Identity

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It’s one of the highlights of the season – going to the mailbox and seeing who may have sent a card or annual Christmas letter and spending a little time catching up or reflecting on special people in our lives.  I especially like the ones that have family photos, to see how the kids have grown and changed.

It’s also interesting to see how lives have evolved and changed, too.  Ours certainly have in the last year.  And it was in that frame of mind that I read a different kind of greeting recently.  It had nothing to do with Christmas, yet it had everything to do with an updated snapshot into somebody’s life and how that life had evolved.  Check this out:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother… (Colossians 1:1).

Seems like pretty basic stuff.  Season’s greetings from the mission field.

Would it change your perspective to know this was written from a Roman prison?

True that.

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Lighthouse 3

A lighthouse in a harbor stands on solid ground,
Declaring simple truth to all who would see.
“Here I stand,” it calls to the ocean.
“No wave formed against me will ever prosper
I bow at the mercy of no storm or sea.”
On a firm foundation the Lighthouse in the Harbor
Refuses to surrender, sound the retreat or compromise.
It stands in simple splendor, against the tide.
Though it may show signs of wear and aging,
Though it may look unimpressive to untrained eyes,
The Lighthouse in the Harbor yet still stands upon a rock –
And you… yes, you… are that Lighthouse in the Harbor. [click to continue…]

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Until Lambs Become Lions

by Andy Wood on August 12, 2014

in Conversations, Insight, Life Currency

Lion Lamb

(A Conversation)

I watched the Robin Hood movie again last night.

Kevin Costner?

No, seriously?  Russell Crowe.

OK.

I love the quote from there…

About rising and rising again?

Yeah… “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.”  That really resonates with me.

I can see why.  So are you rising and rising again?

Hardly.  More like “fall and fall again.”

Why is that? [click to continue…]

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Photo by Michelle Newell Photography, Lynnwood and Seattle, WA

(Photo by Michelle Newell Photography, Lynnwood and Seattle, WA)

 

In a world where fame is measured in 15-minute increments, life declarations come in 140 characters or less, and you literally have nine seconds to capture somebody’s attention, it’s easy to assume you’re nothing special.

When it feels as though you’re in a rat race and the rats are winning, where your value is measured by your performance or the approval of others and neither is all that remarkable, it’s easy to get lost in the ordinariness of just blending in.

When life sometimes feels like that whac-a-mole game, where those who dare to appear above ground get pounded back to their place, it’s tempting just to hide what light you may have so nobody else will see it.

But those are the times – when life is a liar – those are the times to stand on the truth and receive again the message of grace.  Those are the times to believe again that you are the object of God’s delight. [click to continue…]

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Baptism

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22).

They’re called watershed moments.  Critical turning points.  They’re moments in time when nothing that follows will ever be the same as before. And for the most significant of those, we may spend a lifetime unpacking what actually changed.

The watershed experience in the life of Jesus described above – when He was baptized – reminds me of the most significant watershed experience you or I could have – the day Jesus comes to indwell our lives.  And just as the experience of Jesus was a triune experience, with the Holy Spirit descending and the Father affirming, so, too was mine.  And the same is true for you, if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior.

Just what did you receive at conversion? [click to continue…]

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A Prayer for Open Eyes

by Andy Wood on January 17, 2014

in 100 Words

Sunset Seaside

Try this simple, powerful prayer…

I dare you.

Say this to God in faith, then brace for impact: [click to continue…]

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dv070001

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You (Psalm 139:17-18).

Quantity and Quality.  That’s how to measure God’s thoughts toward you. And in both distinctions, His thoughts toward you are immeasurable. [click to continue…]

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One day this…

Peacock 1

Will become this.

peacock 2

Or maybe this.

peacock 4

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foot washing 3Who are you?

No, that’s your name.  Let’s try again.

Who are you?

You’re already answering that question with what you say, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, how you relate to other people, and how your emotions are triggered.  But let’s look a little deeper.

Who.  Not what are you, but who?  I was scrolling through LinkedIn the other day and was fascinated by the “what” language people used to describe themselves.  Of course, there are the standard job titles such as Senior Loan Officer and Whatever Bank.  But then there are the more creative types like, “Thinker, Writer, Philanthropist,”  “Dreamer,” and “Solution Architect.”

Sorta made me want to come up with my own list.  Recliner tester. Dog herder.  APA Policeman (if you have to ask what APA is, never mind).  I don’t think I’ll list any of those, however.  There is a difference between what you do and who you are. [click to continue…]

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Peaceful Pond

You’re feeling disappointed or rejected,
Lonely or loveless,
And even though you know better than to believe all that in your head,
You’re too lost in “to-do’s” or “he-did’s” to even recognize your own heart.
Time to come and find your rest.

You’re feeling restless or impatient,
Guilty or angry,
And even though you know you live face-to-grace,
You’re too consumed with how far you have to go to recognize whose job it is get you there.
Time to come and find your rest.

You’re feeling anxious or worried,
Burdened or exhausted,
And even though you know it isn’t your load to carry,
You’re too loaded with responsibilities and cares to recognize that you’ve picked them up again.
Time to come and find your rest. [click to continue…]

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