Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ripples

Last Sunday's theme in church was ripples. In Sunday school we talked about sin makes ripples but so does grace.  When you sin, lie lie or lose your temper, it makes ripples and has effects you could never see. I forget who frist said this but hurt people hurt people. But just as sin and hurt ripple through us grace and love cause ripples in our lives. To see this we only have to look at the pay it coward movement.  We all have moments that shape us, those ripples from others. Some we can trace others we can't.
      Let me give you an example. My salvation story starts before I was born.  My salvation ripples  from my moms salvation. My moms salvation ripples out from the influence of a person she met on her high school bus. A lady I may never met, but she influenced my life. This just goes to show how your actions can change the life of someone you may never met, for good or bad.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fear and Love

     Fear and love,  Those ideas have been in the front of my mind the last few days. The more I thought about it the more I saw how they are connected. When we love there is no room for fear. 1 John 4:18 " There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."  When we love someone we trust them, leaving no room for fear, but fear destroys trust and smothers love. In the movie Star Wars episode 1: The Phantom Menace Yoda says to young Anakin Skywalker, in the evaluation if he should train as a Jedi, “Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” This is a fact that we see every day. We fear those that are different, so we get angry. Then that anger grows and becomes hate. That hate festers and boils till it bubbles out of us and we hurt those we fear and sometimes those who are totally innocent. Which just breeds more fear, the the cycle counties. To stop the cycle we need love, perfect love. So what is "perfect love"? Perfect Love is everything 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says " Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." Perfect love is a sacrificial love, John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." From these two passages we see what perfect love is, I could go on all night, so I will close this post with this thought. The perfect example of this kind of love is found in Jesus Christ. He loved us so much at the cross, that 2000 years later fear still can't survive at the foot of the cross. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

brokenness

        Broken, defective, out of date and just plain wrong. Those are just a few of the reasons we give for not liking, returning and trowing out the material things in our lives. The sad thing is these are also the reasons we give for not loving, caring, and doing away with the people that come in to our lives. What a sad picture! This world is full of people hating others for being different, full of abortion of kids that might have a "defect", and full of humans being thrown to the side because we have deemed them to far broken.
        What if we could take the picture and flip it? Just like we can take the material things that get broken and fix them, might  I say restore them. What if we had a place where the heart of  the issues in this world could get fixed, restored?  You laugh and say "There is no place that all of the things we call defects and brokenness in a person could be fixed." I tell you there is. Now it might not be a place one can physically see, but a place of the soul. That place is at the feet of Jesus. We are told that one day God will make a new heaven and a new earth with no suffering, no tears, and no pain. So we need to sit and wait for this future day when God make all things new? NO! We don't. We cannot change the everything right now, but what if we changed the way we look at life? What if we look at others as God looks at us? What would happen if instead of broken we saw the healing God could do? Instead of defective we saw God's strength? How this world would change! The bible tells many many stores of how God took the weak and even the broken to accomplish great things. So I pose rather then looking at the world like men that we should look at men with Gods eyes. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 looking forward

It is that time of year every makes new years resolutions. For me, I never remember them past March. So this year I am going to use songs that I hear on the radio to help me remember my 2018 goals. Here we go!
1. I desire to become a better prayer warrior. 
"You'll never stop me I'm a warrior
When I fall down I get stronger
Faith is my shield His love is the armor"
~Warrior by Hannah Kerr
2. Be true to who I am in Christ -no matter what. 
"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me" 
~ This is Me from The Greatest Showman
3. To praise God no matter what happens.
"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul"
~It is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford, 

Above all everything make awesome memories with my family. That is probably the most important one of all! My prayer for you all (and myself) is that we would be sensitive to God`s will and leading in our lives.  

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dear Uncle John

Dear Uncle John,
     It has been 5 years. I can say the pain of losing you ever really goes away, but there good time a bad. Lately there have been more of the good times, like this year when your great neice and my niece Ava was born. Man, would you love her! But sometimes the pain of losing you comes, washing over me like a huge wave. Yesterday was a mixed day. Yesterday I went to New York to meet up with a friend. From the time I was in the tunnels pulling into Grand Central station you were on my mind. It started with thinking about what you said about the size of rats in NYC!! As I walked around New York with my friend I remembered the time you took Abby and me to the city with Uncle Tom and Aunt Lisa. We had such a great time that day! You would be proud of me, I think, we only got lost once. But with my friend's and my track record with getting on the wrong bus it was bound to happen. When it came time to pick a place to find dinner, I wanted so  to call you and ask you for help, Where to go and where not to go kind of stuff, but I couldn't. The other time I really wanted you there was after I left my friend, her bus stop was no where near Grand Central station, and walked back to the train station. I want you to make me feel safe, oh felt a level of safety but nothing like where you were with me. As I drove home from the train station in New Haven that night I decided when Ava gets a bit older (and any neices or nephews that come a long ) I am going to take them to New York like you did with me. My desire is to be an aunt like you were a n uncle.
      Merry Christmas,
                  Nathalie

Sunday, October 22, 2017

worth

      Over the last two days I have struggled with self worth and my value as a person. I though I need to take care of some one or something to give me worth. I thought after an argument with someone I care about and struggling with when my scene of worth would come from I considered getting a pet bird, yup a cockatiel to be exact. But today in church we covered the story of Zaccheus. Now this man was hated by everyone around him. His own people saw him as a turn coat, he was a tax collector. In New Testament times Tax collectors lined their pockets by lieing about the taxes owed. To add insult to injury Zaccheus was short in stancher. We are told in Luke 19 that Zaccheus was the chief tax collector, in modern vernacular the worst of the worst. But Jesus Christ still went to Zaccheus` house to share a meal and grant salvation to the man in the eyes of all those around was worthless. When we live for money, fame or anything we turn to those things for our worth and  fulfillment we never find it. But if we live for God, we turn to Him for our worth and fulfillment we find it. How can you not find worth in living for a man who died for you? If you are worth enough to die for how can you not value yourself? In this day and age the world tells us that we are to find worth in our job, wealth,  family or a relationship. Those things are fleeting, temporary but if we find our worth in God and his sacrifice on the cross it last.      

Monday, July 24, 2017

Leah, from Jacob look to I will praise the Lord

Today in church I heard a sermon on Leah, Jacob and their kids. Did you know that names are important? Especially in bible times. Think about it, God changed Abram to Abraham, from Father to Father of Many.  Isaac means "he laughs" , Jacob means trickster and Esau means Hairy. When it came to naming of Leah's and Jacob's kids, Leah picked names the expressed her hearts desire. When she had her first boy she named him Ruben which means Look. In using that name Leah is saying Jacob, husband, look at the son I have given you! Talk about bad names.  Leah named her second son Simeon which means Heard. Leah with this name she is saying The LORD heard me and now Jacob will love me. Leah named her third son Levi which means attached. Leah was saying "I have given Jacob three sons now he will be attached to me." But when we come to Leah's fourth son she named Judah meaning "I will praise the LORD". Leah went from focusing on Jacob to fill the need of love she had to finding it in the LORD. Leah is oft overlooked when the story of  Jacob, no fault of hers. She was not considered beautiful in her culture; in fact her name means cow or weary. Leah lived her entire life in the shadow of her beautiful sister, Rachel, only to be forced into a marriage with a man that love Rachel! God did not compare Leah to Rachel, insted He compared Leah to His son and loved her! When Leah compared herself to her sister she was disappointed, but when she stopped fighting for Jacobs attention she found peace. How often do I do that? To this day I am constantly comparing myself to those around me, especially  my sisters. I let myself be distracted and disappointed with how I am not like my sisters that I lose sight of what makes me special. The devil tries to convince me that I will never be as pretty as Hannah,  happy as Abby, confident as Samantha and as determined as Rachel. These thought try to shove out the facts and truths God tells me. God tells me He loves me as I am, how He MADE me, that He has a plan for me and that He sees me in light of His son. So stop trying to be someone your not, remember who you are in Christ and that nothing can make Him stop loving you.