It’s Your Basic Identity Issues

Maybe insecurity isn’t an issue for you. But I’m betting that if you clicked on this post, it nags at one corner of your heart. Don’t must of us live under some weight of insecurity? It’s the nature of fallen humanity. There’s a fine line between being confident and arrogant. A tightrope between knowing there are areas you need to improve versus focusing only on your weaknesses. We often don’t measure up, whether to our expectations of ourselves or to other’s expectations of us. Yet when we are successful it goes to our head and pride can so easily seep in. Question: can you name five things that you like about yourself? Second question: what are the five (specific) things that define who you are? Are your answers the same? Which question was harder to answer? Do you actually believe your answers at the core of your being or are they your answers simply because you know they should be true or others say they are? It can be convicting to make a list of who you are, what brings you life, and what makes you, you. Not in a vague, Jesus-loves-me kind of way, but in a very tangible, specific, way of articulating the uniquely defining pieces of your identity. Not in a prideful way either. Because at the end of the day, a correct view of our identity is rooted in who we are, and who we are has nothing to do with us or some innate goodness. A correct view of our identity points directly and unequivocally back to Jesus. If you have trouble writing this list then consider going through letters...

The earnest of our inheritance

In Ephesians the first chapter, Paul the apostle is addressing the church at Ephesus, but it applies to us today as well. It goes something like this: “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Ephesians 1:10-12. I love what Paul is saying here…we have obtained an inheritance in Jesus Christ, and at the right time He will bring everything together under His authority-everything in heaven and on earth. Verse twelve says that “…we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” The Jewish people were the first that trusted in Christ. It was His purpose that they would be the ones to bring Him glory and honor. But here is the good part: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…” Ephesians 1:13 NKJV. Now Paul is talking about you and me; the Gentiles! Those that have been “grafted in”! The NLT says it like this: “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the...

In Between

What do you do with God when you are not in some sort of battle or celebrating some victory? What do you do with God when the storm has passes and you are sailing on smooth waters? Really, I want to know. When we are in crisis, we rush to God. We seek answers. We long for His presence. We crave His comfort. We pray. We plead. We beg God Almighty to be near to us and hear our prayers. When we are celebrating some spiritual victory, we tell everyone. We thank God publicly and privately. We praise Him for everything from sunrise to sunset. We easily see and acknowledge His hand in all that goes on around us moment by moment. So then, what happens when there is no crisis, no pain, and no struggle? What do you do between battles and celebrations? I want to know. I want to know because this is the pattern in my life: Battle —–Celebration—–Battle Know where I struggle? Not in the Battle – I know Who to run to when things are bad. Not in the Celebration – I know Who deserves my praise. I struggle in between. I struggle when everything is rocking along just fine. Maybe you do too. I have a friend taking Chemo. She takes her treatment. She gets so sick that she thinks she is going to die. She recovers. She is “normal” for a few days. Then she takes another treatment and it starts all over again. Between treatments, she does everything she can to recover and prepare for the next treatment. I think that...

We Should All Be Tree Huggers

“…being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:17. NKJV I’m a daddy’s girl; always have been. When I was a little, I looked forward to hunting season because it was our special time. I have many hunting trip memories tucked away—adventures had, miles walked, sights seen—but one particular trip outweighs them all. My dad, granddaddy, and I loaded up the truck one Friday afternoon and headed north for an overnight camping/hunting trip. When we arrived at our campsite, they pitched the tent and I “set up” the kitchen. We then gathered firewood, started our fire, and sat around in lawn chairs, eating ham sandwiches and drinking RC Cola. They told stories and laughed until they cried; I smiled and asked questions and enjoyed being with “my guys.” I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so excited about the next day’s adventure; waking up early and hiking through the woods was a thrill. But when morning came, my seven-year-old body was completely exhausted. Dad promised he’d find me a place to sleep, but I had to get up; he couldn’t leave me alone at the campsite. So I reluctantly dressed in my camos and our adventure began. We walked for what seemed like a thousand miles before stopping in front of a very large, skyscraper kind of tree. It was the kind of tree that required a two-person hug, if you know what I mean. All around the base, its enormous roots broke through the ground beneath. “This is good,” my dad said. “You can take a nap here while we hunt.” Between the large roots was the “here”...