Are You Free?

Free from past, from pain, from trauma and torment.  

Free from fear.

Free from depression, anger, hopelessness, futility, loneliness and frustration.

Free from insecurity. 

Free from the image reflected in the mirror, from the measuring rod of mankind, from comparisons. 

Free to laugh, sing, play and dance.

Free to speak.

Free to hope, wonder, explore, enjoy and thrive.

Free to live.  

Free to love, accept, forgive, expand, grow and retain.  

Free to feel unconditional acceptance, to make mistakes, to understand, be understood and known.

Have you found the key to your freedom?

Has it set you free?

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Arrise!

Arrise Church!  Awake and hear the voice of the One who loves you.  

Awake, slumbering bride, lift up your eyes and see the One who redeems you; Him who has made you perfect in His sight.

Hear His voice calling to you, hear His voice and respond to His love.  

Wipe the sleep from your eyes and see clearly; Clean the dust from your ears and understand what you are hearing.  

He is Holy who has called you holy, who has picked you up and loved you in your defiled state, who cleanses you and heals you and restores your broken and bleeding heart; Who has reached down through the darkness and calls you by name. 

He has called you His very own.

Arrise and receive! 

Measure Of Your Value

What standard are you living by?  What do you measure yourself against?  When you look into the mirror, what do you see?  How do you feel?  What do you allow to influence your life?  Question I am confronted by today. … Continue reading

Easter

A day of sunshine in the midst of so many rainy ones.  A quiet start, before the sunrise, worshiping my risen Lord.  Words of promise, ribbons of hope, bolstering of joy.  Alone with my Savior; loved, filled, revived and fulfilled.  Prayers spoken, heart written out.

Joyful good mornings, with baskets to find and scones to fill with fresh made maple butter – the empty tomb, when butter mets way.  Giggling children, chocolate smudged faces.  Peaceful laughter turned to ruckus play while mommy and daddy cook away.

Daughter slips quietly into the kitchen, picks up the knife and the veggie and goes to work, happily helping along side me.  Daddy scoops up toddler and trundles him off for a snooze.  Son works contentedly on secret projects.  The house filling with delicious smells.

Today is special in many ways.  The conquering of death, for one.  The penalty paid, and price freely given.  And today, my children publicly declare their love and surrender to Him who died in their place. My daughter and I tuck ourselves into the bathroom before the grandparents arrive for our meal.  She and I, we need to prepare.

Our faces smothered in a mask and hair pulled back, she giggles and nervously asks what will be expected of her.  I ask if she is having second thoughts, “Oh, no! I just wonder if every one will be watching me,” she asks.  We chat.  She asks to go and play, her face now glowing, her hair all curled at the ends.

Grandparents are a treasure.  At least, mine are.  When they arrive we bustle and hug and laugh and fix up the meal.  They joke and tease and cut food with ease.  This time, a gift growing rare, a fortune to which none can compare.  My grandparents here in my home now, when so many an Easter was spent at their table, when plate got shoved away from the edge, and we all clamored to help clear the dishes at the end.  Being Grandma’s helper was the prized role.  How grateful I am that they are here to share this day with us, one more year.  I pray for many more to come.

And off we go, all tucked and pinned and pressed and fresh, filled to brim and excited.  Each week we look forward to this time of worship, but today, Easter Sunday, today my children are taking a step toward being grown.  Publicly declaring their hearts’ allegiance. Declaring it all on their own.

We sing and we praise, and we fill ears with words that nourish, cleanse, light up dark inner spaces.  Then all gathered round the water, kids laughing, everyone clapping.  Let every curse be broken and blessing be released and under the water you go, portraying your death. And up you come, risen anew – clean and made whole, declared and claimed.  Death defied, conquered, no longer that wich has any claim.

My toddler claps wildly and laughs joyously and hugs my neck tight. “What are they doing mama?” Being baptized I answer.  “Getting wet?” He wants to know.  Yes, I tell him, in awe of his innocent face.  “Getting wet in that water?” He confirms with me.  Yes, I affirm, getting baptized in that water.  “My turn?” He wants to know.  “My turn be water-tized?”

Yes, son, yes!  When the day comes that it is not just the fun of getting wet, and you are ready to align yourself with the will of your Creator, surrender your heart and choices to His leading, and publicly declare your old self dead and new self risen in Him – yes, it will be your turn.  May that day come soon, little one.

We pile in and head home, the kids hardly able to contain themselves, so full of joy.  And I find my daughter in the shower, singing, “I am baptized, haleluia!” And I find my son so excited he can hardly get his pj’s on straight.  And I snuggle my toddler and he tells me he loves me and reminds me that it is his turn to get wet in the water-tized.

And my heart is full and it is overflowing.  

Trading Death For Life: The Shaking

I recently found myself in a state of free-falling.  When circumstances were uncertain and changing, and when inside me I was falling apart. When prayers seemed flat, empty, powerless, retarded.  God seemed like a nice thought rather than a present … Continue reading

Knowledge: Know or Known?

“…While knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.  Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.”  ~1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NLT

“…Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.  Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.  But whoever loves God is known by God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NIV

“… Knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and good will and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature]. If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he ought or as is necessary.  But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessings], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him].” ~ 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Amplified Bible

The question I ask myself today is; Do you know God or are you known by God?

Striving For God Or With God: Are You Frustrated?

Today, my prayer is for an emptying of all things that are fulfilling and satisfying.  Sound a bit off? Maybe!  But I learned something this morning. Taken from Genesis, the story of Cain and Able, I discovered a difference between … Continue reading