The Lies We Believe (Part 1)

The Lies We Believe (Part 1)

Daily Notes From the Authors

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~Ephesians 1:17

Oct 3 035So School started, and blogging gets lost in the shuffle. I haven’t misplaced a child yet (knock on wood), but neither do I feel overly successful so far this school year. I feel more like a very large and weighed down train slowly chugging out of the station and trying to gain traction so that we can establish our routine and really get moving. But all the while I’m running around (repeatedly checking that 3 little ducklings are in a row behind me), I’m thinking of blog ideas. So prepare yourself for some ‘random thoughts from Lindsay.’ The good news is this was a two-part thought, so it will get us through two weeks together! Woo hoo! (I even sound like a train?)

So, here we go:

It occurred to me recently that there are two big lies that I easily believe.

The first lie is that I am good enough. I’m not being hard on myself when I say this is a lie. And I’m not into self-bashing. We all have good points, we all have less-than-stellar points. But what I’m talking about here is the idea that we can do this ourselves. That in our own strength we can be “good enough” for God. That we can be ‘sinless’ or ‘holy.’ If that is the case, then Jesus’ sacrifice was superfluous. And that would be a lie. The cross is necessary for all of us. Not just the really awful people in the world, but all people. We all make mistakes, we all need forgiveness, we all need Jesus.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all
~Isaiah 53:6

There is more to believing the lie of “I am good enough.” Because I can come to this conclusion by looking around at other people. We might get the idea that we are better than so-and-so. And that person we really look up to, well, we have a lot of similarities with them. So we’re right in the middle of the pack. We’re not so bad. We’re good enough. … Right? The problem with this thinking is that we are comparing, we are judging* others, and we are just trying to blend in with a crowd.

Christ has not called us to ‘blend in with the crowd.’ He has called us to be a holy, set apart people.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people ~Ephesians 1:18

The short of it: We need Jesus, and He is the only one we should be looking to for comparison. He is the one we will never measure up to, but He is also the one who didn’t just reach down to pull us out of the pit. He came down, willing to die for our sake. He came down because of his love. Instead of trusting in our own worth, we can choose to trust in His Love.

Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, so that I can be forgiven and a part of your holy people. I am so sorry for the times I have thought I was able to live this life in my own strength. And I am so thankful for how you continually keep reaching out to help me. When I am tempted to judge my life based on the lives of those around me, help me to remember that I cannot walk a mile in their shoes. Help me instead to have grace and compassion for those around me. Please change and soften my heart to be more like yours. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*There is only one judge. And we are not Him.

Bonus picture. I call this, "What happens when I take my children shopping." Or the shorter version, "Whose children are these?"
Bonus picture! (And yes, all of those are dancing, singing Christmas dolls) I call this, “What happens when I take my children shopping.” Or the shorter version, “Whose children are these?”

 

 

All for Jesus

All for Jesus

Encouragement Inspiration

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. ~Luke 8:39

We recently moved. Moving is not always easy, but often surprising.

One thing we have found difficult, is finding a new church to call home. In this case, it is because of a wonderful problem. The city we landed in seems to be overflowing with great church families! We just need to find our place in the midst of so many options. Isn’t that a wonderful “problem”? So many good churches to choose from? I wish I had more problems like this*.

But the reason I bring this up, is because of one associate pastor. I don’t know him, and I’ve only heard him speak twice. But when he speaks, it’s like his whole life is saying all for Jesus.

Well, let me back up. Start at the beginning. The first time we visited this church, the associate pastor got up front and shared with the congregation that he had his colonoscopy, and the doctors had found cancer. I felt hearts in the congregation breaking around me. It was a very sad moment for that church body. As my husband and I talked after the service, we were amazed how the associate pastor had shared the news. He asked for prayer, especially for his family. He was honest and upfront about the situation. But he had hope. Not false hope, but genuine hope that comes from knowing Christ. He said, “Even in the worse case scenario, I still win. I still go home to be with Jesus.”

On Easter Sunday, we visited this church again. They had a small drama, where kids (teenagers) were asking this same pastor tough questions about faith and science. One of the kids mentioned that Easter probably wasn’t the best time to question faith. But this associate pastor lovingly said, that questions are good. They are ok, and you should feel free to ask them at any time. Then he used his heart and brain to argue his case for Christ. And he even brought his stage 4 cancer into the debate. And my heart hurt to know that diagnosis, even as it soared. Because I heard it again- all for Jesus.

Given some of the worst news ever, he still pointed to God’s trustworthiness and goodness. I loved that he was addressing the hard questions to teenagers. I loved that he was in front of everyone giving God glory in the midst of something so personal, painful, sad…

But he wasn’t any of those things. Instead he was secure in his knowledge that Jesus has already won. And he was using his testimony to glorify God.

They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.
~Revelation 12:11

Grandma Mabel
Grandma Mabel

I’m not belittling the pain that anyone has ever faced. I know how awful cancer in the family can be. Trust me, I know. This story is not about pretending like everything is okay, when it most clearly is not. This story is about trusting God in all circumstances. And I don’t know this man, but I am sure he has had plenty of emotions to contend with. When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer we went through the gauntlet of anger, fear, sadness, brief periods of hope, crushing moments of heartbreak….

But her last words, always give me hope: “Beautiful, beautiful…”

Hope is a beautiful thing.**

Lord, thank you for the testimonies of others that draw us nearer to you. Thank you that you are so holy, that you can use even the worst circumstances for good. Thank you that wherever we are and whatever is happening in our lives, there is always hope because of what your son did on the cross. Thank you that the tomb was empty, and that we now have hope in Christ. Lord, please increase our hope. Please help us to tell our own testimonies when needed. May we glorify You. In Jesus name, Amen.

~Lindsay

*Other problems I would like to have: too much cheesecake in the house, too many coffee shops in town, and a roll of toilet paper that never ran out. (I suppose that last one is not really a problem at all… but as long as I am dreaming.)

**But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are His house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. ~Hebrews 3:6

Legacy: Part 1

Legacy: Part 1

Our Story

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will walk with you.      Proverbs 6:20-21 (ESV)

I have a ring I wear almost every day. Not my wedding ring (which I wear every day), but my grandmother’s ring. She passed away when I was eleven. I cried uncontrollably at her wake. I am the oldest of all my cousins, and I remember the younger cousins being confused, as little ones are at these moments. One cousin, and my little brother, seeing my distress decided to play along. They took Kleenex and pretended to cry too.

My grandmother was pretty amazing. She was the kind of grandma you read about in books. With fresh baked treats, warm hugs, a soft voice and a kind smile. Recently, I was trying to tell my children about her. I’ve tried telling my younger cousins about her too. You see, many of them were born after she passed away, and they never met her. Yet, she lives on in our memories, and in the stories we share.

The soft cheeked Grandma I remember (with Grandpa)
The soft cheeked Grandma I remember (with Grandpa)

I look at her ring on my right hand and think how precious this ring is to me. Will it be as precious to my daughter? Or her daughter? What will they remember about grandma? A few stories? Her name? I think about what I know about my great-grandparents. Or any ancestors before that. There was a great-grandpa who was adamant I should have been named Diana or something. There was a great-grandmother who I knew pretty well. There were some stories rattling around in my brain… but not much.

So I started thinking about legacies. Which is an odd sort of thing for me to think about. I’m usually not very deep. But in a few generations, what will anyone say of me? Will anyone remember me? Will I fade away with time? Will my grandma?

I know, I sound pretty morose- even to my own ears!

But then something pretty amazing occurred to me! Someone, somewhere in our family history made a daring step. A new choice. Someone chose Jesus! I was born into a family of believers. What a gift! And it was because of some unknown ancestor of mine. A Norwegian farmer, or a German peasant, an Irishman, or that one random Swede …. And not only that, but there were probably multiple converts. Multiple ancestors of mine who heard the Good News, and said, “Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for!” And they believed, and they passed on their belief to their children, who passed it on to their children…

Maybe I’m the only one who finds this fascinating. I want to know who this person was. How did they hear the Gospel for the first time? What made them so sure? Who were they?

And while I suppose I will not have any of those answers in this lifetime, I do know one thing. Whether or not my children know who my Grandma is, or if my name fades into obscurity with time, I can pass on this legacy of faith to my children. I cannot make them believe, but I can point them in the right direction. Just like my grandma did for my mother. Just like my mother did for me. And hopefully somewhere along the line, my children will do for their children.

Whoever your ancestors were, Names are not so important. There is only one Name that saves. One Name worth knowing. One Name to proclaim. Jesus.

~Lindsay