Sunday, January 29, 2012

January - A month in my rear view

 Where did January go? It's all but over. Despite the fact this month comes after my favorite time of year, October - December, fall, football, Thanksgiving, birthdays and Christmas, I love January.

It's when all the noise and busyness eases to the back of the bus and I can focus on writing. But this time, January came with a delightful hustle and bustle.

Hubby's parents came for two and a half weeks, along with sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and family, plus, dealing with daily issues with our ailing nineteen year old cat.

I love a full house. It makes for a full heart. Though there was a sliver of sadness when we had to say goodbye to Red, El Cato extraordinaire. He just couldn't go on and it was time to end his suffering.

Writing was a bit hit or miss, but I'm on my rewrite now, looking forward to buckling down in February and getting 'er done!

I do love ruminating over a book though. And even if I'm not butt-in-chair, fingers-to-the-keyboard writing, the story is always on my mind, and in my heart. I play with tag lines and high concept pitch lines in order to clarify the story.

How about you? How's your January going? How does the year look for you? I have a sense of expectancy. Excitement. Like a lot of things we've all been waiting for are going to happen. At the very least, have the opportunity to happen.

I pray about the sense in my heart, partnering with God for His good pleasure to be accomplished in my life. You know, it's where a lot of us makes mistakes in our relationship with God. We assume God said it so it's going to happen. Fer sure!

But most of the time God's words to us or "sense of something" is an invitation into a divinely more intimate relationship with Him. It's about partnership. We must agree with Him to bring it about. We can't sit on the side lines, waiting.

Yeah, there are some FOR SURE promises. God will make it happen. But those are more rare than we like to think.

It's like this... The coach says he's going to put you into the game. "Hauck, you're going in some time this year."

"Okay coach, thanks!" 

Hauck shows up to practice every day and... sits on the bench. Just waiting. To be called in. Hauck never prepares for the day Coach says, "You're up. Get in there. Go make me proud."

Hauck hops off the bench, barely, cause she's so out of shape and stiff from sitting. She's mentally foggy and well, she's not going to make the coach proud.

Sometimes I think this his how we approach our walk with the Lord. Waiting. Sitting. Being passive when we could be training for whatever He's called us to do. How do we train?

Be in prayer. Be in the Word. Be in fellowship. Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with our God. Seek. Ask. Knock. Fast. Do the stuff, you know?

He'll give you hope, promises and encouragement a long the way. And when He finally calls you into the game, you're in agreement with Him, in shape, ready to "play."

I'm believing God for good things this year. And it starts right now when I can't see or hear the future. It begins with faith in my heart. Agreement with God about who He says HE is and who I am. It begins on my knees.

What about you? Are you training for what God has for you this year? Let's go! Let'd JUST DO IT!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jesus literally paid His Father's Debt of Love

Singing and worshipping from the Word today, I came across this passage from Micah 7:18-20.

"Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity,
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.
He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old."

The prophet is extolling God for His mercy and compassion, for His unchanging love. He closes with this, written in Rachel Translation, "God, you will give truth and love to us because you promised it to our forefathers from way back."

Here's the Glorious truth: Jesus IS that fulfilled promise. In Micah's day, God in essence owed Israel and those who were His, love. He was in debt to them by His own promise.

But God always pays His debts. He purposefully became in debated to His people for love.

Paul writes in Romans 13:8, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." NIV

Do you see? God owed us love and He paid His debt through His son. The Cross is our payment. We're redeemed from our sin by love! A love that was promised and owed to us.

It's for love sake that Jesus came, endured the Cross and paid our debt of sin while fulfilling the Father's debt of love.

The Son of God, the Son of Man! Oh, what a divine exchange! JOY!

Look at the last half of the verse. "...whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." The Father gave the law in the Old Testament to prove to us how much we need His love. The coming of Jesus fulfilled the law which is the message over and over in the New Testament.

The law is love. Jesus fulfilled this law. God the Father has demonstrated how to love by sending His son. He's gladly paid His debt to the forefathers.

Our job is to access His love.

If someone pays you back the money they owe, you now have access to extra capital. You are richer. The money can cover your own debt, or purchase needs for the family, or even go on a dream vacation. It is yours to use your way.

So... how are you using the paid debt of love Jesus and the Father so graciously paid? Are you accessing your heavenly account? Are you walking in the riches of His grace and love? Are you enjoying Him?

Let's not let the paid balance of love just linger in our account while we live like paupers, head down, heart beat up, barely getting by. Let's access His very precious love, paid for with His own blood.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why Should I Keep Praying?

My dear brother and friend Stuart Greaves shares truth and wisdom in the video.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Is God Helping Tim Tebow Win Games?


Press pause. I'm not a Broncos fan. I don't know their current record. I'm not even sure if they are still winning... I just know they were and the big whoopty-do in the media was the question, "Is God helping Tim Tebow win football games?"

Yes! Absolutely. Please, God, help Tim win games.

Help me write a book. Help Tony teach math and be a pastor.

Help the father raise his children. Help the mother do her job to the best of her ability.

Help the pilot fly the plane. Help leaders lead. Help Obama be president.

God the Father is so kind a gracious He gives us gifts and duties, He maps out a destiny and He enables us to do the very thing He wants us to do.

So why wouldn't God help Tim Tebow win football games? He's gifted him. He's enabled him. He's called Tim to play football in this season. I'm sure it's part of Tebow's QB job duties to "win football games." Otherwise, the Broncos would have a different quarterback.

The difference, and why people get all offended by the idea that God helps Tebow, is that we don't think He's helping us.

Many years ago Tony said to the kids sitting in youth church, "I'm God's favorite."

I could physically feel the air in the room deplete as about forty kids sucked in a desperate gasp. What?! You're His favorite?

Because the immediate assumption is, "What about me? I'm not His favorite?"

Beloved, you are also His favorite! It's this kind of confidence that puts us on our own "football" fields and makes us winners.

Technically, Tebow is not the best quarterback. He has an odd throw -- kind of a pump-n-pass. So I hear. But the Lord loves Tim's heart when he gets out on the field and operates in complete confidence that he is doing exactly what God has called him to do. He taps into the love and favor of the Lord!

Same with me. When I write, I know I'm not the best writer out there. Not even close. The lack of awards on my shelf is proof. Yet I know the Lord is with me. I know He helps me write books. I know He gives me favor with the publishing community. Why? Because I'm doing what He's called me to do. And He loves that I lean into Him in the midst of my weakness.

But don't take my word for it. Let's check some Bible on this.

Psalm 90:17

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Confirm the work of our hands! To me, that sounds like winning. Succeeding. Taking those small steps forward... toward a goal.

1 Corinthians 2:9


Do you love Jesus? He's prepared amazing things for you! Tim Tebow loves Jesus, and from the outside, he appears to honor Him with his life on and off the field. Why would God NOT honor him with success in his calling?

And why not for you, too? Come on, now. Take off your mad, sad God hat.

John 10:10

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

God is not the thief or destroyer, Satan is. Jesus is the one who gives life! Reach for life. Reach for His favor.

If you love Jesus, if He's your Lord and Savior, if you have the Holy Spirit, why would the Lord not give you every thing you need to life godly and righteous?

He does! He will. He already has!

So, if God is helping Tim Tebow win football games, what can He help you achieve?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Home from the Game

I'm glad to be home from the game. The Gator Bowl. Not because my team lost. But because it's always good to be home. It was cold in Jacksonville. Brrr... But sunny and beautiful. 

Husband and I had a good time! The faithful Buckeye fans out numbered the Gator fans -- and your team played in your home state! Tsk-tsk.But in the end, fielding one of the worst football teams I've seen in awhile couldn't win all those red shirts and crazy Buckeye hats the game. 

The team wasn't bad -- I mean -- the talent is there. But it literally looked like OSU didn't even review tape of the Gators. Special teams really won the game for the Gator baiters. ;) 

Yet OSU couldn't pull it together.I wonder... was it the price of the sins of our past? If so, let's hope it's paid in full. By the way, can we NOT do the whole UbanNation thing? We have enough "nations" going on in NCAA "nation." ;) 

 We ate at Cracker Barrel on the way home. They had a fire in the fireplace. Thank you very much! The dining room was full of sulking Buckeyes. We were comforted by each others silent presence. 

 In the mean time, I had lots of fun with my new Nikon. Took lots of pictures. I'll post later. 

Yesterday I preached in church on the Authority of the Believer. It was good. I was glad the Lord gave me something to share with the body of Christ! Rock on, Believers! Go for it! 

 Back to today. I"m still a Buckeye through and through. Funny how deep alma mater loyalties run. 

 Tomorrow, back to writing A Royal Affair. 

 Tomorrow, the official release of Love Lifted Me.

Sunday, January 01, 2012