on being lead into truth

lead into truth

I grew up in a home that genuinely modeled the truth of God to me.

Every morning, as we ate our cheerios, we read the scriptures together. We talked about God as if he were real, living in our home just down the hall. I came into self-awareness and my own need for redemption at a young age and was baptized in a creek, down in an actual holler. The community that surrounded me was light on doctrine but thick with love. We stood on the creek bank and sang a Petra song, and in that precious moment, a seed was planted within me.

Years later, at important intervals of crisis, the steady presence of the Holy Spirit would find me, like a thick cloud of humidity that I couldn’t escape. God was with me, even in my fear and my running. He would not let me go, even when I wanted to be lost.

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Fear of the Lord

fear of the lord

If you are a believer in The Way, then this is for you.

I’ve been hearing a lot of fearful talk lately among Christians. Fearful of our times; fearful of the horrific events happening all around the world to people just like you and me. Fearful of the future (especially here in the United States) and of the outcome of our Presidential election. Afraid of what will happen if Trump and his ungoverned mouth take office, or what will happen if Clinton and her shady dealings take power. Most people are expressing a sentiment of feeling stuck in a game that nobody asked to play. And as Christians, we are being watched by the world -watched, ridiculed, scrutinized- because we are held to a higher and stricter standard. Even those whose hearts are not open to the Lord will look at us and expect something more. We look at each other and expect something better, something hopeful, but instead we often end up spreading more fear.

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Take and Eat

take and eat.png

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Gen. 3:6, NLT)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matt. 26:26)

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When Jesus takes the bread in to his hands, breaks it, and says to his disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body,” the connection to Eve’s moment of “taking and eating” of the fruit in the garden becomes clear. As W.S. LaSor says about that awful moment in the garden, “So drastic the results…so hard the undoing.” The work that Jesus was preparing to do on the cross, the awful reckoning that would soon happen after this evening meal, was a type of reversal of the “work” of sin that happened at the fall.

When we, as believers, partake in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (bread and wine, the earthly symbols of communion standing as a reminder of this), we accept the reversal of the curse through Him. This thought is mysterious because it is a spiritual work, but one that I’m in the throes of experiencing and continue to understand in an ever-unveiling kind of way. This exchange is holy and yet, it has tangible effects, like something invisible that moves over the water, causing ripples for as far as the eye can see.

The word pictures used throughout the New Testament encouraging us to “stay rooted” and “remain in Me” and “remain in the vine” look different when we consider that being in Christ means taking on His nature- one that was sacrificial. Our culture wants to entice us with the promise of a return for ourselves (what’s in it for me?) but if we “take and eat” the body and work of Christ, then we are taking on the sacrificial nature of the lamb. Do we even understand this?

Because we are all complicit in that early scene of temptation- my desire for self-awareness was there, my urge to know it all and be the center of everything was there, and so was yours- we require one to reverse the thing that happened. Jesus takes the loaf of bread, tears off a piece, extends an invitation. Take and eat.

When we come to the table, it is a serious exchange, but one that ultimately leads to the resurrected life.

4 Ways to Get Work Done

4 ways to get work done

Somehow, I’ve found myself in yet another season of discipline, but this time more specifically: self-discipline. Because I am pursuing by BA entirely online, it forces me to get serious about a couple of things. Here are a few ways that help me be disciplined and get work done.

  1. Make a schedule, stick to it. Generally I like to work in a loose schedule -my day has touch points of getting stuff done, but with a lot of room for flexibility. Or, ya know, entirely deviating from those touch points, depending on the day. But because I am now accountable to assignment deadlines, babysitting schedules, etc. it helps to have clear deadlines. Alarm to get up in the a.m. (and actually get up!), alarm to leave the office and head home. Give myself a clear “lunch hour” and “afternoon-coffee-half-hour” to get some fresh air and to get errands done. As much as possible: Respect the schedule.
  2. Hard stuff first. I was reminded of this recently while listening to Monocycle, one of the Man Repeller podcasts, when Leandra’s husband mentioned that he did this as well…basically you get the hard stuff done first thing. For me that usually means making dreaded phone calls (and by dreaded I mean, any phone calls) in the morning. This also includes writing blog posts or papers…I love to write, but it is hard work!
  3. The Mighty To-do List. I’ve tried a few to-do lists apps and still haven’t found one that just clicked…so I’m back to OG style, using a small lined yellow pad and pen and numbered lists. At the start of the week I’ll number all of my assignments and deadlines and then relish in the feeling of marking a nice black line through them as they are completed. For things like grocery lists and songs to look up and random thoughts while driving, I’ll just use the unpredictably fun combination of the Evernote app and Siri.
  4. Task and reward. So simple, but oh so good. I’ll just pair a difficult or dreaded task with some kind of equal reward. As in, finish this chapter of reading and then zone out on Instagram for 2 min. If it is something challenging or brain-draining, I’ll work until a certain time and then “reward” by watching a Lisa Eldridge video and grabbing a snack.

Those are just a few ways that work for me, but please let me know in the comments (or on Instagram, duh) some of your little tricks to get stuff done! And now that this task is done, I’m gonna go see whats up online and probably post a photo of something dumb.