Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What are we in Christ? Who are we CALLED to be? Who are you?

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus... (Ephesians 2:4).

The most important truth in all of Christianity is stated right here: We are made alive together with Christ. Notice that Paul says with Christ three times: We are made alive with Christ. We are raised up with Christ. We are made to sit with Him. He has come to live in us, and He has joined himself to us, and we are one person with Him. That is the most important fact upon which to build all the rest of Christian faith and experience--this great, tremendous statement that we are made alive with Jesus Christ.

Do you remember how the Lord himself taught that? He said, I am the vine; you are the branches (John 15:5a). Can you tell where the branch ends and the vine starts? No. They are one plant, sharing one life together. So from here on our identity is no longer in Adam but it is in Christ. We are no longer just ordinary human beings. We are new creations, begun again, linked with the life of Jesus Christ.

Later in this letter Paul likens the church to a body, of which Christ is the head. Have you examined your body lately? Have you noticed that your fingers don't come off if you merely twist them a half-turn and pull? They are tied to the body, and they share the life of the body. They are not attached by any mechanical process, but rather they are an organic part. These figures are all given to us to show us the intimate way we are united to Jesus Christ, to tell us that He is our life.

So never think of yourself in any other way, because the whole work of the enemy is to get you to disbelieve that and to go back to thinking that you are just an ordinary individual, struggling on through life, trying to make it the best way you can, needing to mobilize all your human resources to try to get ahead of the other fellow and to achieve as much of the fulfillment of life as you can. Any time you believe that, you go right back to acting as you once did--back to the misery, back to the heartaches. You can escape that only when you come back again to this central truth--we are alive in Jesus Christ!

There is one final thing to notice here. These verbs are all in the past tense. This is something that has happened, not something that is going to happen. It has already occurred when you believed in Jesus Christ. You don't have to work toward it. It is not something that great saints achieve after years of effort. It is something that is already true, and every Christian has this experience. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We cannot be the same again. Even if we try, we won't be able to. This is why I sometimes say to people who get discouraged with their Christian life, Well, quit then, go back, try not to be a Christian. See what will happen. They can't do it, and they know they can't, because they are new creatures, made alive in Jesus Christ.

Father, thank You for this great truth. I pray that You would make plain to me that this is who I am and that I will never he able to handle life alright until I understand this.

Considering this reality, have we discovered His life which is our life?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Journey That Began Before The First Step.

A few months ago I realized that life is truly a journey and sometimes we are on them without knowing.

According to Webster's Dictionary the definition of a journey is "an act or instance of traveling from one place to another; something suggesting travel or passage from one place to another (the journey from youth to maturity); the journey through time".

When we are born into life. Before we take our first steps our journey has has in many ways already begun. During those infant and childhood stages of life we are "carried" on this journey we call life. We don't make the choices although we see sites, we experience life but in essence our feet have yet to touch ground and we are just "along for the ride". During this time we have no control of the roads we travel, we have no control of many of the things that happen but yet it still IS our journey.

The transition from being carried and taking our first steps happen differently for all of us.

My mom says "I was plunked into life" because of what my biological mothers and fathers choices were. In a lot of ways I was never allowed to be a child, it was a suck it up, get it over with, survive life that made for a rocky young childhood. Neither here no there though the point is that it is different for each of us but one thing holds constant, through no choice of our own when our feet hit the ground we didn't put them there, someone else did.

The defining moment in life is where you go once your feet hit the ground. Dr. Suess wrote a fantastic story called "Oh The Places You'll Go" where it says " You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go. I think this sums it up! We will decide where we go.

Sometimes we are going to stumble and fall, sometimes we are going to go down a dark lonely path, sometimes we are even going to fall and not want to get up BUT life goes on. Life doesn't care if you had a hard childhood, if you were abused, if you didn't receive the life skills to survive -- in my opinion life is uncaring "thing". BUT there is a redeeming constant; Christ does care, he sits beside you in the dark when you can't/won't get up, he holds your hand when you can't/won't go it alone. He is a flashlight in the dark, a cheerleader on the sidelines, a counselor in the chair. "He IS"

So wherever you are on your journey - take a moment - evaluate - look around - DECIDE right now where YOU want to go - "life is too short", and only getting shorter. Travel with one foot in front of the other and know that you don't have to go it alone.

Where I am in life I owe to those who carried me in the beginning. Where I am in life I owe to those who showed me in the beginning. Where I am I owe to my feet, but especially to the LIGHT that shined on my path in the dark. Without Christ I would not BE. (Thank you mama and papa for making sure I learned this, for making sure you reinforced it, for living it daily. Without you I would not be the me I am today. God is my savior and YOU were the ones that brought him into my life and showed me his sweet love, forgiveness and constancy.)

This much I know for sure....

Prayer Request

Last year at this time my dad passed away of a stroke. We miss him very much and our family is struggling with the grief of the one year anniversary of his death.

My dad was one of the most loving, caring people in the world. He went out of his way to make the world a better place. He cared for others more than himself. He gave without want of any return. My dad was my hero and I miss him terribly. I am so blessed that he and my mom "chose me - I'm adopted".

There are days that I want to pick up the phone to share with him. There are days I want his guidance. There are days I wish I could hold his hand one more time, or ask him one more question. There are days.... and I know that this month will be hard.

Please pray for our family as we struggle with lingering grief and remember him (I know he would want us to do this with a smile, and to live our lives in the best light like he showed us to) He was a man of God and I just pray that as his daughter I live as a "woman of God".

Thank you for reading this and taking a moment to pray for us...

In Christ,
Aimee Neu

Monday, August 23, 2010

What I know for sure:

This past July I turned 30 years old. Upon turning thirty I came to the simple realization that ... "life is too short". I can't say that there is an exact moment, occurrence, or grand event that led me to this realization. I believe that it was a culmination of things. You see,I began college at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana when I was fifteen years old. Since that time that I attended college and afterward I have been and done many things. I have been a city activity coordinator, QMRP - qualified mental retardation professional-- not a title I came up with to be sure, a day rehabilitate director,a youth minister, an international sales rep, a teacher, as well as a wife and mother. Of the many titles I have had and still have there have been only two that have brought me true joy; that of being a mother and wife. Last September my adoptive father past away of a stoke. I had the honor and privileged to be holding his had as he took his last breath. I have to admit that this last year since his death has been an emotional roller coaster, a ride that I sometimes wanted to "just jump off". The ONLY thing that kept me going was my family. For some months after his death I completely shut down - case and point - the bag I came home with after the funeral wasn't "unpacked" for several months -- the spare bedroom became a toss all, I didn't do my usual things such as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry -- I was there but not really. I had become a ghost, a shell of the person I had been.

You see, growing up I didn't have "it" easy. You hear or read of the stories of the children who survive but have scars and a story to tell. Well I guess you could say "I'm one of them". I was born to a mother and father who did not want me but were too selfish to give me to someone who did. I was abused both verbally, emotionally and even physically. I know now that that isn't my fault. I know now that"they" are the ones who carry that guilt and shame, not myself. I know now that I am who God created me to be, I am still on a journey, I am still growing and I am still "becoming". This past July I turned 30and I realized that "life is too short". I can't get my "Papa Ben"back, I can't change my mistakes, I can't get back the time I spent exploring the working world, I can't get back the minutes, hours, days,months that I spent in a darkness called depression. All I can do is move forward, all I can do is be who God has created me to be. I am a wife and mother. This is what I know for sure... A.E.N.