Writing is the Fruit of the Gift

Like a parent whispers in a child’s ear just before they let that child go out into the world, God whispered just before I began blogging…

Remember, writing is the not the gift, writing is the fruit of the gift.”

This wisdom and truth has remained my compass on this journey.

At the time, I had little understanding of what God really meant. I’m still unfolding the mystery of what the gift is, and how the fruit comes. But, I have a deeper revelation now than before.

Looking back, I see I had no idea what I was getting into when I started blogging. I didn’t know how tempting it would be in this online world to want to feel connected to this person, or that circle, or their community, and neglect the most life-giving connection there is — being connected to the Vine.

Writing-is-the-Fruit-of-the-Gift

Separated, we cannot produce a thing. Though, we try.

Jesus said, “Live in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” (John 15:4-8 MSG)

Perhaps, that is the gift — the Greatest Gift only made possible by His death on the cross — union with Christ. A gift so easily taken for granted, because He will always be there, waiting. So we keep on persevering, trying to make a difference, to make a lasting impression, to make things happen in our own strength. Yet, we can do nothing apart from Him.

Even. Write.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We can write. But, if we aren’t sitting at the feet of Jesus — not to check off a religious duty — but to partake from Him living bread, to give Him time to pour into us what we are to pour out to others, then we offer stale bread. And, our bodies weren’t made for stale bread.

“It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” (Matt 4:4 MSG)

If we are not near enough to hear His heartbeat, and get quiet enough to hear His Voice, then all we can do is echo what all the other voices are saying. When all the while, we are called to be an echo of His Spirit, saying what He is saying.

What He tells you in the darkness, speak in the light. What He whispers in your ear, proclaim on the rooftops. (Matt 10:27 NASB)

We can write, and we can raise our voice and add to the noise. But, the world doesn’t need more noise. The world needs words produced by the Spirit of God, because of a people consecrated for His purposes as ambassadors on this earth to bring freedom to the captives, sight to the blind, healing for the broken, and the Gospel for the lost.

In case you are tempted to worry about numbers that are lost, because you are taking time to sit at the feet of your Lord, let it be the lost that are counted because of you living the Gospel…

Wandering souls that come to your table, feasting on the fruit of grace and truth, partaking through Words of life, because the words were first lived.

Would God ever give us a more compelling reason?

 

Michele-Lyn

Michele-Lyn Ault lives in happy chaos with her family on the outskirts of Orlando on 30 acres of Florida country. She is a wife and homeschool mama of four. Michele-Lyn pours out her heart in words, at times courageously afraid, on backlit screen and sometimes her soul bleeds a little as she writes on her blog, A Life Surrendered.

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When We Are Searching For Something

If you search hard enough or long enough or earnestly enough, then you will find something.  It might be what you are looking for…or it might not. 

Searching for Something

 

By the time this blog post is published, I expect that I will have buried my 92 year old father.  He and my 91 year old mother celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 13, 2014.  As I write this, my dad has suffered a stroke and is lying in a hospital bed, in the living room of the home he and my mother have shared for many years.  He isn’t doing well at all.  And we didn’t expect him to survive the last few days, but he is still hanging on.  I am certain the end is near.

As I have waited for the phone call saying he has passed away and I should begin to make arrangements to return Arkansas for the funeral, I have searched for some things.

I have searched for answers.

I have searched for peace.

I have searched for comfort.

I haven’t found any answers, but I have found some peace and comfort.  One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all you care upon him, because he cares for you.”

I can do that.  I can give all my cares and troubles and worry to Him…he has big, strong shoulders that can carry the weight of my troubles and the sorrow associated with losing a parent. 

His shoulders are big and strong enough to carry your troubles too.

As I walk this path of waiting and sorrow, I am reminded that I can give my troubles to him.  He will carry the burden and I can just walk the path, with him holding my hand.  Or maybe he will carry me.

The search for comfort and peace ends with Him.  In the end, I know that I will see my dad again. 

And my searching for answers?  Well, that search may continue.  We don’t always get an answer from God when we ask for one, like Logan did before Allume 2013.  But I take comfort in the promise of life after death.  And the fact that I don’t have to carry the burden alone. 

And maybe, just maybe that is the answer.

Are you searching for something?  Is it right under your nose?  If you found it, was it what you were looking for or was it something else?

Mary

Mary is a Midwestern girl transplanted to the northeast with an almost empty nest. Her heart is to encourage and minister to women however the Lord leads and tries to honor the Lord by taking care of her body through proper eating and exercise. She writes of faith, family, healthy living and her journey through life at http://www.marybonner.net/ You can find her on twitter @TheMaryBonner

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Secrets And Deception

“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.” John Steinbeck

Wages Of Sin

The other night while my husband worked late, I sat in my bed flipping the channels mindlessly on the TV. I landed on a channel without noticing what it was, and then set the remote down to tend to one of my children.

I returned to hear a woman talking about her life as a swinger.

And yes, to be clear, we’re talking about the bed-sharing, wife-swapping variety. 

Because I have always been a people watcher, (though admittedly not a fan of reality TV), I watched for a minute because the woman on screen couldn’t stop talking about how freeing it was to live this secret lifestyle.

Wait–what?

I don’t know that I would ever pair the words freeing and secret together unless I was referring to the freedom I experience when I do not have to keep a secret.

The woman, talking to her primary partner, went on to describe how she loved “freeing herself” up in this way, to experience relations without relationship (my paraphrase) but that since she’d recently had a baby, she no longer felt attractive. The look of disappointment on her partner’s face was undeniable. He was ready to start swinging again, and she felt too round and unattractive for that kind of business.

She told him how uncomfortable she would feel next to another woman, one who hadn’t just given birth, she was afraid of being compared, of not measuring up–of not being enough.

Her eyes flashed and darted down, she seemed to have trouble looking directly at the camera. The camera cuts to footage of her working out, talking about how she’ll feel so much better when she looses the post pregnancy weight, she’ll be ready to get back to swinging then.

You know–because it’s so freeing.

This is one of the most powerful deceptions we face in life.  I witnessed a woman enslaved by sin, deceived into believing that her secret lifestyle was freeing–and this makes sense, because this is exactly how sin works. 

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 Esv

The enemy sells us half-baked truth that appears solid on the surface, but collapses to nothing when we begin to cut into it. Living enslaved to habitual sin is to live the most unsatisfying version of life. It appears to us, dressed up as freedom, success, power, beauty, influence, fame, wealth, and so on, and we whose pursuit is anything other than Jesus, cash in our lives for this illusion of freedom.

This sin is soul slavery that suffocates our faith and threatens spiritual death.

Sin promises solid gold, then swaps the gold for spray-painted tin, worth absolutely nothing. Less than nothing. It’s garbage.

Sin deceives. That’s what it does. That’s why the enemy is called the father of lies–because the truth is not in him.

I know this desert. I’ve wandered hot and hungry through the wastelands of habitual sin. I’ve gulped the lies down, confusing temporary satisfaction with real, lasting hope. I’ve fallen face first into the hot sand and gasped for breath, clinging tightly to my secrets, out of fear, and shame. And it was not freeing.

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13

If you are living with a secret, that you think is making you free, I’d ask you–how do you define freedom?

Any freedom the world offers, that comes by way of living in opposition to God’s word is not freedom.

This is deception.

Keeping secrets doesn’t set us free. Keeping secrets is a form of enemy enslavement whose weapons are fear and shame. Secrets allow the enemy to bludgeon us with lies of rejection and failure.

Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalm 32:2

I know this struggle. We all do. None of us is immune to the temptation of deception.

Real freedom is found in Christ. In confession. In obedience to God’s ways.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23

 

Kris

As a sequin-wearing, homeschooling mom of four, Kris is passionate about Jesus, people and words. When she's not writing, she enjoys taking gratuitous pictures of her culinary creations on Instagram. Once upon a time, she ran 10 miles for Compassion International. She is the author of  Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, and blogs at Kris Camealy.com

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