Editorial discretion…

As I write, and find my words published with other publications, I see myself growing, changing in how I view Editors. The first time a work was published in a particular publication, I was of course excited. And when I read it, felt a bit of embarrassment for the amount that was pruned, cut. The next one, still published, still excited–and still a shade of blush for the words that were changed.

The next, a smoothing. They were my words, but polished. Cleaned up. Like a good spring pruning. And my analytical mind went into overdrive, trying to figure out how to write exactly what the editor wants.

The next, I let go of the analyzation. Because only the editor knows what is in the editor’s mind. I cannot write like he can. I can, however, keep writing like I write. And apparently that is enough. Because he will polish it. He will make it exactly what is needed for each publication.

And now. Again, another work published. No embarrassment, no analyzing. And as I read words I know were not mine, but added impact, added more sensory notes, all I feel is grace. The grace of an editor, to take the words my fingers put to electronic paper. To see the bits, the pieces, that will make the whole piece better. The sentence needed to fill out the story, to give context to the analogy. The reader will never know which words were mine, yet my byline gives me all the credit for each word. I cannot imagine–it is with humble gratitude I receive the grace given by editors who choose to be behind the scene.

And I realize, Jesus is our great Editor. He polishes up our contribution. I have left meetings at work knowing that the words that came out of my mouth were polished up and put together in a way my sinful self could not have done. Going in frustrated and walking away in reconciliation–because I gave my care to Jesus, He polished it up, and presented it in the way my deepest heart really meant underneath the humanness getting in the way.

He gives us grace, shines up the attempt, and in this world, people will look at us–give us the byline. And if we’re wise, we will recognize the grace and nudge our neighbor with a, “Hey, look what Jesus did today!” We know without Him, we would stumble more than we already do. What a grace He gives us. We would be wise to keep sharing our weakness, the ways in which we couldn’t have done what He did with a situation.

It’s all grace.

Published: Let the Little Children Come

“Children are unruly, not yet practiced in culture and politeness. They can be unintentionally rude. They do not conform to the society around them. Their hands are sticky as they run up and grab your pant leg, pointing at something they want you to see…” –read the rest on page 4 of the March 2017 issue of The Christian Journal 

Make a declaration…

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 9.14.25 PM

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

“For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may about more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” –Philippians 1:2-11, ESV

Make a declaration. With your life, with your love. With your peace, bring calm. With your fire, bring a flame.

Make a declaration. Choose a scripture, a verse or a chapter or a testament. Write it on your heart. Proclaim it in your soul, in your home, from the hilltops.

Make a declaration.

“…choose this day whom you will serve…” –Joshua 24:15, ESV

As Joshua declared to the people, declare to your very soul.

Make a declaration.

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God…” –Deuteronomy 30:19-20, ESV

God called the people to choose. He declared two sides: blessing or cursing. And He declared that they should choose life.

Receive Jesus’ very declaration:

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” –John 15:16-17, ESV

Make a declaration. Make a choice. Because you have already been chosen.

Lay the Shock Aside…

recite-68hpb1

Something happened in January that sidelined me. And still recovering from that incident, I am emerging with some realizations about life. A long email sent to a friend in response to: “how’s life” revealed much.

But what I realize in this moment is this: I have wasted a ton of time and energy being shocked by life. Shocked people would be mean. Shocked people would go out of their way to be nice. Shocked that things worked out. Shocked that things didn’t work out. Shocked at what “should” be. Shocked that anything turns out in an ideal world.

I get tired even writing those sentences. In a constant state of shock is a rough way to live.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” –Luke 19:10, ESV

He didn’t come to seek and shock. He came to save us. Save us from our selves, our sin, our wretched being. Drenched in stink, He came to die in our place that we could be clean, that we could come into the presence of the One Holy God. We can’t get there on our own–only the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our accepting Him as His rightful place: Savior–then we can be clean. Then we can know God in a way we couldn’t before.

And He gave us the Bible that we could live in peace. He didn’t come to shock us–He came to bring wisdom, peace, and assurance that this is not our final world.

If you’re living in shock, trust me: there is another life. A life that has peace following the ebb and flow. Not shocked, but not naive either. Just living the life before us that we can eventually live the eternal life with Him.

The Bread Maker’s Secret–The Christian Journal

For bread to grow, leaven must be present. Kneading accomplishes this. The pulling, pushing, folding, and pulling again spreads the leaven throughout the dough. Over and over our lives are stretched and pulled and folded. The Master’s hands push to spread the leaven in our lives…

Read the rest on page 6 at this link: http://en.calameo.com/read/004371270e9e9123e8cf7?trackersource=embed