Saturday, January 17, 2009

Encouraging Word

A great friend just passed this along to me...
This is from an AWESOME book called HE LOVES ME by Wayne Jacobsen.


I have been a slave to my reputation almost my entire life and it
has been an oppressive burden I first saw it weakening in my life in a
conversation with a friend. She had asked me to write her a letter
explaining my role in mediating a dispute between her and her business
partner. They had begun the business out of their close friendship
and now they could no longer work together They couldn't agree on
how to split up the business and asked for my help. I told them at
the outset we probably couldn't find a resolution they both thought
fair, but could perhaps find one where they both felt equally cheated.
A few hours of piecing together various options finally brought a

Than some six months later, she called me to say that the other lady
was telling her friends how she had been cheated out of the business.
She wanted me to write a letter describing the process we had been
through to prove the other woman a liar.

"I am willing to do that , Jill" I said on the phone, "but let me
give you something to consider first. This may be an opportunity for
you to die to your reputation." As the words came out of my mouth I
remember cocking my head in surprise that I had said them.

For the previous four years I had also been the victim of some rumors
spread about me and my family by those who wanted to discredit my
ministry. I had often prepared responses to the lies that were being
told, but each time God had prevented me from mailing them. "I want
to you to give up serving your reputation and trust it to me." was
all he would tell me. I remembered that Jesus made himself of no
reputation. It was the most painful season of my life. How could I
encourage anyone toward a similar process?

But that morning it dawned on me how much the past four years had
worked the Father's freedom into my life. If people misunderstood my
ministry or believed lies about me, that was without the horrible need
to defend myself and make sure other people liked me in the process.
Now I could enjoy the fruits of his freedom.

I wanted Jill to have the same thing, though she was shocked by my
offer. I told her my story and finished with these words, "Jill, as
long as you have to guard your reputation you are the slave of anyone
who chooses to lie about you. Those who know you well enough won't
need a letter: and those who don't, won't believe it anyway."

I never wrote the letter and Jill got to discover the incredible joy
of living free of other people's opinions. I know it was painful but
when you know the Father loves you completely and that your reputation
is secure in His hands, you will never again have to appeal for the
approval of others.

That freedom will not only be one of the greatest blessings of the
journey, but it is also the key to loving other people the way you've
been loved yourself.

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you
before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the
only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through
Jesus Christ our Lord." -Jude 24-25

Heavy Heart

I have had a heavy heart this week. I was so blessed this morning by the scripture...

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

It is so easy to breeze through the week and focus on everything we are not and that totally steals God's joy and blessings from our lives. We have had a great week as a family. God's provision, protection and faithfulness has been carrying us through this time. But I have been focused on the wrong things and have missed out on the joy. So my prayer is that I would see myself as God sees me and that I would daily lay myself down at the cross. May the blessings and and JOY of the Lord abound my thoughts and daily walk. May that be your prayer as well... Life is too precious to focus on anything else!!!