What God Saved Me From, Specifically

One of Illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:2

We each have our own story. And we each have our own personal difficulties that try to alienate us from the cross.

I don’t know what your story is, but I know mine. I was conceived and born out of wedlock and was then adopted at five days old. So it was to my horror, as I read in Deuteronomy that during the Old Covenant, anyone born out of wedlock couldn’t take part in worship. But not just that, ten generations had to pass until a descendant could take part in worship. That passage took my breath away and not in a good way. Had I lived all the way back then, due to something that was not my fault at all, I would not be allowed to worship with the temple’s congregation. Nor my children, or their children, and on and on.

If we were to study the entire law together, we would all find many things that would keep us out of the temple, whether it be from sin, an issue of blood, or touching a dead body. It is all about holiness. And this is why Jesus had to come. He came to fulfill the law and to finish our faith. Billy Joel wrote a very popular song during the 80’s called, We Didn’t Start The Fire. No we didn’t start the fire, but we are every bit as guilty as if we did. It doesn’t really matter that I was born out of wedlock. But what does matter is the fact that I was born with a sin nature. Jesus died to make me legitimate and holy.

So, let me ask you? What’s keeping you from the cross? Maybe you are already saved, but hold some part of yourself back. What is it?

Dear Heavenly Father, Forgive me for my unjust anger against You. No matter what the circumstances, I was born a sinner. I thank you for Your law because it led me to Your love. In Jesus Most Precious Name Amen

Journal

How have you paid because of someone else’s actions?

Was it fair?

How does that seem in the light of the perfect spotless Lamb dying for us?

The Fire Of Desire

The Fire of Desire

Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.  For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.  Daniel 9:17

Sometimes I feel spiritually dry.  Not a famine, groggy.  I’ve learned a few things over the years to help me wake up.

I started running last year.  It was one of those things I never thought I’d be able to do, so I wanted to do it.  My husband, Todd, gave me an early 35th birthday present teaching me how to run.  It may sound silly, but if you’ve never been athletic, you understand.  As with any regimen, getting started is difficult.  After a few months, some of my runs actually became fun.  So to my dismay, I found that some days were still difficult.  It was a terrible let down after it being such a good experience.  I found that it was important to get myself going, I needed music.  Loud, pulsating, rhythmic music.

What does this have to do with being spiritually dry?  Everything.  Desire needs kindling.  I start by praying, which is asking God for fire.  Since I’m a daughter of the King, I am sure that my Heavenly Father will hear me.  His Spirit is giving me the words to lift up, so of course He will recognize them.  Then I prepare the altar of my heart.  For me, certain music reminds me of different places I’ve been with God.  My personal stones of remembrance.  Snapshots of the places we’ve been together.  The ticket stubs of my soul.  The music prepares my heart to open my Bible as I remember the time God healed my heart from bitterness.  My soul sings along as I hear the melodies from the Desiring God conference I attended last fall.  This never fails me.  Never.  It always works.

Dear Heavenly FatherI’ve become dry and complacent.  Breathe life into me and quicken my fatigued heart.  In Jesus Name Amen

 

Journal:

How do you deal with different kinds of fatigue?

What does God need to awaken within your heart.

Listen to The One You Will Find by Shane and Shane.

Where Do I Find Love?

Where Do I Find Love?

I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him. Isaiah 57:18

Where do you find love? Is it satisfying? These questions are at the heart of the matter at this time of soul searching.

One of the saddest things I ever hear is of one spouse leaving another because they just don’t feel the love anymore. So many people from my generation, including many of my acquaintances from Christian college, are going through this in their 20’s and 30’s. The abandoned spouse is usually left in shock, rejected from the inside out. Someone who knows them better than anyone else just walks out the door. I was talking to my mom about this phenomenon and she said, “We don’t divorce our kids.” No, we don’t. No matter how hard things get… No matter how many times they may scream, “I don’t love you,” we don’t walk out the door.

We often make the mistake of thinking that God is like other people. That’s a huge mistake. We, as humans, have been corrupted by our sin nature. The picture, that was so clear in the Garden of Eden, is a little bit murky. Even creation itself knows this. Romans 8 says that creation is waiting for our redemption. But in the meantime, we have an uncorrupted God to look to for perfect love. He knows us even better than our own parents know us. Even in our sin, He waits for us. He is Love therefore He defines what love truly is. And His love doesn’t abandon us. It has our best interests at heart. Jesus doesn’t just see our potential, He sees us now.

Prayer
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being Love. Perfect, incorruptible love. Forgive me for comparing You to people. I see You now knowing that You see everything about me.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Journal
Listen to Psalm 100 by Chris Tomlin
How have you compared God to other people?
Why is this wrong?

In Defense of Lovely

In Defense of Lovely

Do you feel guilty for liking pretty things? Do you worry about people thinking less of you because you love decorating your house, wearing makeup, or drinking fancy tea? I want to look at the idea of lovely in light of the Bible.

So, let’s begin with the obvious. We live a culture obsessed with beauty and perfection. In spite of all our country’s financial woes, we still live in a land of privilege and entitlement. But I come from a different subculture and maybe you do, too. The church culture can swing the pendulum too far in the other direction. For instance, you can be pretty, but not too pretty. Your house can be decorated, but not too flamboyantly. You can look in the mirror, but not for too long. Sort of like the Abnegation sect from the Divergent book series, eh? Continue reading “In Defense of Lovely”

Relatable is Reachable

Relatable Is Reachable

When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. Acts 13:48

Do you go through life worrying about if what you what you are going to say or do is “going to hurt your testimony.” Are you afraid of being yourself because you just don’t think you are good enough? I want to take a minute to break down these destructive lies that are keeping us from reaching the world.

I grew up in an extremely legalistic organization. Because it was located in a small town, it was a culture unto itself. I lost count of how many times I heard, “Oh, we have to be careful or we will ruin our testimony.” I knew so many who grew up terrified that something they would say or do would turn off other people to Jesus. The sad irony is that it was this very culture that made many people in the community roll their eyes. Their judgmental spirit made Christ unattractive.

I remember attending a surprise wedding shower. Continue reading “Relatable is Reachable”

Trading In

Trading In

Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” Job 13:15

Have you had a dream for most of your life only to have it ripped out from under you? Have you found that in order to follow Christ you had had to let go of something?

I work in ministry. I co-host two radio programs, write a devotional, speak, and also sing professionally. But the most important roles I play are that of wife and mother. My husband, Todd, and I have have been married almost twelve years. We have two boys, Gabe and Andy, who are nine and almost seven, respectively. Life is very busy in the Lauze household, to say the least. So if I am to fulfill the roles that God has called me to, I must be focused. Distractions constantly flit before my eyes while I constantly brush them away. Recently I’ve discovered that some of my distractions have been flying under the radar. And to deal with them meant giving up some old preconceived notions of what my life should look like. Continue reading “Trading In”

Do I Want Healing?

Do I Want Healing?

To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

The stress of getting well can be as stressful as getting sick.  So, let me ask this: do we want to get well?

Jesus asked people before healing if they wanted to get well.  He offered to helped the suffering but never forced himself on them. Everyone had the choice to say “yes” or to say “no.”  But why would anyone say no?  Maybe the sick were used to begging for money instead of working another job.  Maybe they were scared of the changes that would happen because they had always been sick.  Maybe they were held back by caregivers whose identity was wrapped around the idea that they helped other people.

I think about how hard the month of April is in upstate NY.  March’s snow is pristine and beautiful.  But everything is frozen so nothing can grow.  But in April the snow turns brown and begins to melt.  Those weeks are miserable as children wait to see green shoots coming up from the earth.  If you thought your car looked bad the month before from the salt, wait until April. Continue reading “Do I Want Healing?”