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    the fig

    imageHealing seems much easier when we don’t have to pick off the scab and realize we just re-opened a wound that’s still bleeding. But its in that moment we find it is a perfect time to throw out the welcome mat and let Christ have His work within the doors of our heart.

    Oh no! Christ is coming over? A panic sets in that screams, “I’ve got to clean the house and remove the clutter so He doesn’t trip or think it’s completely disgusting that I haven’t dusted in months!” We fall into the curse of hiding that Adam and Eve stood behind so long ago. Grab some fig leaves y’all, we can’t let Him or anyone see us like this! We mustn’t be exposed in frailty and shattered in our shame.

    But love comes walking through the garden of our hearts and calls out, “Where are you?” There’s been a loss of connection from our heart to His so He comes to find us hidden in the darkest spot we could find and tags, “You’re it!”

    Once we let the love of God find us in our worst, most ugly moments, we let the light in and can run to find someone else to share how He found us in the depths of our darkness. He didn’t leave us there and He’ll never leave us again. The best part is God loved us so much, He took separation out of the vocabulary of those who accept Jesus into their broken places and chooses to heal us.

    In Mark 11:12-14, Jesus sees a fig tree full of leaves but without fruit. He was hungry and looking to eat so He withered the tree and cursed it to never live again. Just like that tree, we gathered our shame and hid but through the cross He withers the fig leaves that we held up to hide our hurting hearts. He melts away the false pretensions and navigates through our darkest night. He wants to eliminate shame from our lives and bring the deepest healing that only He can provide.

    We were made for love. Have we received it? Maybe we’ve received a false expectation, or catastrophic devastation from the way life was meant to be in our eyes. Experiences can easily shape our definition of who God is in our lives but who He is will not change. The more we receive the love we were made for, the less we strive to fix the problems we are facing ourselves and start receiving the solution, which is Jesus.

    As we reflect, I want us to ask ourselves these two questions:

    What scar tissue do I have that makes me hesitant to fully trust God as my Father?

    What leaves of shame can I let Jesus wither in order to receive healing?

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    Ruffled Feathers

     “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

    -1 John 3:3


    “Don’t get your feathers so ruffled!” has always been a term related to stressed out people, but after studying bird behavior, I have learned from this process. It is necessary to their survival. The ruffling of feathers is how birds keep clean, waterproof, and in flying condition. They bother their feathers in order to remove the debris after every bath and meal.

    A powder forms as they break apart each feather, keeping them warm when the cold comes. Then they shake off the dust, forming a cloud of debris to leave behind.

    As a child of God, I bathe in His presence and eat of His goodness but do I bother some places in my heart in order to remove the debris? If birds aren’t ruffling their feathers, they will be extremely ill or uncomfortable in there living situation. How often do I become like that tattered bird who has stopped the process and need to see my situation with new eyes? Without this process of examining my own heart, I cannot be lifted higher than my circumstances or be waterproof when the waves of life arise.

    Birds shake their tail feathers to release tension and I wonder what am I storing up? Is bitterness, resentment and discouragement hiding beneath my actions? It leaves me asking myself one question, “What’s ruffling my feathers?”


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    The Overwhelmed & The Able

    1 Corinthians 9:24-27
    Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

    I remembered the famous childhood fable of “The Tortoise and The Hare” and decided to rename it, “The Overwhelmed and The Able.” At first glance it’s easy to think the tortoise is the one overwhelmed because he’s the slowest moving one in the race, but in reality the hare was overwhelmed by his emotions enabling the tortoise to walk in victory.

    Have you ever let your emotions give you a false confidence? You showed up but mentally you gave up. The hare knows what its like to be so busy running after his feelings he lost focus on running the race. His eye wasn’t on the finish line but on how he felt and it clouded his view of reality until the reality of him losing was on the line.

    What has been clouding your view? Loss? Disappointment? Feeling unappreciated… Discontent…Unworthy…Overconfident? If you are emotionally unstable, God is able. But how will you get the trophy if you leave the race?

    Run the race don’t run away.

    So speak when you’re fearful and serve when others are sleeping.

    Perseverance is what wins the race, not talent. Attitude always beats ability.

    Are you sleeping or resting? Are you striving to GET what you want or striding TO it? Run the race instead of watching other’s pace.

    Comparison of others time or journey will always make you fall behind on your purpose.

    Look at your giant in the face and say, “I’ll race you,” because what you speak about your situation determines the outcome. If you speak it in faith, God will bring it to action.

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