Found Ya

Found Ya

From the Authors

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12

A few weeks ago, I awoke in the middle of the night to see a bright circle of light coming through our bedroom window. It was super bright and shining right on my face. In a bit of a panic, I called to my husband. My groggy brain had one thought: who would be shining a flashlight through our window in the middle of the night!? Adrenaline kicking in, I sat up and began shaking my husband frantically… At about this time, I came to realize that it wasn’t a flashlight. It was the moon.*

I took a minute to verify that I was safe, that this was a moon shinning through the window (not a flashlight). Took another minute to look around our room, and see how everything was fully illuminated. Then I looked down at my husband who had been smacked and shaken… and he was snoring. And I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if I could sleep through almost anything.** I slowly laid back down and stared at the brilliantly, shining moon.

It got me thinking (because the adrenaline wasn’t going to let me go back to sleep anytime soon) how far that light had to travel to get to my window and wake me up. That light came all the way from the sun, which was happily shinning on the other side of the earth. That light had to reach all the way around the earth and bounce off the moon just so it could make it to my bedroom window. I understand how this works scientifically and that it is happening all the time. Right now someone is looking at the moon and I’m sure they aren’t thinking it’s anything unusual or overly special. But seriously, that light had to come a really long way, around a pretty big obstacle, and then reflect off of the moon, and travel another considerably long distance to my bedroom window.***

I laid there thinking how neat light is. And then, of course, how Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” And it felt like God was using that moonlight to say, “Found ya!” You can’t get away from That Guy’s love! He will come any distance, around any obstacle, and more- just to find you. He will come down from heaven, take on the shape of a baby, live in this world, endure the cross, rise from the grave… God will do all that because He loves you.

So then… what are we worrying about!?!?

Paul sums it up for us:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~Romans 8:31-39; emphasis added

Wherever you are right now, God knows. He knows where you are and what you are doing. And right now, right where you are, whatever you are doing- He is loving you. You are His creation. You are precious, wanted, and loved.

We thank you, Lord, that we cannot escape this undeserved unconditional love. We thank you that while we face all sorts of trials in life, the one thing we can always count on is your love. We may not always understand your ways, or the reasons we face hardship. We may feel frightened, alone, angry- we might even despair at times. But through all of this, you are searching us out time and again just to whisper I love you. Help us to hear your voice in all of the noise that surrounds us. Help us to see your hands in all the business of this crazy world. Help us to feel your love and mercy even when we are at the end of our tether and wondering if we have anything left to give. Please fill us up again with Your good things. Fill us up with love and peace, with hope and joy. Help us to trust in the promises you have left us in Your Word. In Jesus name, Amen.

*Am I the only one who make ridiculous assumptions in the middle of the night? Assuming the moon is some creepy peeping tom with a flashlight? Assuming that the toilet backing up is an intruder with gastrointestinal problems? Also there is the water softener that every now and then convinces me the basement is on fire…

**In regards to my husband’s ability to continue sleeping, even if a marching band came through our house: 1. This is really not an exaggeration. But 2. While I am the one who always gets up for every little noise in the middle of the night. On the night the stop sign flew through our yard, I was the one who slept through the ordeal. It was my wonderful husband who got up and talked to the police in his pajamas. But this is a story for another day!

***This is where I feel like the seagull from the ‘Little Mermaid.’ When he grabs the crab around the neck and starts shaking him yelling, “Do you understand the words that are comin’ out of my mouth!?!” It’s such a simple idea that I can’t be sure I’m being understood…? Or I just have communication issues…

 

The Lies We Believe (Part 2)

The Lies We Believe (Part 2)

Encouragement From the Authors

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
~Psalm 139:14

Last week I started a post on the lies I easily believe. The first lie I tend to fall for is the idea that I can be ‘good enough’ (or holy and righteous) in my own strength. (For more on that click here) However, there is a flip side, a second lie, that I easily fall for. And that is the lie that I am not good enough. Kinda funny that I would be falling for two lies that are exact opposites, but I do. It was sort of an ‘ah-ha! moment’ for me. And I found great humor in the absurdity in it… but also some sadness.

IMG_20140906_151759265The not good enough lie could be called ‘discouragement.’ And again, comparison and judgment can play a big part in believing this lie*. It’s the lie that we will never be pretty enough, smart enough, fast enough, strong enough, fill-in-the-blank enough. Whether we get the idea from our own ideals, from others in our lives, or even from the media- that lie can slip in and whisper harmful untruths to us. We might actually give up. And that’s what makes this lie so dangerous- so I will say it again: believing this lie, might cause us to give up.

So here is the truth: We were lovingly and uniquely made for a specific purpose that is solely ours. And since we are the only ones God has given that purpose to, we cannot give up. And to “not give up” would mean to persevere.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ~James 1:12

And another truth: we are all good enough to be loved. We are all good enough to join the family of Christ if we are willing to put our trust in Him. Jesus died on a cross between two criminals. And just like those criminals we have not been perfect, and are not good enough on our own to be considered righteous and holy in God’s eyes. But also like those criminals we have a choice on how we react to God’s love, to Jesus’ sacrifice. We can scoff and doubt, or we can call on Jesus. And when we put our faith in Him, we can stop worrying about being good enough, because we are loved right where we are.

Thus concludes episode one (a two post tale?) of ‘Random Thoughts With Lindsay.’ I know. Thrilling stuff (no, not really). It’s kinda funny where my mind wanders off to at any given moment. I’m usually not too serious, so this post was hard to write. Because I want to expound upon every little thing, and also make a few jokes to keep things light and fluffy. But really, who has time for that? Hopefully I got some wheels turning in your noggin? Not that mine are turning so smoothly these days. My last grocery episode involved a colossal error- I came home with a bag of decaf coffee instead of the full throttle stuff I need. But never one to waste food, I’ve been muddling my way through the fuzzy caffeine-less mornings…**

Thanks for reading!

~Lindsay

May the Lord who loves you, created you, and wants to be your friend bless you with the knowledge that you are someone of great value and worth. May your heart be full of His love and understanding for you, and for the person He created you to be. May your eyes be open to the paths He is opening up before you, and may you be filled with the boldness to go where He calls you. In Jesus name, Amen!

*I talked about comparison last week too. But let me just say again, that comparison is not good. It is placing ourselves above or below others. It is trying to make ourselves into the judge. That’s not our role (thank goodness!), so we can give up that job and find something more in line with our abilities. (Whew!)

**If you see a post with a long line of gibberish towards the end, assume I fell asleep, landed on the keyboard and it somehow posted.

Sept 19 003
What? Are you still reading? Are you wondering about the pictures? If I don’t explain the pictures, I always feel bad. Someone surely is wondering what is going on. Well, not being a professional photographer, or even a professional blogger- I never have what I would call ‘appropriate’ pictures that tie in well with the blog post. So I usually pick a theme and run with it. This weeks’ theme is: Random Septembers. All of these pictures were taken in September, although in three different years. This one I liked the best. I would title it, “My Friend’s Nice Shoes.” See why I am not a professional photographer. I think I got a picture of a turtle, but really it’s just a blurry blob with some nice kicks in the background.
A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

Encouragement From the Authors

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
~Philippians 4:8

Recently, my eldest son had a really, great day. He went fishing with lots of snacks and treats- just him, his daddy, and his uncle. Then when he got home, he lead exploratory expeditions outdoors, and (again) his daddy and his uncle played along. They did whatever he asked. It was such a great day for him.

Then Uncle left. We told my eldest son the plans for the rest of the evening. They did IMG_20150502_185424848_HDRnot line up with the plans he had made in his head. So he became a little miffed. We took a family walk (or in my son’s case, a forced march) down to the beach. He walked in front of us, scowling and a bit grumpy, and determined to show us how unhappy he was. My husband commented on how our son had just had the best day ever, but now…? And we followed him, all the way to the beach. And I was smiling a bit, because I love that boy. And I almost remember the feelings that a seven-year-old has. Almost.

But I was thinking- that’s me. I’m the scowling slightly grumpy kid. I’m the one who quickly forgets all of the gifts of the day, and focuses on the negative. And then I realized, that just like my little boy, I have a Father who is right behind me, smiling and loving me. Even when I am a grump! And I knew that once we got to the beach, the scowl would disappear. Which is like my Heavenly Father knowing what good things are coming for me.

So I guess it was just a good reminder. Not to focus on the negative, but to remember the gifts of each day. And that God is always with me, loving me and watching over me.

Lord, thank you for your unconditional love. Bless us to recognize the gifts that are all around us, and to focus on the good. In Jesus Name, Amen.

~Lindsay