Friday, October 2, 2009

It has REAL Meaning to Me...

You either love them or hate them.

There are few who are indifferent.

They can conjure feelings of fear, disgust, and sometimes even prejudice.

Some use them to shock, some use them to remember.
Some use them as symbols of important things in their lives.
Are you curious now as to what I am talking about?

What could evoke such a wide array of emotions and imagery?


See, as soon as you read that word SOMETHING popped into your head.

I already had several and VERY soon will be acquiring one more.
My first - I had done while I was in college. I went by myself - and told no one. I got a sunflower on my toe as a reminder that God's promises are in the places you are least likely to look. It was a summation of personal experiences I had struggled with while watching my dad go through and struggle with his new "life" with disabilities by a very unfortunate accident.

My second one is a variation of the Ichthus. The Ichthus is a fish which symbolizes Christianity. This is who I am... The Lord completes the sentence of my life - I am unexplainable and have no purpose without Him. I HOPE that people know that by interacting with me - but just incase - I wanted something to "tell" the world what I am all about.

My third one is a butterfly on my wedding ring finger. The butterfly was a intricate part of our wedding ceremony (turned comical too) and has a significant meaning to Wade and I and our journey into marriage together.

My fourth one is probably what I would consider my most intimate tattoo. The heart symbolizes my husband and I coming together to form our family. The swirl on the left is our Noah Boy. The swirl on the right that breaks into to is for our precious twins... Matt and Addie. The words coram deo have become an anthem to my life. I was introduced to it faintly in a chapel at GCU and then had some great conversations with Justine about it after she had the words "corum deo" tattooed on her.

Coram Deo - encompasses everything I believe about my faith. It is a reminder of who and what I want to be - at all times... I wish I could explain it and give it justice - but I can't - so I want you to read an article by Tim Challies. This article is what made me want these words incorporated in my new tattoo...

What Does "coram Deo" Mean?
February 23, 2009 @ 6:10 AM Posted By:
Tim Challies

"The big idea of the Christian life is coram deo. Coram Deo captures the essence of the Christian life."

This phrase literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram deo is to live one's entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.

To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape His penetrating gaze.

To be aware of the presence of God is also to be acutely aware of His sovereignty. The uniform experience of the saints is to recognize that if God is God, then He is indeed sovereign. When Saul was confronted by the refulgent glory of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, his immediate question was, "Who is it, Lord?" He wasn't sure who was speaking to him, but he knew that whomever it was, was certainly sovereign over him.

Living under divine sovereignty involves more than a reluctant submission to sheer sovereignty that is motivated out of a fear of punishment. It involves recognizing that there is no higher goal than offering honor to God. Our lives are to be living sacrifices, oblations offered in a spirit of adoration and gratitude.

To live all of life coram deo is to live a life of integrity. It is a life of wholeness that finds its unity and coherency in the majesty of God. A fragmented life is a life of disintegration. It is marked by inconsistency, disharmony, confusion, conflict, contradiction, and chaos.

The Christian who compartmentalizes his or her life into two sections of the religious and the nonreligious has failed to grasp the big idea. The big idea is that all of life is religious or none of life is religious. To divide life between the religious and the nonreligious is itself a sacrilege.
This means that if a person fulfills his or her vocation as a steelmaker, attorney, or homemaker coram deo, then that person is acting every bit as religiously as a soul-winning evangelist who fulfills his vocation. It means that David was as religious when he obeyed God's call to be a shepherd as he was when he was anointed with the special grace of kingship. It means that Jesus was every bit as religious when He worked in His father's carpenter shop as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Integrity is found where men and women live their lives in a pattern of consistency. It is a pattern that functions the same basic way in church and out of church. It is a life that is open before God. It is a life in which all that is done is done as to the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, not expediency; by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the tutelage of conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.

Coram Deo . . . before the face of God. That's the big idea. Next to this idea our other goals and ambitions become mere trifles.

Good stuff - huh?

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1 comment:

K-Mama said...

I LOVE that, Lees!! So cool. Can't wait to see what your tat looks like!! When are you getting it??