I am wanted.  I am needed.  I am loved.

we tend to perceive our world and respond to it within certain constructs.  Even within the extremes of pessimism and optimism there are variations in how we receive and disseminate information.

I was praying for our kid’s ministry the other day when, out of the blue, God says to me, “You are operating under lies.  Change your perspective.  Say, I am wanted.  I am needed.  I am loved.”  So I repeated what He said to me.  He said to say it louder.  It was like a movie.

I tend toward looking at myself as ugly, fat, untalented, ridiculous.  I tend toward seeing people respond to me as someone they don’t really like, an unessential part of the whole.  I tend to see my gifts as weak, ineffective, silly.  And at least on the surface, that would appear to be the truth.

But God’s Kingdom is so different than we perceive.  He wants a relationship with all people, to love them and be loved by them.  He created each of us as unique individuals that bring a wide variety of responses to the needs and issues of this world.  And the world needs us.  They need us whole, redeemed by Jesus’ blood, forgiven and able to forgive, broken and healed, finite and foolish.  In all of our specific, ridiculous, amazing idiosyncrasies, we are sent to bear His name.

So maybe the Piston’s don’t need me as a starting forward.  Maybe the New York Philharmonic doesn’t need me as their principal hornist.  But the factory where I work, the church where I serve, the family that I lead, the God that I love wants me, needs me, loves me.

Say it with me.

I am wanted.

I am needed.

I AM LOVED!

Love Who You Are

I watched this video and thought of what I’ve been through, what I look like, who I am.

We can think of this as a catch phrase, a trite saying to deal with bad days, but, it is biblical.  Not in the modern, narcissistic sense of being the center of your own universe, focusing on yourself to the exclusion of others.  It is biblical in the sense of accepting the value that God has placed on you, appreciating the gift of who you are, your life, your purpose.

I am not tall.  I am not good looking.  I am pudgy, wear glasses, have gray hair.  I am loud and obnoxious, moody, intense, opinionated, argumentative.  I am not strong or fast or graceful.  I’m not a great guitarist.  My voice will never win any awards.  My attempts at sainthood have fallen pitifully short.

So what is there to love?

I am the only me that there is.  My voice is the only voice that some people can or will hear.  My songs, my heart are the only ones that have the potential to reach certain people.  My life is the only one that some will see the presence of God through.

You are the only you that there is.  Live like there is no one else that can do what you do.  Live like yours is the only voice people will listen to.

Live like God has chosen you.

Because He has!

Too….

My good friend Caleb Sunnock (rock on Cast and Crew) said something last night that I just had to share.

“Did you know that Satan will never tell it’s the right time?  You will always be too something, and he will let you know.”

You’re too young.  You’re too old.  You’re too fat.  You’re too skinny.  You’re too dumb.  You’re too sinful.  Too!  Too!  Too!

But God’s voice is so different.  He never, never, ever, ever discounts someone.  Abraham, David, Paul, Peter is a short list that, if you look at it very closely will reveal people that were definitely too something.  But God used them mightily.  God used them for His glory.

God never gives up, never fails, never forsakes.  He is in constant pursuit of you and me, our hearts, our minds, our love.  And He doesn’t care where you are or where you’ve been.  He just wants you.

This doesn’t end when you become a christian.  Eternal security doesn’t mean He checks you off on some list.  He doesn’t ever lessen His love for us.

That is TOO amazing, TOO cool.