Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Do you know what the word 'countenance' means? Yeah. I didn't either up until a few weeks ago. Now that I know though....I'm completely blown away. You will be, too.

It all started with a Jesus Culture song. Many of my revelations do for some reason. They are such a sound, Spirit-filled band. Their song, Light of Your Face, starts out like this:
Oh Lord bless me
And keep me
And cause Your face to shine on me
Lord be gracious
With the light of Your countenance
Give me peace.
Countenance. When I first heard them sing it - I was intrigued. But the party really got started when shortly after I noticed it in the song...I ran across the same word in Scripture. I took that as my cue to delve deeper.

Upon looking up every occurrence of the word 'countenance' in the NKJV Bible - I ran across a few treasures. Take a look at Numbers 6:24-26 with me:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Sounds familiar. I love it when bands get their lyrics straight from Scripture. There's something powerful that happens when we use The Word in worship. Anyhow, back to 'countenance'. When I looked it up in the Hebrew lexicon, I discovered that the Hebrew word for 'countenance' is paniym. It means 'face'. And the root word is panah. It means 'to turn'. So the word 'countenance' in this verse literally means 'to turn His face towards you.' This gets me excited. Like super excited. If you don't know this. Even if you do know why...fancy me and refresh your memory anyway. I just read it again my own self! The Lord's face has been a huge theme for me this year. It's changed my life, really.

That's what's so cool about all this. The Lord has 'turned His face towards me' so many times over the past few months. He pursued me and my doubt-filled heart - turning my puny, almost non-existent faith into a raging fire of faith and freedom. And just when my light needs a little rekindling....He does it again.

Great is His faithfulness.

What a beautiful picture all of this paints. For a Father to look upon...gaze and turn His attention to.... His children - is just sweet. To have the attention of Abba - the ultimate Daddy - just makes me feel so pursued and sought after. What's more...His face turning upon us doesn't only mean that He has shifted His eyes towards also means that His light is shining in our direction. We know from John's vision in Revelation 1:16 that...
...His countenance was like the sun shining in it's strength.
When we look for Him, yearn for Him, long for Him - He turns towards you. His eyes and His face cast a light on you - causing you to never ever be the same. Ever.

Oh friends - may we have a hunger and a thirst that fails to be satisfied by anything or anyone but Him. Can I shoot straight with ya for a sec? Ladies - the gaze of a man pales sadly in comparison to the gaze of your Lord. Remember that. His gaze is always good. Let's long for the pure and holy eyes of The King - instead of the earthly, often times lustful eyes of man. And men - while your Savior graciously turns His gaze upon you...what will He find your gaze upon? Let it not be on a computer screen, or a magazine, or a pin-up or on the figure of a woman who isn't wearing your ring. Let's conduct ourselves like we know Him. (Sorry for the random tangent - it just fit.)

May we see Him facing us in all His glory. May we feel His light shining on us in all His warmth and realness. And may the realization that we were indeed created by a Creator who pursues - set us ablaze for His Kingdom cause and purpose.

Take it away Jesus Culture, take it away:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Man on Reconciliation

I'd like to introduce you to the love of my life. My husband! I'm wild for him.

Goodness - the Lord has done a mighty work in this man over the last 12 months or so. I've had a front row seat to it all. And it's been unreal. Remarkable, really. The Spirit has stirred him up and it has spilled out on everyone in our household. It's amazing what can happen when a man (or woman!) allows the Spirit to infiltrate their everything. I'm a life (and wife!) that has been changed because of it. Here is a devotional my husband wrote for our church this week. Our pastor is doing a series on reconciliation. We pray this devotional encourages you and blesses you and inspires you in all the right ways and places :) Enjoy!

Reconciliation is a Process

Reconciliation is a process that brings about peace or renewal in a relationship. I like things to be simple, so I came up with a list of what the process of reconciliation consists of:

1. A positive relationship exists

2. A negative or hurtful act is committed by one or both parties

3. One or both parties humble themselves to admit wrongdoing and asks for forgiveness

4. Forgiveness is willfully granted

5. Renewed or reconciled relationship exists

The Word of God gives us many examples of this process of reconciliation. One of my favorite parables follows this process from beginning to end.

Take a look at Luke 15:11-32, you will find the story of the prodigal son. Read through this passage to see how it aligns with the process described above.

1. Luke 15:11, 12 – A father and son relationship exists.

2. Luke 15:13,14 – The son negatively impacts his father by taking his inheritance (a large portion of his father’s wealth/retirement) and wasting it on wild living

3. Luke 15:18, 19 – The son humbles himself and is going to request his father’s forgiveness and the opportunity to become one of his father’s hired servants

4. Luke 15:22 – The father willfully accepts and forgives his son and welcomes him back into the family.

5. Luke 15:24 – The Father and son have a renewed relationship.

This simple story gives us a great example of the process of reconciliation. It includes three aspects that are always involved with reconciliation: humbleness, love, and forgiveness. God desires to have a reconciled relationship with each one of us. In fact, the purpose of Jesus becoming a man and his death and resurrection was so that He could reconcile man’s relationship with God. This is the ultimate reconciliation:

1. God had an intimate relationship with man - Genesis 2:7-25

2. Sin entered the world through disobedience - Genesis 3:11-13, Romans 3:23

3. We must humbly confess our sin and ask for forgiveness – Psalms 51:1-2, Hosea 5:15

4. Jesus is willing to forgive the sins of all those who put their faith in Him – Isaiah 43:25

5. We then enter into a relationship with God which will last for eternity – John 10:27-29

God loves us so much that He put this beautiful process together so that we can have an intimate and fulfilling relationship with Him. He also desires for us to have fulfilling relationships with our family and friends. Jesus consistently preached that we are to forgive not only our friends, but our enemies (Matthew 18:21-22). He has given us the process, now we have to put it in action!

Ask yourself these tough questions:

Who do I need to forgive today? How can I show them love?
Is there a relationship in my life that God is calling me to reconcile?

He's a gem, isn't he? I'm gonna go kiss him on the face right now. Blessings and love to you all!