Something I was thinking


Captivated by Love
September 1, 2009, 3:55 pm
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(With my oldest daughter recently getting her drivers license, I was reminiscing about the years that have past and came across this article that I wrote nine years ago, when she first surrendered her life to Christ.)

I was six when God’s love got a hold on my life. Oh, I knew that I was a sinner and that I didn’t want to go to Hell, but it was His love that got a hold on me. Like a hand that clutches the arm of a child and pulls her away from a blazing fire, His love wrapped around my heart and held me captive. For the first time what captivated me was not my willingness to sin, but His willingness to forgive. I am still captive to this freedom.

When Darla entered my life, it was as if the rules changed. Maybe not so much how the game was played, but how the game was understood. I had known love; the love of a parent, the love of God. Her love was different. “God, if I marry her because I sense an eternal need for her, am I putting another god before you?” His answer, “I am the same God, with the same love, meeting your needs through a different means.” I am enslaved to another love, not out of obligation, but out of an inner longing that is met nowhere apart from God through her. Enslaved to what frees me to be more than I could be alone; free to be what God created us to be as two in one flesh. I am still enslaved to this freedom.

Mikayla was born in the early hours of a June morning. Her eyes were blue, her skin softer than my fingers could sense. It takes a face to rub on a baby’s skin to perceive its softness. God’s love was taught, a wife’s love was learned, but a baby’s love is born. No lessons were needed, it was just there before a cry was heard, a diaper changed, or a lullaby sung. I was imprisoned by innocence. Her innocence brought to my heart what I had forgotten about myself: Before there was guilt there was innocence, before insecurity there was trust, and before fear there was love. Free to be not just who I am, or who we are, but who I was. I am still imprisoned by this freedom.

From a baby to a child, from a child to a girl, and from a girl to a baby once again; Mikayla traded her physical and mental maturity for spiritual infancy. As innocent as the day she came into this world, she innocently entered the better one. With a prayer only a child could pray, a loyalty only a child can surrender, and a love only a child can express, she found what I had found; captivation…captivation by God’s love. It is a love that requires a childlike heart to find; a love that will not release…like a hand that clutches the arm of a child and pulls her away from a blazing fire. Not just like a hand, love is the hand that snatched her from such an eternal fire.

I never thought that I could cherish anything more than my own salvation. I was wrong. My greatest treasure is the salvation of my daughter. We are forever captive to the freedom that is found in Christ alone.

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Baptism & Pool Party
August 12, 2009, 3:55 pm
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There are often long stretches of life where you are not privy to what God’s up to in or through your life. Every know and then, He pulls back the fog like a curtain and you get a glimpse of what the Kingdom looks like here on earth. Last night was one of those times for me. Not only was I dumbfounded that there were 20 people ready to be baptized, I was so impressed that there was such diversity in their ages and spiritual journey’s that led them to this point. Last night was an incredible glimpse into what God is doing through His earthly Kingdom.

Enjoying the View,
Chad



To Feel Again
July 22, 2009, 4:06 pm
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I’ve had more response to my last blog than all the rest put together. It’s obvious that you care and that you can relate. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. Rest and solitude have helped immensely, but the greatest comfort and restoration has been in hearing God’s voice. I need peace, passion, and purpose to feel alive, and none of those can I create on my own with any effectiveness. In numbness, His stirrings and felt more fully, His voice is heard more clearly, and His peace, passion, and purpose is most encompassing. Thanks for going through this journey with me.



Numbness
July 1, 2009, 2:41 pm
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I’m not sure how else to describe my mood as of late, except “numb.” I see God at work, there’s no unconfessed sin in my life that I’m aware of, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, but I’m just numb…deprived of sensation…lacking in emotion. This isn’t new territory. Sometimes I feel passionate and invigorated for God and other times I’m plugging along for no other reason except that I know it’s the right thing to do. Maybe God’s trying to teach me that obedience isn’t doing something because you feel it’s right, but doing something for no other reason except God says so.



All Things to All Peopl
June 17, 2009, 8:56 pm
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Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities. In an effort to follow Jesus’ example of reaching people where they’re at, I find myself wondering who I really am. Last week I was camp pastor at a Children’s Camp, relating to them based on their (and my) limited level of understanding. Saturday, I donned suit and tie to be a part of a wedding complete with formalities and the expected maturity. Sunday was Biker Sunday where I preached in leathers to a group of my biker friends who are quite rough around the edges. Which of those three am I really? I fit in a children’s camp because of my immaturity, I can do the whole formal thing when needed, and my heart is most burdened for biker friends. I don’t think my confusion is based on me being complex, but rather quite simple. I love seeing God at work in such diverse ways and being able to fit in enough to see what He’s up to.



Off Center
May 27, 2009, 7:32 pm
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In the stillness that I seem to only occasionally find in the midst of the chaos, in the quiet that I seem to only occasionally find in the midst of the noise, the voice of God whispers that the standard I use to assess my value has once again become off center bringing to mind the words of Brennan Manning, “Genuine self-acceptance is not derived from the power of positive thinking, mind-games, or pop psychology. It is an act of faith in the God of grace.” (The Ragamuffin Gospel)



Awake
April 23, 2009, 2:40 pm
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Awake in today’s early morning hours God began to speak in my restlessness. He reminded me that His Word says in Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” While my spirit has been uplifted by seeing Him at work in and through me, my well of salvation has not been a fountain of joy. I have allowed myself to be distracted from celebrating the incredible work of God in my life. He reminded me that I am taking myself way too seriously. It’s time to get out the crayon and bubbles.