Taking a moment to stop and remember…

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Five years ago today, on 23 March 2009 we laid your body to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, several months after your passing.

In those five years we have been through many emotions, from great sadness to laughter. From anger and bitterness to rejoicing in the lives you touched. There have been tears and smiles. And yet every time I have the opportunity to visit you I remember your sweet spirit and your care for those both in the community and the church family, those known and unknown, and with your family. I remember the way that you cared so deeply for your husband, your children and grand children. You were an amazing mother and so much more. 

Five years ago, when we laid your body to it’s final resting place, your friends and family surrounded you and we commemorated your life and celebrated Christ’s works evidenced throughout your life. Today, things are a little quieter, but you are still remembered and the Lord’s works are still evident in those He touched through you.

We miss you, but we rejoice in the hope of seeing you one day again.

Lessons Learned… A few days later…

Striving to be righteous is something that I thought that I understood. I truly thought that I “got it” when it came to being righteous until a friend corrected me on it. So often, growing up I had the understanding that I needed to strive forward in being excellent and strive to be without fault. I remember the wise words of my Mom stating that I needed to be without reproach and that I needed to be certain of my integrity. My dad would continually remind us to press forward to be excellent in our course work and to be certain that we finished well.

Wise words and thoughts from parents raising their children, but there’s a lot of “I” theology in that, and not “God”. A lot of, “I’m going to make certain of this” rather than “I’m going to let go and let God make me right in this manner.”

Sure there are some things like integrity and morals that we have to be certain of in our own way – we should feel led to believe and do things that way though, not as though we have someone with a hammer about to smash down upon us for doing something improperly. Is this to say that we should continue to live our lives in sin – no in no way whatsoever, we as believers of Christ want to be like Him, and through Him we are transformed. The problem at hand is when we try to let God transform us but only in a certain way. I know that for me it tends to be that I want to give over portions of my life, and I feel that I have but in reality I miss the notion that I’m trying to craft what God is actually doing in my life.

Reading through Romans 6, I’m all the more reminded that this life, this sin that is in our lives, if we accept our death with Christ and accept our life in Him as well that we are no longer bound to the law, no longer bound to the Thor figure with a hammer over our heads, but with a loving Saviour that wants to embrace us and have us walk along side Him.

So what about righteousness? What does it mean? How does it work? How does one become passionate for it?
His righteousness is not something that we have to do works to attain, but rather is being in His grace, in His ways, in His will. Once we’ve bitten into His grace and let Him begin to make us righteous, transforming us, then do we become righteous.

What are the hindrances holding you back from chasing His righteousness? Is it the idea of Grace that is one too big to swallow as it doesn’t make sense to your scientific basis? Is it the idea that is in your head for so long of a Thor like figure with a hammer waiting to pounce on you for breaking the law?

Stop looking down at your feet, or at the base of the cross, look upward and see what Christ has done for us. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lesson learned and thoughts we all need to chew on regarding righteousness… Stop trying to be righteous in our own sense, in our own definitions, through what we might consider to be “my” means. Rather, accept Christ’s payment on your behalf in all parts of your life, not just those that feel right. Through the transformation, stop being a slave to self, but rather a slave to Christ and further to his righteousness. Through this righteousness, Christ will use us as His agents, the salt and light of the world.

Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me, just have to remember it’s all Him, not me.