Author Archives: playinginthefountain

About playinginthefountain

I am a child of God, fully accepted and magnificantly loved by him! He has romanced me and I am completely satisfied with all he has done for me. I want nothing more than to live in his love and to share his goodness with others. The most important people in my life are my wonderful husband and my three sweet, crazy kids. I am so blessed to be on this adventure with them! It's a wild ride, but in him I have an endless supply of peace and rest. I eat from the abundance of his house and drink from his river of delights!~Psalm 36:8-9

Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart….

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So, I recently watched the movie “Frozen” (a few times) and was blown away by the good news it contained! It was truly the Gospel in Disney form! lol… I love how the bad things that happened weren’t a result of evil, but of fear! Hate and evil are not the opposite of love- Fear is! What if evil and sin were never the real issue?? God created the world and said that it was “good.” He never created evil. What if evil is just the twisted result of our own fear? What if Jesus came, not to defeat evil and give us a second chance at choosing good, but to destroy fear….the fear of God, by revealing how very good God is, and the fear of our mistakes by revealing our perfection in Him! In his act of true love, at the cross, he broke the curse of fear! You don’t have to be afraid any more!!! He really loves us, and his love heals everything and sets everything right!!! You can be who you were made to be- Love, just like your Papa! Hahahaha!! Lotta glory on princesses and true love….

Living by the faith of Jesus

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When you only read one translation of the Bible, you miss out on so much! It’s pretty wild how one word can change a whole verse, and how the translator’s personal beliefs affect how he translates! Take for example, Galations 2:20…. 

The NIV (which is pretty much all I read growing up) says ” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith IN the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” But, if you read other translations, you might see a little word that changes everything! “I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Did you see the difference? According to the NIV, it appears that I live because of my faith in Jesus! It becomes about right believing, and ultimately my salvation rests on my shoulders. But, in the KJV, I live by HIS faith! I live because of his love for me and because of his sacrifice! This makes my heart light and full of joy! I feel his faith bursting forth in my heart….and it feels a lot like rest. 🙂

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The Joy of Union

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If you’ve read any other posts on this blog, you know that I believe we have each been drawn into union with God, through Jesus.  We are smack-dab in the center of the deity – able to enjoy all the benefits of the Godhead – seated in heaven – living on Jesus juice!  🙂  We’re inseparable!   I didn’t always view the Christian life this way…. For many years I knew I was joined with God and I believed Jesus lived in my heart, but I still saw myself as separate from God and I felt like it was my responsibility to stay close to him through Bible reading, prayer, and worship.  I believed if I wasn’t getting closer, I was getting farther away….like I was walking on a moving sidewalk that was always trying to take me backwards.  One day I felt close to God….the next, far away.  So glad to be free from that mindset!!  At least I thought I was…. I didn’t realize the separation mindset was still affecting me in other ways…..

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Somewhere along the line I felt like we just kind of grew apart, like many couples do.  We didn’t really fight…we just kind of went through the motions…taking care of kids, working, doing life, etc.  We were a pretty good team, but I felt like we weren’t very close anymore.  I heard grace teachers talk about how their relationships changed when they heard the grace message because they began to see their spouses the way God sees them.  I wondered why my heart wasn’t bursting with love for my man.  The guilt tried to creep in again and the distance between us seemed to grow.   I felt like I just wasn’t good at relationships.   I thought, perhaps, we just didn’t concentrate on our relationship enough.  I decided we needed to be more dedicated to spending time with each other so that we could grow closer to each other again.  And then God spoke.

Now I don’t know about you, but I was always jealous of people who said God spoke to them.  Sometimes I read Bible passages that seemed to be just what I needed, but I rarely felt like God spoke to me except to “convict” me of sin (which I now know wasn’t God).  It’s amazing what happens when you begin to rest and trust in Him- You actually hear him speaking!! 🙂 

So, the other night I was pondering my relationship with my husband, thinking about the distance between us, when, in an instant, everything changed…. The Holy Spirit showed me that that was exactly how I used to see my relationship with God.  He was in me and I was in him, but we were still separate.  I suddenly realized that the distance between my husband and me was no more real than the distance I had imagined between me and God!  HOLY. COW.  I realized I was doing the same thing with my husband that I had done with God all those years…trying to get closer when we were already ONE.  I suddenly realized that I didn’t have a problem to solve….all I had to do was rest in what I already had.   While Nathan and I each have or own personalities and souls, we are ONE in spirit- our union a beautiful symbol of Christ and the church.  Our feelings do not dictate reality, but reality can certainly affect our feelings when we let it sink deeply into our hearts.  This is what it means to walk by faith, not by sight.

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders again!  I feel hopeful about how life is going to flow from within us as we trust more deeply in our union and live from a place of thankfulness.  Our God truly supplies all our needs, according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus!  If you are struggling with a relationship, just know that you have all you need, in Christ.  When you rest in Him, he will give you the wisdom you need for your situation. We were made to love and to be loved…to connect with others and to enjoy our union with each other.
 
Unity, love, and peace are yours in our beautiful Savior!

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“Make it so, Number One!”

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I love free books!  Especially when they are theological books with Star Trek references!  🙂  I’m sharing a section from the book “God is For Us” by C. Baxter Kruger…and here’s a link for the whole book online!  Enjoy!!

star trek  http://www.perichoresis.org/downloads/GodisForuseBook.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a great line often repeated in the television series
Star Trek: The Next Generation. In each episode, there is usually
some galactic crisis and Captain John Luc Picard of the Star Ship
Enterprise calls his commanding officers together to sort things
through and form a strategy. After setting out a plan, Captain Picard
turns to his number one officer, Commander Will Rikker, and says,
“Make it so, Number One.”
That is a great line. It is a faint echo of the eternal Word,
which precedes all worlds and time and space, spoken by the Father
in conversation with His true and faithful Son in the Spirit. ‘I want
them at-one with Me—make it so, Number One!’
Therein is the necessity of the incarnation and death of the
Son of God. It lies precisely in the Father’s heart. It lies in His
unflinching determination that we should be blessed and included in
the Triune life. It lies in His unswerving faithfulness to His purpose.

There was certainly a major obstacle standing in the way of
the plans of the Father. But the obstacle was not the Father. The
problem was not that there is a side of God that has to be dealt with
before He can forgive, embrace, and accept us.
The problem was that you were there and He wanted you
here. You were in the far country and He wanted you home. You were
broken, alien and wrong, and He had determined you to be healed, atone
with and right for Him. You were trapped in rebellion, corruption,
and death, and He wanted you at His side, included in the circle
of His embrace and fellowship, and tailor-made for participation in
His life.
The problem was that the Father, and all His sides, is relentlessly
committed to us. He is determined that we will be with Him.
And therefore He shouts an almighty and intolerant NO! ‘I will not
tolerate that form of existence for you.’ ‘I will not tolerate shallow,
fallen, broken existence for you.’ ‘I will not tolerate your nothingness
and death and alienation.’ ‘You are mine, you belong to Me, in My
house, alive in My pleasure.’
‘Therefore, make it so, Number One!’
‘Go into the far country, plunge yourself into their ruin, alienation,
brokenness, darkness and estrangement, plunge yourself into
the skein of their guilt and corruption, and undo it, unravel it, destroy
it and bring them to Me.’ ‘Crucify that false and broken humanity
which is so enslaved to the evil one.’ ‘Revolutionize their whole
being and situation—convert it, transform it utterly.’ ‘I will be satisfied
with nothing less.’
That is the necessity of the death of Jesus Christ. The Father
made up His mind about us from all eternity. And He will not change.
He is uncompromising in His love. Thus, in utter opposition to our
alienation, He sends His Son to eliminate it.

 

From “God Believes in You” by Francois Du Toit

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To strive to obtain love, peace, and joy etc. or to pray to God to give you these qualities is wasted religious energy. ‘My people perish through lack of knowledge…’ Hosea 4:6.  The perception exists that God needs to be talked into doing things for us.  To realize His presence and nature within you, is what sets you free to be who you are.  The more aware we become of God in us, the more overwhelmed we are with a sense of total fulfillment and completeness.  Needs disappear into insignificance.  He is not a God who is afar off.  Emmanuel means ‘God with us!’  Nothing you can seek to do or wish and pray for could qualify you more for life.  Nothing can make your life more significant than to simply become aware of his nature and presence in you and His favor towards you.

 

God is pleased with you because He believes so much in Himself in you.  Your faith reveals the value you place upon God’s faith in you.  To be overwhelmed with the awareness of God’s indwelling, ignites and awakens the human spirit with a desire to be useful.  Suddenly, your immediate, personal needs seem insignificant in comparison to God’s ability in you to reach out to others.  As much as He desires to bless you, He prefers to bless others through you!  No wonder that James concluded that true religion is to visit the widows and orphans.  Can you imagine how their grief and loneliness would test the concept of being complete, perfect, and lacking nothing!

 

“Occupy your mind with this new order of life;  you have died, your new life is hid in oneness with Christ in God.  The secret of your life is your oneness with Christ in God.” Col 3:1-4

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I never liked Romans

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I never liked Romans much… All the talk about law & grace, flesh and spirit, new but still fighting the old… I kind of would just skip over for books I could identify with more, like Psalms.  I understood David’s passion and desire to please God.  I knew what it was like to hunger for the presence of God and what it was like to mess up.  Romans was weird to me.

It wasn’t until a couple years ago that my eyes were opened to the truth that Paul was revealing in Romans…. It knocked my socks off, and it all suddenly made perfect sense!!

“For while as a result of one man’s sin death by natural consequence became the common lot of men, it was by the generosity of God, the free giving of the grace of one man Jesus Christ, that the love of God overflowed for the benefit of all men…..We see, then, that as one act of sin exposed the whole race of men to God’s judgment and condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God.” ~ Romans 5: 15&18

ALL men freely acquitted?  We were declared righteous because of his act of righteousness?  I knew I was forgiven, but I didn’t feel righteous.  For me, righteousness was in my distant future when I died and went to heaven.  I read that I was free in Christ, but I still felt like God was keeping track of my actions to review with me when I passed through the pearly gates… on a big screen for all to see.  I thought he looked at me through rose-colored glasses, loving me despite my sin.  I didn’t know my sin (and the sins of the WHOLE WORLD) had been destroyed long ago!

I TOTALLY missed the whole part about us dying with Christ!  I knew Jesus died for my sin… I just didn’t know my old sinful, law-following (and often law-breaking) person died with him!!

” Let us never forget that our old selves died with him on the cross that the tyranny of sin over us might be broken—for a dead man can safely be said to be immune to the power of sin.” ~ Romans 6

Immune to the power of sin?  I didn’t feel immune… I felt like I was always fighting my selfish, unloving nature.  I longed to be more loving and kind.  I despised my pride and my apathy.  No wonder I was confused, I thought Paul felt the same way I did!  How many Christians read Romans 7:15-23 and think that Paul is justifying a life-long struggle with sin?

” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 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.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

KEEP READING!!

“Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Why was I not taught this truth in Sunday school?  Our sinful natures died with Christ!  HOLY COW!!  This changes everything!  We are not just “sinners saved by grace!”  We are righteous and holy, completely new in Christ!  He has set us free to be who we were always designed to be…. reflections of Him!  We were created for intimacy with God and each other, to love and be loved.  We were never made to live under the law, but to be completely free from worrying about sin and death.  The cross made this possible!  Our actions no longer define us!  HE defines us!  We have been joined with Christ and hidden in Him!  All those who put their trust in Him can experience abundant, eternal, glorious LIFE… not sometime in the future when our mortal bodies wear out, but NOW!

I will never again condemn myself, because I know he does not condemn me!  He has given me the faith to believe, and I thankfully accept it, entering into his rest.  This is the easy yoke Jesus spoke of – a life joined with Him, clothed in Him, and powered by Him.  My actions do not define me.  HE defines me.  My actions are simply the fruit of who I know I am.

We are ALL found in Him!  Every one of us has been joined with Christ through his death on the cross and adopted into God’s family.

“Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ—that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.” Ephesians 1:3-6 (JB Phillips)

That’s Good News, my friends.  We are chosen, adopted, and welcome in his everlasting love.  No outsiders and insiders or clean and unclean… We’re all in the same boat.  I love Romans!  The Bible makes a lot more sense when you filter it all through the goodness of God and through the cross.  If what you’re reading does not make you feel more peace and more joy, you probably are not understanding it correctly!  Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word to you….  It’s his pleasure!