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There's Always Presence In the Distance
There's Always Presence In the Distance

There’s Always Presence In the Distance

As our Great Mediator,  Jesus bears our distance from the presence of God upon himself, yet simultaneously bears the presence of God within himself into our distance.

Jesus is the presence of the Father, come to join us in the distant land, to bind himself in union with us in the power of his Spirit, in order to raise us through the vicarious humanity of Christ into the presence of the Triune God. Joshua Ryan Butler

I don’t really want to nor can I add anything to this beautiful quote but, it does need a little context.

Mr. Butler is talking about Jesus on the cross. He’s talking about Jesus atoning for all mankind. He’s talking about Jesus taking our place.

It’s Jesus stepping into our blindness. It’s Jesus stepping into our barrenness. It’s Jesus filling up the space between us and Him.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash
The Best Thing About Broken Presents

The Best Thing About Broken Presents

The barrier of entry to God’s gracious salvation is low, it starts with an invitation, “Come unto me.” To be broken is the only requirement.

Jesus offers salvation with a statement, not an invitation to quid pro quo. It’s a question with an offer. In movies, some of the greatest adventures begin with a question. Do you trust me?“, “Is it secret, is it safe?“, “Would you come forward, please?“, “Do you want to build a snowman?

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It's All Paid For, Your Money's No Good Here

It’s All Paid For, Your Money’s No Good Here

Your attempts to self-justify are no longer valid. God has fully justified you.

Tullian Tchividjian, IT Is Finished

I’ve often been in a group conversation and had to justify myself on some topic. Sometimes the reasoning is silly while other times it’s fully valid. One of the beautiful things about people who truly love and care for you is, you lose the need to justify yourself.

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Rest Is A Skill Learn How To Master It

Rest Is A Skill, Learn How To Master It

The Reformation was a time when people went blind-staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellarful of fifteen-hundred-year-old, 200-proof grace–of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture that would convince anyone that God saves us single-handed.

The Word of the Gospel, after all those centuries . . . suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home free even before they started. How foolish, then, they said, how reprehensibly misleading, they said, to take the ministers of that Word of free, unqualified acceptance and slap enforced celibacy on them–to make their lives bear a sticker that said they had gone an extra mile and paid an extra toll. It was simply to hide the light of grace under a bushel of pseudo-law. . . .

And for the Reformers, that was a crime. Grace was to be drunk neat: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, nor the flowers that bloom in the spring of super-spirituality could be allowed to enter that case.

Robert Farrar Capon, BETWEEN NOON AND THREE: ROMANCE, LAW, AND THE OUTRAGE OF GRACE

I got saved in 2013.

Now, I had prayed a prayer at eight years old. I later actually got saved at 17. Soon after I “felt the call” to ministry. I accepted. But, in 2013, I got saved.

I make a clear delineation between the 17-year-old salvation experience and the one I had in 2013 because in 2013 I got saved from me.

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How To Wait The Right Way

How To Wait The Right Way

“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along, that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.” Michelle Blake

I don’t like waiting. But, who does? Waiting is boring. Waiting is time-consuming. Waiting is hard. Waiting is especially hard if what you’re waiting for is a gift! As a kid, Christmas was the longest month on the calendar. It seemed to take FOREVER to get here. For a child, all that waiting was brutal.

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Place Your Bet On The Unexpected Horse

The revolution was expected to be angry mobs,  violent protests, and governmental take-downs. The revolution, unexpectedly, was a meal among friends around a table.

What we expect and what we get can sometimes be drastically different things. I expected marriage to be like my honeymoon, it’s not. I expected that having children to be fairly easy, it’s not. I expected that having a job I love to be great, it’s not always.

As a kid, I thought I would grow up to be a veterinarian. Didn’t happen. In high school, I thought I’d grow up to be a music teacher. Nope. In college, I thought I’d be a traveling musician. Wrong again. As it turns out, I work in Information Technology.

In Jesus’ day, the Jewish culture expected the coming Messiah to ride in with military power and overthrow the empire that had taken power. Because of what they expected they crucified what they got. 

Using a little biblical/historical imagination, but it could be the people thought that Barrabas would be a better leader of a revolution than Jesus. “Give us Barrabas!” is the cry of the revolution of empires. “Give me Jesus” is the cry of the revolution for the universe.

We have to be willing to adjust our expectations. Sometimes, we have to look at the least expected or the outlier and not rule them out. It’s not always the horse we bet on that wins the race.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

Do You Want to Be Connected Like God and Jesus?

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
Matthew 5:8, Message

We are all hardwired for something. It may feel big, like changing the world of technology. Or it may feel small, taking care of animals with health issues. No matter what it is, there is something you are meant to do. And you’re meant to do it with someone else.

Connection is what we all crave. We may try to deny it, we may try to avoid it, or we may try to force it to happen. We are social creatures, even the most reclusive personalities will still have a connection with someone via social networks, games, forums, etc. We are made to connect.

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To Love Is The Only Command

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
‭2 John‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our kids don’t always get along. When the occasions arise where an apology is necessary, it’s typically delivered in the most monotone or quiet manner. We’ve given them the command that an “I’m sorry” is required. We want them to act it out even though the emotion of sorrow isn’t there. Because the hope is that eventually, the emotion will be there.

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The Joy of An Escalator in a Staircase World

The Joy of An Escalator in a Staircase World

The interior life of the believer is ever ascending.

Fully Satisfied ManifestO

The life of the believer is an always ascending thrill ride. From joy to joy. From grace to grace. From hope to hope. From love to love. From glory to glory.

18 All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18, CEB

As believers, the journey we’ve started will never end. We will always be uncovering new levels of glory. Always.

Always.

But…

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7 Things I've Learned About Life From My Three Year Old

7 Things I’ve Learned About Life From My Three Year Old

I have a current three-year-old. I’ve had two other kids work their way through the three-year journey. I have one more child to make the trek.

Three-year-olds are interesting creatures: too old for some stuff not old enough for others. There’s plenty that can be learned for looking at kids. Jesus even told us to be like them.

Here are a few things I’ve learned.

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