Tag Archives: Jesus

May I Have Your Signature Of The Divine?

May I have your autograph?

An apparently harmless question asked countless times by countless fans to countless people of fame.

I remember standing in line for hours to get autographs from popular college football stars growing up. I waited with heightened anticipation for the scribble proving that I’d met somebody famous.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself standing in line once again to get an autograph from a few of my favorite famous musicians. I recall plotting the exact time to exit the concert so I’d get in the signing line early enough to make sure I’d get an autograph and not have to stay too late.

As I waited impatiently for the line to diminish person by person, I planned out exactly what I was going to say once I got to the front of the line.

“Hey. I love your music. It’s impacted my life so much,” I’d say, as confidently as I could muster. “Could I get a picture with you?”

*snap* The camera captures a moment in time.

My time is up. The line continues moving. I quickly scan the tiny preview screen on my digital camera and scrutinize my pictoral proof that I just met someone famous.

“Ugh..I look terrible in this picture,” I think to myself. “But wow…they…they look awesome. They always look awesome.” *gasp* “Wow, they put their arm around me. I’ve got a picture of me with this famous person and they have their arm on me. They touched me. Wow! I’ll remember this forever!”

As I walk away, I turn my scrutiny to my conversation with the famed musicians. Upset with myself that my words sounded stupid and shaky, I begin to beat myself up over what I said. And what I didn’t say. “I’ll do better next time,” I assure myself. “Hey, at least I met them.”

Have you ever found yourself in a similar scenario?

I think at one point everybody’s wanted somebody’s autograph. Favorite athlete, musician, movie star…whatever.

Not only do individuals pursue autographs in person, but record companies, distributors and websites use autographs to sell product. Particularly in the music business. A consumer is more apt to buy a CD if it’s got an autograph. CDs are automatically of higher value if they’ve got someone’s name scribbled with a Sharpie.

Going further, fans will spend tens, hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars on raffles and auctions vying to win an autographed memento.

With all this waiting, money spending and anticipation, normal people are made into marketable business commodities.

I don’t know about you, but I see something wrong with that.

When exactly did people become product? When did it become ok to yearn to have somebody’s signature? When did all of this idolatry sneak in? And why does nobody see autographs as a form of idolatry?

I can hear Satan taunting me now, “Lindsay, this blog is stupid. You’re overreacting. It’s just an autograph. It’s harmless. Your friends are going to think you’re dumb for writing this. They’ll ridicule you. Don’t make such a big deal out of this.”

Well, if Satan’s telling me not to write this, then that means that writing it is exactly what I should do.

I’m totally cool with people meeting other people. By all means, stand in line to meet somebody and have a conversation with them if that’s the only way that you’ll ever meet them. But don’t put them above God. Don’t focus more of your attention and admiration on a person more than you focus it on God. When you fixate on anything more than God, that’s idolatry.

I love meeting new people–yes even famous people. But recently my motive for meeting others has changed. Instead of wanting to meet someone just to have the bragging rights that I met them, I now desire to meet Christian people so I can listen to them talk about their passions and desires in life.

I no longer desire someone’s hand-written autograph. I do, however, want to encounter the Signature of the Divine. Each person who has a personal relationship with Jesus, is marked with the signature of God.

“13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” — Ephesians 1:13-14, emphasis mine.

Instead of striving for someone’s printed autograph, invest your energies into encountering God with every Christian person that you come in contact with. Familiarize yourself with the Signature of the Divine in others. And, whenever possible, show the Signature of the Divine to those in your life who don’t know Jesus.

May I have your Signature of the Divine?

Authentic Humility

I learned what humility is the other day.

Humility is properly placing your confidence in Christ.

So simple. But so illusive.

I grew up learning to humble myself. I prayed prayers asking God to humble me. Meanwhile, I stumbled, fell and got scraped up being falsely humble, prideful, self conscious and non-confident.

I tried so hard but I got it so wrong.

I thought being humble meant making myself lower than other people. So I thought myself worse than others. Anytime I felt a shred of self assurance, I chased it away because I thought I was being prideful. I thought true humility meant feeling bad about myself.

But that’s not it at all.

It just means properly placing my confidence in Christ. Not in me. Not in my friends. Not in my family. Not in my talents, time and treasures. But in Christ.

And, since I’m in Christ, I’m confident because I trust His provision, guidance and protection. I often don’t have much faith in myself, but I for certain have a ton of faith in God and what He can accomplish.

And, like a loving Father should, He reminds me that He accomplishes things through me so I should have faith in myself just because He’s involved in what’s going on in me and with me.

That, my readers, is excellent.

Curse the crisis

I believe that America has talked itself into a financial crisis.

If you watch or read any amount of news right now, it’s littered with opinions that we’re in a recession or we’re going into one.

I do not agree with those headlines.

I believe we’ve cursed ourselves into crisis. We keep talking about how bad the economy is and how bad things will get. We are speaking curses over our lives.

As a follower of Jesus, I’ve learned that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve also learned that we can prophesy things into our lives. We can speak in faith and expect God to work.

Satan is the thief of joy so he loves it when people speak negative things. Satan covets cursing.

People (except for a few) are not living by Kingdom principles. What are Kingdom principles? Well, living by Kingdom principles means living biblically. It means trusting God to be our provision. It means giving God 10% of the firstfruits our income. It means encouraging and uplifting each other. It means believing and living in faith and not failing and falling in fear.

I don’t walk around every day fearing that I’ll lose my job and end up homeless on the street. I do walk in confidence knowing that God is my provision, my shield, my refuge, my comfort, my strength.

Take a look around you. Most of what you’ll see is fear. God is not a God of fear. That means that an opposing force is at work. Satan flourishes in fear and prospers in panic.

I don’t believe we’re in a recession. We are, however, in an excession. A world in excess sin, idolatry, independence and negativity.

God loves to bless His people with prosperity…when they are obedient. Immediate obedience brings immediate rewards. As I walk in faith and obedience to Christ, I’m not afraid of all of these terrible things that the news proclaims. The world’s headlines are not my heartaches.

I have come that they may have life and have it redundantly

Woven throughout the memories in my mind, I recall teachers and preachers who’ve told me that Jesus came and said, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” — John 10:10

Jesus came to give life to the dead and set free those who were captive to sin. He liberated man and frustrated Satan’s plan.

Eternal life through Jesus is a colossal thing. But it is so minimalized, marginalized and mundane-ized with the lifestyles we live now.

For many of us, we do the same thing every week at the same times every day. Here’s a bit of my schedule, to orchestrate the point:

Monday: Get up at 5:20 to leave for work by 6 a.m. Work from 7-3:30. Come home and clean the apartment and cook meals for the week. Take the dog out. Play with the dog. Go to bed.

Tuesday: Get up at 5:20 to leave for work by 6 a.m. Work from 7-3:30. Drive to Franklin. Eat. Meet with my mentor at 5:45. Arrive home around 8:30. Take the dog out. Play with the dog. Go to bed.

Wednesday: Get up at 5:20 to leave for work by 6 a.m. Work from 7-3:30. Come home and let the dog out. Leave for Life Group at 6, to make it there by 6:30. Stay at life group until 8:45. Come home. Take the dog out. Play with the dog. Go to bed.

Thursday: Get up at 5:20 to leave for work by 6 a.m. Work from 7-3:30. Drive to Franklin. Eat. Sing in choir from 6:30-8. Drive back home and arrive around 9. Take the dog out. Play with the dog. Go to bed.

Friday: Get up at 5:20 to leave for work by 6 a.m. Work from 7-3:30. Drive back home. Take the dog out. Play with the dog. Go to bed.

I do that every week. It’s crazy redundant. I bet you probably got a bit bored reading it, right? I got bored writing it. But, I had to do it to illustrate my point.

Jesus didn’t liberate me from sin and eternal torment in hell so that I’d do the same, mundane thing every day. He didn’t deliver me from a life of deception so that I’d live a life of drabness. He gave me life so that I’d live it in abundant obedience to Him.

I confess that I sometimes get bored with my weekly schedule. However, A New Way, A New Day is my church’s prophetic word for the year. I’ve been learning how to live and proceed in A New Day, everyday. God makes each day unique. Each day is the day of salvation. Each day is the day of the Messiah. The day that Jesus conquered death and closed the gap between God and man was the first New Day. Jesus did things that’d never been done before.

As the Bible instructs, I’m to be an imitator of Christ. So that means that I need to live each day as a new day and not a continuation of a series of endless, busy days.

My challenge and commission for myself is to live abundantly, not redundantly.

I challenge and commission you to do the same.

Care Actor Trait

I confess that many of my blogs grow from a clever idea for a title. Take this one for example. I was thinking about character traits one day. My mind moved on to the verses in the Bible that talk about being not only hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. It moved on further to reminding that I need to (and we need to) act in kindness and compassion to one another. Those actions need to define our lives.

All of this is taken from James 1:21-24.

21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (Emphasis mine.)

I’ll break it down.

Care: Several verses in the Bible talk about Jesus being overcome with compassion. The Messiah of the world cared a lot about those around Him. Think about it. He had to. He endured the worst suffering of all humanity. To me, that means He cares more than this mortal, limited mind understands. And because Jesus cares, I care. Why? Because the Bible instructs me to be Christ-like.

Care.

Actor: This word puts the movement into this whole concept. The verses above basically mean that we can’t just listen to the Word. We can’t just soak in biblical instruction because we’ll forget what we learned if we don’t act on it. We can’t just go to church and sit there half interested, cuz if we do we’ll live half lives. We can’t go through the motions in life, because if we do, life will be motionless. We need to be doers and be active. We must take what we hear and put it into practice.

Care Actor.

Trait: A distinguishing quality. Distinguished is an important word here. Biblically, we’re told not to conform to the patterns of this world. It’s easy to just do what the majority does and to follow the path that most have trudged to get where they got. Conformity is not distinguished. Not in the least. Conformity is actually boring, messy, disappointing and uninteresting. But distinguishment…that’s sophisticated. That’s endearing. That’s special. That’s unique. That is a term of identity. In this case, an identity in Christ. Nothin’ more distinguished than that.

Care Actor Trait.

Everything Is Tedious

Last week I did a lot of repetitive, seemingly never-ending things.  It tested my positivity patience.  I was working on a few projects that required a lot of editing and restructuring.  With all of the redos and undos it would’ve been very easy for me to become cranky.   However, I kept my attitude at a relatively reasonable level.

If you’re at all familiar with the Bible, you’ve heard of the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon, the author of that interesting book, revealed that everything is meaningless.  He had all the riches and wisdom in the world, but it was all meaningless…

…without Christ.

With Christ/God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit, everything is meaningful.  However, without the one True and Holy God, every single thing you’ll ever do, buy, partake in is totally meaningless.  Infinite riches and happiness mean zilch without Christ.

I struggle with doing things that I think are pointless.  For example, I used to work at a grocery store.  Part of my job was “conditioning” the product.  Basically, that means walking around the whole store and making sure the products look good on the shelves.  I made sure that everything was facing the right direction and that all of the rows of stuff were pulled up to the front so that they could be easily reached.  I’d spend hours walking around and pulling the product to the front and straightening it out.  Then…moments after I’d made everything neat and presentable, someone would walk up and take off a bottle of shampoo.  So, my big effort to condition was ruined.  It felt meaningless. 

I did not like seeing all of my effort go to waste.

While I was driving home one evening and pondering all the editing I’d done that day, I thought to myself, “Everything is tedious.”  Not just conditioning in a grocery store.  But everything.  Driving is tedious.  It’s the same thing all the time.  Typing is tedious.  Eating is tedious.  Going to school is tedious.  Sleeping is tedious.  Working is tedious.  Everything is tedious.

It amused me that tedious and meaningless kind of have the same ring to them.  And, since I’m a Bible-believing gal, the similar phrases of everything is meaningless and everything is tedious made me laugh a little.

As encouragement, just remember that no matter how high profile you are or what job you do, everything is tedious.