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Mean girls and bad boys

Mean girls and bad boys

Late for class, last bell rings, dead run for her locker. She throws her bag into the steel trap and dashes past the others who are still in the hall. “Loser.” “Trash.” ‘Whatever.’ She just needs to get to her seat. She slides behind her desk. Peanut butter on the chair. ‘Nice.’ The girls behind her laugh. She sighs. Class ends and she’s on her way back to her locker. An elbow hits her in the side, then two hands shove her against a door. She’s had enough! She shoves back. The other girl lands on the floor. Teacher sees. “You! Stay after school!” Parents are called in, she has detention and a new nick name, Mean Girl.

The boys gather around the new kid. He’s shy and stares at his shoes. “You have to be cool if you are going to hang with us.” He’s heard those words before, that’s why he transferred. He shakes his head and is shoved against the wall, “Don’t be such a wimp!” He chokes a groan back and nods. The other boys look triumphant. What makes them look cool at this new school? The old school it was alcohol, the one before that was drugs, this one? The next thing he knows his locker is full of pirated video games, and he is very cool in the eyes of his new ‘friends.’ Until they get caught. Short term in Juvenile Correction facilities and he’s back in class. One of his old ‘friends’ leans over to another kid and whispers, “stay away from him, he’s bad news.”

Life can be drastically unfair. Don’t judge a person by the unfair labels that have been stamped on them by the hypocrites around you;  See for yourself what they are like. Jesus has called and still calls all kinds of people, not just those who don’t get caught doing wrong, and thankfully He sees everything and knows who’s truly at fault. If you have ever been wrongly labeled and judged, know that Jesus sees the truth and He will take up positions to defend you.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus · searching

Who did I forget?

Forgot to send out an invite?

God is the cause of all celebration, but do we remember to invite Him to celebrate with is?
Without Jesus the baby would not have been born.
Without Jesus the body would not have been healed.
Without Jesus the couple would not be celebrating 35 years together.
God is the cause of all the good things that happen to us, and if you are wondering how you can involve God in your celebration let me suggest something.
THANK HIM.
Take a moment away from the pinata and the finger sandwiches to draw everyone’s attention to Jesus. Take a moment of prayer and give the credit back to the one who earned it.
Don’t forget that Jesus wants to celebrate with you. So invite Him into your gathering, that would make Him smile.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · searching

Walking on the clouds

Your ways are higher than my ways. Your thoughts higher than my thoughts.
Isiah 55: 8-9

People were never meant to stay on the ground. We always have a need in us to climb higher, build taller and touch above the clouds. Why? Well, the Aztecs believed that the taller they built and the higher up they were the closer they were to god. Or at least that is what I have read. Now. I don’t believe we need to fight to get higher in altitude to be closer to our God, but perhaps deep down we all have a similar feeling. Isn’t that why we reach our hands up when we worship. We are reaching to God. Maybe, just maybe that is why we feel a need to go higher. In truth, we all (even non-Christians) want to get closer to God. It is built into us, that’s why so many people claim to be searching for something. That something is Jesus; and He can be found right here where we are right now.

Thank you Jesus for the blessing of who you are. Thank you that we don’t have to climb to you because you are here with us. Amen

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus

Easier would be nice God, just saying

Some days….most days, I wish that God would make things easy. You know? Today I drove into an unassuming ditch. It looked like I would skim the edge of a very small divot leading to a field. The divot was a ditch so deep and so full of snow that suddenly not all four wheels were on the ground anymore. Worse it wasn’t my property. Worse still I was in the middle of no where so CAA would be a pain to try to get out to my trouble spot. So I prayed. Of course. Then tried for about 15mins to get out. Now, in my mind I would pray and walk my truck right out of the hole. Nope. I prayed and then tried and tried and tried until finally my little Holy Spirit nudge said, “call your DAD!” Dad face timed with me. We prayed together and he helped me figure out how to get the truck out. It took almost an hour. A lot of shoving bear claws under tires, backing up as far as it would go and repeating. A bit of shoveling, more prayer, and a 3 point basket cheer when we finally got out.
Was God not there as I struggled? Of course He was.
Why wasn’t He making it easy?
Good question.
I think that sometimes God gives us things that He helps us through. Instead of fixing the problem for us, He helps us fix the problem ourselves, then we learn and grow from our issues and mistakes.
Kind of like my Poppa. I can do so many things that most people probably can’t simply because instead of doing it for me my Poppa always showed me how to do it and had me do it myself. Actually so does my dad. He hands me the skill saw and says ‘cut here, follow this line.’ Saw gets pinched. ‘Here, this is how you get it unstuck without breaking the blade, now you do it.’ That’s how I know how to do things. I believe that God does that too.
“Here, listen to what I am saying and try it this way. Okay, good job, now try again.”
That way, we learn.
Thank God for teaching me, even if that sometimes means making me do things the hard way.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus

I’ve been there too

I’ve been there too

So, I caught a cold this past Monday. I have an old family rule that I live by that says, ‘if you don’t have a fever you aren’t sick enough to stay home.’ I hate this rule; but once something becomes engraved in your mind it’s hard to change. So I plowed through and made it to Saturday where I almost died on the couch. Not literally. Then my mom asks me to bring a meal over to my grandparents. Up I get and off I go to carry the food across the yard, (we live on an acreage). On the way back my dog wants to play. It’s so warm and sunny that we play for about half an hour. Then I see him. My horse with his head over the fence. Guess what? He too has a cold. I walk over and rub his neck and he presses his forehead against mine. I have had my horse for nearly 10 years, I knew he was saying he didn’t feel great. I also felt the sense that we were sharing a moment of understanding. He was sick and so was I, he needed a hug and so did I. We understood each other’s suffering. Then I got to work filling his water, because he was low and giving him extra mineral to combat the virus, and feed to keep his strength up and then more hugs.
I have two points here. One is that no matter how you feel there is always someone who needs something and true love is doing that something no matter what. My mom is really great at this. Complain your way through if you must, but Christ’s spirit of carrying one another’s burdens makes us keep giving. Point two. No matter what you are going through there is always someone somewhere who has been through the same and wants to help. You are NEVER alone. With 7 billion people in the world there is zero chance that you are the only one who is suffering this particular way. Others get it and even if they don’t, Jesus gets it and He has always got your back! He will Always help you through the tough times. Even if that though time is pushing through with a cold.

God arms me with strength. And He makes my path perfect. Psalms 18:32

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Where Faith may fail

Where faith may fail

Do you ever feel as though your faith has failed?
Ya, me too.
You build yourself up with courageous words and scripture verses to make your heart feel okay, but deep down you still feel faithless. A nagging voice says, ‘you know God doesn’t operate like that anymore! You know that those kinds of miracles ended before the 20th century began. So why pray for it? Why run after something that you will never catch? You’ll just end up looking silly for trying so hard. Give up. Faith has no ground.’
Wow. Say ‘hello Devil, when did you get here?’ because that’s the voice I hear when I hear such words. It is clearly the Devil saying such things; eating away at your Faith like a monster devouring flesh, but that doesn’t stop us from believing such wicked and common lies. We hit a wall where our Faith feels powerless and we just can’t fight through. I realized something the other day. Why do we fight with our Faith? Faith isn’t a weapon. It’s a shield. The Holy Spirit is the weapon! Our Faith feels battered because we are using it to beat down our enemy. We drop our sword, take our shield in both hands and smack our enemy with it with all our strength! And we get knocked back on our belt of hard truth. The truth is that with our own strength we can’t do anything. But if we attack our enemy with the sword of the Spirit the enemy will fall! Because we are using God’s strength to win! Our Faith gets battered because we wield it as a weapon. Which it isn’t. But as a shield, as our defense, our Faith is unmatched in power because our Faith is in the unmatched, powerful God. Whose name is Jesus.

So then, put on the full armor of God-Ephesians 6:10

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If you’re not THIS, God doesn’t love you

If you’re not THIS God doesn’t love you

This world is a broken mess. That is clear, and Christian or skeptic we can all see it.
Sadly the hate of the outside world sometimes seeps into our Churches and into our Brethren in Christ.
It makes me think of an old anime I own. There was a small village living in the waste land of a once fertile country. Little by little the ‘toxic jungle’ spread until the inhabitants had to wear filtering masks when going out doors. Little particles of the jungle seeped into the houses too though, slowly destroying all until there was nothing left. If we took the spore of our world’s ‘toxic jungle’ and eliminated it completely our air would be breathable again. That spore I would like to say is hate, because hate is pretty easy to spot, but hate itself is just an extreme version of the true problem. Judgement. We throw down judgements like it is our job and justify by screaming out, “but the Bible says.” Um, right, the Bible also says many, many times that is not for people to judge that that is God’s job. Next excuse. “We can’t condone that because we are Christians.” Okay, but condoning the sin and loving or even accepting the sinner, these are two very different things.
I have heard too many Church people quote the Bible to make themselves feel more Holy. The problem is that we usually quote it with a, ‘if you don’t do this exactly the way God says He won’t love you’ insinuation. God loves you. That’s it. He loves just you, all of you, and any version of you to come. Does He want His people to be better. Of course! We’re people, there is always room for improvement. But just because you slip, or struggle, or don’t invite the Jones’ out for tea after Church; none of this, and I mean none of it, will EVER make God stop loving you.
If you are dirty, join the club, we are all dirty. If you struggle with drugs, alcohol, porn, infidelity. If you have committed murder, stolen, cheated, or lied, God still loves you. Nothing you are and nothing you have done can change that. Does it hurt God when we do wrong? Absolutley. Does He drop us like a bad connection after? NO! And don’t ever let anyone make you feel like He does. Nothing you don’t do and nothing you do do will change God’s love for you. We can let the need to accuse and judge others seep in from the outside world. By that I mean in from the world of the devil. The one who is against Jesus, that is the outside world. Little by little we destroy our Churches because we don’t want the sinners in to add mud to our name. We destroy ourselves by failing the second greatest command. Love your neighbor. Love can shown by simply going, “it’s okay, I won’t judge.”
I feel passionate about this because of the testimonies I have heard. ‘I have never met a Christian who didn’t judge me.’
I don’t witness very often. I let people know I am a Christian and just let God guide things from there so this is not a look at all the people I talk to thing because I don’t. It is just something that has come up…often. I have also heard pastors who use their pulpit as a shield while they judge and not from a Bible stand point. Please let the Holy Spirit guide your response to sermons and don’t get depressed. If God is telling you to change He will help you do so.
Last thing.
God knows how much you love Him. You don’t have to prove it. Do things to make God happy, but don’t feel He misses the fact that you care, in the simple human way we all do our best to love God like He loves us. Talk about impossible dreams.
So to sum up.
Don’t judge, that is God’s job. Love, that is your job.
God will always love you. No matter what anyone ever says. God says that He loves you. Just read the Bible and you can see for yourself.

Love Lauren

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus · searching

When Worlds Collide

When worlds collide
We are all in our own little world, so what happens when our world meets with other people’s worlds?

I have learned a new small pleasure; people listening.
When alone in a resteraunt I focus on the hum of the voices around me, instead of listening to music or playing on my phone.
Today I sat at a lone table with a window view of the street. As I sipped my Jasmine tea and played with my Dim-Sum I watched the world go by. I didn’t bother to count how many cars passed on their way to wherever, each in their own world, each oblivious to anything else. Some people walked by; a few were smiling, most held uninterested expressions. The one true happy being I saw was a dog being walked by a homeless man. A man on the otherside of the glass window. A man too far away to reach out to. A dog in his own little world, he doesn’t know he is homeless because his home is with the person he loves so he is happy.
We are all in our own world really. What would happen if our worlds collided? What do you think would happen if I ran outside and invited that man and his dog to join me for lunch? I would get kicked out of the restaurant, sure I get that, but what else? Would his day brighten? Would his stomach be happy? Would he see Jesus? Probably. What happens when our worlds collide? We change our perspective to a combined vision of ours and theirs. We see the world a new way and we ‘feel’ more. Jesus never lived in His own world. He always lived in the lives of others and in doing so, He helped thousands.
We need to let our worlds collide so we can envision a better world. For everyone.