Reflecting Our Maker Involves Defining Who We Are

So… Since I’m pretty transparent with my history of struggling with codependency (aka boundarylessness aka #ApprovalAddiction) and depression, I will share that one of my first “missions” after starting my great new job in an amazing new-to-me city was to get established with a great Christian counselor. This is priority for me: to have someone at my side who can look into my life objectively and help prevent me from falling back in to old destructive patterns.

However, I am not sure I got money’s worth during the hour I spent with her this week. Or, perhaps – better said: I DID get my money’s worth – but it was all packed in to the last minute of the session. You see, after 59 minutes of mostly me rambling about trying to conquer all my issues and live a more defined and disciplined life – she closed the session with a prayer. And in that prayer she said, “Father, help Tracy to define who she is because she wants to be like You and You define who You are.” Wow. That right there was worth the entire counseling fee.

That one statement got me thinking about how so many of the great #GodQuotes in the Bible are of Him defining Himself. If you doubt me on this, just do a #BibleStudy or a #GoogleSearch on the #NamesOfGod.

God makes it #CrystalClear who He is and Who He is not. And since we’re designed like our Maker, it is no wonder that when we don’t take time to define who we are and let anyone or anything else define us – we are absolutely miserable at our core.

So, my “homework” from my counselor this week is to put two columns on a piece of paper to define who I am and who I am not. And… I’m thinking I may not be the only one who needs to do this – so I thought I’d share. We live in an age where so many things from marketing campaigns to social media are vying to define us. But let’s spend some time with our Maker and define ourselves instead!

Labor Day Irony: Our Most Important WORK is RESTING in HIM

On this Labor Day holiday, I feel compelled to blog about the importance of resting all of who we are and what we do in the unending strength of all HE is and all He gives.

I woke up with the song “I Am Who He Says I Am” by Hillsong in my head and heart this morning. (And you can listen by following this link: https://youtu.be/lKw6uqtGFfo). And it was a sweet reminder that true rest and meaningful work can only be known when we truly embrace the truth in these lyrics.

Who am I that the highest King

Would welcome me?

I was lost but He brought me in

Oh His love for me

Oh His love for me

Who the Son sets free

Oh is free indeed

I’m a child of God

Yes I am

Free at last, He has ransomed me

His grace runs deep

While I was a slave to sin

Jesus died for me

Yes He died for me

Who the Son sets free

Oh is free indeed

I’m a child of God

Yes I am

In my Father’s house

There’s a place for me

I’m a child of God

Yes I am

I am chosen

Not forsaken

I am who You say I am

You are for me

Not against me

I am who You say I am….

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” –Isaiah 40:31

Don’t let a temporary change in view shake your faith in permanent truth!

The beautiful landmark #KingAndQueenBuildings looked quite different during my commute in this morning’s fog than they do in the #AfternoonSunlight. But the #LifeLesson in this is that the actual structure and function of the buildings didn’t change just because my view was temporarily obstructed. Do not let what you see weaken what you KNOW to be true. #LessonsFromTheSky.

You be present today. Let God handle tomorrow.

I have loved the book, Abide in Christ, since discovering it twenty-something years ago in Bible College. Andrew Murray’s writing and expounding on scripture is simple and profound at the same time.

I am glad I am re-reading the book now and came across this quote. I so needed this reminder of the fact that it’s God’s job to hold tomorrow and not mine. How often have I neglected what is right in front of me that I CAN do today because I am trying to figure out so many tomorrows that Father has already promised to handle?

The Missing Piece to True Peace

Confession is a powerful avenue of healing that sheds light on any sin we are harboring. But it can get easily lost in today’s culture of photo-shopped perfection and social media highlight reels.

However, I challenge you and me to reclaim confessing “one to another.” It is a basic and powerful element of faith for those of us who call ourselves believers in and followers of Jesus. It is also the reason that sustained commitment to a twelve-step program, such as Celebrate Recovery or Alcoholics Anonymous, is the only way many find true freedom from destructive and addictive life patterns. And it is also the reason many modern churches have lost their effectiveness in truly leading their members into a lifestyle not dominated by sin. There sometimes is more of an emphasis on looking blessed than taking time to confess.

In His famous “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus stated, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8

Jesus’ brother, James, echoed that truth when he wrote, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16

What would our churches and our lives look like if we truly began to imitate the ancient and effective pattern of the early church of shedding light on sin so true healing can occur? Why not try it and find out?

Oh, and please note…. It doesn’t say you have to be some super human or a priest-type to hear someone else’s confession. The “one to another” lateral aspect of confession as peers and NOT as superiors is important. This prevents us from erroneously placing the power of forgiveness on anyone else other than our One True God.

This World Needs More than a Distracted Church

The teaching on Saul’s Radical Encounter by Billy Humphrey a couple weeks ago at New Bridge Church in Atlanta is really speaking to me right now.

Follow any of the links in this blog to listen to the entire teaching. If you’re tired of church as usual that really doesn’t seem to impact culture and you long to see what a church touched by the fire of God really looks like, it will be well worth your time.