The Danger of Should: Why Positive Thinking May Not be the Answer

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A preliminary scrolling of Instagram started my day, between the morning meandering that makes up the daily routine of my life and sitting down for my first cup of coffee, I find myself under assault.

The word, should, catches my attention.

I haven’t opened my Bible yet, but fortunately I must have slept in my spiritual armor. Or maybe after years of wearing it, it finally has become my permanent garb. Or maybe it’s just that I open my Bible enough so when I am confronted with philosophies disguised as wisdom in the form of memes, posts, advertising and free offers, I recognize the not so subtle brain washing of an unseen enemy who plays for keeps.

Have I gotten your attention yet?

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Grace Upon Grace (2019)

 

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“No one has the time to listen, let alone love.

Is God now pro-exhaustion?

Doesn’t He lead people beside the still waters anymore?

-Richard A. Swenson

 

I am sharing a poem I wrote in 2015 during Lent as we conclude our first week of Journaling through the Book of John. I grabbed the quotes above from my journal archives, as I re-read a few of my entries in a 5-Year Journal of Lent and Advent I kept between 2005-2010.

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Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge)

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I have been on a Gospel Journey this Lent season. Forty days of reading through the four Gospels along with a bunch of fellow sojourners with Margaret Feinberg’s #LentChallenge and today I read the first two chapters of John. The Gospel of John happens to be my very favorite of the four. I was weeping at chapter one. Broken, cracked open, spilled by the words on that page this morning. I can’t ever read the words that begin Chapter one without awestruck wonder:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-3

These words send me in this time warp journey back to Genesis, and leave me breathless. It’s as if everything from Genesis to Revelation sits within this passage. It really wrecks me…brings me to my knees. I am caught up in this grace, friends. Caught up in this amazing journey of grace upon grace. I hope you are too. This morning I was inspired to write a little poem. I hope it blesses you BIG.

Because this God I know, He takes no prisoners- but is Freedom and Truth- and I am amazed at His grace anew every morning! Don’t settle for religion. Get to know the One who came to set the captives free.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:9-13

Here is my poetic offering…

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A Week’s Worth of Jesus?

photo credit: End of Day via photopin (license)

photo credit: End of Day via photopin (license)

 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I am on a journey through the Gospels this Lent Season via Margaret Feinberg’s Lent Challenge. 4 Gospels, 40 days, and here I am wrapping up week 1 and feeling more in love with my Savior than ever before.

See, reading the Bible is not burdensome. But, being a Christian who makes no time for Jesus makes no sense at all to me. You want to feel burdened as a Believer? Ignore God’s Word, don’t pray and tell yourself you are too busy carrying your burdens to spend time with God.

Of course Jesus offers to carry those burdens, but you go just ahead and trudge along carrying them yourself. Friend, that is just foolishness!

If you want to carry your burdens, be my guest but don’t blame God when you’re weary from it.

The thing is we are all busy. We all have the same amount of time in a day. We all have to choose how we will slice up that day according to our priorities. And the bottom line is we get off track. We do. I do and you do. Unless of course you’re a Pharisee….

That’s a whole other blog post.

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