could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!


JOY- this is what it means

I don't know if yesterdays post made any sense. I find that I think in circles and yesterday I just kind of leaked my brain out onto the keyboard and well, you see what happened.
Think of it as a journal entry. You picked up my journal and opened up to a random page to find me in the midst of a conversation...with myself.

I think it is important to note that I am first and foremost talking to myself. I do not have an agenda to change your behavior.
You take are of you. K?
But I am in a full on exercise to be me...unedited. I am curious about what I think, what I am about, who I am.
This is hard because I am a first rate mimic. I am also a lifelong subscriber to the JOY bus song.
Did you ever hear that one?
J. O. Y.
J. O. Y.
this is what it means
Jesus first
Yourself last
and others in between.

For the record, I do not necessarily find anything wrong with that sentiment.
My trouble started when I began to leave the Y off entirely.

I am beginning a journey to find the Y.
I think that there are many travelers on this road.

I believe in my heart of hearts that when I really understand how much Jesus loves ME, I will be way better at loving you.

This isn't just a selfish journey to find myself.
Notice the word "just".
It's not just that. But it is that.
Jesus already found me. He is my biggest cheering section. He has poured upon me a love an acceptance that I cannot fully accept...yet. I am shocked at how many times each day I am confronted with His gentle reminders of who I am.

When I see me, how He sees me, my heart swells so deeply and profoundly that I almost cannot breathe.

I have been created to be like Jesus. There is no changing that.
There are a million and one ways to see the evidence of that fact.
I am learning to recognize the signs.
I am finding that when I recognize them in myself...I am better able to see them in others.

Maybe I do kind of object to the JOY sentiment.
I do not think it is a linear equation as in 1,2,3.
More of a JOY soup. All poured in together.

Just thinking about that today.



The trouble is, I have to change how my heart thinks.
If my foundation is fear- then that is all I see.
But what am I to do if all I have ever known is fear. there is no amount of words that are going to magically change that.
I don't know if it is possible to put love on top and expect it to stick.
Like oil and water- they don't mix.

so love has to go deeper. Deeper than the fear.
Love- most assuredly in action first- going in to destroy the very foundation that you have built your life upon.

It changes everything you know.
Throws it all out the window. You thought you knew how to interact with people. You thought you understood what God, loving you, meant.
You didn't.
I don't. Let's bring this home....

I have only ever known one Jesus- one God- one Lord.
Taught from the beginning that He loves me no matter what.
That should be enough right?!

Sure, He loves me.
But I am pretty good. I don't really do bad things. Except, I do.
Because thinking the above thought was bad, as in arrogant.
Sin is sin right?

My heart wants it all to be equal.
larceny/ judgement
all equal. all bad.
The message is..don't go through life thinking you are better than someone else.
The reality is that you are all in need of a Savior.

Of course you get a scripture...
John 3:16
For God so loved the world. be translated...scum-sucking sinners.

Either you accept that you were once one of them and now you are a new creation...
or you are still one of them-perpetually- in need of the only worthy one to save you from your current, constant,
pit of life.

I do not see love- or freedom- in those statements.

what if...(two words that have the power to start revolution)
what if our perspective changes- just a bit-
one tiny shift to begin with...

Lets change our perspective on "world".
put down any thoughts of  "worldly or of the world."
disengage the mind set that all references to world ultimately mean references to sin and sinner.

close your eyes and breathe for a moment in the emptiness created by removing sin-
from world.

I am not suggesting that you are now the Savior.

I am asking you to consider "world" as...
earth- creation- people

Created by God and He saw that it was good.
God loved it. God SO loved it.

now open your eyes.
Do you see this world?
God loves it.
He loves it so much that he sent His Son.

I have always held the impression that we- the world- dwelt in the molten sludge-pits of muck and degradation and God in His Mercy sent His Son with a Heavenly fire hose to power wash us so we could be clean and worthy.
CALL ON JESUS! then get ready to get blasted. I mean do deserve it. And in love He is gonna blast you clean.

this line of thinking made me fearful.
and it also made me hateful.
and judgmental.

cuz I already did it. got hosed. whew. I'm good.
but you.
you could really use some hosing.

He will you know. Make you all clean and bran' spankin' sparkly new. CALL ON JESUS!

Does this make me more loving than Jesus?
Because my heart tells me that going around calling (or considering) people as losers...heathens...unwashed...wordly...
is not very loving.

Did Jesus do that?
Do His followers do that?

I know that you would never approach a person in pain and say "you are really in bad shape. You have screwed up your life because you are so ignorant. Let me tell you how to make your suckiness go away."

I know you wouldn't do that.

Would you ever say (in your heart or to your friends or to your bible study group)
I have this co-worker that is just so lost. Really worldly. Messed up bad. They really need Jesus.

What did you mean when you said worldly?
Do you see a scenario in which you pray and Jesus comes in and makes your co-worker clean and nice and ok to be around?
maybe you can honestly say that you love that person in your office with a pure love that sees their worth and wants them to be whole.
brownie points to you.

do you view the the slutty girl that is targeting your teenage boy with the same generosity?
how much love did you feel for the possibly high certainly stinky man that cussed out the clerk in convenience store while you were waiting in a hurry to pay for your power bar?

just think about it.

God so loved the world.


I gotta be me

I tried to be all riled up today but I just couldn't. Usually I write whilst all riled up. It is my muse.
Today I am going to write from a neutral or maybe even philanthropic standpoint.
Hang on tight.

A teacher friend of mine said something that I have heard so many times in the christian circles of my life. The statement was presented without malice. Actually, it was a call to the deep inner places of the heart. He called for goodness. He called for selflessness. He called out for us to honor our Maker.
And all his words hurt my soul.
The statement-(in thought and meaning, not directly quoted)

"I hope that in hearing this you hear my goal. That I would go through my days in such a way that you would see and hear my Father and not me."

I wondered at this thought. And for a moment, at all the thoughts I had encountered and embraced along these lines.
More of you and less of me.

How many times do we say it? How many times do we wish it with all of our good christian hearts?
Sincerely we plead, "Let them see only You, Lord. Remove me from this. Let only Your words be heard. Show me how to move and speak in such a way that the world does not see me, but only You."

We have been taught quite scripturally (John 3:30) that we are to be less to His more.
That the world should be seeing Jesus. Only Jesus.

And I am here to say...I disagree.

First of all, think about it for a minute...
what parent pats their child on the head and sends them off for their day and thinks..."wow. great kid. I hope nobody looks at her today. Or if they do, I hope that all they see is me."

what parent reads their child's beautiful dissertation and expects to be footnoted..."all thoughts and references mentioned in the above text are to be exclusively attributed to my Father."

what parent says to their child, "only use my words today honey. all your words are meaningless."

and what parent expects their child to love while saying (or feeling) , "you know, this is my Father loving you. Without Him I would not be able to pull it off."

[I have no neutral position on that last statement so I won't dwell on it.]

I do not believe that our Father expects us to disappear within His glory. I believe that He created us unique and worthy to be and do all of life as ourselves.
And I think that is part of His Glory.

I understand the sentiment. God of the Universe. He has good things to say! His actions are pretty spectacular and He never makes mistakes. More of Him. Really worthy goal.
I am not necessarily advocating a life of "look at me!" That's baby talk really. Immaturity.
We have been trained to see it as arrogance. A need for attention. Not very christian.
At the very least, not very grown up.
And that has become our worshipped goal. To grow up. Be mature. Lose the need to be seen.

So I just want to put this to you...
What did Jesus mean when He said...and I quote...
Matthew 18: 2-3
            He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: “Truly              I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

No, really.

Maybe He likes our immature, humiliating, look-at-me, selves.

What if our the very core...are "can you see me?"

We are told from day one in our christian walk to put ourselves aside. we are told that we are unworthy and screwed up and mess makers. we are told that taking on Jesus is the way to be worthy because only He is worthy.
That is the nugget of truth within the lie...He is the worthy one if we are comparing.
But that is not the topic or issue here.

All He did, He did to reveal our worth. Worth.

He sees you. He sees me. He wants me to see I see myself.

Created. Unique. With a voice and actions that are my own. I am not Jesus. I am not God.
Why would I expect to be seen as such?

If He took the time to make me as I am (yes, yes and that is ever changing and growing more like Him because He is cool)
if He took the time to make, maybe my Father expects me to act like me. Not 'just' Jesus.

This joke has impacted me since childhood.
There is this preacher who gives an impassioned sermon one Sunday. He felt very inspired and sure that He had delivered the very words of God.
After the service he stands at the back and shakes hands with the congregation. 

One little lady says "Brother, those were good words your preached today."
The preacher points to heaven and lowers his eyes and says, "The words of God, Sister, the words of God."
And she pats him on the hand and says, "well, they weren't THAT good."

It is ok to be who we were created to be. We will most assuredly mess up sometimes. He gets that.
And I don't think it scares Him.

I have a need to be seen. To be known. To be understood. After all that is said and done I have a need to be loved because I am me.

I still want to be like Jesus. It is a worth-while goal.
But if I put my entire existence into losing myself to gain His glory then maybe I shortchange Him.

Just something I want you to think about. I'm thinking about it.