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kylenegrete kylenegrete

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Kyle Negrete  Feather Ruffler


Do we have to choose between God and community? Sometimes it feels like our relationships with people are at odds with our relationship with God. It's important to recognize this thought is inherently deceptive and will not lead to freedom. God is not competing with our family and friends for our affection. Our attention belongs to Him. Who is anyone in our lives anyway? It doesn't matter. Have them take their seat in your heart in God. It's not God first and then them. It's God only. In Him, you see them and don't worry, you will spill yourself out in connection. When we slip into pursuing connection with people to fill a need, we are already in trouble. Our needs are God's responsibility. When we assert ourselves as the proprietor of "getting our needs met," we are trying to fulfill God's role in our life and we will utterly fail. Disclaimer, we are incapable of being Him. There is no competition.
You are God's. He is all you have. And He is enough. Your value and connection with others varies based on the relationship, but never should anyone be the reason you experience peace or love or joy. It is God in them filling you. Honor them as the vessel, but do not ascend their place in your estimation. They are human and they cannot be the source to satisfy your endless need for love. Recognize His bleeding heart in their eyes, in their touch, in their voice. But recognize, it is Him you crave. It is Him you desire. It is Him you need. This is not to demean or devalue your relationships, it is to protect and ensure their health. He is all that you have and need. They are participatory and necessary, but not final. They contribute and share, but He fills.
Seek first....

Today, marks one year of living in this beautiful chaos.
From the mountain top moments, to walking through some of the darkest valleys, here are a few truths I've learned along the way.
1. Come out of hiding - Adam & Eve are terrible role models
2. In order to free the captive, you must name what's in captivity first
3. It's okay to not be okay
4. You cannot live more boldly than you pray
5. Isolation and loneliness are a real thing - you must fight to stay in community
6. Grace never negates your transformation, but always initiates it
7. Your physical/emotional/psychological health is on the same playing field of importance as your spiritual health
8. The miraculous lives on the other side of your surrendered YES
9. Worship will take you places your pain, insecurities, doubts, fears never could
10. True intimacy requires discipline
11. You are the local Church and it's time for the Church to rise to the occasion
12. Vulnerability begins when you stop hiding behind the things you do well
13. Don't try to conquer the world (disclaimer: you can't), conquer the temptation of yourself
14. If our understanding of grace leads us away from relationship, we've misunderstood it. We belong to each other
15. You are the Beloved.
I've learned that although most of my roles in Haiti include: pastor, shepherd, big brother, etc., all of these titles pale in comparison to my identity as God's beloved son. I have come to understand that the "least of these" Jesus was referring to in Matthew 25, is actually me...

Love and loss. May 17th, you are a glorious dichotomy. It's been 15 years without you today, Mama. I remember the morning like it was yesterday. I sat next to you on the couch, in the comfort of our home, as you took your last breath on this earth. I'll never forget it. An epic collision of the cosmos. You were home. Safe and sound, as you always used to say. Over the last 15 years, I've come to understand that loss is what gives love meaning. Loss is what makes our time on Earth precious. And my goodness, were you precious, Mama.
And today, your legacy of love lives on. Your first daughter, @carlienegrete, is the new 1st grade teacher at Pinedale Elementary. 1st grade! The same grade you taught in Room 15 for so many years. On the 15-year anniversary of you going home? Say what? Really? God makes no mistakes. He has turned our mourning into dancing. We celebratin' y'all.
Carlie, I couldn't be more proud of you. You were born to be a teacher. And Mama couldn't be happier. Heaven is shoutin' today. I will continue to champion you into all you were made to be. I love you. Oh and by the way, you are precious too.

Mother's Day. A special day. A day filled with mixed emotions for me personally. Joy. Peace. Sadness. Loss. Triumph. Heaven.
Here are some jumbled thoughts about the power of a mother's love and influence. As we express the value we have for those we love and remind ourselves of how we have been impacted by their influence, we touch the vulnerability that enables us to connect at the heart level. In truth, we all want to be vulnerable. We want those we have chosen to be able to affect us in a deep, genuine way. The key to living at the depth our souls cry out for is engaging that vulnerability. A great place to start is affirming and expressing gratitude to those who have increased our capacity to love well (moms for the win). The recognition of such an exchange acknowledges our actual humble state. It brings to the surface the softness of our nature and gives breath to connection we desire. It is important to attribute the benefits we enjoy to those who bring us life (insert every mother here). By honoring those connections, we make our way to our own sincerity. The expression of our affection allows us to know ourselves and embrace our needs not as a chore but as an invitation to receive love in a specific and felt way. Give a voice to the value you have for those you trust. Your ability to understand love depends on it.
To all the mothers out there, especially my very own, I celebrate you today.
I love you, Mama. You will always be the first woman I ever loved this much.

God isn't just worthy of our best, He deserves our broken, our scared, our honest, our vulnerable. He deserves our incomplete and our misunderstood. He deserves our exposure, our absolute bare naked, raw, undiluted, pure authenticity. You think He's only interested in perfect? Then you don't know Him very well. He's captivated by us and wants to see what we feel beneath our own ability to process. He wants to be invited to that dark place. The catch? You will never be able to welcome Him in that place if you refuse to look at it yourself. Honesty with yourself is a prerequisite to giving Him what He deserves. And He deserves all of it. I dare you, do the thing you must: look. Admit to what you find, there is no alternative.

Rest is unappreciated by the lazy. It goes something like this, when the lazy have to work or extend effort for the results they want, it feels like dying. Their work seems painful and arduous so they begin to fantasize, not about rest, but about a time when they won't have to labor. They don't actually want rest, they want escape. In this mindset, they are actually fighting to stay powerless. The punishment of the lazy is they don't know the joy in work or rest, only the threat of suffering from which they must constantly run for the woods. On the contrary, those who pour their hearts into their work, enjoy the fruits of their labor and find the times of rest to be rejuvenating. Their ability to take pleasure in rest actually heals and restores them. It calibrates them and gathers their power to plug back into the beautiful work they have committed to.

What happens when you get everything you want and your wildest dreams start coming true? What happens when your relationships are connected and fruitful? What happens when you don't have to reach or fight or fix? Do you know how to enjoy peace? You forerunners, it's easy to get antsy and restless when you find purpose in pushing the envelope and charging into new territory and you hit a pocket of rest. What happens when you don't have a mountain to climb, a direction to oppose, a new path to make? You leaders, it's easy to feel anxious and aimless when you find purpose in influencing the masses and you come to the destination of a journey. What happens when everyone is in line and things are flowing well? What happens when people have gone to where you led?
You fathers and mothers, what happens when your kids grow up and no longer need your careful oversight? You teachers, what happens when the lesson is learned and your students graduate? You counselors, what happens when your clients take your advice and actualize your insight? You children of God, what if there was nothing left for you to do in the day but enjoy the Father's house? What happens when all the chores are done? What do you do with achieving the goal? Can you recognize that it's time to rest? Can you take pleasure in the peace? Can you stomach the tranquility? What is all of this work for? What is the aim of your efforts? Isn't the ability to enjoy the fruit a vital part of living? What do you do if you suck at living and you can't appreciate when it's time to stop? The King is a delight and He is to be treasured. Let your powers of appreciation be exercised when striving ceases and it's time to settle in the arms of the King. What was all of this effort for?

Resurrection Sunday with my family.

The Silence Between // Promise & Fulfillment
We reflect on Good Friday and celebrate on Resurrection Sunday - both for good reason. Humanity was restored once and for all. Death was defeated. But the silence felt on that Saturday over 2,000 years ago is meaningful too. We can't forget Saturday.
Think about it. All of the commotion of the crowds during Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. The entire city throwing palms at His feet one week - to shouting "crucify Him, crucify Him" the next. Both events were filled with noise and motion. One was filled with reverence and the other was marked by hatred. But in between the crucifixion and the resurrection, there was nothing but silence.
Jesus was silent. God was silent. The tomb stood still as Jesus' earthly body lay dead. Tomorrow, the Resurrection message will storm every pulpit, but we can't ignore Saturday. Why? Because we all have them, too.
Silent Saturdays live in the days between the struggle and the solution, the question and the answer and the promise and the fulfillment.
For humanity, this is a great reminder that just because God may seem to be silent in your life, He is far from ABSENT. For on the third day, heaven intervened. The prophecies fulfilled. A new era had begun. Jesus had arrived and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father.
Maybe this Easter we can embrace our silent Saturdays and respond like the one who endured ultimate silence on our behalf, "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming." James 5:7

BONDYE W FIDÈL (God You're Faithful)
Tonight reminded me of the radical faithfulness and obedience of Jesus' journey to Calvary.

The darkness in this world is ugly and deep. It doesn't take a keen eye to notice or a wise heart to recognize. Observe the carnage, feel the devastation , let it hit you. Grieve. Embrace the sadness of the injustice and breakdown. Then get up. Don't wallow with the hurting, that will not help. Don't point a finger at the devourer, that won't change anything. Let the searing pain motivate you to find the light and the ignorance spur you to find the answer. We don't need more commentators or opinions. We need Love Himself.

Facing ugliness in yourself isn't as hard as it may seem. The threats only come from fear and shame, who are both liars. Once you allow their accusations to hit your character and see if what they promised came true, only then will you discover that they didn't and that you're more than they said. Surrender your poverty stricken identity and step into your ugly. Confronting it for what it is quiets the voice of the haters. You are more than you think.
When you can love who you are after seeing the grimy underside of your uncivilized pains and pride, you don't need other people to love the fake version you created to help them accept you. Stop inventing a self that everyone admires and nobody knows. Accepting yourself allows others to accept you too. Stop running. Come out of hiding. Adam and Eve are no longer your role models. Stop pretending. Admit to your ugly and begin the journey into real love. The true Eden. Love makes ugly flee.

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