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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marked for Life

"Marked for life." I turned and met the glance that went with the words I had just heard from behind.These were the exact words of an older gentleman in a restaurant today as he and his wife waited for a friend. Bethany and I were standing side by side waiting for the restroom to open up and he'd spoken as an observer. I was somewhat taken aback by what he said. What he was trying to say was that there was no question that, the way he saw it, we resembled one another closely, and that she was, as a result, "marked for life."

"Marked for life." I heard so much more than those words. Truth be told, I believe he saw more than what he said. There is something about Bethany that is pure and clear and full and ready! She is totally alive, and in her is a destiny that is not yet known, but certain! She is so lovely. She is so FUN! She brings sunshine to our home and our hearts. She is an amazing and devoted friend. Small children are drawn to her. She makes everyone feel special. She's talented and brimming with potential that has yet to be tapped. Best of all, she's unaware of much of this. She would not even describe herself in such complimentary ways.

As a mother who prays steadfastly for her daughter, this man spoke words of high impact. Bethany, you are marked for life. You will live, you are alive and living in Christ because His name is on your heart, and His presence fills you up so full that His essence flows from you. You are indeed, marked for life. Christ has a plan for you, a destiny, His name is on you, He's after you, He prays for you. You will be like a well-watered garden whose waters do not fail (See Isaiah 58:11). You ARE marked for life because of Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The strangers words will be mulled over in my spirit for days to come as I consider what it means to be marked for life. I will be thinking and considering, exactly, how do I measure up to these words? Is Christ's presence so evident in me that someone would see me and say I was "marked"? Owned? Possessed by another and not living only for myself? I think I will be wrestling with this. Whose mark is on me? Is it indeed the mark of Christ, Himself?

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor. 6:19-20 KJV

"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." 2 Corinthians 2:14

These are a handful of verses that have come to my mind as I think about what it was in Bethany, besides her resemblance to me, that this gentleman saw. This picture was taken the same day as this story took place.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

God Says....

I am aiming to cooperate with God: Co-with AND operate-function. To co-operate, or function together with God, I must first know what He thinks, be in agreement, and then act accordingly. I found this picture on facebook that I think captures a part of what it means to co-operate with God. Did I mention this means dying to self?

Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."