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The lamb



The lamb
In the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the shores of Aslan’s country, the children find someone they don’t expect, a lamb. The gates to the country of the great lion are watched by a small, delicate animal of sacrifice.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles eye they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a lamb. – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader chpt. 16 pg. 267/268
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into Tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane. Chpt 16. Pg. 269
I cried great tears when I read this. I knew the lamb would be Aslan, but that made it all even sweeter. Lewis never missed an inch, right down to an image almost akin to Revelation with the lamb waiting at the gate.
Of course the lion of the Narnia saga wouldn’t move me to cry so (I would still shed tears, just not such flowing tears) much if he were just another story, but because the author made him a rendition of Jesus I can’t help but long to be near him. Jesus is such a wonder. He’s a mighty lion and a slain lamb. It’s easy to miss the lamb while being caught up by the lion, but he’s just as much a part of our King. Remember, only the lamb is worthy to open the scroll. That terrifying and wonderful scroll. Lions are so big and powerful and lovely; lambs are small and soft and delicate, no one would choose a lamb to be the hero of a great tale, exept someone who knew we needed a pure sacrifice. Nothing is an accident in God’s plan, no one would sacrifice a lion or a warrior, not without great accolades and songs in his honor- but who notices a lamb? (Plus a lion would not be a perfect sacrifice.)
Yet isn’t that the whole mystery. Jesus is both. He’s a great warrior even if we miss that fact, and He’s a gentle lamb.
Don’t forget that Jesus is a warrior. He said He would return with the armies of the Lord, He’s not sitting back thinking swords look dangerous, He is King and Ruler and we owe Him honor. Someday, we will reach Heaven’s shores and lay our crowns at the feet of the lamb who is also a lion.

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He didn’t fix the broken world, but He does fix broken people.

“Help her to know that the world is not a safe or nice place just because Jesus came, but that we still need His grace.”

Tonight I found a video of my Grandfather and Grandmother praying over right after I was born. They said a lot of great and kind things, yet this stood out to me. It’s so terribly true. So many people come to know Jesus and think that by knowing Him the world will suddenly change into a nicer, better place. Then it doesn’t and they- like the seed that fell on the side of the road- lost their faith as soon as bad times came. We preach that Jesus will make everything better, and He does, but not in the way that most people understand. Like the Jewish people expecting the Messiah to over throw the Roman tyrany, we expect something that our carnal minds see, not what God actually has planned. When Jesus comes into our lives and changes things for the better it doesn’t mean that He changes the world around us, it means He changes us. Sometimes God does something crazy and fixes every problem and cures every illness, but many times He doesn’t. Many times He changes our outlook, our plan, sometimes even our friends circle changes to help us where we are in that season. But the most important thing is that He Himself comes into our lives and His presence makes everything better. Jesus didn’t come to make the world a better place, He came to make us better people and to prepare us for His kingdom.
We still need His grace.

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Of other worlds

CS Lewis spoke of a place that you want to go to but can’t because it doesn’t exist. A place you long for with all your heart, but find yourself in desiderium. You grieve for it as something lost, yet you’ve never been there. Narnia was like that for Lewis. Yet as the author he was able to visit there in his mind. I found that, after reading Prince Caspian for 1000th time since my dad read to me when I was too young to read myself, I felt that same ache and sorrow I always did when the children went back to England- back to our world. It’s always so sad in my opinion. Our world is dark and evil. The White Witch hasn’t been slain yet here. Children aren’t permitted to just be kids anymore and adults are stuck into a mill of being what they are told to be and acting as the government demands us to act. It’s sad and depressing some days. I want to go to that world where the great Lion is king and evil is shown to be evil and is destroyed by the shaking of his Mane. Yet that world is fiction. Or is it? My Poppa was singing an old song the other day, one I forgotten about, and it reminded me of a joy that I had been missing lately by being caught up in the world around me, (that happens to us adults from time to time). Want to know what song it was? When we all get to Heaven.
Remember it? If not I recomend finding it on youtube. It goes:
‘ when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.’ Now slap your knees and sing that one full throated!
We forget sometimes what Heaven is like. We don’t know how it will feel, taste or smell, but we do know that there is no sin, no sickness, no fear, hunger, shame or sorrow. Best of all, Jesus is in Heaven. This world feels so real right now that we feel desiderium for the past and for worlds that don’t exist. Yet Heaven is real. Heaven is not a fa√®ry tale. Heaven is promissed to those who run the race and keep the faith. There is a place where evil has been seperated from God, a place where sin is not welcome or relevant, a place where the great Lion of Judah shakes His mane and all wickedness is destroyed, a place that I am unworthy to enter but by Jesus’s love, death and Resurrection, and my choice to leave my sins behind and follow Him, I am permitted to come and join in the feasting.
We long for a world other than this one because God programmed us to long for where He is. The made up realms are nice for now, but it’s the very real place of Heaven that is the true escape. We just have to hang on until the end and remember that we are strangers and aliens and not of this world, we are from God, we are Heaven bound.

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Agapao

Lent day 22

Agape (noun)
Agapao (verb)

We all know the Agape love of God that is spoken of and written on Church billboard signs; but what about the Agapao love of God?
Agape is a noun. We all know what a noun is. In fact I struggle with Agape being a noun because it doesn’t seem to fit the feeling the word offers. Yet Agapao is the verb and this word being a verb is exactly what we feel when God says He ‘Agapes’ us. Now, I’m not a scholar or a linguist so I won’t dive into these words too much because I know I will get in over my head. But here’s the “big idea” for the day: God’s love is an action. His love is never stagnant. God loves is with a love that chases is down and fights for us. There is an old poem called ‘the hound of Heaven’, it speaks of how God relentlessly pursues us even though we run from Him. That’s what His love is. It’s never giving up. Never battered down. Never beaten back. Always persuing us. God is waiting to come until the whole world hears, why? Because He doesn’t want a single soul to be lost so He bides His time until every ear has heard about Him, so that the ones left behind are there because they chose to be, not because they didn’t know any better. I bet it breaks His heart when people choose to not live for Him. He actively loves them. Actively pursues them. And actively holds all of us in His arms if we choose not to struggle away from Him.
God’s love is an action.

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Every one of us

Lent day 19

Every loser
Every outcast
Every dead walking
Every can’t take another day
Every prisoner (in the mind or body)
Every never enough
Every striving too hard
Every hypocrite
Every filthy rags show off
Every sinner
Every pastor
Every child
Every adult
Every senior
Every. Single. Person
Is loved unconditionally by Jesus.
I know I’m a sinner. I know a fail Him every day. It’s hard to believe that He would keep reaching out and loving inspite of me. If Jesus didn’t love us we couldn’t be better than we are, we couldn’t throw away our sins and failures, we wouldn’t have a chance. It’s because He loves us that we can change. It’s because He loves us that while we were His enemies He died for us. We are all the Centurion at the Cross, holding a spear dripping with His blood in our hands as we realize, “this man must truly have been the son of God.”
We couldn’t repent of our sins and find Jesus if He hadn’t first paid everything for us. We no longer have an excuse to cling to our past, our sins, our filthy rags- Jesus died so that we would have a way out.
He gave us a way out of hell, not a free ticket to both the hell “party” on earth AND the paradise of Heaven. We get one or the other. But praise God that He is paitent and just so that no soul will be lost, because He wants all of us. God is the only one who can be greedy, and He is greedy for our souls, He does not want the devil to have a single person and will give up everything so that the devil can’t have us. If in the end every sould found Jesus except on and that one went to hell, that single soul would be on God’s mind all the time and would break His heart.
He loves us and gives us every opportunity to change and find him. We have no excuse, so let’s throw away the excuses and run into Jesus’s outstretched arms.

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Undefeated?

Lent day 15

Undefeated?

What defeats you? Is it the chaos of the world? The sleepless nights because of finances? The car alarm going off at 5am? Losing your keys? If we’re honest, we realize that we can be defeated by the big sorrows and the little ones. Without God and with God we can have days and even years of feeling defeated. But there comes the difference. Without God you are defeated before you begin, with God you are never truly defeated because He is still fighting for you. I saw a thing that said, “when the world has you down on the mat, praise God from the mat.”
Praise is a crazy thing. It can shake you to tears of joy and sorrow, it can make you feel stronger when you feel weak, it can make you remember that God’s got this; because praise draws you closer to God. I sometimes wonder if praise draws us closer to God than even prayer? Because when we pray, most of the time it’s about us- but when we praise it’s always about God. Just a thought.
The devil hates praise, he knows it strengthens us and pleases God. So he destracts us, or makes us feel like it isn’t important, but we know that it is. Look for things to praise God for throughout your day and watch your feeling of defeat start to lift a little. Praise doesn’t have to be song, it can be a thought or even a feeling, maybe just a ” wow God!” Statement. He loves you. The three in one Trinity is fighting on your behalf. He will never let you down, even when you are on your back on the mat He is there keeping you going. You can and will get back up, if only you will look for His hand.

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Which stream

Lent day 12

Which stream should I choose in life? With which path should I go? I say ‘why should I be stuck in a stream at all! Forced to go with the constant flow.’ If all streams lead to the ocean, then someday won’t I be free? But along the pushing path that others forge, will I forget to be me?
If God reaches down His hand from Heaven and traces a small path away from the crowd for me, then shouldn’t I follow that path with eagerness? Then shouldn’t I go willingly? The path has only room enough for one person, and I fear to travel alone. Yet if Jesus is with me, then I do not go alone. The hero often stands by herself, when the true battle begins to wage, but with the Spirit as my sword, Faith as my shield, I will not be afraid. I will follow my path to a greater ocean. Away from the pushing crowd, I will swim this special causway, I will not be drowned. If God has a path just for me, then why would I swim to the same sea, as every other fish in the stream and lose who am and sacrifice my dream? I will follow this path alone, with the cross before me and Jesus leading me home. – LVB

From the time we hit first grade we are being pushed toward a path. People say that each of our paths are unique, but if you are following along with the rest of the world then you are just another part of the crowd. Only Jesus gives us uniqe and individual paths, but they often lead us to be on our own. The path to Heaven is narrow and hard, the path to hell is wide and easy. Which path are you on? If you see the narrow path open up before you will you follow it? In my mind I see the narrow gate like a hidden entry that only reveals itself to the few who choose to look for it. If you aren’t seeking Jesus then you won’t find the path to Heaven. Which path are you walking? Would you like to switch and find the narrow gate? Then ask Jesus into your heart. You don’t need the sinner’s prayer specifically, you can come to Him with your own words and your heart open to find Him. Maybe you’ve lost the path and have been wandering in a fog. That’s not hard either, you can get back to the right path by asking for Jesus to help you. The answer is always Jesus. It doesn’t matter what the question was. If you talk to Him and look for Him you will find Him, because He wants to be found.

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Oil on my head

Lent day 9

Let a righteous man strike me- that is a kindness; let him rebuke me- that is oil on my head- Psalm 141:8

David was a man after God’s heart. That doesn’t mean he never screwed up, it means that he repented when he did. He was human and made human mistakes, however he truly loved God and wanted to make things right with Him as fast as he could when he sinned. Few true followers of God commit sins on purpose, and when we do sin we try to repent quickly. I like the second half of that verse the best: let him rebuke me-that is oil on my head.
David was a shepherd, so he would have known that oil on the head of the sheep was there to fend off flies. We do this on the bellies of our horses on the farm too. To him being rebuked by a righteous man was the same as having insect repellent placed on his head. It warded off the attacks of evil emotions and desires. He didn’t take being rebuked by someone closer to God than himself as an offense, rather as a kindness. David didn’t shy from a corrective word from the pulpit, he knew that being close to God was greater than his feeling of self importance.
May we all have a spirit that thirsts after righteousness, because we long to know God’s face.

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Lent day 3 Stop putting your chains back on.When Jesus died and rose again He took our sins on Himself, He set us free from our chains- so why do we keep setting the locks back in place? We claim our sin as our identity, we tattoo it on our arms (or on our foreheads) we announce it with pride, yet it is what is killing us; it is holding us back, tying us down, and making us defeated. Those sins are nailed to the cross, stop tearing them off and sticking them back on yourself, you deserve more, you deserve better. You are loved so much more by Jesus who says to cast your sins aside than you will ever be by the devil who says to keep your sins and to wear them proudly, in fact mr. Do what makes you happy not what the Bible tells you to, aka the devil, doesn’t love you at all. The devil hates you. That’s why he encourages your sins. Jesus loves you. That’s why He tells you to leave your sins behind. Jesus set you free. So be free. Stop being a slave to the devil. Be a redeemed, set free, undefeated, friend of God. For He called you by name.

Stop putting your chains back on.
When Jesus died and rose again He took our sins on Himself, He set us free from our chains- so why do we keep setting the locks back in place? We claim our sin as our identity, we tattoo it on our arms (or on our foreheads) we announce it with pride, yet it is what is killing us, it is holding us back, tying us down, and making us defeated. Those sins are nailed to the cross, stop tearing them off and sticking them back on yourself, you deserve more, you deserve better. You are loved so much more by Jesus who says to cast your sins aside than you will ever be by the devil who says to keep your sins and to wear them proudly, in fact mr. Do what makes you happy not what the Bible tells you to, doesn’t love you at all. The devil hates you. That’s why he encourages your sins. Jesus loves you. That’s why He tells you to leave your sins behind. Jesus set you free. So be free. Stop being a slave to the flesh. Be a redeemed, set free, undefeated, friend of God. For He called you by name.

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Lent day 2

Even the little concerns

Lent day 2
Today needed a photo, and if I’m honest I’m not sure everyone will get is being said in this one because this understanding of God is something we all struggle with.
God cares. Hang on, don’t roll your eyes, I know we have all heard this term missused and misrepresented. Just (as my new yoga teacher would say) breathe into it for a moment. God cares about you. Every tiny, crazy, dumb problem; every monumental catastrophe, He cares.
My example may sound odd but give me a chance.
You see that guy in the photo below? That’s my horse. He’s been my horse for over a decade. We have had big crazy dreams, big crazy failures and many learning moments. I’ve been worried about him lately. It’s been really cold (though he usually prefers that) and he has been acting odd. Distant. Even a little aggressive. I checked him over and he’s physically fine, so I chalked it up to the cold air and waited. Then it warmed up and nothing changed. Now I’m concerned and on with horse behaivior experts trying to see if something is wrong on the inside. With a little work on a few bad habbits his aggressive attitude faded away, but he was still playing shy with me. It felt like something I should deal with myself, I have trained horses for several years, I should be able to solve this on my own. Yet I was worried about him, and a little sad to see him acting that way toward me who loves him so much. So I prayed. I’ll admit my prayer began along the lines of “sorry to bother you with this God,” because like I said, it didn’t seem like a big thing, just something that was bothering me. Skip to today. I’m out in my yard, my horse comes right up to me, which he hasn’t done for the past several weeks, his ears are pricked but I give him some space and let him do his own thing. His own thing turned out to be following me around the yard, wanting to be close to me even though I had no treats, nuzzling my hair and being his normal self. It was so nice to realize that God wasn’t bothered by my odd, seemingly unimportant request. I know this story was long, and most people probably can’t relate to it, my point here is that no matter how silly your request seems, even if you feel like you should be able to deal with the problem yourself, even if you’re worried that God will see it as too small for his power, He still cares, it’s never too small of a problem for God. We get it into our heads that God likes big flashy miracles, but don’t forget that God was not in the Wind, He was in the whisper. Ask Him. No matter how silly small or unimportant it seems, bring it to God and watch for him to make things better. Like a loving father He’s never ashamed to kiss and  bandage our scrapes.