Pursued by Purpose – Jonah

man drowning

Never forget the great big fish saved Jonah’s life! What you think was sent to punish you was sent to preserve you. The pit and the prison were necessary for Joseph’s dream to be fulfilled. God isn’t punishing you. He’s purposing you. Jonah was drowning, seaweed wrapping around his head, when God sent a life boat in the form of a huge fish.

God’s purpose pursued Jonah to the port of Joppa, pursued him out on the waters, pursued him to the depths as he was drowning. Purpose pursued Jonah and pursues you! {Jonah 2:5,6; Gen. 45:5-8}

You Were Claimed Before Being Cleaned

The good news of the gospel isn’t just that God loves you, but that He loves you as much as He loves Jesus, and that when He looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin; He sees His Son. It’s good news that Christ cleanses us, but even better that He claimed you before cleaning you. He saw your mess and said, “You’re mine!”{Rom. 8:17; Jhn. 17:22-24; 1 Jhn. 3:1-3; Isa. 43:1}

“Hanging upon the cross, Christ was the Gospel.” ~Ellen G. White

Dirty Fingernails: For mechanics in Afghanistan filthy hands means finished repairs

Big Flavor, Served Plain

big flavor

Nothing can add to the cross.

Policing and modifying others’ behaviors won’t teach them of a crucified Christ and won’t coax them into relationship with Him. Adding anything else to the work Christ does in each person just messes up the flavor. As E.G. White noted, the shortness of time ought not be urged as an incentive to seek Christ. It savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus [alone] is attractive [TMK, p. 320]. Heart Check: Why do we insist on telling Christ He’s not enough? [CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or twitter t

He Chose The Mess

blood splatter crossToday, I went through a fire safety training where the demonstrator talked about how much of a mess it can cause to discharge a fire extinguisher. Of course, nobody wants to have to clean up a huge mess, but an even less desirable outcome is having nothing salvageable to clean up because everything was completely consumed in a fire. In conclusion, he said, “When you have to choose between a fire and a mess, choose the mess!” That simple phrase struck a chord deep within me.

I’ve previously discussed how messy the cross (Calvary) must have been and how messy God’s grace still is (CLICK HERE). To spare us from the wages of sin, which is death, to spare us from hell’s fire, we serve a God who chose the mess. He chose the bloody, messy cross, and although it’s been a mess, although I was a mess, He took the nails. He conquered death. He chose the mess! I hope you enjoy this song by CeCe Winans about how the cross wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. >>>>

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or Twitter twitter t

How I Almost Quit Christianity

HOW I ALMOST QUIT CHRISTIANITY

“If my only reference was the comments or actions of professed Christians, heaven is not a place I’d want to be….What started with my disdain for others’ bad behavior ended with repentance for my own…as Pastor Tullian Tchividjian stated, “A preacher who doesn’t believe he’s that bad will attract people who don’t think they’re that bad. And that’s bad…” Taking lightly the depths of my own depravity takes lightly the depths of God’s abundant grace…I’m a Christian. I have thorns. I need grace!” READ THE REST HERE…

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or Twitter twitter t

Boundaries: Forgiveness vs. Fellowship

boundaries

Forgiveness Does NOT Mean Access!

The 3-minute video below is the third part in a series on boundaries.  The first was about the purpose of boundaries – protecting the fruitfulness God expects from what He’s planting in your life (CLICK HERE to view). The second was about knowing if/when to set boundaries in relationships – it’s always when, not if (CLICK HERE to view). Below, I briefly address the question of how we know if we should forgive someone, and let them back “in” or restrict their access to us. This mixes two aspects, FORGIVENESS and BOUNDARIES – both are important, and both lead to healing and healthy relationships. See how:

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or Twitter twitter t

The Beautiful Things Project

up to you beauty

Last week I revisited an old place with a new perspective. When I visited this time last summer, all I saw was all I needed to see as I stood at the edge of the property, now overrun with tall weeds. I peered across at the dilapidated house, now crumbling even at the foundation, with missing windows, dangling doors, and a sunken ceiling. The ugliness on the outside compared very little to what ugly memories it held, so my heart was gladdened to see it decaying in the summer sun. I felt God clearly reminding me that He was doing away with old things, the old places of pain and shame in my life, and doing something new and beautiful.

This time, I took in the same scene, only the house was even more decrepit than before, the master bedroom having collapsed into the former den and only a shell of the building still there. But, even there, there in the dust, in the remaining hovel that was once a home, even there I saw beauty I’d not seen before. I saw plenty of old things, yes, but I saw new things growing all around, and that made me smile. I saw several sassafras trees and saplings and even took one home to remind me God is still doing new, beautiful things in old, ugly places. I’ll be sharing more of these beautiful things in The Beautiful Things Project, and I want YOU to join me!

Everyone has a story, and it makes all of our lives more beautiful to listen. Join me in The Beautiful Things Project where you can share YOUR beautiful things, things others may find ugly, things you once found ugly, or things re-purposed or restored. Watch the brief video below, subscribe, share, and send pictures and/or descriptions of your beautiful things. Let’s commit to seeing beauty in every single thing!

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or Twitter twitter t

grace

Grace Finds Beauty in Everything