I Am, really!

I am

Paul and I were talking and praying through some things this morning. He had a prayer sheet with a list of things to declare and start your day with – lots of I am statements that he copied from a friend’s timeline. Some of these statements got me thinking.

We all have learned that praying the Word back is a great thing to do. Our words have power and when we declare these things out loud, things happen and heaven moves. Paul likes to say, “The Kingdom is voice-activated” and he’s right. Our words do activate the spirit realm around us.

While going through the prayer points and declarations I kept thinking about how much every one of these requires faith and trust if we are to believe them. For example, how can I know I’m a new creation in Christ if I don’t have faith in that if I don’t trust that the Word is true?

Even though I was praying along while Paul was reading these out loud, I kept having more and more thoughts along the lines of how much faith it took to really believe what I was saying. Was it true, did I really believe what I was saying and praying; or was this just a mantra of ritualistic words that I was familiar with? Did I really believe this in my entire being or was this simply head knowledge?

After a few minutes we got to the statement, I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and my thoughts suddenly stopped. I realized that this was the truth – not just in my head but down in my very being, through and through. I believed it because I have faith in the other things He has said and it takes faith in every step and every statement to come to a place where I could emphatically state these things as truth. They weren’t an empty statement or just words on a page.

I began to repeat some of the “I am” statements with the knowledge, with the faith of the truth that they revealed.

I am righteous because I am a doer of the word.

I am a joint-heir with Christ because I am righteous

I am holy because I’m a new creation in Christ. . .

I was realizing, deep inside and not just in my head, that I am these things and whether I’m feeling it or not, I am complete in Him. I lack nothing and I am far from oppression. Fear is simply a lie that I cannot afford to entertain.

Knowing this makes me able to walk in peace and joy no matter what the world throws at me. And, no matter what tragedies and difficulties that are around me I can remain in my identity and be of some use when needed. How in the world can I influence or help anyone if I don’t even know who I am? I can’t – at least not for the good. And who needs influence if it’s bad? No one!

It comes down to identity. Reading these statements again this morning made me realize that I actually believe them all. My faith has grown and it encompasses all the vastness He says about who I am.

A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. I used to read things like this all the time but, I only read them believing they were wonderful but not actually about me. Today the epiphany was, I am all of these things and the peace I can enter into and not have to ever leave is the fruit of that. Today the truth that has been in my heart finally reached my head! Understanding has arrived.

Time to exhale.

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Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

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Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Bear with me a moment while I get to the point of this blog….

In some Christian circles, it’s popular to be offended at people who don’t say Merry Christmas but instead say Happy Holidays to them. They seem to feel this is an affront to Jesus and His Holy birth and also themselves personally – which makes them stand up in “holy vigor” and rage about it in defense of Jesus. (Because Jesus is sitting up there on His itty bitty throne, helpless while He waits on us.  NOT)

And yes it’s true that when political correctness was adopted by corporate America, there were many people who were told they could no longer tell everyone Merry Christmas anymore because, “not everyone was Christian, and we wouldn’t want to offend anyone.” Some of those people who were told not to say Merry Christmas anymore just happened to BE Christians and rebellion began to stir against their company’s policies, albeit mostly covertly. There was smugness at secretly saying, “Merry Christmas”, as if to say, “take that, corporate America!”

Why? Why do we fall for these things?

Political correctness was and is simply a ploy to level the playing field and make everyone the same – no one special, no one celebrated and no one left out. Political Correctness wasn’t dreamed up by politics or corporate America. No, there is only one who kills, steals and destroys. He’s the force behind this and yes, he uses people to do his work. Don’t be one of them.

Back to Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays …

I must be honest here. I have to fight not to be offended when people get upset at someone when they say Happy Holidays as opposed to Merry Christmas. Yes, that the opposite spirit of those Christians listed above – but let me tell you why.

Religion! That’s why.

And ignorance, that’s also why.

Holiday is simply a word derived from the word Holy. Yes, it’s true.

So when someone comes along and tells you Happy Holidays, they are simply telling you Happy Holy days – whether they know it or not. See how cool that really is? There’s nothing to be offended about at all. Something the enemy chose to offend has really backfired if we will be educated and get over ourselves. Can’t we have the discernment to SEE that this is exactly the thing that is used to divide us?

I’m not so naïve to think this is the only thing being skewed by political correctness – it’s not. But this particular “thing” is directly aimed at us as Believing Christians. Can we not let it have its way with us this year?

You know, and I know you do, when we look at or focus on what is wrong and not what is right we WILL get offended. Let’s look at the Answer and see what He would have us do. I’m pretty sure it will have nothing to do with rebellion (offense) or wrath.

So, with all that being said – I’ll be the first to breakthrough this lie and tell you all, I hope you have the Merriest and Happiest Holidays ever!

…Because no matter how you say it, it’s all about Jesus! He is the one I celebrate and no one or their choice of words will ever change that – Period. I honestly think it’s a better way of representing Him. We know who this “Holy Day” is all about. Others may come to find out if we can simply be kind, thankful and full of blessings and grace throughout this season and beyond. Maybe…

Let’s represent well.

And I also want to say: Merry Christmas to you!

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Take Time for JOY

Be sure to take time for joy today. You know, those little moments that make you smile in the midst of mundane things. Seek joy out; it’s the cherry on top of your day.

I came into my office to check my email and yes, my Facebook notifications when suddenly Micah jumped up on my desk to join me. He was fairly damp from being outside in the rain so I began to give him a little rub down to get some of the excess moisture off his coat. He immediately began to purr and my heart melted. I scooped him up in my arms like a little baby, which is one of his favorite things, and he began to purr even louder. Within less than a minute, he was sound asleep. Seeing this, I felt joy rising up in me. My computer could wait!

Micah joy

The picture of this little baby kitty trusting me so much that he could completely abandon himself in rest, without a care in the world is a big deal.  It speaks of his relationship with me and how our experiences together have taught him that he can trust me to keep him safe. It’s also taught him that he’s loved unconditionally.

Even as much as this picture illustrates how he sees and responds to me, I think it also speaks of my relationship towards him. He knows I will stop what I’m doing to give him attention, even if it’s to let him take a little nap in my arms. When he comes to me, with all the trust of a child, it melts my heart and always brings a smile to my face and joy rises up. It’s a great feeling. I know that he trusts me and not only that, he expects me to stop what I’m doing and turn my attention to him and his needs. I always know what he wants and do my best to give it to him. The saying in our house is this: It’s not spoiling unless you keep it up! We love to spoil each other and even our pets. Spoiling as is commonly known is not considered a good thing. I happen to disagree; spoiling is about loving extravagantly and loving often. Micah is spoiled and of course I will keep spoiling him because it’s one of my favorite things to do.

My little 5 minute respite with Micah earlier brought me a great measure of joy and knowing that there is more to come, makes this day one of great expectation; the possibilities are huge!

I believe this is a picture of our relationship with God. He loves to stop what He’s doing and scoop us up in his arms and let us rest there, for as long as we are willing to stay. He wants our trust in Him to be complete.

So once again I would admonish you to take time for joy today. When we allow Joy to come, rest arrives too. Our eyes look to the beauty all around us and the cares of the day fall away; even for a moment!

Be in Joy!