Acknowledging the good.

Say what you want, you will always find that which you seek. I have no problem finding powerful revelations in sermons of controversial preachers, life lessons in TV shows, or genuine advice in Eminem’s crazy lyrics:

“So this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt that one day just getting accepted, I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song, Everything you’re scared to say don’t be afraid to say no more…”

~Guts over Fear

James 1:17 says, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (KJV)

A person doesn’t have to belong to the same religion as you do, for you to value them. They don’t have to believe what you believe for you to respect them. You don’t have to agree on everything with a person to just be able to love them. And as a couple of my favorite teachers teach: “Achieving greatness in the kingdom is impossible without recognizing greatness in another.” (Bill Johnson) & “You only have as much influence in someone’s life as they have value for you.” (Kris Vallotton)

All that to say, the following are little slivers from sermons I listened to this week. Allow me to share these nuggets of truth with you:

David Wilkerson-

“You don’t get to know God’s heart through miracles…”

-The Israelite people saw miracles in front of their eyes, yet they ended up wandering that blasted desert for 40 years due to their unbelief. I’ve seen people chase miracles (even I was tempted to do so) plenty of times in hopes of getting to know God more.

“You get to know God when He meets you in your trial…”

Pastor Furtick-

“Some of the greatest invitations in our lives come in the form of interruptions…”

– Furtick talked about the virgin Mary in this sermon. One of the coolest thoughts was that while Mary was planning a wedding, God interrupted her with a pregnancy. That interruption had a much greater result than a perfect wedding ever could.

“Plan for imperfection.”

“If you don’t learn how to celebrate your strengths, you can’t address your weaknesses.”

“Jacob pretended to be somebody else (Esau), so he could have what another had…”

– Jacob tried to trick his father by pretending to be his bro so he could have the blessing that his bro was meant to have. Not being true to ourselves blinds us from seeing what is meant for us to have.

“What I hide, God cannot heal.”

“The places of your greatest isolation, often become the places of your greatest revelation.”

-The loneliest times of my life have resulted in the coolest abstract paintings, heartfelt blog posts, songs, poems, etc.

“If  you will devote yourself to the issues within you, He’ll handle the issues around you.”

Papa God’s got it all yo. He’s got your back. And front. And insides. And so forth.

Advertisements

A Plunge.

100_1247763hkx

Okay… Not that kind of Plunge. Please. Keep Reading.

You try something new. You branch out. You step out of your comfort parallelogram. You decide that it’s time for something new and big in your life. comfort-zone

You take the first few steps. The rest seems impossible. The ground below you is rocky and you stub a toe. The circumstances around you, the people, the time you’ve got left- all add to your frenzy.

 

Should I have done this? Maybe this journey is impossible for me… Sure, others have made it before me, but I won’t make it in time. 

A life goal. A dream. A journey of healing. Forgiveness. Life changes. A career. Marriage. Kids. Loans. Putting yourself out there. Creating music. Painting art. Traveling abroad. Living your whole life in your hometown. Adoption. A church ministry. ED recovery (That one’s for me.), whatever is on your living heart.

looking-back

Whatever you’ve decided to do, in hopes of getting to your goal, you’ve taken a step of faith. But you glance back. You get the thought: Perhaps it wasn’t so bad back there. Maybe life was not that bad when I was lonely, bitter, and at the mercy of others. The rocks under your feet are relentlessly reminding you that you’re already in a different place now and there’s no going back! Your goal seems distant and you taste the dust. You wonder if the journey will be worth it. With what you see going on around you- the chaos, the noise, you can only hope and trust.

6a00d83451be5969e201bb07ce19cf970d

The Israelite Fam stepped onto a rocky path once, unpaved. Behind them was death, before them was life. On the sides the waters piled high. Maybe at least one of them had the thought, “All of this can just collapse on me and for my efforts I’ll be screwed.” But God was unyielding. He got them through. The barbaric walls that reached toward the sky loomed in their eyes, but never came crashing down. They had to trust their Heavenly Papa. They had to trust that if He told them to drive on Sea-Bottom Avenue, He was going to take care of his babies.

tumblr_nm9femfLoo1u5f38ho1_1280

With whatever you’ve decided to do, or perhaps are simply debating on doing, something that will bring life and a better future for you- trust your Dad in. He can teleport you, run across the waves holding your hand, or He can simply teach you how to swim. Those who stood against you, maybe even laughed, picked on you, or tell you to stop- they get pummeled in the end. And you? You’re standing on fresh ground. You’ve crossed to the other side. It’s sunny here. It’s warm. You think it to be nice. You did it. It’s done.sunshine1

Manipulation vs. Truth

servant-buried-talent

“Faithful in small, faithful in big.” Okay! That means if I wash this floor because I was told to, God might grant me a ministry where I’ll get to work with people. If I teach these children Sunday School well, perhaps I’ll get to work with grown-ups. If I obey everything grown-ups ask me to do, I’ll…

What? Earn a title? What the crap. When did that phrase (or if accurately referenced- bible verse from Luke ch. 16), lose it’s actual meaning? When did it morph into a cliche, used when one dominating peep wants a more submissive one to do something that perhaps will make their life easier?

hierarchy-of-biscuits

Well now, Anna. If that’s not the full meaning you tell us.

The truth, a golden nugget, is that we DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT, work our way up An Invisible Righteousness Ladder. In Luke, this verse follows a story where a master brings his manager to give him account. That manager tries to screw his boss over by cheating financially. The moral of the story was Jesus saying, “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (vs. 9) I know, I know, fancy words there. Pretty much Jesus says- use your finances, or what you materialistically have, share generously. A.k.a if you see someone in need, you help. (Why did I use the KJV? Notice everlasting habitations. What could those be? I thought heaven was one big place. Ah, but habitations(s)! Dwell on it. In another place Jesus does talk about his Father having different rooms. So habitations?)

Moving on, next comes the famous verse of being faithful in small & big.  After that one, Jesus says a couple more things and ends his talk telling the Pharisees (hypocrites), “You cannot love God & Mula.” That of course pissed off the Pharisees, since they loved their dolla’ bills.

Why is it that we ❤ $ so much? What does it get you? (Besides the essentials to survive)

  1. Respect
  2. Recognition (you’ll get VIP seats)
  3. Makes you feel good about yourself, puffs you right up.
  4. Shows you that- wow, you’ve actually achieved something…
  5. You fill in the blank ________.

What else gets you all those things? TITLES. Sometimes even just being in a “ministry.” Just sayin’. So all those things we “faithfully” do? Let’s do because we love, because we are not looking for a reward in return, nor hoping to be moved up in a church. Let’s not be manipulated, nor become slaves to other peeps. Jesus didn’t come for us to be enslaved, building up another’s empire. He came to set us free. We aint got to work no more. He did all the work for us. Time to rest, ahhh. Feels good.

spiritual-religious

Oh, snap.