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Archive for August, 2017

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The traveler strode across the desert sands; the heat of the sun burning through the thin fabric draped around his body. Ignoring the grit of dirt in his mouth, the Rabbi considered His divine assignment.

Ah, yes. The woman.

While Samaria was the most direct route to Galilee, many Jews avoided the area by heading into the Jordan Valley. After all, the land was polluted with the unclean. People of a mixed ethnic group. People who worshipped differently. People devoid of the Law. People like the woman.

Determined, Jesus continued into the heart of the unclean land. Perhaps he paused briefly to pray. Or, Christ’s pace might have quickened as he anticipated a life-altering conversation. Settling wearily on the rim of Jacob’s ancient well, Jesus licked parched lips. A Samaritan woman, approaching the well, shifted her gaze when she noticed the man.

“Will you give me a drink?” he asked, indicating the clay jar in her arms.

“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.”

Clinging to the safety and comfort of societal norms, the woman nearly dismissed Jesus. Didn’t he realize Jews didn’t addressed people like her? Tainted blood. Lowly gender. A girl with a past.

Still, the man persisted—his words washing over her with a promise to fill the empty spaces of her soul. A soul as dry as the insides of the clay jar she carried.

“If you knew the gift of God…whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:9-13)

Oh, the beauty of Christ who loves us as we are. We may consider ourselves unlovable. Stained by our sins. Unworthy of God’s offer to be washed…filled…restored to a spirit life overflowing with his presence.

But, Jesus sees us and compassionately says, “Ah, that woman.”

He invites us, dear one, to drink deeply of his abundance.

Ever loved. Ever accepted. Ever changed.

Go ahead, Friend. Take the cup from his hand; it’s spilling over with the promise of a life lived in Him.

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Having a God-sized dream isn_t about me living big. It_s about God living big in me

 

I wish I knew my God-sized dreams. I have no idea what they would be and it’s not because I am already living them. I feel useless for God and His kingdom and like I don’t have an impact on other lives.

My heart dropped as I read her words. How many of us have wondered about our purpose? Struggled to discover meaning in our lives? Asked God to give us a God-sized dream and felt disappointed when our prayers seemed to disappear on the wind?

Years ago, when my children were small, I felt much the same way. I allowed ill-conceived thoughts to embed themselves in my spirit. You aren’t accomplishing anything. You should be doing something bigger…something more for God.

 I began entertaining lies as truth and discovered discontentment grew where joy used to live.

Like this dear one, I misunderstood. Having a God-sized dream isn’t about me living big. It’s about God living big in me—whatever that looks like at the time. Each of us was designed intentionally with unique gifts, talents, and abilities that we might participate in God’s mission—that those who are lost might be found. (Luke 19:10).

That’s the beauty of the Church. Each one who follows Christ has opportunity to participate in fulfilling God’s mission for others by living and loving right where we are—regardless of age, stage, or occupation.

In loving others, we live for Him. In loving others, we make a difference. In loving others, we discover our God-sized dreams.

Blessings,

Tammy

Questions to Guide You Discovering Your God-sized Dream

  • In what area(s) has God given you a passion?
  • Do your friends and family consistently take note of your abilities in certain areas?
  • If doubt and fear weren’t issues, what would you pursue?

 

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Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. -Romans 12:15

 

We must be willing to feel the heart beat of other's in our chest. This is what love does. (1)

 

One wedding and two suicides. From celebration to lamentation. From dancing in the sunset to mourning alongside two of my dearest childhood friends as they grieve the senseless loss of their young men living—and then dying—on the edge of manhood.

I long to ease the ache in the hearts of these dear ones; to smooth the hard edges of the emptiness that once was filled by the laughter of young men. Soul soothing words fail to trip off my tongue and I stumble in my awkward attempts to offer comfort and hope.

While I’ve experienced the pain of death separating me from another, I haven’t lost a child to the nightmarish reality of suicide. This grief? It’s consuming—like a fire threatening to devour everyone in its path.

And in our pull-yourself-up from the bootstraps culture where grief is an inconvenience and lament is looked on with suspicion, I’m suggesting something radical.

Let’s step into lament. Let’s join those we know who are hurting. Let’s choose to walk willingly into the fiery furnace just as Christ did when three of his children were tossed like kindling into a human-sized oven.

People are lamenting everywhere around us. The woman just up the street whose husband has left her with three children and a cancer diagnosis. The forty-seven-year old mother of teenagers fearing the worst as her husband struggles to survive the aftermath of a stroke. The young couple aching to hold a baby in empty arms after yet another miscarriage.

Grief is uncomfortable. Stepping into another’s pain is painful. Yet, if we are to love like Jesus we must be willing to feel the heartbeat of others in our chest. We are meant to join others as they walk through the fire. That’s what love does.

Who are you going to love today?

 

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