Tag Archives: Jesus

He’s Better

11 Oct

Why settle for good enough when you can have better.  Everyone wants something more. The grass is greener right?  There’s nothing wrong with wanting more, the problem is how we obtain more.  Do we go about it wisely or do we act on impulse.  Are we searching to fill an emptiness inside us causing harm along the way?

The easiest and best way to better is through Jesus.  Guys, there is nothing wrong with wanting more, just keep Jesus in the center of it all. We wrapped up a series called “Cause It’s Better.”  One of the things my pastor said was “you have to let go of the good to get to the better.”  That is so good!!! Do yourself a favor and listen.

Some of you may be thinking, I already have better (job, spouse, kids, house, money, car…) so why do I need Jesus?  Good question, I’ll tell you: BECAUSE HE’S BETTER!!!!!

Here are some examples of what Jesus does:

He turns happy to joyful. Heartbroken to whole.  Searching to answers.  Lost to found. Hurt to healed. Weary to rest. Angry to loving. Grudges to forgiving. Selfish to selfless. Broke to generous. Fear to conqueror. Weak to strong. Scared to courageous. Unloved to bride. Orphan to daughter. Pain to strength.

I will tell you from personal experience, Jesus turned my unforgiving heart to forgiving, allowing me to tear down the walls I built up and have a relationship with the person that hurt me most.  I have also conquered the way irrational fear has crippled me.  Don’t get me wrong, the devil knows fear is the way to get me, but I have learned, when I feel the fear creeping in, I stand on God’s word.  I speak truth over my heart and situation and I stay strong.

The best thing about Jesus is His gift is free.  All we have to do is accept it.  We have to realize we are a hot mess without Him and then let Him in and allow Him to do what only He can do.

better

Look at these girls.  You’d be crazy not to want better!

 

 

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A Public Prayer

13 Sep

Wow, I just noticed it’s been almost 6 months since my last blog post. I’ll blame it on the fact that I have an almost 7 month old.  See what I did there?  I totally deflected responsibility.  I’m fully anticipating all 3 of my daughters spending tons of money in therapy later and everything will be my fault, its OK, I accept this.  So while I still can, I’ll blame my lack of blogmenship on them.

Now, to my actual blog…

I love music.  80s love ballads and 90s boy bands are my absolute favorite.  I have 10 Pandora stations; I never listen to just one station though, it’s always on shuffle (unless I’m running, then it’s only my Spice Girls station.)  No matter the genre, Jesus Culture, Bethel and Elevation Worship is on every one of them, so pretty much every other song is one of those bands.  Jesus Culture comes on so much that whenever my husband hears them he says “all day everyday.”

Last week at church we sang this song.  Here As In Heaven by Elevation.  Do yourself a favor and listen to it.  Now listen to it again. I can’t sing this song without busting out into prayer, I hope this song inspires you to pray too.

The atmosphere is changing now
For the spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the spirit of the Lord is here

Overflow in this place
Fill our hearts with your love
Your love surrounds us
You’re the reason we came
To encounter your love
Your love surrounds us

Spirit of God fall fresh on us
We need your presence
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
Here as in heaven

A miracle can happen now
For the spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the spirit of the Lord is here

Jesus, thank you so much for your love.  Thank you that you love me.  Thank you that we don’t have to clean ourselves up to come to you.  Thank you that you wait for us with open arms.  That you see us and know us.  That you make us better.  Thank you that you walk with us.  That you aren’t a statue on the wall but you’re alive right now and walking amongst us.  Thank you that your blood was shed for me, that I’m forgiven.  Thank you that the devil has to flee at your name.  Thank you that you are the one true God and that all names bow before you.  Thank you for turning heartbreak to joy and ugly to beautiful. That you come in and do what only you can do.  Thank you that through you, we are victorious.  That chains are broken and we can get to the other side. Amen.

Did You Know?

25 Mar

We all know the song “Mary Did You Know”  but what I want to know is Jesus, did you know?

Sunday is coming.  This Sunday is Easter.  On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  We can celebrate that everyday, correction, we SHOULD celebrate that everyday but on Easter it’s different.  We celebrate the fact that Jesus rose form the dead, that he’s alive, that he’s with us and not just a statue on a wall or above our fireplace.  Humans made a mess of this world and Jesus came willingly to this earth.  He knew what was going to happen and yet he came.  He came, died and rose 3 days later for me, for you, for everyone.

I currently live in the world of newborn; I have a sweet little 5 week old.  I look at her and I’m amazed.  I’m amazed that God loved me so much that he sent me her (and her 2 older sisters.)  I watch as she looks around and takes it all in.  I hold her to my face and whisper “I love you” and I wonder if she knows what that means.  Her tiny little hands grasp my finger and I thank God for blessing me with her.

Then I think of Mary and my mind is blown!

She experienced this same beautiful love story with Jesus. WITH JESUS.  The Christ Child.  The Savior of the world.  The Beginning and the End.  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.  Col 1:15   He is over all creation. When surprises come up that knock me on my butt, he is steady. He knows tomorrow.  He knows my life story and how it will end.

Did he know this as a baby?  While my newborn is looking at me trying to figure out who this crazy lady is, was Jesus looking at Mary and knowing her story?  Did he look at her and see her future heartbreak and did that break his heart?

When he took his first breath, did he know that in 33 short years, he would be taking first breaths again after he died and rose?

When he got hurt and ran to his mamma and wrapped his arms around her for a comforting hug, did he know that those arms would be stretched out on a cross for all of us?

When Mary looked at him and her heart could just burst with love, did he know that one day her heart would burst because it was breaking as she witnessed people falsely accusing him?

When he was playing with his brother James, did he know that one day James would publicly disgrace him but then become a major player in the new church?

I don’t get it.  I can’t wrap my brain around this.  So much about Christianity is a mystery, but that’s the point of faith.  All I know is, is that Jesus loves me, he loves you too.  I pray you accept his love and allow it to heal your parts that are broken.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

 

3 Times A Day

23 Oct

Our laptop crashed AGAIN 2 weeks ago.  The smart, tatted, pierced, techie Apple Store guy said something about our RAM card was causing the crash, (the words “RAM card” cause me to stare blankly and blink, whatever.)  It wouldn’t even turn on this time so we broke down and got a new desktop computer.  Laptops are convenient bc I can sit on the couch in a dark room, or a Starbucks, and blog.  BUT I love that the desktop has a real mouse.  Dear real mouse, how I have missed you!  I didn’t even realize how much I loved you till you came back to me.  I’m sorry for all the years I took you for granted and for throwing you across the room.  You are constant and faithful and you fit beautifully into the curve of right my hand.  You are way better than the new, sleek finger pad thingy.

That felt good to get off my chest…

Last week at church, my pastor was talking about lies.  That sermon was amazing and you should listen to it as soon as you finish reading this post.  Statistics show that women lie at least 3 times a day and men 6.  Why is this?  Why do we lie?  What do we gain? Sometimes the truth is ugly, so if we alter it slightly and wrap it in a box with a pretty bow, does that make it better?  No it doesn’t, but it makes us look better and I think that’s the appeal to lies.

Lets see what God has to say:

Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF ALL LIES.  John 8:43-44 NLT (all caps added by me.)

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22 (KJB)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 (NIV)

It’s pretty clear that: 1) lies come from the devil 2) God detests lies and 3) Jesus is truth.  If I tell at least 3 lies a day, I am choosing Satan over Jesus at least 3 times a day…OUCH!!!  That is disgusting!!!  This is something I never thought about.  Thank you pastor for making me look inward at my heart, realizing it’s not pure and gross and realizing I have a lot of serious work to do. (The “thank you” was sarcastic, I’m not really grateful at all, self examination is hard.  I’d much rather pray for God to change someone else’s heart, not mine.)

A few days after this sermon was preached, Brandn asked me a question.  I really wanted to lie but I had a choice to make, choose satan or Jesus.  You see, we went on vacation for our anniversary and his mom and step-dad watched our girls.  They logged into their Netflix account and never logged out.  We don’t have Netflix for 2 reasons: 1) I’m too cheap and 2) I’m a tv junkie and if it’s in my house, I will watch it.  My form of self control is to not have cable.  I have wanted Netflix for a while so I can watch all the episodes of Gilmore Girls bc for some reason, when the show came out, I was stupid and never watched it.  Soooo when I noticed Netflix was in my  house, I immediately (it felt so natural, I didn’t even have to think twice about it) jumped right into Season 1 of GG.  (If Lorelai/Luke and Sookie/Jackson don’t end up together, the writer will receive some very late hate mail from me.)

A few days later Brandn asked me what episode I was on.  I froze and the internal struggle began.  Do I lie and tell him episode 3 or do I tell the truth and admit that I’m a junkie and after 3 days of GG, I was already on episode 11? Dang it!  Why was it so hard?  Why would I even think to lie about something as stupid as this?  My answer doesn’t matter; Brandn will not take the girls and leave me because I watched 10 episodes of GG in 3 days.  This is no big deal so why was I considering lying?

My answer didn’t matter but my choice did.  The choice of choosing Jesus over satan matters.  The choice of breaking the habitual habit of lying matters.  It matters to God.  My heart matters to God.  Your heart matters to God.

We all have a choice to make.  Let me encourage you to choose God.  Even though it’s not always the easy choice, it’s the right choice.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

Commit to Memory

23 Jan

If you went back to high school, what would happen?  Would you be the head cheerleader, the swim team champion, the choir soloist, or the drama team great actress chick again?  Would you tell yourself be less distracted by the cute boy your parents say is trouble?  Would you take better notes and study harder?  Would you tell your Chemistry teach that you are a form of you back from the future and you will NEVER use the Periodical Charts of Elements? I remember that Sodium is “Na.”  Besides for the test, have I ever needed to know the abbreviation of Sodium in my life?  No.  I just remember it because the cute boy beside me came up with this: Sodium is salt and salt comes “Na” bucket.”  Get it?  Salt comes “in a” bucket?  I digress…

I had teachers that said if they repeated something 3 times it was important and you needed to memorize it; meaning it would be on the test.  Dictionary.com defines memorize as “commit to memory, learn by heart.”  Well, I don’t know about you, but I never really learned ancient Roman history by heart; I knew it for a week to pass my test then completely forgot about it (sorry dad.)

I came across this the other day (and being I spend my days with a 9 month old it took me over a week to sit down and type this out.  Right now she is cruising along the couch holding a hanger.  I’m afraid she’ll poke her eye out but when I take it away she screams, so for some peace and quiet, this is a risk I’m willing to take.  She has reached me and now she’s trying to help me type. Again, I digress)

So God created human beings in his own image.  In his image God created them; male and female he created them. – Gen 1:27.

That’s the same thought written 3 times…memorize it!

So what does this mean for us?  Col 1:15 says “Jesus is the image of the invisible God.” So, what does Jesus look like?  Love. Truth. Faithfulness. Just. Healing. Compassionate. Trustworthy. Holy. Kind. Forgiving. Patient. Worthy.  If Jesus is all of these things, so is God.

I am all of these things.  YOU are all of these things. Remember, we are created in the image of God (reread Gen 1:27.)  If we bear the image of God, then we need to feel good about ourselves.  We need to love and respect ourselves.  We can be our own worst critic; I know I am.  But when we stop and think about what and who God is, and remember that we are created in his image, we can rest in knowing that all those good things about God are true about us too.

And God saw all he made, and it was very good.  Gen 1:31.

Beautiful

4 Dec

Christmas is fast approaching. When you think of Christmas, do you think of Black Friday, lights, eggnog or presents? Do you think of Jesus? He is what Christmas is all about but somehow we have commercialized it to heck and Jesus has become a second thought to most people.

Sure, we go to the obligatory Christmas service and think about Jesus at least once, I mean hey, we don’t want to look like a total heathen right?!  But do we focus on Jesus?  I’m gonna be honest here and say I don’t focus on him as much as I should. There wouldn’t even be Christmas presents if there wasn’t Jesus.  When I think of Jesus, I can’t help but be thankful for his unconditional love.  If you follow my blog, you will notice that God’s love is a constant theme of my posts.

I was reading in Acts the other day and I came across this nugget.  I have read it several times before but something new stood out to me:

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.  Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.  Acts 3: 1-10 NIV

Did you see it?  Sure this is an amazing story about miracles and healing but what stood out to me was the name of the gate.  Did you even notice it?  I’ll wait a sec while you go back up and re-read…BEAUTIFUL!!

This man was begging at the gate.  He was lame and depended on the generosity of others for survival.  He asked Peter and John for money.  That’s all he was hoping for, money; his expectations weren’t very high.  They didn’t give him money but what they gave him was so much more.  In the name of Jesus, he was healed! He was lame since birth so he had never walked before.  Instantly he was walking and jumping and praising God; can you imagine what this must have been like for him?

He asked for  money but instead he received the ability to walk.  He no longer had to beg which I’m sure gave him dignity.  He now had freedom and independence.  He was no longer confined to a spot, he was no longer known as the beggar at the gate called Beautiful.  He was now known as the man who once begged at a spot and was healed in the name of Jesus Christ!  He encountered Jesus at a place called Beautiful…I’ll let that soak in for a minute.

We put limitations on God.  Why?  Do we only ask for little because we don’t think we are worth  more?  Do we think our problem is too big for God and by limiting what we hope to happen we’re preparing ourselves so when it doesn’t work out, we weren’t really expecting it to?

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  Eph 3:20 MSG

We need to stop putting limitations on God, He will do so much more…isn’t that BEAUTIFUL?

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

I got out of the truck!

25 Dec

How many of us have ever said or thought “If I could do that again I would do it differently.”?  And how many of us actually get the opportunity to do it again?  Well I’m very fortunate and I got my second chance; and I got out of the truck.

I’m sure right now some of you are like “um…you got out of the truck…great…..did you fall out last time?”  No!  I sat in it and cried the whole time.  Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

My church is a new (we launched it in Sept 2011) and small church.  However, we are NOT letting the adjetives new and small define us and prevent us from doing what Jesus flat out told us to do.  Last Christmas morning, we headed downtown with backpacks filled with toiletries and breakfast burritos and handed them out to the homeless community here in Austin.  I was terrified.  I stayed in the truck.  I cried the whole way home b/c I was ashamed of myself.  I allowed fear to cripple me and prevent me from helping out in something beautiful.  That day I vowed that next year would be different.  Read that blog here.

Fast forward one year.

We headed downtown with backpacks and breakfast burritos again this year.  We did it a little differently and bypassed the toiletries and put gift cards to McDonalds and bus passes in the back packs. For those of you that are horrified that we gave out McDonalds gift cards get over it.  McDonalds is delicious and $10 goes a long way there and people will be able to eat or get scolding hot coffee for days.

We were a little more organized and prepared this year; last year we didn’t have a clue!  I’m not saying we are all of a sudden experts at this but we were able to form a line and have crown control and last longer than 5 minutes.

This is a family event.  Many of us have small children and we put them to work.  We had bags of homemade cookies and we had the kids hand them out to people while they we in line waiting for backpacks.  Once everyone went through the line we still had a ton of burritos left.  We let the kids help us hand them out as well.  They walked up to the adults, asked if they wanted some burritos.  Everyone was so polite; they said thank you, the kids said your welcome.  They gave smiles and high fives.   Not everyone got a backpack but everyone got something to eat!!!!

This wasn’t just about handing out stuff; it’s also about going down to their community and taking the time out of our busy lives and sharing a morning with them.  The homeless community is an invisible community.  Sure we all “see” them on the corner with a sign, but do we really see them.  Do we roll down our window and talk to them?  Do homeless people actually have conversations with those of us that have homes?

A man asked me how old Danica was.  I had D answer him and she said “5.”  He then proceded to tell me he has a 5 year old daughter and and when he and his wife get their home next month they will get her back.  He then pulled out some pictures and showed me his kids.  They have 5 kids and will get them all back in January!!!!  The tears filled the mom eyes as she said “all I want for Christmas is my babies.”

Another man asked me if I heard about the tragedy in Connecticut.  We talked about that for a little while and it turned into a gun control conversation.

There was a man there with a guitar and D was scoping him out but was too embarrassed to ask him to play something.  Later we saw him playing and she was so excited and we went over and he was singing worship songs with Tracy.

One guy told Anthony he likes his Texas Longhorns shirt.  So Anthony gave it to him.  He literally gave him the shirt off his back.

I love my church!  We aren’t letting our size prevent us from doing what we know we should. No excuses!  I failed epically last year and I’m so thankful I got a second chance.  And next year I’ll get a third chance and then a forth chance the following year…get the idea?

By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:35

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you….welcome to my brain.