Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Most Dangerous Word a Christian Uses

What do you think of when you think of dangerous words for Christians? Do you think of swear words? Lies? Hateful words? Spiteful words? Do you think of sentences or individual words?

Have you ever really thought about it?

What about the word JUST. Not the adjective part of 'just' that is defined as guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness; in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct; in accordance with standards or requirements; proper or right by Dictionary.com. I'm talking about the word 'just' that is defined as only or merely. 

For example, people who pray, Heavenly Father, we *sigh* just come before You.... Or Heavenly Father, we *sigh* just love you. Or *sigh* we just ask for you to heal Aunt Sue's hip. 

If prayers are the pathway to the Throne of Grace and we have full confidence based on the work that was done on the Cross (Hebrews 4:12-14), and we are told to pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17), fervently (Hebrews 5:7), with fasting (Acts 13 and 14), and with hymns (Acts 16:25), why are we putting a limit on God? We are also told to "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7).

Now, what happens when you are at a restaurant and place your order? "I'd just like a salad with dressing on the side, a sweet tea, and a dish of applesauce, please." What do you think your server will deliver to you? A double cheeseburger, fries, chocolate shake, and a pickle? No. You just asked for a salad, drink, and applesauce. Our words are to mean what they mean. Did you really mean to just order a salad hoping for a burger?

I'm going to throw something at you in a very loving way: what if we removed the word 'just' from our prayers to the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the King of King, the Almighty God. What if we took away the restriction of 'just?' What if we blew the doors of the Throne room of Grace wide open and off the hinges with our prayers without the confines of the word 'just' and really went to God with our petitions, praises, love, adoration, and worship. What if we went to our Heavenly Father and instead of using the word 'just' as a word for humility and meekness, remove it completely as a way of showing more trust, faith, reverence, and awe? Are we using it as a word of submission? Because if we are, there are far better words to use in its place: simply, humbly.

Or- and I can sense the intake of breath here- leave it out completely. *gasp*

We are TOLD to go with confidence. We are TOLD that we are accepted. We are TOLD that we are loved, chosen, wanted.  Why would we choose not to believe that? Accept that? Live in that Truth? Stand on that?

'Just' puts God in a box. A corner. Do you think Peter and John went out in Acts and kept praying 'just (only) let us help them Lord', 'just (only) give us the power to heal this one person', 'just (only) give us the strength to take on the Pharisees this time'

Or did they go out in Acts having full and total confidence that they were acting, living, breathing, dying, for HIM and had no room in their lives for the words just, only, or merely?

I'll let you make your own decisions about this. But I will ask you to take it before God in prayer. Ask Him. Seek Him. Love Him. Believe in Him. 'Just' might fade from your prayer vocabulary....

Thursday, April 3, 2014


What a word. What a concept. And to each person it holds different meaning.

After being gone for 16 days, I couldn't wait to be home. Drinking my own coffee. Eating my own food. In my beloved's arms. Laughing with my daughter. Seeing my own view out the windows. Sleeping in my own bed. 

For as much as I thoroughly enjoyed our time at a friend's inn in Massachusetts, I was ready to be home.

I learned a few things while I was gone. For what it's worth, I think we should all learn something new everyday. And if the something that we learn is something new about ourselves it's a bonus!

I learned that when God plucks me from my normal, everyday life and places me outside of my comfort zone that I shouldn't fight it. I'll miss the blessings He wants to give me because I'll be too busy and too focused on where I'm not instead of where I am.  On the other side of that coin, if I fight it, I won't be the blessing I should be to the people I'm serving. If I'm too focused on me, I can't focus on Him.

I learned that I can do it. Whatever it is. I can do it. I can figure out solutions to problems or situations that I probably will never encounter again. But because of my common sense, life is not really that complicated. It's complex, but not complicated. Love and grace can solve every problem out there.

I learned that there is a reason why God has had me walk down some of the paths He's chosen. His plan is so much more than anything I could have ever imagined. The pieces of the puzzle He put together have made for a very colorful, multidimensional, and multifaceted picture. If left to my own devices, I'm certain that how I would choose to put the pieces together would be rather dull, monochromatic, and flat. 

The most important thing I learned, though, is that I have to bring these truths home with me and incorporate them into my everyday life. Those lessons learned shouldn't be left behind, they should become part of who I am. And that's the best lesson of all. 

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