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Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." When they heard it, they marveled.
eikṓn, (the Greek root of icon)--the word "likeness" above assumes a prototype, of which it not merely resembles, but from which it is drawn; Image then exactly reflects its source.
epigraphé, an inscription, written upon (The Pharisees doubtlessly were familiar with Isaiah 49:16)

Maybe my focus was on the Caesar and tax part of what Jesus said, but suddenly now, I also marvel!

I read some of Leviticus. The fat of animals was burnt as offerings for sin. It reminded me of rendering tallow. To render is to make it give up or yield.

Render to God what is God's. 

Yield. This word holds two meanings: bear fruit of substance and submit

Rend. comes from the same root word meaning "give" To tear. Cut.

Two songs keep returning to my days. Control and The Strength To Let Go

Not too long ago, I inquired about my idols. What is keeping me from being fully at home with You?
He whispered "control".
I actually asked Drew. I have no idea why I thought somehow getting his opinion would change the God who actually sees all that's going on inside of me.
It took years to confess 
That your love was the best
At unraveling all of my pride
To bear fruit in keeping with repentance is to have what naturally yields from a changed mind. 
Romans 12:1 offer (render) your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing...
2 and do not conform but be transformed by the renewal (metamorphosis--changing of condition) of your mind (the word nous means the organ of receiving God's thoughts, through faith)

still fightin' the tension, I need some relief
Whoa. So much I had not accounted for here. To lay it (the sóma) down requires holy perspective.

Trash soup.
Part of the pleasure of working with the Holy Spirit is that He cracks jokes. He calls this gift "trash soup": One of the byproducts of acknowledging His gifts--Good Things--is a more attentive stewardship. Not because I think we will run out, but because the parts that seem useless are actually good gifts, too. I remember contemplating Jesus having His disciples collect leftovers after the multitudes were fed. They then left them behind, and then articulated that they were hungry. Jesus wasn't worried about the inability to resolve their need. He offered them His ability to foresee their every need. 

Last night, I made what we call "trash soup". In more ways than one. I like to collect onion peels, leek ends, celery tops, carrot scraps, and herb stems in jars, as well as any leftover bones--this time ribs from a stew. Once I have a batch, I'll add water and render more of what nourishes from them. You can't really eat onion peel, but you can render the benefits. What benefits? Science likes to call the compound quercitin. It is a powerful "anti-inflammatory". Well, I wouldn't get that if I tossed what most of us would consider "trash" for convenience, right?

I had to acknowledge the deep, pure and beautiful wisdom of God...this is why paying attention to what is happening is so powerful. The Spirit speaks.

This morning, I had what many of us mothers might call "a waste of time". I spent an hour and a half trying in vain to help a tired baby sleep. Here's how the Holy Spirit makes trash soup. 

"This body I live in is yours, Jesus. Love her."
"I have everything I need."
"I am fully at ease and am right where I need to be"

My mind decided it wasn't buying it, and countered with
"You're not going to get any time before the big kids wake."

And sure enough, she went to sleep precisely at the moment I heard my big kids emerge from their rooms. At this point, the heat was very, very high and I could feel my selfishness being burnt away like flames on fat. This is the gift of being inhabited by the Spirit. When my sin was not confronted, authentic daughtership was a question.

I texted my husband: "The most painful (physical, mental and spiritual) self crucifixion I've had. I am low, so low and in pain. Feeling no love from the Father, no pleasure. Fighting bitterness and clinging to Jesus while offering every part of me to him for healing and hope. I'm all out."

This is called "carrying the suffering of Jesus in the body". That sense of confusion that comes from feeling at a complete loss because it seems the Father has turned away.

I stirred my trash soup. "You can't get the good out of the waste unless there's heat." 

The same fire that burns off my self-indulgent attitudes...
the kind of mothering-mind that says "I will sit and I will drink my coffee and I will enjoy it and I will get time alone." NEEDS RENEWAL.
...also renders anti-inflammatory substances that protect me from future ills.

Christ's invitation to His holiness invited me to a perspective on what felt like a heap of rubbish. I have a notebook in my kitchen that I scratch things into when the Spirit speaks. One of the notes says "Faith is: Acknowledging a challenge with holiness as the ground I stand on. The challenge cannot diminish my holiness. In fact, it is an invitation to greater holiness. To give thanks is an act of courage and rebellion against darkness." "Faith is: a defiant attitude toward any suggestion of lack or poverty."

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

"I don't like to admit when I'm wrong I need gifts of forgiveness instead of applause"

The mind of God says I went over to the wrong pasture. It was dead over there.

I lack nothing.

Body. Mind. Spirit. His image.
The single most radically transformative confession I've ever made is this whole person belongs to You now. You paid for it. Since there is no separation of mind from body from spirit, the whole package is His. When I rendered to Him all of it, He started to transform every part. That's where I had tried to keep control. If I held back this one part of me, I had space to indulge desires, to allow emotions to control my tongue, to eat what would produce the physical appearance I wanted, to serve myself with my actions and time.

When my entire self is no longer "mine" but rendered, I have to acknowledge that my thoughts, my appetites, my energy, aren't for me to indulge myself.

The kind of Father He is does not engage in my destruction.
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.

It isn't that God doesn't want me to have pleasure, in fact He is the Source of it. But a daughter who attaches her indulgences to her belovedness has some rending that needs to happen.

While cooking breakfast with a torn heart, I heard "examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves." I pursued the Word and the word test (peirazó) means tempt. Try. Make proof of.

A faith is not rendered of substance without heat.

I recently realized to carry holiness in my body is to not submit her to postures of shame, anger, evil words, disintegration (through food, evil thoughts, pride, selfishness) or fear of lack. Not the hips, not the shoulders, not the neck, not the lips and tongue, and not the belly. This means in spaces of desolation, my appetite is going to tempt. What is fed, grows. 
They say that cancer cells are in all of our bodies. But they do not grow and take over unless they are fed what they demand (disintegrated, dead food). I noticed that what my mind and body fed on in the midst of temptation determined my defeat or victory. If I fed on distraction, my mind lost its ability to command my tongue. If I fed on butter, I provided self-indulgence with fuel to hammer me out by my own emotions. I had almost forgotten to sit down to the feast in the presence of my enemies. But somehow by His grace He spoke it loud enough for me to pursue: "test yourself to see if you are in the faith"

No, a person is not just a body. But integral faith requires full rendering. Fruitful in affliction. That's how you can tell if you are in Christ.  "You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

I heard about a meme a bit ago that said "I thought parenting was going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy, but really it's just difficult difficult lemon difficult".

Defiant against death is SAYING THANK YOU for the rendering. Sifting. Bearing fruit in keeping with repentance is to confess that my selfishness kept me from enjoying what was offered. But because God is the kind of Father that doesn't waste the rubbish--because ONLY HE can turn "difficult difficult lemon difficult" into "wonderful wonderful lemon wonderful" through the yoke of Christ. Trash soup. THIS IS A GOOD THING.


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