A comment from Linda on “The Dominant sin…”

February 18, 2007 at 11:08 am 8 comments

 Linda is an important part of this blog.  We birthed it together and her encouragement to write was what finally gave me the confidence to do it.  What follows are her comments to my post on living for the applause of others rather than in the Father’s unconditional love. (Greg)

It was in the midst of the abandonment over the last sixteen months by the church we served for over 16 years that I discovered the truth about “the dominant sin of my adult life” (see previous post).  Even those of us who consider ourselves to be independent and self-sufficient live under the lie of this sin:  I must perform and meet certain standards and expectations for how a Christian lives, even if these standards are only my own; the lie is very subtle.   

And…it was in the midst of the abandonment over the last sixteen months by the church we served for over 16 years that I discovered the truth about my Father’s grace.  Having lived my life thinking that “I really wasn’t all that bad” or “at least I didn’t do/haven’t done THAT,” God brought me to the realization that I was, and am, all that bad.  I’m no better or no worse than the next person, but I too, am fully in need of His grace, a grace based on what He gives, not on what I do.   

The Enemy of our hearts and souls tried to steal, kill, and destroy Greg and me through Greg’s sin and the subsequent abandonment by the church.  But…God took the tool of the enemy and used it to reveal to us the truth about living life for an audience of One: God loves Greg and me no matter our failings (in this case our focus) or our strengths.  We are His, bought with a price and dearly loved, sitting in His lap.  Living in that truth refutes the lie. 

On one of our darkest days, the Spirit gave us the following song to reveal truth and comfort.  It continues to comfort our hearts.

In Christ alone my hope is found, His is my light, my strength, my song; this cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.  My comforter, my all in all, here in the love of Christ I stand.   

In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless Babe!  This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save.  ‘Til on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.  For every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain; then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again! And as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ. 

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in us; from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands our destiny.  No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck us from His hand; ‘til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ we’ll stand!  (lyrics by Stuart Townsend)

I wasn’t aware of how living my life in the lie could, and did, encourage others to live in that lie as well – peer pressure is a terrible thing.  I also realized that I wasn’t the giver of grace I should have been.  Now, in the awareness of the truth, I must offer grace; it is a gift I MUST give – that’s how I refute the lie in my own life and in the lives of others. 

This last year, God, in His amazing mercy and grace, brought people into our lives who, like us, are learning to live, love, play, serve, sing, laugh, and dance before the audience of One.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Faith.

The dominant sin of my adult life… Another President from Hope, Arkansas?

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ron Marrs  |  February 22, 2007 at 6:52 am

    You have encouraged me today. Bless you, sister.

  • 2. Brandon  |  February 21, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Its good to hear your heart.

  • 3. Mike S  |  February 20, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    There have many times in the last year that you have felt you had few friends; that you had nothing to share; that you had no ministry. This blog has showed me you have friends; that you have much to share; that you have a ministry.

    Linda’s comments were extremely insightful; straight forward.

  • 4. Mimi  |  February 20, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I like this quote from Oswald Chambers regarding the depth of our Father’s love for any and all of us: “The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love.”
    (My Utmost for His Highest, Feb. 3)

  • 5. Brooks  |  February 19, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you Linda for sharing your heart with us. It’s good to hear from you. I know of your struggles and praise the Lord with you for the grace He has and is giving you to live victoriously day by day. You will certainly touch the lives of many with your story. Please keep telling it.

    Love and miss you both.

    Brooks & Steph.

  • 6. renversgirl  |  February 19, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Linda,

    though i haven’t met you it is soooo good to hear your voice. i admire both you and greg so much for going forward thru very turbulent waters. i also am glad to finally hear what my husband and i have asked repeatedly, if we are a Christian church, why are we not forgiving and loving?! why are backs being turned, instead of hands reaching out?! it has been very hard to put into coherent thought the feelings of the past year. we again feel lost and with out a home church, although we try to go it is often easier to not go. our opinions aren’t exactly appreciated. to be invited to this blog has been a blessing and relief, i joined a bible study and with this i am feeling more in touch with my Father than in a long time. thank you so much for the thought provoking and emotionally vulnerrable postings you both put up.

  • 7. Glenn Klein  |  February 18, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Greetings: I have long know that I’m a sinner. I was replused by a church maybe like yours that was unforgiving and preached almost every sunday that I was doomed to hell. It was then in Medford I found a home where the realities of living everyday as best you can, knowing that you are not “perfect”, not being too judgemental of others and trying to do your part in making this a better world. I don’t have the religious training that you’ve experienced, but have studied enough to accept my faith in Christ as a way of living and giving. Thanks for sharing your thoughts under the Juniper Tree. I might not reply but I do find them interesting and thoughtful. Glenn

  • 8. Doug Wright  |  February 18, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    We are sometimes only a breath away from learning realities that have avoided us. Some of these realities bring us into the shadow of humility. Each of us must call on the mercy/grace of God and bask in His presence instead of the applause of man.

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