Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Reality Lie: Great Man… and a Great Failure…

The Reality Lie: Great Man… and a Great Failure…
                           In the middle of knowing that God loves me and that I have done a lot, there are so many failures along the way.  So many people that fall through the cracks that I had the opportunity to help, where I was in their lives and feel like I was supposed to help. (this was the REALITY of how I felt as I journaled…)

The Reality Truth: Great Man… with Great Failures… And Greater Redemption
                           (This was the truth I can sit on a few days after the journal).  Honestly, this statement of Great Man… with Great Failures… And Greater Redemption is my core faith in the truth of God’s Words going ahead of my feelings and logic.  The Bible says "How much more will grace abound" (Romans 5) over the effects of sin in the world (ie. failure)… God is going to use my shortcomings for His glory for greater redemption more than my failures.  This is a promise for Christ followers.  I must rest in this truth even when my real feelings say otherwise.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Just Because I Love You..."

This is what grace says.  "Just because I love you..."

We, Dongell siblings, are accustomed to receiving little cards from my mom which simply read, "Because I Love You."  The card will be sitting next to candy on our beds or some random gift depending on the occasion.  No strings attached, just a gift of love, just because.  It's so small, yet it's so big.  It's helped me define grace.

God's grace to humans is what "Because I love you" cards are to us Dongell siblings.  This is why salvation is so meaningful.  Grace happens before, Grace happens during, and Grace happens after.

When we resist Him, What God gives to us says, "Just because I love you..."
Before we want Him, What God give to us says, "Just because I love you..."
When we choose Him, What God gives to us says, "Just because I love you..."
After we've chosen Him, What God gives to us says, "Just because I love you..."

This is Grace.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Stopped Tasting & Just Started Consuming

            As I slowly ate a bite of my high quality Chinese fast food, I realized it was the first time in awhile that I had “tasted” my food.  I had been so busy going and consuming, that my whole meal was going down my throat in one bite.  I haven’t been pausing long enough lately to breathe and taste the flavor on my tongue and lips.  This often simultaneously reflects a deeper problem.  Somewhere along the way, I stop tasting the flavor of life & just start consuming.  It's a crazy place to be.
            We naturally want to taste and enjoy the flavor of food/life.  But we have to combat our natural tendency to just consume.   At that moment of static consumption, it's easy to start losing the flavorful ‘taste’ of life.  I sometimes start consuming and miss the joy.  Lord, help me to feel and sense as I focus and drive.  Help me to always protect a tasteful "life" in the midst of it all. 

Because your love is better than life... I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods 
-Written By One of God's Flavorful Musicians-

Thursday, March 07, 2013

SHAKE: This is my journey towards being unshaken

       Wrestler with God.  This was spoken over me as a name in my earlier years as an adult.  It was so true but I wasn’t sure if I should be excited or concerned with how close it resonated.  A positive person doesn’t like to focus on the struggle consistently.  A “Christian shouldn’t be in a constant struggle if God’s burden is easy and light” I often reason with myself.  I am still not sure I can completely tell you why this is a theme of my life (and I feel like many don’t get it), but it’s there.  It’s highlighted throughout my life like the kind of dog or car you start seeing everywhere after you buy it for yourself.  The struggle is highlighted in my inner life and so I see it everywhere in people’s lives and the Bible.  I don’t really see it as good or bad because it can be either but rather as it just is. 
        The struggle is here for my lifetime as a human, so the more important question is how am I supposed to see it or respond?  Am I supposed to fight it and get rid of it more as a problem to fix then a tension to manage?  Or is it a tension to manage more than a problem to fix and I’m supposed to work on it constantly while knowing it's an inevitability. 
What really kills me is riding the middle line in the Christian world.  It is the line between we are all hurting vs we are all meant to be healed.  It is the line right between people who know there is no true life without struggle vs the people who know there is no true life with only struggle.  It’s one I could argue on both sides of the Bible.  Things have been shaken up.  Things will be shaken up.  Things will be unable to be shaken up one day.  So what am I supposed to accept as reality or work towards?  Preparing for a shake or the unshaken.  Asking for a shake or being unshaken?  God, what does it mean for this world to shake?
         It’s almost like David’s Psalms.  He ruins almost every positive great Psalm with something about God’s judgment or enemies.  Have you ever noticed that?  You have a triumphant Psalm about relying on God and his greatness and then right in the middle of it, is something about how he is distraught or how God needs to smite his enemies and bring justice.  I love David’s wrestle.