Magnified

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This past week, we had the chance to get away and spend some much needed family time with my Mom and Dad in Springfield. Our week was full of special trips and exciting outings where many new, fond memories were made. Although these trips may be minuscule in length, they are moments that I will cherish always.

One morning while we were there, I was getting ready to go – doing the usual “womenly routine”. Ladies, you know the drill – hair, make-up, and the list goes on. I was starting to “paint the barn” as my husband so kindly calls it, so my Mother offered to let me use her magnified mirror while I was applying my make-up. Hmm…let me think about this.  A large magnified mirror that’s going to give me a front row seat to view my every little imperfection up close and personal? Yea, no thanks. I’ll pass.

I know lots of ladies who love these kinds of mirrors, but honestly, I’ve just never been a fan. I am a Type A perfectionist, and I know that what will glare back at me via my reflection is going to be far from perfect. And I suppose that on a typical Monday morning, that is just not a reality I want to come face to face with. So instead I choose to daily see myself at a further distance; where the blemishes don’t take center stage and the imperfections can’t scream at me so loudly.

I fear that as a Christian who desires perfection in herself, that I have done this far too many times when searching and examining my own heart. I fear that too many times I have taken the easy route of examining my heart from a comfortable and convenient distance. It’s almost effortless when I view my heart and motives with a quick glance…Good Christian? Check. Pastor’s wife? Check. Read the Word? Check. All sounds good and well to me.

But what if I took that magnified mirror, placed my heart before it and looked a little closer? What ugly realities might I find glaring back at me? Is pride trying to show its face and I’m just blanketing it with a cover up of Insecurity? Is offense hiding behind a fake smile? Are my motives looking a little mired? Yes, these questions can be deemed as uncomfortable, but if we truly want to live pure and spotless lives before the Lord, it’s imperative that we have these magnified moments with our hearts.

There is so much beauty hidden in all of this though, so we need not be afraid to have these thorough examinations of our hearts. The beauty is this…even at our ugliest moments, blemished and scarred, He looks at us and calls us lovely. He sees past the shallowness of our hearts and He still calls us beautiful. He knows us. Every part of us. And even still…He loves us.

I challenge you today to bring your heart to Jesus and ask Him to magnify those hidden places; to illuminate those areas that need further attention. May our hearts daily become more like His as we look longer and gaze deeper into that magnified looking glass.

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Psalms 139:23 &24

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

It Works & Jesus

It Works! and Jesus By April Dillow

 

I’m sure you’ve seen the “It Works” craze that is sweeping the nation right now. If not, I suspect you’re in really good shape, don’t have a Facebook account, or your friends just aren’t that ambitious.

It Works is a company where independent salespeople, like you and me, can sign up to sell products such as “The Crazy Wrap Thing” or the “Cleanse” system to promote health and weight loss!

It looks like a fantastic company, and I have many friends who are reaping the benefits of improved health, financial status, and time management skills from this business.

Buuuuut I suspect you already knew that, or else you wouldn’t have clicked on this article, wondering how in the world It Works and Jesus are connected (and if you didn’t, you should know that I just gave you a terrible definition up there… let me hook you up with my friend Rebekah at the end who can help). Well, here are a few of my thoughts…

 

They both cleanse. As I was sitting in my dorm room this weekend, lamenting the fact that I completely ruined any attempt at living a healthy lifestyle this weekend since I somehow managed to stuff an entire pound cake, several rows of Oreos, a few (few?) bowls of ice cream, a handful of M&Ms (handful??), and a piece of some sort of cheesecake down my throat within a two day period, I found myself where I often find myself before Monday morning—sitting with Pinterest open in front of me and hundreds of Juice Cleanse pins staring me back in the face.

Juice Cleanse?? When did I ever get this desperate?

 Maybe you’ve been in the same boat before. So consumed with guilt over something that you’ve done. Something that is in the past and can’t be changed. Willing to do ungodly things (like juice cleanses…no offense to you cleansers out there- I have the utmost respect) in the hopes of feeling any hope and happiness that will dull the ache of disappointment… disappointment in yourself for not living up to your own standards.

As Christians, we know that Jesus can wash away our guilt. He can cleanse us. And better still, He wants to wash us up and give us a new start.

Sometimes we need to cleanse our physical bodies in order to start fresh and make a new commitment to health, and it is the same with our spiritual selves.

We need to look to Jesus and confess to Him our guilty feelings, our shortcomings, our disappointments, so that He can come in and wash us clean. Sometimes it takes time and discipline (you know, like sitting down with Him, reading His word, giving Him a chance to speak to you), just like sticking to a juice cleanse can be both satisfying and brutally uncomfortable. However, I promise you that He wants you to be set free from guilt more than you know. Just give Him a chance.

 

Both wrap you up. How could I talk about It Works without bringing up the Crazy Wrap thing!? The way I see it, sometimes you just need to cover up your insecurities, bind them up with something soothing and healing…

Just like the Crazy Wrap binds up your problem areas and works without any effort on your part, I feel like Jesus’ presence, His Spirit, works the same way (stick with me here, I know this is a stretch!)

Another thing I learned was how the wrap works by ridding the body of harmful toxins, and in the same way the Spirit works by uncovering the sins, or “toxins”, that we need to address and let Him take care of in order to make us clean and healthy inside.

His Spirit can come in, wrap up your heart and heal your wounds. How do I know? Because He has done it for me. And that leads me to my next point…

 

Both have to be experienced. You can have a million people telling you that It Works is the best thing that has ever happened to them, but until you experience it for yourself, will you ever be convinced?

Let me tell you, I am the world’s biggest skeptic. Sometimes it’s annoying for my friends, I’m sure. Heck, sometimes I annoy myself!

So trust me when I say that occasionally the only way to gain that convincing personal experience is by taking a step of faith.

Have you ever tried It Works? If you haven’t, how do you know it isn’t the answer to all your weight loss/health problems? We can argue back and forth forever, but I think without giving it a try, any arguments can be refuted fairly easily.

It’s kinda like when we were little and our parents wanted us to try that casserole at the church potluck. “Mom, I don’t like that!!” “Honey, you haven’t ever tried it before.” “I know! But I just know I won’t like it!” Common, we’ve all been there.

So let me ask you, have you given Jesus a try? There are so many factors that influence our view of Him and the whole Christianity thing, but unless you have given Him a wholehearted, honest chance, then how do you know for sure you aren’t missing something?

Taking care of extra body weight is an important thing, but making sure your soul is right with God is something else entirely, something far more important.

You don’t want to miss knowing Jesus just because you weren’t willing to give Him a try.

 

I know there are many more analogies we could come up with between It Works and Jesus… one of my favorite being that they both have ambassadors who post on Facebook A LOT and can’t say enough about their product…

But more seriously, they both require commitment, dedication, time, a passion for connecting with others, and a focus that remains steadfast through the ups and the downs.

So, even though I can’t give you a free sample of It Works, I want to gift you with this free sample of Jesus. He says,

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark,”

and

“…those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 12:46, 4:14).

 

I couldn’t tell you about juice cleanses or even It Works… but I can tell you that Jesus works. He wants to cleanse you, wrap you up, and give you a fresh start.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through

Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 6:23)

 

Jesus: http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Bible-New-Living-Translation/dp/1414309473/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462642591&sr=1-1&keywords=nlt+bible

It Works: https://www.facebook.com/bekahmen

Wheelchair Worship

I’m not necessarily what one would call “the athletic type.”  Although lacking athletic ability, I can usually muster up the necessary courage and find great strength of heart, but then with the execution typically comes the fall. And in this case, literally…

In a matter of moments I went from enjoying the fresh spring waters of a beautiful Trinidadian waterfall to staring down a cliff that seemed never ending. Granted, it was only about 40 feet, but at the moment it mine as well have been the height of Mount Everest.  I had caved under pressure of my stubborn, 30 year old self and decided that I too could make this jump and boy, would it be fun. Boy, was I wrong. Long story short…I crouched down to jump, got spooked and didn’t jump out nearly far enough. Half way down, there is another ledge that managed to clip my foot ever so graciously before I hit the water. Well, maybe not ever so graciously.  Lets just say I am so very thankful it was just my foot that came in contact with that ledge and not my face, or any other part of me for that matter. My foot was crazy swollen and immediately changing to a lovely shade of purple. But the team came together using their skills and man-power and we managed to slowly but surely, maneuver our way through the fierce terrain of this mighty jungle. So out I came, via piggy back, and headed off to get some much needed medical treatment. Spoiler alert…my foot is now fine. I have some torn ligaments, but nothing too serious. It is healing up well and I trust that it will be 100% in a few more weeks. But for the remainder of the trip in Trinidad, I found myself taking up residence in the seat of a wheelchair. No. Fun.

I’m not one who typically likes to sit off to the side and observe. I like to participate. I like to be actively involved. So having to sit in a wheelchair was not really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong…being waited on and served was quite lovely and has its perks but is only appealing for so long. Sunday morning came along and I was excited to head to church to hear my husband speak and of course, participate in worship. As we entered the Sanctuary full of music and song, I realized just how frustrated I was going to be having to sit down during the worship time. So there I sat as everyone else stood around me clapping and jumping and moving and expressing themselves in these grand, exuberant ways. Had I not been in a wheelchair, that would have been me. I said to my friend next to me, “It’s gonna drive me nuts to sit in worship.” 

Within moments, this sweet, tender, convicting Voice spoke right into my heart of hearts…“Dori, sometimes it drives me nuts that you don’t sit in worship.” Bam. “Sometimes it drives me nuts that your worship comes from a state of repetition instead of a stature of reverence.” Ouch. “Sometimes it drives me nuts that your worship is more about your surroundings and less about your surrender.” Guilty.

So there I sat. Being ever so gently reminded that I serve a Holy God. A Sovereign Savior. A Worthy King. And sitting was the exact the posture that I needed to remain for the morning. I needed to remember that my worship should not now, nor ever, be about me and my ability to perform.  A real worshipper, who worships in spirit and in truth, can worship the Lord with all that they have whether they are sitting,  kneeling, standing, jumping,  or you name it. It’s about the position of my heart before the Lord, not the position of my flesh.

Somewhere along the way I gravitated toward the idea that my worship before the Lord would be contingent upon my capability to give worship, not His capacity to receive it. If I’m at my best, then I can bring my best worship…not realizing that even at my worst, I can still bring my best worship. “Dori, there may be restrictions on your body, but there are no restrictions on your heart.” Regardless of my disposition, He is always still positioned to receive my very best, and nothing less than that. He is always worthy, always ready, and always waiting.

I believe that sometimes the Holy Spirit allows those “wheelchair” moments to teach us and realign us as He sees fit. I am thankful that I serve a Good Father who deals graciously with me and loves me enough to confront and correct me. Always live with open eyes and an open heart to see what little lessons may be rolling on by on that wheelchair of inconvenience. Sure there is joy in the jumping, and fun in the leaping, but there is much to be learned in the process of sitting.

Keep Teaching Me, Little Ones

It seemed like just another typical Friday afternoon but little did I know that we had become “that house”. It all happened rather quickly, unfolding itself over one weeks time. A few new faces in the front yard, here and there. A few popsicles handed out, here and there. A juice box or two on occasion. And now before I know it, we have a daily occurrence of little friends that come and view our front yard as their own personal playground. It’s pretty much like clockwork. We arrive home and sure enough, there are these sweet little, sun-kissed faces waiting ever so anxiously to play with my 3 little ones. And of course, my children are pleased as punch. Sophia absolutely delights in sharing her toys, her playground, and is always quick to jump the gun to serve up snacks and drinks. She’s my little hostess with the mostess. =)

As I said earlier, these sweet little friendships all evolved within one single week. Before first names were even introduced, the bike rides had already commenced. Before there was talk of age or grade, snacks had already been served up. Before there was sharing of secrets, there had already been sharing of toys.

This is where my children truly inspire me. And many Jesus-loving children, for that matter. They just know how to love people. It just naturally flows out of them. They know how to throw themselves into relationships. They know how to naturally form community. They know that the best way to make a friend is to be a friend. I believe their precious innocence and childlike faith allows them to see at a greater view of how Jesus must really love people. 

Some where along the path of becoming “mature adults” we picked up the habit of sizing people up before a single word even falls out of their mouths. Before names have been introduced, relationships have already been written off. The walls go up as we reason with that voice that whispers that we don’t need relationship. We see people with a blurry perspective that has been tainted by past disappointments, unmet expectations and failed relationships. And so we reject opportunity after opportunity to show what the love of Christ really looks like all because of our fear of relationship. Our fear of vulnerability. Our fear of realness. Our fear of intimacy. Our fear of accountability. 

This has always been a challenge for me but it is one that I have decided to be deliberate in defeating. If I want to be Jesus-minded then I must be people-minded. And that is not excluded to a single clique or group that meets my standards or likings. That means that I can love the un-lovely. That means that I can laugh with those who are un-like me. It means that I can befriend the un-friendly. And it means that I can willingly embrace each and every new relationship that God brings into my life without hesitation or reservation. His perfect love casts out every fear – even relational fears. When I operate and function through His perfect love I don’t have to fear mans rejection, but I can rest in His acceptance. I don’t have to fear vulnerability, but I can rest assured that He knows me and loves me.

Needless to say, there is much to learn from those precious littles ones running around you. Yes, they undoubtedly have their moments of what seems to be endless bickering and frivolous fighting. But amazingly, in the very next moment, they are back to being best friends.

Keep teaching me, Little Ones. Momma’s watching.

Keep talking, Sweet Father. Your daughters listening…

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.

Romans 12: 9-10, 14-17 MSG

When the Lights Go Out…

We have spent the last 4 hours of the evening amidst the flicker of candlelight and led by the aid of battery powered flashlights. Yes. We randomly lost power this evening with no apparent cause that we know. But let it be known that 4 hours without power may have just been with this Momma needed.

When the lights go out, we no longer have the liberty of spending endless hours gazing into a rectangle full of meaningless apps and mindless games. Any existing battery life must be preserved, so instead of playing games that just cost us something, we play games that are worth something. We remember how fun it is to create a shadow on the wall. We remember the silliness of playing flashlight tag. And we remember that tickle fights should become apart of our daily routine.

When the lights go out, cooking dinner for a family of five is no longer a chore but an adventure. A meal around the table has now become a fireside camp out where PB&J’s are a must and bbq chips are a treat. The pressure to cook that hot, home-made meal has now subsided, and instead of being the “cooking-Mom”, I can now be the “sitting-Mom”. The “conversational-Mom”. The “listening-Mom”. I think I like that Mom the best.

When the lights go out, bedtime can be scary and extra cuddles must ensue. The nightly routine that can seem so rushed now calls for a few more hugs, a few more kisses and a little extra love. There is no need to rush. There is no need to hurry. There is nothing else to do but just appreciate that very moment where you currently lay; falling asleep next to your son knowing that there is no where else you have to be but right where you are.

When the lights go out, the laundry has to wait. The un-packing has to be put on hold. The chores have to stop. For a brief moment, a matter of inconvenience becomes a matter of opportunity. An opportunity to stop all the stuff and once again focus on what truly matters.

I still have no idea why we lost power tonight, but I do know that I am glad we did. I am thankful that in the midst of the quiet and the darkness of the night, Jesus could shed some light on my sweet, little family and ever so gently remind me of the beauty of the lights going out.

© Dori Lynn French and A Mom…A Wife…A Consecrated Life , 2014.

Awaken…

In just 2 days we head off with our incredible Remix crew for our Remix Fall Retreat – The Awakening. In praying and preparing for this weekend away, I wrote these words below.

I am believing and expecting that this weekend each one of us will have a personal encounter with the Lord…that we will grow in unity as a group…and that God will awaken those tired and weary places in our hearts and lives. Get ready, Remix…

Rise up and Awaken.

Stand up. There’s no mistaken,

you’ve been set free by a God who has shown you the light.

So get up with all your might,

rub those sleepies out your eyes,

bid your old life goodbye.

Climb up out of that coffin, you’ve visited much too often.

Shake off that dust from your past and throw those chains by your side.

Put on beauty, Put on strength, it’s time for you to arise!

Now’s the time to stop daydreamin’,

it’s time to start believin’,

you were purchased with a price, and that price gave you LIFE!

So wake up you sleepyheads, wake up you weary souls.

You have reason. You have purpose. You have destiny untold.

Step out into the light, let the darkness be forsaken.

Open your eyes! Get up!

It’s time for you to AWAKEN!

Pools & Pumpkins

As parents of 3 little ones, Jon and I understand the joy of trying to make everything an adventure to make the journey of life that much more enjoyable for our children. Even the seemingly mundane task of driving the kids to school is no exception. My husband, being the amazing navigator that he is, found a nice little shortcut to get to Sophia’s elementary school. It cuts about 3 minutes off of our drive time and at 7:30 in the morning, hey – I’ll take all that I can get.

One of our favorite things about this new little route is the incredible swimming pool that we get to drive right by. I wish I could say that my children are the ones that “Ooo” & “Ahh” as we pass by. But no, friends. It is my husband that is completely awestruck by this beautiful splash pad. It is quite a beauty…sporting a brand new water slide and top-notch outdoor surround sound. Plus, all the gizmos & gadgets surrounding the pool might actually make you believe that you aren’t even in Missouri at all. Every time we drive by, Jon is like a child in a toy store, just wishing & hoping that maybe, one day he will have a pool just like that.

This past week was no exception. We drove by this amazing pool and did what we always do….drive slow and stare and hope and dream and drool over this beautiful vista. Except for Sophia. For about 5 days straight, every time we came to this part of our drive, Sophia would mention the amazing “Halloween House” (a house decorated with pumpkins & silly ghosts in the front yard.) To be honest, we kind of blew her off when she was talking about it because for 5 days straight, we had no idea what she was referring to. Realizing her relentlessness in the matter, I finally asked…

“Sophia, where on earth is this “Halloween house” that you are always speaking of?”

“Across the street from the pool house, Mom.”

So of course, the very next morning, I made it a point to look across the street from the pool house. And wouldn’t ya know…there it stood…the “Halloween House”, dawning enough outdoor decor to fill up half a Hobby Lobby. I looked over at Jon and said “Man, we were so busy obsessing over the pool that is out of season that we never even noticed all the crazy decorations put out for this season.” And from then on he knew…Jesus was talking to me. 🙂

How many times are we missing what God has given us in this season because we are too busy staring & hoping for the big & beautiful of the next season? How often do I miss what God has for me now cause all I can focus on is what He may have for me then? How often am I naively “driving by” what God has given for me in this season because I can’t take my envious eyes off of what God has given someone else in another season? Ouch. Sting. Burn.

Lord, help us not to miss it. Help us not to miss what you have put out on display for our lives right now. Help us to be aware of the seemingly meaningless seasons that are wrapped in moments of destiny and purpose. Open our eyes. Cause us to look up…and look over….and look around…and see what you are doing right now…in this season. May I not live for just the glorious moments by the pool, but for the crisp seasons among the pumpkins.

Freeze Tag

Now that my children are exiting the toddler stage of their lives, they are now actually entering the stage of playing silly, rowdy, boisterous games together. Albeit, they end in arguments and fights at least 50% of the time, but at least they are actually wanting to play together, right? One of their favorite games to play is a rousing game of tag. My daughter, Sophia, likes to call it Freeze Tag. However, the way they play, there isn’t that much “freezing” if you know what I mean. They haven’t quite grasped the concept of actually staying frozen when you get tagged. It’s basically just one big game of “Chase Your Sibling Around the House and Scream at the Top of Your Lungs.” But hey…whatever works!

But I couldn’t help but think back to my Elementary and even Jr. High days of playing a real game of Freeze Tag. I never really wanted to be “It” cause I wasn’t necessarily the fastest runner of the group. So that usually left me as someone who would get tagged a lot. Not necessarily a bad gig for a girl who doesn’t really like to run. Standing frozen, being able to catch your breath, with no responsibility or task at hand. But boy, after a while standing frozen got boring. And frustrating. And after too long, just down right maddening. I remember times hollering out, “PLEASE come tag ME so I can get back in this game!!!

As adults, we may not be running around the parking lots with our circles of friends playing frivolous games of Freeze Tag, (But hey, if you do decide to get your friends together to play, let me know! Sounds like a good time to me!) But I do believe we have let the voices in our heads and the doubts of our heart tag our lives and freeze us in our callings. We should be running. We should be moving. We should be chasing. But instead doubt ran by, stretched out its hand of fear and tagged us frozen. Insecurity locked eyes on us and we allowed it to make the tag.  Someone spoke a word of defeat over us and we chose to believe it. Frozen.  We listened to the lies that we weren’t talented enough, equipped enough or capable enough. Frozen. We gazed up at the Monster of Intimidation and chose to not even make a run for it as we willingly let it tag us in defeat. Frozen.

Can I be completely, vulnerably honest? I am still working my way through this. I am fighting to get out of the rut of playing Freeze Tag with the lies of the enemy. I am still learning that I don’t have to become frozen numb in the face of my fears and insecurities. I am learning that mans opinions can and never will trump God’s opinion of me. I am learning to live my life according the voice of the one who FREES me, not the voice of the one who freezes me.  I am learning that a frozen life is not the life I was called to live. It was for FREEDOM that Christ set me free. And when He sets me free, I am free indeed!

Through His word, we have the power to become immediately free when the cares and thoughts of this world try to tag us frozen. When I remember that Christ crowned me in dignity and clothed me with strength, insecurity begins to melt away. When I remember that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, the lies of my past can’t quite make the tag. When I remember that I have a God-created identity; one with a purpose and a hope and a future, and that He calls me fearfully and wonderfully made, the opinions of man begin to thaw off of me. His word frees me, but if I’m not careful, the opinion of man can freeze me.

I have zero desire to live this life as a frozen, numb human being going from mundane moment-to-mundane moment. I want more. I think a lot of us do. You probably do too. We want to quickly respond with a willing “yes” to those crazy promptings of the Holy Spirit. We want to step out into what God has next and go through that new gate that’s before us. Ya know what that means? It’s time to stop being an easy target for the enemy’s game of freeze tag. It’s time to put on Christ…to put on His armor…to think His thoughts…to have His heart…to put on the mind of Christ. Only then,when the lies of the enemy come in to declare you frozen can you stare fear back in the face and declare that you are free!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  – Romans 8:36

 © Dori Lynn French and A Mom…A Wife…A Consecrated Life , 2014.

You are welcome here….

I’m a music junkie, without a doubt. I love a well-written song; songs with words that can speak right into my heart and challenge my thoughts. I love to think about the lyrics that fall off my tongue and really try to dissect the meaning of each and every single word. A popular song right now in the worship circle is the song “Holy Spirit.” I remember hearing this song probably about a year ago. I was at home cleaning the house and this couples name, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, came up on my Pandora channel. The song “Holy Spirit” began to play and immediately I just loved every line and lyric. Since then, I’ve listened to the song on countless occasions, played it for several pre-service prayer nights, and now we have started doing it at as part of our worship services…

…”Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.

Come flood this place and change the atmosphere.

Your glory God is what our hearts long for. To be overcome by your presence, Lord.”…

What incredible lyrics. And what a powerful song to sing as we invite the Holy Spirit to come into our service, and into our church, and into our homes. But in the midst of naming every place that I wanted to invite the Holy Spirit to dwell, He quickly and abruptly reminded me that the most important place He wants to dwell is not in a place, but in my person. I couldn’t just ask Him to come into a service; I had to ask Him first to come into His servant. The song takes on a whole new meaning when we look at it as a personal invitation for the Holy Spirit to come and flood our own temple, not just the temple we like to think of as the church.

“Holy Spirit…you are welcome here.” 

You are welcome hereRight here. Right in me. Start with me. You are welcome in my life. You are welcome in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. Holy spirit, you are welcome to lead my day, lead my decisions, lead my steps, lead my words.  Let me life be the main habitation in where you can abide, and more importantly, where I want you to abide.

“Come flood this place…

Flood this place. This place I call self. This place where pride can dwell, and envy can dwell, and anger can dwell, and selfishness tries to resides. Flood it. Flood my life with your Spirit. Flood every part of who I am with your presence.

“And change the atmosphere…”

Oh this is the part of the song that I wish I could just breeze over. But sometimes, I think we can get lost in the beauty of pretty melodic lyrics that we forget the heart cry behind them. If the Holy Spirit is truly going to come into my life and flood it with his presence than the atmosphere of my life must be different. Once a flood comes and wrecks a city, that city will never look and be the same again. Intense flood waters will destroy everything in sight that is artificial and cosmetic.

The same is true when we ask the Holy Spirit to flood our lives…the superficial attitudes and mindsets of our sinful nature have to be washed away. Yet sometimes we raise our poor habits and our bad attitudes above the rising tides and think that maybe the Holy Sprit won’t want to wash them away. We don’t even realize it but we have become skilled craftsmen at building man-made dams to try and modify the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

At my heart of hearts, ( and if you are a believer in Jesus, I believe it’s true of you too), I truly want the Holy Spirit to bring a flash-flood of his presence in my life. But I realize that means that I can’t pick and choose which things I want Him to exempt from being washed up in the flood. I can’t ask the Holy Spirit to abide in the same place where offense resides. I can’t put up no trespassing signs in certain rooms of my life and then tell Him that He is welcome.

He sees all of you. And knows all of you. And even still…wants all of you. He wants to order your day. He wants to help you make the best decision at your job. He wants to talk to you in your car. He wants to help you raise your kids. He wants to be apart of every in and out of your life. No part hidden from Him…no part exempt from Him.

“Holy Spirit…you are welcome here.

 You are welcome right here.

You are welcome right in me.”

 © Dori Lynn French and A Mom…A Wife…A Consecrated Life , 2014.

Let All the Other Names Fade Away…

“Let all the other names fade away…”

If you are a Matt Redman fan, then you probably by now have realized that this line comes from one of his newer songs, “Wide as the Sky.” It’s a song that we at Remix sing quite frequently. I’ve loved this line in the song since the first time I’ve heard it. But as we sang this yesterday, these words spoke at a louder decibel to me…

“Let ALL the other names fade away…”

No, I don’t serve Buddha. No, I don’t serve false gods. And no, I don’t pray in the names of false idols. But if I’m 100% honest with myself, without even knowing it, I have probably allowed other names to take seats in high places in my life. How many other names, besides the name of Jesus, do I allow to reign in my day? How many other names do I bow my will to? How many other names do I submit my obedience to?

Do I get dressed in the name of fashion?

Do I parent in the name of motherhood?

Do I work in the name of ministry?

Do I make my choices in the name of conformity?

Do I forgive in the name of justification?

Do I live in the name of man’s opinions?

Do I do well in the name of self-gratification?

Do I function in the name of man-made security?

Do I speak in the name of human approval?

Do I strive in the name of man’s acclamations?

Or am I living my life with one name, with one King, who’s name takes its rightful and supreme place? In His name, do I live and move and have my being? As a follower of Christ, not only should I pray in the name of Jesus, but I should live my life for the name of Jesus. I should love for His names sake, not my own. I should forgive for His names sake, not my own. I should parent for His names sake, not for my own.  I should live for His name’s sake, not for my own. Every decision I make and action I take should be ran through the filter of pleasing His name – not pleasing the name of man. How often have we un-deliberately dethroned the King of Kings and placed another name in His rightful place?

Each morning that we wake up we have to choose what name will we function in…what name we will bend a knee too. What name will take its place in your day? What other names need to fade away?

Lord, help me to see what other names I have elevated above your Name. Jesus, take your rightful place in my life. Your name is Holy…it is set apart. No other name has the power to save. No other name has the power to set free. No other name is as beautiful.

No other name even comes close. No. Other. Name.

“Let all the other names fade away. Let all the other names fade away…until there’s only You.

Let all the other names fade away. Jesus, take your place. Jesus, take your place.”

© Dori Lynn French and A Mom…A Wife…A Consecrated Life , 2014.