Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It is Finished!

We finished the Buffet this week and it was a bittersweet moment.  We hung the final door and looked at each other in amazement.  We had done the impossible!  It seemed impossible when we started...but we just took it a small chunk at  time and somehow over the last two months, between tutoring our grandson and all the doctor appointments and daily living, we got it done.  We are both over the moon with the finished product.  God has been so good to us as we went through the process.  I prayed before the start of each working session to make it go well and for us to play nicely with each other.  (lol...that was a 'biggee' since we are both leaders and each had different ideas of how it should be accomplished.)  

My husband said the nicest thing to me when it was done...He said I had been "invaluable" to the building of the buffet.  WOW...that really made me feel good since I am not the wood worker in the family.  As for him...he designed this from a glimmer of an idea of what I wanted.  All I gave him was that glimmer and he ran with it.  This will be a memory that we will always have together.  

The next project will be the back splash tiles over the counters in the kitchen.  They are on order and won't get here until the 30th.  

Today I am switching from Max to David Paul Tripp.  He really spoke to me today and I just wanted to share it with everyone.  It is a bit long but worth the read...

From the book "New Morning Mercies", by David Paul Tripp.
Change is not found in defending our righteousness, but in admitting our weakness and crying for help.
     I wish I could say that this is not my struggle.  I wish I could say that I've fully accepted the reality of my spiritual battle.  I wish I could say that I am always thankful for the help God provides.  I wish I could say that I am always open and approachable.  I wish I could say these things, but sadly, I can't.  When I'm approached about a wrong I've committed, I don't tend to say to the other person: "Thank you so much for confronting me.  I know that I suffer from spiritual blindness and don't see myself accurately.  Please keep rebuking me; I know it's a visible sign of God's love."  No, there are two things that tend to be more natural for me as I feel my ears redden and my chest tighten.  I first activate my internal defense system and mount arguments in my mind against the charge.  Perhaps I was misunderstood.  Maybe this is an invalid judgment of my motives.  Perhaps what this person thought I did, I just didn't do.  Then I work to erect arguments for my righteousness.  I list all of the good, empirical evidence of the sin that still resides in my heart, but I am also defending righteousness that doesn't exist.
     Here's the sad part; in doing both of these things, I am devaluing the grace that is my only hope in life and death.  To whatever extent I am able to convince myself that my sin isn't really sin -- that is, that my little wrongs do not really rise to the level of what Jesus died for -- I am not really that excited about grace.  Why?  Because I have convinced myself that I don't really need the rescue and forgiveness that grace offers.  And to the degree that I am able to work myself into believing that I am righteous, I have less esteem for the perfect righteousness of Christ, which is the only righteousness with which I can stand before God.
     So I may have a crisp and clear theology of grace and I may be able to point to passages in God's Word that clearly preach that grace, but where the rubber meets the road in everyday life, self-righteousness stands in the way of that grace having functional and transformative value in my life.  My defensiveness in the face of the confrontation of the body of Christ and the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit should fee from and stops me from running to the place where help is ever found.
     What about you?  Have you really abandoned your righteousness?  Does that make you run toward the grace of Jesus?  Or will you defend today what Jesus died to destroy?  Perhaps before you start confessing your sin you should first confess your righteousness.

By Grace Alone...