So, my child, draw your strength from the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Take the things you heard me say in front of many other witnesses and pass them on to faithful people who are also capable of teaching others.
Accept your share of suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. …Think about what I’m saying; the Lord will give you understanding about everything.
2 Timothy 2:1-3,7 (CEB)
Walking my dog this morning, my nose and cheeks kissed by crisp Fall air, I listened to Terrence Blanchard's Ghosts of Congo Square from A Tale of God's Will-Requiem for Katrina. My babies call the music sorrowful, sometimes too sad for them to hear, but all I hear when I listen is hope. My life is a tale of God's Will.
Lately I've grown more in Grace through suffering than I ever thought I needed to...I acknowledge, among many lessons, that my struggles are just that…mine; not greater or less than those suffered by any other weary traveler, just mine. What I have learned in 48 days will carry me the rest of my days, and that is this…faith does not guarantee sunny days. Faith challenges us to grow stronger, to endure, to persevere and be resolute. Faith never promised an easy life. To the question, "should Christians suffer?" The answer is, well, why not? We are challenged by The Word to accept our share of suffering, like good soldiers in Christ…
I had an interesting experience today. Author Holley Gerth challenged readers at her blog to write the Mad Libs version (if you don't know what that is, you may not be old enough to read anything here, LOL) of a personal mission statement. I think I'd always had it framed in my head, and have discussed versions of it with my closest friends, but never articulated it formally.
My Mad Libs Mission Statement a la Holley Gerth
I believe God has created and called me to fall down, sometimes really hard, so friends, family, complete strangers and friends I haven't met yet might appreciate the Grace God gives me (Grace available to anyone) to get up, over and over, through my life and my writing. To get up, no matter how hard it seems; no matter how often it happens. Laughing as I rise, praising Him for His Goodness.
I am living a tale of God's Will. As I do, my Divine call to action is make it work; surrender wholly to God as He is and ever has been in control, hiding myself in Him, finding my way out of troubles, finding my way through; recognizing the tremendous abundance He's strewn for me along my messy way.
When you listen, you might hear a mournful dirge, I hear music exploding with expectation…music that makes we want to cry out in joy, to dance, because its message is so hopeful-we endure. When I tell people about the last 48 days, bless their hearts, they want to hug me, which I appreciate, but I tell them, "if it weren't for Grace and humor…" and then I smile. Because I heat Terrance Blanchard playing sweet music in my head. His is a requiem both for those who suffered and died AND for those who endured. Those who endure. My people…
Those who live to tell the tales of God's Will. Those whose cheeks and noses still get kissed by Fall's chilly lips. Those who smile while saying that God is in control. Those who, when they rise from falling, laugh, and dance.
On Thursdays, I pray and and play with friends here...