Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Price - Paid

As I consider Jesus this week - who He was, who He still is, His character, His love, His teachings, His deity - I sense myself covering my eyes, shielding my heart, and forgetting what He actually did for me - and for each soul festering on this planet.

I love the easy:
I love to think about Him as Christmas for instance. A little baby - born as King. (Luke 1 and 2, etc )

I love to think about Him as Defender ... rebuking the disciples trying to keep the children away - pulling the babes into his lap to bless them. (Mark 10:13-16)

I love to think about Him as Healer - traveling around touching the pain-stricken. Touching them. Does that strike you in your core? It should. His holy hands touched the defiled. The sore-covered. The bleeding..... The dead. We are wise to get the enormity of that. (Matthew 15:29-31, Mark 7:31-37, etc)

I love to think about Him as Deliverer - freeing people of demonic oppression - rebuking and casting out unclean spirits - thwarting their destruction of human hearts with just a word. (Mark 1:32-34, Luke 4:31-37, etc)

I love to think about Him as Teacher - sitting with the multitudes, having compassion on their souls, opening up their lives to the Divine. (Luke 8:4-15, etc)

I love to think about Him as Revealer - answering the door to anyone wholeheartedly knocking down doors to find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 11:9)

But Jesus as Sacrifice? -  As tortured, stricken, beaten, crucified? I neglect it - out of ease and ignorance and haughtiness. All too often I look at the cross - I wear it around my neck and I point people to it and write about it....but I never stop to consider the reality of that tree - stained with innocent blood all for the cause of saving my soul. (John 18 and 19, etc)

 Jesus as Payment? As Stand-In? There's no words for that - and yet I still have very few thoughts towards it.

This may be why:
I fail to recognize the enormity and filthiness and number of my sin. I fail to recognize my absolute need for Him in this way. Sure - I can recognize Him as my King, my Protector, my Mender, my Reliever, my Instructor, my Affirmer - but oh, my Atonement? He is that, too. He is that, mostly.

His whole reason for moving among us? Me and you.

What's so incredible about this...audacious that He knew it would be this way. (Isaiah 53) He knew that the one's He came to rescue would spit in His face. He knew that we would fail to grasp the gift He bestowed on us when He died in our place. He knew we would forget, refuse, and shun Him. And He did it anyway.

I've been praying a daring prayer- that He would show me my need for Him - particularly my need for One who is my Sacrifice and Savior. May it be so - for all of us....that we would get a glimpse of our own sins-pardoned. And that we would see Him, truly.

At Easter and always.

Lord, let us see You and know You for who You are, really. Let us be aware of our need for You. Lead us into truth and belief and understanding. We praise You for the price You paid for us all. Shed light on us, Lord.  In Jesus, Amen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Funky Mama

Let's lighten it up a bit.

I'm digging this dude. His raps are like sermons, y'all. Fo' real.

Would you believe that this stay-at-home-mama did a little hip-hop dancing in college? Believe it, sista. The key word here however is did. Not does. I'm not so funky anymore, friends. But that doesn't mean I don't get crazy to a sweet rhyme every now and then. The only difference is that these days I listen to righteous raps - not the raunchy ones. Praise Him for it.

Preach it, Lecrea.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shopping for Socks

Will the real Jesus please stand up?

As you well know, He's been revealing Himself to me lately. The real Jesus, that is. Not the one that I made up in my head. Not the one that I had preconceived notions about. Not the one that is vengeful or hate-filled or down right crazy. Not the one that's made it into books and movies where they twist his story. Not the one that isn't divine. The real One.

And it's knocking my socks off.

A few days ago - my doorbell rang. As I peered through the peep hole I saw what I expected to see - a middle-aged woman, wearing a long dark dress, holding a Bible and a leaflet. I could have chosen to leave her there. But with my children yelling, "WHO IS IT!?!" from the inside of our door - I had to open it. I kind of wanted to, anyway. Since I've been doing a little research on our door to door friends...I thought I might need some armor before I answered her call. So I beckoned for some..."Father, let the Spirit be present and speak through me. Please be here."....and then I unlocked the door. And I was able to do so with more faith and courage than ever before.

She began her spiel, sweetly. As I heart sank. She was talking about Jesus.  And as she presented her gospel - the one that had been presented to her by a governing body of sorts...not Jesus Himself...I was struck with how crafty the enemy can be. As her words lofted through the too-cold-for-spring air and landed on my eardrums - I felt a surge of defensiveness welling up in every fiber of my being. Her words were littered with just enough truth to make the twisted ones seem safe. The Enemy of our souls is famous for that. He takes truth...God's Word even...and turns the dial on it just enough to create a twisted gospel. (Genesis 3:1-5, Matthew 4:1-11) Since it's mixed and masked with very true messages - the very un-true messages are more easily welcomed and received.

It's trickery. It breaks my heart and makes me nauseated. Please know though... the shattered heart and queasy stomach don't come from a combative, "I'm right, your wrong", overly conservative, closed-minded place in me. They come from a place of compassion...a place that has known the confusion and seen the Truth. People are being led astray. Not only by my door-step lady-friend and her beliefs - but by health and wealth preachers, false teachers, and false doctrines. I know because I've been deceived by it my own self. While Jesus has certainly revealed Himself to must know that I am fully aware of my blatant ignorance on this topic...still. I have A LOT to learn when it comes to Jesus...the But there are some things that I'm absolutely convinced of: Jesus is real. The Bible is true. And Jesus Himself will show you that.

After listening to this precious woman for a moment, I stopped her. And I said....

"Who do YOU say that Jesus is?"

I really discovered who Jesus was when I opened my Bible (and my heart) myself and asked God to reveal Himself to me there. When I decided to learn about Jesus  - instead of simply being told who He was by elders or authors or governing bodies or whoever.....that's when I found Him. And that's what I told her.

(Please note though, I consider it very important to seek biblical truth, advice, council, and accountability from mentors, pastors, teachers, and the like. But we are blessed with the privilege of having the opportunity to know Him personally. One on One. Creator with the created. And that's a beautiful thing that you don't want to miss out on.)

If you ask the real Jesus to please stand up...The real Jesus will rise up above the rest - and as He emerges right before your eyes - you'll be changed forever. Open your Bible. Open your heart. Open up your mind. Ask the Lord to show you Himself. And then go buy some more socks....He will be blowing yours off in no time.

"The Bible invites us into life with God, but it does not try to force us into it. It leaves enough space that we can pass by this life if we desire to do so. The living Christ will not overpower us, but he does make himself available to those who want to find him. One of the primary ways he does this is through the Bible." from Life With God by Richard J. Foster

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I won. And I'm still peeing my pants over it.

Something like 370 women entered a contest on the She Reads blog to win a scholarship to She Speaks this summer. And can y'all believe I won the thing?

I've been praising Jesus ever since. It had to have been Him. The other entries were so clever and beautiful and thought-provoking. Like I said in my last post - I almost didn't try because of the awesomeness that had already entered. (The Enemy will do that to you, ya know. Right before you achieve victory in some area...He will convince you to thwart the pursuit. Keep an eye out for that, sisters. And stay in the race.) I'm just doubled over with thankfulness.

This means that I get to go to North Carolina in July and learn all about how to communicate and teach and witness for the Lover of my Soul. You do know that's what He is, don't you? The Lover of your Soul. He is jealous for you. And He longs for you to really know Him. Yep, you. He isn't in the business of simply revealing Himself to your pastor or your favorite Bible teacher or your favorite author or your Mama. He is in the business of revealing Himself to YOU. He's incredible like that. And captivating. And willing. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? That the One who dreamed me up - cares enough to chase me down. That's the kind of stuff that will make you raise your hands in church.

May the Lord surprise you in new and refreshing ways this week, friends. Go ahead - ask Him to reveal Himself to you...right where you need it most. He will. And He'll do things that will make you just about pee your pants.

I would know :)

Father, thank you. I'm just so humbled. And honored. And grateful...for your provision.... your surprises...and your never-ending grace. Work on me so that You can work through me. Show me Your glory, Lord. Prepare me for the She Speaks conference. And let me be a blessing there. In the holy name of Jesus - Amen.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Entry

One college couple. Two pink lines.

That's the story of how I became a Mama :)

I'm entering into a contest over at She Reads tonight to win a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference put on by the ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministries. I had to write a story in 6 words or less. Yep. Only 6 words. Lord, help me.

After browsing through the entries....I almost decided to bow out. They are all so awesome and thought-provoking and creative. Beautiful, even. I don't know how they are going to pick only one winner - because there is some seriously talented sisters who entered. Whew.

But back to the college couple.....That's us. We were just babies when we got married - not even half-way through college yet. A little over a year after we said, "I do" I stood in our tiny apartment bathroom and almost fainted when I saw two lines on the pregnancy test. TWO LINES.

We were immature. (Still are, pretty much.) My husband played football when he wasn't in his engineering classes and I still called my Mama every night before bed. (I may or may not still do this.) We had no money. We had no idea how to be good marriage partners - much less good parents. And we were shocked. "How did this happen?" is what we kept asking ourselves. Don't you love that question? We all know the answer to it - but we ask it like there isn't one. (grin)

While it's true we were utterly clueless when it came to raising a baby - and while it's true the two pink lines catapulted us into an unknown territory....we felt blessed. Three positive pregnancy tests later - and we still feel the same way. Yes - three. While two of my little darlings are sound asleep in their rooms right is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Another 6 word story of mine could go like this: Two pink lines. One empty womb. I miscarried one of our little sweeties shortly after I found out about him or her. Someday - I'll find out which one it was :)

As for now - I'll never forget the day these two babies found out they were having....a baby. And it will always be true that I wouldn't have had it any other way :)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28