Saturday, February 27, 2010
The definition of "finished" is: 1. Ended or completed. 2. Completed or perfected in all details. 3. Polished to the highest degree of excellence. "Polished" means flawless, skillful, excellent.
It is finished. It is completed. It is perfected. It is polished. It is excellent. It is flawless. It is Jesus. He is perfected and nothing can be more excellent that Him. If I know and believe in my heart that He said these words, I then need to believe that what He says He means. And since he meant that, He also meant it when He said "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17 (NKJV) So, I do believe that He meant it. The world might be saved. Through Him. Through His acts. Not through me. Not through my acts.
He finished "it" for me and you (He died that I might have life, if I choose to accept it) but He is not "finished" with me yet. There is still something I can do, if I want. I will actively live while believing His words. I do this by praising Him for what He has already finished, completed, perfected, and polished to the highest degree of excellence. I will continue to praise Him until I see the evidence of that which I believe in my heart He did on the cross. I am evidence of it. I am seeing evidence of it in my daughter, Chantel. She has turned her heart to Jesus and I see her teaching her children about Jesus. Evidence of what He said and did. Because He was thinking of her that day. And because He was thinking about you that day. And I continue to praise Him after seeing the evidence. Because I want to praise Him. After all, He gave me life!
As I read this over, I am getting other levels of understanding. I knew that would happen! This is the way the Holy Spirit works - always teaching, always wooing, always saying "hey, look at it this way!".
Jesus said it. Did I truly believe it? In my heart? Do I believe those words that He said while He hung there on the cross, bleeding out, dying, thinking of you and me? He came that we might have life. He died that we might have life. Did I believe it? Do I believe it now? My Jesus does not lie and He does not speak lightly. Yes, I believed it, but that conversation today led me to a higher level of understanding and belief. I believe it and understand it deeper now. Even as He died, He lived....and we are polished to the highest degree of excellence. We just have to believe it. It is finished.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I picked up my Life Application Bible (LAB) the other day. It was the first study Bible I owned and it was given to me by the women’s group of the church I attended at the time. The back cover is no longer attached and the maps and concordance are falling out as well. I keep saying I'm going to get some red duct tape and fix it, but never have! The LAB is the one I read / studied when I first came to know Jesus as my Lord, not just my Savior. It has pages that are tear-stained, crumbled, and torn! I have written in it in all different colors of ink - it was a system at one time, I’m sure. And although I no longer use this Bible on a daily basis, it is still a source of life for me.
I had an overwhelming urge to go through a box of stuff on Thursday and ran across my Spirit Filled Life Bible and noticed that the same thing is beginning to happen to this Bible as well. The spine is broken and pages, although not falling out, are not as attached as they once were. I've had this Bible almost as long as the LAB. Memories came in like a flood – oh, the things I learned while reading this Bible. Here too, I found the man I eventually fell in love with – Jesus Christ. I smiled contently as I opened it, knowing I had just picked up an old friend.
I have several other Bibles as well and each of them has a different part of my life attached. Some are well used and some, well, let's just say we're getting to know each other! There’s the NKJV I received for my birthday a couple of years ago. It’s the first one that a friend actually wrote in – even if I did have to make him! I haven’t seen him since as he was moving to Virginia that day. It is the Bible I take to church with me and I am reminded to pray for him because of his gift. And I have a Message Bible. This is the one in which my granddaughter Mallory wrote a message just for me in the midst of the Psalms! She also found the maps and drew roads leading to Kansas and Kentucky…..right there in the middle of Israel and the Middle East! I smile when I see the evidence of God!
The outside of the Bibles are different, some showing signs of age and wear & tear, and yet all of them have one thing in common – they direct me to the One I need.
If I am in trouble - “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11. He’s thinking of me…of you…right now! And He has plans to give me a future and hope?! How cool is that?!
If I want words with which to praise Jesus Christ, I can open any Bible to the Psalms and praise Him with words from the psalmist. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6. Hey, I have breath! I will praise the Lord!!
Am I feeling unloved? Song of Songs 4:9 says “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes…”. I and yes, you, have stolen the heart of Jesus! Believe it, it is real!
Am I sick? Look at Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed.” Life giving words! We are healed!
All this to say – my Bible is a friend. But each time I open it I find my real Friend, who is my Savior, my Lord, my Healer, my Provider, my Lover, my God. And the list goes on and on……
Thursday, February 4, 2010
In 2006 I left the confines of my hometown and decided to see what was on the other side of Highway 69. I first ended up in Utah, spending just a few months. While there I took my trip of a lifetime (so far) by going to Jerusalem, Israel. I spent almost three weeks there. Then on to Missouri (next door to my home state of Kansas) for just a few weeks. I had this burning desire...which I knew was driven by God...to go help out with disaster relief in Mississippi. I ended up in Gulfport, MS volunteering and ministering with God's Katrina Kitchen. Absolutely amazing! I was there for 14 months. If you ever have a chance to do disaster relief....jump on it! But beware....it will ruin you for the ordinary!
Next stop was California. As Dickens penned, it was the "best of times, the worst of times". One thing about Jesus...he made sure that I knew He was close and caught me when I felt like my world had been swept out from under my feet. Actually, it had been and that was a very good thing! But I sure didn't know that then. I do now. And I love Him for saving me. However, I did meet some of the most amazing people out there and some of them will forever be my brothers and sisters! After that? Well, on to Galveston, TX to do disaster relief with Cavalry for Christ, a sister of God's Katrina Kitchen. I was only there for a few months. Left there not knowing where I was going and ended up a few weeks later in Kentucky, where I am right now. I came here for a week and never left!
I am working full-time and also volunteering for God's Kitchen, Inc. We are in the beginning stages of the next vision.....HIS House. HIS House is a school in Kentucky that we are going to refurbish to use as a distribution center, volunteer center, disaster relief training facility and God-willing, a place to house orphans from Haiti that need a place to grow in peace after their country was devastated by the earthquake on January 12, 2010. It will be a Christ-centered school and the children will be raised to know Jesus Christ and will be able to make their own decisions about Him. And then we hope they will return to Haiti in the strength of Jesus Christ and be the leaders that God will grow them up to be. Hey, if you want want to help out just log on to www.godskitcheninc.org. That website will be up and running shortly and will be full of information about us.
I don't know how good I will be at keeping this blog. Hopefully it will be updated at a steady pace. But then again, maybe not! Hope you like it here!
Numbers 6:25: the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;