The “R” Word…and why it’s not popular

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All kinds of R‘s…there’s us…the Reimer’s

And there’s Rest and Relaxation which I guess I have had just about enough of because really…

there is only so much me-time I can take…

and then there’s that word that starts with R that causes all kinds of controversy if you bring it up.

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Inside or outside of the Christian church these days, the word “Repent” is a volatile topic or a non-issue….depending on where you land.

And here’s why.

The need to repent is based on the reality that we sin.

And talking about sin is offensive to people.

And goodness knows, we certainly don’t want to start offending people.

ESPECIALLY if we are Christians.

Or we don’t want to appear judgmental so we shy away from any conversation regarding sin and we focus on the warm fuzzy aspects of salvation, which I admit are a part of this Christian walk that I treasure deeply.

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Except while I have been laid up here I have been feeding a weary spirit on God’s Word.

And I have been camping out in the Gospels.

You know…the GOOD NEWS chapters.

And here is what Jesus says.

Jesus: who never sinned and healed and forgave and ministered and delivered.

Jesus: who ate with sinners and pharisees and talked about the Kingdom of God and showed us how to love and how to live.

Jesus:  who began and continued His earthly ministry preaching…

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come…” Matthew 4:17

His preaching was a preaching of repentance… to turn from evil/from our natural bent toward choosing wrong…and turn to God/relying on His Spirit in us to guide us into choosing right.

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I am not here to point out sin.

I understand that.

God already has.

Repentance is agreeing with Him that what He calls sin, I call sin.

It is admitting I have the old nature of sin still being worked out of me.

It is confessing when I realize that I am…

embracing

harboring

protecting

rationalizing

analyzing

cherishing

excusing

renaming

prioritizing…

or in any way continuing on with the practice of something that He clearly has outlined as sin.

And it is turning away from that and turning towards God.

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It is not popular.

It is offensive.

It is the absolute Right thing to do.

I pray that God would convict us and that we would Respond with Repentance.

 

 

 

Even when it Hertz….

This has been a full week for us.

We have sandwiched foot surgery for me in between some travels.

It’s the Reimer way.

Go big or go home <3

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With our trips we have had a couple of rental cars.

Rental cars in themselves are really a kind of vacation.

Not that we are irresponsible with them, but you don’t have to do anything but put gas in them and empty your cups and paper trash.

Bugs on the windshield…sap from trees…sand from your shoes…all of these are taken care of by the rental company when you turn in your keys.

And it’s easy to be a bit lazy about it.

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Sometimes I think that’s how we treat Grace.

We can play loose with this freedom that was purchased for us.

We may embrace the “It is no longer I who live…” and forget that it is now….”Christ who lives within me”.

We disassociate ourselves from the responsibilities of taking up the cross and following Christ.

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This freedom that we live in was purchased for us at the great and sacrificial price of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

Yes, He rose again…and yes, He ascended.

But it was His death that paid our debt.

We are not turning in a rental car.

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We have become the living, breathing vehicle for the One who purchased our sorry Jalopy lives out of the junkyard.

We are letting the life of our Lord and Savior be lived through us.

True freedom is not freedom from the debt of love we owe Him in return.

Let’s not be sloppy with Grace.

Let us, instead, be people of GRACE, who live responsibly in the freedom that was paid for with His blood.

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May God give us wisdom and discernment to reflect on our attitudes about how we are living this Redeemed life each and every day <3

Well hello there…

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Feeling a bit confined today as I am supposed to be off my foot except for absolute necessity….

and I am missing my very attentive nurse who kept ice going around the clock and arranged pillows and encouraged me….

but I am surrounded by my books and projects and internet access…and prayers from friends and family so….best day ever <3

The surgery went well I guess because I woke up with a small cast and smiling faces around me.

The x-ray showed a normal foot again…without all the creative bumps and blobs of things being where they shouldn’t be and that was a beautiful thing to see.

And so here is my thought for you today.

My foot is nestled in a small plaster case and wrapped in protective gauze.

The nurse covered it with a white sock-like thing  and then she put a band of tape around the top in case I get curious and want to look at my toes or something…the tape is there to remind me to leave it alone until I go back to see the physician.

So we wait for the healing.

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God tells me in his word that Jesus Christ heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.  NLT

In the same way that my foot had to be “broken” to be fixed, there are times when our hearts must be broken from old injuries so that they can be repaired in a proper fashion.

Restored to how they were meant to be before life here on earth…our own bent toward sin and self-direction…other’s sins….damaged them.

But God allows things to break those ill-shaped hearts…

and then He Himself takes up the bindings of love and grace and mercy.

With nail-scarred hands that have walked through ALL the sin of the world and overcame it ALL…

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He takes up the balm of healing and sacrificial forgiveness…

He wraps our hurting hearts up in bindings of love and mercy…

He covers them with GRACE.

And He waits with us as the healing takes place.

Trust in Him…

TRUST HIM…

He KNOWS what He is doing.

I pray today where old crooked places have set improperly in our hearts, that we each would yield to the Lord.

I pray we will allow Him to break our heart as only He can.

I pray we will be patient to let Him finish His work…to not peek under the bandages, but to rest in Him.

I pray for us all to be made complete and healed and whole again…the way He intended us to be.

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God bless you, each one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior <3

Because by the time you read this…

By the time you read this on Tuesday, I will most likely be having a little surgery on my foot or be recovering.

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And can I be honest?

I am, as Graham would say…nerbous.

The doctor had to tell me all the worst case possibilities and show me a diagram of what he will be doing…and while I totally understand this from an insurance/liability perspective…I just wanted to tell him that since HE is the one who went to med school and makes the big bucks…could he just take care of it and leave me out of it?

Ridiculous.

I know.

Because I am very much in it.

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This is my knee-jerk response to just about anything I don’t want to hear or know about.

I call it the Ostrich reflex…just stick my head in the sand and wait until whatever it is that is freaking me out at the current moment goes away.

Not very mature and also not very good testimony of someone who says she follows Christ.

So I am thankful to be connected to the Body through the local church at FCC.

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And today as I listened to the third teaching in the series on Samuel, I received sound teaching and application from this Old Testament prophet’s life that is as relevant as today’s headlines.

A beautiful reinforcement for what I try to do here each day of the week…not offer MY perspective on current issues…but rather point you to God’s perspective on all issues.

Enough said…take a listen if you haven’t heard it.

http://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons/  and select Samuel – It’s Complicated: Peer Pressure

God bless you all and would deeply appreciate your prayers for Russ and our family in the weeks to come…or really anytime you pray for us <3

 

In the multitude of thoughts…

Because this is what my brain looks like this morning..

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I almost didn’t post.

But I am praying God will corral a hodgepodge of thoughts and emotions and will somehow bring you a word of hope and encouragement today to press on.

This weekend I got to travel with Russ to see a facility that he worked with many others  to bring about.

I got to sit in our car and look out over this place where trucks and trains and people go about the business of distribution of product every day.

And I cried and I thanked God and I felt that joy you feel when you have labored hard over something and it finally comes to completion.

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Because all over this house…

tucked in journals and written on index cards..

day after day…

month after month…

the name of that city is written.

One word.

Just the name of a city.

But it represents prayers lifted for the process that was taking place, the people involved and the challenges they overcame.

I had no idea what I was really praying for; no vision of what this was going to look like.

I had no relationship with the people other than Russ.

I had no reason to pray except it all mattered to him and thus it mattered to me.

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One of the greatest mysteries of God is that He invites us into His work through prayer.

God Almighty…

Jehovah…

Yahweh…

who formed the mountains…

and can move them…

invites the likes of us to partner with Him…

in His great works…

through prayer.

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I think of some other things that are inked onto new cards and journals.

Over and over they are written.

And like this answered prayer I got to see with my eyes this weekend…

I really don’t know the vision for which I am praying.

But I pray on.

I was encouraged in my faith this weekend to not grow weary…to not give up…to keep praying even when I don’t know how to pray.

And so I pass along the same to you.

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“Here’s what I want you to do. Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.”  Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:6     The Message

God bless you today to not grow weary…but to continue to partner with our amazing, wonder-working God even when you feel so very small   <3