A Good Word

I read this recently and it really spoke to me about my place...
Isaiah 61 (The Message)
Announce Freedom to All Captives
1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
planted by God to display his glory.
They'll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They'll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You'll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you'll have the title "Priests of God,"
honored as ministers of our God.
You'll feast on the bounty of nations,
you'll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.

8-9"Because I, God, love fair dealing
and hate thievery and crime,
I'll pay your wages on time and in full,
and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
as the people I have blessed."

10-11I will sing for joy in God,
explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
and puts praise on display before the nations.


No Condemnation

I actually have something fairly deep to say, but first, a public service announcement. If you like coffee, and you like chocolate, I suggest you try a bag of these; they are only around for a limited time! I think my favorite are still the chocolate mint (I think those were limited too, maybe just for Christmas) and the caramel ones. But these are pretty dang good too :)

And now, back to our programing.

Even though I got up and as Troy says "got cracking", (made the bed as soon as I got up, got dressed, but a load of wash in) the day deteriorated pretty quickly. I checked our Spanish account online (I'm always a bit jittery until I know the rent has been taken out, because I don't have any control of when it comes out) and found that they had taken out my quarterly health insurance BEFORE they paid rent. So I was now seriously short. So I had to scramble around for extra cash and run to the bank again before staff meeting to deposit more money. Of course, the banking day closed without rent clearing, so I am just praying rent goes out first thing in the morning before some other bill clears and makes me repeat the process again! And of course since today is Labor Day in America, the money I transferred from savings is not going to show up in our account for the next couple of days. Oh the joys!

Anyway, I was beating up on myself pretty well, for not being more organized, etc. etc. and blah blah blah.

This morning we had a worship and prayer staff meeting, which as usual meant a lot of sharing, some sniffly tears, some singing and lots of prayer.

During our worship time I was suddenly struck by the fact that I very quickly listen to the voice of condemnation. These verses came to mind:
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
I very often do not allow myself to live this out. Even when the voice of condemnation is mine alone, I allow it to drown out the voice of God, the voice of grace. This is not to say that I should not hold myself accountable for my actions, but the fact that I almost immediately jump to self-recriminations.

Interesting isn't it?

I'm sure I could have put that all more eloquently, but it's the end of a long work-day and my brain is slightly fried from sending out our monthly update. So more on this topic later.