For God So Loved _______

Happy Thanksgiving!

In my prayer time this morning, I asked God to speak to me. I simply said, “What would you like to say to me today?”

He answered me quickly and clearly.

He spoke John 3:16-17 over me, but instead of saying, “For God so loved the ‘world’ – He said,

“For God so loved Meredith, He gave His one and only Son, so that Meredith will not perish, but she will have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn Meredith, but to save Meredith through Jesus.”

I was so overwhelmed with how personalized His love for me became in that moment. I just wanted y’all to have the same!!

“For God so loved me, He gave His one and only Son, so that I will not perish, but I will have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn me, but to save me through Jesus.”

“For God so loved __________, He gave His one and only Son, so that __________, will not perish, but __________, will have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn __________, but to save __________, through Jesus.”

Thank You Lord.

Thank you Lord for bearing down.

Thank you Lord for sharing Your crown.

Thank you Lord for fixing Your eyes.

Thank you Lord for choosing me as Your prize.

Thank you Lord for being willing to kill,

the animals in Genesis You called good.

You took their life and skinned their hide,

To cover us in love because it was cold outside.

From fig leaves to cobwebs, works to neglect,

We each try and cover our shame and regret.

Yet from the moment we chose to go against You,

You worked out a plan to make us brand new.

So once again we pause and say

Thank You.

Name it and claim it – ish

I’m naming a Land Rover and a Joanna Gaines farmhouse. Amen.

So far I’ve still got my Kia and 60’s era rental home. Must not have enough faith. Guess I just need to pray harder. Or pray longer. Or fast more. Or or or…

Church history informs us of countless doctrines that missed the mark. (Indulgences anyone?) But if you look closely, most have a sincere nugget of truth embedded within. It just took that core truth in the wrong direction. Many a baby has been tossed out with the proverbial bathwater.

Would you indulge me (ha) as I attempt to rescue the baby in the “name it and claim it” doctrine?

For those who hold this doctrine, both halves are centered on oneself. We need to do the “naming” of what we want, and then we can “claim” it as our own. This position doesn’t leave much room for God to be anything other than Santa Claus delivering our personally curated Christmas list.

But what if God did put presents under the tree for us? Ones we didn’t ask for – but ones He wanted us to have? I imagine we would wake up Christmas morning to see an array of beautifully wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes, each one with a gift tag with our name on it.

Let’s go get that baby.

There you are, standing in front of the tree, staring at a gift with your name on it. What do you do now? You claim it of course! You reach down and take what has been given to you. You open it up with wonder and delight and a boatload of thanksgiving. Then you use it!

These gifts were not ones we named, but ones HE named for us before the foundation of the world. The most valuable and precious being the gift He gave the world who didn’t ask – the gift of Himself.

The gift of forgiveness is one we must claim. We can’t have it if we don’t claim it. We can see it’s there under the tree with our name on it. There’s nothing we did or can do to merit its offering. Our only responsibility is to pick it up, believe it’s really ours to have, take what has been offered, and claim it as our own.

The gift of forgiveness is just the beginning. The Bible is full of undeserved gifts He has given to us.

What should we do in response? Claim what God has named for us!

Is Truth Flexible?

If you’re anything like me, the mere question fills you with an immediate and intense rebuttal declaring the supremacy of absolute truth.

But what if truth can be absolute and flexible at the same time?

Before you swipe left, let’s give this a think together.

I’ve been studying the armor of God, taking long deep dives to explore every individual piece. The belt of truth doesn’t seem to need much exposition. Truth is the Word of God, what we need to surround ourselves with at our core.

We also know what a belt is and how and why it’s used today. Even so, I decided to keep diving. Merriam-Webster defines a belt as, “A strip of flexible material worn especially around the waist.” The word flexible stuck with me. A belt is flexible. Hmmm. But is it always? No matter how hard I tried, I could not think of a single example of a rigid belt I could successfully put around my waist. It just wouldn’t work.

Belt of Truth. Those two concepts no longer seemed compatible in my mind. Until I asked God to help me understand why He described Truth as a belt and told us to wrap it around ourselves.

His answer to me began with highlighting the Pharisees. If Truth of the Word of God was all that we needed for godliness, that bunch would have been the most godly of all. They knew every word by heart – every jot and tittle as they say. And we all know where that got them.

“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:6

Now I was beginning to understand. Truth apart from the Spirit of God is a deadly combination. Literally. The letter kills. It doesn’t just wound – it kills. Dead. The Pharisees, knew the truth. They just weren’t led by the Spirit in their application of it.

No wonder Jesus said in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”

Putting on the belt of Truth just got a little more flexible.

What I heard when I just listened…

These words below are what I felt like God said to me this morning. I just put myself before Him, pen and paper in hand, and this is what I heard. If you choose to read on, read slowly, and allow yourself time to absorb whatever God may have for you. Continue reading

WWJD – it’s the wrong question

The first ending of my previous post Even Jesus made His bed was “WWJD? – now you know.”

The intent of my blog is not to ruffle feathers. I would much rather give you tips on how to style those feathers into a decoration for your home.

But this is important enough that I’m going to risk it. So take off your flip-flops and put on your shoes (ya know, ’cause I’m about to step on some toes…) Continue reading