Tag Archives: Yoda

Daddy’s Shoulders

Special thanks to Pedroni Photography for this lovely picture.
Special thanks to Pedroni Photography for sharing this beautiful picture with us.

Take a moment.  Breathe.  Look at the picture above.  Imagine that you’re that tiny person on the shoulders of your Dad.  His strong arms have a firm grip on you and you’re heading out along the path.  The road ahead is blurry from your perspective, but your Dad knows what’s around every curve.  From your vantage point, you can choose to be a nervous wreck, or you can choose to relax and trust your Dad.  Relax and thank him every step of the way, knowing that this life is a beautiful adventure with your Dad who loves you more than you could ever imagine.  You’re a lovely little princess (or a strong, handsome prince) on the shoulders of the King.

You see, this is how I feel about God, my Heavenly Father.  I’m up on His shoulders, His strong arms have a firm grip on me, and we’re heading out along the path.  The road ahead is blurry from my perspective, but He knows what’s around every curve.  From my vantage point, I can choose to be a nervous wreck, or I can relax and trust Him.  Relax and thank Him every step of the way, knowing that this life is a beautiful adventure with my Dad, Who loves me more than I could ever imagine.  I’m a lovely little princess on the shoulders of the King.  I hope you can picture yourself up on those shoulders too.  Your Heavenly Father hopes you can too.

He wants us to relax.  Trust Him.  Thank Him.  Moment by moment, every day.  Let Him guide you.  Take the next step.  This is not about trying harder.  This is about trusting and thanking our Heavenly Father.

Yoda says, “There is no try.  There is do or do not.”

I say, “There is no try.  There is Trust God and Thank God.  And then take the next step.”

Trust & Thank.  T&T.  TNT.

TNT is the abbreviation for the explosive compound used in dynamite: Tri Nitro Toluene.

But the root word of dynamite is from the the Greek “dunamis”, which is used 120 times in the New Testament and is loosely translated as “strength, power, or ability.”

GotQuestions.org put together a quick, easy read about “dunamis” and I highly encourage you to check it out:  What is the meaning of the Greek word dunamis in the Bible?  In that post, they reference several verses where “dunamis” is used.  Here’s my favorite:

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  – 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

So, what does this “dunamis power” have to do with that path we’re heading down?  The Apostle Paul put it this way in his letter to the Romans (paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in “The Message” version of the Bible):

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”  God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.  We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.  And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!  We go through exactly what Christ goes through.  If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!”
-Romans 8:15-17 (MSG)

It’s true.  The path of life isn’t easy.  It isn’t all roses and sunshine.  It can be incredibly difficult, discouraging and frightening.  But it can also be really good.  And I believe that God wants every moment.  The good, the bad, the exhilarating, the terrifying.  Every little thing.  Every little decision.  Turn to God and say, “Daddy, what’s next?  What’s the next step in our adventure together?”  In my experience, He doesn’t show me everything that’s coming.  He just gives me the next step. The Psalmist said it this way:

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  -Psalm 11:105 (NLT)

A lamp only lights the next step or two, not the whole pathway.  If you want to see more of the path, you need to take another step.  God wants to guide every one of those steps.  And He gives us the power to take each step, as we trust Him and thank Him.  He doesn’t shine a light down the road so that we can see the destination.  He’s much more interested in the journey, guiding us step by step, walking with us, calming our fears, enjoying our presence.

Think back to that picture above.  We’re up on His shoulders.  He’s got us.  We have no need to fear.  We are His dear children, safe and secure in the arms of the Father.  Bethel Music wrote about this so beautifully in their song “No Longer Slaves”.  Listen and let the words sink in.  Trust Him, Thank Him and live in the Dunamis Power that He provides.  May our fears be drowned in His perfect love as we live this adventure called life.

“You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God…”

-Bethel Music, “No Longer Slaves”

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The Face of Grace (Part 5)

The Tyranny of the “Should” left off at “How is it that the Lord loves me so that He sends people like this to me? I don’t deserve that kind of love.”

What do I deserve?  I felt stuck somewhere between Jordan’s Elmo game yelling “Keep trying!  Keep trying!” and Yoda’s, “There is no Try.  There is Do or Do Not.”  Oh, Lord, what “should” I do?

Over the last 20 years, I’ve slowly found pieces to my puzzle, and a big piece fell into place after Beth Moore’s September 14, 2013 Living Proof Live simulcast.  Beth’s 2013 theme was “Under Grace” vs “Under Law” from Romans 6:14 (NLT): “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

Freedom?  All I felt was failure after failure, guilty as charged.  But Beth taught that even though sin may increase, grace doesn’t just increase, it abounds (Rom. 5:15).  Abundant grace.  “Drown me in your infinite grace.”  I pictured a teeny tiny “Finding Nemo” clown fish of sin swimming in an ocean of grace.

That picture kept coming back to me all week, and on Thursday, September 19th, I believe  God gave me a picture of how He really sees me.  I drew the picture in my journal, with my limited artistic ability, using stick figures.  Saturday morning the 21st, Jordan Rose came in to join me as I was journaling again.  I showed her the picture and explained it to her.  She was so excited that she wanted to draw it too.  I’ve attached the picture that she drew below.  Here is what I explained to Jordan:

1) God is always looking at us, loving us, never leaving us.  “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”  (Deut. 31:6 & Hebr. 13:5).  Just as the Father watched for his Prodigal Son (Luke 15:20), waiting for him to come home, not so that he could punish him, but so that he could celebrate the fact that he was home.  He’s not angry with us.  He waits for us, filled with love and compassion.

2) I am that Prodigal Son.  I want my inheritance now and I want to go do my own thing.  That is turning away from God, and it leads to one of two things:  (1) I look at my dirty face in the mirror (my selfishness, pride, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, indifference, self-pity, whining, complaining, etc) and, unable to clean up my act, I see a reflection from behind me, like a wavy, distorted funhouse mirror, and God looks backwards and angry to me, or (2) I look at the things of the world, trying to forget about my dirty face and make myself feel better (food, shopping, people-pleasing, perfectionism, being a “good girl”, self-medicating, etc).

3) Jesus took on our sin – our “turning away” from God – on the cross.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matt. 27:46 & Ps. 22:1).  Jesus had never turned away from God before (he had never sinned), so he felt forsaken as he looked out into the abyss that we see when we turn away from God.  Jesus took on all of the “turning away” of all people for all time, nailed it to the cross, buried it, and rose again, leaving it all behind.  

4) When we turn around (repent) and look into the face of God, we are living under Grace, coming back to the Father who loves us.  When we look at our “dirty faces” in the mirror (trying to clean ourselves up) or at the things of the world (trying to fill the hole in our soul), we are living under the Law, turning away from God.

5) Our only job is to turn around.  Turn from the mirror (staring at your dirty face won’t clean it), turn from the things of this world (they won’t fill that emptiness) and turn back to God (only He can clean us and fill us).  “What is the work that God requires?  To believe in the one He has sent.”  (John 6:28-29).  Look to Jesus, thankful that he took it all on cross.  Turn to God and see the Face of Grace smiling back at us.  He’s so thrilled that we’re home.

Click here for Part 6

"Under Grace" vs "Under Law" by Jordan Rose 9-21-13“Under Grace” vs “Under Law” by Jordan Rose (7 yrs old), drawn on 9-21-13

“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Romans 5:2 (NLT)