He. Changed. Me.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  
Who I was
(am apart from Christ’s transforming love, grace and mercy)
driven, a slave to sin, argumentative, ungrateful, selfish, murderer, promiscuous, unfaithful, slanderer, gossip, fool, arrogant, liar, self-righteous, proud, self-focused, self centered, full of selfish ambition, manipulative, angry, hateful, blind, insecure, mean-spirited, impulsive, opportunist, insensitive, discontent, never satisfied, hopeless, fiercely competitive, ignorant, cheat, deceitful, shame-filled, secretive, limited (conditional) love, spiritually dead. 
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Who I am 
(in Christ – am being conformed and transformed into)
holy, beloved, righteous, redeemed, forgiven, set apart, saint, child of The One True Living God, free,
spiritually alive, saved from the power of sin and death, heaven bound, victorious, precious in His sight, called, conformed to His image, complete, faithful, self-controlled, Spirit-filled, wise, humble, healed, blood bought, yielded and willing to yield, able to truly love unconditionally, kind, compassionate, sensitive to others, hopeful, thankful, with understanding, gracious, peaceful, unashamed, transparent, patient, Christ/God centered and focused. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians Chapter 2

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Sinner And Saint {The Healing Power of Journal Keeping}

A trunk full of the stories of my many lives!
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. 
These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
2 Peter 1:4

Healing comes in many forms.
 It also sometimes comes in bits and pieces sometimes- instead of all at once.
My journals hold within the pages stories of the many lives
I have lived.
I also believe that within them lies a powerful witness to the
 healing power of the writing life,
available to all journal keepers.

Writing to me has been the one thing which is constant, 
like the breath

It is the one thing that I have done for so long it is part of who I am.
 There are many activities that have come and gone but from early on I picked up a pen,
put it to paper and revealed, revered and reflected the soul that I was.
The voice that resonated in time, captured on the pages for better and for worse,
staring back up for all to see.
Word snapshots. Candid.
There have been times when I have considered holding a “Journal Burning” party,
but after further consideration I have held back. 
The one time this idea became exceedingly strong was shortly after being introduced to my Savior.
I wanted to burn every thing written on those pages because of the very stark reality portrayed.
Captured under the microscope were lurid details of my very nature.
It was not pretty at times.
I did not hold back, there I was staring back up from the pages at myself as
when one looks upon their reflection in still water.

Clear, sharp, intriguing and bare was I – 
no hiding from those pages jealousy, anger, selfishness, and fickleness.
Yet there was also an authenticity on those pages that would not be denied.
A rawness, that staked a claim which would not be refused. 
Here in these pages there was a voice longing to be heard but beneath the surface
there was yet another still, small voice which was yet to be released. 
At one point I did throw away my journals – these were from my teen years and
 I did it impulsively as much of what I did in my early years.
But as fate would have it or by God’s design,
depending on your perspective,
I soon began to pour out my heart and soul once more on paper at the requirement of a professor for a Human Relations class I took at 18 years of age.
The wonderful and challenging thing about this was that we were expected to journal on specific hypothetical questions as well as reflect on the class and our experiences personally.
Well that was all it took, from this point on I picked my pen back up and have never put it down. I continued to journal my life journey and put on paper “the good, the bad and the ugly” as well as the big kahuna philosophical inquiry into life’s deeper meaning.
 Enter Jesus Christ.
My pen became a vehicle for the underlying voice which was birthed on that day. 
As I wrote at times I felt the Spirit move within me and the pages began to be transformed by the power of His Spirit.
Years passed and much was recorded on the pages.
 There in those pages emerged a new voice…there was no doubt.
But the old voice was also there, questioning, pleading and at times accusing.
But still, hidden among the rambles, a Light was beginning to shine (John 8:12) .
 A light that would not be snuffed.
A midst the foolishness, there it was…
Wisdom, a wisdom that was not my own and one which
I had no claim to but instead which laid claim to me.
There slowly the pages began to show a relationship instead of only my thoughts, feelings and activities. Emerging out of the darkness was a voice which revealed wisdom, hope and clarity.
So you see I could not burn those books, after all.
They became precious to me as they revealed the heart of the one who came to bring light, life and truth. This same one promises that in time, everything unworthy will be burned up.
But, for now I will keep these journals, because I never want to forget exactly who I am apart from my God and his amazing grace. I need to remember, even as I, with Paul, press on to that which Christ has taken hold of in me… that depth which I have come from- to keep me from the sin of the Pharisees and the blindness of pride.

In these journals there is  healing, supernatural birth and transformation better than any ‘Transformers’, Superhero or action movie.

In these journals there is the power and presence of a Living God 
as He relates to me and I to Him. 

I am thankful that I didn’t follow through and burn those books. 
Because in them is the mind of my Savior
and the transformation of one sinner to saint.

“So pay attention to how you hear. 
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given.
 But for those who are not listening, 
even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”
Luke 8:18

This is a Re-Post (gently revised) from July 3, 2011.
See the original here: Too Many Lives: The Journals

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