Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
That is an unbelievable statement. We can become partakers of His divine nature! That's my goal for 2011. To gain understanding and insight into this.
What about you? What's your plans for the "week in between" and 2011?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Can you imagine what it’s like to live as a blind person? To intermingle in a world void of color, beauty, depth, height . . . void of light?
For most of us blindness would seem unbearable. However, even 20/20 eyesight isn’t a gurantee that you can see much of anything. In fact, you can fumble around, trip, and fall just like Bartimaeus, only your blindness might be spiritual rather than physical.
No matter where you are in your journey with Christ, you should never live beyond the ache to see more of God’s Light. Our pursuit of revelation, intimacy, wisdom, and mercy from God should be the prayerful desire of every believer.
Still our Light flickers. It begins to diminish when we think we know it all or start to see other’s opinions, beliefs, ideas, or perspectives as less than. We begin to ignore the pull of Light. Instead, we take the reigns because we caught one too many glimpses of our remarkable selves.
Time and again Jesus uses blindness in His parables to illustrate how easily pride, religion, sin, and self righteousness can replace the ache for Light in a person’s heart—even a person who claims to know God.
In John 9, Jesus heals a different blind man. The man exuberantly tells the Pharisees about his miraculous healing. Outraged (for several reasons), the Pharisees promptly throw the man out of the synagogue to which Jesus later retorts in John 9:39-41: “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” He goes on, “If you were blind you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
In the book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, author Donald Miller suggests that the enemy’s best trick isn’t to get us to commit some great evil. Instead, he allows us to develop a religious habit in which we hear about God but really never engage with God.
Religious habit suffocates our ache for Light.
That’s what happened with the Pharisees. They weren’t so much “the bad guys” as they were guys who had “arrived” and settled in their minds exactly who God was (and wasn’t)—so much so, they didn’t recognize Him standing in front of them. Turns out, God was greater than they could have imagined. Jesus blew their tiny, little God boxes to smithereens.
We’ve all got some Pharisee in us. We think we’ve figured out something super spiritual so we check off the box as “done.” But that’s never true. Until we “arrive” at Heaven’s door, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything.
God is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. For self-reliant, type A people (yes, especially writers), that truth can be one of the toughest to which you’ll ever have to surrender. Absurd isn’t it? That someone else holds the pen and makes the edits to your life? That someone else can shed more Light on a bias you’ve worked years to build up? That someone else might actually . . . be . . . perfect?
So how do you keep your ache for Light strong? Like Bartimeaus, the blind man, you simply tell Jesus each day, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
Scriptures to help amplify your ache:
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death . . .
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Post/Tweet this today:
Until we “arrive” in Heaven, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything. Open my eyes, Lord. Give Light to my understanding. #LiveSticky
Join us tomorrow for The Direction of Light: Pointing Them to Heaven at Wayne Hastings’ blog.
Rachel here. I really loved the line "religious habit suffocates our ache for light." It is easy to replace our desire to see Jesus in both His divinity and humanity by going through the motions of worship but never really opening up our hearts.
What about you? Are you going through the motions, pretending to "see" the Lord but being quite blind? I'm asking to "see" my religious blindfolds this Christmas season. What do you think?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
We've cooked up something fabulous!
To celebrate Book 3 in The Lowcountry Romance series, Dining With Joy, I've partnered with Litfuse Publicity Group in the Dining With Joy NOOK Giveaway! You could win a JOYOUS prize package worth over $185.00! (And see below to find out how you can enter to win a $30 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble!)
Dining With Joy is a fun, yet serious story about a cooking show host who can't cook. (what a nightmare that would be!)
Publisher's Weekly says: A delectable and light tale of finding love amid everything edible, a story that goes down easy. Readers will find themselves hankering for another serving of lowcountry living from Joy's pantry.
Celebrate with me and click on one of the icons below for your chance to win!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A brand new Nook with Wi-Fi
- Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck Nookbook
- Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck Nookbook
- A $15 dollar Barnes&Noble.com Gift Certificate
Want to help Spread the Word for a chance to win an additional $30 BarnesandNoble.com Gift Certificate? Help Spread the Word about Rachel's fun giveaway and we'll put your name into the pot for the gift certificate!
Share this button on your blog or website (worth 10 entrees!):
Additional entrees can be earned by talking up the Dining With Joy Giveaway on Facebook & Twitter. It's simple. Just use the sample post & tweet below (and be sure to follow the fine-print instructions!).
SHARE THIS ON FACEBOOK: Enter to win a NOOK eReader (just in time for Christmas) in Rachel Hauck's Dining with Joy Giveaway! Enter here on Facebook at this link http://apps.facebook.com/sweepstakeshq/contests/76734. And don't miss Rachel's latest witty tale about a television cooking show host who CAN'T cook! A MUST read!
(then email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you posted to Facebook - feel free to post once a day for extra entrees. Just let us know how many times you shared! You rock.)
TWEET THIS: @RachelHauck is giving away a NOOK eReader for the release of Dining With Joy - her latest witty read! http://ow.ly/3jN4p #litfuse
(must use hashtag #litfuse to be entered. No need to email us about your tweet - we will track those via twitter using the hashtag. And as with Facebook you'll earn extra entrees by tweeting multiple days. You rock.)
More about the book: Joy Ballard has a secret: she's a cooking show host who can't really cook.
When her South Carolina-based cooking show, Dining With Joy, is picked up by a major network, Joy Ballard's world heats up like a lowcountry boil.
Joy needs help. Then she meets chef Luke Davis who moved to Beaufort after losing his Manhattan restaurant. A cook at the Frogmore Cafe, he's paying debts and longing to regain his reputation in the elite foodie world.
Luke and Joy mix like oil and water…until Joy is exposed on national television. With her career and his reputation both under fire, they'll have to work together to fix the mess. Is it possible that they can learn to feast on God's love and dine with joy?