24 August, 2005
Why does my heart hurt at the thought of His redemption?

Why do I want to run and hide?

What am I afraid of?

My heart… can it withstand such love?

It wants to shout, it wants to sing, “come free me from this prison of protection! Redeem me Lord!”

But it hides and cries – scared of rejection…

Silly heart… Come out and play!

into your arms

18 August, 2005

I was listening to an old Lemonheads CD this morning and the song Into Your Arms has been in my head all day.

I know a place where I can go when I’m alone
Into your arms whoa into your arms I can go
I know a place that’s safe and warm from the crowd
Into your arms whoa into your arms I can go

And if I should fall
I know I won’t be alone
Be alone anymore

I know a place where I can go when I’m alone
Into your arms whoa into your arms I can go

I like that song. It makes me smile because I know a place like that too.

heaven came down

17 August, 2005
I was feeling so not like coming back to work at all this morning. Yesterday wasn’t so bad, I knew I’d be the only one there. It’s so much easier walking this stuff out when I don’t have to interact with others!
Today was different though, I was laying in bed this morning feeling the anxiety rise up in my chest. I was telling God how I just wasn’t ready to do this and He reminded me that my glory comes from Him, nobody else, and I’m not to let others steal it away… Nice huh? Then he reminded me it’s my job to let the glory He gives me shine on others.

I could feel His love being poured into me… boy He’s good!!
He had me smiling all morning after that. And singing. I caught myself singing out loud at the bakery this morning, not too loud, just quietly singing away as I was finishing “Blue Like Jazz” (again) and eating my morning toastie.

I even embarrassed myself a little and then thought, “Oh stuff it! I’m happy!” and kept on singing…
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away and my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

If you haven’t heard The David Crowder Band version of this song, check it out. The Illiminate Album is awesome…

stepping out of line

16 August, 2005
I’ve just returned from 3 weeks away at a friends holiday house down at Philip Is. I went alone and really enjoyed the time out from ‘life’…

During this time I read Don Miller‘s book “Searching For God Knows What” (and am just about to re-read it) and God has taught me all over again about His redeeming love. The basic premise being that we are created in such a way that we look for something outside ourselves to tell us we’re ok. In the beginning it was God, and that relationship was broken at the Fall (Miller looks at Gen 3 and the whole thing with Adam & Eve realising they’re naked and being ashamed) , and since then we’ve been looking to each other to redeem us. The reality of course is that the people around us can’t redeem us, their love can’t redeem us, their words, deeds and thoughts can’t redeem us, none of this can ever be ‘enough’ because all the people we live life with, need to be redeemed too.

Only God can redeem us, only He can tell us who we are, and the truth is, according to Jesus I’m his beloved, His bride. When it comes down to it… I’m ok! He likes me. He even loves me. My glory comes from Him and nobody can steal it. Nobody.

I’ve realised that I’ve been living according to false redemption. Not only have I been looking to others to tell me I’m ok, but I’ve depended on it. That’s not to say of course that the love of friends isn’t important, of course it is, but it’s not redeeming love.

Don Miller uses a couple of anologies, to describe the way we live life together. One of them is based on an object lesson his 4th grade teacher used that goes like this:

“If there were a lifeboat adrift at sea, and in the lifeboat were a male lawyer, a female doctor, a crippled child, a stay-at-home-mom, and a garbageman, and one person had to be thrown overboard to save the others, which person would we choose?”

The basic idea is that some people are of more value to society than others and we’re in the lifeboat trying to prove our worth and a lot of the time, at the expense of others. Of course this is all just a lie. We’ve turned the ‘lifeboat’ into a ‘boat of death’. The point of a lifeboat of course is to ‘save life’ – instead of throwing people out we’re supposed to be inviting them in.

The second analogy he uses (not in the book but in a talk he gave at Harvard) is that of life in High School, he talks about the popular/unpopular stuff that happens while we’re there. He says it’s like when we start High School, someone says something along the lines of:

“Ok, for the next 6 years you’re all going to stand in a line in order from most popular to least popular! GO!”

… and then for the next 6 years we’re doing our best to make it further up the line.

I’m wondering if High School isn’t just a microcosm of the way we interact with others throughout our lives. I don’t know that it’s as stark as all that really, but I know for myself that I want people to like me, and I’m ashamed of some of the things I’ve said and done at the expense of others to move further up the line.

The sad thing is I see this occurning within the Church. Of course it’s certainly no where near as overt as it is in other places, but it’s still there. The most obvious occurances is between the various denominations, although I have noticed that that is breaking down (which is great), but there’s something attractive to believing we are right and they are wrong. I’m right aren’t I? (Go on! Tell me I’m right! Just kidding of course). But it also occurs within individual churches, I know I’ve seen it in mine, take me for instance! lol….

Anyhoo, I’m not that quick on the uptake am I? This is all so obvious, but, better late than never I guess! I’ve made a decision. I’m stepping out of line and my part in the life boat is going to look so different. I’m not playing anymore, I’m re-committing to ‘learn a more excellent way’ (1 Cor 12:31), the way of God’s love. I’m committing to not letting what other’s say steal the glory that God is giving me, to take anything away from the fact that I have been redeemed.

God pours His glory into each of us and our job is to share that glory with others.