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Friday, October 25, 2013

cheating on my pumpkin spice latte...

This morning as I sipped on my peppermint mocha coffee I felt as if I was cheating on my pumpkin spice latte.  Last night at lifegroup I talked about seasonal treasures in our lives and how many treasures are meant for only a season.  For instance candy canes are only meant for the Christmas season, and candy corns are meant for fall. You can buy both peppermint and candy corns year round but there is something about eating them in the season they belong in.  We adjust our lives to whatever season we are in whether it is through clothing to the activities we choose to do.   For example fall means football, bonfires, colder weather and pumpkin everything and we adjust our lives by pulling out our football gear, buying boots, carving pumpkins and we buy out the pumpkin spice creamer section at Target because it is only here for this season.  What about when friendships end?  What about when you lose your job? What about that dream that you were so passionate about suddenly doesn’t seem so attainable? Are those seasonal things? YES! God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything.  It is ok to be angry even mad at times but there is also the time you let things go, move forward and allow God to work in you and the circumstance that brought you to that place of your anger. He will use every emotion, every response, every thought to bring you into a more intimate relationship with Him.  I love this verse in Colossians 3 (the msg) “you’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.” 
Just like when summer comes you don’t see people in full coats, gloves and boots nor do you see people walking around in the winter with bikinis on. We adapt to the climate and dress accordingly.  We love to get new clothes for each season because it makes us feel a since of newness as we enter that season.  We attach old memories, past mistakes and pain to the different seasons of our lives and we then allow those seasons to keep us in our old “clothing” so to speak. This verse says throw it in the fire which means you can’t get it back out and put it back on.  If you have been redeemed guess what your old self is NO more. We can choose to allow our thoughts and actions take us back into those dark places or we can choose to walk in the light and truth of God’s word.  Its time to replace the triggers you have through smell, hearing, touch etc that remind you of who you use to be or pain that has come your way.  It is so easy to smell something, hear a sound, or see something and it takes you back you to a past sin and you immediately feel dirty, guilty and then shame sets in. Instead of focusing on the details of that day or season in your life allow that to be a NEW reminder of your redemption.  Look at the verse again “stripped off and put in the fire” what a beautiful picture of being made new. Fire is mighty because it can destroy in an instant. When I was in high school my house caught on fire and we lost so many things such as pictures, clothing to my childhood toys. I still have a doll that has fire damage on it and when I see her I am taken back to my childhood instantly. I am able to touch and see something that what was salvaged in what seemed so devastating at the time in my life.  Even though I can still see those marks on the dolls face it no longer takes me back to that day when we began to sift through all the damage instead it takes me to that place of my tea parties in my room with just her and me. I can almost smell smoke of that fire just sitting here. I can also remember the coldness of the hospital room where my dad laid dead on a stretcher.  I can go back so easily to my teenage years of desperately wanting to fit in and be wanted. We all have memories and images that seems to be forever burned in our brains but God wants you know your worth and to know that FREEDOM exist. I want you to think about this image in your head.. You are standing before God with all those horrible thoughts, memories, images, regrets etc. and one by one layer after layer you allow Him to take those things that have kept you from experiencing a deep intimate relationship with Him. Let that sink in… It requires a level of vulnerability and surrender in a way that makes you feel naked.  I love the second half of that verse  “every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator with His label on it.“  You see you are no longer defined by those triggers or by the sin itself you are defined by the Creator.  Today as you go through this beautiful fall day look intently at the leaves and see gorgeous colors of fall, feel the wind as it blows at the perfect speed to remind us that winter is around the corner. Experience the pumpkin creamers and apple ciders that are perfect to the taste.  Fall may remind you of death or it could mean a past sin that you were entangled in, or it could be a season of renewal.   I don’t know what fall or this season of life you are in reminds you of but I do know whatever the season God has given us senses to see, touch and feel His presence no matter what.  Maybe it is time to replace some triggers…

Psalm 34:8 (the Msg) Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.

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