another.  This is precisely what God did for us in Christ.  “This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us” (I John 3:16).  The moment I deliberately do something definite either for God or others that costs me something, I am expressing love.  Love is “selflessness” or “self-sacrifice” in contradistinction to “selfishness.”  Most of us know little of living like this or being “led” in this right way.  But once a person discovers the delight of doing something for others, he has started through the gate being led into one of God’s green pastures.

2.  Instead of being one of the crowd, I am willing to be singled out, set apart from the gang.  Most of us, like sheep are pretty gregarious. We want to belong.  We don’t want to be different

3.  Instead of insisting on my rights, I am willing to forego them in favor of others.

4.  Instead of being “boss”, I am willing to be at the bottom of the heap.  Or to use sheep terminology, instead of being “top ram,” I’m willing to be a “tail-ender.”  When the desire for self-assertion, self-aggrandizement, self-pleasing give way to the desire for simply pleasing God and others, much of the fret and strain is drained away from daily living.

5.  Instead of finding fault with life and always asking “Why?”  I am willing to accept every circumstance of life in an attitude of gratitude.  I find it very interesting that we as humans feel entitled to question the reasons for everything that happens us.  I know…I have been there myself.  I have watched many who’s lives become a continious criticism and dissection of one’s circumstances and acquaintances.  We look for someone or something on which to pin the balme for our misfortunes.  We are often quick to forget our blessings, slow to forget our misfortunes.

But if one really believes his affairs are in God’s hands, every event, no matter whether joyous or tragic, will be taken as part of God’s plan.  To know beyond doubt that He does all for our welfare is to be led into a wide area of peace and quietness and strength for every situation.

6.  Instead of exercising and asserting my will, I am willing to learn to cooperate with His wishes and comply with His will.  When men or women allow their will to be crossed out, canceling the great I in their decisions, then indeed the Cross has been applied to their lives.  This is the meaning of taking up one’s cross daily – to go to one’s own death-no longer my will in the matter but His will be done

7.  Instead of choosing my own way, I am willing to choose to follow in Christ’s way:  simply to do what He asks me to do.  This is basically simple, straightforward obedience!  It means I just do what He asks me to do.  I go where He invites me to go.  I say what He instructs me to say.  I act and react in the manner He maintains is in my own best interest as well as for His reputation (if I’m His follower).

Most of us possess a formidable amount of factual information on what the Master expects of us.  Precious few have either the will, intention, or determination to act on it and comply with His instructions.  But the person who decides to do what God asks him has moved onto fresh ground which will do both him and others a world of good.

Now, before you look back over these 7 things and begin to feel overwhelmed or think that you have to do all of these things yourself, I want to show you something.  Some have concluded that the demands are too drastic or that this is impossible to actually live out on a day to day basis.  Well, it would be if we had to depend on self-determination or self-discipline to succeed.  But if we are in earnest about wanting to do His will, and to be led, He makes this possible by His own gracious Spirit who is given to those who obey (Acts 5:32).  “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.”  Phil. 2:13 NLT.  So you see, it is not you doing this it is Christ doing it in and through you.  Rest in Him and in the good paths that He leads you in today.


Accept the Chaos

I was blessed to be able to attend the Glory in the Highest Tour this past weekend with Chris Tomlin & Louis Giglio.  WOW!  It was an incredible worship experience where God spoke to me in a BIG way.  Oh, how I love to hear Him speaking to me.  His words are so soft and tender, yet so powerful!  On this night, His words to me were, “Accept the chaos.”  These weren’t exactly the words I wanted to hear; my flesh was fighting hard against them.  You see, my flesh is highly perfectionistic and controlling, so chaos is the enemy.  How could I embrace this “enemy”?  When things in my life are chaotic, spinning out of control, I feel VERY insecure & anxious.  So, I try to contol things, make them just right, extinguish any choas in order to give myself a sense of calm, peace, and security.  Whoa…now that’s just the kind of self-reliance & self-dependence that God wants to weed out of our lives.

As my struggle gave way to surrender, I repeated through tears, “God, okay, I’ll accept the choas…I’ll accept the chaos.”  I began to hear the truth…I’m okay inside the chaos because God is right there with me.  He is my calm, my peace, and my security.  I don’t have to fight against the chaos to get it under control.  He has everything under control.  I can depend on Him and rest. 

This is Christmas:  Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, has come into my chaos/my mess and given me Himself–His fullness, His sufficiency, His salvation, His peace.

Merry Christmas!

Rebecca 🙂