My spiritual journey: moments of clarity, ponderings, and vast irritations

Friday, March 26, 2010


People often ask me about my tattoos/piercings, so I decided to give the stories behind them all here on my blog. In order to do that I have to back WAY up to just before I surrendered my everything to Christ in me. My journey into the grace walk was not an easy one by any means! Having posted much on this before I won't go into the whole story again, but I have more to add.

I was terrified to yield to Christ. Absolutely terrified. Before I got saved I was afraid to become a hypocrite. I was afraid to be pressed into the particular Baptist mold that I had witnessed all my life. Then on the brink of abandoning my all to Jesus, I was afraid that once he had me he would throw me away. I couldn't possibly believe that he could accept all of me exactly how I was. How could he? I was hopelessly flawed. Yeah, yeah... I'd read all the stuff Andrew Murray, A.W.Tozer, Steve McVey, and Watchman Nee had written on being dead and God no longer seeing that stuff. And I knew the book of Romans inside and out: there's no condemnation in Christ, he sees me just as though I've never sinned, I'm accepted in the beloved, he'll never leave me nor forsake me, etc. I wasn't convinced. Sure, he saved me and that was pretty fantastic! But wasn't he kind of under contract for that? He died on the cross for redemption, and salvation was offered freely to all who would believe. It was a given. Acceptance however? That was another ballgame altogether. He just couldn't love me when it was all said and done. I envisioned it all too frequently... God would beckon me to come to him and place my life in his hands and I would do so with many tears. He would than laugh maniacally and say something along the lines of, "I've got you where I want you!" This never ended well - there was a lot of crushing and bruising involved.

I had an idea. Maybe not my brightest idea ever, but in my mind I had to formulate a test. I had always wanted to get my belly button pierced for as long as I could remember (super cute!!!) and had even asked Chris if I could many times. If I got a piercing God could either choose to abandon me or accept me anyway. He could either heap loads of guilt on me or shower me with love. I knew people who would never talk to me again if they knew about it, and the question in my mind was, "Is God like that?" So that's exactly what I did. I went out and got it pierced. Strange, I didn't feel different afterwards... In fact, I felt very free in a good way.

Two days passed and the axe didn't fall. I felt the wooing of the Spirit leading me to fall into his arms, and for once I thought maybe I believed him. If you have read my blog you know the rest of the story, for that is the night I knelt on my living room floor and did just that: I entrusted all that I was, all that I had, all that I would be, everything to Him. It's funny... it was so effortless. All those months of fighting it, and it was one of the easiest things I've ever done. You see, surrender is not something you "DO," It's something HE does. I simply laid down yielding to him, and he filled me up. That's it. I felt acceptance! I felt love!

So that's it in a nutshell. My belly piercing was nothing more than a fleece to see if God truly accepted me or if he could only accept me based on who I was. My silly attempt to figure out God! Apparently God didn't care one way or the other, all he wanted was for me to enjoy the perfect union he purchased for me on the cross as fully as was possible. Salvation was far more than the gift of life. It was the gift of LIFE in me! Christ in me! He desired a relationship with me! Wow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A pearl in the hands of God

Matthew 13-45-46
God's kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.
The Message

Honestly, I don't even know how to describe this better than it already is! I have written and rewritten sentence after sentence in my head, and nothing sounds quite right. I was lying here in bed trying to go to sleep when the Spirit brought several verses to mind, starting with the thought that when God looked down at me he saw the most beautiful pearl he had ever seen. He was breathtaken! He was awestruck! He could not take his eyes off of me for one second. There was a problem though; there was a steep price to pay. You see, I was owned by Satan. I was claimed by sin. I was a slave to this world, and he could not simply have me for his own. He pondered this predicament. He couldn't sit and do nothing about this marvelous gem that he had discovered! It would be such a waste of perfection! It came to him then: he had to sell all that he had to purchase me. There was no other option. No other choice. It must be done. He HAD to have me. And Oh! the glory it would bring him to lift me away from the darkness of sin and into his wondrous light! He looked through heaven; only one thing could pay the price for such a pearl and that was the precious blood of His Son Jesus. The sacrifice was made. Jesus was sent to the cross. The blood was spilled; the payment offered. "Tetelestai!" Jesus cried. It is finished. Paid in full.

One day I knelt at the foot of his cross, accepted his sacrifice, and basked in his love. Satan was powerless to keep me, for the price was paid! I was free! Oh, how the Lord lavished his love upon me, his precious pearl. He told me how beautiful I was and how much he adored me... over and over....

But there was a problem.

I couldn't believe a word of it.

Me? a pearl? Perhaps a crusty piece of quartz... but a pearl? And then, IF I was a pearl, a pearl of WORTH? Of beauty? I looked at myself in the mirror and all I saw were smudges and smears of grime. I saw sin stains. I saw the devil's handprints. I saw chips in my would-be smooth exterior. I didn't see what he saw. He must be confused!! Is he even looking at me right?

He smiled at me tenderly and reminded me that he bought me. He paid for me. He CHOSE me. He desired me. He accepted me.

Such words! I looked in the mirror again, and wondered at how I could have my reflection match up to the one that he described. The answer from him was simple: 'Abide here in my hand. Sparkle for me little pearl! Glorify me in your body! Glorify me in your spirit! Glorify me now! Shine for me now! Take every part of yourself and turn it upon me as if you are the perfect pearl I see you to be.'

And so I did. I forgot the image in the mirror. I forgot the smudges, the handprints, the dirt and grime. I forgot the broken and rough edges of my face. I looked upon Him! I loved on Him! I gave my all to Him! I lived every moment of every day to make his existence more beautiful. And one day I glanced at the mirror and noticed that I didn't look quite as dirty as I used to look...

I Cor 6:20 KJV

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My S.H.A.P.E. Summary for Heritage Christian Church

I've done spiritual gifts tests before, but thought I'd post my most recent results:

S.H.A.P.E. stands for Spiritual, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences...


my number one gift is Knowlege (scored 14)

I had a three way tie for my second gift : faith, leadership, and administration (scored 13)

I had a three way tie for my third gift as well: pastor, missionary, hospitality (scored 12)

(The reason I put the ties in instead of choosing three is because of how highly I scored in these areas 15 is the highest possible score)


My top three things I love to do from the list I had to choose from are organize, influence and perform.


My top three abilities are musical/compositional skills, people skills, and my memory


I am an ENFP which is something that I have blogged about before if you would like more details on that


Family - What did you learn growing up in your family? I learned Bible facts, docrine etc., I learned legalism (which I've been freed from!), I learned music, I learned to love reading and writing

Educational - What were your favorite subjects in school? Everything! Sciences, history, music, literature, creative writing, algebra.... pretty much all of it.

Vocational - What jobs have you been most effective in and enjoyed most? sales, small business

Spiritual - What have been your most meaningful times with God? When I've been searching for freedom and grace and he showed himself to me and taught me the things that I just could not figure out for myself.

Ministry - How have you served God in the past? Childrens ministry, music leader, teen leader/mentor, worship team, worship band, solos, piano, keyboard, hospitality ministry, small group, welcome team, leadership team, drama team, pastor advice board, janitorial, short term missions trip, deputation for full time missions, and pretty much anything you can think of... lol

Painful - What problems, hurts, thorns and trials have you learned from? how hard it is to escape legalism, suicide and depression, being outcast from family and the 'accepted' religious circles

As far as where I think the Lord wants me to serve, I know that I am going to be using my music in someway to help free people from the bondage of religion and show them the wonders of a true grace walk relationship with Christ. I am pursuing psychology as well to help me as I deal with all the intricacies of the mind/spirit connection.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The kids are in bed and I sit down to eat a late night snack and watch t.v. A boy peeks his face around the corner to ask for one more thing, and I send him back to bed with a definite, "NO." The boy lingers, looks around and then begins to put some toys away. "Get in bed," I say. "I'm putting some things away for you, mommy," comes the reply. I sternly tell him to go to bed right now. He can clean up the toys in the morning. Then he comes and gives me a hug and a kiss which I return with another reminder to go to bed. He goes to his room but comes back out and grabs a blanket, carries it to me and says, "I just want to cover you up, mommy."

I know, you are all smiling a little to yourselves right now. It's a familiar scene in many homes; the never ending struggle to get the kids in bed. And how sweet of him to want to help mommy, hug mommy and take care of mommy, right? We love the little guys so much, and the easy thing would be to just grab him up and cuddle him and tell him we love him and let him stay up as long as he wants.

Here's what I told my son (which is what I usually tell him!): Just because it's a good thing, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. You are still disobeying me right now.

And then I had the thought: all of our own righteousness is like a pile of filthy rags to God.
It may be good, but it's still not right in God's eyes. An unsaved man can work and work and work to get to heaven, performing deeds that humanly speaking are greatly honourable and worthy of reward and yet still be deserving of eternal punishment when he stands before God. The saved son of God is righteous before God, BUT not one bit of that righteousness is his own. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Apart from Christ, we are no better than that unsaved man, a pile of filthy rags in the eyes of God.

How does this apply to the Christian? Well, for one thing WE HAVE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD!!! WHOO HOO!! Doesn't that excite you?!?! We have the love and righteousness of the Father. He offers us liberty, freedom, rest and abundant life at no cost to us but the loss of ourselves.

What? It can't be! I must have to offer him something? Perhaps I should teach a Sunday School class? Go soul-winning? Read my Bible through in a year? Pray an hour every day? There must be some formula for me to be able to attain this righteousness. There must be a way to earn this freedom and rest. So one after another we parade our good works before the Saviour bragging about how good they are while he looks on sadly shaking his head. He never asked for us to DO anything for him, he simply asked for us to yield our lives a sacrifice to him. He never required a performance from us, he asked for our bodies as a vessel to be filled with HIS life. In essence, by our show of self-righteousness we are disobeying the very one we try to serve. [This doesn't change God's view of us of course; once saved, we are always righteous in his eyes, regardless of how we are in our own eyes.]

On the other hand, the Christian who realizes that their righteousness comes solely from God, and wholly surrenders to him will find peace and rest. It is a beautiful thing! That Christian realizes the right thing to do is let Christ do it! There is no good thing that we can do to gain his approval. There is no work that we can accomplish that can make us any more righteous than we are. There are no Christian principles or disciplines that can 'impress' God. The only thing that impresses God is the Son. PERIOD. Are you saved? You are in Christ. In Christ? You are hidden in God. In God? You have his righteousness. Have the righteousness of God? Rest in him!

Back to the little boy: Go to bed and go to sleep! Your Father has it all under control.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My sincerest apologies

I must apologize to all of you who do not yet comprehend the wonders of the grace walk, as there are some of you who are feeling judged. We of the grace community do not intend to make you feel this way at all, I promise you. None of the words we write are barbed with hatred, malice, bitterness, or any form of bashing against any individual or particular church group/organization for that matter. We are simply as blind men having received our sight who will stop at nothing to proclaim the good news to every blind person we see! Does that make us judgemental?

We all were once slaves serving the Pharoah of Egypt and God rescued us all and brought us over the Red Sea... We are all brothers in Christ having tasted of salvation! In that instance, those on both sides of this matter of grace understand the need to cry the gospel from the rooftops.

Yet... some of those who have entered into salvation wander in the wilderness never receiving the full abundant life that God has promised us. They believe there is victory in Christ.... some day. They believe that there is rest in Christ... someday. They are afraid at every moment to mess it up and offend the God who redeemed them. Their daily lives do not match up to the New Testament example, and they excuse it with, "Well, it will all be made right when we get to heaven." Or perhaps the daily struggles in their lives are so great that they actually would prefer to return to the chains of Egypt, because at least there they had a few pleasures in life.

Then there are some of us who reach the Jordan river, and perhaps with great trepidation or with anticipation we cross over in the arms of our Saviour. The victory, rest, and abundant life they find there is so fantastic that they feel the need to cry out to all the world, "There is FREEDOM in Christ!" We do not ever need to walk in defeat again! Why should we ever desire to return to Egypt when this land flows with milk and honey and the grapes are so HUGE! This is a land of plenty! A land of GRACE.

When we of the grace community come across to you as judgemental, please understand that we are trying to show you something WONDERFUL! We are in pain for you. We remember how it felt to be slaves in Egypt so we tell the lost man how to be saved. We remember what it is like to wander in defeat so we tell the Christian how to find freedom in Christ. We hurt for you and want to help you.
And on the other hand, we love our Saviour soooo much, that we cannot help but speak about what he has done for us! He is our everything!

-if though, you are still intent on finding hate speak in our writings, I will allow this one thing: We are bold proclaimers of hatred of religion in any form. So was Jesus, so this shouldn't be offensive to anyone. :)