Thursday, March 28, 2013

...BUT GOD!


Welcome back to our friend, Jessica Honegger. Jessica lives in Austin where she enjoys dance parties with her three littles, 2 biological and one from Rwanda, long dinners with her husband, and good wine with her girlfriends. She spends the majority of her days running Noonday Collection, a business born out of the adoption process, that creates sustainable income opportunities for vulnerable populations. It is a dream so amazing she could have never thought of it herself. You can join the story by visiting www.noondaycollection.com


Noonday is doing a little give away on our blog! Share our blog on facebook and then leave a comment either here or on our facebook page
letting us know you did and we will enter you to win The Chimes Necklace. This piece is handmade in Ethiopia using recycled nickel, copper, and bronze melted down from previous war weapons. Most of the artisans who created the pieces are HIV positive and receive healthcare and literacy training in addition to job training. Their disease does not define them.
This is a beautiful necklace made by beautiful people!
We will pick our winner Thursday, April 4th, so stay tuned!


What If...?
Around 2.5 years ago, we not only started our adoption journey, but God put a business idea on my heart. It combined fashion, poverty alleviation, mobilizing women in the US, and stepping out in LOTS of faith. My biggest fear was not failure, but success. What if I started caring about what other people thought more than what God thought? What if I wanted recognition more than giving God recognition? What if it became so consuming that I would start bowing down to the business and not to Jesus? What if it became so successful it would turn me away from Him?

Impressed with God!
As I was processing all of that with God, I heard him gently say, “You are far more impressed with your ability to sin than you are with the power I have to overcome sin.” I thought that meant, “Don't worry, I am going to keep you from falling into all those traps.”  So I jumped, and here is what happened. Two years later, in many ways, this little business idea called Noonday Collection has garnered some pretty cool successes. I mean, thirty people are OUT OF poverty in Uganda, women now are putting their kids through school in Rwanda, and countless others in the most vulnerable places of the world have the opportunity to work with dignity. We have advocated for adoptions, helped bring kids home, and over 150 women (and growing every week) in the US are now business owners, advocates and influencers in their communities. It has been crazy amazing to be a part of this.

And here is what has happened to me. I have cared about what other people thought more than what God thought. I have wanted people’s recognition more than God’s recognition. And I have become so consumed at times that clearly I was on the throne and God was not. I have this psychotic problem with self reliance (don’t you love how I use the few times that 2 of the most respected women in my life ask me to blog as a huge confessional? I mean you should read my last post for Hope at Home, The Day I Asked My Houseguests to Move Out of My House!). I have craved the approval of other women.

God is NOT Impressed with My Sin
And guess what? God is NOT IMPRESSED with all of this failure. 2.5 years ago, when I stepped into this crazy adventure, I thought God would some how keep me from falling into the sin I was so afraid of. Instead, I have learned that God is not impressed with my self-reliance and my need for other people’s approval. Instead, He is impressed with His Son Jesus, who covers all my yucky idolatries, turns away every accusation, and clothes me in absolute perfection. He is impressed with His sufficiency to always turn my gaze back on him. He is IMPRESSED WITH ME because when He looks at me, He sees his perfect Son.

Impressed with Jesus and His Finished Work! 
I was talking to one of my besties the other day, and she confessed, “I have this sense of pride when I tell others I am foster mom. Like I am somehow a better follower of Jesus than them.” Another friend, who just brought home her little with special needs was confessing something to me (I can’t even remember what it was!), and I could tell by the look on her face she was thinking “Can you believe that? I mean, that I would be doing THAT?” 
I just said, “Not impressed.” I am not impressed with your pride or your whatever, but I am infinitely impressed with Jesus’ work on the cross for you ! My bestie later shared Eph. 2:3-4  "All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."  Her new favorite phrase is now BUT GOD. Yes, we can be idiots, BUT GOD is rich in mercy, for He has made me ALIVE WITH CHRIST!

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
God has given some of you an idea, a dream, an action item. Like me, you may be worried about your sin. The good news is- you ARE going to struggle with the very thing you are worried about BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, is still asking you to go for it. So quit worrying about yourself and fix your eyes on Jesus!  The author of Hebrews encourages us to run with endurance the race GOD SET OUT FOR US. But how? "By keeping our eyes on Jesus, the CHAMPION who INITIATES and perfects our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) When we see Jesus literally running towards us, pursuing us, and loving us, the Spirit within us (the Hope of Glory) adjusts our vision to fixate on Him. When our eyes are fixed on Him, it is pretty hard to fixate on ourselves. 

Some of you get to the end of your day and are far more impressed with all the things you did wrong than you are with God’s mercy. He knew every mistake you were going to make today and His desire is still…. YOU. Every part of you, every piece of you, all the good and all the yuck, you are now IN CHRIST and, because of that, God is incredibly impressed with you. Let our new phrase today be “But God”! Let us preach that to one another until we find ourselves gazing into His perfect love. Let us be far more impressed with the cross than in our tendency to bow down to our own affections. When He said, "It is finished," He meant it.

Oh Jesus, THANK YOU that we are "the righteousness of God in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:21) and that You are so not impressed with our sin! Teach us Lord how to be impressed with You and Your finished work on the cross, for we are alive in You this day, and every other day of our lives, and dead to sin. Amen. 

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Save the Date: Hope at Home 2013, September 27-28, Atlanta, GA!  




14 comments:

  1. Shared H@H, love this post.

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  2. such a refreshing post! it is SO easy to talk all about our sin and talk so little about the grace God gives. But God...!

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    1. Whitney, it really is so easy, isn't it? Why is that?! May God renew our minds in this area that we are more conscious of Christ in us than of our sin! But God....!

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  3. Shared your site -- always glad to (giveaway or not!) :) https://www.facebook.com/MyOverthinking/posts/455292377874005

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    1. Awwww, thank you Kelly. (You would look good in this necklace!)

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  4. Delighted to share Hope at Home with my friends... You are a daily encouragement to me!!

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    1. That is wonderful to hear Laila! And thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. This post definitely encouraged me! I shared about the blog on FB.

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    1. It encouraged me too Angela! And thanks so much for sharing Hope at Home! Your name is on the list for the necklace, friend!

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  6. "Let us be far more impressed with the cross than in our tendency to bow down to our own affections. When He said, "It is finished," He meant it."
    amen sister!!
    yes, i can totally relate to this. sometimes in the beginning to feel ashamed or frustrated about sin or whatever, i can tend to just sit there and be more impressed/focus on, my failure than just focusing on the fact that HE FINISHED IT ALL!!
    (ps...don't enter my name for the giveaway since i'm an ambassador, i just had to comment!!)

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    1. I loved the way Jessica put this too-- what impresses me? I so want to be more impressed with Him than with my sins or failures. Thanks so much for commenting Paige. Bless you this Resurrection Sunday!

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  7. Shared! Thank you all for sharing all of your wisdom with us!! Katie Gonzalez

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    1. Awesome! Thanks so much Katie. Your name is "IN"!

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