Month: September 2018

  • Rejoicing in Trouble

    But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”

    Psalm 5:11

    Often in the Bible we see a juxtaposition between joy and trouble. They seem to come together. Sometimes we think joy is a response to all being right in our world. Joy doesn’t come only in the absence of trouble, but is made all the more meaningful and more pronounced by the presence of trouble.

    In times of trouble, those who put their trust in Jesus have reason to rejoice—not because the battle is over, but because they are sheltered in the midst of the battle. God doesn’t always eliminate the trouble, but he does give us protection and will defend us in the middle of it. How amazing is that?!

    When we choose to turn our heart toward the source of our salvation instead of focusing on our situation, we can find joy even in times of trouble. Trouble and turmoil can serve to push us into the arms of Jesus where real joy lives.

    Jesus, we know that in you we find our help and protection. Even in our sorrow, trouble or turmoil, you bring us joy with your presence. This joy doesn’t come from the lack of these things, but the miracle is that the joy you bring comes in spite of these things. Our salvation is secure in you and that brings us such joy!  In your name, Amen.

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  • Pirate or Princess?

    Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? It all started back in the 90’s when a couple of fellas in Albany, Oregon would insult each other like pirates when they played racquetball together. So they declared this day “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” Not much later, comedian Dave Barry heard about it somehow and it took off. Now even the restaurant Long John Silver’s offers free treats to commemorate what may be the goofiest international day ever.

    Having all boys in my family, this a fun one for us. Something about referring to meal times as “time to put grub in ye gullet” or telling the boys to “swab the deck in yonder galley” is fun. It’s entertaining to put on a silly persona and walk around in it for a little bit.

    But what if the persona were real? What if there was a talk like a princess day? I’m not talking about Disney princesses (although if I can get woodland critters to clean my house while I sing, I will count it as a total win). Instead, what if we talked and lived like actual royalty, like daughters of not just any king, but the King Most High?

    1 John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

    God loves us so much he calls us his children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14).

    On my best days, I remember to live in this identity. I embrace my calling to live in relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’m lost in His grace and love, and marvel that He chooses me, just as I am, but doesn’t leave me there. He shapes me to be more like him, to represent Him as a member of His family. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I walk and talk like a Daughter of the King.

    Being royalty also comes with responsibility. In Colossians 4:6 we are reminded “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

    It’s harder to live this out when I am feeling tired, busy, hangry or anxious. When I’m hard-pressed for patience, it’s challenging to walk and talk like a princess instead of a pirate. My husband and kids do not always get my best, in fact on my worst days they get distracted, distant or short-tempered. When I am operating on my own strength and my own discernment, I find that I can’t muster grace when it is required or have an answer that will preserve and add good flavor to the conversation the way salt does to food. I find that I carry myself in a manner that is less than what God has invited me to–because I’m trying to do it all on my own.

    When I intentionally slow down and spend time with the One who made me, I remember the Princess that I am in Him. He fills my heart with peace and wisdom so that I can discern between what seems urgent and what is truly important. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can speak life to my family and friends. Not only does my outlook change but even my countenance is lifted. Allowing God’s love to permeate my mind, restores my soul and my true identity in Christ. I can once again see the great love that He lavishes on me as his child. And I believe once again, that is who I am.

    As you go once more into the fray, and the day seems to be running you instead of the other way around, when you find you are talking more like a pirate instead of a princess, stop and reevaluate. Are you leaning on your own strength and wisdom or on the infinite love and wisdom of the Most High King? Dear friend slow down and let Him care for you. Spend time with Him in prayer and worship and be reminded of who you are in Him. And when your cup is full, share it with others. Let Jesus be seen in your joy and in how you talk, full of grace and seasoned with good things.

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