Saturday, January 28, 2017

#ThePerfectProposal

My daughter was sitting at our kitchen island the other day and said, "Mom, you have to watch this proposal on You tube."

Madison knows me well. She knew that every sentimental nerve ending stretched across my hopeless romantic heart would ignite and cause me to tear up.

And, she was right.

The salty liquid trickled down my cheeks as I watched this beautiful expression of love.

Much thought and intense planning went into pulling off this young man's offering of himself to the love of his life. It was so sweet. His love for her was undeniable as he anticipated the fairytale-like walk-through-the-woods to ask her to marry him. With hidden cameras rolling and tons of pictures draped between trees with string and mini clothes pins, he led her through a time-line of moments of their life together right up to the present moment.

He intentionally saved one particular picture for last. One of her grandfather whom she treasured and adored, and who had passed away before this special event could occur. Including the memory of this beloved man in this moment meant the world to her.

Then he pops the question. "Will you marry me?"

Yes. She said, "Yes."

A perfect proposal. The perfect response.

Recently, on The Red Carpet, my book study friends and I were sifting through the metaphors and beautiful word pictures Ann Voskamp uses to describe the Lord's Supper in chapter three of The Broken Way. We shared social media hashtags we had created from what we read to use as conversation starters. The hashtag I shared was #ThePerfectProposal - a prelude to our perfect communion union.

Through the author's detailed description of The Last Supper, and her stressing over and over again, the miracle is in the breaking, we were given a gift as we gazed around the table with fresh eyes.

What does she mean the miracle is in the breaking?

Jesus talked about His death with His disciples. The breaking of His body and the spilling out of His blood would happen sooner than they realized.

Jesus was born to die - for them and for all of the human race. He stepped out of heaven and into skin, came to earth and tabernacled among the people before paying the ultimate price for all sins for all time.

With the burden of the cross weighing on His mind and His shoulders, He would bow humbly, with the joy set before Him, and offer Himself to the Father, the only perfect sacrificial Lamb, to redeem the world and satisfy the sin debt.

At the first Last Supper, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks for the bread, broke the bread, and gave the bread to each disciple saying, "This is My body which is broken for you. Take and eat in remembrance of Me."

Then He poured out the wine into their cups and said, "This is My blood, spilled out for you. Drink it in remembrance of Me."

Every time now I come to the Lord's table, I will never approach it again the same. Christ broke, bled, and died for me and for you. He bowed in holy humility and offered to exchange His good brokenness for our bad brokenness. (Voskamp)

It's The Perfect Proposal - offering us a life that's fully redeemed, rescued, and re-purposed. We just have to say, "Yes!," making an eternal vow to being part of His Bride - the true Church for all eternity.

As we approach the Lord's Table of Bread and Wine, Jesus asks us to remember His proposal and promise of exchange, and to remember our vow, our promise back to Him by receiving His broken good in exchange for our broken bad. Receiving is remembering - placing our hands into the scarred hands of the Bridegroom and saying, "I do."

The miracle of our communion union is in His breaking and ours. This is the mystery of oneness with Christ. Broken and given. He breaks and gives Himself completely to us. We break and give ourselves completely to Him. This is how we are called to really live until He comes again to receive us (His Bride) for the most amazing wedding feast that will last for all eternity.

To live in a broken world, with our broken hearts, we must live cruciform (the shape of Love) and gift our cross-shaped selves for others. Cruciform people are the true church people. The Church mirroring the cross of Love. Lots of little cross bearers standing side by side, arms stretched out, with eyes fixed on the Bridegroom, for the joy set before us. In His power and strength we press on holding one another up through our weaknesses, pain, heartache, and brokenness. Even the gates of hell cannot stand up against Her. 

On Sunday our local church body will be remembering The Perfect Proposal.
I can't wait to remember the day He proposed to me! How about you?

My Pleasure,
Melanie

Monday, January 9, 2017

Words That Just Might Change. Your. Life.



Words are powerful.

Words can cut into the soul.

Words can heal a wounded soul.

Words can leave scars, and words can soothe.

Words can encourage and build up.

But words can also deflate and destroy.

Embarking on this new year, there are words from God's Word we need to hear afresh, soak up, and allow to seep into the depths of our souls.

I'm on a hunt for 52 words to invade my way of thinking and understanding of who God is. Words to twist and turn my life into a brighter reflection of the Son through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Care to join me?


I love words. (Sure. Go ahead. Call me a nerd. I don't mind.) Scrabble is one of my favorite board games to take to the beach. At home, I can only get my husband to play. Over Christmas, I bought a new word game called Bananagrams. It's a lot like Scrabble, but you don't use a board. It's more of a build-your-own crossword game with Scrabble-like tiles. I can't wait to play it.

Crafting words together brings me much pleasure. Whether choosing words to write for a magazine article, a blog post, or a message to speak at a women's event, the art of putting words together touches something deep down inside of me.

Over the Christmas holidays I was searching the book shelves for a new devotional book to begin in 2017. Nothing seemed to jump out at me. Either I had already read it, or it just didn't pique my interest. Nothing against the authors on the book spines. I just wasn't "feeling" any of the titles.

Usually when this happens, I get a nudge. And deep in my soul the Spirit whispers,

"Write your own. You can do it.
 I've taught you many things, 
and I want to teach you more to share with others. 
Go on. Write one." 

So, dear friends, I'm doing it. This is the year to write my own devotional book. I hope you'll enjoy this journey of Word-walking with the Lord, listening to His voice as He pours into us the words He wants to write on our hearts.

The very words that just might...
change. our. lives.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

My Pleasure,
Melanie