Thursday, May 6

beloved and content

I am enjoying Brennan Manning's book - and have finished the chapter called THE BELOVED. It reminded me of a dream I had years ago, and I think I blogged about it in the past. A dream that came at a time when I was asking God to help me experience intimacy with him and a love that was only through Jesus... and out of that came the dream.

So, this chapter has enveloped me in love again. I love the word "BELOVED" Just the sound of it brings a warmth to my soul. In the book, Manning has said some things that have just "whooshed" into my heart again, coming in with a freshness, and awareness of how great the Lord's love is for me! I needed that again - a reminder. Sometimes the "everydayness"of life causes me to forget this! And this morning, some of the things that spoke to my heart were quotes like the following (from Abba's Child):

"It is God who has called us by name! The God beside whose beauty the Grand Canyon is only a shadow has called us beloved. The God beside whose power the nuclear bomb is nothing has tender feelings for us." (page 59) (tender feelings for you and I!)

"...But when the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and Infinity speaks, when God Almighty shares through His Son the depth of His feelings for me, when His love flashes into my soul and when I am overtaken by Mystery, it is kairos - the decisive inbreak of God in this saving moment of my personal history. No one can speak for me. Alone, I face a momentous decision. Shivering in the rags of my sixty-plus years, either I escape into skepticism and intellectualism or with radical amazement I surrender in faith to the truth of my belovedness."

"Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion." (page 60)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that line - and in the book I wrote, "I, Joy Klassen define myself radically as one beloved by God!!"

I realized as I have sat here in Mountain Bean (yep killing time again) (and I should add, on my second big mug of coffee!) I realize what my heart feels... and I realize that today, it feels overwhelmingly content... overwhelmingly loved by God. Some of you may think - "whatever - Joy you should feel content - you should feel loved. You are at home - able to do whatever you wish for the day - no pressures .... " But let me interject here - this overwhelmingly contentedness - even I - "Joy the unemployed - recently resigned pastor" struggled/wrestled tooth and nail with being at home - struggled with trying to find my purpose - struggled with resting in the Lord - struggled with identity and all the insecurities that abounded during those first few months. (I sound ungrateful don't I)

But I realize that I feel different - I feel that even though I have "jumped and I am free-falling" while God works out the details of life... that even in that, I feel this excitement - this anticipation - this tangible "electric" sense that is only God. I know that without a doubt. And there is this overwhelming contentment in my soul, and my whole being. That being said, I do believe that I know for sure that intimacy with the Lord only comes out of spending time in his presence... like a child with their parent which is an example I can relate to both with my parents and I, and my kids and I. I also believe that intimacy comes from a prayer life. For that reason alone, I am thankful for this time off that has truly been a gift to me. A gift from God, and a gift from my husband as he has blessed me in staying home. The struggle to enjoy, to recognize the gift - that was my struggle, and I thank God He has taught me through it!

Such it is, that as I first sat down here at the Bean... I pulled out my bible/journal and went to Philippians 4. After reading it - I penned some thoughts. Here they are - word for word from my journal - for what they're worth!!

This is my reality - I am feeling content
Paul says he's learned the secret
that in every circumstance - whether in want or in need
the answer is Jesus

When I think of word pictures
I "see" a cat laying in the sun
legs out
the sun warming her fur
the slight breeze rushing past her whiskers
but a soundness of heart that allows her to lay flat out..
enjoying a few moments peace
enjoying the warmth of the sun.

sitting in a coffee shop
surrounded by people
yet alone.
Feeling a peace -
that covers my soul, my heart, my mind
Unexplainable other than ... JESUS.

NOT complacent
My heart bristles at that word
But it breathes deeply of contentment and peace
Peace that can not be counterfeited
Peace that can't be described other than that..
it seeps into every nook and cranny
every corner and crease of my being
top to bottom
head to toes
fingertip to fingertip


Fix your thoughts on what is true
lovely and

You are all these and more
on my own, I am nothing
in YOU - I can do anything
Because you fill me with strength.


Contentment in and thru any circumstance
knowing that no matter what -
You will supply my needs
Not because you have to,
but because you want to and
You know all about me
You know about my needs
You know my heart
You love to hear me come to you -
with cares, concerns.
with praise and adoration
with thanksgiving
with confession
You Lord, love to have conversation with me - and I am so thankful.

"...all glory to You God - my Father - forever and ever. Amen." Phil. 4: 20

"Peace overflowing from an active prayer life lends contentment."
Beth Moore

I encourage you this morning - whether it is 5 minutes or 50... spend some intentional time - QT as I call it (quiet time) with the Lord. Honestly - you will never regret the time you take OUT of your day to SIT with the Almighty. Yes, He is with us wherever we go, and we can talk with him regardless. But as you love to sit with a good friend - so He delights to sit with us. You will only desire to spend more and more time... trust me, I can vouch for that!

Enjoy His presence today.
May peace and contentment flood your heart and mind today!

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