Who doesn't love Olaf? Arguably the most lovable character in Disney's Frozen, this adorable snowman sings and wishes for summer. Obvioiusly, this snowman doesn't realize he's going to be a puddle in summer. I do hope my wishes and dreams for summer aren't so unrealistic.
I believe I've mentioned before; I like a plan. A friend challenged me to think about a Rule for Life (from Peter Scazzero's book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality). Not a legalistic rule, but more like a plan for a holistic life. I've met amazing people who claim a mission statement for life, but I've always wondered what that looked like in day-to-day real life.
I began by listing what things in my life were both important and necessary: work I need to do, goals for spiritual growth, relationships in which to invest and rest or recreation that refreshes my spirit. I researched books, I made inquiries, I wrote reoccurring items in my calendar.
I trust God will work and direct my plan.
My steps are established by the Lord,
when I delight in God's way;
though I may mess up, I will not be devastated,
for the Lord holds my hand.
You see, I have gray hair and therefore I have perspective,
I know that God always works for the good of His children.
Psalm 37:23-24a, my paraphrase
I know I'll mess up. I always do. I will lack discipline, get distracted, forget, change my priorities… But I trust God gave me this vision and passion and He will unfold each day in order to fulfill His will for my life. I can trust God because I readily recall His faithfulness throughout my lifetime. He will not stop now.
Last week, I wrote about every day being an opportunity to be joyful because Jesus became a gate I can enter through to eternal life. He gave me this summer to rejoice, to become transformed into His image "in…summer!"
Now I must choose commitment to my rule for life, because it is a righteous plan that leads to holiness. Romans 6:19b, my paraphrase
God's given you this summer to be joyful and become more like Him, what are you going to do with it?


Trudging through the day more than springing, I steal away some time to be with my Maker. And He said to me, "I made this day too, so rejoice in this day."
The refrain echoes in my ears for days and opening my Bible to read in context, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it," I find this often quoted verse is surrounded by the idea of a gate.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:19-24
I don't think I could build a gate, I'm not handy and not detailed enough. From my quick research, it takes some meticulous skills. Of course the gate must be square, but even more importantly, it must hang from a gatepost. I giggled reading WikiHow.com, "fence posts are necessary for installing a fence…you need posts in order to install a gate." Got it? Posts are a must. The essential post is placed in the ground filled half full of concrete and then set, being certain it is straight and vertical, so that the gate can open and close. When set correctly, the rest of the hole is filled with concrete. The post is like the cornerstone of building, it is the first component of construction of a fence and most important since everything else is set in reference to that post. The gatepost determines the position of the entire structure.
Now takes this idea back to Psalm 118's gate. Eternal life, life beyond this is not automatically given. We don't just get it. When Adam and Eve sinned, that privilege was taken away and guarded:
He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24
Though we were separated from the tree of eternal life, all is not lost. God in His mercy made a way to reenter the garden and eat from the tree of life. If there were a fence surrounding that tree of life, Jesus is the cornerstone of the fence and he is the gate.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
This is God's marvelous doing, that Jesus would be the only way for us to taste the tree of eternal life.
Every day I live is a day I should stop and realize that Jesus made a way for me to enter the garden and that means it is a day to rejoice. The joy springs from the saving, the rescuing, the deliverance from peril, an entrance into the garden. I should consistently realize that the gate of righteousness has been opened to me by Jesus who is the gate and gatepost.
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Revelation 22:14
Do we realize how blessed we are? Every day is a day to marvel in the truth of God rescuing us and making a way for us to enter the gate, to eat from the tree of life. I would like to complain about the day: I'm cold. I'm bored. I'm annoyed. I'm overwhelmed. I'm angry. But when I put those grumblings into perspective, my moaning should become rejoicing! I will rejoice in this day and be happy, happy, happy!


Touch is not my love language. But even still, I do love the comfort and acceptance I feel when someone I trust wraps arms around me and I feel nestled in their authentic, heart-felt embrace.
From now on, [because we no longer live for ourselves, but for God who is in our hearts], we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. 2 Thessalonians 5:16-17
In Christ, I am a new creation. Parallel this idea with the concentric measuring cups pictured above. I am like a new cup, nestled in His embrace. When I came to belief in Him, He tossed out my old dirty cup, replaced it with a new righteous cup (Philippians 3:9), that nestles tightly inside Him, Jesus, who sits right inside God--like concentric measuring cups.
What kills me is that even though I got a new cup, I still sin because of the imperfect world I live in. However, "we regard no one according to the flesh" tells me that I can't look at my sin because He cut away that rotting putrid flesh. This is the old that has passed away. Men used to literally see Jesus'  broken, bruised and bleeding human body, but He died and was resurrected with a new, perfect form. That's the future to which I'm compelled to look: my resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:42-53). Is this what it means to throw off the sin that entangles?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1
To not focus on my sin that bogs me down, rather choosing to focus on my righteousness from Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I have a friend who just lost 20 pounds and she posted a picture of a 20-pound barbell on Facebook, commenting she was glad to be rid of it; it was heavy! What if she spent her days starring at the 20-pound barbell, wondering how she managed to gain and then lose that 20 pounds? She'd be stuck in the past instead of propelling herself forward.
I need to look to where God calls me forward and feel the comforting embrace of Christ nestled all around me. Yes, I've messed up in the past. But I am new and righteous. In light of eternity, my present state and circumstance don't matter, they will be cut off and replaced with complete holiness.
Picture yourself nestled in Christ. Keep your head up and focus on Christ. See who He made the new you to be, not your sin and past mistakes.