Now I grieve for I have no label

Having some problems seeing where I fit in. I am blessed in so much as I know I am a daughter of God and as such I have an identity.  But what I am struggling with is that I don’t fit into a particular sector or group in society.  I looked round my ladies group last night, every one of them a Mother or Grandmother.  Regrets there for me, where do I fit in?  I look at my non-church friends, those from my past, I no longer relate to being gay.  Where do I fit in?  When I’m at church I sometimes feel like the “misfit”.  I know that is more my thinking than the thinking of others, I suspect it’s Satan having a pop at me.  I have written about God restoring the years the locusts have eaten, I embrace that wholeheartedly, but part of me cries out, how can I be restored to become like everyone else.  I can’t go back in time and get married, have children, I can’t change my past.  My counsellor reminded me yesterday I should not be ashamed of my past because it’s what’s shaped me and God is going to use it for his glory and I accept that.  I suppose my message today is to ask you to be gentle with people in your church who may come from a less conventional background, sometimes they may be hurting and feeling a sense of disconnect, do what you can to help them feel loved and accepted.  (I’m sure you already do!)  Reaching out and checking people are OK costs nothing yet means so much.

  • Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
  • Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

NO LABEL

I had a label, it wasn’t permanent, it came off with some help, but now I’m left on the shelf, no label, no sense of where I fit in, I know that I have turned from my sin and from that perspective I am selected as a daughter of the King, my label “princess” maybe?  But look around, I see no crown, no dress, not like the rest, the girls who share their stories of Prince Charming who swept them off their feet, the children, the family, the love, the sense of belonging, today that’s what I’m longing to find, and as I write I want to underline the word lost, lost opportunities because of my sinfulness, lost love because of my frivolous lifestyle, and while I understand that I can’t turn back time, I find that my mind wonders to the “what ifs” of life, my mind rife with accusation because I succumbed to temptations that took me away from normal living, and yes I am grieving, grief for the life God had chosen for me, the husband, the children, the family, for some sense of normality, and now I grieve for I have no label, yet I still have my invite to God’s table, I still have a place laid for me, his banner still flies over me, and yes I grieve momentarily but now I must shake this off at all costs and see what God has chosen for me, no shame in a repented past, no disgrace because God’s grace has favoured me, I am part of his family, no greater honour so I must be stronger, draw on the inner strength of this new creation, stop trying to conform, be transformed through renewing my mind, be kind to myself as God helps me process.

Permit God to choose the way

I read a Kris Vallotton quote today:

“Promises are like the rudder of a ship. Rudders determine the direction of that ship”.

We have so many promises from God, but we have to receive and believe in them.  God blesses us when we have faith, when we surrender all to him and allow him to determine our direction.  Right now, I don’t know what direction God is taking me, but I want to allow him to direct me.  I relinquish the rudder of my life to him and draw near to him in excited expectation.

Luke 1:45- The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise

James 4:8 – Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind.

THE FUTURE

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.  Dream big, God will go beyond your wildest dreams, become intimate with God, not intimidated by man and God will reveal his purpose.  Are you open and ready to receive God’s abundance, are you a woman of substance, prayerful, absorbed in God’s word, are you ready to launch into the unknown?  You may not be sure where you’re heading but you are never alone, allowing God the say, permitting God to choose the way, drawing closer to him, letting him in, like really in, not just saying I turn from my sin, but repenting and then presenting yourself to God, here I am Lord, send me, instantly forgetting your plans for your life, becoming a living sacrifice, loving God so much that you bless him in all your ways, nothing can faze you, nothing can scare you, you are strong and courageous and the Lord God is with you wherever, whenever, however you go, for as you forego your own plans and hold onto God’s hand, he directs your path, he lights up your way, let him be the pilot of your life today.

Not Jesus mentality

I’ve been reading Joel this morning and one of the comments about the passage spoke of this quote:

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Is this not a good reminder to look outside of our own, small world into the bigger picture and consider what it is God is telling us? How can I make a difference to all the pain and suffering?  One thing’s for sure, if I never look out of my own bubble, I’m never going to make an impact.

CARE

Pain, suffering, children dying, malnutrition, contention, war, bloodshed, hostile actions, reactions, terrorism, racism, dictatorships, persecution, provocation, incarceration, poverty, insufficiency, famine, addiction, depression, debt, let’s not shy away from this pain, living in a sheltered bubble, no exposure to the troubles that surround us, that’s not Jesus mentality, the reality is this world needs us, open your ears to the groaning, pick up your megaphone and intercede, get on your knees, Jesus teaches us to love, love our neighbours, not just those who surround us, reach out in prayer, let them know that we care, arise, react, interact and impact.

Be contagious for Jesus

Do we have the heart of Jesus when it comes to spreading the news of his love?  Do we have the heart of the early disciples in bringing friends, family, community to come to know Jesus like we do? In Romans Paul writes that his heart is broken and he is troubled.  So much so he goes on to say he would sacrifice himself so that others could come to Jesus.  Now that’s passion.  It’s time to come down from our towers, to love like Jesus loved, to live like Jesus lived and to lead like Jesus led.

Romans 9: 1-2 –  I am a follower of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is a witness to my conscience. So I tell the truth and I am not lying when I say my heart is broken and I am in great sorrow.

BE CONTAGIOUS

What would Jesus do?  Come on think this through, what would Jesus do about the mess this world is in, the sinners and the sin, how would his heart break, his eyes shed tears, what sacrifice would he make to take away the sin of the world, you won’t find him hiding within the four walls of the church, he won’t be found in a meeting trying to agree on what’s happening next, he won’t be busy sending texts or facebook posts, asking what most people want to do, he isn’t waiting for the next season of sermons to be ready, he’s not waiting for the economy to steady, he’s not waiting for the next election, he’s not for keeping his resurrection the best kept secret, you won’t find him greeting his besties and ignoring the nobodies, I think you’ll find him on his knees, talking earnestly with his Father, you’ll find him in the town centre, in the market, wherever he can park his seat and have a chat, that’s where he’s at, he laid down his life, that’s what I call a sacrifice, he sought out the sick, the hurting, those who others all avoided, unclean, not to Jesus, washed clean by his blood, redeemed by his love, what would Jesus do?   He’s already done it, he died on a Cross, that’s when he did it, his death overcame sin and all its power, he alone is our tower, he alone is our Saviour and as you start to get a flavour of what Jesus was about you need to recognise the same clout lives in you, the same power and he that is in you is so much greater than he that is in the world, Jesus calls us to follow him, live as he lived, love as he loves, be bold, be courageous, be a little outrageous, for God is with you wherever you go, be contagious for Jesus, let everyone know..

Heaven released as each come together blending their sounds harmoniously

One of the talks at Cherish was titled Opus Number 3.  This was all about God’s church releasing the sound of heaven here on earth and how we all had a part to play.  Much as an orchestra has many musicians so we all play a part in God’s church.  If one of us is missing, out of tune, flat, too fast, too slow it shows and the noise is not harmonious.  As a church, we need to be sending out a harmonious sound to attract others to come find out what the beautiful noise is all about.

1 Corinthians 13:1- What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

We need to become one, to stop the current cacophony of sound and instead send out a symphony of beauty. 

OPUS #3

Opus number one, creation, all heaven looked down and saw that it was good, all hailed the Holy Trinity as God’s symphony of beauty was completed, on earth as it is in heaven.

Opus number two, the crucifixion, no more separation, not since creation had the veil been removed, God’s beauty and love revealed through that one selfless act, on earth as it in in heaven.

Opus number three, God’s church at last in unity, the sound of heaven released as each come together blending their sounds harmoniously, attractively loving others like Jesus did, on earth as it is in heaven

No longer a spectator but a participator

Had another fabulous day at the Cherish conference this time Alex Seeley spoke passionately about there only being one option in life, and of course that option is Jesus.

EXPECTANT

Expectant I come to meet with Jesus no longer a spectator but a participator, my only option, the one who never forgot me, the one who died for me, pursuing the heart of God, step out of the crowd and acknowledge his love, he responds to my faith not my need  I fall to my knees, I stretch out my hand, I reach out to touch his hem, I can’t handle the truth but God can, the truth sets us free from the symptoms of our issues, time for the tissues, yes I have issues but God sees through them as I touch the hem of his garment he acknowledges me, sets me free no longer isolated, marginalised, less than, I am more than enough, blessed and forgiven, my freedom sealed, power of hope revealed by the goodness of God, I smash the head of my enemy as I choose my attitude, I swim in the river of life through the valley of the shadow of death, recognising God is not the author of my issues I make room in my heart to receive because unquestionably I believe that God loves me,

We are living stones, all sizes, all shapes

Been at Cherish Women’s conference tonight and listening to Charlotte Gambill speak with an inspiring message about being more powerful when we are one.  I loved her use of the story of the Tower of Babel as she illustrated that of course we are more powerful when we are one.  Christians need to put aside our differences and sit together at unity, at the table God prepared for us, rather than building our own towers and barriers around our own agendas.

TOWERS AND TABLES

Confusion, building up barriers with self-focused importance,  looking inward, looking upward, personal vanity, insanity, not God breathed unity, not part of his design, out of line, off track, we need to get back, we are not all the same man-shaped bricks of equal size, we are not clones, we are living stones, all sizes, all shapes, made to compliment, made to serve at tables, made to make God famous, come down from your tower, for God’s is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, don’t make this all about your story, God is the head of our table, the same God who invited us to the banqueting table, who laid a place for us at the table in the presence of our enemies, time to recognise that our purpose in life is God breathed, take some time, sit at his table, bring what you have, share in God’s gift of unity, drop your guard, stop trying so hard, build out, enlarge the place of your tent, not upwards but outwards, not your name but God’s name, come back to the table wherever you are, no excuse, this is war and as we stand united praising God’s name the fight becomes easier and victory we claim