Showing posts with the label Perfection

Not quite at 100% yet

I will freely admit that I don't have my life all put together, packaged up in a neat little 'perfect' package. In fact, there are frayed edges, places where the seams are coming apart, and some pretty messy 'junk drawers' in my life! How about you? Do you have a 'perfect' package going on? Or are you probably a little like me - still not quite as 'put together' as you'd like, but well on your way? I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (Philippians 3:14) The real crux of it all is that we are 'well underway'. We aren't turning back and we aren't going to get off on tangents, going who knows where. The more

A noodle lesson

It was Voltaire who reminded us, "Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time," but I'd have to say that perfection requires more than the hand of time. It requires the hand of God in our lives. Voltaire was right in his supposition that perfection is something that is attained in very slow progress at times, quicker at others. It is in the passage of time that we begin to see things change. I made macaroni and cheese last night, something I don't treat myself to very often, but I just had a hankering for it. If you have cooked pasta, you know that it requires the water to boil a while in order to soften the hard outer shell of the noodle, then in time the inner portion becomes affected by the heated water. If you leave it too long, you get mush. It is somewhere slightly between 'hard inside' and 'mush' that you reach 'perfection' with the noodle. If you want the best texture and taste to your pasta, you watch and wait,

Perfection this side of heaven?

Dr. Brene Brown reminds us, " You're imperfect, and you're wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging ." None of us is perfect - none of us is "just right" when it comes to where we have been, are right now, or even where we are headed. Along the way, we have made a few missteps, created a little chaos in our lives, allowed words to flow forth from our mouths that ought not to have been spoken, and found fault in others for the same thing we do ourselves. Dr. Brown reminds us we find our true sense of belonging when we find ourselves being our true selves. I'd have to say we find our true identity in Christ - then we live "true" to who we are from then on! 8 If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:8 ERV) My "true self" apart from Christ is pretty "unlovable" - it made messes out of life's choices and

Stepping stone or stumbling block

12  I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything  and everything  the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me— and nothing will stand in my way  because He has grabbed me  and won’t let me go .  13  Brothers and sisters,  as I said,  I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.  14  I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts:  to cross the line,  to win the prize, and to hear God’s call  to resurrection life found exclusively  in Jesus the Anointed. 15  All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters. If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well.  16  For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown  and keep in step with these teachings . (Philippians 3:12-16 VOICE) Walt Whitman's words caught my eye this morning: "I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am good as the best.&

Attracting the right attention?

Commitment has a way of drawing attention at times, doesn't it?  Get "into" something with all your heart and you will find there are others who will find fault in your pursuit!  If you haven't figure it out by now, God is interested in how we will respond when we are criticized, put down, or when others try to "undo" something we are in the process of doing.  Most of their interference and resistance is really without cause, so a response of telling them they don't know what THEY are doing, or THEY are being unfair seems pretty logical to me.  God's desire is for us to respond differently.  In fact, scripture tells us we are to "put up with" being treated badly, even when there is no good reason for the way we are being treated (I Peter 2).  Our response matters. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:10 NIV) You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes p

No "perfect package" here!

All together - a term used to indicate someone has a "complete package" as it comes to talents, treasures, looks, ability, etc.  For most of us, we give a good impression of having it "all together", but in reality, it takes a whole lot of duct tape and bailing wire to keep it that way!  I think it takes a whole lot of work and emotional effort to live that way.  In fact, I had decided a long time ago the "all together" / "complete package" just didn't "fit" who I wanted to be in this life.  It took a while to get to the point of not being afraid to let others know where my edges were a little frayed and my hems not all even! Yet, in the willingness to "get real" with others, there has been a liberty like no other.  Truth be told, the ability to be real with others only came when I realized others aren't "spurred on" in this race toward Christ by the "perfect package" they see.  In fact, the perfect

What do you see reflected?

Have you ever told yourself something only to find out in the end you were really just fooling yourself?  Until we actually look in the mirror, we don't see what is likely right in front of us all the time.  Even when we look into the mirror, we may not see exactly what we thought was there - because the mirror is clouded over with some film.  If you have ever taken a hot shower in a closed room, you find the mirror becomes all coated with the steam.  The coating on the mirror actually keeps you from seeing an accurate appearance of who you are.  Even if you try to wipe the steam away a little, the image you may see is still a little distorted by the remaining particles of water gathered on the mirror.  In actuality, the "image" never changes, just the reflection does! If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be t

Dress me well!

Direct:  The shortest course to something or someone; proceeding in an unbroken line.  If you have ever had "direct access" to someone by using a special "back line", you know this access has some special meaning.  In fact, if someone trusts you enough to give you the "back line" number, this says much about the relationship, doesn't it?  In healthcare, we have some remote monitoring capabilities these days, allowing an individual to observe a bank of monitors, video feeds, etc., all in the interest of observing the condition of the patient.  One of the features of this type of remote monitoring is the capability of reaching someone immediately when changes are observed.  It is imperative to have a "back line" feature built into this type of monitoring capability.  Why?  Changes occur rapidly and to intervene in the right timing, with the most purposeful and accurate actions, access must be guaranteed.  I wonder if the same applies with chang

I am not mature!

Mature:  Fully developed in body or mind; complete; perfected; ready; prepared.  Now, how many of you will say you are mature?  In society today, we often think of maturity as reaching a certain age - the age of "legality".  In other words - it is a measure of chronological years, not so much a measure of anything on the inside of the person.  The problem with this way of thinking is that we often have a whole lot of "mature-looking" individuals walking this earth, but they really lack the evidence of maturity in the emotions, mind, or their spirit.  Chronologically, they are "of age" - spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually, they are still immature. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.   Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.   This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith an

Get it together, would you!

I am not sure of the exact point in life where I developed the "bent" to be a little bit too much of a perfectionist, but the desire to always succeed, always get it done, always have myself together, etc., just about drove me nuts!  Not to mention the other people in my life!  The perfectionist takes life way too seriously!  I have a message of hope for those of us who suffer way too much from "having it all together".   The focus on always having it together leaves very little room for the spontaneity God needs for us to have in service to him. Going through the motions doesn't please you,  a flawless performance is nothing to you.  I learned God-worship  when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love  don't for a moment escape God's notice.  (Psalm 51:16-17 The Message) David said it well - going through the motions doesn't please God, nor does having our act all together!  Both are extremes, aren't they?  One is the ex

Just a Mirror-Image

As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.  (Hebrews 10:11-13   The Message) So many times we go about life trying hard to perfect what God has already declared perfect!  We try to "pretty up" our lives, only to find that God has done that already in the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus.  We are challenged by the struggle between what God "declares" us to be and what we see when we look in the mirror!   I find comfort in these verses quoted above.  Look at what God has said to us: 1)  One sacrifice was made - that was it!  No other sacrifice is any longer necessary to satisfy the "standard" God requires to bring about righteousness in our lives.  Try as we

Bargain Basement Finds

2  Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;     God  probes for what is good.    9  We plan the way we want to live,    but only  God  makes us able to live it. (Proverbs 16:2, 9) Have you heard the term "window shopping"?  It refers to the action of simply being out "aimlessly" traversing the paths of the mall, in and out of shops, sometimes finding an item or two we "just must have", and at other times, just getting ideas about what we will come to "dream about".  We are accustomed to the idea that we look for what "appeals" to us.  If it "moves us", we say we are influenced to make the purchase and claim it as our own. The problem with this type of "shopping" is that we often buy what looks good and not what has the lasting / enduring qualities of a "good purchase".  We tend to follow the "fads" rather than to be making quality decisions.  The fact is stated very well in our passages

Give me space!

I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it.  Do what you do so well:       get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation.  Be a guest room where I can retreat;       you said your door was always open! You're my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.  (Psalm 71:1-3) One of the things that I find amazing in scripture is just how many times we have the idea of "running to", "seeking", "hiding within", etc., as we examine the various responses we have toward the safety of God.  We run to him - hoping to find the answers we need.  We seek him out - because we cannot possibly find any other source like him.  We hide within the shelter of his wing - knowing that our enemies cannot possibly overtake us when we are that close to his heart.  Our psalmist reminds us that we will never live to regret these steps we take toward God! Well, the simple truth is that we often run to Go