Thankful Thursday! February 23, 2016

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Stormy weather!  It's so cozy inside!

"Date day" with Gil

Rendon and Lexi came to Sunday lunch with us!

Talking with Ren and Whitty. 

Holding sweet baby Tyus at the wedding reception!!  Precious!!!💞

Chance to visit with Quinny before he left for work

Grocery store with Lexi!

 

 

"Most people who genuinely want to know God are not living in a persistent, perpetual state of amazement at His love.

And yet, His love is amazing. And His love is persistent and perpetual and unrelenting, even as our emotions, and our attention spans, aren’t. The goodness of God is not dependent on my attentiveness to it. It does not come and go, wax and wane, or suddenly vanish like my misguided, untrustworthy emotions. We’re just not very attentive, honestly. We’re all a little bit like Dug the dog in the 2009 movie Up, kind of airheaded. We can sing “Amazing Grace” and be taken by it all, by the sweeping scope of God’s love for all of us, His willingness to forgive us, and His desire to know us, and His unending—Squirrel!—and how He loves us in spite of our—Seahawks game today! and “His grace will lead me . . .”—I forgot to e-mail that guy “We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun” . . . and I totally smell coffee; is someone making coffee? 

And you know what? God’s grace is still amazing. We can ignore it, let it slide from our awareness, and yet . . . there it is.

Once, I forgot my keys in a church building, just as a group of us were getting ready to leave. Losing stuff is a lifestyle for me, so I was kind of proud that I remembered I’d left them down the hall and up the stairs, in the kitchen area. It was dimly lit, but as I was gracefully running down the hallway, I saw a post in the middle. I avoided it deftly, and ran to the left side, before athletically darting up the stairs, grabbing the keys, crisply pivoting, bounding confidently back down the stairs, sprinting effortlessly down the hallway—and then smartly slamming my entire body into a plate-glass wall. I shattered it. With my face. Apparently, the other side of the post had glass from ceiling to floor. It was reinforced with wire mesh, so I didn’t make it through. I just hit it, full sprint, and shook the entire building. In the emergency room, I remember thinking, You know, this is interesting. I was 100 percent sure there was nothing there. But there was, in fact, something there. I know this, because, among other observations, I note that I am bleeding profusely. Plus, my face hurts . I was completely convinced the hallway was clear. It’s funny how reality didn’t change to fit my interpretation of things. And by “funny,” of course, I mean “only funny, like, ten years later.” Whether or not you currently feel that God is around doesn’t alter reality. Whether or not you feel He loves you, or even that you are worthy of His love, doesn’t change reality either. Whether or not you currently feel that God is around doesn’t alter reality.

...As I said, the best news ever. God still loves us. He has not abandoned us. Every hope we’ve ever had—that someone would find value in us, would think we were worthy of love, would find us enjoyable and attractive and pleasing and worthwhile—is met in Him. God Himself loves us! His love trumps everything. And nothing, Paul wrote in Romans, can separate us from that love.

Nothing.

And, he also wrote, if you put your trust in Jesus, there is no condemnation for you. None. You are off the hook. This is so stunning, so hard to actually believe, because nothing else in the world seems to work that way. It’s not based on my performance? It’s based on what God has done for me? He loves me because . . . He just loves? It’s who He is? He’s not constantly evaluating my religious “goodness”? He’s not angry with me? Seriously? It’s a massive pressure relief. When I take it in, I’m still shocked. Really? I can see where a lot of those old hymn writers were coming from. “Amazing love, how can it be?”  

I’m a moral failure whose mind has drifted while even writing the last few paragraphs, with thoughts ranging from silly to immature to rebellious to lazy to selfish. I’m inconsistent to the core. But in a very real sense, it just doesn’t matter. I want to grow up, but my Father loves me even as I am. It’s incredible news."

Excerpt from Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better