Something beautiful is being lost…

Something beautiful is being lost.  It has been gradually slipping away for a long time, without anyone noticing.  Now as the effects of this great loss are beginning to come into the light, the belly of the beast is being exposed. We are frantically grasping for answers, looking for solutions and applying bandages without really understanding what is being lost.

Look around you, look at the world we have created and are still creating – it seems to be a world of my will, your will, their will being done.

Let us return to the ancient paths and His word…

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord:  Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

AMEN

Not lost for just a moment…

So often we are looking to work, to complete a check-list, to please, to earn acceptance, to earn approval, to earn our way, lost in our actions and He is always there whispering…

“You don’t have to do a thing,
Simply be with me and let those things go
They can wait another minute
Wait this moment is too sweet
Please stay here with Me
And love on me a little longer
‘Cause I’m in love with you”

Thank you Bethel Music!  Your song, A Little Longer, pierces my heart with the reminder to just be with Him, lost in His word, lost in His attention, lost in His love, and ironically when I do this… it is the one time in my life that I am NOT LOST for just a moment!

Say it!

Have you ever been flipping through the channels and come across the end of a preacher’s sermon as he asks you to accept Jesus into your life?

When I was little I was in the kitchen eating a snack and a preacher was on our TV.  I started watching and became quite engrossed in the show.  At the end he asked everyone who truly believed to stand up and say it.  I stood up right there in the kitchen and said it. I was little, but I truly believed it in my heart.

Am I saved, am I filled with the Holy Spirit?  Many would say yes you are saved and this is all that must be done, but in the many years since this incident I fallen over and over again.  I have let false gods dominate my life many times, even now.  I have wandered far from God to the point that I have completely forgotten about Him for long periods of my life.

Yet through all of this, I have come full circle and again believe the answer to this is a resounding Yes!  I have strayed far, but looking back I see that Jesus has brought me back.  I have fallen, but looking back I see that Jesus has picked me up. I have sinned and still sin often, but so gently Jesus shows me my sin helps me to see how it is an assault against Him, a thorn in His head, a slash on His body and a nail in His hand, and I know any desire to repent and change is inspired by Him for me.

For almost 3 years I have been asking you to say, live and believe “It is our best life” with full faith that if we do this then it will be!

I am now asking you again with full faith to literally say (Out Loud)

Dear God I know I’m a sinner and I want Your forgiveness!
I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. 
Please wash me clean from all sin, shame, and guilt.
Jesus come into my life to be my Lord and Savior.
I ask this in your name Jesus. 
Amen!

If you pray this prayer or another prayer of surrender from your heart then I believe it is not the end of your story resulting in an immediate and easy road to your salvation, but instead the beginning of your part, your role to be played, within God’s great story in The Book of Life with Jesus as your Lord, your Savior, your Friend, your Beloved!

Say it out loud my friends!  We can’t even imagine the awesome power that our God has entrusted us with even before we decide to follow Him.

I have forever struggled with how God selected the names within The Book of Life.  Why would my name be written instead of anyone else’s name, how could He choose one child over another?  As I have written this blog, I think I am finally starting to understand!

He has given us the power to add our names to The Book of Life. Through a prayer of surrender, we surrender our individual stories that we have been writing and we add our names to His book so He can begin writing our stories within the grand story of His Book, The Book of Life!

Melting…

This morning I woke up and remembered that it was our anniversary!  As I gazed at my sleeping love, he woke up, gave me a smile and then for a moment he became lost as he gazed into space.

I didn’t want to interrupt his waking moment, but I thought to myself as he became lost in thought… only God knows where he is right now.

In that moment, with that thought, I wanted to melt into our one true Love so that my husband and I could be lost together in His infinite ocean of love.  

By losing ourselves or melting into Him we are not lost, but instead find His buried treasure of knowing each other even more deeply. This hidden treasure is wonderful, but even it falls short of a deeper secret waiting for us.

I long to long to lose myself for Him alone.

The first shall be last…

I have been thinking a lot about the following passage from the bible.

Mark 12:1-12
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

The first time I read this parable I didn’t get it, I skimmed over it and read on, but I just reread it yesterday and I finally understood it.

As many others have written and as I finally understood, in this parable Jesus is referencing God as the landowner, the Jewish leaders as the tenants, the prophets as the servants and then Himself, Jesus, as the landowners only son.

As I was thinking more about this today, I thought about all of the other spiritual beliefs and religions spread throughout the world.  I thought about how the core teaching of all of the major religions is the same as Jesus’ core teaching, The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Then I began to think about all of the other religions whose leaders could have also been considered tenants.  I thought about how these other religions have also had prophets come to share this message, The Golden Rule, and I started wondering what was the difference.

Did the leaders of these other religions, the tenants, actually listen to their prophets, the servants of the landowner, thus not requiring the landowner to send his only son?

If this is the case, then we have been quite lost for some time.  If this is the case, then we, the Christian children of our Jewish ancestors, appear to be among the last to follow God’s law and the one’s who required and took the most from God in order to listen and believe.  We wouldn’t take the word of His prophets/His servants, but required Him to sacrifice His only Son for us to finally listen and believe.

Thank you God for sacrificing Your only Son, Jesus, in order to bring us, Your chosen people, home.  Please help us to understand that You chose us not as a preference over our brothers and sisters throughout the world, but because You love us and refuse to abandon Your lost sheep even if it means sacrificing Your only Son.

Please help us to open our eyes and see that we may have been the lost sheep all along.

Please help us to open our eyes as we look on our brothers and sisters throughout this world and help us to see that there are so many who knew Your Son before you sent Him and so many who have loved You, lived by Your words, and attributed any goodness found within them back to You longer than we have.

Please help us to see that we might be among the last.

Betrayer and Beloved?

I just finished reading all four gospels for the first time.  Even though I grew up attending mass weekly, this is the first time (at least in my flawed memory) that I have heard of the disciple whom Jesus loved or the beloved disciple.

Who is this disciple?  I didn’t realize until I did a few internet searches last night that the question of the identity of this disciple has been under discussion for quite some time, but I always love a good mystery so I have decided to join the scholars in their discussion despite my lack of in depth knowledge.  Below are my initial thoughts.

Jesus gives the most love where the most love is needed.  Jesus will leave 99 sheep grazing in order to search for 1 lost sheep.

Jesus chose his disciples and he knew all of their fates.  He knew they would be hated, despised, persecuted for following Him.  He knew most of them would be killed for spreading His message.  Jesus loved them all, but of the twelve who needed the most love?

Matthew 26:24 – “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!  It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

I think Judas Iscariot needed the most love from Jesus in order to survive the self hatred that he would inflict on himself following the betrayal and to survive the centuries of hatred and persecution aimed at him from people all over the world.

Jesus thank you for loving Judas Iscariot so much.  I have a feeling that he may be Your beloved disciple.  Please help us to remember that we do not know the whole story and that we do not need to know the whole story, but we must love as You love.

Please help me to love Judas Iscariot as you love him.