Archives for posts with tag: Colossians 3
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Bloom  (Taken in Old Salem, Winston Salem, North Carolina, May 5, 2017)

So, when the word “spent” is used as an adjective instead of a verb, well, it doesn’t have the best connotation. It alludes to being used, depleted, …spent.  When we say that someone is ‘spent’, well, we’re saying that they’ve given and people have taken and they are depleted, done, spent.  And yes, that tends to have a negative connotation.

But recently, I’ve been looking at that concept from another angle. Maybe being spent is not such a bad thing. Maybe, just maybe, we are meant to be spent. Meant to be spent? Yes.  Not in a self-made-martyr kind of way that draws attention to self and exhausts to the point of being use-less, but in a ‘leave-it-all-on-the-field’ kind of way that empties one self out, letting in no regrets.

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…one bloom rising above the masses…

So often I have more regret over what I have not done rather than what I had. I regret the half-hearted attempts that breed half-hearted results. I regret the phone calls not made, the letters not written, the songs not shared.  (Oh, and I know a certain someone who presently has almost 400 un-finished, un-shared blog drafts…yikes.) I regret the good-intentioned, never completed things that go by the wayside. I regret the wasted use-less time that often empties me rather than fills me. I regret the things I supposedly have “learned”, even spoken, but have not yet truly applied. I regret the not taking time to look in the eye and ask the questions and say the words and get in there in real and tangible ways.

Being spent for the right things has a way of crowding out the wrong things or fillers in our lives.  Weeds don’t grow where flowers are blooming, where other seeds are planted. Being spent for the right things also has a way of filling up…motivating, encouraging, inspiring not just me, but hopefully those around me as well.

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It is only when a flower sheds its beauty in full bloom, full array, the last hurrah before the petals fade, that the seeds are formed. A flower in reserve is a flower with no blooms, because once the unfolding comes, the petals will fall off. Yes flowers that save, conserve, reserve, would merely be un-bloomed buds. But as we hopefully learned in elementary school science, flowers produce seeds. So blooms not only color our world in the now, they hopefully reproduce…and multiply the beauty shared.

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Poppies in a Garden in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina May 5, 2017

And the beauty shared?  I loved that it comes in  all colors, sizes, and shapes that make for a beautiful bouquet. When one stops to see, to really see, they can’t help but behold the beauty. Yep, we all have different ways to be spent for our world… And I’m thinking it’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

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So here’s to being spent. Yep, spent in a no-regrets-kind-of-way that makes our pillows soft and our sleep sweet knowing that we did what we could …that day. And here’s to knowing that even when mistakes are made, that they are to be learned from. I love that flowers are seasonal…and perennials get a chance to bloom and re-bloom over again…to be ‘spent’ over and over again.   To be shared over and over again.

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Jesus knew a thing or two about being spent. Not on futile things that are so temporal. But on being spent for life-changing, mind-blowing eternal things.  Am thinking Christ-followers should too.  A few thoughts (and reminders to myself) on being spent from a garden of blooms somewhere in the middle of North Carolina.

Blessings ~

Heather

“This is our time on the history line of God. This is it. What will we do with the one deep exhale of God on this earth? For we are but a vapor and we have to make it count. We’re on. Direct us, Lord, and get us on our feet.” –Beth Moore

 “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” –Mother Teresa

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliot

 

little shepherd singing

Little bare feet walked the red carpeted aisle of our church. Angels and shepherds draped in tunics made from cloths which may or may not have come from their moms’ linen closets made their way to center stage of our church service where they shared the story of how an Extraordinary God came down to earth to some very ordinary people.

Some little performers sang loudly for all to hear as they clapped enthusiastically to the music. Some courageous little souls sang quietly and dutifully as it mustered all the courage they had to get in front of the large crowd. They sang on key, they sang off key. They shared lines carefully rehearsed, and they improvised as things were forgotten. But all shared the beautiful and wonderful story of Christmas.

But it was more than that. As I watched these little ones on stage I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about what a picture they were of what the church is supposed to look like.
There’s a verse in Colossians that talks about being “clothed in humility”. Clothed on the outside in the way that we are to be on the inside. Ordinary, simple, and loved just as they are. The Lord of All was clothed in humility. So were these little shepherds and angels.

Churchgoers in their Sunday best watched from nice chairs in a beautiful building. We clapped and smiled and enjoyed the mistakes as well as the good performances, because even as we sit in pews on Sunday, we are aware, that we are all made of the same stuff, cut from the same cloth. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, people who have great triumphs and tragedies, secret struggles and cherished hopes. Why is it that the church is so often seen as the opposite? Where we are polished on the outside in pristine buildings, but so out of touch? God didn’t come to the Kings. He came to the shepherds. The Kings came to Him.

And we in the Church, we come to Him. We are not Kings. We are not deserving. The church is not a place to show how great we are. It is a place where needy people have needs met by a Savior who knows them inside out. Jesus never tried to fit a mold. He was most critical of the Pharisees who were so concerned with appearance and so misguided in their personal lives and beliefs. Yes, He came to shepherds and children, those ostracized by society and those who didn’t fit molds. He came to those who knew their need.

So, this Christmas, I’m thankful for little barefoot angels and shepherds, for reminders of the beauty and simplicity of the Christmas story, the gospel message. Jesus came, He lived, He loved, He died and took on our sin, and He dealt with it once and for all on the Resurrection. And those in Christ are freed up….not to live on pedestals, but to be clothed in the grace and humility that comes from the fact that they are forgiven and whole just not by what they have done for themselves, but for what He has done for them, for All who would receive.

There’s a verse that says, “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”(John 1:12). I love that. This Christmas, with my teens and twenties who are not so very polished and so trying to find their way in this world and how God fits into it, I’m hopeful that they’ll be reminded of the True Gift of Christmas. That they’ll see the beauty of a Savior who meets us right where we are. No matter where we are. No matter who we are. It’s in the coming that matters. He came so that we could come to Him. Just as we are. And that’s the Wonder of Christmas.

Photo Credit: Mandy Wyatt

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

Colossians 3:12-13

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