Tag Archive | faith

No Experience Necessary

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “experience.”

I have a college-aged son who is looking to graduate in December. He is currently looking for internships for the summer, but is running across a lot of positions where he has to have previous experience. Well, when you’re a college student looking for work in a national or state park, experience is hard to come by. (If you have any connections, hit me up!)

 

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It can be discouraging when you’re looking for a job, but when you’re talking about a relationship with Jesus, it’s a really good thing.

He doesn’t ask us to be religious. He doesn’t expect us to have our act together (whew!) He wants us to come as we are.

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Yep, that would be the kind of experience we all have, wouldn’t it?

There’s a song playing on Christian radio these days called “Church (Take Me Back)” by Bryan Fowler, Michael Cochrane and Micah Kuiper. The words are very poignant when you’re talking about someone who has wandered away and just wants to get back to the faith that is in their bones. A place they can call home. A place where they are known.

“It’s not a trophy for the winners
It’s a shelter for the sinners
And it’s right where I belong.”

They just want to go to church.

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That’s how it should be with all of us. Church is not supposed to be a haven for the righteous. It’s supposed to be a hospital for the wounded.

Can we just get back to that? Can we be welcoming of everyone who walks in the doors? Because they’re not looking for a place where they have to be perfect; they’re looking for a place where they can be accepted. People just need to heal. Let’s give them that chance.

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Life That Is Light

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “life.”

 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:-5, ESV).

In Him was life. And that life was the light of all mankind.

When I focus on Jesus, I have life. When I focus on other things, well, sometimes that life can get sucked out of me.

Like, recently, well actually for a long time now, meal planning and grocery shopping have sucked the life out of me. Why do they want dinner

If it was just me in the house, my eating-out budget would be way bigger than my grocery budget. Just sayin’.

Part of my angst with this issue is that I have to prepare different varieties of each meal because my husband is a vegetarian for health reasons, and my daughter, though she eats most things I make, is still a bit picky. So I can go through recipes and think, ooh, that looks good! and then realize, nope, has meat. Or nope, she doesn’t like pork chops.

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Now some of you might be thinking, don’t cater to the pickiness! And I try not to, but I also want to make things that people are going to like. Why purposely make something like pork chops if I’m the only one gonna eat ’em?

But doing the planning and then going to the grocery store, yeah, life sucking.

But maybe I’m looking at it with wrong eyes. How did Jesus approach food? How did he handle the physical needs of those around Him?

Well, I would like to have faith that my refrigerator would just refill itself like the baskets of loaves and fishes, but I don’t think that’s what God wants for me.

Keep my eyes on Jesus. Do what He has called me to do without grumbling and complaining.

But can I say that I’m happy I’m going on a retreat this weekend and don’t have to cook?

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To Not Know But Be Known

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “unknown.”

It seems that we humans like to have things explained. We want to know the why of things. I recently lost one of my beautiful koi to unknown causes. I just went out one morning to the small pond in my front yard, and the water level was extremely low, and one of the two remaining koi I have was dead.

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There didn’t appear to be any reason whatsoever.

My husband has had ulcerative colitis for almost 30 years. They don’t know why. The origin is unknown.

I have another friend who collapsed one morning and was taken to the ER. They have no idea why it happened.

It’s very frustrating to be on the questioning end of the unknown. No amount of researching or exploring seems to be able to answer our questions.

It’s frustrating with the sudden death of animals, and it’s frustrating with medical situations. We don’t like to settle for not knowing, but sometimes, we just have to. But thanks be to God, we can also accept being completely known by Him.

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If You Are Willing

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “willing.”

“While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him” (Luke 5:12-13 NASB).

I have a friend, Marcey, whose 22-year-old daughter, Julia, became very ill. After many weeks, a large mass was discovered in her abdomen that was pushing all her organs out of the way. She was in excruciating, debilitating pain. Surgery was performed and 90+ percent of the tumor was removed. Within 6 weeks, it had grown back.

The doctors were stymied. Even the top tumor experts were not able to figure out what this tumor was. It had never been seen before.

As friends were rallied to pray, radiation and chemo therapies were applied. At one point, Marcey told me they thought they were going to lose her. She was so weak. There didn’t seem to be any hope.

And yet we prayed.

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Julia sporting her new wig (photo courtesy her mom)

Just two days ago, Marcey reported that there has been a turnaround in Julia’s prognosis. The chemotherapy is working and the tumors are shrinking. The doctor’s are jubilant as is her family. Today she is off her pain pump and trusting God for a future that just weeks ago she wasn’t sure she would have.

She’s a walking miracle.

We asked God to be willing to heal her, and His answer was, “Yes.”

But we know that’s not always His answer in this life. But He is always our portion. Whether healed in this life or not, we always have our hope in Him.

Even though my 5 minutes are up, I’m going to add a note here that this is a way bigger subject than can be tackled in just 5 minutes. This story is fresh on my heart and I wanted to share it, but I know that there are so many people who have not experienced healing of either themselves or a loved one. I lost both my mom and my grandmother to cancer and have known many others who have succumbed to this dread disease. There are no guarantees of physical healing here on earth, but I stand on the fact that God is good. Whether His healing happens here or not, He is good and He redeems all things. If you or someone you love is in need of God’s healing touch, keep praying: Your will be done.

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The Eternal “Why?”

This post is a part of my 10-minute Tuesday series. I take a one-word prompt and write for 10 minutes without heavy editing and see what happens. Heresy? Hopefully not! Just realize that things are not necessarily fully thought through. Consider it food for thought.

When my kids turned 3, they all entered the “why?” stage. Any answer they were given or thing they were told always prompted the question, “Why?” from them. Not wanting to squelch curiosity, I would answer as much as I could, but eventually I would grow weary of it and say, “Just because!”

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Somehow, “why?” is a question we want answered all the way through our lives. It’s something we challenge God with often. And it’s not something that we get an answer to very often. “Why do I have to go to bed now?” turns into “Why is this happening to me?” Why do I have to suffer? Why is my child dealing with cancer? Why did you let my husband die?

Unlike us, God does not grow weary of our questions, but on the other hand, He doesn’t choose to answer our “whys” very often either.

Maybe “why?” isn’t actually the right question. Maybe we need to be asking, “How can I know You better through this?” What can I learn about You? How am I going to walk with You through this? How are You going to reveal yourself to me?

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I don’t think God cares that we ask, I just don’t think He owes us an explanation. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORDFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I don’t think that’s quite the equivalent of “because I’m the mom, that’s why,” but there is a strong element of trust that needs to go into our life with the Lord. We know from Romans that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romas 8:28). As C.S. Lewis said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

For our good and His glory. That’s why.

Just One Touch

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a prompt without any heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “touch.”

All she thought she needed was to touch the hem of His robe. She knew that He had healed others and she had waited a long, long time for God to heal her from her affliction.

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The crowds pressed in, but she pushed through and reached out her hand.

Just a touch.

Just His robe.

That would be enough.

And it was. She knew as soon as she touched him that she was healed. She felt the effects in her body.

And He felt the effects in His. “Somebody touched Me,” He said to His disciples.

The disciples shrugged it off. The crowds were tight around them. Of course someone touched Him. How could they not.

But He knew it was different. He knew that someone with faith had purposely reached out to Him, longing to be healed.

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He stopped, He saw the woman, and He reached out to her. “And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace'” Luke 8:47-48.

Jesus sees you. Reach out in faith. He doesn’t always bring physical healing, we know that. But He will always bring peace.

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More Of Jesus

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “more.”

We’ve been teaching my almost-14-month-old grandson baby sign. He can say “please,” “thank you,” “help,” “all done,” “milk” and “more.” Sometimes he gets them a little confused, and the sign he uses most often when he can’t quite get it right is “more.”

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Zayne and his uncle Nathan

If he wants to go out in the yard to walk around he says “more.”

If he wants help stepping down onto the porch from the kitchen’s French doors he says “more.”

When we tell him and show him what the sign should be, he gets it right, but interesting that “more” is his default.

Sounds a lot like me. There’s always something more that I want. More time, more sunshine, more health, more vacations, more followers on my social media platforms more money to spend on more stuff!

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I’m a Young Life baby. I began my personal walk with Jesus at a Young Life camp when I was 13. There’s a song we used to sing at our meetings.

I want more of Jesus, more and more and more.

I want more of Jesus than I ever had before.

I want more of His great love so rich and full and free

I want more of Jesus, so I’ll give Him more of me!

That’ll preach, won’t it?

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