His Story, Our Story

mr banksI would have to say my favorite movie I saw within the past year is Saving Mr. Banks. I’m not a huge movie goer but this one really touched my heart. I also don’t usually become overly emotional when watching movies, but with this one I was definitely all choked up and fighting back the tears. Something in this film resonated with something so deeply inside me and I felt a powerful connection to it (a definite sign of a great movie). If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend it.

Here is a brief synopsis of the film: Walt Disney sets out to fulfill a promise made to his daughters to make a movie of their favorite book, “Mary Poppins,” (unbeknownst to him it would take 20 years to fulfill). In wanting to purchase the rights to make a movie of her book, Walt Disney comes up against the prickly author P. L. Travers who is stubbornly immovable in the storyline, details or recreation of the characters that would be necessary in order to make the book a classical Disney style movie.

Due to a crisis in finances, P. L. Travers decides to meet with Walt Disney to discuss his plans for the adaptation of her story. Walt agrees to let Travers in on the screenwriting process before she would agree to sign over the rites to him. While meeting in Los Angeles, Walt Disney rolls out the Red Carpet treatment for P. L. Travers only to be met with the stubbornness of woman with her mind already made up and unwilling to let go of some of the details of re-writing her story.

Two weeks into the project and with a still unsigned contract, P. L. Travers decides to cancel negotiations and head for home. Walt Disney comes to understand that something much deeper is going on within P. L. Travers. He uncovers that parts of her life story are written with the fictional pages and characters of her whimsical children’s book. The only thing is, she in-essence has changed the trajectory of her life story by re-creating a better story for the characters.

By sharing a personal life story of his own, Walt Disney convinces Travers that letting go of her book would require her to let go of some of the hurt and brokenness of her past and namely to forgive herself for the guilt and torment she has held locked up within for so long. Walt Disney says to Travers, “Don’t you want to finish the story.” With that, Travers agrees to sign over the rights for the making of the movie.

I think this movie resignated so deeply within me because similarly, due to the presence of sin in this world, we are all broken. To be human is to be messy. We all have things in life that hurt and maimed us and when we hold these things within us, they can often keep us locked in a prison of our own making.

The awesome part is that Jesus Christ came to change the trajectory of our story. He can take the mess of our life story (when surrendered to him), and make it into a message. He can take us from victim to a victor. In Hebrews 12:2 it says that Jesus is “the author and perfecter of our faith.” God is the author of life and our faith and He is re-writing our story. He changed history by His-story. The bible is God’s amazing love story for us. It says in Romans 5:8 “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ came to us in our sin, in our brokenness and in all the messiness and loved us all the way to the cross.

God’s love story for us is the good news of the gospel. The gift of Jesus Christ is that through faith in Him, He saves us from ourselves and our sin. It is the gospel of grace! God’s pure and amazing grace. God’s grace is what sets us free to live for Him. He died and rose from the dead, so that we can have new life in Him. When we understand the enormity of His sacrifice for us and the divine transaction of what we are given by faith in Him, we can’t help but sing his praises! With Christ as the author and finisher of our faith, we know our story will have a great ending! Praise be to God!

Father God, thank you for your amazing love and for sending Jesus to die for my sin. Thank you that by faith, through grace we can have new life in you and live in right relationship with you, unashamed because of what You have done for us. You are an awesome God! All praise and glory be to You both now and forever. AMEN

We are all sinners, saved by God’s amazing grace (Ephesians 2:8). When we compare ourselves and our sin to others we might think we’re still pretty good people. But we are comparing ourselves to other sinners, and the bible says that all sin is the same (James 2:10). God is holy and there is no sin in him (2 Cor 5:21). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). The bible says that there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10. This meaning that all of our goodness is filthiness in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). It is only through faith in what Christ did for us on the cross that we can be saved Ephesians 2:8-9). We are washed by the blood and then made clean and holy in his sight. It is a divine transaction of pure grace. A free gift because of God’s amazing love for us. There is nothing we can ever do to earn his love or be good enough. If that were the case, he wouldn’t have had to die on the cross. But he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was crushed for our iniquities, and the punishment that made us whole was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Isaiah 59:2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.

Romans 3:10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous–not even one.

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.

Ephesians 2:8-9 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come. 

Walking by Faith

reflectionThis morning I was out for my typical run, trying to get in a bit of exercise while enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I soon came to where the road turns and there in the corner, is a big reflector mirror (the kind used to see around blind corners). It was covered in a thick morning dew. I thought to myself, “Well what good is that mirror to motorist now? It’s useless all covered in dew, you can’t see a thing through it. So I thought I’d do my good deed and I proceeded to walk over to the mirror and wipe off the dew for any future vehicle traffic that would be passing through.

We also have one of those same mirrors on the corner where I live and I know how useful it is. The corner coming into our house is a blind corner also. I don’t know how many times, before installing that mirror that we almost had a head-on collision with someone coming around the bend. You just can’t see. I was always afraid for my kid’s safety and told them never to play around that corner. If you’re either going to fast, or not fully paying attention, a collision could happen so easily. Therefore, a few years back my husband and I purchased one of those reflective mirrors to put on the corner and it has helped tremendously.

I know that sometimes in my faith I just wish that I just had one of those big reflector mirror that would show me what was around the corner, don’t you? Unfortunately, as Christ followers we are called to walk by faith. Walking by faith means trusting God even when you don’t see down the road or know what’s around the corner. Walking by faith requires fully trusting in the one who is leading.

I know in my own faith there have been many times I have had doubt, I’ve been discouraged or I’ve managed to mess things up pretty good and wonder where God was leading me. But it all came down to, “Would I trust Him or not?” One thing I know for certain is God’s faithful. His Word is proof of that. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and his ways are unchanging.

Thankfully God’s doesn’t leave us totally unequipped for the road ahead. He gives us His Word. In Psalm 119:105 it says: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and the light for my path.” That verse alone shows me that sometimes God just gives enough light for the footing directly under my feet. This is where our trust needs to kick in. When I look to Him and His Word, I can rest in Him, trusting He is leading the way and that all of His ways are good. I find that I would much rather trust God than myself. Who better than my creator knows me better that me? Because of this I can trust God and His plans for my life.

We come to Christ in faith and we continue to follow Him through faith. Circumstances have a way of continually testing our faith, but when we trust God through all things . . . He proves faithful. He never leaves our side and is willing to show us the way as we put our trust in Him.

Father God, thank you for your precious Word. Thank you that in this life journey, we are not alone. Thank you for your Holy Spirit which is our helper, comforter and guide. When difficulties and doubts arise, help us to cling to you and to walk by faith. Teach us Lord and guide us unto all truth. Thank  you for who you are and for all you do. To you be the Glory both now and forever. AMEN

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But he must ask in faith without doubting . . .

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Working Together


Public confession day. I doubt this is news flash for some of you that know me well, but I can tend to be pretty narrow minded at times. The reason I share this is because I believe this is an area that God has slowly been working on in my heart for some time now. I am truly thankful for a mighty God who is helping me to rid myself of me and helping me to adjust my perspective and the way I see others.

First of all God reminds me that we are all a work in progress and that none of us have got it together (especially me, teehee). We are all sinners, saved by God’s amazing grace (Eph. 2:28) and because of God’s grace towards us, we must extend grace to others. God also reminds me that He is God, and we most definitely are not. Even though at times we all try to be our own little providence’s by continually trying to figure things out on our own or running on ahead of God and doing things our way instead of His. God wants our total trust (Prov. 3:5), total submission (James 4:7) and total obedience (Deut. 30:10) so that we can walk in the fullness of all that he has for us (John 10:10).

We all come at life from a different perspective. We all tend to see and react differently based on our life experiences. We all have different upbringings, different experiences in life and different personality traits that have shaped us into the people we are today. Therefore (stating the obvious), we are all just plain “different.” Praise God for that right?

The diversity of people reminds me of the creativity of our amazing God. God created us all as unique individuals. We all have different gifts, talents and abilities. We also have different personality traits and that make us uniquely us. We all know God doesn’t do anything haphazardly. He is a God of order, purpose and reason. He could have made us alike or like little robots, but how boring that would be. I think He had something much more creative in mind being the original and amazing creator he is.

Could it be that He created us different so that we would have to learn how to get along? That’s a funny thought huh? In learning to love others and get along, especially with those who are hard to love or different from us, we become more like him who loves us in spite of us because we are His beloved creation. In learning to love as he does, God transforms our hearts and minds. Love requires selflessness as we look to the needs and well being of others versus our own (an area I still need lots of help in).

God made the way for us to have a right relationship with him by dying on the cross for our sins. And in doing so he paved the way that we can have right relationships with one another. We need to learn to die to self for the well-being of others. The bible teaches us that a friend, loves at all times (Prov. 17:17). and that love does no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10). These are two verses I readily memorized and recite to help me in relationships with others. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us that we can we even begin to love others as God does (Romans 5:5).

I’m thankful for the people God has brought into my life who have broadened my horizon of thinking and helped me to see things from a new and different perspective. Through others God has placed in my life, he has taught me many great lessons about people. Here are five that stand out the most: 1)We are all created in His image 2)We are all sinners and in need desperate need of grace 3)We are all equal in His eyes. 4)We all have the same basic needs 5)We all have things that we can learn from one another.

Like the cogs in a watch, in order for the watch to work properly, all the cogs have to be spinning and going in the same direction. Each little nodule on a cog fits perfectly together to make the cog spin and therefore they move the hands on the face of the clock to keep the proper time.

So it is in the body of Christ. We need each other. God made us this way. He is the head and we are the body parts. And truth being, we are only as strong as our weakest part. Because as the bible states, when one part suffers, we all suffer (1 Cor. 12:26). In order to be effective for the purpose Christ designed the church, we all need to work together like the cogs on a clock and in doing so, the body of Christ functions properly.

The greatest tactic of the enemy is to get the different parts of the body working against one another. In doing so we become ineffective for the purpose Christ created the Church. God is love, and loving God means loving others. The bible says, without love, we are nothing and without love, our works amount to nothing.

Jesus Help us to love as you do. Give me an open mind and an open heart to see others as you do. Help me seek to understand before being understood. Thank you for the greatest example of love shown to us on Calvary’s cross. Thank you that you died for my sin so that I may live for you. Help me to live and love through the greatest example provided in Jesus. Help guide me by the truth of your Word and to walk in obedience to it. Fill us full of your Holy Spirit so that we may be your hands and feet in this lost and hurting world and accomplish all that you would have for us. Thank you for who You are and all you do!  To you be the glory both now and forever! AMEN

Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Colossians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.