"It Is Finished", Commentary, Ministry, Poetry

It Is Finished

On this day darkness met light
Sin met righteousness
Life met death
A reconciliation of all things and all people into One
Not a sin forgotten
not a nationality left out
For God so loved the whole world
For God’s plan included the whole world
And into His Son would be placed all sin
In Him would be the final seperation
In Him would be all law exacted
In Him would justice meet love
In Him would the blood make its final payment
Darkness fell and the earth shook
The wages of sin were deposited into the bank of eternity
Making way for the gift of God to be withdrawn
Unto all and upon all them that believe
Days later Light broke through
Righteousness came forth
and eternal Life conquered death
What was without was placed within
What is now within is being seen
Out of death came Life eternal
and it’s exceedingly, abundantly above anything we could ask or think.
Heaven on earth, Heaven in earth
It is finished!

Wynema Clark 4/3/2015

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Commentary, Cross, Life, Ministry, Religion; spirituality, Religious

No Need For Drama

The majority of my Christian walk has been riddled with wild and exciting expectations. With every new revelation came a fresh sense of revival or rapture. Every unveiling brought a goal of something dramatic and big. I remember sitting at the edge of my seat as a young woman thinking that I could be one revelation away from walking right into Heaven. I’m serious. These expectations kept me hungry, in fact I think they were even a little addicting. But it wasn’t really a hunger for Jesus it was a hunger for something more. The promise of a big event, a big feeling, something more and something better. That was where the excitement was found.

Even in practical life there was an expectation of more. More money, more health, more happiness. I had been conditioned to expect it. But what I’ve learned is that more is never enough. The more you have, the more you want. And that mentality is exhausting. In it there is no contentment. In fact, contentment, is a bad word. But it’s not.

For me this New Covenant understanding has been something completely new, fresh and exciting, because it shines such a blinding light on the biggest event of all time, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It actually completely disarms my need for drama, because I can’t think of anything more dramatic than what has already been done. I mean God will do what He is going to do regardless of my expecting it or not, but if I don’t know what He has already done I am robbed of the joy of completion in that work, the understanding of the deepest kind of love possible, and the total freedom in who I am today.

If God never did anything else (and I am not saying He won’t) I could spend a lifetime utilizing what He already did. I believe we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg, the cherry on the top of the chocolate cake of redemption.

I am so thankful for what He did and this new covenant of grace that I am able to walk in every day. I am thankful for the freedom and peace that it has brought. For the surety of a love that is bigger than my mind could ever grasp.

Commentary, Cross, Life, Ministry, Religion; spirituality, Religious

Life- The Missing Link

Have you ever studied christianity as a way to live? If you’ve gone to church I’m sure you have. Often we hear ministers quote great educators and speak of social change. We have learned positive thinking techniques that are designed to lead us to health and wealth. Although all of these are interesting and have a degree of truth to them they are not really any different than any of the world religions. You can choose your philosophy or political view in the confines of your own head, but none of these are the gospel. Some of these are good news but they are NOT the gospel.

What sets the gospel a part from the religions of the world is that Jesus came to give us LIFE. He came to restore the missing part. No message of self improvement, social justice, or philosophy can put life into a human spirit. We stand as believers in possession of a treasure. A shining light of life to offer a world full of darkness yet we spend our time focused on self improvement, social justice and how to make and keep wealth. This leaves the believer without the basic understanding of the very treasure that now lives within them, LIFE. It also fails to offer the world the only cure for their darkness.

Life isn’t what you do, it isn’t how you live, it is Who lives within you. It is what makes this gospel unique. If the believing body knew what they actually possess now, which is the very life of Christ, their lives would be transformed from earthly minded bits and pieces of self improvement to a Heavenly rest within whatever social, political, financial situation they face. The indwelling Christ is the hope of glory. I feel like we haven’t even begun to touch on this Life that lies within and yet it is the greatest single revelation for social justice, self improvement and world change possible.

Commentary, Ministry, Religion; spirituality

Smell What The Lord’s Been Cookin

Have you ever tried to bake a cake with the wrong ingredients? It just never quite turns out. This example has been used by church leadership and ministries many times to evoke a need to re-evaluate what we are doing to see a desired end result in our lives. The other day I woke up thinking about this. As I lay in bed meditating on what that means from a new covenant paradigm I thought the most logical thing: If I am the cook then all this cake needs is Jesus to be perfectly perfect. Then the Holy Spirit stopped me and said why do you suppose that you are the cook in the equation? I had never thought that way before. I had always assumed that I had the major role in what goes in. But as I lay there in bed I realized that everything I need for life and Godliness has already been placed within me in Christ, so the ingredients are already there. Then as I rest in Him, He is cooking up His life and His nature through me that is as fragrant to a hurting world as baked cake is to a hungry nose. Neither the cook nor the ingredients are up to me the only thing I do is put myself in His hands and believe that He is cooking up more through my life than I could ever cook up on my own. I yield to His life within me, rest in what He has already done and then taste and see that the Lord is good.  And when I say good, I mean Jesus, He is the “good” that will be seen in me and He is the fragrance that will be smelled on me.  God really does have it in our lives.

2 Peter 1:3-8; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; Hebrews 4; Colossians 1:27; Romans 6:13; Psalm 34:8

Commentary

Jesus The Builder of God’s House

Do you realize that you are perfectly compatible to be the dwelling place of Christ on this earth?  Did you know that we are called the temple of the living God, as well as the temple of the Holy Ghost?

To be called a temple is a big deal.  Have you ever read the specifications for the tabernacle in the old covenant? I don’t recommend it unless you like lots and lots of details because God was amazingly detailed.  I mean he was pretty clear with Moses that every little stitch had to be perfect or He wouldn’t move in.  Amazingly Moses built everything to scale and God indeed moved in.  Of course that still meant that only the High Priest could talk with Him and that is another story for another day.

I think we have had that same kind of idea about God’s presence.  That we need to make everything ready for Him to come, like our heart, our attitude and we certainly can’t have any un-forgiveness, that’s a deal breaker for sure.  If you have all of these things just right and the mood is properly set you could get a visitation from God.  And some people go from conference to camp-meeting just to be present for one of these visitations.

News flash!!  In the new covenant, on this side of the cross you do not go to a location to meet with God.  In the new covenant, because of Christ and His finished work He made you the temple so that God could move into YOU.  You are His temple.  Where Moses was the builder in the first house, Jesus in the builder of God’s house today and you are that house!

Remember that I said, everything in the first tabernacle had to be perfect on every level and every detail or God would not move in.  Well, Jesus the builder of the last house got every detail right, He finished His job with perfection so that God could indeed move in.  You are that house he finished, every detail of your heart was made perfectly right.  All of your old stuff was moved out and all of God’s stuff was moved in when you believed.  There is no need for visitation because God moved in!

So the next time you are feeling less than right, remember that you are His workmanship, his craftsmanship, that the builder who is Jesus got all the points right, God inspected it and said well done good and faithful servant and then He moved in.  He got rid of all your stuff and brought all of His stuff therefore you must be A-OK!

Reference:  Exodus 25, I Cor. 6:16-20, I Cor. 3:16, Hebrews 3:4, Ps. 127:1, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:10

Commentary, Dads, Dating and False Prophets, Life, Religion; spirituality

Dads, Dating and False Prophets

When I was dating my now husband it was no secret that my dad did not like him. Dad was convinced that any young man who played college football and belonged to a fraternity could be after only one thing. He also hated that Jeremy was from a different denomination than us. I was always told that I should not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Jeremy was a believer, by the way, he just wasn’t of the same persuasion as us. Because my dad was a Pastor of a charismatic church we often had ministers in and out and they often took notice of me because I was the eager and active daughter. One particular set of traveling “Prophets” came through and proceeded to point me out of the crowd and tell me that I was making a huge mistake dating Jeremy. That I would be choosing the wrong path if I continued this way. Because I was terrified of disappointing God and ruining my life by choosing the wrong path I was devastated and confused. I was in love but also, apparently outside the will of God, because the “prophet” said so. I had to break up with him, I couldn’t possibly choose Jeremy over the will of God. My heart was broken. I knew that Jeremy loved the Lord and that he was just raised different. After what seemed like weeks (maybe it was days that felt like weeks) I found out that my dad had lunch with these “so called” prophets and that he had mentioned his distain for Jeremy so this man had done my dad a favor. I was furious but relieved and ran straight back to what I knew was true regardless of the false prophets and the manipulative effort to maintain control of my life.
I say this because so many people are manipulated and controlled by men with fancy religious labels who are nothing more than peddlers of snake oil. If what you are listening to isn’t pointing you to Jesus and His finished work then run like the wind. If your Pastor or anyone with a fancy religious label tries to “thus say the Lord” be sure and check it at the door. If it’s not Jesus and the goodness of what He already did and who He is in you today then click delete and move on down the road. And if you are a minister and you use that office to manipulate and control by beginning statements with “thus says the Lord” you better be careful you may end up with a daughter who knows better and a son-in-law that will take her far away:) By the way we had a great 23rd anniversary yesterday!

"It Is Finished", Commentary, Cross, Life, Religious

Why Are We Even Discussing Sin?

In response to a ministers attempt to tackle the issue of sin:

Thank God that in Christ God dealt with our sin. Not just the sins prior to Christ but all of them. He even dealt with the nature of sin that was left to us from Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) and the sin that is a result of the weakness of our flesh (Romans 7:24-25).

The old covenant dealt with each individual sin through the law, but this could never bring righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:22) we now live our lives in a perpetual state of forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) and in eternal righteousness with God because we are In Christ.

James 4:17 says simply “sin is knowing what you should do and refusing to do it”. In our American culture there are certain sins that repulse people and the church has a hard time loving people in that kind of sin. But it is those very people that Christ died for (Romans 5:8). I heard someone say, but once they come to Christ then they have to change. Ideally yea, but not everyone will and if they don’t does Christ forgiveness stop? Does the blood payment get returned as insufficient? The answer is “No”.

As a brother or sister in Christ begins to grow in grace and an understanding of who they are in Christ the natural progress will be change. When that time comes there are counselors and teachers that are there to help. But if that change were to never ever happen Christ blood is still sufficient, and the forgiveness that he bought continues forever.

Rather than focusing on how the broken people need to be set straight. Perhaps we should ask ourselves how can we see the broken from the eyes of mercy and grace. To bind their wounds and give them a place to heal. Instead of being repulsed by their sin we need to love them as Christ said in John 15:12 “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you”.

There is a beautiful story in 2 Samuel 9 about a boy named Mephibosheth. He was the only son of David’s blood brother Jonathan. David had a covenant with Jonathan and I believe David is a type of Christ. After the death of Saul (the king) and Jonathan David ascended to the throne and Vs3 of 2 Samuel says this “is there not someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the (unfailing, unsought, unlimited) mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has a son who is lame in his feet (in other words he cannot walk this out). David immediately went out to get this boy, brought him back to his house, set him at his table and he lives forever as a child of the King. Vs 13 says “so Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the Kings table, even though he was lame in both feet.

I tell you this story to say that the covenant that we have today is sufficient for all even those who may never walk it out. That is the heart of our loving God. That is how much greater the work of Christ is than that of Adam, than the work of Moses and greater than your finest effort to clean up people’s mess.

That is why we don’t need to worry about sin…

Romans 6:10
For by the death He died, He died to sin[ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life He lives, He lives to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].

Commentary, Religion; spirituality

What I Think of A Rapture

There is so much debate about “rapture” or no “rapture”. There are hundreds of books predicting when and movies made as well as lots of money.

Before you start to label me, hear me out. This is not an article for or against a rapture. This subject has divided so many and I certainly do not want to add to this number. Whole churches have been built on this belief as well as on the arguments against it.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

I am excited about the Heaven that awaits, I believe it to be a place that our human minds can’t even imagine. We Americans see Heaven as a place full of mansions and gold while in poverty stricken countries people interpret it as a place with huge amounts of food. People have claimed to have gone there and I admit I love to read those stories as much as the next person, cause it’s exciting. But the truth is, what you believe of Heaven isn’t going to change it. It is what it is and we will not know till we get there or till our eyes are opened. What we do know is that it is eternity with God, it is life with Jesus and it is one of two options we are given.

But you don’t choose Heaven you choose Jesus and in Jesus is this place that we are privileged to be a part of, not just when we die but while we live. My challenge is that instead of focusing on escaping to Heaven we focus on bringing Heaven to earth. Isn’t that what Jesus prayed, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. And in the meantime if there is a rapture we go, if there isn’t we are making a difference in this world. In Christ we have everything we need for tribulation, pre or post and come on, a lot of people would agree they have experienced plenty tribulation already. But Heaven is ours today in Christ and Heaven is ours tomorrow, because of Christ.

Conclusion:
Let’s keep the main thing, the main thing, which is Jesus, and if you are in Him you are good. It’s really all about Christ in you the hope of glory. It’s about Him being seen in this earth through people.

Wynema I Clark
10/18/2014

Commentary, Cross, Life, Religious, Short Story

Words, Honesty, Apology, Grace

Here’s a bit of brutal honesty. Try as I may, I seem to say something dumb at least once a week. It’s not intentional. It’s born of frustration or emotion and although it’s hard to admit, sometimes it’s just ignorance. Am I alone in this? I think not…I hope not.

The most challenging times are in the passenger seat while my daughter is driving, or in a department store trying to convince her that the lesser expensive pair of sweatpants are equally as good as the ridiculously expensive sweatpants. Truth be told, the expensive sweatpants are probably better, but heck, they are sweatpants and they are ridiculously expensive! So in the heat of the argument I say something that seems appropriate to me but painfully hurtful to her.

Unfortunately my brain doesn’t register, “inappropriate” until she hits back with a verbal upper cut. Suddenly we both find ourselves suffering from emotional internal bleeding. Then it all goes quiet and I know I’ve done it again. I know I’ve spoken out of the heat of the moment instead of the truth.

Once the arguing stops, I explain my point of view. We argue some more and finally I apologize…again. I say “again” because this ain’t my first rodeo. Once we stop and listen to each other, I mean really hear each other out, it ends up in forgiveness. But there is still a deep sense of shame and regret that I’m not aware enough to avoid these mis-steps.

Then I think about my Heavenly Father and the fact that His plan made allowance for my humanity. As if He knew somehow that in the eons of time Wynema and Hannah would need a lot of grace. That because of the blood of Jesus I am allowed to make mistakes and my daughter is allowed to desire the expensive sweatpants and I am allowed to tell her “no”. The emotions of the moment are still real, the words just as painful. But at least I know it’s going to be good, it’s all ok. I think as His grace is working in me, it can work through me toward Hannah or whomever happens to need it at the moment. And hopefully through Hannah toward me who need grace quit consistently. I’m growing, she’s growing, all God’s children should be growing in Grace.

Hannah_Sweet16-27.jpg

Commentary, Religious

Navigating Change

I am sitting at the airport in Dallas eating an “Art Vandelay” (yes I wrote that correctly) while waiting on my flight, which was supposed to leave at 12:25 and is now backed up till 3:40. Missed seeing my husband last night because his flight was also backed up due to bigger things going on in NYC than us, till there were no more flights to be had. After waking refreshed and ready for my trip this morning I receive a text from my ride letting me know he couldn’t take me to catch my flight due to work conflicts. Life is full of changes in our plans, and this is a completely normal part of life. I have realized in my forty-three years that trying to control thing is “futile.” So I will sit back and recapture a blog I lost after the last Apple update, which I’m sure was designed to make things easier…😁

Unexpected change and disappointment happens every day. It’s life and if you cannot handle sudden change then you will be very stressed, anxious and “yes” even angry. We humans have a keen desire to control things; like our kids, our jobs, traffic, flights, other people, our destiny, I could go on and on.

Recently I have taken another look at the one who is really in control! I feel as if I’ve been re-introduced, although He has been right here all along. Now I know Him as Master of the Universe, and my loving Father who knows what I do not know and what I think I know, while He is teaching me gently and patiently. The one who has made provision way in advance for my life and has filled me up with Himself in Christ.

Because of this I am able to sit here at Dallas-Love Field and enjoy an “Art Vandelay” totally relaxed. I am able to learn that when you park in long term parking you should always get a ticket… 😏 (another story for another time). I can navigate speed bumps in life and trust that my Heavenly Father has a better understanding of My life and my world than me. I can rest knowing that His grip on me and my life is bigger and more secure than I have on my life. Knowing this fact allows me to relax, release my grip and let Him have complete control. I trust Him, faith is easy when you know the Master of the Universe. God has answers before we ever have problems. He will fulfill his purpose. You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.