In The Gap

March 12th 2010

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you might recall that back in December I wrote about signing up for my medicare part D coverage.  How I would be, for the first time, Approaching The Gap.  Well, I’ve done it, I’ve reached the gap!  Believe it or not I have already managed to reach the coverage gap for medicare part D by just the 3rd month of the year.  Not a shock to me at all, as I knew I would reach it this quickly.  I also know that the next two months I will be paying not a small amount for my medications because I will be fully in the gap for 2 months.

I am glad however this is the only gap I will be in!  For instance, I don’t shop at The Gap.  I also don’t like rock climbing, so there is little chance you will find me in a gap between two rocks.  Since I had braces as a teenager there are no gaps between my teeth.  Most importantly, I am no longer trapped in the gap that existed between myself  and God because I accepted the coverage Christ offered me on the cross to cover the gap.  So the next 2 months I will pay for my medications in the gap, while remaining thankful that Christ paid my penalty so that there would no longer be a gap between me and God.

Can You Be Honest

January 27th 2010

Woman’s bible study has once again started.  We are studying the book of Daniel together using Beth Moore’s study.  I am looking forward to all it will bring, as the first two weeks have already been wonderful!  It is always good when we can get together to study God’s word.  Last night I was struck by something that happened and have been thinking about it since then.

One of the things we were discussing is being consistent.  That consistency in our walk is what allows us to avoid wearing masks because we are who we say we are, and we can say who we really are, so we can be honest always.  At another point in the evening we were discussing identity.  The fact that the world, and others, often label us so that we lose of our true identity in Christ.  That despite all of labels that might be put on us, our identity in Christ never changes once we have trusted Christ and become a child of God.  Our true identity never changes!

After thinking on this some more I decided these two ideas combined together become an issue of honesty.  Are we honest about who we are to ourselves, to others, and to God.  Last night I shared that we forget two facts, that others are sinners, and so are we.  That because of those facts things come out of others mouths that label us and hurt us, things come out of our mouths that label others and hurt them, and the world does things that label us and are hurtful.  Then when we allow those things to interfere with our perception of who we are in Christ, we stop being honest and began wearing masks to cover up the hurt.

After this, someone else shared, and as part of this they said something that struck me.  They said “…that S word you said”.  That S word?  I thought to myself “sin, you can’t say the word sin?”  Then this morning I thought on that some more.  If we cannot even say the word “sin” how can admit that we commit it?  If we cannot utter the word “sinner” how can we admit we are one?  It is awfully difficult for me to imagine myself telling God “Lord forgive me I know that was a “S word” and I know that you didn’t like it”.  Talk about honesty.  That is the root of honesty in our identity in Christ!  We are only who we are in Christ because He came to die for us, because we are sinners, and because we believe that He did so.  If we cannot be honest about our sin then we are taking for granted the very act that gave us our identity in Christ, and we are wearing a mask even before God.

Even more so then that, if we cannot speak the word sin or sinner how are we going to be honest with a lost and dieing generation about their need for Christ?  If they see us wear masks to cover up who we are, to cover up our “S word”, then how can we expect them to admit they are a “S”ner so that they realize their most desperate need is Christ?  Being completely honest, I would desire that my honesty would allow others to see Christ’s grace shine through me because I am consistent and honest always, never wearing a mask.

Approaching The Gap

December 31st 2009

Today I did something I never expected to at the age of 39.  As if it wasn’t bad enough my mother in law could tease me about being on medicare.  Today I was able to call her and give her a really big laugh.  I signed up for my medicare part D prescription drug coverage.   Which program did I choose?  The AARP plan, that’s right, the American Association or Retired Persons.  At 39 I have AARP medicare Part D, and I chose that simply because it was the best plan for me and my medications, not for any other reason.  So allow the teasing to begin.

For those of you who don’t know how medicare part D works, there is something called THE GAP!  This is when you reach your maximum allowed coverage pay out and you pay for all of your medications.  This is also known as “the donut hole”.  So I am now in phase 1, or approaching the gap, and not looking forward to it! No one on medicare part D does.  If however it really was about donut holes, it might not be so bad, maybe that’s why someone coined the phrase “donut hole”, so it wouldn’t sound so bad.  Wouldn’t it be nice if everything bad in life had a name that made it sound better.  Now once you reach the gap, you can eventually bridge this gap, by paying enough in the gap to reach the next phase, called catastrophic coverage.  At the point part D kicks back in, and you are nearly fully covered.

So after I signed up, I had this term “The Gap” stuck in my head, and I thought to myself  “in reality we are all approaching the gap”.  This gap has to do with the gap between us and God however, and for some of us the gap has been bridged, and for others it hasn’t.  Why is that?  The gap has been bridged with the required payment, however, like medicare part D, we must sign up to get the coverage, it isn’t automatic.  The coverage is provided by Christ who died on the cross for us, and that death pays the penalty needed to bridge the gap.  That gap is caused by our sin, and we must confess that sin and admit our need for the coverage to receive it.  Problem is, not every one is willing to admit their sin, they like to call sin different things, give it nicer names or ignore it all together.  Unless someone admits the gap exists, confesses their sin, trusts in Christ to bridge the gap through His death on the cross, the gap will remain.

I know the gap exists, but for me the gap has been covered, Christ has covered it for me.  Only in Him can it be covered.  Unlike with medicare part D, we cannot pay enough to bridge the gap on our own.  If Christ has not bridged the gap for you ask yourself if you desire for the gap to be bridged.  I encourage you to do so by going to the Lord and recognizing that the gap exists, admitting that your sin has created it, and trusting in Christ’s death to bridge it.

All The Fringe

December 3rd 2009

We are all pulling out the trees, putting up the lights, hanging the stockings, and decorating the mantels.  It is officially the Christmas season.  As we drive down street at night more and more homes are adorned with lights.  Have you put yours up yet?  Has your tree made its appearance, filling your living room with color?  Are there any other decorations you put up during the holidays that you just love?

This year I am in my new house.  I put my Christmas village up in it’s brand new location, and I went and bought some brand new decorations for the living room.  The tree is out of storage and waiting to be put up.  All of the snowmen have been taken out of their crates and places around the house where they will stay for winter until the birdhouses reappear.  It definitely looks like Christmas in my home.

Looks–how many of us concentrate really hard on whether our homes look like Christmas?  Here is another more interesting question–does your home look like Christmas to God?  Good question, but what does Christmas look like to God?  To answer that question we must look at what Christmas is.  Christmas is a celebration of the very fact that Christ chose, of His own accord, to become flesh in order to die so that we might know forgiveness of sin.  Yes, that is what Christmas is about.  Christ’s choice to become flesh for us, and the celebration of that.  So, in order for Christmas to look like Christmas to God, He needs to see that celebration in us.  There is only way way that is going to happen, and that is if we know Christ.

So how does God see Christmas in us and in our home?  Through the very fact that we belong to Him, that we are saved by grace because He chose to come as flesh and die for us.  The celebration of Christmas is about that, and the rest of it, all the decorations, the tree, the lights, it’s all fringe.  All the fringe isn’t what pleases God at Christmas.  Sure it is pretty, but the beauty of Christmas is what God sees in us, and that is Christ who lives in us once we believe that He came to earth, died on the cross, and rose for us.  This Christmas enjoy the fringe, but celebrate what God sees in you.