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

Joe.

You’re chattin’ with buddy Joe. It’s morning, gray outside, and you’d prefer a good ol’ cup o’ Joe over the read deal sitting right next to you. Joe depressingly shares the struggle he’s going through. You’re not sure if it’s still the loss of a cat he’s talking about, but all you hear is- ‘whine, complain, & “I’m a victim.”‘ 

“If HE thinks that’s hard, let ME tell him about the loss I’ve faced in my wise years.” You share your tragic grief and end with, “See Joe, I came through it! I’M not complaining. I’m making sublime lemonade from Life’s Lemons.”

One might argue that you are an encouragement, but another might say it’s pure disregard and insensitivity to Mr.Joe.

Take a child. In his curious eyes, your driveway is a really steep hill which he’s afraid to ride his bicycle (with training wheels) too fast on. For you, it’s a tiny slope where you mindlessly park your car daily. You breeze through it in 8 adult steps, or maybe 80 baby ones.

What is trauma for one, might not be for another. Joe’s tragedy might be cakewalk for you.

Cool, you’re cool. Cool! We’re all on our own journey. Even Joe Dirt was on quite the unique one. We have a choice: Will we destroy or will we listen and build up?

ZZ2E1A2C0E

Oh, HEY JOE!

Frank Honest.

2014 World Series Parade

That moment.

The light is green, but the downtown streets are busy, both morning and evening. You pull forward, but the butt of your car still sticks way out and if that light dare turn red, you’ll be blocking half the intersection. You think (or say), “Crap. Hurry up cars, move!” The light up ahead of them turns green, they pull forward just enough to where you’re safe from the oncoming traffic. First thought, “Phew! at least I’M safe!” …And then you notice that the person behind you has not been as fortunate and their car is still way out in front of others. At this point you either think, “I’m glad that’s not ME,” or, “How can I pull up closer to the car in front of me to help the guy behind me?”

honest-frank-feedback.png

Hi. My name is Frank and my last name is Honest. I think the selfish thought first. I get embarrassed and I’m reminded of my new nature- a nature that’s God’s. The most generous and selfless One. So I ask, “Dear God, please change mine.”

 

the Jesus people.

“You’re free to be you,” the woman said.

“You’re adopted into our family.”

“God is Gouda, thank you Cheesus,” she laughed.

And quite frankly the man had correct discernment and enough courage to tell me, “You’ve got an eating disorder.”

The woman cut off my hair for me one night as it didn’t make me holier. A few months later she trusted me to do the same to hers.

IMG_1077.JPG

Jesus became my Rockstar (He is the Rock and the greatest Star! I was so excited about such a discovery!) and I was no longer scared to call God “Daddy” in place of “Heavenly Father.”  To love reading books outside of the Bible became a joy to me again and I was reunited with the little girl I once used to be.

They were not perfect, but Christ in them was. They valued me and honored me. For the first time in life I was accepted, just as I was.

You see, today I had quite the therapy session. Mostly we talked about my relationship/resentment towards my mother. My therapist asked me, “So, what is it that led you to finally start valuing yourself and stop letting yourself get manipulated?” I knew what it was. A family in Africa demonstrated real love to me and light was shed upon my heart. The time spent with them has forever changed me and now I see in a way I couldn’t see before. The therapist says, “You speak of them so differently. You get such a big smile on your face. How did they make you feel?” I replied, “Accepted.”

The mom wasn’t a neat-freak. The dad watched a lot of TV. The children ran around noisily. But at the end of the day, the woman put her boys to sleep and sang to them and the husband waited for his wife. And they freakin loved each other. (Hannah I hope you read that <——)

They were the closest thing to Jesus people I had ever met.

(& then there was a very fun girl, a faithful sister-listener, and a couple from England that loved on me. they all were shining Jesus too.)

“Spirit Wars”

I love Bethel everything! My favorite teachers stem from there, at this point of my life anyway. Lately, I’ve been reading Kris Vallotton’s stuff & most recently I read his book “Spirit Wars.” I typically don’t buy things online besides college textbooks, but I did buy this book from their online shop! (https://shop.ibethel.org/)

My review?  I’d give it 5 stars if I hadn’t already read parts of it before, but since I have, for me it was a 4. Vallotton shares his experiences with the spiritual realm & addresses the unseen without the sometimes fanatic deliverance teachings. Below, one of my favorite quotes:

“Just as enemies fought Joshua in the Promised Land, and Nehemiah faced opposition as he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, our enemy will fight us as we approach the spiritual terrain God has promised us.”

I love that! So when you’re thinking, “Why the crap is this battle sooo hard for me to overcome?!” Remember, there’s a reason why there’s such a hard fight there for you! Something seriously good is supposed to come out of it & the enemy will be put to shame. He knows it! Fight on!

A few other quotes I really liked:

1. In Romans 7, Paul “is recounting the terrible sense of bondage he experienced when he lived under a set of rules, but never knew his lover.”

  • Ah, but life in Christ is so good when you finally know Him as such. ❤

2. “Denial is the root of fear. Not the root of faith.”

3. “The battle they (you) are facing is not a sign from God that they have chosen the wrong path, but rather an indication that they have begun the process of restoring the walls and gates of their lives.” (After he talks about Nehemiah helping restore Jerusalem.)

4. OOOH I love this one: “GIRD YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH. [What the heck does that mean?!] : Every Roman soldier wore a wide, sturdy belt that he put on before any of his other armor. The belt supported his abdominal muscles & helped protect his midsection. — Spiritual ramifications: The word for truth in this passage does not refer to the Bible, although the essence of all truth is the Word of God. The word “truth” means REAL. Many people hide behind a facade, never really allowing others to get to know them… Paul therefore exhorts us to be honest, live with integrity & be real w/God and w/people He has placed in our lives. Dishonesty is an open door that will wreak havoc in our lives, especially during any kind of enemy siege.”

Isn’t that an amazingly new perspective? I always thought you’ll be safe if you’re “reading” the Bible. I didn’t realize living honestly was what this could imply.

5. “There are more people who need to get delivered from the trauma of their last deliverance than there are people who actually get delivered from demons.”

6. “The goal of any gift of the Spirit is to build trust & help people grow in God. No gift of the Spirit should be used to destroy people’s reputations, kill their passion for God or steal their identity.” (Personally, that’s one I want to remember!)

7. & Last one: “If people really knew how much the Father loved them, and if they received His love in the depths of their souls, they would never allow themselves to be oppressed or tormented in any way.”