Monday, July 21, 2014

Day Ten...High Standards

Hey there...settle in for a few minutes with me will you? Let's talk standards.

I cannot stand to be told what to do. I cannot stand it so much that I'm writing that sentence again. I CAN NOT STAND TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. It's annoying and most of the time the person doing the "telling" isn’t in my opinion all together worthy of my obedience

So there you go. I like to do things my way and I also like to learn by doing...not by hearing. I don’t recommend it, it's been pretty painful. 

All that being said....the few times I have enjoyed being told what and how to do things it has always always always had one thing in common, and that is, the person in charge has managed to prove their authority in a way that captures my heart.

Obedience is a heart issue. If I love you and respect you...there is a far greater chance I will follow your rules. Because at that point...even if I think your rules are stupid...I want to please you, not disappoint you, and give you respect.

Most people fire off the Ten Commandments without including the very first line in the chapter...and it is my favorite. It makes the rest of the rules matter to me. See if you agree...

"And then God spoke these words. I Am The Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Exodus 20:1-2


He is establishing with us who exactly He is, and what exactly He has done for us before He lays down the rules. I love that so much. 

I read that and I hear "Hey Allison, I'm the One who created you; I am the One who gets you out of all that trouble you constantly get yourself into. I Am the One who gave you freedom when everyone else was trying to knock you girl...obey me...I deserve it."

And then, because He continues to astound me with His generosity and PATIENCE Oh my word the amount of patience He has...He sends us Jesus to forgive us when we go right ahead with our stubborn selves and break all those well laid out rules He made.

WHO. DOES. THAT? I would squash you like a bug if you broke all 10 rules I gave you. I'd squash you after you broke three... But not our God...

To be honest...I can’t even recall by memory all Ten Commandments. I forgot the list after about 3rd grade Sunday School. I'm just guessing you are in my boat so here it is ...short hand.

1. No other gods. Only Me.
2. No carved images. Don't worship them. 
3. Do not use Lord's name in cursing or in any irreverent way.
4. Work six days and rest one. 
5. Honor your Father and Mother.
6. No murder.
7. No adultery.
8. No stealing.
9. No lying.
10. No lusting.

Aaaaaaaand I'm in trouble. Those are high standards. 

When Jesus comes on the scene He sets all the self righteous people who think they are doing a pretty awesome job of not breaking the commandments straight by adding...

"You have heard it said, Do not commit adultery. But I am here to tell you if you even look at another woman lustfully you have already committed adultery in your heart."  Matthew 5:27-28 

Did you see that word..."heart"? Told you. Obedience is a heart issue, and Jesus is wildly interested in what’s going on inside that heart of yours sister. 

When we read and watch all of the horrible, unimaginable acts going on in our world today we scream "What is wrong with these people? Have they no SOUL?" And the question we need to ask is, "Have they no Holy Spirit?" People need The Voice whispering..."Do not hurt others, remember the commandments."  

Let's all remember why we want to obey God, we love Him. And lets remember WHO He is and WHAT He has done for us the next time we roll our eyes at the list of "do not do’s" He gave us.

He is worthy of our respect...

And can do what you want to do. We all know you can sneak around and get away with most things these days... that's not too impressive. You can sling the phrase "redemption of sins" around like a gunshot to anything unholy....but who are you really hurting in the long run? It's you sister. 

Will God still love you if you break all ten...yep. Will you live a very frustrated life in the process...yep. Don't be that girl. Rebellion against God can leave a lot of carnage in its wake...   

Look at this!!! Day ten is done of the Scripture challenge! I'm high five-ing you! At this rate we will finish before Christmas...if we are lucky. (grin)

*aka* the very biggest grace abuser.

Day 11
Romans 3 Click HERE


Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Children Are Running...

The sun came up and they could feel it in their bones…it wakes them and they slowly push off warm blankets. I have a closet full of them…extra blankets. Quilted, cotton, and frayed around the edges from years of being tucked in tight with love.

We heat up the griddle and stir the batter…homemade pancakes are making tummies growl…”May I please have seconds?” Of course you can…we can all have seconds and we will still have left overs… Save them for later or slip one to the dog who has been patiently waiting under the table?

It‘s Saturday, time to relax by the pool. My feet are up and I can see the sun screened kids with eyes bulging from too tight goggles…”Mom, Mom, Mom watch me. Watch me Mom. Are you looking?” Big dive from the deep end…clapping from the crowd. We have room for 10 more…easily.

The temperature heats up just a pinch…time for lemonade. Our container holds  several gallons. We have a mound of multi colored solo cups and straws…they couldn't possibly drink it all.

The doorbell rings kids trample in…open door policies are common in the South, or they used to be anyway. My mom taught us by example that you don’t turn people away when all it costs you is one more peanut and jelly sandwich.

I imagine she was following the example of Jesus when the crowd grew too large…the disciples panicked, but not Jesus…He multiplied the loaves. Mamas have that ability…we multiply, stretch, and add water to the pot of soup…until every mouth is fed.

I don’t think my story is far off from yours…after all, if you are reading this, you at least have a computer or an iphone…that puts you way head of poverty .

With every dumping of the leftover food down the garbage disposal…I can hear the children asking for a bite. The ones I see on the news…the refugees fleeing unthinkable conditions in hopes of a pair of loving arms that say…”You are safe now. Here, people can’t use you for drug trafficking or sexual pleasures...not on my watch. Here you can sleep through the night without fear. Here, being eight years old means school and sports and laughing and catching fire flies. It’s not perfect but it’s just.”  

My chest is burning…for me it’s the Holy Spirit. For you it could be the injustice…but I know its burning in you too. We have freedom, there is no greater human need. We can’t hoard this… There must be a better way. I’m not a politician, I don’t have all the answers…but I have extra blankets and I make a really good PB&J washed down with cold lemonade. I believe in my heart that you do too…

We aren’t just a Country, we are the heartbeat. We have the power to give life. They know it.

I have room. I want the children. If I care for one, and you do the same…we can trust our God to supply our needs.  I don’t want to hear about your policies…I want to hear you talk about the people. They are here…how will we respond? If we turn them away… we are giving them a death sentence.

The children are running. One foot in front of the other, pounding a path for the ones behind them. 

Read that again.  

I’m writing this letter to you…my elected official. I want you to get to the drawing board and make room for the children. Find a better way. Speak up for those who are the very least of these.

I want you to be brave and be a voice for me, the girl who voted you in office. Get creative, get on your knees, seek justice…swiftly. I am not alone. I am not the only one. We have empty bedrooms, extra seat belts, spare shoes, loads of laundry on the floor and aching hearts for the broken faces of children who run.

Talk to me…talk to us…give us a plan. You are the leader. You wanted this job. I need you to rise up…Look at your extras. How many could you take in?

Waiting, praying, hoping. Ready to respond.


Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them. Matthew 19:14

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphan. Isiah 1:17

Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31  


Friday, July 11, 2014

Wild, Free And Unexpected...I Choose You.

I jog by them several mornings a week, (I wish I could say everyday but who are we kidding). They are so beautiful too me. They are never where you expect...the conditions are always contrary to what I think of as good growing conditions. Yet there they are. 

The weeds. The ones that are wild and free. I'm most attracted to them...  

I mean sure...yes, the premium flowers I push past are stunning in vibrant colors. All nice and neat in their perfect rows with the fertilized soil from a bag. But it's the ones that peek up through the pavement...the ones that meet my feet by the edge of the uncut grass...the ones I'm not expecting, that get to me. I choose those.

Some how they tell me that everything doesn't have to be accomplished to be beautiful. That you might just need to let your roots dig really deep down for sustainable dirt, rather than waiting around to be selected and nurtured. 

They remind me that closing your eyes tight and making a wish really can make a difference in your hope...there is possibility in the dandelions floating away.

The hunt of a four leaf clover teaches patience and determination and I have found not a single one. 

They are so unpretentious in their splendor, yet I can only go so long without stopping to take a photo. 

I want to challenge you to look around this weekend at things other people might have deemed inferior, and make your own opinions. 

Happy Friday you wonderful things...


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day NINE: Details

The details really are pretty important. I mean that is if you care at all about what you are describing.

"How was the soccer game?" might get you two very different responses depending on who you ask...

"The team in the yellow jerseys won but I don't know by how much and there was something about a red card but I don't know what that was all about"...

Moving on to find someone who actually cares about soccer...

"It was incredible...the midfielder got taken OUT from the ball...and then he got hauled off the field in a stretcher...the sub came in and scored his first goal of the season in less than 30 seconds and the crowd went w-i-l-d. That tied up the game...they went into PK's and they won by 2 points." Now that's better...


"How was your first kiss?"

Girl..."The sun was setting and it was splashing the most amazing color of orange where the ocean meets the skyline. We were walking and then he turned to look into my eyes and kissed me. His hand was on the back of my head and I almost died it was so amazing. We held hands on the walk back."

Boy..." She made me go on a walk. We kissed. "


It’s all about the passion behind the words. You put more into what makes your heart pound. You want the person to feel your attention to you...remember what you said long after you are gone.

Once my neighbor asked me to keep her dog for a weekend while she was out of town...good grief the time I finished reading the instructions I was half asleep and brain dead.

All The Details...

When you love something or's a process you must stomach through. The more the better.

That's why I am captivated by this prayer from Jesus to His Father...God. If you ever questioned the importance or value Jesus put on your precious head, read the words He spoke about you to God as He was preparing to leave earth...sister you won’t find a sweeter love letter...a plea care for you. 

John Chapter 17...(emphasis mine)

“Now I am coming to you. I will not stay in the world, but these followers of mine are still in the world. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name—the name you gave me. Then they will be one, just as you and I are one.12 While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name—the name you gave me. I protected them. And only one of them was lost—the one who was sure to be lost. This was to show the truth of what the Scriptures said would happen.13 “I am coming to you now. But I pray these things while I am still in the world. I say all this so that these followers can have the true happiness that I have. I want them to be completely happy.14 I have given them your teaching. And the world has hated them, because they don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.15 “I am not asking you to take them out of the world. But I am asking that you keep them safe from the Evil One.16 They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.17 Make them ready for your service through your truth. Your teaching is truth.1I have sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world.19 I am making myself completely ready to serve you. I do this for them, so that they also might be fully qualified for your service.20 I pray not only for these followers but also for those who will believe in me because of their teaching.21 Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I gave them this glory so that they can be one, just as you and I are one.23 I will be in them, and you will be in me. So they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me.24 “Father, I want these people you have given me to be with me in every place I am. I want them to see my glory—the glory you gave me because you loved me before the world was made.25 Father, you are the one who always does what is right. The world does not know you, but I know you, and these followers of mine know that you sent me. 26 I showed them what you are like, and I will show them again. Then they will have the same love that you have for me, and I will live in them.”

I'm not going to get over that. Nope. I will never forget the way Jesus spoke to God on our behalf...He loves us. 

He didn't leave out any details.


Day TEN 
Exodus 20
Read it HERE

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day EIGHT: Where Is The Holy Ground?

Where is the Holy Ground? 

Where are the burning bushes?

Is it possible we are missing the flame... There isn't much that has the power to make us stop and investigate anymore. We can't be bothered. 

Car alarms blare, keep walking...
Couples arguing, quickly check your phone...
Homeless begging for change, keep driving...
A young girl crying in public, don't make eye contact...
Police sirens screaming, turn up the car radio...
The floods, the wars, the refugees, the fires, change the channel...change the channel...change the channel.    

Exodus 3:3&4 

3 Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

4 God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

Moses was interested in the bush. He "investigated" and found Holy Ground. He found God. He was about his daily business, saw something different, out of the ordinary and *went in* for it...approached the flames.

He walked into the potential instead of running from it. Perhaps it's in the curious that we will encounter God...and maybe, even receive our calling. 

Be amazed.


Next Up...
John Chapter 17
Click To Read HERE

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day SEVEN: What If I Fall? #FAITH

The firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see...FAITH. (According to Hebrews 11)

I would sneak out of my bed at three am, gently pry open the door, drop down to my hands and knees and crawl across the carpet on the nursery floor. Laying on my back next to the crib...I would listen for her sounds. Wide eyed and terrified. 

Anything would do, a deep sigh, an arm flopping over, a cover being kicked off her chubby little legs. I needed reassurance that she was OK. After a few minutes I would shimmy back out careful not to wake her and return to my bed. 

Night after night after sleep, only worry. It wasn't enough to know she was in the other room, for The Lord's sake I knew she was in there I PUT HER THERE. But I needed to see it for myself, hear it for myself...lay my hand on her back and feel it for myself. The rise and fall of her tiny was going through those lungs. 

I could hear God whisper...I've got this. 

"But are you sure? I mean really sure? If I'm not there, how will I know?" Deep in my soul I knew that He was the giver of her life, not me. All my anxiety and stress wasn't adding a single day to her life or subtracting a single minute. What it was doing for sure...was ruining my peace in the now. It was a blaring light on my lack of faith. 

Lord I need more Faith. "A handle on what I can't see."

Are you going to get the job, pull out that passing grade, and be accepted into the college of your dreams? Will you find the perfect soul mate to marry, will he like long walks on the beach and be able to play the guitar? Will you have a family of your own? How many kids...two? Four? Will you have heart aches, bad days...bad months or even years? Are your parents going to stay married... are your siblings going to drag the entire family through a season of hell with bad choices? Will you make the team, get a prom date, or get a scholarship? Will your name be in lights, or just on a wooden plaque on a desk in a cubicle? And does it even matter? Will you lose a loved one, lose every dime you own, lose your best friend, lose your identity...or live wealthy, healthy and care free surrounded by besties?

Sister I don't know. And you know who else doesn't

We were given free will...Praise God...and that will determine A LOT OF THINGS but we are also created to have a space in our hearts of wonder, that only God can fill. He is the Author of our lives and we can constantly scribble out the writings on our hearts from Him or we can let it be and experience *all the things* with our hands palm up ready to grab it. The good the bad the ugly...and the perfectly stunning sparkle of a girl who says YES to Jesus and His ways.

We cant see the air yet we don't fight it...we breathe it..we don't know what's around the corner but we must turn it. 

Do what you can your part. Then ask God to do the rest. Let it shock you when you don't get what you asked Him. Live expectant to have personal encounters with God. Have Faith that He is *for* you, and wants good things for you...happy things even.  

1 Corinthians 2:5
Let your faith not rest on on human wisdom, but on God's power.

2 Corinthians 5:7 
We live by faith not by sight.

Ephesians 6:16
At all times carry Faith as a shield: for with it you can put out burning arrows from the evil one.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.

Are you sure of what you hope for? Are you certain of what you do not see? Are you? Decide that you are. Because make no mistake...we will see one day...we WILL see one day...

If you read all of Hebrews 11...and I really hope that you did because it is worth it...what do you think about the way it ended? Verses 39 and 40? YIKES. How does that change your idea of Faith? 

39 And these men of faith, though they trusted God and won His approval, none of them received all that God had promised them: for God wanted them to wait and share the even better rewards that were prepared for us.

Are we still good on Jesus, or nah? Only when He gives us ALL the stuff we think is best? Hmmmm.