Tag Archives: Holiness

We are Wrapped in His “Thereness”

24 Aug

What if we believed, to our core, that God is always with us?  Not in some abstract way, but in the reach out and touch Him kind of way.  What if His “Thereness” was our reality and we, the ordinary, understood the very real, very tangible Presence of the Extraordinary?   Imagine truly grasping the ever-Presence that is the I AM.

His Word is clear.  He is with us – ALWAYS.  He will not leave us or forsake us.  Just as surely as every person we cross paths with today, God is there.  So what if, rather than having that be a concept we know, it was a reality we lived?  What if?

Part of “what if” for me would probably include keeping a much closer watch over the words that fall out of my mouth.  I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t allow them to just “fall out” but would take great care to fill them with grace so the King at my side would be proud to call me friend.

  • He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.  Proverbs 22:11

And I probably would use my time more wisely than I normally do.  I can’t imagine frittering away the hours watching HGTV, rooting for the House Hunters to pick the home that stayed in their budget, if I really grabbed a hold of the truth that God is sitting with me on the couch.  I have to wonder if He might be thinking that I was squandering the day He had entrusted to me very foolishly.  Given all He has accomplished, it’s hard for me to picture Him as content just idling away the hours with no purpose.  Yes, part of my “what if” would definitely include a wiser use of my time so His Majesty might delight in me.

  • A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.  Proverbs 14:35

Those are just a couple of the observable “what if” changes. The real “what ifs” would take place on the inside because I cannot fathom subjecting my HOLY God to some of the thoughts that fly through my mind.  Would I really feel jealous of anyone else in the world and stomp my foot about what they have that I don’t, if I realized the WHO that I am blessed with? What in the world could be of greater value than Him?  Would I honestly usurp His right to judge by silently evaluating the actions of others if I actually believed that the One and Only Lawgiver was there?  I could go on listing the things I struggle with and posing the questions about how they might change, but for me, and maybe for you too, all the questions boil down to just one:

Would we change if we believed in His absolute “Thereness”?

I am convinced that for all of us the answer is absolutely YES!  I have moments when I am acutely aware of His Presence and I’m certain you do too.  Times when the facts and the feelings of our faith converge and our souls fall into a holy hush that whispers, “He is here.”  We don’t try to negotiate the agenda of the day; we follow the still, small, Voice wherever and to whomever He leads.  We stride with confidence knowing that every step is falling inside the well-worn footprints of our Holy Trailblazer.  And we are unafraid because we are certain of His all-encompassing Love surrounding us on every side.  That’s the Truth of Him you know?  The I AM is present.

He leads the way knocking down the obstacles and challenges that rise up before you.

  • I will go before you and will level the mountains – Isaiah 45:2

He stands firmly on your right and on your left setting your feet on solid ground and lifting your eyes toward Him.

  • But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high. – Psalm 3:3

And the Lord Himself has promised you Sweet One, that He has your back.

  • Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. – Isaiah 58:8

That is the real-time, real-world truth of it. He goes before us. He is on every side. And His glory is our rear guard.  We are, without a doubt, wrapped in His “Thereness.”  No part of our faith journey escapes His attention or His affection.  And while we may be limited to simply glimpsing glory for now, His vision toward us is totally unobstructed.  His love for us is unconstrained.  And His “Thereness” is unchanging.  Sisters, we may long for the day when see the truth of our circumstances clearly, but in the meantime, I pray we will embrace the reality of our here and now because He is Here and He is Good.

We don’t yet see things clearly.

We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.

But it won’t be long before the weather clears

and the sun shines bright!

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us,

knowing him directly just as he knows us!

1 Corinthians 13:12, The MSG

The Message:  The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “”a reading Bible.”” The verse numbers, which are not in the original documents, have been left out of the print version to facilitate easy and enjoyable reading. The original books of the Bible were not written in formal language. The Message tries to recapture the Word in the words we use today.

The Engraving of God (Part One)

15 Apr

This blog post is going to have to be broken down into two parts.  It’s got some depth to it and we really need some time in between to chew on the first bit before we try to consider the Dog (yes, the Dog).  The connections that God revealed, and I’m certain there are so many more He is yet to unfold, are just too much to take in while at the same time trying to explain how it hooks to “Life Outside the Tomb” and “The Love Life.”  So, I’m asking for a little stick-to-it-tiveness for these next couple posts.  I think if you will snug up your hiking boots and keep moving up the mountain, you’ll find it to be worth the work.

Eventually, I’m hoping to share with you the way God used our family pet to perform open heart surgery on me.  You know, the kind that separates joints from marrow and divides spirit and soul. Like all my stories do, this one begins quite a while ago, back in May of 2011.  This was the beginning of what I have come to affectionately call my “season of loss.”  It began a period of heart reconstruction that as necessary as it was, has been the most painful of all my life – including the accident in 1993.  I’ve recognized God beckoning me, disciplining me, challenging me, and even sitting me in the corner but this is the first time I have recognized being carved out by His hand.  Engraved by His Holy touch.

That is what I intended to write about today; the lessons of love that God has taught and continues to teach me through losing our beautiful, bossy cocker spaniel–Baby.  That was MY plan.  His is ALWAYS BETTER!

Imagine yourself settled into your favorite reading chair consumed with the material in your hand and suddenly, Someone (capital “S” intended) comes in and hands you a new book.  Same subject but a deeper exploration than you might have anticipated.  That is exactly what happened to me as I began preparing this post.   I sat down with my laptop along with a vague notion of the verses I might reference and God unfolded beauty that I simply wasn’t prepared for.  It’s taken me well over a week to just begin—and I cannot stress “just begin” enough—grabbing hold of it and I’m so praying that I can articulate it with some clarity because it’s just so . . .well, it’s just so Him.

I don’t know if you write in your Bible or not, but I do.  I put question marks beside things that pull at my heart but I don’t understand.  I draw arrows to verse references I feel like connect to one another and in many margins you will find definitions of words my soul has gravitated toward.  After I make these marks and notations, I pray off and on over the verses for God to give me clarity and explain it in terms that even the heart of this very thickheaded woman can understand.  I’m convinced that in His timing, He’ll address each one and if not on this side of Glory, on the other.

Hebrews 1:3 is just such a verse for me and when I originally typed “recognized being carved out by His hand ” it popped into my brain because I remembered the definition I had scrawled in the margin of my Bible beside it years ago. (I wish I would remember to date entries in my Bible so that I would have a tangible reminder of how patiently He works with me when I’m tempted to lose my patience with others!)  I have revisited that definition many times but never really felt I got the significance of it.  Sister, I could not have been more correct!

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory

and the exact representation of his being,

sustaining all things by his powerful word.

After he had provided purification for sins,

he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 1:3 NIV 1984

So I had all these thoughts rolling through my brain about Baby Dog and being carved out and I was trying to come up with a cohesive way to put them on paper.  I jotted Hebrews 1:3 down with the intention of drawing your attention, as He had drawn mine, to “exact representation”  in order to give you the definition of the Greek word before I moved into the bulk of the post.  See, this particular Greek word is only used once in the entire New Testament and since it isn’t a definition I have worked with a lot, I thought I should flip to it in my Bible just to be certain I had the right meaning in my mind.

exact representation

Bunny’s Wonderings

You can see the Bunny paraphrase in the margin:  “to carve; something engraved, cut-in or stamped; refers to Jesus Christ as the perfect expression of the Divine essence.”  I thought, yep, that is exactly what I remembered, but I couldn’t shake the nudge to confirm it further.  So I got out my Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible just to make certain I hadn’t written something down wrong and turned to the Lexical Aids in the back where I located the Greek word and definition:

Charakter:  to carve.  The –er suffix signifies agency, hence the word originally denoted an engraver or engraving tool.  Later it meant the impression itself, usually something engraved, cut in or stamped, a character, letter, mark, sign.  This impression with its particular features was considered as the exact representation of the object whose image it bore.  In the NT, representation, expresses image. Occurs only in Hebrews 1:3, where it is translated “exact representation,” referring to Jesus Christ, who is the perfect expression of the divine essence. (#5917, Pg. 1686, HGKWSB)

I was happy with the accuracy I had noted it with in my Bible, but the thing that caught my attention was the appearance of the Greek word:  Charakter.  Doesn’t that bring a very familiar English word to your mind?  It sure looks like “Character” to me.  And I started to roll over in my mind all the verses that talked about looking like Jesus, living like Jesus, showing Jesus to a watching world, and Him being made perfect in suffering.  I thought about God being much more concerned with developing my character as a Kingdom citizen than the Kingdom work I might do and I decided to look up the origin for the English word.

Character (noun):  the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing early 14c., from O.Fr. caractere, from L. character, from Gk. kharakter “engraved mark,” from kharassein “to engrave,” from kharax “pointed stake.” Meaning extended by metaphor to “a defining quality.”

I didn’t want to rest on just one source for the origin so I went to one more sight and read down through it.  It gave much the same information but I hadn’t realized that I had stumbled onto a Bible based dictionary and right at the bottom there was an additional note:  Strong’s 2801 with the reference Exodus 32:16.  Now if you’re not familiar with the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it’s a wonderful, enormous reference book that lists every occurrence of every word in the King James Bible according to a numerical system that is linked to the definition of the root word.  You can find it online but I prefer my big, old, clunky hard copy.  Not just because I love the feel of the pages but more so because of the hearts that blessed me with it. So I got out my KJV and looked up the verse:

And the tables were the work of God,

and the writing was the writing of God,

graven upon the tables.

Exodus 32:16

Now, certainly the word “graven” is used in other verses, but this verse, according to Strong’s, stands alone.  This particular Hebrew word, harut, is only used one time in the whole Old Testament (sound similar to exact representation?) to describe what appears to be the first recorded account of the writing of God.   The short definition is to engrave.  There are about five other words that mean simply engrave.  So why might God, the Creator of language, have chosen that particular word, to use this single time in the Bible? Might I suggest to you that it is the relationship that it shares with the Hebrew word “herut’ which means liberty and freedom.  My Jewish Study Bible beautifully described it as “there was freedom upon the tablets.”(Pg. 185, JSB-JPS)

So, it seems accurate to me to say that what we have upon the stone tablet, engraved by the Divine Hand, is the perfect expression of His love and His will for His chosen people.   Are you tracking with that?  Little “s” stone is displaying the message of God.  He has carved His Holy character into the stone, by His own Hand, to plainly show Himself and speak freedom to His people.

I know I’m getting long but oh, if we can keep plodding forward, I think He will show us new ground outside the tomb that we want to claim as our own. Read over the following verses and see where your heart lands. (I’m going to add some bold-type and capital letters.)

Exodus 24:12 KJV

And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Exodus 32:16 KJV

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

Psalm 118:22 NIV 1984

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

Acts 4:11 NIV 1984

This JESUS IS THE STONE that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.

Hebrews 1:3 NIV 1984

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

  • The stone ( Exodus 24:12) engraved, carved out by God, His Word given to His children to display His character (Exodus 32:16).
  • The Stone (Acts 4:11) engraved, carved out by God, the WORD given to His children to display His character (Hebrews 1:3).
  • The stone and The Stone bore the writing, the carving, spoke the Word of the Holy Engraver and expressed His Divine essence:

Perfect Holiness

Perfect Freedom

 Perfect Love

On display for all in Heaven and Earth to see!  The Holy Engraver was shouting love from the MOUNTAIN TOP to the hearts of His children and, Girlfriend, He still is today.  Oh my goodness Beloved, that we could grasp how high, how deep and how long is His love for us.

Engraved by God (Part Two)–Lessons from Baby Dog on the way.  In the meantime, chew on this (no Dog reference intended but it did make me smirk), leave me a comment and let me know if you’re tracking with me.  And I’ve had some questions about following the blog.  On the sidebar, you’ll see “Follow” underneath the calendar.  Just click it and follow the instructions.  Happy to have you along for the ride!!!


22 Mar

I am so excited to be posting today! I have been waiting for the green light from God to chat about this since the first blog entry—in fact, it is what prompted me to start glimpsedglory—so believe me when I tell you that my entire body is smiling this morning.  I am absolutely giddy at the prospect of writing it down, imagining your faces as you read it, then grabbing hands and dancing down the streets of Jerusalem with you!

I sometimes get frustrated when I am plinking away on this keyboard trying to convey a sense of urgency about the subject at hand.  If you’ve chatted with me face-to-face when I have one of these lightning bolt moments hit my brain, you are very aware that I cannot get the words out of my mouth fast enough. And you’re also aware, maybe painfully so, that God has given me the supernatural ability to get a whole lot of talking done in only one breath. Now in my mind two things are accomplished with this rapid fire chatter:

  1. I’m able to get it all out before my train of thought pulls out of the station without me
  2. You’re kind of trapped until I’m finished.  (If blogs had emoticons, I would’ve put a smiley face at the end of #2.)

But no matter how fast I type I can’t dictate the speed with which you read nor does the blogosphere allow me to keep you hemmed in until my breath is gone.  So I’m just going to tell myself that since you came of your own volition, you’re in it for the long haul and you’ll read to the end.

God confirmed this message in the most beautiful and unmistakable way on January 20, 2013 at 3:45 p.m.  I know the exact date.  I even know the time of day.  It was that powerful and it was that life-changing.  I’m praying that it will be for you as well.  I have shared it with a few Sisters but I haven’t really felt Him give me permission to put it out there for you all to chew on until now.  But even as I sense His blessing and my spirit shakes with anticipation of who He will touch with this, I am asking Him to move me out of the way so it’s just you and Him meeting over this page today.

What I want to chat about in the next few paragraphs is dying to self.  If you don’t travel in evangelical Christian circles that phrase might not even be familiar to you.  To be honest, it has always felt like allusive Christianese to me as well.  I knew it was connected to crucifying my sinful nature and to choosing God’s will above myself but it was just kind of a concept that hung out there without a clear definition.  I knew it was something I was supposed to want to do but since I only had a vague comprehension of it, I certainly had no idea how to do it.  I had no problem understanding that I have behaviors and thoughts that are not Christ-like and they need to go.  So maybe “dying to self” meant to work toward eradicating those things that kept me from looking like my Savior.  Believe me, I could come up with an endless list of things I needed to change about myself, but was that really what it meant? Like a self-help or self-improvement kind of a thing?  Was that what the whole thing was about?  Me making changes in me to show that I loved Jesus?

Even though I operated that way for a quite a while, that definitely was not it. All that lead to was years of defeat believing that I had to pull myself up by the bootstraps and change.  I convinced myself that if I really appreciated what Christ had done for me I would grit my teeth and get rid of all the offensive ways in me.  I would live a holy life. But God just wouldn’t let my spirit settle there.  My mind kept returning to the day I confessed my need for Christ.  I had fully realized that I could do absolutely nothing without Him and yet, here I was, depending on myself to change myself.  It sounds confusing but that was the exact place I lived for many years.  Now don’t misunderstand.  God has poured His grace out on me and grown my faith by leaps and bounds.  He has lavished me with love beyond what I can describe to you but I have always had a kind of off feeling concerning this.  That’s one of the things I love about Him.  He knew I was thick-headed before time began and He chose to love me anyway.

Those are the days, months, and years leading to January 20, 2013. On that winter day, I was reading my Bible and had read about the sinfulness of jealousy, fits of rage, creating discord, gossip, slander, and arrogance.  And as I often do when I’m reading, I said aloud to God, “How am I ever going to get these things rooted out of me? How do I die to this stuff?” and I turned ahead in my Bible from 2 Corinthians to Ephesians.  I didn’t go there with purpose.  I just flipped the pages.  My eyes fell on verses I have read more times than I can count.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children

and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself

up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV, 1984)

Read it again, considering the topic at hand.  Do you see the answer that He gave me?  Oh how He takes my breath away!  After years of wondering and asking the question, “Lord, what does it mean to die to self?,” that day –January 20, 2013—He made it clear.  I practically heard His voice, “My dear child, you do not die, you choose to live like me. You choose to love.”  And in that one instance, years of fog began to roll away and it all started to come together.  Being crucified with Christ is being brought to life in love.  GOD IS LOVE.  If I live in LOVE, if I surrender every decision to LOVE, if I give over all I am to LOVE everything else falls into place.  It’s not about what I don’t do, it’s about what I do, do.

Stick with me on this.  It isn’t about not being jealous of another.  It’s about loving someone so much that you only want them to receive good things.  It’s not about refraining from gossip; it’s about loving others too much to hurt them that way. It’s not about abstaining from arrogance; it’s about so loving another’s heart that you can’t be anything less than humble toward them. Oh, do you see it?

The focus is not on the death.

The focus is on the life!


So to me, it doesn’t get any plainer or any better than that and I must share the good news with someone.  I began to tell Brett about it as fast as I could – because he can’t get away from me (another place I would insert a smiley emoticon if I could) repeating the phrase LOVE LIFE to him over and over again.  I cried when I was telling him because I knew that even though I didn’t have my mind fully wrapped around it, God was going to show me!  And then, as so often happens, doubt began to appear at the corners of my mind. I started thinking, “Maybe I am making too much of this.  What if I am misreading this?” And at 3:30 p.m., partly to take my mind off the questions my brain was formulating and partly because I hoped she would call and chat it all out with me, I sent my daughter a text:

“I can’t wait until I talk to you next because I think God showed me the secret of the universe and I am trying to take in what my mind can get.”

Her reply at 3:38 p.m.

“I can’t wait to hear it! I love you Momma!”

There was not going to be a discussion right now.  So, I sat there holding my phone and wondering:

“Lord, does “dying to self” mean living to walk and to talk the Love Life?  Is living in the Spirit living in Love?  To be filled with the Spirit, is to be filled with you.  You are LOVE.  To walk in the Spirit, is to walk with you.  You are LOVE.  This is it!  Not death, but the LOVE LIFE.  Lord, am I making too much of this?”

Please remember, I had not shared a single syllable of this with my girl.  She was 1200 miles away from me and I thought we had finished texting. But at 3:45 p.m. my daughter sent one more text and she attached a picture.  Both are below:

“Momma, I just finished painting this and thought you’d like to see it.”



Oh Dear Ones, how the Creator of the Universe longs for us to get the message!  He does not call us to death – HE CALLS US TO LIFE.  Specifically, He calls us to live the LOVE LIFE.  When we LOVE, we imitate our GOD and we walk as JESUS did!  Living the LOVE LIFE is the essence of being holy because He is holy (Leviticus 11:45; 1 Peter 1:16). He has not given us the death sentence of never ending self-improvement.  He has called us to live like we have never lived before—unashamedly in the embrace of LOVE.  Oh Sister, will you live for that today?  Will you surrender to that today?  Will you give up your “pull-myself-up-by-the-bootstraps” living and fully embrace LOVE today?  I pray it is so. I pray it for you and I pray it for me. Oh Girlfriend, let’s glimpse Glory!

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