Introducing… My {Dad}!

Today is day 31!

I almost can’t believe I made it… 31 days of confessing the truth of who I am… that if I am anything good, or gifted, or right… it’s because of my dad.

And where (not if) I am found lacking or wanting… it is to remind me, continually, that I really am no one apart from him and the lessons he teaches me.

So today is the day when I get to introduce you to my dad.

His name is Elohim. And El Shaddai. And Adonai. Also El Olam, Jehova Jireh, and Yahweh.

He is known by all of these and many more.

Moshia’

Hamoshia’

Savior and Deliverer.

Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.

Yes, this is my dad… father to all who will have him.

You see… my dad… the Creator of all things… looked down upon this creation and saw that we would never be able to live up to the perfect standards of a perfect God.

It was impossible.

Not because He made it so… but because we chose our own way… the very first of us. When given the chance, chose imperfection. Something we’ve been striving against ever since.

In our jobs, in our homes, in our friendships and relationships… always missing the mark and despairing it. Always disappointed with the inadequacies of others and ourselves.

And then we blame dad like it’s his fault.

Even if I had been the first created… I would have failed as well. And if not I, then one of my children. It was bound up in us when we heard the words “freedom” and interpreted it to mean “do what makes you happy, even if it conflicts with what is good for you.” And we fell.

And fall always.

So this dad of mine… taking note of our imperfections and his longing to have us in fellowship with him eternally, devised a plan. Of course, this was a plan he’d held before creation… knowing even then that to offer us “free will” was to set the stage for his own grieved heart and separation.

Sacrifices had been made since the first mistake… animals slaughtered and offered, a blood sacrifice to cover up the error of our ways. But it only lasted as long as the smoke. And then we needed to do it again, and again, and again. And it still wasn’t quite sufficient. Because once the smoke cleared… there we were again… his desperately beloved child on the other side of the prison doors of our own insufficiencies.

And his heart broke.

So he took the piece of himself he’d wrapped in flesh, waiting for this moment, and sent him to live a human life.

Called him Son.

Jesus. Yeshua. Salvation.

Because only God Himself is good enough to pay the debt we owe. Our own lives are the penalty for our wandering ways. And wander we have…

This God-man lived among us, called us friends, spoke the language of humans while living the life of one.

We could hear him and not tremble.

We could see him and not become blind.

We could touch him and still live.

And this deceived many. We expected the prophesied Messiah to come as a warrior… and destroy the known world in our favor.

Instead, he came as a child.

And an Activist. A Doctor. A Coach, Advisor, and friend. A Counselor. An Advocate. A Gardener and lover of all creatures. A Teacher. A Public Speaker. A Healer. A Mediator. Peace.

Savior.

Yes, this God in flesh came to be our final sacrifice.

Knowing that the Deceiver would deceive and we would hate him. Hate him for flipping our world upside down… for not coming as we’d expected. For upstaging us.

For being right.

To the cross he marched, with joy set before him.

Because he knew that he could not be conquered… not even by death.

And he took upon himself all of our inadequacies, insufficiencies, mistakes… our crimes against the world, ourselves, and Him.

He wrapped himself in us… and for a moment, a dad lost sight of his son… and saw only humanity behind a locked prison door of our own doing.

The blood spilled.

The sacrifice was given.

But it wasn’t over.

The thing is… you can’t kill God.

Nietzsche was wrong… God is not dead. (Rest assured that Nietzsche knows his error.)

The price was paid. The debt covered. The blood of our Yeshua, Savior, lasts eternally… beyond the fading smoke of a sacrificial fire. Into the errors yet to be committed. The grievances yet to be filed. It’s already there.

So that when dad looks upon us.. he sees his children… perfected.

Able to cross the threshold of his kingdom, dine at his feast-filled table, and laugh until our tummies hurt.

Forever.

If you want to.

Thing is, you still have that free-will. The chance to join the party or start your own.

The invitation has been sent.

He’ll give you whatever you want… forever. If you want to live an orphaned life… you’ll get to spend it that way eternally.

You want to be adopted by a loving dad… my dad… well, he’s waiting for you in the courtroom. Documents are signed. His oath has been sworn. He’s just waiting for yours.

What are you going to do?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNR6zcoLLfs?rel=0]

One of my favorite bands, Downhere… and a great song… take a look! 🙂

  • First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus… (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
  • And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
  • For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:10)
  • For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:26)
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 31 of 31 Days in 2012.

What {Dad} Sees

“Mommy”

Big brown eyes blink up at me.

“I want to take off all of my skin on top… and have just the skin that’s underneath.”

My heart picks up a pace. My mind flashes back to being a young little girl who was told she was too fat… and longed for a zipper on this wretched flesh… so I could step out of my body and into something much slimmer.

But she’s only three.

And God-forbid that her little heart, mind, or soul begin to believe these lies about herself yet.

Or ever.

I choke back my fears. “Why, sweetie?”

“Because this skin has too many owies.”

I sigh relief and silence a chuckle.

Indeed, my little love is… learning how to manage and control all of her various appendages. She also has two older brothers.

Those two combined (plus an apparent allergy to mosquito bites) make for a skin that has quite a few bruises, scrapes, bumps, and marks.

But I don’t see them.

I only see her. Her precious cheeks that beg me for kisses.

Her mommy-melting big eyes.

Her plethora of facial expressions… communicating every thought in a wrinkle of the nose, a twist of a lip, or a creasing of the eye…

He contagious giggle, her loud belly laugh…

That is what I see.

My princess.

But she sees blemishes. An undesirable skin.

And she wants to take it off.

Don’t we all have those moments? Things we’d change, remove, enhance about ourselves?

A number of years ago I went on a silent retreat with some missionary teammates of mine. The weekend was arranged in such a way that we had total freedom to just listen. To God, to our thoughts. To rest.

During one of my prayer times I saw an image of myself lying before Jesus. He came to me and wanted to give me a massage. (Why not, right?) Not my typical image of Jesus… masseuse. But that is how he presented myself and the vision carried on.

He began a head to toe massage… lovingly, tenderly… while my insecure self tolerated his touch.

He began to massage a part of my body that I abhor.

And he said, “This is my favorite part.”

I began to convulse… in my vision and in real life… with the kind of shuddering that only deep confusion, pain, and healing can do to a person when combined in full blast.

It didn’t make sense.

How could he love this part of me that I hated. Because I’d once been told that this part of me was noticeably imperfect. A defect. A curse.

And here he was… loving it.

“I’ve created this part of you with special purposes”

It took some time for my mind to calm and Jesus, in my vision, continued on without seeming to notice my physical response.

The vision ended and I laid there in such solemnity. I could no longer hate what he loved. It seemed… wrong. That he created me… with this piece of me… on purpose. For good. I couldn’t understand it.

But I believe him.

And to this day, I look in the mirror and am always tempted to hold contempt for this part of me.

Then his words, his face, his touch, his confidence… flash back.

And I find love.

For myself. For my body. For the time I’m given in this shell. Purposed.

And I think back on my daughter. And I know my daddy sees me. Beyond all of my  bumps and scrapes and bruises and blemishes. He sees me.

And he loves what he sees.

He loves you.

And he loves what he sees.

Can you?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139: 13-18

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 25 of 31 Days in 2012.

Using Time Like {Dad}

I sit staring at this screen.

This is my allotted time for writing… and I have nothing to say.

Or too much to say…

Whichever it is… I’m still only staring.

So I looked over at my dad and said, “What should I write about today.”

Without a blink, he said “Time.”

Time.

A million thoughts race through my head.

How much I have.

How little I have.

How poorly or well I spend it.

Quality versus quantity.

How Jesus spent his time. (Here’s a neat article that I won’t re-write)

How precious it can be… and how painful.

How time can be wasted or full lived.

Cut off or endured.

The clock ticks above me… tick, tick, tick.

I can be in this moment… and not.

Living in the future of to-dos or in the past of too-bads.

Ultimately, what I know, is that the time I am given is limited. I can squander it on my own fascinations or use it for greater causes and purposes than I can even imagine having a stake in.

Like sitting on the floor, playing a game with my small ones.

Or having a conversation about life with my older ones.

Listening to my husband unload his day so he can breather easier, shoulders lighter.

Great causes.

Causes often categorized under “too slow,” “not productive enough,” or “boring.”

Causes whose own clocks are tick, tick, ticking… limited.

Until I’ve missed it entirely. The season is gone. The games are dusty. The conversations are echoes of the past. Missed moments in the name of multi-tasking efficiency.

The laundry was done, the dishes washed, the carpets cleaned… but hearts neglected.

The quality of a moment lies not in the task or its achievement… but in the lives touched because of how it was spent.

Just ask my dad.

He has never once been too busy to stop and talk.

He’s never brushed me off for some big, important world issue to solve (though there are plenty of them).

He’s never cut me off short to attend a meeting.

Or cancelled an appointment.

NEVER.

Every moment is spent investing, personally, in the lives of others.

Through coaching, advising, supporting, assisting, listening, waiting, teaching, advocating, encouraging… being present.

Because personal life investment can happen anywhere, anytime, regardless of what you’re doing.

Because the task is secondary. It’s the tool. The conduit through which you have access to the lives of others… and can speak life into them.

How confused I get about the purpose of a moment! The purpose of the activity I am part of! That cooking dinner is not just about filling empty tummies… but expressing concern, love, and affection for those in my life who are hungry.

It’s not about the food.

It’s about their hearts.

That in the time I’m given, that they are given, that each moment speaks affirmation.

No matter how mundane the “tool” that’s used.

Time.

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect… Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

1 Peter 1: 17-19,22

 

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 24 of 31 Days in 2012.