Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holy Happy- to be cont...

Image result for holy
image from holyscribbler.blogspot.com





If you are a subscriber you may have received a post in your inbox entitled Holy and Happy. 
Just one problem though- it seemed to stop short of the finish line.

and you perceived correctly-

Image result for joyI must have hit "publish" instead of "save" and voila!- Straight to you.
 So here is my formal apology for leaving you hanging. The rest will be following shortly behind.
Until them pursue holiness and pray that you find delight in just that.

Friday, December 23, 2016

First love

Image result for first love revelation

You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![a] Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. - Rev 2:3-5a NLT

Aww fresh love...

I lay in my bed and read a a book, something I rarely get a chance to do, while my husband enjoyed his new game a friend got him. I looked up over the edge of the book a few times when his heroic efforts on the screen were met with a match, who also fought for the glory of the win. Loud and sudden outbursts of victory or dismay always followed.

Nothing was wrong with this-
except-
I realized this was sometimes the extent of us spending time together. And with the limited time together we have, it made me think that we could do better. Maybe.
Later that night I recalled how things were when we were first together in high school.
I tried to think of the lengths we would go to just to spend time with one another. I remembered the walks at the harbor and the bus trips into town, and the immaculately planned out picnics with Kentucky Fried chicken uh huh- fancy that he would plan just for us. 
I remembered how simply a hand hold was soooo romantic and a hug was out of this world. 
I remembered that I would squeeze his arm and lay my head on his shoulder and be in pure bliss. 
I recall the hours on the phone we would spend talking about everything and nothing. 
When we got married and moved into our first apartment we would always find a way to be connected. We would lay together all squished on the couch watching a movie and fall asleep peacefully crammed on the sofa.
See when you are freshly in love, the simplest things are the big things. Nothing at that moment is too much to do for your love.


SO I wonder

How can we get back to the freshness of love?

The Lord whispers to me to "do the works you did at first." 
Huh?
"Do the works you did at first", he says to me again.
Remember the way you looked at him when he walked into a room. Remember the way you gravitated toward him when he was near. 
Give him the attention you gave him when you were first in love. Take part in the things he loves to do,  the way you used to. 
Yep,nothing was too much to do for him. I was willing to jump and deliver what I thought would please him. It was the same from him toward me. 

I then thought, "but God that was before- well- everything else. That was before bills, and jobs, and mouths to feed and projects to help with, and manners to teach, and fights to break up. So would you divinely grant me the grace and energy to do what i used to do? Would you reignite a fresh love inside my heart toward my husband that will compel me to lavish freshly inspired love-deeds on him once again? Let what pleases him bring me delight. 

So I've decided to be more intentional in my manifestation of the love I profess to have toward my spouse.

and toward my God.

I want my union to be sustained by more than just commitment, but motivated by love itself.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Intentional worship



Image result for psalm 34:1
image from sincerelysoulsisters.tumblr.com


Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. 
A negative thought enters the brain canal and before I can blink it couples up with another.
In minutes I am on the brink of depression.
I know with my intellect  and from experience  I need to flood out the negative with the positive. 
I know I need to shift my focus to rescue myself from the slippery slope of pity and gloom, but for some reason it feels good to wallow.🙎
It feels good to feel emotionally justified and, and entitled to my thoughts.
But before long I no longer own my emotions.
They own me, and without delay begin to drag me
d
 o
  w
    n...

I am faced with a decision. Remain here in the heavy darkness and feed my sense of entitlement, or return to the light and turn my hurts and anguish over to the Lord.

Now to do the sensible thing is not as easy as it sounds. Just because it's good for you doesn't mean it feels good to you.

Letting go of my justified feelings and giving them to God makes me feel like I am betraying myself. It makes me feel hypocritical- being dishonest about the way I really feel about some things. But I know if I don't let go I am going to be enslaved to what I could not let go of. It will become bigger than I can handle until things are out of control.

So I take a deep breath and with tears stinging I open my mouth to tell the Lord Thank you. 
I tell him Thank you for this cool fresh air, and a voice whispers "you're phony". I say Thank you , again, this time for the night sky, and a voice says "He doesn't care or you wouldn't be dealing with this". I shake my head and say "Thank you for this moment." Again the voice says "Is he real? Are you wasting your time?" 
 Then the word came to my mouth- "Though he slay me yet will I trust him... The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord." And again the word came through my lips " I will bless the Lord at ALL times. His praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord. The Humble shall hear thereof and be glad."

This time,there was no rebuttal. And I felt peace sweep in and a lifting of the heaviness took place.
I repeated the verse from Psalm 34 again out loud, exhorting myself to bless the Lord. I reminded myself that it is the humble that will hear the boasting of the Lord. If I can not hear my soul's boasting on the Lord, then I am in a prideful state and the Lord gives Grace only to the humble.

It's amazing what happens when we force our flesh to submit to the Spirit and the beckoning of God. Days of depression is swept away in 5 minutes of humble submission to the Word and Spirit of God.

Don't let your carnal nature rob you of peace and joy in the name of entitled feelings and emotions. If there must be a visit, don't live there. 
 Drag your flesh out of the pity party into a praise party. 
Trust him, give it to Him, and praise on purpose, and command yourself to praise.
I WILL bless the Lord.
Be an intentional worshiper.

Image result for psalm 34:1


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prayer Driven


Related image
*image from web*


There are moments that drive you to your knees-
 push you to the foot of the bed in high tension.

the weight of the anger
the burden of  confusion

 simply
 bow you

and in that moment you realize
 this
has driven me to pray

and suddenly a moment of vice
cunningly unfolds into a moment of blessing

that can only be unwrapped
 at the foot of the cross




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Inspire the Wonder part 3


Image result for name called wonderful
As I begin to type out this post the lyrics to an old hymn course through my mind. It says:

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

When the Bridegroom come[s] will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?


As I read through the each line of this song, the questions beg to be answered. 
Because the question we must ask ourselves daily is
"AM I...?"
Can my living declare a resounding, unquestionable, "YES" to each of these inquiries?

When our Christian walk is daily it testifies to the faithfulness of our Father. People take notice when we are consistent in our values, and beliefs. They become curious when we declare that we will stand on the Word of God, and it alone governs my living, my doing, my wearing, my interacting, my speaking, my engaging- yes, my entire being.

When our Christian walk is daily and intentional- it inspires others to the amazement of a relationship with the Father. 

So are you washed in the blood?
Then you are in the blood line of Christ, and his traits should be a visible marker on your DNA. 
Does your walk simply make people raise their eyebrows in wonder? OR does it inspire others to the amazement and wonder that is Christ?

Let each decision you make this week reflect the influence of Christ and his Spirit on your life. Every decision.
Then watch the impact on the people around you as they detect a faith and commitment that is solid and grounded -not in comfort, or familiarity, or preference- but in the unchanging Word.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Inspire the wonder Part 2

 Image result for awe of God




How can we inspire the world around us to the awe of God's splendor, if we fail to be in awe of the Almighty God ourselves?

We simply can not.

There is no way Christians can convince anyone that God is wonderful- or full of wonder- when we present him in a way that detracts from that.

For example, just anyone can not walk into, let's say, a Starbucks, walk behind the counter, and pose as a barista with out the tell-tale apron. Without that apron or a Starbucks name tag, this person is now, just a questionable patron. People will give a raised eyebrow if a random individual walked behind the counter and started taking orders. What's more? When orders are mis-taken, and cups are mishandled, and spills are made, (even if with a smile) customers will question the "stand-in's" credibility. Multiply this phenomena by hundreds of stores nationwide and consumers will begin question Starbucks itself. They will complain about lack of customer service, and public accountability. Subsequently, Starbucks would charge these "posers" with defamation of character.

In this same way, our visible walk will either promote the truth of God's character or promote a lie.
Those green aprons set the customers apart from the Baristas. But that is only a start. The barista has to exemplify experience and offer Starbucks-quality service to be believable as a Starbuck's Barista, and to represent Starbucks honestly.

Similarly it seems the church is being infiltrated with impostors. It seems there is an overabundance of those who want the credentials but not the accountability. Everyone wants to be called a Christian, but want to just come in and barge behind the counter and begin serving, when there has been no true Christian experience.

 (H is for Holiness...)

What, you may ask, does holiness have to do with awe and wonder?

Well when we are enamored with God and who He is, we imitate him, aim to please Him, and introduce others to Him. That is usually the case for most Fathers - no- with anyone, we love.

 Fact: God is Holy.
His holiness is what makes him who He is. To revere God is to revere his holiness. It is to aspire to  "be holy as he is holy." 

Now holy does not mean pious, religious, stuck up,condescending or merely different. Holiness is being separated from the world's philosophies unto God's view of living.

Here is an excerpt from author Kim Haney that is spot on:


 " Anyone can be separated into a religion. I could convert to Islam and ... I would have adapted a very rigid disciplined religion in which to be dedicated. I could convert to the new age teachings and dress differently. I could begin tapping into the universal force and allow myself to be  controlled through positive thinking. I would still be separated from the majority of the western world. I could take the rigid vows of a nun and live in a convent the rest of my life, dress in Coptic catholic robes, or become a Buddhist monk and shave my head.

...Separation alone can not make you and me holy. Anything people separate themselves to, outside of God, still makes them part of the world's system. It may be different or divided from what the majority of the population does, but it's still not connected to the One True God who is holy.

Look at the Pharisees in the Bible; they were a people who separated themselves from other Jews and Gentiles, but they did not separate themselves unto God, so they never became holy- they just became separate. ..

...Separation in itself does not bring power and anointing. You must be separated unto, or attached to God, while detaching from the world. God alone, the One you are attaching yourself unto, is the one who makes you holy."

Being different is a start, but it is not enough. Being set apart from whom or what, needs to be defined.  Being different in what way? Being different for what reason? Because that also matters.

If one is set apart from the world in thinking but not in living, what is the real difference?

If one is set apart from the majority by the choice of activities they engage in merely because of personal preference but not to promote God, then what difference does it truly make?

If one chooses to blend in with the people around them so much that the Christian can not be spotted in a crowd, what part of God are you representing?

If the world sees nothing offered from a Christian's life as unique from what they already have,  to what god am I committed?

To be contiunued...



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Inspire the Wonder Part 1


First, a few questions:

Have we lost the awe of God?
Have we lost touch of the holy wonder?
Are we any longer amazed by God?
I look around at our Christian family and wonder if we have fallen more in love with ourselves than God. It seems we are more enamored by the idea of being in a relationship with God- giving ourselves pats on the back for doing churchy things and feeling spiritual- than actually actively and zealously pursuing a relationship with God.

So I ask-
Does the splendor of God captivate our hearts today?
What has become of the fear of the Lord in our lives?


It is evident that the "fear of the Lord" plays second fiddle to the "fear of" current cultural expectations and the "fear of" not standing out- too much.
And I refer to fear of the latter in both aspects of the word- 
  1. intimidation and 
  2. reverence or respect, or high regard.

When did we become content with bowing to ourselves, while bracing our backs to the principles of God because it does not suit us? When did it become more popular to justify our stubbornness in the guise of freedom of expression and liberation from the "rules"?

The church in its current state today seems to be a generation of
 1. Prodigals -wastefully extravagant; spending recklessly (in the spiritual sense) and
 2. A gathering of Esau's --squandering our birthright.

And we're use our "liberty" as an excuse for the flesh, rather than to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13.

It seems we live our lives in flux asking
Image result for awe of godHow close to God can I be without losing touch with the world?
Or How close to the world can I be without losing touch with God?

Yet the bible says either we will hate the one or love the other. Luke 16:13
It also says being a friend of the world is being an enemy of God. James 4:4.
Period.

It's time to evaluate

What is God worth to me?


We say we will go where sends us, do what he asks us- but that usually has conditions.

What is God worth to you? What is the "IT",  that is holding you back from full surrender?
That's where we need to begin again.

Because

Is He not worth "It"?





Saturday, November 5, 2016

Faith Training Pt 3

The Most powerful force...


"Above all taking the shield of faith..."

Hello Friends, 

I invite you to hop on over to Onemessage-onefaith.blogspot.com for part three of this series!

Enjoy, 

Chantel


Friday, November 4, 2016

Faith Training Part 2

"Strength training for your faith"


You prayed and prayed again.
Where is the answer?

"En route".

OK,yes-  as cliche as it sounds- it's on the way.

But here's the thing- what you are getting is more than what you prayed for.

Faith: The Purpose of the process

When we pray we employ faith, right?
 Otherwise why would we talk to a being, invisible to the eye? 

So we pray- in faith- that God hears and will respond to our request and supplication.

This is the starting line.
God wants to get us to the finish line- where we are complete and lacking nothing. James 1:3-4

In order to encourage us to strive to the finish line, he uses a tactic of delay.



For example-
A baby wants his mama. He is learning to walk.
Mama puts just a few yards distance between her and baby and coaxes baby to stand. This is the starting line.
Baby is afraid, but has faith in mom that she won't let him fall.
Wobbly and nervous, but simultaneously excited, baby stands.
Yay! He smiles as his confidence (faith) rises.
 But wait,  mama- the thing desired- is still out of reach.
Yet, if baby takes two steps he can reach her.
 So he steps out, wobbles, pauses, and takes a breath.
 Now his legs are scissored apart. He has to bring the other leg forward to balance himself. Baby takes a deep breath. He emits a nervous tiny laughter, and puts weight on the front foot to bring the back foot in line with the first.
Mama smiles big. He sees her face.

Oh boy! he thinks,  mama likes this. I can do it.  OK, one more step and I can lunge.

Now with another spike of confidence he holds his arms out in front of him and slowly  lifts one foot off of the ground and puts it forward. One foot down. One more to go.
Unknown to him, however, momma has slowly moved inches back.

Baby takes a step and wrinkles his forehead..
What happened? Why am I not in mama's arms? But he is determined to reach his prize.
So he steps again, and suddenly baby is catapulted by sheer will and inertia into a short cascade of heel-to-toes, falling into mama's arms.

In one swoop he has gone from standing, to walking- along with the confidence, excitement, and  adventure that come with it. In one progressive stretch baby has begun a new chapter in his development.



...to be continued

Catch up on part 1 or 
go to Part 3

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Faith Training Part 1


Cue crisis in 3..2..1
And then the alarms in your head begin to go off yelling at you to produce and employ a solution- NOW!
Your mind whirls as you will yourself to calm down. Calm down.
 But you look around and reality threatens to snap you back into panic mode.
How could this happen, you think. I should have seen this coming- I didn't plan enough- I should have taken more control, I could have avoided this- I should have seen the signs....
Wait- God, why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong? Haven't I been faithful? Do I need to pray more?  I mean I  of course I do- what kind of  question is that?  But where did I fail?

-End Scene-

Maybe you've been there.
Maybe you've had those moments that blindsided you and tossed you into a collision course or "a series of unfortunate events".
Maybe you've felt the urge to panic and go into uber-control mode.
 or, the very opposite, shut down and try not to feel- and do nothing.

But the Holy Spirit stirs within you and speaks gently Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
So with a flicker of faith- you pray. You obey the word and pray. Through gritted teeth,  and eyes stinging with tears, and maybe clenched fists, you beseech the Lord. You put it in the hands of the deliverer and, give thanks. God's got this. And a peace that un-tenses your shoulders and calms your breathing cascades over your being.

And now you wait.
And with a little more confidence in God, you pray again-
and wait...
and you make your request yet again-
and wait...

for the healing
for the heart change of a loved one
for the bitterness in your soul to heal
for the guilt of your past to release
for a miracle

yet

Where is the answer?
Father I prayed, and thanked, and waited
Why won't you send the answer?

Little do you know that the wait is divinely designed to enable you to receive what you have asked and thanked for.

to be continued...

Go to Part 2 here

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The care and refreshing of Friends

How delightful is this verse?

The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, treating Paul with [thoughtful] consideration, allowed him to go to his friends there and be cared for and refreshed.- Acts 27:3

Paul was able to be refreshed and cared for in the hands of his friends.

Can you and I be relied on to provide care and refreshing to the people who call us friend?

I certainly would like to be.

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken in pieces and come to ruin, But there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother.- Proverbs 18:24 AMP

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's Ok

 It's OK
to be unsure


It demands Faith.

It's OK
to not have the answers

It demands Trust

It's OK
 to cry a river

God hears and answers liquid prayers.

 It's OK to be imperfect


His strength is made perfect in our weakness;
 His grace is sufficient for us

Yes It's OK.
to not feel OK
but
know that

 it will BE OK. 

Because

Be encouraged.
-Chantel

*Photos from the web

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What are you wearing?

 Wait! Don't roll your eyes yet. 
It's not quite one of "those" posts-
Well not really. 

See Look:
Image from web


So the question is (both spiritually and literally so):

Are you clothed in strength?
-The ability to resist being moved or broken by a force
-The quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way
Are you clothed in dignity?
- the quality of being worthy of honor or respect
You CAN resist being moved or broken by the forces, trends, patterns, beliefs, and opinions of this world's culture- because of GRACE.
You can walk worthy of honor and respect that God died to return to you- because of GRACE.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14
We should not look for attention from the world or other people for that matter, but look for that blessed hope and the appearing of Christ. We should be PEARLS- Pursuing Eternity As Righteous Ladies. *wink wink*

Verse 14 makes it clear why God gave himself for us. Beautiful righteous ladies- let's make our Daddy, the King proud. Be unashamed to be royally peculiar. He called you out to be light. 1 Peter 2:9 Be clothed with dignity and strength. Be a women of GRACE in all you say, do, wear, go, and in all you are.

Do this and your future is secure in HIM. You don't have to worry about your future husband, ministry, friends, job, home- anything. Your King Father is working behind the scenes detailing your beautiful story, better than you could write it. Trust Him, and look to him- not the distractions of the godless world around you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Not by sight




The gas gauge read E.
I checked the info screen to double check, and it read 0 miles to "E"

Here's the thing  I just put  $10 in the tank.
So I knew I had fuel in there.
This happened before very recently so I knew something was up. Or not.
Obviously something was wrong with the floater- the sensor that gauges the amount of fuel that is in the tank.

So I drove where I needed to go without a worry. I knew what I had in the tank regardless of what the gauge said. I had no fear of being stranded in the middle of the road. 
I knew, from experience, how far I could go on $10, so I drove fearlessly.

A few hours later my dear husband was riding in the vehicle with me and he caught sight of the fuel gauge.
"Babe!" It says 0 miles to "E"- what's going on?
I replied matter-of-factly, " Remember this happened last week? I think the floater is stuck again but don't worry; I fueled it up this morning. It's gas in there."

He raised an eyebrow, and still looked worried. I laughed remarking-
 "We're riding on faith right now." He jokingly said
 "Well I hope you have enough for both of us- because that tank says E!" I patted his hand reassuringly as we rode along, and just laughed.


Faith doesn't merely hope- faith knows. 

See I had peace and confidence because I had knowledge.
Faith knows.

So when I pray for healing and the visible thing seems to imply the healing has not taken place, faith knows otherwise. 
Faith knows that, what I see or feel is simply the residue of what was, but not what now is. 

Someone put it this way- You cut down a tree, disconnect it from it's roots- that tree is dead. But for a while it looks as if it is still alive, the leaves are still hanging on- the green flourishes. But after a while, sadly, without it's roots, it manifests what it already is- dead. The green leaves were just the residual of what was, but it's present state did not manifest until after some time.

Healing can be that way sometimes.Yet, the prayer of faith heals the sick. James 5:15. The sickness is "dead". The symptoms may dwindle or hang around,but still believe the healing has already taken place. Still believe the deliverance has been accomplished. Believe it through to it's end.

We walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11:23

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm healed!

Maybe we all say it, but my three year old is rather perceptive.
And so we heard a message on faith and healing at church yesterday.
During the message I asked him if he believed Jesus could heal him.
He said yes.
Later during the service when  the sermon was ending and the call to the altar was being made I asked him again...
He thought about it and said "No, Jesus didn't heal me because my skin ( he has sever eczema) is still scratchy.
I said but if you believe you can be healed.
He said OK.

This morning after a faith charging talk with the Lord, J and I went early to the store so we could get breakfast before everyone woke.
In the car I asked him if he wants Jesus to heal his skin.
He said yes.
I asked, Do you believe Jesus can heal your skin?
He said Yes, Jesus can make my skin not bleed.
I said OK we can pray together and guess what?Jesus can heal you.

Later in the day I remembered he and I were to pray together.
I found him coming in from outside and I said J, do you wanna pray for Jesus to heal you?
 He nodded and said yes!
I knelt down to get to his eye level and I said OK, let's pray.
He lifted his hands and before I could get a word out he began-
"Jesus, please help me to not be itchy? And Jesus please help me to not be bleeding? and Jesus can you make my skin better? Jesus."
I was overwhelmed with his sweet innocent and faith filled prayer.
I too began to pray, and spoke the Word of God and spoke healing  and restoration of new healthy skin.
Before long we were surrounded by his siblings.
With J and I in the center he began to pray again-
"Jesus, please help my skin not itchy, and Jesus,  Please can  you heal my body? Amen.
The chorus of praying from the group was halted as J stopped and said
"Look! I'm healed, mommy! I'm healed'
I excitedly clapped and shouted Yes you are J!"
We whooped, and hollered in joy for the miracle healing that J claimed and is even now walking, in faith.
His faith made him whole.

Later in the evening I found him sound asleep. No squirming, no mindless itching coma- just asleep.

That itself is a miracle.
I'm a witness that Jesus still performs them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

That Jesus Joy (and Peace)

This joy I have, The world didn't give it to me
This joy I have, The world didn't give it to me
This joy I have, The world didn't give it to me
The world didn't give it-
The world can't take it away

The words of this chorus echo in my heart as I ponder on the realities of the world around us. Daily we battle with the bombardment of provocative messages of happiness and satisfaction through natural means. If we eat this or that we can be satisfied.If we buy this or that we  can feel accomplished. If we engage in this or that we can feel wanted. If we do this or that we won't feel lonely.
Here's the problem. The seeming satisfaction from these things is always fleeting.

The high goes away, the buzz wears off, the company leaves, the sexual excitement fades, the climax ends, the job becomes the master and you the slave, the food rots, the party stops, the music dulls- and you're left feeling empty and sometimes used or drained.

When we seek joy...
or comfort...
or relief from pain...
or companionship...
or happiness...
or satisfaction...
or peace...
 by our own means, we will always be let down.

When joy and peace comes from God however, it's unending.
Jesus joy is lasting and easily accessible to every single person in the world. John 15:11
Jesus joy is comforting. Joy is in the Holy Spirit, who is the comforter. It is in fact Jesus' own Spirit that he imparts to those who repent and believe on his name. John 14:18
Jesus Joy is enabling, not disabling. Nehemiah 8:10
Jesus joy is filling. You are not left empty but full. Acts 2:28
Jesus peace is reviving. It does not leave you mindless or numb- it leaves you empowered and clear-headed. 2 Timothy 1:7
Jesus peace is uniting. It brings you together not pushes you away from others. Ephesians 4:3

When we are drawn to find joy, or comfort, or settlement of mind through means other than God the result is temporary. More times than not the medium of choice leaves you feeling more unsettled, and more joy-less, and more depressed  and emptier than before.

Jesus says, come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
What do we do when we are drawn away of our own desires?
Turn to God.
What do we do when we feel we are the only one who can soothe our hurts?
Turn to God.

How do we turn to God?
Whisper his name.
Or cry out his name.
Jesus!
And He will come to you.

Satan wants to make us believe we are alone and no one cares. He is a liar.
God cares for you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.- John 14:27
 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Just people: Human journey vs. Race


from radiolab.org
It's a weighty word. 

Race
rās
noun
  1. each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics.
    "people of all races, colors, and creeds"
    synonyms:ethnic group, racial type, origin, ethnic origin, color
    "students of many different races
    • the fact or condition of belonging to a racial division or group; the qualities or characteristics associated with this.


  2. Or......

  1. Race
    1.
    a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.

    2.a strong or rapid current flowing through a narrow channel in the sea or a river.

    3.a groove, channel, or passage, in particular.




Division? competition?
It's pretty simple. There is nothing uniting or intrinsically peaceful no matter which definition you lean toward.

Race.
 They both, to great extent, imply dominance, hierarchy, division and self-promotion; resulting in, the inevitable- envy, hatred, pride, and covetousness, to name a few.

This verse comes to mind:

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...

Because ,yes, Satan is manipulating mankind to perpetuate race and it's effects: 
The stealing of joy in brotherhood, the killing of peace, and the destruction of unity is all we can get from the word "RACE"- and that especially when attributed to human kind.

I think the word race in relation to humankind needs to be done away with. 
Abandoned. 
Because it's not a race. Not even, (an expression I've used myself), "one human race."
Its simply people. 

It's people on a human journey
And the journey is one from self-actualization to God-actualization. 
In the journey of people there will be diverse cultural encounters. But it's not a race. 
There will be a variety of environmental conditions, yet it's not a race


Humanity was divided (first from God then one another) because of idolatrous motives- trying to get to heaven by our own devices. 
Think Cain and Abel...tower of Babel...
And since then, sin-born divisions of people have competed for dominance and supremacy.
It was never God's plan for humanity to be divided. It was the enemy's plan. 
God, the Father of all creation, knows he is the only being, as our Father, to unite mankind.
This is why he came in the form of a man, appealing to all humanity across cultural differences to come to him and be redeemed. He wants us redeemed from the lie of "the race" back to the journey of relationship with Him.

Until we understand this, and stop trying to compete for acknowledgement and get back to simply acknowledging the Father from where we all came, division-producing confusion, misunderstanding, fear, and hatred will continue.
Yet we do have a hope. One day, all people will unify before the one unifying force- God Himself. 
Yes, every knee and every tongue.

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.[c] 11 For it is written:
As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”[d]
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
-Romans 14

Change starts with one. Be a one. Abandon the race. Nix the competition and the cultural wars. Join in on the journey. One people. No race.

Suffer the little children: When Children experience death

What comes to the mind at the word child?


Young. Innocent. No cares. Small. Precious. Energetic. Lively. Naive. 














Maybe you thought of some others. 
What about death?
What about grief?

Not so much, huh?

And when you are faced with coming to grips with a grieving son or daughter, a grieving sibling or grandchild, or even a grieving little friend, the instinct to save them from the experience completely is hard to ignore. When children lose a sibling, a cousin, or a close friend we want to protect them from hurt and make the heavy weight of grief go away. One would even wish to take all their pain on themselves just so such a young soul does not have to bear the load.




But journey back  with me to a scene on a  day when Jesus is surrounded by adults wanting to get their needs met. At some point there is a noticeable stirring, perhaps, at the outer edge of the crowd. The tension and voices begin to escalate. Jesus realizes what is happening. There are people trying to get through to Him. But this is different. While  many people pushed through crowds to get to Jesus for themselves, here were individuals wanting to get, not themselves, but little children to The Good Shepherd.
Jesus speaks up and says, "Let the children come to me. Do not stop them."
And you know what he did next, he laid his hands on them.

See these people bringing the children, whether parents or older siblings, caretakers, etc, realized something. When they witnessed the impact Christ had on all those who came in contact with him, they discovered there was no comfort as comforting as that of Jesus. They realized there was no remedy that could soothe as much as Jesus could. This group brought their children to Jesus because they acknowledged their own limitations. I can't save my child from this, but I know who can.

Why is Jesus so qualified to comfort?

He willingly submitted to physical torture to make sure we would have certain healing.
He was punished to make us whole again.
    His wounds have healed us.- Isaiah 53:5
He promised that he is an available friend and will come to us and comfort us when we are in trouble. 
That friend is the Spirit of truth. The world can’t accept him. That’s because the world does not see him or know him. But you know him. He lives with you, and he will be in you. 18 I will not leave you like children who don’t have parents. I will come to you.- john 14:17-18
So what do we do,  when we have run out of options it seems for our grieving little one?
We bring them to Jesus, and let Him touch their little hearts, like only he can.

 Here are a few tips to bringing your grieving little one to Jesus:

 1. Read to them, kid friendly verses dealing with comfort, peace, rest, and faith. I have pasted a few below as a start.


John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (NIV).
Philippians 4:5-7 Don’t worry about anything. No matter what happens, tell God about everything. Ask and pray, and give thanks to him. Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds. He will do this because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood. 
2. Pray with them. Don't just tell them to pray, do it with them.
3. Don't avoid the subject. Talk with them about the loved one who died. Share memories and let them know you are hurting too. Help them write a letter to Jesus about their loved one. Let them express their true feelings of confusion, anger, fear, or even relief. David did, and we have an entire book (Psalms) to prove it.
4. Remember it's a process, and as a believer we know that God's grace is enough to walk through this valley. Yet there is peace in the valley, so don't rush them through the grieving process. Walk with them.
5. Pray often for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and let he Holy Spirit intercede on your behalf especially when you don't know what to pray.
6.Be patient.
7. Start a discourse with someone at your local church. You'll be surprised at the others who are waiting to open up about their own experience.

While this is not in anyway exhaustive I hope it is a start to helping your grieving little one do so in a healthy way. They and you will get through this. No doubt you'll both be impacted for the rest of your lives by the loss, but the valley is a through-point. It's not the destination. God is with you, and he wants the little ones to rest in that.
Know Jesus
Know Peace
No Jesus, no peace.