Friday, January 25, 2013

Grace Abiding Citizen

Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Although not a naturalized citizen yet, my husband enjoys most the privleges of living in the United States. Educated here, he pays taxes, travels freely, and wears a hard hat at work with a JESUS sticker on it. I hope one day to cross off MY bucket list: "help Ted study for the US Ctizenship test."  If our lives ever settle down just a little, maybe I'll begin the conversation again. It's never something he did not want, just always one of those things that seemed to elude us for whatever reason.  

On Wednesday of this week I watched on the news, 5000 new citizens wave their little American flags at their swearing-in ceremony. So many tearful, happy faces, proud of their accomplishment.  How I'd love to listen to their stories of their journey, the physical, and more importantly, the emotional and spiritual yearning for a place to call home where opportunity, success and dreams still define our American Spirit.  

I read another story too, one of an aging rock legend, Tina Turner who is denouncing her citizenship in America to gain citizenship in Switzerland, the country she has lived in since 1995.  She probably must give up one to gain another. 

 The 73-year-old singer will surrender her US passport. She lives in Kuesnacht, just outside of Zurich.

Pres. Obama enjoyed his 2nd inauguration this week. We all know the controversy and speculation involved in his "citizenship." 

While I am very proud and blessed to be an American citizen, my  Heavenly citizenship takes priority and hopefully makes me a better citizen on earth. Stamping my passport, carrying my baggage and building me a mansion,  Christ took the test for me, planned out an escape, and showed me safe passage. God gave up His Son, so that my life outside the borders of grace CROSSED over into forgiveness. There is no doubt about our citizenship because God's Word is Truth. Boundaries now serve only to guide me towards His will, soaring on wings like eagles.

Heavenly Father, Keep me focused on what is eternal, not on the things of this earth that quickly disappoint and fade away. Thankful for the promise of Heaven, I delight in the glimpses you give, blessing me with your personal love and sovereign grace. Help me to be a citizen worthy to be used by You, sponsoring others into Your kingdom. Amen.  


  1. Love the title and love all the parallels you draw. You are so creative!!

  2. Interesting all the parallels in our two intertwined lives. For Gary, US citizenship became critical to his vocational goals early on. We had to have official transcripts made of all the French documents from Montreal required for citizenshi. He studied for the test, we paid all the fees only to learn when he the date arrived for his citizenship test that he already was a US citizen because his father was born in Maine. The judged declared him a citizen on the spot, no further ado! Make it a priority Ted, it's well worth it! Love your post Coleene!

  3. From Anonymous: (reposted here from a different spot with permission).

    Hello my dear sister in Christ. I wanted to comment on your blog, but not in a public forum. Our citizenship in Heaven truly is the most important thing, and I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for opening that door for us every day! Regarding Tina Turner "turning in" her US citizenship for Swiss citizenship is what I wanted to respond to. My late husband was Black and grew up in the Jim Crowe era in Omaha Nebraska. His aunt owned a motel in the Black (poor) part of Nebraska in the 50's and 60's and whenever the Black entertainers -including the Ike and Tina Revue - came to town to perform they stayed at "Ada's Inn". They'd travel to the White section of town to perform before White audiences, then travel back to "their" section of town. Switzerland has always been known for being neutral and accepting of people for who they are and I so understand why she's lived there since 1995 and is willing to renounce her US citizenship to become a Swiss citizen. Sometimes we need to look through God's "kaleidascope" to see people for who they are and what they've been through. I just thought it tied into your message about being citizens of Heaven - God accepts all of His children into His Homeland. Everyone is looking for a home, a safe refuge, both in Heaven and here on earth .

  4. Actually, can I copy and paste this into my comments section on my blog? This is the perfect kind of response that spurs conversation for those reading that do not know the Lord and His redeeming grace and acceptance. I will mark you as "Anonymous." I would hope since we have embraced a black President and many other strides towards MLK's dream that things have greatly improved in America and even in the Jim Crow south. I am not naive though to realize that racism and prejudice still rear their ugly heads in many ways across our land. We can only ask to be a light against hatred and ignorance. Re Tina, they probably do not have dual citizenship in Switzerland. Your family history is so rich because of your connection with your husband. You and your family should think about compiling a story or stories like these in writing to pass down to your generations, weaving God's truth and hope through the journey. Think about it. "Homeland" that would have been a good title too! Love you, Thank you Coleene