Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Living Outside the Box!


"The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible)
was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve)
the works the devil [has done]."
1 John 3:8b

When I was a child I LOVED to be barefoot.
I can remember a phase my Mama went through,
trying to keep me in shoes while I played outside.
Yeah, good luck with that!
I was in love with being free outdoors.
I tended to really push the envelope in all areas...

When I came to Christ,
(you know that sounds so sanitary, it wasn't!),
my favorite part was GRACE!
It gave me such giddy hope to understand,
that the reason I never felt worthy when I prayed,
or when I thought of God, is guess what?!
It's not possible for me to be worthy!
I really would never be able to follow enough rules!
What a wonderful thing to finally clear up!

Someone else was pointman, someone else was my bailbondsman,
and my attorney, someone else had gone before me!
And made things good for me.
That kind of grace was what I needed to know and understand.
There really was NO HOPE that anything I WOULD EVER do,
would be good enough!
Phew! What a relief!
Now, OUT OF GRATITUDE I offer the good things to Him,
as He leads and empowers me!
This is a relatonship that can work for me!
It was never about what I could do to get to Him.
It was always about what He has done to get to me!

Last year, a few women and I went through the Bible letting God teach us,
"Knowing God As Our Covering".

Christmas evening I was hanging out in the cozy afterglow,
with my husband and sons.
I thought about the coming year and Bible Study, and pondered.
I felt strongly impressed that it was time to shift gears,
and to study the Life of Jesus in the Gospels.
You know, What Would Jesus Do?
But without the sappy pop-culture take on it.
The unvarnished truth, without religiosity painted over it.
Well, last night was our first class.
We meet here, every other Monday night.
We gab, drink coffee, pray and then dive in.
We have a blast!

I am always silly giddy when everyone goes home,
and I stay up too late because I am SO JAZZED!
My BFF has encouraged me to post these, at least in summary,
because who knows?
Someone might like to join in their own home, at their own pace!
So here goes.

We did a general look at some of the highpoints,
in the first chapter of each of the four Gospels.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
And we saw some intersting things.
Each of the Gospels starts off
introducing the various unorthodox ways Jesus approached us.
Like in Matthew 1,
it is recorded the Gentile women in His lineage, along with the Hebrew.
Including the women who had a colorful past,
I mean, Rahab, Tamara? Really?
Are you sure, Jesus?
And according to the Hebrew custom,
there really was no reason to record the women,
the lineage was ALL about who the father was...
But, He wanted to make sure all of us women would feel welcome,
and included.
And to understand that the past, in Him, IS the past.
Not the Now, not the Future!
Love that!
Mark 1
And then there was his very strange, off-beat cousin,
who was chosen to be the one,
who would be the "voice crying in the wilderness",
going before Him,
preparing hearts for His arrival.
Luke 1
We meet John The Baptist's parents. Religious. Righteous. Good people.
People who had given up on the dream of having a child. A couple who saw themselves
(and were seen) as an old couple, who was barren.
Boy, wasn't everybody surprised when God chose THEM
to be the parents of the prophesied forerunner to Christ?
When their dusty dream was resurrected!

Then there's John 1.
"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life;
and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not."

He came like this:


People were looking for this:


In summary, right off the bat,

we see that He purposefully came through,

not an unimpeachable lineage.

But, the sort we could all relate to.

Flawed. Like us.

He showed us Our Heavenly Father's DNA

covers whatever tainted DNA we bring or brought to the table.

He came heralded by a strange, strange man,

born to an odd and surprising couple.

Not who the religious establishment would have thought to be the

"voice crying in the widlerness".

He was and is The Word. The Final Word.

He's The Original Think Outside The Box Guy!


What's Your Box?

He wants to help you bust out!

And run barefoot through life!


Sharon said...

Girl my heart is so full to overflowing with love for our God right now. He is so awesome(not typing that lightly)and yet He wants to love me. He does love me. And He wants me to know it.
This sounds like a great study. Wish I was there to hop on in.
We will start our study back again this thursday. I so feel God saying Isaiah--but I keep going--God, Isaiah????? I have started reading and letting God speak to my heart. Of course it is right along the lines of what God has been speaking to me about the church.
God is approaching the hour when He is going to expect this wheel to move and it is so broken right now. Broken because of rebellion and unawareness of bondage.
I have a huge wave building inside of me.
I love the picture you put up of what the people were expecting and what they got. The GIFT in disguise. Pretty cool. He rarely shows up dressed the way we think he will.
Look at us women in blogdom. Bet no one saw that coming.:)
You are the second person in two days that has told me to watch my six. Not in the same words--but the same message.
Please pray that my spirit will stay open to His spirit and I will be on the alert. You have said watch out and the other has told me that something is coming.
We will be leaving to go out of town for a week come this Friday--please pray for our safety.

Keep putting it out in His name. It is a sweet smell before our Father.
Your Sis

Regina said...

WooHoo! What an awesome post! People keep trying to keep him in the little religion box, but you are right He is totally outside of the box! Outsdie of this world! I am lkearning more and more to expect the unexpected when it comes to My Lord and Savior!

luvmy4sons said...

You did it again girlfriend. Just love you. Loved the post! Jesus does have a colorful past, doesn't He? Also remember that one of His ancestors was a Moabite...they were started with the incestual relationship of the two daughters of Lot! God is so amazing and I love how you captured it and applied it to our lives now! Love you!

Denise said...

Wow, such a great post. You really bless me dear, thank you.

A Stone Gatherer said...

I would love to learn how you guys went through the bible last year -
through the Bible letting God teach us, "Knowing God As Our Covering". I am reading the Bible the same way or trying! How did you guys do it?

Cecily R said...

Would it shock you to know that I frequently go barefoot as an adult? In the summer I am either in flip flops or no shoes. I don't know that I am spiritually barefoot as of yet, but I'm working on it. :)

Great post. Next week when I'm trying to teach twelve 7 and 8 year olds sunday school, I'm going to think out of the box too...:)

Nicki said...

That was really good!!! I loved how you used the picture of the candle and the chandalier....I feel the same way after I lead a bible study....high as a kite. It's the best thing ever!! This was great! Thanks for sharing it!!

freetofly said...

Sharon, how did that study go? Looking forward to hearing about it! It's one of my fav books of the Bible.

Regina, Yup! That's right, can't be contained! Woot!

Leslie, My sil & I have a "walking" date tomorrow eveing (we actually live next door to each other, but don't get much time to visit, outside of Bible Study, but I am going to tell her about the Moabites things, I had forgotten that & she is teaching about Ruth & Naomi next week! I am excited for her! It's like her 2nd time teaching & it has been thrilling to see her grow these last years!

Denise, I'm glad you liked it!

Kim, I sent you an e-mail hopefully you got it? Thanks for coming by!

Cecily, not at all! I'd be really surprised if was anything else! Thank goodness for toenail polish & toe rings!

Good luck with your darling little rascals tomorrow!

Hi, Nicki! Glad to meet a fellow Kite Flyer! :)

Thanks, Ya'll!

Happy Saturday!
Maria xoxox

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!