Why do eat with them? 

Growing up reading the stories about Jesus and the teachers of the law, I used to think how bad the Pharisees were. They were the ones who taught Gods word and right from wrong but they were always judging and questioning about Jesus actions.
The other day I read this part of the bible; “Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? ” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Mark‬ ‭2:15-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And I felt God ask me “are you a Pharisee or someone Jesus eats with?”
I wonder if Jesus came today and acted the way he did would many of us say “why is he eating with them?” “Why is he doing that?” To be honest some of the stuff he done was out there and a shock to many people.
The people in the story Jesus chose to eat with were ones that had a bad reputation and were “spiritually sick”. But the thing is we are all spiritually sick and lacking without the key element of Jesus. He is the reason why we can live in freedom, joy and full of love. Take him away and we become unhealthy again.
What do you think about people who blantently do something that is against what you believe is good? Are they bad and you are good? 
We are the same, but with one Huge difference, which had nothing to do with ourselves being good but everything to do with Jesus being perfectly good. 

To remember “I need a doctor” and that doctor is Jesus we remain humble and God is able to use us. The more we know Gods word, his ways remembering that we are not “self righteous” but “made righteous” is so important. 
Jesus chooses to eat with us everyday, he chooses to be with us constantly and be with us though we are not perfect and Maybe once considered scum to some. And though Jesus is surrounded by sinners and imperfection he never changes, the people around him change, full of joy, freedom and power.
If someone is lacking white blood cells what would happen? A perfectly healthy person would now be a sick person. Just like our bodies need the right amount of blood cells to function properly, every person needs Jesus to become a spiritually healthy person. 

Take that important element away and we go back to being an unhealthy person.
Being a Christian should mean that we are grateful everyday that he chooses to do that and be excited to invite others to be healthy and join the party where he is at. Choosing to love and show Jesus to those who least expect. 
It’s easy to get into looking at others sometimes just like that “religious group” in the story and look at others by their actions rather than what God has done for them.

But God always expects us to love, he never expects us to judge. Because people always act out of the condition of their heart.
How amazing is it that in an instant of excepting Jesus we go from being covered in sin to clothed in righteousness and even more exciting that that is for anyone and everyone who chooses too.
If we humble ourselves God will conintue to elevate us in him and show us more and more beauty and make us more healthy than yesterday. 

 

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Choosing God over the good.

A few years ago my husband was working Tuesday to Saturdays and I was working Monday to Friday. I started thinking about working 4 days instead. The same week Daniel said to me “Hey I was thinking, do you wanna start working 4 days instead of 5?”. I was so surprised he was on the same page as me and I had not mentioned it at all!
I had a couple of options. Our church was just about to launch Tuesday night services and I could take Tuesdays off to help with that or take Mondays off and spend them with Daniel.
I prayed about it and what I really wanted was to have mondays off with Daniel but I didn’t feel right in my gutt. It was weird, I asked God “what do you want me to do please tell me.” I opened my bible and this scripture hit me in the face haha not literally.

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”‭‭James‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I knew deep down I should take Tuesdays off, I didn’t understand why really, I thought God would want me to have a day off with my husband but I didn’t want to choose a good thing over what God was saying was his thing.
I went to work and decided I would tell my supervisor I would need to take Tuesdays off because I needed to help with our new church service. When I told her, her response was this “okay, what time do you need to leave to get to set up? Why don’t you come earlier to work, finish earlier and we will give you a pay raise”.

What! The increase in my wage and earlier hours meant I could still have Mondays off spend time with Daniel and help with the launch of the new service on Tuesdays! 
God gave me the best, his way, doing his will and building his kingdom and spending a day with my husband. I could understand his bigger plan after all! 
If I chose what I thought was the “good option” over “Gods option” I would have totally missed out on what he had for me. 
God doesn’t ask us to choose his way over the seemingly good way so that we miss out, it is because he sees the bigger picture that we often miss. 
This was a huge lesson for me, not blatantly doing something wrong but not doing what we know to do is sinning, that’s missing the mark but it’s so amazing how we can come to him always everyday and say “I might have missed it a bit today, help me hear from you again tomorrow!” 
If we live everyday having in mind that “God I wanna choose your ways over the “good ways” because your ways are best” it’s really saying “God you are God and you always know best!”.
“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What are you expecting?

God has something for you today to receive and You have something to give today for someone to receive.
This year I tried doing something, I would buy a bunch of flowers pray and ask God what to write on a small card and then after work give the Flowers to someone I thought would be encouraged by them. When I would leave work and walk to the train station I had one mission, to give these flowers to someone. The funny thing is that I noticed I would look at everyone waiting for someone to make eye contact but pretty much everyone was on their phones, usually I would be too or I would be rushing from work to make the next train. Now I would walk smiling at anyone that would make eye contact and I was soooo ready to give. When I “found” the right person the reaction was always different, some people laughed and said thank you, some hugged me, some people looked like they were going to cry and some said “no thank you”. I don’t know what happened in their day or what was happening in their life but I do know that I just gave them a bunch of flowers and that could have brightened someone’s day or even stopped someone from feeling helpless and alone.

It actually took courage and sometimes I even thought about just taking the flowers home because I was scared of them saying no or looking silly, but my desire to help someone and bless someone always overcame my feeling of fear.

I got more out of these moments than I thought I would which is so amazing.

I don’t want to rush through life from one part to the next, I want to look at each moment even “between things” as chances to hear from God or bless someone.

Smile at people.

Be ready to overcome insecurities and fears for someone else’s benefit.

Be ready to bless and uplift and also be ready to be blessed and uplifted. 

It doesn’t have to be a bunch of flowers, it could be a kind word or a cup of coffee, even a smile.

I don’t think people walk through life expecting something great to happen and we often plan for our best days and moments but are always prepared for the worst to happen. 
But God wants us to be expectant that even today could be of one the best days! 
And be willing and ready to except it, unlike those unwilling to receive flowers from me.

I love this story in acts: “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 ‭3:4-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The man begging was ready and expectant for something, and I am sure Peter and John were walking around waiting to give.
The lame man got more than he could have ever wanted or imagined that day. He walked.

I believe God has something for you today! It could be healing, peace, power, love, money, healing, acceptance, friendship and I believe you have something great to give too!
Let’s not rush from one schedule to the other but be in every moment and ready to be used today! 

Dirt 

I’ve just finished reading a blog by kristinakumiz.com she told her story about a manager who took advantage of her thinking his power & status would be enough to over power her dignity. 

What got me angry, sad and boiled up was the comments after…..story after story of woman and children being abused and taken advantage of. People too embarrassed to speak out to their friends and family about it, people hurting and still dealing with these undeserved moments in time against them.

It’s unjustice. It’s not okay.
My father was a known pedifile and sexual predator. 

At nine years old he was in jail again, this time for raping and abducting two woman. They were prostutes. His comment was “How can you rape a prostitute?” 

At 14 years old I told my best friend about being abused by my Dad and another guy in my childhood. Do you know what my friend did…she believed me, she believed IN me, she told me to go get some help and to seek God for healing. This is a good friend. She said If I needed to talk I could anytime, if I didn’t want to then I didn’t have to.
The feelings I had as sexually abused person was this, dirt, shame, hurt. 

You feel like your covered in dirt and you can’t quite wash it off. Some days it was there stronger than others.

I struggled for years with these feelings of dirt and shame. And I often found myself acting out from them. But one day I felt real healing, God took all of my shame, dirt, and unworthyness and replaced it wholeness and love. Part of it came from giving forgiveness and the other came from realizing Gods unfailing love, seeing myself the way he really sees me and looking forward to a brighter and bigger future with Jesus in the center of it.

Blameless, beautiful, clean and pure.

Sometimes I felt like I was walking in dirty rags though no one could see, so this scripture is pretty awesome.

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”‭‭ Isaiah‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭NLT

White as snow. Wow. 

So here’s what I say to anyone reading this. 

If someone has picked you to be the person that they trust enough to expose their heart to, please believe them and believe in them. Hold their hand, pray for them ….be there and encourage them to take action for real healing. It takes real courage to even come and speak about what has happened.

If you’ve been abused tell someone you trust, find someone to trust. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel guilty, Get help, seek life giving healing. And let Gods spirit do something amazing for you. Jesus can and will restore you more than what you ever thought possible and you will be more shiny and more radiant than ever before.

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. ” Isaiah 61:3

God can make all things new, Crowned with beauty, full of joy, overflowing with life, strengthened in righteousness.