Oct 30, 2008

I Live in Candlelight


God is always lighting candles in the dark places of our lives. Sometimes I feel as if I am consumed in darkness. But in truth, my Papa quietly moves through the darkness sparking little blessings of light. Look! They are all around you.

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living. [That's today!]" (Psalm 27:13 NASB).

Please don't stare into the darkness ... behold the candles! There is evil. There is good. Gaze into the good things. They are always there. It may feel very dark, but we live in candlelight.


"All the darkness in the world cannot hide the light of one small candle."
~ Author unknown,
shared lovingly by my dear mother



www.warrenfamilylife.com

Oct 20, 2008

How God Feels About Suffering


November 9, 1999 ... I felt like it was the most cruel and unfair thing that had ever happened to me, like God had betrayed me. I just realized tonight, that at that moment, I stopped believing in God's goodness and tenderness toward me. That's the exact moment when I stopped experiencing that vital, intimate love affair with my Papa God. That’s when my quiet times stopped being fulfilling. That’s when my mid-life crisis started: months of depression and disillusionment with life. And I have been disillusioned with God ever since. But I didn't know exactly why until tonight.

Tonight I reminded myself of the things that got me through the suffering when the arthritis was bad: that God would never, never, never let me, his precious child, go through something like this, except for a VERY IMPORTANT reason, a reason that I would even choose for myself if I knew what God knows. God had to do it; it was vital. But at the same time, He hated doing it. It caused Him more pain than it caused me, to let it happen. He cries with me. It rips His heart out.

Could you pray that God will re-establish the truth of his love, goodness, and tenderness toward me again deep in my heart? God has been my Lover, my Husband, my Brother, my Papa--even the Eagle who gathers and shields me underneath its feathers. I can be strong if I know He loves me. But the flesh and the enemy can steal it away in a heartbeat. I want that relationship back with Him.

October 20, 2008 ... Although I am past most of this now, I am still not experiencing the passion that I had with God before. I am in a season where He is showing me how to follow blind--to walk by faith instead of feeling.

Whenever I begin to question, I look at that old rugged cross. This amazing sacrifice that Christ made for me settles the matter of, "Does God really love me?" once and for all time.

Peace to you my dear friend,

www.warrenfamilylife.com

Oct 16, 2008

You Cannot Lose My Love

video

Purple HeartYou will lose your baby teeth;
At times you'll lose your faith in Me.
You will lose a lot of things,
But you cannot lose my love.

Purple HeartYou may lose your appetite,
Your guiding sense of wrong and right,
You may lose your will to fight,
But you cannot lose my love.

Purple HeartYou will lose your confidence,
In times of trial your common sense,
You may lose your innocence,
But you cannot lose my love.

Purple HeartMany things can be misplaced,
Your very memories be erased,
No matter what the time or space,
You cannot lose my love.

Purple HeartYou cannot lose...
You cannot lose...
You cannot lose my love.
This is my one of my favorite songs by Sara Groves from her album, "All Right Here." I pray it is a blessing to you. (MP3 available at Amazon.com)

Peace to you,

Cyndi Warren

FlowersCome visit us at www.warrenfamilylife.com

Oct 12, 2008

Search for Significance


RoseYou are good.
RoseYou are the Beloved of God.
Rose(Only because of the blood of Christ.)
RoseBut still -- your identity is changed forever.

As a reminder of this, it has helped me to put to memory a tip from Search for Significance, by Robert McGee:

"I am deeply loved,
completely forgiven,
fully pleasing,
totally accepted by God,
and absolutely complete in Christ."

Stop for a moment, and read that out loud if you are able. I wrote these words on index cards and put one on my bathroom mirror, another on my dashboard, and another in my wallet. (This is random, but you might put the same words with your mate's name on the mirror as well. It is easy to forget that our mates are creatures of infinite value and not our enemies!)

If you don't know in your gut (not just because "the Bible tells me so") but in your heart, emotions, and every fiber of your being that God loves you completely, then it is essential to keep the truth running through your mind until it sinks down into your heart ... for Satan is the "father of lies." If we keep our minds saturated with Truth, the evil one cannot touch us.

It is not enough to read this little series of blogs once and have victory over self esteem. We must have the weapons of truth secure in the arsenal of our minds--truth that we can access in those times when life changes in an instant.

The Search for Significance workbook is excellent for just that. As you work through the exercises, your self-esteem gradually becomes solidified, because it is based on the truth and the truth, my friend, will set you free.

Dove 2
Peace to you,

warrenfamilylife.com

Oct 7, 2008

The Two Yous

Hello Friend!!

Do you realize you are not one person, but two? Do you ever feel the tension of that? Is there a heavy feeling in your gut when you read, "The heart is deceitful above all things?" (Jeremiah 17:9). Are you a terrible person, a deceitful worm, thankfully covered by the blood of Christ, but still worthless and awful?

May it never be! Rejoice dear one!

Ezekiel understood. He explains that our deceitful heart of stone has been removed, and today we know that was by the cross! (Ezekiel 11:19). The apostle Paul understood. Look at this familiar passage where he is struggling with his identity:
"Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it ... For in my inner being I delight in God's law ... I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law" (Romans 7:20, 22, 25, emphasis mine).
Could Paul be copping out here? No! He is making a differentiation in identity. He knew that his real self delighted in doing the right thing. We will always be responsible for the things our sin nature does, but it is no longer who we are. If indeed we have committed our lives to Jesus, we have now become the righteousness of God in Christ, and our sin nature is outside our true selves.

At conversion, we become new creations, "the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). The blood of Christ doesn't just cover us, it cleanses us (Revelation 7:14; John 15:3). The old you (the sin nature) has been washed out of your identity and "rendered powerless" (Romans 6:6, "useless" in the Greek). In a non-believer, the spirit is dead and the flesh is alive. At conversion, the spirit is "born again," brought to life, and the flesh (sin nature) dies. C.S. Lewis said it is like sharing a leg iron with a corpse. It stinks, it's inconvenient, it always causes trouble, but it is no longer who we are!

So what does the real you look like?
  • You are a child of the light (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
  • Eager to do good (Titus 2:14)
  • The real you is permanent (1 Peter 1:23)
Next time we'll talk more about practical application. For now, just remember that the real you, the person God sees, your true identity, is the righteousness of God in Christ. It is the only part of us that is genuine and lasting in the eternal sense. In Abba's Child, our friend Brennan Manning says that sanctification is the process of learning to live more and more out of that true self, and we'll look at how to do that soon.

If you have a question, post a comment, and I will address it as best I can.

In the mean time, please do not use this as a license to sow seed from the sin nature; we still reap the consequences of our actions (Galatians 6:7-9).

Peace to you!

www.warrenfamilylife.com

Oct 3, 2008

You Are The Beloved of God

This piece of art by Katherine Brown is my absolute all-time favorite picture of Jesus and me.
Oh wait, that's Jesus and you!

Do you know that, in Christ, you have a new identity with a new name?

The Beloved.

That's you. That's the Voice that contradicts the raucous voices in our heads:
stupid jerk, dummy, moron, loser.

No!

You are the Beloved of God.

Read what Brennan Manning says in Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging:

When I draw life and meaning from any source other than my belovedness, I am spiritually dead. ... "Who am I?" asked Merton, and he responded, "I am one loved by Christ." This is the foundation of [true self-esteem].

The indispensable condition for developing and maintaining the awareness of our belovedness is time alone with God. In solitude we tune out the nay-saying whispers of our worthlessness and sink down into the mystsery of our true self [the Beloved].

Our longing to know who we really are [is found] in God's relentless tenderness for us. ... Do you honestly believe that God loves you, not just loves you because theologically God has to love you? If you could answer with gut-level honesty, "Oh, yes, my Abba is very fond of me," you would experience a serene compassion for yourself that approximates the meaning of tenderness.
The first time I read this, I trembled inside. The words sounded too good to be true. It took six months, sick and flat on my back, of reading that book over and over and over for the knowledge that God loves me to sink down from my head into my heart. I pray that something in this post will touch you at your deepest point of need and speak God's love into your very being.

Blessings,

www.warrenfamilylife.com

Flowers
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