Saturday, September 10, 2016

I Love To Tell The Story

"I love to tell the story, 'twill be my theme and glory, to tell the old, old story, of Jesus and his love.
~I Love To Tell The Story, United Methodist Hymnal #156

I have a story, boy do I have a story. My story goes back to long before Jesus became my savior. I grew up in church, I knew all the Bible stories and I knew all the books of the Bible forward and backward. I knew about Jesus, but I didn't know him. Most of all, I didn't understand.

How could I ever be good enough for God? How could I be good enough for God--who was the master Creator of everything including me; God- who sent Jesus to save people from their sins? How could I earn this? How could I ever be good enough, how could I earn what God did for His people? Could I ever actually be one of His people? Really- with all the bad things I had done?

Growing up in a performance based world made it so hard to see what salvation actually means. It made the kind of love that God has for his children that much more incomprehensible to me. All those years I had perfect attendance in Sunday school and church I didn't have salvation because I didn't think I could. I didn't understand that I could. It took me a long time to truly understand that God made me to be who I am right now, flaws and all. I didn't understand that He loves me so much that Jesus covered all of my sins, even my future sins,  He sees the very best parts of me; when He looks at me He sees who I am going to be.

The only thing that stops God from fully living in my heart, and Jesus from walking beside me is me! My sense of insignificance, and my not being able to grasp the amazing love that He loves me with, can pull me away from him.

I have three children. As I had each one, I had that much more love, and still loved each one as much- all of them the same. And so it is with God and His children.

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. He is crazy about each one of us, because God is love. And that makes you what you are: His beloved.

Isn't it amazing that He cannot help but love you no matter what you do or don't do? It's not about what you do but who you are; you are His.

Hear the song I Love To Tell The Story here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Above The Clouds

Taken by Kim Burnette 9/7/16

Dedicated to my friend Bonnie.                                                                         "For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The LORD God of hosts is His name." ~ Amos 4:13                                                                                                                It has amazed me the times we have flown on a plane, and it might be dark and rainy outside, but once our plane got above the clouds, the sky had changed-- and so it is with perspective.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I found myself entering a world of brutal, unpredictable chronic illness almost 4 years ago and my life was turned upside down. As I lost more control of my body and my life, I felt like I was losing the best parts of myself, but I wasn't. That was the lie that so many of us buy into when our circumstances change.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We have a choice in how sickness changes us. I have friends who have made illness their identity. This is the easiest thing to do when you battle illness on a daily basis. When that happens, life becomes more and more about the illness and the misery it causes, and less about the person and the life that is still there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     There is a road less traveled, and I have a very special friend who by example, has shown me that road. My friend has been battling cancer and a number of extremely painful diseases for years now. Her form of complaining which is very rare, is less than most women complain about menstrual cramps. She seeks beauty in the every day of her children and her home, cloud formations, what she finds along the road, all of God's creatures and even the doctor's offices she has to visit frequently.                                                                                                                                                                                                                "When I consider Your heavens, he work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!"  ~Psalm 8:3-6                                                                                                                                                                                I have learned much from Bonnie and how she makes the most of each day, learning more about our world and appreciating everything it holds; embracing her friends and loved ones, to whom she gives much love.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         And so I keep learning from my God to whom I have grown much closer, but I also learn from my dear friend who really gets it.