The best I can say today is..."I survived last week."

We all see through a dimly visible window of God's purpose for our lives. Last week I was pressing and striving to make things happen, and they did - nothing worth remembering and praising God for today. I lost my focus on grace, and I lost my desperate need of Jesus' love for me and through me to others.

I was striving, and I failed.

I sit here in great repentance, swimming in a river of grace not seeking to get out of the cleansing water until I 'feel better' (yes, I need to feel better) about myself. It may take some time to get over tonight. I know in my knower it's alright, I just have to forgive myself and fall in love with love again. 

This is what happens when you get too self marveled.

When we see ourselves as the 'key' ingredient for God's measure of change inside of creation, we have reached the status of the Corinthian disease - better, a virus of self, that contaminates the purest intentions of love.

The antidote: Knowing that I don't have all of the answers (not even close), I just know him and thank God he knows me.

I'm encouraged by Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, a church (and I say this with great affection) full of 'Jesus People' that I resemble all too often.

Seriously, ask me where I'd like to attend church in the New Testament, and I would say Corinth - you should see the looks when I answer this way, as if we are any better than the brothers and sisters of Corinth. Get real. 

Yes, I'd want to hang with the worst of the worst, so to never forget the depth of God's grace for me and my sin situation. The Corinthians were real, authentic and raw. Ragamuffins in every measure, and we tend to dump on them way too often. Maybe we should look a little closer to that reflection in the morning mirror.

The Corinthians were Jesus believers with tough outer skin, "spiritual knuckle-heads" just like me.

They were loved into the Jesus relationship with a 'come as you are' attitude. It grabbed their hearts providing for them a google map to grace's river flow. When they started to operate as "Christians", that derogatory term of slang, their outer skin remained (great, me too!), as their fleshly hearts grew in relationship with Jesus.

After Paul left for another hot spot the Corinthians set out to make a difference, only to be grabbed by the religions ploy of self focus.

As my great-grandmother used to say, if the enemy can't pull you, he'll be glad to simply push - away from the authentic elements of Jesus' relationahip for you and the world in love.

The Corinthians were religiously pushed, began to divide over personalities, styles, teacher's resumes, achievements and created creeds and formulas. If they could have, I believe they would have joined the 'Corinthian Fundamentalist Conservative Coalition' and forced certain followers into certain categories of world view and marketplace convictions and mandates.

They had forgotten the love that Jesus changed them with, a love that reaches through a real relationship from the inside out. No religion, no denominational creeds, no self celebrating, just the love of a Creator God, reaching through a delivered Jesus for mankind.

Paul hears about the 'love abyss' and writes back to the donkeys (PG) in waiting. He goes over all the previously ground, covering once again Jesus' work, salvation and love for each person breathing. Paul focuses on unity, a focused determination to - if you're going to work on something - work on the glorious and gracious details of God's saving love to a world full of hungry, hurting people.

In other words, leave behind man's religion and pick up God's loving reach; Get over yourselves, you're not as needed as you think - just look in the mirror. It's Jesus' love fool, not your presentation of intelligence.