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Archive for the ‘JESUS’ Category

HOW?

If we were really honest when people ask, “How are you doing?” …well, some of us might go into a rant about what is really going on.  Who did us wrong. How the morning didn’t go so well.  What child made us want to ring their neck.  How those jeans didn’t fit just right.  The things we didn’t get.  The people who looked at us wrong.  …and the list goes on… and perhaps on.

How do you REALLY feel?  With a good amount of reflection, we could tell you exactly how we feel, but most times, it’s not how we feel, it’s how something else made us that way.  We blame others for our bad moods.  We point at circumstances and events in our lives that created in us some type of victim.  We want everything that is bad to be someone else’s fault.

But ohhhh, if it’s going good…it’s all about US, right?

But what if we take all of those things–good AND bad– and remind ourselves that it’s really, all good.  I know what you are thinking!  “I don’t have a mate, my parents died just when I needed them, my child is driving me to drink (literally) or I was just diagnosed with …”  How in the world can THOSE THINGS be good???

I totally admit, it is hard to look at our low low looooow valley circumstances and think they are good.  They aren’t.  They are sad, devastating, body aching times that feel like they are going to do us in.  They are going to break us.

We don’t have to claim the brokenness.  We don’t have to stay in our cracked state. Oh yes, these things change us.  Sometimes we change a lot.  Our personalities become different.  We don’t talk the same, don’t do things we used to do or even try to disappear.  It happens. I know.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve experienced it.  But we don’t have to stay like that.  We don’t have to create a different path for our future because we have had a horrible experience.  We CAN look at the good, bad and super ugly in a different way.  We can.  We have the ability.  God made us with a free-will, a choice, a daily question to answer.  How will you take today?  How will you survive this?  How will you look at what is in front of you and come out the other end?  HOW?

If you have read to this point, you want to know what I have to say about His answer.

This is the only way I have gotten through any trying time in my life successfully.  It is through the word of the Almighty God!  He is the answer.  He is my perspective.  He is my answer to “HOW?”!!!  The only answer I know to be right and true.  You can read those self-help books written by people who say apple cider vinegar and ginger root fixes all that ails you.  You can.  I’ve read a few.  But the only book that can truly help fix what ails you is THE BIBLE.  It’s written by God inspired and guided people who are bringing us HIS truth.

A lot of people have a lot of reasons why they don’t read it.  “It’s too long.  It has weird stories. It doesn’t tell me anything.  It just doesn’t help me.”  All of those excuses tell me that you are not in a place where you really want a fix.  You don’t want a different perspective.  You don’t want an answer to your, “How?” You don’t need it so bad that you will reach out to God and ask for His help, because you don’t believe He can do it.

I’m telling you right now in this blog that has gone a little longer than I thought it would…

He can!

He can help any situation, any circumstance….ANYTHING.

But you first must believe.  You have to step toward Him and not away.   You have to want it… so bad… you will do anything to grab on to it!  Read the Bible.  Pray for God to reveal what He has for you.  He wants to help you through whatever you are going through.  He wants to be there for the good, the bad, the really hideous!  He wants to answer your “HOW?”  He wants to help you see what He sees, because no matter what it is, if you love Him, if you trust Him… ALL THINGS work together for your good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  -Romans 8:28

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He has more.

Recently, I noticed this kid.

He used to be tangled up in this world.  He probably didn’t care a whole lot about others or himself for that matter.  He definitely wasn’t sold out on Jesus that anyone knew.  He was an ok student.  He wasn’t a trouble-maker.  He was just him.  He was a likable kid, but not an enormous stand-out of some sort.

Recently, I noticed a difference.

He smiles a ton more.  He was a stand-out in a sport this year that he was involved in.  I see his joy in our halls.  His face is different.  I don’t mean it’s transformed into someone else physically, but it is brighter, it’s happier, it’s warmer.  God has truly blessed him.

People are scared of Jesus.  They think that accepting his way will interfere with the way they want their lives to be.  We want to be in control way too much.  But if we could only really see what He does for people.  Like this kid I noticed recently.  I know Jesus is the reason for his transformation.   Jesus can change our appearance.  He can change our attitude toward people, toward our future and life in general.  He makes us prettier–spiritually AND physically.  He makes us love more.  It’s like He creates so much love in us that we have to share it with others.  Some of us believe we already have enough.  We do enough.  We are happy enough.  We have enough.   But there is more.  With Jesus, we can experience more of all that is good.

Recently, I noticed this kid… He has MORE!

 

VICTORY SURELY IS SWEET!

Victory surely is sweet.

As my high school alma mater and school that I just happen to work at now (what a blessing that is!) moved toward VICTORY against our biggest rival in the history of both schools, my heart felt like it couldn’t take it!  I was so nervous when the game started and it only got worse as the game progressed.  When we took the lead, it wasn’t by much and I was ready to start pacing.  The game was packed so I didn’t try and disrupt anyone trying to get out of the stands even though I came close to doing it several times.  My husband, a major Rebel fan as well, almost a bigger fan, but definitely bigger critic encouraged me to hang in there and see it all the way through.  Man…I wanted to bolt!  It was like my life or something was hinged on this one little game.  How crazy does that sound!?!  This game was seriously intense until the last 44 seconds where we finally had the ball and only had to kneel it twice.  What a HUGE sigh of relief!

I had a friend ask me earlier that day when I was talking about how nervous I was for this game, “Win or lose, isn’t the sun still going to shine tomorrow?”  That question helped me so much!  At that point, I was even thinking of not going to the game! GASP!  His words did help me get through the game.  When I thought I was about to instantly contract a bleeding ulcer, I would remember, win or lose…it’s gonna be ok!  But.. But..

I WANTED THAT VICTORY!   And we did possess it in the end, thank the good Lord.

The sun did shine a bit brighter the next day… and victory is sweet!  But today I think of a victory that I wish we could all possess… AND WE REALLY CAN, but we have to decide to receive it.

This victory is sweeter than any other!!!

I went to a memorial service for a member of our church, friend and family member today where I was reminded again that the victory we have in Jesus is the best, most sweetest and is above all others.  Football games, making the A or wearing your “skinny” jeans is nothing compared to what we have with the blood of Jesus Christ.

We have life after death.  Actually death here on earth is just a period, a dot, a bend in the road as the preacher referred to it today…  It is actually a BEGINNING ..a beginning of our eternal life, free from sorrow, tears or fear.  Wow!

I WANT THAT VICTORY!

I CLAIM IT, ACCEPT IT, POSSESS IT…

I HAVE THAT VICTORY!

VICTORY SURELY IS SWEET!

What in the World!?!

What is going on with this place I live in?  We have mass murders, scare tactics and things people are calling conspiracies more and more every day.

What is going on!?!

I’m no expert or some great thinker.  I don’t hold degrees in theology or anything that some may seem to others as a higher-level thinking degree, really.  I don’t have answers or solutions for everything.  (note: no earthly person does!)

I do know how to pray, talk with others about miracles and things that truly matter and I know that the BIBLE is our guide book.  That is what I know.

Just as observer, pray-er, born again believer and crazy art teacher, I think…

We are more worried about what other people are doing than getting up and doing something ourselves.

We are a huge society of “it’s not my fault.” We blame others.  We don’t take responsibility for OURSELVES.

We concern ourselves more with right wing, left wing than God’s got this!

We STRESS! We worry.  We make ourselves sick thinking of what COULD happen.

We like revenge for some reason.  We seek revenge more than love.

I found this short video not too long ago and loved the message Andy Stanley has here.  He helped me to remember that no matter what happens here, God is in control.  We just need to have faith…and fix our eyes on JESUS.

Please take a couple of minutes to listen…

 

 

JESUS!

Jesus is in my heart.  When I say the name of JESUS, I’m talking to Jesus.  I’m not just saying the name, “JESUS” to be saying it.  I do sometimes say it out of exasperation, but it’s as a help.  Like, JESUS please help me!  He is always there.  He’s always close, because He DOES live  within me.

I hear people saying that name just to be saying it.  Jesus is neither sitting beside them, entering the room for them nor do they show the fruit of Him living within them.

YET, they say His name!  That is MY FRIEND.  He is my blessed assurance… Jesus is mine!  They do not need to call on His name unless that is what HE is for them.

We can all call the name of Jesus.  I know this.  I am not saying I do not want to share Jesus.  On the contrary!  I want to share Jesus with everyone!  I want them to be able to say that name with true meaning, not flippantly like I hear it being used so many times.

JESUS!  I love You!  JESUS!  I need You!  JESUS!  I want to live for You!  JESUS!  I thank You for dying on the cross for me!  JESUS!  I thank You for being there when no human can or will!  JESUS!  I praise You for providing me with grace and hope.  JESUS!  

 

RADICAL?

Are you over the top about something?

Do you consider yourself obsessed with a habit or tradition?

Do you call yourself a radical at all?

A lot of us, in fact, MOST of us would never use the word radical when describing ourselves.  Radical is one of those words used for bad stuff.  Radical people are way over the top, beyond the point of turning back on some issue and/or what we believe to be just totally crazy.

Within the last month or so I had a friend of mine compare my religion with another religion and say something like this…a Radical Muslim is basically the same as a Radical Christian.  They believe intensely about their religion.

Hmmmm… I am scratching my head even now thinking about this.  Really?

I’m not going to expound on the Muslim side of this.  I am pretty sure we all know what a Radical Muslim is most about.  Even those (and especially those) of you who are reading this that are perhaps Muslim, know what a “Radical Muslim” stands for.

Go Google it if you aren’t completely sure.

A Radical Christian, on the other hand, is nothing like that of a Radical Muslim.  A Christian who is sold out, over the top, crazy about Jesus is Radical about one main thing.  This ONE main thing is LOVE.  A person who is truly a Radical Christian is all-in for Jesus’s message which is only of love.  Jesus came to wipe away our sins.  He came to save us–all of us!  He came for those needing Him which is everyone.  He came in love, to sacrifice His very life for others.

That is what we are all to emulate, match, copy, imitate…

THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST.  Did he only love His family and His friends?  Naw.  Did He only love the rich people and those in power.  Not at all!  He loved all… even those trying to find wrong in Him–He wanted them to repent.  He wants all to repent and be saved.  He’s RADICAL about it even!  How much more radical can you get by hanging on a cross and becoming a sacrifice for our sins?!?  Seriously?

I know being a “Radical Christian” is most all the time frowned upon by this society as a whole. Being a RADICAL anything is looked at as a negative.  I say, trying our hardest to be as Radical as a Christian we can be…ONLY MEANS to show as much love to all others as much as we possibly can–ALL the time, no matter what we are doing, or where we are.  Will we ever actually be able to call ourselves RADICAL CHRISTIANS?  (I sure wish I could wear that title all the time!)

I do know this for sure though…

A Radical Christian is absolutely nothing like a Radical Muslim.

Don’t believe me?  Research it.

Distant?

Just within the last few days,

I’ve read and heard so many different things about when people feel like God is “distant.”

Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

I don’t understand that.  You feel HE is distant?

Don’t you mean that YOU are being distant from Him?

How can you feel that He is distant?  HE hasn’t fulfilled the list you gave Him last night during bedtime prayers?  He hasn’t healed you or your family member yet?  He hasn’t kept up His side of the deal?  Seriously?

I admit, I’m in the middle of a waiting period right at this moment.  I am confident that this thing is going to happen, but I have no idea when.  I know that God is going to bless us through it.  I know it!  He is always working and moving and making things come together so we can look at it and go, “Wow, I never thought it could, would or even might come together like that, but WOW that is even better than I could have ever thought, imagined or dreamed!”   So, yep, I’m waiting and yep, I do get impatient.  Ohhhhhhhh do I get a little down about it at times, but do I ever feel like God is distant!?!  Absolutely not.

He tells me over and over and over in the scriptures that HE IS WITH ME.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9 ESV 

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV 

He tells me through prayer and the daily sustaining of all things needed He provides for me.  He tells me through the Holy Spirit that I am never ever alone.

HE IS NOT DISTANT.  He is always there.  Why do you feel He is distant? Why?  Ask yourself truthfully and seriously.  Has he really wondered from you?  Has He truly distanced Himself from you.

That would be a, “Nope, no, never, not gonna, naw!”

Distant?

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

 

 

 

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