Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who I Was, Who I Am

It's been a long time since I had written a poem...years. However, yesterday as I made the long drive from my home to my favorite chiropractor's office, I began to think about the grace the Lord has showered upon me.  I thought about the sin of my past, where I was...where I was headed and I became overwhelmed with thanksgiving.  I found myself praising God and thanking Him for His redemption.  Before I knew it, words to a poem started flowing.  I scrambled to find a pen and piece of paper in the vehicle console.  I found them and began to scribble the words on tiny corners of this already written on sheet of paper.  Note: this was very safe as I drove along the highway (probably worse than text messaging while driving!).  :)  The words were barely legible, but they were there...for me to decode when I got home. :) 

I haven't been a very consistent blogger for some time now...so many things to write about just haven't taken the time to post them.  I will get back in "the swing of things" some day.  For today, I wanted to share my poem with  you.

Who I Was, Who I Am

My heart aches as I think of who I once was,
The empty, dreadful person I have been,
Doing as I pleased - wretched, wandering.
My life was boldly full of self and sin.

I was entangled by my own selfishness,
Ignorantly thinking I was independent and free,
So overcome by the world’s fleeting joy,
A noose around my neck, yet I could not see.

Sorrow fills my being as I think of where I was,
Yet, joy and gratefulness fill me more as I pray.
Consumed by forgiveness as I go to my Father,
His grace frees me to close the past, focus on today.

Praise God! His amazing grace falls fresh on me,
My sins are washed away and long gone.
I have put on His cloak of righteousness,
Filled with His Spirit, power and a new song.

No condemnation, no fear or doubt,
No use to hold onto who I was then,
I am forgiven, set truly free for eternity,
Dread replaced by praise; self replaced by Him.

Not living by my own weak, limited ability,
Rather, depending on His strength that fills,
Knowing nothing is impossible for those who believe.
My future is bright as He shines the light that heals.

I am not who I was because I have the “I AM,”
No longer have to live in shame and sin,
He loves me just as I am, yet helps me to change,
Growing, changing, knowing who I am in Him.

Written by Rachel Beran  8-23-10
(Please do not use without permission from Rachel Beran)

Do you know His Amazing Grace?  What does it mean to you?  If you do, thank Him today!  If you do not, what are you waiting for?  It's a free gift and you'll never regret reaching out to take it!  If you would like someone to pray for/with you, I am always available.  E-mail me rachel.beran@yahoo.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's a Dare!

“Have you ever let yourself dare to believe that Jesus would love to show Himself to you?” Lysa TerKeurst

This summer I’ve been co-facilitating a women’s book study. We’re reading “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst. It has been a wonderfully, enlightening study that I highly recommend to all women!

This week we discussed how God wants to help us in “Our Struggles” and then moved into “Our Thoughts.” This week Lysa asked the question above. It’s worth repeating, “Have you ever let yourself dare to believe that Jesus would love to show Himself to you? Not in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense.”

What do you think? Have you dared to believe this? Have you ever even thought of it? Does this sound radical to you?

My eyes have been opened recently to the fact that many Christian women; women who have asked Jesus into their heart; women who go to church and study their Bibles; women who have truly made a commitment to honor, serve and love Jesus don’t believe this, not truly. This sounds like a radical, outlandish idea to many. Some have never even had it cross their minds. Why would Jesus love to show Himself to us?! Maybe the more appropriate question is, “Why not?”

We were created in the image of Jesus. We are the children of God, co-heirs with Jesus (his siblings!!). If we are “born-again” (asked Jesus to be our Savior) we have the Holy Spirit (God’s own spirit!) dwelling within us…and we can operate in the power of it!

A scripture passage most of us have heard and know well, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

In my own words: trust Him with ALL your heart (holding nothing back), do not depend on your own limited understanding (instead seek His vast, all knowing, complete understanding). Acknowledge Him in everything you do (all day, every day make the choice to see, hear, feel Him working in all you do, say, think) and He will show you the way to go. How can He show you if you’re not even looking for Him?! He wants to show Himself to you…show you His path for your life, but first you have to be looking!

Jesus is not seeking people to follow a religious routine, He’s seeking people who are “sold out” believers; daring to believe that He is real and actively working in our lives! He wants a relationship with us. That’s why He created us! Have you ever had a successful relationship with someone who didn’t want to reveal things about themselves to you? Of course not!

As Lysa wrote in Chapter one of “Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl”, “Setting our hearts and our minds on God and letting His truths change us, rearrange us, and redirect us will help us not just to know the message of Christ - but to live it out loud!” Amen!

I don’t think it’s too radical at all to believe that Jesus wants to show himself to us. He is a real and personable Lord! He hears our prayers (Ps 34:15). He loves and cherishes us (Is 43:4). He understands the groaning of our hearts (Rom 8:26). He delights in every detail of our lives (Ps 37:23). Why would a God who knows us so personally; One so loving and kind; not want us to know more about Him? Why wouldn’t He want to make Himself and His presence obvious in our daily lives?

Who wants a stale, ritualistic religious routine? I’d prefer a vibrant, thriving personal relationship with a loving Savior who wants to show me just how real He is in my very real life! How about you?

“Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8

***Does Jesus want to show Himself to you? Of course He does! Dare to believe it, sister! It will change your life!!***

God, I want to see You.  God, I want to hear You.  God, I want to know You.  So that I can follow hard after You every day.” A prayer by Lysa TerKeurst

P.S. Lysa TerKeurst will be at Rise & Shine Women’s Retreat in October! Check out the link above!