Life

Each step of life is a journey that you choose to walk.

Each moment of life is another line, sentence, paragraph and chapter of the book called your life.

Enjoy all that life has to offer, good friends, good food, good coffee and as always wisdom and a good laugh.

~Jen





30 March 2017

Inside Outside

Why do we view sins as not so bad, bad, and really bad? I have been thinking a lot about this over the past week. Isn't sin, sin? Are we to judge as God judges?
God's word says; "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23
My sins, and they are many, are not better or worse than yours or your neighbors - or anyone else's for that matter. So who are we to pass judgement on another? Why spew contentment and hate when we know what another person's sin is? Isn't God's forgiveness and love for them just as much as it is for us? There is no "them" and "us" in the eyes of God so we need to stop dividing people up into these two categories.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." -1 John 4:7-11
Judgement comes from knowing another's sin, wrong doing, wrong living, wrong...whatever you want to label it. It comes because we "See" their sin. Sins that are on the outside. It's so easy for any of us to label a person "not saved" or "unreachable" because we know what they are doing is wrong. And that my friends...is WRONG! I get it. When sin is on the outside it's easier to feel better about our own sins, but it's all sin!
 "All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death." -1 John 5:17
The sin that lives on the inside maybe hidden, but it's not hidden from God. The sin that is polished up on Sunday morning is still just as wrong and ugly and deadly as the sin that was judged all the week long. It's time to stop judging people because of their sin and start loving them as Christ commands us to do. To live as a Christian means to follow the teaching of Christ. To live as He lived. We will not be perfect all the days of our life, but we can work towards becoming more like Christ each and every day. We need to look past the transgressions of other human being and love them.
"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." -Ephesians 5:1-2
Yes I know God's word speaks very directly about sin, and we all sin. Every single last one of us. There is no getting away from it. Jesus died for all our sins, every single last person on earth. So love, don't hate. Have mercy, don't judge. Give forgiveness and be forgiven. Let God make the changes because let's face it, we can't. I cannot find a better example of this truth than in Galatians.
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited,provoking and envying each other." -Galatians 5:13-26
So if your sin is showing on the outside or if it's hidden on the inside, remember sin is sin and we are not to judge another's sin, but work on our own.

~Peace & Blessings~
 Jen

10 August 2016

The Olympics and Redemption

I have been noticing a theme during these Olympic Games. Stories of triumph and redemption. There, of course, was the scandal with the Russian team and their use of performance enhancing drugs. Many of the athletes were not allowed to compete, but a few were and have. I believe in competing clean, using the ability that God has given you with your desire to train to be the best. But in the Russian team story, there has been redemption.

Then, this morning, I read an article about one of my favorite athletes to watch, Michael Phelps. To be honest, I did not know that he struggled with substance abuse, and if I had heard stories, I am sure that I dismissed them. How could he, he's the best.
 http://qpolitical.com/1-nearly-dying-michael-phelps-tells-god-saved-life-made-swim/


So my thought (more to myself) is this, why is it we are quick to believe one story and not the other? Why do we celebrate the redemption of one, but not the other? The truth is, EVERYONE can be redeemed and with repentance and forgiveness, mercy and grace.


"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."
Ephesians 1:7; 


“So he got up and went to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him.”Luke 15:20




~Peace & Blessings~
Jen

17 July 2016

To Serve God

What does it mean to serve God? I suppose it takes many different forms, depending on your culture, religion or society in which you live in.

Romans 14:17-19(NIV)17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

There has been so much harm done in the name of serving God. Mass murders, "terrorist" attacks, and suicide bombings just to name a few. This is nothing new. In the Bible's Old Testament God had ordered His people to go and destroy those tribes that did not follow Him.

Deuteronomy 20:16-18(NIV)16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

There are those today who do the same. We take it on faith that what the stories of old say to us and find it beyond understanding as to those who kill in this way today. We question them on if they are really hearing from God or not. I question this too, don't get me wrong. I believe in the New Covenant of Christ Jesus that of which the New Testament talks of in the Bible. This does not mean though, that Christians do not have blood on their hands, they do...we do. From the Crusades, to "conversion" in the "New World", so much killing done in the name of God.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6(NIV)Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Is this how we are suppose to serve the One True God? Honestly, if this is how one sees their service to God, I begin to wonder if we are knowing the same God, knowing of His TRUE character. Even those who hate in the name of Jesus...I wonder if we know the same Jesus. So again I ask, what does it mean to serve God?

Galatians 5:19-26(NIV)19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited,provoking and envying each other.

I know that we are not all going to agree. I understand that. I know that we do not all share the same point of view. I get that too. What I don't get is how one can read the same Spirit filled scriptures as I do and still hate, destroy, and want to harm those who do know God the same way. To me this is contradictory to the teachings of Jesus.

Matthew 5:43-45(NIV)Love for Enemies43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

~Peace & Blessings~
 Jen

08 May 2016

What's Missing From the Bible?

I saw an interesting post on Google + the other day about missing scripture in Acts, and I was curious as to if what the post said was true. So I went into Biblegateway.com to investigate. What the person had posted was accurate, but it was not entirly true. As it were, the verse that was "missing" was actaully a verse that was added into the King James Bible when it was scribed, but was not in the orgianal text; therefore it was removed when newer versions were later printed.

But this really got me to thinking. How well do we really know the Bible? More importantly, how well do we know the history of the Bible?

I beleive that it is important to understand the history of our Bibles as they are written in our language, but I do know that every language is vastly different and not all languages can be translated easily. If you have ever taken a foreign language class or speak a second language fluently, you know how true that this statment is. We have words in English that they do not have in Russian, French, German, Greek or even Hebrew. So if a phrase is translated from one language to another, there is a real chance that it will not be as accurate as it was in its original language.  So how can we be sure of what we are reading is to be true and accurate. I suppose one way is to learn the language of the original sacrad scripts, or we who are not that veresed, must trust that the interpretation is correct.

So why make such a fuss over a phrase or one verse? Simple, we all want to be told the truth.

2 Timothy 16-17; "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Over all there seems to be some who want to use God's Word against others, to prove they are right, correct and above reproof. Jesus does warn us of this. To teach...yes, to correct...yes, but to do these things in love. Not to make another feel belittled, or wrong. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. As we are open ourselves to God, He begins that process of correction, and rebuking through LOVE.

Matthew 22: 37-38;  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

So I ask you this, what is more important, be "spot on" word by word of what is written in the Bible that you have chosen to read and study, or to love people the way that Jesus has taught each of us to do?

What is missing from the Bible? The action behind God's Word by God's people. Let us learn to love, forgive, have grace and mercy to each person that is present in our lives.


~Peace & Blessings~

Jen

13 March 2016

Power Play

The great debate is now in full swing. I have witnessed heated debates in regards to the change that is to come in the near future. My greatest fear is that people will go with the flow instead of going with what they know is right.

I often wonder what it must have been like in the days of Jesus. Politics were just as heated then as they are now. It was because of politics that God's plan was set in motion. God's plan prevailed despite the efforts of feeble men who were striving for some sort of power. I would encourage you to read any of the Gospels encounters about the betrayal, mock trail, and crucifixion of Jesus, but I want to share with you from the Gospel of Mark.

15 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.“You have said so,” Jesus replied.The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate,10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.13 “Crucify him!” they shouted.14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Even with the power plays of man, God's plan prevailed, as it will today. We need to be mindful that no matter what happens, it's been set forth because God has called it to be. He has spoken and it is so. There is great comfort in that knowledge.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28


~Peace & Blessings~
Jen