Monday, May 27, 2013

New Names: Removing the lies we believe about ourselves

It has been FOREVER since I have posted. I have been a bit busy with our end of year Awana events, fundraising for our upcoming Africa trip and getting a team all set up and ready to go to man a station at one of our biggest local community events, the Ski to Sea Race. If you don't know much about this race you have to check it out.

Memorial Day weekend contains the big 'ole RACE DAY where we had a team of 40+ manning a transition stage of the race that happens W-A-Y up at Mt. Baker. We have to be on site at 5am and it is a 1 hr 15 minute curvy, winding road trip from our town. If you did the math you have now figured this requires a 3:45am departure - which means a 2:45am wake-up - WHAT???? ME plus kids at zero-dark-thirty, no thank you. 

We decided this year to add a few kiddos to the mix. We took our 4 nieces and nephews with us in addition to the 4 out of 6 from our family that were staying up on the Mountain. 

Yes, this makes 8 people sleeping, eating, changing & grooming in one trailer, six of which are kiddos. I know, I know, this may sound crazy but... go back to the early morning start and this actually sounds relaxing. Am I right? So, here we are heading up to camp near the location of the race event. Let the all-crazy festivities begin...

Well - it began rather quietly with  a bit of enthusiastic pressure brewing under the surface.  Next came the bumping of elbows which slowly transitioned into some name calling. It didn't take long until we had a theme for the weekend: {created by guess who.... ME!} 

drum roll please....


This theme would in no way allow any party fouls of: rude, curt, name-calling, hurtful, selfish, thoughtless or prideful mishaps. We were off to a rolling start and the kids were in full swing.  If a heated moment was on the rise, one quick question of "What is our theme for the weekend?" would quickly diffuse the situation. 
It was a B E A U T I F U L thing.

Once we had established some ground rules the kids were amazing at respecting them. Oh, it wasn't perfect, we had some slips, but they ended in great teachable moments. I am telling you, this  weekend was jam-packed with opportunities to discuss real life. Time and time again we would talk about God, creation, we would pray, we would discuss the importance of serving others in love, having grateful hearts. Kids and adults were contributing equally to the conversations, it was RICH! 

The morning of our departure I arose from our den about 2 hours before the clan. Outside of the rushing river and the chirping birds the campsite seemed to be in a  quiet slumber still. After the bustle of activity over the weekend this was just what my soul was longing for...quiet time talking and  listening to God. 

This picture is the view from our campsite. As I stood at the opening to the river I prayed, I sang and I waited. Soon I was very aware of what God was asking of us next. He wanted the lies we believed about ourselves handed over - and - NOW!!! He had new names to bestow on us that spoke of his amazing LOVE for us - names that reflected the TRUTH of who he created us to be. 

Once the kiddos climbed out from their slumber we had a tribal meeting around the fire where I shared about false names I had grown up believing about myself. I shared some stories of how God has been showing me over the years the importance of bringing him the lies that have crept in and began to identify me, along with his plan to speak truth to me by giving me new names.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it." -Rev 2:17

I ripped up pieces of cardboard, grabbed a sharpie and it didn't take long at all for everyone to scribble their names down...and it wasn't one name - it was names, names, names.

Next step, pray to God and refuse these names from having a hold on us anymore. From this moment on God would take these names from us and remind us they were lies. We could hardly wait to toss these into the pit where they belonged. 

Then came the moment of blessing. We prayed God would speak to each of us about the truth of who we are in HIM. The truth of who he created us to be. Would He please give us a new name that would speak life-giving truth into us? Oh, He did not disappoint. It was seconds after we prayed and these precious kids began popping out with their names they were receiving from Him. 

The other incredible thing that happened was moments earlier they had been mortified someone in our circle might possibly see what they were writing down for their false, hurtful names - yet once they received their new names they were eager to share what their false names had been compared to the truth of their new names. It was a beautiful story of redemption unfolding over and over again before my very eyes.  My heart could hardly withstand it. 

Next was our journey to the rock bed of the river where we would search out our stones. With sharpie in hand we scouted out the oh-so-perfect rock that would perfectly behold our new name. 
Carefully, yet boldly we would take our new names from a mental thought to a visible reminder written on stone. 

As you saw my current cardboard names on the top of this post, I received a new name to replace them:

This is my current stone that will remind me - I am victorious in Christ. I am a new creation - the old has gone. 

I believe we get swarmed with false names - they are probably so embedded we don't even realize the layers holding us down from all God intends for us. BUT - one name at a time we can lay them at the foot of the cross and re-claim the VICTORY, the TRUTH of who GOD says we are! 

-Simply Sublime

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