Christianity · Devotional · Jesus · lent · power of God · searching · The Bible · True Joy

Beneath His feet

If I were the sandals beneath His feet.

If I were the sandals beneath His feet, oh the places I would go. I would step into the Temple and hear Him teach the crowd. I would walk along the Jordan and see fish fill a boat. I would come too close for comfort to lepers and not fear their disease. I would see the lame man walk and watch the blind man see. Would I undstand His parables? Would I question who He was? Or would I know just be being near Him that He was God’s only son? I would stand upon a hill top and see the devil face to face. I would hear Jesus refuse to bow to sin. I would be stained by the sweat of donkeys. I would taste the sweet dew of morning on garden grass. I would be made wet by His tears. I would hear Him pray for all of us left. I would stand on a platform and watch a crooked trial. I would be hit by His blood, and strain to hear His defense. I would weep when He said nothing to free Himself. I would be gambled for at the foot of a cross. I would be shaken as the Vail was torn. I would break deep down as I realized He was gone. Then I would be far away from Him. I would be stuck on the feet of a Roman soldier. Then I would spend a long night outside a tomb and be terrified as the big stone rolled away. I would cry for joy as I watched the feet I knew so well and loved so dear walk past me in a glow I could not explain. I would hear from the soldiers later that He had been seen around, appearing before those He loved. Then I would see Him no longer. But I had heard Him say that He would return someday. I long for that day. The day when at His feet I might remain.
If only I were the sandals beneath His feet.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

What is meant to last?



Tea pot rock. The Hoodoos. Minter Gardens. Notre Dame. Black hills mustangs.
Just to name a very small few.
There are so many things that are either gone or are fading that we thought would last forever. Only two of the things listed can be rebuilt or reopened, the rest once gone will be gone for good. It makes you stop to consider, how much of what we care so much about and put so much energy into in this world, will be gone in the next hundred years? The mustangs still could be saved if people would stand up for them; but the rest there’s nothing you can do to help. God never intended for this world to be eternal, not after the fall that is. He plans on rolling it up and tossing it away. Which is so hard for us because this world is all we know. Yet to Him this world is just a short stop for His people before we go to Heaven. Then people start asking why God would do that? Why not just have in Heaven to begin with? We’ve all heard the questions and the answers, yet I feel that the reason God started us here was because it was His plan to start us here, He’s the one writing the story, He can do as He pleases. I heard about an algae living in a space under the ice on the sea floor of the Antarctic; life in an area where life shouldn’t be able to exist. All the scientists from all different science standpoints wanted to explain how it got there, and I just smiled and went, “you had fun with that didn’t you God?”
I get science. I was going into Marine Biology before God called me to a differnt path. Just saying that because I know how some people do the, ‘well people who don’t understand science are the ones who don’t try to explain it,’ thing. God is in control. That makes us feel very small and helpless so we try to come up with things that make it sound like we are in control. Like the latest one that says: God doesn’t actually have a plan or an agenda for your life, He’s just there for you if you need Him.
That’s wrong by the way. People who have read their Bible know that that’s not accurate, and those who believe this and have read their Bibles need to read their Bibles again.
Agenda is a bit of a contorted word these days, it’s one of the many words that have lost their original meaning, but basically it means that there is a plan for you, specifically, and every part of you life has been known and calculated since before you were conceived. You can deviate from that plan, but when you let Him, God will put you back on the right path. I know that that thought can feel scary because it’s a full acknowledgment of the greater power that God has compared to us. But he does have a greater power, an unbelievable power, and yes it is to be feared, but when it’s protecting you because you are one of His children, then it is something to be adored and respected. God sees you. As an open and bare soul. No part of you is hidden from Him. But instead of being terrified or trying to make God smaller so He doesn’t bother you so much, you should lean into His knowledge about you and feel safe knowing that He knows it all and is taking care of you.

God’s plan is for the eternal. For your soul. Even when the Hoodoos are flat and the grasslands (as sad as it will be) are bare, God’s plan for you will remain, because His plan for you ends in you running into His open arms at the end of your story and hearing Him say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Don’t leave His path. Don’t run from His plan. His plan is because He loves you and wants you with Him forever.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

The day He wore my crown

The day He wore my crown.

The city was Jerusalem
The time was long ago
The people called him Jesus
The crime was the love He showed
And I’m the one to blame
I caused all the pain
He gave Himself, the day He wore my crown

He brought me love that only He could give
I brought Him cause to cry
And though He taught me how to live
I taught Him how to die
And I’m the one to blame
I caused all the pain
He gave Himself, the day He wore my crown

He could have called His holy Father, and said,
“Take me away, please, take me away.”
He could have said, “I’m not guilty.
And I’m not going to stay
I’m not going to pay.”
But He walked right through the gate
And then on up the hill
And as He fell beneath the weight
He cried, “Father, not My will.”
And I’m the one to blame
I caused all His pain
He gave Himself, the day He wore my crown.

And I’m the one to blame
I caused all His pain
He gave Himself, the day He wore my crown.
-Sandi Patti

There isn’t a lot more I could add here. As the day of the betrayal in the garden and the road to the cross draw closer, this song plays over and over and over again in my mind. He wore my crown. I now get to wear a crown of glory because Jesus wore my crown of thorns. We all strive toward the glowing gates of Heaven and the final prize, but do we stop to consider the path that had to be taken for us to to be able to aim for Heaven at all? We dream of golden streets and crowns of jewels, but do we recall a dusty road and a crown of thorns?
That was my crown Jesus wore. That was your crown that pierced His head. That was our crown that soaked up His blood as soldiers mocked Him. He could habe said ‘no’, He wasn’t abligated to die for us, but He chose the thorns, He chose my crown. Don’t forget that.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

Down that road is where I long to be.

There’s a road that keeps on calling me.

The pathway of tears, the road of sorrows, the Via Delorosa; the road has many names and titles, yet it always leads one place, to the cross. Oh I don’t mean the Spiritual Cross. I mean the literal cross. The worst part about anything you are dreading is the leading up to it; the road to your school or office, the hall to the doctor’s office, the first signs of a cold. You know what’s coming, and you dread it, yet you are given no choice and must walk down the path to where you are supposed to be. Many walked this road carrying crosses. Only one held no sin. Many felt the pain and shame and fear of going down that road, only one went down it by choice. Many were nailed to crosses to pay for their crimes, only one was nailed to a cross to pay for my crimes, and the crimes of all those who would choose to lay their sins aside and follow Jesus.
There’s a road that keeps calling me. The road to the cross. Yet when I stand on that hill I am not accused, because I gave my life to Jesus and He paid my debt for me.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · power of God · Prayer · searching · The Bible

Rules are signs of love too.

Jesus is still our hope, our joy, our comforter and friend. Yes He has rules to follow, but they aren’t rules intended to harm us, they are rules set up to help us and protect us. Like all good Fathers, our Father in Heaven gave us a list of rules that keep us out of trouble, those rules don’t mean He doesn’t love us- they prove that He does love us. Jesus reconfirmed those rules when He was ministering so we would know that they were still important. But moving away from that. The laws of God are always getting contorted so we end up saying that God has no rules because His rules make Him sound less loving. That’s not true. Parents who don’t decipline their children may look loving to the child getting away with everything, but from the outside looking in, all people see are parents who don’t care enough about their child to correct him or her. When I was little I was taught to always say ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘ excuse me’; you know, the basics, yet people are often saying how polite I am just because I use common courtesies that all people should know and use, because my parents cared enough to teach them to me. Having this General basis of knowing polite conversation has helped me a lot in my buisness life. God’s rules are there to help us in all aspects of life. Don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t have affairs, treat others as yourself, one man should be married to one woman, don’t lie, don’t go into buisness with people who don’t share your faith, go the extra mile. So on, and so on. All these rules are there to keep us safe. And God’s plan for our lives is not an agenda that He is forcing on us, it’s simply a plan for us to become the best people we can be. He still loves us. He is still our hope and our joy. His rules that keep us safe don’t change how much He adores us, they are proof that He loves us. And He always will.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · searching

Flawed and authentic, Jesus will fix me if I let go and let Him in where the real me hides

If you see flaws you know it’s real.
My mom and I were sitting in the airport waiting for her flight. There was a plant infront of us. It was nice and green and healthy and looked fake so I asked her if it was, (she used to be a florist). “Not at all, see the flaws? If a plant has flaws you know it’s real.” Then she went and moved the plant forward more because people kept banging into it and damaging it’s leaves.
We are so fake in this world. We use filters to fix the flaws in our photos, we use lies to fix the problems in our lives and then people bang into us thinking we can’t get hurt because of how perfect we are. Yet we are not perfect. Our lies don’t fix our problems, our filters can’t filter out pain or illness, then when people treat us roughly we damage even more and have to hide even deeper. It’s when we show our flaws and admit them that we can finally be seen as real. Our real-ness doesn’t always stop people from hurting us, in fact it might make them hurt us more; But when we give Jesus our whole lives, true and real and ask Him for help, He moves us out of danger by placing Himself between us and those who are out to get us. The nice thing about being real with Jesus is that a. He truly cares, and b. He can actually help.
When we admit to Jesus that ‘no, I’m not really okay. This hurts, this is a problem, I can’t cope anymore, I don’t want to live in this anymore.’ He guides us, aides us, and fights for us. Jesus loves us. So be real with Him and show Him your flaws and watch how He helps you. You might not see it right away, but someday you’ll see the moment you fell at His feet and He picked you up and carried you.

Christianity · CS Lewis · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · Prayer · searching · still fighting · True Joy

The lamb



The lamb
In the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the shores of Aslan’s country, the children find someone they don’t expect, a lamb. The gates to the country of the great lion are watched by a small, delicate animal of sacrifice.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles eye they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a lamb. – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader chpt. 16 pg. 267/268
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into Tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane. Chpt 16. Pg. 269
I cried great tears when I read this. I knew the lamb would be Aslan, but that made it all even sweeter. Lewis never missed an inch, right down to an image almost akin to Revelation with the lamb waiting at the gate.
Of course the lion of the Narnia saga wouldn’t move me to cry so (I would still shed tears, just not such flowing tears) much if he were just another story, but because the author made him a rendition of Jesus I can’t help but long to be near him. Jesus is such a wonder. He’s a mighty lion and a slain lamb. It’s easy to miss the lamb while being caught up by the lion, but he’s just as much a part of our King. Remember, only the lamb is worthy to open the scroll. That terrifying and wonderful scroll. Lions are so big and powerful and lovely; lambs are small and soft and delicate, no one would choose a lamb to be the hero of a great tale, exept someone who knew we needed a pure sacrifice. Nothing is an accident in God’s plan, no one would sacrifice a lion or a warrior, not without great accolades and songs in his honor- but who notices a lamb? (Plus a lion would not be a perfect sacrifice.)
Yet isn’t that the whole mystery. Jesus is both. He’s a great warrior even if we miss that fact, and He’s a gentle lamb.
Don’t forget that Jesus is a warrior. He said He would return with the armies of the Lord, He’s not sitting back thinking swords look dangerous, He is King and Ruler and we owe Him honor. Someday, we will reach Heaven’s shores and lay our crowns at the feet of the lamb who is also a lion.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · Prayer · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

He didn’t fix the broken world, but He does fix broken people.

“Help her to know that the world is not a safe or nice place just because Jesus came, but that we still need His grace.”

Tonight I found a video of my Grandfather and Grandmother praying over right after I was born. They said a lot of great and kind things, yet this stood out to me. It’s so terribly true. So many people come to know Jesus and think that by knowing Him the world will suddenly change into a nicer, better place. Then it doesn’t and they- like the seed that fell on the side of the road- lost their faith as soon as bad times came. We preach that Jesus will make everything better, and He does, but not in the way that most people understand. Like the Jewish people expecting the Messiah to over throw the Roman tyrany, we expect something that our carnal minds see, not what God actually has planned. When Jesus comes into our lives and changes things for the better it doesn’t mean that He changes the world around us, it means He changes us. Sometimes God does something crazy and fixes every problem and cures every illness, but many times He doesn’t. Many times He changes our outlook, our plan, sometimes even our friends circle changes to help us where we are in that season. But the most important thing is that He Himself comes into our lives and His presence makes everything better. Jesus didn’t come to make the world a better place, He came to make us better people and to prepare us for His kingdom.
We still need His grace.

Christianity · CS Lewis · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent · searching · True Joy

Of other worlds

CS Lewis spoke of a place that you want to go to but can’t because it doesn’t exist. A place you long for with all your heart, but find yourself in desiderium. You grieve for it as something lost, yet you’ve never been there. Narnia was like that for Lewis. Yet as the author he was able to visit there in his mind. I found that, after reading Prince Caspian for 1000th time since my dad read to me when I was too young to read myself, I felt that same ache and sorrow I always did when the children went back to England- back to our world. It’s always so sad in my opinion. Our world is dark and evil. The White Witch hasn’t been slain yet here. Children aren’t permitted to just be kids anymore and adults are stuck into a mill of being what they are told to be and acting as the government demands us to act. It’s sad and depressing some days. I want to go to that world where the great Lion is king and evil is shown to be evil and is destroyed by the shaking of his Mane. Yet that world is fiction. Or is it? My Poppa was singing an old song the other day, one I forgotten about, and it reminded me of a joy that I had been missing lately by being caught up in the world around me, (that happens to us adults from time to time). Want to know what song it was? When we all get to Heaven.
Remember it? If not I recomend finding it on youtube. It goes:
‘ when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.’ Now slap your knees and sing that one full throated!
We forget sometimes what Heaven is like. We don’t know how it will feel, taste or smell, but we do know that there is no sin, no sickness, no fear, hunger, shame or sorrow. Best of all, Jesus is in Heaven. This world feels so real right now that we feel desiderium for the past and for worlds that don’t exist. Yet Heaven is real. Heaven is not a fa√®ry tale. Heaven is promissed to those who run the race and keep the faith. There is a place where evil has been seperated from God, a place where sin is not welcome or relevant, a place where the great Lion of Judah shakes His mane and all wickedness is destroyed, a place that I am unworthy to enter but by Jesus’s love, death and Resurrection, and my choice to leave my sins behind and follow Him, I am permitted to come and join in the feasting.
We long for a world other than this one because God programmed us to long for where He is. The made up realms are nice for now, but it’s the very real place of Heaven that is the true escape. We just have to hang on until the end and remember that we are strangers and aliens and not of this world, we are from God, we are Heaven bound.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · Love · power of God · searching · still fighting · True Joy

Agapao

Lent day 22

Agape (noun)
Agapao (verb)

We all know the Agape love of God that is spoken of and written on Church billboard signs; but what about the Agapao love of God?
Agape is a noun. We all know what a noun is. In fact I struggle with Agape being a noun because it doesn’t seem to fit the feeling the word offers. Yet Agapao is the verb and this word being a verb is exactly what we feel when God says He ‘Agapes’ us. Now, I’m not a scholar or a linguist so I won’t dive into these words too much because I know I will get in over my head. But here’s the “big idea” for the day: God’s love is an action. His love is never stagnant. God loves is with a love that chases is down and fights for us. There is an old poem called ‘the hound of Heaven’, it speaks of how God relentlessly pursues us even though we run from Him. That’s what His love is. It’s never giving up. Never battered down. Never beaten back. Always persuing us. God is waiting to come until the whole world hears, why? Because He doesn’t want a single soul to be lost so He bides His time until every ear has heard about Him, so that the ones left behind are there because they chose to be, not because they didn’t know any better. I bet it breaks His heart when people choose to not live for Him. He actively loves them. Actively pursues them. And actively holds all of us in His arms if we choose not to struggle away from Him.
God’s love is an action.