this only happens once a year

Well, it’s here. The big, bad, mac-daddy bundle of ebooks available for purchase for only 6 days. 6 days and then poof, the opportunity is gone. No really. For 30 bucks you get 78 books plus bonus stuff and more stuff.

Why am I telling you about it? Well, two reasons. One, I personally love the bundle myself. I buy it and for months and months I gain wisdom and ideas from all the authors. There are books to inspire our faith, our health, our organization, our family lives, our cooking. You name it.

But two (without any shame and to be totally blunt) I am an affiliate which means that if you purchase the bundle through one of the links on my blog, I get a portion of the sale.

Now the last thing I want to do is sound like a commercial, because I rarely advertise here on the blog. It’s not the purpose of my site. But, if you’ve been losing sleep over how you can give back to ToOverflowing (and our family’s grocery fund) this could be a win-win for us both.

Anywho, to find out more about this amazing deal, click any of the images or links in this post. And…happy reading.

 


 

how to heal a relationship after an argument

My tendency after my husband and I have an intense “discussion” is to dissect each and every point in which I’m right and he’s wrong. I go through my mental transcript of our “conversation” and justify myself — my ill feelings, my poorly chosen words, my straight up ugly — while condemning and blaming him for his. And I do it almost subconsciously. Almost. And if not subconsciously then definitely naturally.

I mean I don’t have to make myself justify my unlove and ungrace. I naturally do it with professional critique and lawyer-like arguments. And the result is always and forever the same when I go that route. The result is always and forever pride, which always and forever leads to desolate lands.

 

healing after an argument

 

We had one of our uglier “discussions” last weekend over something ridiculous, rooted in something bigger. But then Easter happened. And God absolutely, faithfully broke me over my own sin. He gave me fresh glimpse of the scandalous reality of the gospel.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I’m reading that book The Calvary Road by Roy Hession. Reading…being crushed by…however you want to say it. So I was “reading” this book after our lovely display of depravity and as I read Hession’s words describing the characteristics of a bondservant of Christ, I knew God was calling me to humble repentance.

But I couldn’t do it. Not really. I mean, I wanted to repent in the sense that I wanted to obey God. I knew mentally that I had a role in our argument. And I did ask my husband to forgive me. But I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel repentant. I felt like I wanted to defend myself. And really, that desire to defend, in and of itself, points to the depths of my need for a Savior. In fact I’m coming to the realization that doing something just because I know I should, is no more noble or righteous than not doing the thing at all. It’s just further evidence of my desperation for Jesus.

So by God’s absolute grace, I asked Him to break my heart for my own sin. I told him that I didn’t want to just say confession words. I wanted to see myself in light of His glory so that the confession flowed from a place of brokenness. And He answered.

He broke my heart.

 

And I (Isaiah) said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Isaiah 6:5

 

It was like He lifted the veil of pride just for a second so I could see myself in light of His beautiful, selfless perfection in Jesus. And I felt utter shame for my sin followed by overwhelming joy that He would still die for me while I was yet His enemy.

And with that revelation, He changed my feelings.

I went to my husband and apologized from a place of God-given humility. It wasn’t something that I conjured. It wasn’t even something I did because I knew it was the right thing to do. It was something He did in me in spite of me. He allowed me to see the shame of my own sin next to His undeserved grace. And I broke.

What does all of this blabbing mean to you? Well, take it as a challenge — just as I’m challenging myself. Take it as a challenge to be broken for your own junk-in-the-trunk. I’m pretty certain that is the wrong use of that phrase but it just fits.

It’s easy to point out all the mess we see in others. That’s the easy, natural thing. The hard, anti-flesh thing is to reflect on our own mess before a holy God. But honest, God-given repentance followed by rejoicing in the cleansing of His blood is the only road — the Calvary road — that brings the abundant, selfless life Christ died to give. And that will be the only real step towards healing in any relationship.

 
Fill me, Lord…

Think of a recent, not-so-pretty “exchange” you had with someone else. How would selflessness look in the aftermath of that messiness?
 

Jesus changes everything

I had other posts semi-drafted to possibly publish on the blog this week, but my soul has felt heavy with some local news from this past weekend — a tragedy that touches the lives of a number of dear friends. So I’ve been quiet.

But then there’s Easter coming up. And as I’ve thought of Easter’s intended implications onto our every day lives, and those thoughts have collided in me with thoughts of this local devastation, well…I just have to take a minute to point to my Jesus.

And because you’re busy, I’m busy, the world’s busy, I’m going to get right to the bottom line.

Jesus changes everything.

 

Jesus changes everything

 

When out of His love and grace Jesus died and then rose from the dead, He changed everything for humankind. No longer are we distant rebels from our holy Creator God. In Jesus, the Father calls us daughter and son. In Jesus, the Father sees us as righteous and forgiven and holy. In Jesus, selfish man can draw near to the One our souls were created to worship. And that identity change has zero to do with our abilities or inherent goodness. It’s all in grace, received by faith.

But He didn’t just come to change our identity before the Father. He intends to change our experience in this world. He intends for that shift in our identity to radically impact our everyday lives on this broken planet.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

 

Listen, if you, like me, in faith believe that out of the Father’s grace and love He sent Jesus to this earth to die as the perfect blood sacrifice for your and my sin — and the sin of the rest of all humanity for all time — and that this Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and will come again to finish the story, then that means you’re a “Christian”. Happy birthday to you.

But if you’ve been a “Christian” for any length of time, you know how hard it can be. Because we see our own discrepancy. We live here on this messy planet with messy, tragic situations and complicated people. And an enemy who prowls around aiming to kill, steal, and destroy. And our flesh that wants its own way all. the. time. And though Jesus died to change everything, including our experience on this earth, we struggle.

We struggle with sin. We struggle with self. We struggle with other people who won’t do what we want. We struggle to believe that God is good.

But Jesus’ death and resurrection means to bring freedom to our soul. He means to bring joy and hope and peace. He means for us to experience abundance regardless of circumstance. Yet experiencing all He intends happens as a result of the every day choices we make in the every day moments of life. Soul abundance will only happen when the truth of the gospel invades our today.

 

Soul abundance will only happen
when the truth of the gospel
invades our today.

 

What does that mean? That means that we follow Jesus’ lead. We surrender. We surrender our rights, our plans, and our selves. We surrender our places of addiction and sin. We surrender our loved ones and all the what-ifs. We open our hands to God and say, “Have your way.”

We surrender in order that we can receive. We receive His grace. We receive His continual forgiveness. We receive His presence. We receive His mercy. We receive His power and His lead. We receive the identity He declares over us.

But we need each other. If there’s anything God has taught me in recent years, it’s the vital necessity of vulnerability. Because our hearts deceive, the enemy lies, and our selfishness likes to have a say. We need at least one trusted friend who knows the places in us that we like to hide from the rest of the world. Someone who will speak life into us when we’re tempted to stray. A friend to whom we can humbly say, “I’m a total disaster right now. Will you help me up?”

Jesus changes everything. He changes our identity. He changes our hope. He changes our perspective. He changes our desires. He changes our grieving. He changes our joy. He changes our lives from the inside out. All by His grace.

But experiencing all that His death and resurrection intends to change — the abundance He means for our daily lives — includes our own choice to surrender, moment by moment, to a faithful, loving, good God who pursues the heart of sinful man. By His grace, we get to surrender and receive, today.

Happy Easter, my friend.

 
Fill me Lord…

What does it mean to you to have the gospel invade your today?