“I know now, Lo…

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” -C.S. Lewis

Sometimes we ask and ask and consider our silence listening but never realize the lack of a verbal answer very well may be the answer all along… it is simply… Jesus! 

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Convince, committed, covered…

Luke 7:29-50 

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)  31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
“‘We played the pipe for you,    and you did not dance;we sang a dirge,  and you did not cry.’
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.  39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”  40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”  “Tell me, teacher,” he said.  41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”  43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”  “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.  44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”  50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

The most beautiful title ever given to Jesus was a friend of sinners.   You cannot legislate love, you can’t force it. you can encourage it but u can’t demand it or command.  It has to be won the heart has to be captivated. Many people are still not convinced that just preaching Jesus is enough the love of God is attractive enough to keep someone….. 

Simon who is a pharisee and a woman that is a prostitute both of them have been forgiven and the dichotomy of one barely notices him and one can’t stop adoring him. this is the same as the story of those cancelled debts and their amount of gratitude and love. 

When Jesus is not a bog deal or you are full of your own righteousness he isn’t that important because u have every bit to do with where u are and he doesn’t. we can’t preach jesus and fill ourselves with righteousness.  When you get accepted what makes God so good? Its when you know He accepted you before you became righteous on your own thats a big deal. its not our own righteousness its Gods that makes us like Him! Ours is like filthy rags in comparison. 

 There are two kind of people law breakers and law keeps. isn’t it sad the most zealous people that love Jesus most radically are baby christians… that have known Him the shortest time! 

Compare a crack addict redeemed and a good ole southern boy redeemed… where with the adoration normally be most extreme? 

 Jesus says your sins are forgiven and you don’t have to pay anything! who loves the most in the parable.. the one forgiven the most but the POINT of the parable is no one could pay their debt. 

No one can pay the debt of sin but Jesus! 

We should not harp on the brokenness of man! Without Him we can do nothing but through Him we can do all things we should harp on His capability.  People don’t like grace preaching because they aren’t convinced they don’t need it yet.  How do you get a generation to love like the love of women washing His feet with her tears?  Its not about BEHAVIORS its about the heart. If he has your heart the behavior isn’t so burdensome and grievous. 

If He is in the room and you do not WANT to give, its because you have not realized you could not pay for what He has given you, forgiven of you, or sacrificed for you.  The women that poured out her alabaster box gave all she had of worth because she didn’t need it any more because He changed her heart and it changed her life. 

    The only time a women was to take her hair down was on her wedding night according to jewish costumes. This woman took her hair down and made the decision Jesus was the ONE man in her life forever and when the church despised her Jesus let her off the hook covered her sins and forgave her redeemed her cleansed her.  Jesus was just concerned about HER.   Aren’t you glad God isn’t concerned about others opinions of you He makes decisions for Himself.   Jesus did nothing but defended the women when the church people would have bounced her. 

Jesus told the pharisees you are white washed tombs beautiful not he outside but full of dead mens bones not committing sins in secret but full of self. Image He knew SHE had committed more sins than them all but sin is sin and no one can pay.  Forgiving of much is not the number of sins it is the awareness that we are all damned and He is our way to eternal life.  When you seek Jesus and allow Him to change our hearts we don’t have to force behavior change… When did Jesus stop being enough. 

The thing we hear and preach about the least is the finished work… the full impact of what Jesus DID!  If we preach Him and if He be lifted up people will run to the cross… He is enough to win over hearts.  He won the heart of a prostate when the church ignored her.  He is enough.

Everything we give God by lifestyle and works they are honoring to God but they do NOT make you righteous. WIth them or without righteousness IS A GIFT. If we know this all works and behavior of godliness will follow. John said HIS commandments are not heavy or burdensome because when you come to the understanding of what HE has done will make them joyous. 

Grace is unmerited unearned favor and acceptance that frees us form the need to perform again.  Can you believe in HIS beauty enough…that all things that are ungodly fall away form your life.. they become undesirable. If we want to win the earth we have to show them HIM! 

Without Him we are lost but with Him we can do all things through Christ. The abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness is what is offered. Grace is one thing people shy in disbelief but hope its real and true.  

We can never love Jesus the way He deserves.  The women loved Him so deeply because she knew there was nothing she could do to make up for what she had destroyed.  We cannot be more sin conscious than Jesus conscious. Hebrews says have no more consciousness of sin… 

All He gave the women was forgiveness… not a sermon… not a lecture.. not a list of things to do. 

The bible is not an overwhelming to do list. Jesus said in all the lists that have been given to do and not to do let me clarify… Love the Lord your God with all your heart all your mind and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Let the beauty of who God is move you to your very core.   When she let her hair down she made a commitment saying I am married to you forever.  We need to be a generation that is committed to Him, a generation that will let their hair down and commit. 

Come to a place your reality is… You are Gods favorite.. I am Gods favorite…!

Free Will Joy

Health produces many things.  A healthy body produces needed energy just as a healthy mind will produce joy; both need upkeep and tending.  There are essentials for a body to be healthy and part of those essentials are good food choices, enough water daily exercise, full nights sleep and of course plenty of laughter!  ImageGods design is not confusing the same goes for the mind and spirit, a positive diet of positive thinking and joy-increasing thoughts, and cutting down on the negatives we take in through our senses.  Aligning our focus with the positive of what we want rather than the negative of what we don’t have is an important change to make. I am sure you want to live an inspired life, I do. Ours minds have a greater capacity for joy than we allow them to extend.

I cannot fathom life as a source of limitless creative possibility but I desire such.  I search for the line that brought the divide in my life and maturation of dreaming and creating to worrying and attempting to micromanage Gods big picture in a small box thats finite and impossible to hold even a fraction of His creation.  This search has brought me to a cross road to choose joy or worry coupled with sorrow.  This is not to say choosing joy means no sadness, not pain or no disappointments.  Choosing joy means despite the circumstance around me I know within me all is well.  Everything changes all the time… thats a statement filled with infinitives…. maybe its not accurate but most everything changes at some point so its goes to be said that your circumstances will be at least slightly different almost daily.  A dear friend told me recently, when things are difficult or seem impossible just remember “this too shall pass, and (in the mean time) It’s all parta’ farmin'”.  I think you get the point.

It all begins with…

YES

          A tiny word with a magnificent impact.  It is an incredible thing when an individual says yes. What’s behind your yes is the entire world! Anything may follow, great things, beautiful gifts, contributions, changes, and creations! Why would anyone say NO?!

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 NIV 

Joy is both a result of our relationship with Jesus and a source of strength we gain from our obedience in Him!  Nehemiah tells us He is our strength and Philippians tells us He is our source of fulfillment.  Our lives will be a direct result of what we consume not only physically through our mouths but concerning all of our senses.  The old saying ‘garbage in garbage out” didn’t last without validity!  What is keeping you from having joy? someone else? finances? your job or not having a job? no… you are…

Joy, and the joy of the Lord is what empowers the process of growth and daily fulfillment as well we find grace in our obedience to make it step by step.

Nostalgia

ImageAnyone remember this little girl, From 1977? She is a great example of the little girl within each of us (females) at one time or another in our short lives… for some an entire lifetime goes by and this little girl never receives what she is searching for.  For those of you scratching your heads Ill let you in on her identity.  Her name is Penny.  She is one of the main human characters in the Disney movie “The Rescuers”.  You see Penny here holding “Teddy” her best friend. The very friend that keeps her going throughout a good portion of the movie before she is Rescued. He also goes with her when she is finally adopted by a wonderful and loving family. Her dreams do come true by the end of the movie but not without great struggles and trials through the period before her adoption. This precious little girl is rejected by many perspective parents, kidnapped, made to participate in criminal activity, suffers verbal abuse and cruel treatment at the hands of her abductor.  This little girl also refuses to give up faith.  He friend, a cat name “Rufus” from the orphanage told her a poem to encourage her, one day after a big rejection from a couple that chose a “little red head girl”.

Faith is a bluebird
You see from afar
It’s for real
And as sure as the first evening star
You can’t touch it
Or buy it or wrap it up tight
But it’s there just the same
Making things turn out right

This seemed to be just what the little girl needed to press through before her kidnapping, but she still had faith and the courage to cast out a message in a bottle asking for help. She is brave and strong.  I also want to make it known this little girl was a little scrappy too… She protected her Teddy like her life depended on it! He was a representation of the family acceptance she dreamed about and longed for!

Does this story sound familiar to anyone… I believe this is a story many women if not most women face this very situation on various levels with the little girl we keep protected within us. The child that longs for protection, safety, security, love and acceptance. The child that desires to be chosen, and wanted; to be nurtured until maturity. I am not talking about young teens or little girls I am talking about WOMEN! Maturity does not come with birthdays. Birthdays do not bring about emotional and spiritual growth only physical.

The special thing about this little girl is two little mice find valuable and invested a great amount of time and energy as well as risking their own safety to save and protect her until her future family could come and choose her for their own.

Can’t you admit at least at some point  you as a women have a desire to be chosen whether you want to declare it out loud or not… I would venture to say that the majority of the women reading this can say at one time or another, if not presently, have had that desire yet have been met with rejection.

Our dreams are developed in our hearts as little girls.Image Every little girl desires to be swept up in a beautiful romance, be the beautiful princess, and play a role in a great wondrous adventure.  I cannot imagine those desires and dreams just dissipating as a girl becomes a woman.  I have come to believe those special dreams actually morph into secrets that begin to become buried deeper and deeper within our hearts.  I would also reach so far to suggest these same dreams could be the key to open the feminine heart…

How many of you can say, if you are a woman reading this, that you have found that in life? How many of you can say that you know a woman that has found this? They are out there and maybe you are one of them but many of you are not in this classification. Years of “life” create a burying effect, they wound, and push down a woman’s dreaming heart. The things she once dreamed about appear silly or frivolous and can even become an embarrassment to her, when they should be celebrated. The dreams and desires are fulfilled through the mundane such as books and television for the desire of adventure and need for romance, and forget about hoping to be the belle of the ball or the beautiful damsel in the tale of life. That is nearly a joke! Duty, chores, errands, and efficiency  are the acceptable choices for settling for a woman in reality. Right?! Be who you “should” be or whats “expected” of you as a woman and beat yourself up when you fail to be perfect…

Christian principles are what we are to live but however often within the church women hear the message of… do “these” things and you “will” be a godly mother/woman/wife. What?! All that does is add pressure not anointing! What are we doing to each other?!? All this does is beats down the feminine heart and it just takes the punishment until eventually it will break.

The good news… Your hearts still within you. Broken or hanging on to its last thread of being whole… it’s still there. There are times little hints of that dreaming little girl wiggle their way through the cracks… If it’s allowed to a hunger will rise on the heels of those little nostalgic dreams once dreamed now attempting to resurface as memories. Sometimes people call this a mid-life crisis but it may not always occur mid-life. It will occur whenever we give our heart permission to be vulnerable again. Give ourselves permission to be flawed and dip our toe in the pool of lost dreams… Where are you on this journey?

I am sure your life is not what you dreamed for yourself as a little girl, or even where you thought you would be as a young woman. No one knows the future or where a road will take us as we journey down an unknown trail. Our dreams keep us alive.

God has created us each unique with a destiny set apart from any other. He conceived us in His dreams and thoughts before even a single cell that makes “US” was developed. We are a reflection of Him, His creation exists to bring Him joy and fellowship. With all that said and pictured in your mind He created our heart to hold joy, to keep dreams, and live with excellence. NO ONE IS PERFECT so give up on trying to be… Just be the greatest you God made! He will give you the grace to make it through what you in the natural are incapable of doing. He created us with the ability to dream you can find it in the Word.

Rom 4:18  “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.”

Okay so thats a loose translation but you get my point!  Okay Abraham is a man…Joseph was also a man yes but lets face it he was the biggest dreamer of them all! Its not a man thing!

Gen 37: 5-9 ” 5 Joseph had a dream….”We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”… Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

Gen 37:19 “‘Here comes that dreamer!’ they said to each other.”

Empower yourself by feeding your mind a proper diet of inspiration, motivation and information! The Creator of the universe and King of Kings and HE is willing to come and be the HERO in your story! Even if you know Him can you say He is the One riding that white stallion in to swoop you up? No man will do this but He will! God created us knowing what we would dream, desire, and even hide within our hearts. He is no fool! He wants to rescue and free your heart from being held captive by wounds, pain, hurt, or even self! You can’t say that about any other man, for you and I to become free and fully alive! Without a vision, or a dream people parish… There is a reason He gave us the ability…