L. A. Wagner

Goals and Grace

In Dear Lord on May 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for not cutting me off despite my sin. Thank You for speaking to me, giving me comforting clarity.

You have not set us up to fail — because perfection and sinlessness are not the goal or the expectation. Growing in Christ and becoming more like Christ through grace is the goal.

So every time we sin, every time we fall, every time we fail, You expect us to come to You in the throne room by way of jesus-rainbow.jpgJesus, by way of grace, by way of the blood.

It takes surrender on our part. It takes laying our ego — our will — on the altar and being humbled by You, the Creator. And why not? You know us best yet love us most!

Inspire each one of us, Holy Father, to faithfully surrender to Your ego-crushing agape love so we may be truly free from the abyss-like sin of self.

Love because You first loved me,

           Lori

“[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” +Romans 3:23 – 24 (NIV)

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The Next Big Thing

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

social-media-iconsWhat is the first thing you think about when you wake up? Is it your aches and pains, your life, your child? It’s not someone else’s aches and pains, life, or child, is it? Most likely, it is not. And that’s OK. We are hard-wired as human beings to primarily think about ourselves and our offspring. Self-centeredness serves largely for survival.

We have somehow—or maybe naturally—progressed to a reality-television–level of self-centeredness, though. It’s gone way beyond survival to sacrificing our dignity and our children’s privacy. What is it, that we all want the camera turned on us? (And, oh, how it turns on us!)

This idea that we want to see ourselves the way others do—and then alter it, change the narrative—has become an insidious pastime. One reality space dweller once commented that she is always happy on Instagram because that’s what she wants to portray. And so we see how we are seen and then we tweak it, plump it, enhance it, minimize it, spin it, filter it, or, quite often, apologize for it.

I propose a new concept, a radical one from a couple thousand years ago. Lay down your phone. Forget yourself. Think of others as you would think of yourself: First. I’ll try to do the same.

You, Too, Are Called

In Dear Lord on June 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

Tuesday, May 28, 2014 (on the plane ride back to Tampa)

Dear Lord,

I love, love, LOVE growing in You! You’ve reduced my stress level at least tenfold since I was 13ish. Aha! That’s it! I was saved when I was 7, and I began making You Lord of my life just before eighth grade, I believe it was. I can still picture myself writing in one of my journals, saying something like, ‘There really and truly is a God who cares about every single thing I do.’ Yep, I was destined to grow into one of Your peculiar peace-making, feather-ruffling, out-of-order unlikely soldiers from before a seed was ever planted in Adam and Eve’s Garden…

…which brings me to another point. When I tell others I’ve been called to be single, it’s not like I’m special in that You’ve placed a calling on my life; You’ve placed a calling on everyone’s life, yes?!?! Each individual must take the time with You, spend time in Your Word, fast, pray, and sing songs of praise to know what his or her calling is. It’s so exciting! Who says a life following Christ is boring?! LIES! Must be the enemy…

With Christ, I have:

joy

love

gifts

peace

relief

morals

beauty

friends

sunshine

guidance

humility

happiness

salvation

confidence

acceptance

celebrations

understanding

a conscience

forgiveness

simplicity

knowledge

direction

strength

security

purpose

justice

wisdom

surety

family

grace

mercy

power

And, reader, you can have all of this, too. Maybe now is your time. If it is:

  1. Admit  you’re a sinner. You’re not alone, by the way; we are ALL sinners.
  2. Confess your sins to God.
  3. Then believe in your heart and say, “I know Jesus Christ died for me to pay for my sins so that I will not perish but instead have everlasting life.”

CONGRATULATIONS! You just made the single most important and exciting decision of your life–and afterlife, for that matter.  Now get yourself a Bible and find a church whose teaching is based on the Word of God.

Leave me a comment if you have questions. 🙂