Saturday, April 13, 2013

Different-Just like me

I used to be under the illusion and/or impression that I was more fit to work with those that had grown up with similar experiences as myself.

A loving family.

A strong church in which I grew up learning and growing about God, salvation through Jesus, and all the other things that go along with that.

A Christian education.

A husband and the opportunity to mother two beautiful children.

However, time and experience. God's Word. The Holy Spirit's guidance. A little maturity. A lot of mishaps along the way is bringing me to a new revelation.

I'm as different as the rest of society.

It's not about being able to minister to those who are similar to us. It's about being able to share Jesus with those who are open and ready to be "different" than they are at the current moment.

That takes on many forms and riddles and conditions and actions.

For some that's turning from a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol. Others it means turning their back on depression that has haunted them for days, years, months. Some it means letting go of the fake
Christian facade and humbling asking Jesus to tear down their walls of pride. Still others are
desperately in need to simply FEEL again. Feel anything.
Love. Hope. Joy. Even sadness if properly placed.

Jesus came to "heal the sick".

The Pharisees felt they didn't need Him. In fact they KNEW they didn't need Him and went so far as to kill Him in order to shut Him up. He was messing with their way of life. Interfering with their religious business. They had walked with and served God their entire lives. Shouldn't they have the right to question this "crazy" man? He was going against everything that they had held to since the exodus of the Israelites. Before that even.

Yes, they did have the right to question Him! They did have the right to make sure that His life and words where lining up with Scripture. However, they couldn't see the forest for the trees. We see the
end. We know the Pharisees were wrong. They turned what once was a name associated with the holiest of people into a dirty word. "I could never have been a Pharisee! Why couldn't they see that He was the Son of God-God Himself in human form?"

Well, why can't we see that by placating those "certain" people, that often, we place ourselves in the same "set apart" group as they once did. Or worse yet, I believe we all have a little Pharisee blood pumping through our veins. Passed down from years of church attendance or self-righteous living.

Please don't get me wrong....

I in NO way mean to shed a negative light on holiness and Godly living. No way. In no means. Absolutely not. But I do want to consider my own heart attachment to the things that Jesus Himself
denounced so fervently.

"Do not look down on those around you."
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
We are to be "salt and light" not backbiting and bitter.
It was His last earthly breath that charged us to "go out into all the world" and "preach the Good News!"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Living in COLOR

"You have to count on living every single day in a way you believe will make you feel good about your life so that if it were tomorrow, you'd be content."
 Jane Seymour

I am well aware that I don't live life in  COLOR every day. A lot of days are acted out in black and white. "It would cost too much" I often think when talking of a random drive to Seattle or cup of Starbucks.

What about taking a walk to the park on a beautiful sunny day? That often gets put off as well. Some days I do it. But it's not a lifestyle. It's the exception, not the rule!

Structure & schedule & frugality are great qualities, but I am also aware that my family will look back and remember the  COLOR  moments much more then the black and white ones.

Colorful - 
1) abounding in color
2) richly eventful or picturesque
3) presenting or suggesting vivid or striking scenes

Yes! That is what I desire!!!

Lord help me to live colorfully while remaining grounded in You!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Petitioning God in Prayer

According to a 1997 Newsweek Poll:
• 82% say they ask for health or success for a child or family member
when they pray.
• 75% ask for strength to overcome personal weakness.
• 87% say that God answers prayers.
• 51% think God doesn
ʼt answer prayers to win sporting events.
• 36% never pray for financial or career success.
• 29% say they pray to God more than once a day.
• 25% pray only once a day.
• 82% say they believe that God does not play favorites in answering
• 79% say God answers prayers for healing someone with an incurable
• 73% think prayers for help in finding a job are answered.
• 54% say that when God doesn
ʼt answer their prayers, it means it
ʼt Godʼs will.
• 82% don
ʼt turn away from God when prayers go unanswered.

Matthew 7:7-11
7 Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be
opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him
who knocks it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask
him for a loaf, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a
snake, will he?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask