Love is new life…from no life

by Craig on April 25, 2012

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The Gospel of Our Lord is the Gospel of new life…from no life.

I once, while surrounded by life, only knew mine…
but last year changed that…
the year named “connect”.

But the year that brought connection…
it also ushered in fire…and ice.

The love which I read…the words that invited me into this world…
has turned to opposition that not once, twice, but more often…
nearly ended this blog, both my blogs, all in just the first year.

He came.
He saw.
He was conquered.
That’s him over there in that pile of ashes.

But the gospel is that ashes can be reborn…to become the phoenix.
The “good news” promises that bits of shattered dreams can be pieced together to create a palace.

The Gospel of Love is new life…from no life.

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Big risk, big reward, big opposition…and big courage required.

And I’m thinking that maybe I’m not the only one…

needing new life…

from no life…

slain by the world…
by rejection…
by disappointment…
by real cause for fear that has frozen you…
or self-created fears…
waiting for the other shoe to drop…
because you know it always has.

So we sometimes think freezing still is the right non-move.
We stare into the challenge but freeze…a deer in headlights.

But staring at the headlights only leads to disaster.

Love is new life…from no life.
Love asks the Father for strength.
Love reaches out for support.
Love is like a weeble…
it wobbles, yes…but doesn’t stay down.

The Gospel is is all about new life…

capital L “Life” after death…

and continual new life from the ashes of this life.

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Today I think Love would have us take on that one challenge…
the one whose stare we normally cower in the face of…
the one that God would be pleased we took on.

The thing which we are afraid of, is that which we should do.

And if you’re buried in a pile of ash and rubble…
I know, I know how that feels..
and I so want you to bloom, even in the ashes…
bring new life…from no life…

at least for today.

Tomorrow maybe we hide again in the ashes.

We’re human…we forget the gospel…we are raised only to fall again.

But today, I think, is for new life…from no life.

And every hour today…
at the top of the hour…
I’ll pray for you…I promise…
for courage to face the giants…
for courage to fight back…in love…
for not giving up…
for not laying down…
for not giving in…
wobbling maybe, but getting back up…
and turning rubble into resurrection.

If you have read this far, know that you will be prayed for every hour today…

and the first  hours have already happened.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Danelle April 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

Oh yes Craig! Time to rise! Love this. So glad to be neighbors this beautiful morning over at Ann’s. :) Praying for you too. Right now.

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hey, we WERE neighbors this morning. And I’m really glad I got to pray for you by name. And I thought you were taking a break – are you breaking your break? ¯\(°_o)/¯ Anyway, thank you Danelle, rising up, I think, really needs to be the thing today. God bless you!

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Cora April 25, 2012 at 9:25 am

“The thing we are most afraid of, is that which we should do.” That screamed at me today, Craig. It’s amazing how INSTANTLY something blazes across my mind as to what that thing is. No deep thinking, no digging, no searching. It’s right there — on the surface. And yes, it’s a pile of ashes, smoke still rising. It’s the pictures that got to me today. Could it really be that one of those tiny trees IS rising up in the ashes of my heart???? Thank you for your prayers today, Craig! And thank you for this post today. Perhaps the most encouraging post you have ever written!

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Cora, I know that you have been that little tiny plant growing out of the rubble a whole bunch of times – and you. And you aren’t alone. And you know my prayers today for you are not the first ones that I’ve thrown up to heaven on your behalf. I have hearted praying for you, my sister. Have I told you recently how glad I am that we have bloggy met? Well… I am ツ

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brian miller April 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

i love the focus on love in this…because to me that is def what the gospel is…a love story…but often we dont treat it as such…new life…and love…and living that out now, so we can Live it out later…

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Brian, thank you, and the way you ended your comment – thank you for THAT “Living it out now so we can LIVE it out later. It really IS all about love. Thank you, and God bless and keep you.

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Christina April 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

Life from ashes, beautiful. Isn’t our God amazing? Seems like I remember learning that plants life grows thick and lush after a volcanic eruption. Good truth here today. Thanks, as always!

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Oh, my friend, are you going to write that post about volcanic ash being really fertile for new plants to grow in – or am I? One of us has to do it – maybe both of us – maybe a guest post deal – anyway if you don’t do it soon I might just have to – that is incredibly inspirational – the metaphor… I could go on for weeks on the metaphor – but then I can go on for weeks with the sentence. Anyway, beautiful! Thank YOU as always Christina. God bless!

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Christina April 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Ooh! Let’s figure out a way to write one together! Fun!

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

my little tiny brain wheels are turning ツ

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Robert J. Gerryts April 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

First visit here. I’ll most certainly be back more often.

-Bob

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

thank you Bob – and thank you for using the word “certainly”. It’s a good GOOD word – and it needs better PR. ツAll kidding aside, thank you very much for swinging by, and God bless and keep you.

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Janae April 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I love your vulnerable and that you’ve been hurt and yes, “Tomorrow maybe we hide again in the ashes”. But today, today you are alive in Love and declaring it.

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Janae, honestly, the pre-blogger me was vulnerable – but never EVER showed it. The post blogger me can’t really stop. If it’s not authentic, if it’s not real, if it’s not vulnerable, then why bother writing. I am alive today, I am in LOVE today, and it was an honor to pray for you today – thank you. God bless and keep you!

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Nacole@sixinthesticks April 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

oh, loved this Craig. i needed, really, really needed to read this today. that is all. just love your determined encouragement here and the praying, yes, i’ll take some of that please. im so bothered you were hurt this way, still, and didnt Jesus say we would be persecuted for His sake? when we step out in love, some perceive it as evil…i will never understand that, but our Lord said it will happen–even by Christians to Christians..of course, Paul told us this should not be…but like you said, we are only human…*praying* for you as well, to not be frozen and step out in faith and love. thank you for reading and for your encouragement. came over here from Emily’s today…blessings friend.

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I heart praying for you Nacole, and today has been more of the same. I’ve been thinking lately that forgiving someone without addressing what was wrong might not always be the way to go. I’m thinking I might have to do some talking to some people. It’s still going on, and I get, in a small way, why they are being so – but still, it really should stop. Anyway, THEY are human, I am human, YOU are human, you are so right… So… So right. God bless you Nacole.

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Nacole@sixinthesticks April 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

ok, i know i already commented…but this was just so good, i had to say, i really enjoyed that entire last section…such depth there, realness. that we forget the gospel? i needed to hear all of it–and i wanted to say, i like your heart, Craig. its valuable. how anyone could think its not is beyond me.
“And every hour today…
at the top of the hour…
I’ll pray for you…I promise…
for courage to face the giants…
for courage to fight back…in love…
for not giving up…
for not laying down…
for not giving in…
wobbling maybe, but getting back up…
and turning rubble into resurrection.”–this made me teary-eyed. this is what its all about–helping one another through the fight, my brother.
*thank you* for the prayers.

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Layla Payton April 26, 2012 at 1:12 am

Hi, Nacole. *waving*

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Nacole@sixinthesticks April 26, 2012 at 8:09 am

hey Layla! been thinking of you a lot! thank you for waving! *warm wave* back to you!! hope you are well.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

ツ thank you Nacole, your every word…well…it’s nice to hear…still getting used to having support from friends. Getting better at accepting it. God bless!!

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tara pohlkotte April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

your passion and love cannot be contained, even by words. and that is a beautiful. beautiful. thing.

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Craig April 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Tara, I have a lot of passion, I have a lot of love, and I have a LOT of words – and if they all ran a race I think it would be a really close one. That aside, what you said was one of the nicest things someone has said to me…well…in a long time. And my natural tendency is to disregard the hearing of nice stuff – but I won’t this time. Thank you. God bless and keep you. And it’s a really nice thing to know that you were one of the people I was praying for today – and from here until bedtime – it’ll be nice to pray for you by name.

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tinuviel April 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

“new life from no life” – well put! Ephesians 2 in a phrase. May the Lord keep bringing beauty out of ashes in your life, Craig.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thank you!! although, and this is no secret to our Lord, because I told him, and even if I didn’t – I guess he know anyway – but seriously, I heart more beauty – and a little less ash – you know? ツ Still, not mine, but his will be done. God bless and keep.

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kristi April 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Craig,

Your words reminded me of something that Eckhart Tolle writes in his book a New Earth –
“Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
and he says, “Whatever you think people are withholding from you – praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on – give it to them. You don’t have it? Just act as if you had it and it will come.Then soon after you start giving, you will start receiving.” I just love that. He goes on to quote Jesus saying, “Give and it will be given unto you.Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.”
God Bless you Craig.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

one day, on the Deep into Scripture I have to study deeply the “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” verse. I don’t speak from Sinai of course – but I have long suspected that verse may not mean what so many preachers say it means. But I’m not sure – so until I am – I won’t say anymore than I already have. The principle though – that we are built to give – no matter how much we HEART receiving – THAT is true. And what he wrote about when people withhold praise, appreciation etc. – to give it to them – act as if you already have it – that is VERY much LOVE. If I do it – then, I think, whether or not I receive it back, I’ve done love – and doing love is never wrong. So much to think about in your comment Kristi!!!! Thank you, really, thank you, and God bless and keep you!

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imperfect prose April 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

love is new life, from no life… sigh. this post gives me permission to just be. thank you, for being God’s voice, craig. e.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

thank you Emily – and if I’m his voice at all, I’m just a voice crying out in the wilderness – your words, YOUR words are like lilies in the Valley. Am still learning… Still. Only. Learning. The more I read… The more I learn. God bless and keep you!

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Mama Zen April 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I love this.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

♥ thank you ♥ God bless you and yours Kelli.

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alittlebitograce April 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Oh this echoes my heart and encourages it! Two and a half years ago, I obeyed God. The fall-out was devastating. I have felt burnt to ashes. and yet, God is slowly restoring me, so making me new. There is so much I have to be thankful for, so much good that God has brought because of it. I went to Mexico, I started blogging, I joined Imperfect Prose…there has been much more. Your writing resonated. Thank you!

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

Thank you. I totally, TOTALLY understand feeling is if we are led down a certain path by our Lord – and then find at the end of the path devastation awaits. I get that – I TOTALLY get it. Also, to coin a phrase, your comment “echoes my heart and encourages it”. God bless and keep you and yours!

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Katie April 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm

“Love is new life…from no life.
Love asks the Father for strength.
Love reaches out for support.
Love is like a weeble…
it wobbles, yes…but doesn’t stay down.
The Gospel is is all about new life…
capital L “Life” after death…
and continual new life from the ashes of this life.”

Oh Craig, thank you. It has seemed like “no life.” I am waiting for the new life. Thank you for the prayers.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

Katie – so good to know that you are among those I prayed for yesterday – even past midnight, and just before dawn today. I know it’s always God’s will and not ours be done – that being said, I hope the “new life” begins blooming soon for you. Funny how we are all so much more patient with other people’s trials that we are with our own – if I could only be as patient with my own as I am with yours – you know? God bless you Katie!

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Layla Payton April 26, 2012 at 1:11 am

I’m kinda wobbly, friend, but in no way am I going to give up.

But…

I’ll take a prayer. :)

And I’ll pray for you too.

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

just read your reply to my comment over on your site – I guess that’s all the update I need – I’ll wait for more as soon as your LESS wobbly ツ you have had the general prayer that everyone else has gotten here – and I just finished a special one. Got you covered friend. God bless you Layla!

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Lisa Maria April 26, 2012 at 6:51 am

Well said Craig…Amen! You have written something I want to blog on myself. One thing God shows me constantly is that I have NO life without Him. Love and light are the two things He asks me to give without reserve…you have a whole lot of that going on. Thank you SO MUCH for the prayers and your bloggy friendship. I am b-a-a-ck! Praise God! I honestly think God Himself must have wanted me to spend some time offline. I am busy and sometimes overwhelmed but feel SO blessed! I’m ready to write again, just hoping I find the time to. Its all up there swirling around in my head but its been a really busy season for me and its going to be tough to carve out the time. I may have to force myself to give up some sleep to write (tough cause I’m exhausted!).

God be with you and you are in my prayers too!

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Craig April 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

Lisa Maria, you just write when you can write – that’s all – life is more important than words. I’ll be dropping by anyway to read them – I don’t mind waiting – the waiting is always rewarded. I’m grateful for your bloggy friendship too! And I’m not surprised that this is something that you are thinking of writing about – God connects our brains – even across oceans and continents – the mind of Christ and all – we just notice it more not because of the internets. God bless and keep you and each of yours Lisa Maria!

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Brandee Shafer April 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

This is such a good post, and I do think it’s a choice we make often: to bloom and shine anyway. Jesus told us: in this world we will have trouble, but we should take heart b/c He’s overcome the world. The world will continuously beat us down; we have to choose to rise, every day, in the Lord. I know how hard it is. I’m so glad we’re in it, together.

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A. April 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Brandee, I love what you have shared here!

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A. April 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Craig, reading here today was one long drive down blessing lane. I hearted reading all the encouragement that went your direction and all the heart that you returned to each and every person. I just rested and was refreshed and restored…sitting in the shadows at the table next to yours as you and your friends overflowed with Christlove to each other and one another. Sometimes the blessings that flow are the ones we don’t intend so much, aren’t they? Your post was awesome, too. I love the ash pictures. Thank you for the encouragement…so vivid…to bloom in our ashes.

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 9:05 am

The pride in me always wants to think that the post was the best part – the humility then speaks up and reminds me that often the comments are the best part. I know I’m late in responding, been fighting the “don’t connect” feeling lately – funny what just one or two bunnies can do to you – you know. Still measuring my response – thinking I need to confront the bunnies – but wanting to do so in love – and also not really wanting to stir up a massive bunny attack. Anyway, I’m glad you’re not a bunny. God bless.

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Court April 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Love the building of the phoenix theme. Yes, new green life come forth! (and I read to the end so yay me, more prayer!)

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Craig April 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

Funny, Court, how now, a few days after the post – it feels funny not to be praying for everybody all of the time. It kind of feels unnatural. You were added late to the prayers – but I’m a big believer that God, being above time and space, has a way of working those things out – so even though I wasn’t specifically praying for you at the beginning, before you read, somehow I think he included you anyway – and you were definitely prayed for. And I kind of didn’t mean to follow-up on the Phoenix. – It just kind of happened. Anyway, thank you Court, and God bless and keep you.

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Janelle@AStoryofGrace April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

What an awesome post. So full of encouragement and love. And the last part was my favorite. How encouraging to know that you’re praying for all of us. Thank you Craig.

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Craig May 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Oh, and YOU with your Lime disease – my challenge is an incurable insomnia – I know that YOU get how I feel almost all of the time. God bless you as you fight through it – your family needs you – and your courage!! thorns are SO SO hard. And since I didn’t get your comment till well after I posted – I didn’t pray for you by name – but I’ve prayed seperately and specifically for you since. I consider it a privilege. Thank you Janelle – and God bless and keep you.

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