Tag Archives: Jesus

Kissed by an angel

In case you haven’t heard the story of LaLa, you can read one of my previous posts-click here.  For now, let me introduce you to my angel…

Lala is a 72 year-old shuttle-bus driver at Mississippi State where I go to school.  His skin is the color of his dark brown eyes and serves as the perfect contrast for what I tell him is his “crown of splendor attained by a life of wisdom” (Proverbs 16:31)–in other words, his gray hair.

Lala’s real name is Charles Evans, and I could write for days about all the wonderful things that he has taught me, all the ways that he has inspired me, and all the influences that he has made on my life.  To say it simply, though, LaLa is one thing to me.  Lala is my angel.

The other day, I was walking into the Union, and guess who I saw?  Lala!  Oh my… My heart grew ten times when I saw him, and I exclaimed, “Lala!”  With a smile that stretched from ear to ear and showed his gold tooth off like a trophy, Lala drove away every winter cloud hanging overhead with that one smile.

We came together and hugged, and then Lala did something that he has never done before.  He lightly kissed me on the cheek.

Have you ever been kissed by an angel?  When kissed by an angel, you see, nothing is impossible anymore.  You realize that God really is as good as Jesus says.  When an angel kisses you, not only does he or she share with you his or her own love but  shares God’s love for you, as well.

Be someone else’s angel.  Be a person to show others love.  Be someone’s “Lala.”  Even then, your own angel will certainly be there waiting to share smiles, words of encouragement, and even sweet kisses on the cheek–waiting to share God’s love for you.

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Are You Following Religion or Living After Christ?

One of my greatest struggles is this:  believing that if I do certain things, I will be more acceptable to God.  I create rules for myself believing that when I finally follow them–actually sticking to my plan for Lent or never telling a white lie again–that only then will I finally be acceptable to God.

All throughout the Bible, God beats down this idea in scripture.  Colossians 2 talks of this in verses 16-23 and 3:1-2.  Here’s the Message translation:

“So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days.  All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions.  They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are.  They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us.  He is the Head, and we are the body.  We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it?  ‘Don’t touch this!’ Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!’  Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are woth that kind of attention?  Such things sound impressive if said with a deep enough voice.  They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic.  But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

3:1-2 “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, be alert to what is going on around Christ–that’s where the action is.  See things from his perspective.”

This is a big passage of scripture, but here is the main idea:  Christ is everything.  The moment that we take our eyes and attention off of Him, we are no longer serving Him as His followers.

Think about it… every moment that we spend worrying about whether or not we are following all the rules of Christianity, we are just like the pharisees that were angry with Jesus for performing miracles on the Sabbath.  They didn’t care that Jesus performed miracles.  They were so consumed with following the rules of religion that they didn’t even recognize God Himself in human form, in the form of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.

Once your eyes and heart are actively set on Christ, your focus on Him will shape your actions.

Here’s the question to think about….

Are you following the guidelines of religion?

or

Are you following Christ?

Just what’s on my mind tonight

I’ve been writing this blog for the past seven or so months.  Can you believe that?  The time feels as though it has literally flown!  What’s crazy is to think that this time last week, I was making plans to do mission work in Peru for a whole year.  I was struggling to stay focused in school and wishing that I could just drop out.

You see, I have absolutely NO idea what God has planned for me.  When I think about this, I often feel my body tense up.  After all, I’m a “plan-aholic” in need of a support group.  But then, I look back on all that I’ve been through within the past year, the past few months, and even the past week.  Had it not been for Him, honestly, there is absolutely NO telling where I’d be right now.  “Lookie” here, though!  I’m alive, and I’m breathing; therefore, I have more than enough reason to give thanks!

God has blessed me beyond what I even deserve, and yet He keeps on blessing me.  God has especially blessed me through YOU!

Did you know that YOU are the reason why I even write this blog?  God loves you so much, and I just pray, pray, pray that every time you visit this blog, your heart is enlarged by His love for you!  Oh, I can feel my heart growing as I think of how, one day soon, He will hold you in His arms and wipe each and every tear away from your eyes (Rev 21).  Oh, how our Father loves you!

Whenever you are distracted by all the worries of this world, take a moment to remember that God loves you more than you can ever imagine.  There is nothing that you could ever do or not do to make him love you more!  You are perfect in His eyes.  All that He wants is to be with you.  If you doubt this, please PLEASE read 1 John 3-5.  It may seem like a lot, but please do it!  Also read Revelation 21…. After reading these, you’ll see that in the light of eternity, things look a lot different, don’t they?

Anyways, I’m off to bed.  I love you, dear reader!  Tonight, I’ll be praying for you with 2 Corithians 13:11-14:

“Finally, brothers, rejoice.

Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and all the love of God and the fellowship

of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

PS-By the way, to those that post comments, thank you SOOO so much!  Every time that I get a comment, even a very short one, it feels like Christmas day!

Math Language + Bible Verses = Cool Trick

By the title, I may have already lost a few of you!  Math being applied to the Bible?  No way, Jose! Seriously, though, check this out!

Remember when we had to do word problems, and our math teacher told us that the word “is” is the same as an equal sign?  In other words, “is” and = are the same.  Now take this and apply it to 1 John 4:8.

In this verse, it says, “God is love.”  With our math trick, we know this:

God is love

God = love

Here’s the trick: Whenever you see the word love in a verse, replace it with GOD.  Check this out:

You may have heard of the “Love chapter”–1 Corinthians 13.  Look at this new interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:1-8….

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but don’t have GOD, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but don’t have GOD, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not GOD, I gain nothing.

GOD is patient, GOD is kind.  HE does not envy, HE does not boast, HE is not proud.  HE is not rude, HE is not self-seeking, HE is not easily angered, HE keeps no record of wrongs.  GOD does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  GOD always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  GOD never fails.”

I hope you like the trick!

Journal Entry With God

I haven’t been able to go to sleep.  Whenever I’m not able to go to sleep past 10:30pm, that means one thing for me…The Big Guy wants to talk.

While being a poot-tail about it for a second, I finally turned on my light, grabbed my journal that I keep by my side at all times and began to journal.  I want to share it with you tonight because I think that many of us can relate to this conversation that I had with Him.  (By the way, you’ll see Him called “Poppy” in my prayer.  I like to call Him that instead of God or Father because those names always seem to require that I say thou and thee and stuff like that.  Calling Him Poppy makes Him seem so much more like the loving dad or pappaw that He is.)

Sarah’s Prayer Journal

February 15, 2010

“Dear Poppy,

This day has been one, huge day of adventure, hasn’t it?  By Your grace alone, I came out on the other side, and I am on my way to start another day of adventure.

The thing that I’m beginning to learn is that You are truly all that matters.  You are the Ultimate Authority over everything.

As a human being, nothing about me is certain.  Just as Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, I’m so busy trying to figure out who it is that I’m supposed to be to all these different people that I don’t even know how I like my eggs cooked!

What I’m also beginning to see–thanks to You opening my eyes after crazy days like today–is that you truly are love. (1 John 4:8)

Today, so many people saw that my spirit was not joyful as it usually is.  Though one teacher thought it would be appropriate to push my head towards my desk and make a joke about me not wearing make-up–a love push, maybe?–so many others supported me.  They loved on me, and through them, You were proving to me just how much You love me.

Once again, Poppy, I thank you so much for promising me in Revelation 21 that one day, You Yourself will wipe away all the tears from our faces.

I love you,

Sissy :)

P.S.-  I like my eggs softly scrambled with salt and pepper and even cheese grits if I feel like washing more dishes, but You know what I mean… ;)”

I hope my journal entry relates to you in some way…I’m sorry, too, because the ideas are scrambled but, hello, I’m such an old person and go to bed around 10:30 and look!  It’s 2:00am!  Oh wow…. hahaha

Good night, all you wonderful people!  I’m sure that I don’t know all of you, but I love each and every single one of y’all so much!  Wherever you are, sleep well tonight :)

Today, I saw a cow…

Disclaimer:  Today has been one of those days where just about anything could make me cry so bear with me on this one….

——————————————————

So basically, I have been feeling God so much here recently.  It’s ridiculous because what I have felt Him saying to me is, “Drop everything, Sarah, and love My children.”  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it is so true that it has been at the back of my head for about three years and has finally been consuming all of my head since October of this past year.

With the stress of all this–of wanting to drop out of school, get a job to save money for missions, and go into the mission field–I found myself skipping class this morning…yet another time…to drive down country roads.

Songs of Hillsong, Brooke Fraser, and all other great Christian singers blared from my car stereo.  I was clearing my head, and then……. I saw a cow.

holstein cow

That’s right…a cow.

I hope you’re laughing right now because even I’m laughing… well, kinda.  You see this is what this cow made me realize.

This cow–just grazing in a field with all of his other black-and-white, spotted buddies–had absolutely NO concern over his own life.  All the cow knew was that green stuff under his hooves was for eating and wet stuff that was often conveniently located near yummy hay was for drinking.  His girlfriends, the heifers, also went to a barn once, maybe twice a day, and came back looking a few pounds thinner.  (Get it, milk cows?  It’s amazing what cutting out whole milk from your diet will do…. a  joke that only Nutrition majors will think is funny).

This cow, in other words, lived basically in ignorant bliss.  He knows that grass is there today; therefore, he’s going to eat the grass.  The cow doesn’t even think about tomorrow.

Why can’t we live like this?  Oh, because we have jobs and school and life and responsibility. Hmm, yes, but we also aware of something that this cow isn’t.  We have God.

Jesus tells us multiple times in the Gospel, “Look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.  Haven’t I provided for them?  If I’ve provided for them, taken care of them, then don’t you know that I’m going to take even better care of you?”

If you need to, go and find a cow to look at because, let me tell you, they live in complete peace that I’m jealous of.  God is asking us to live in this kind of peace, a peace that comes from not worrying about tomorrow and trusting Him completely….

Today, I learned the importance of not worrying and simply trusting God.

Today, I saw a cow.  Do you need to see a cow?

What’s the difference between Mother Teresa and me?

For the past few months, one of the questions that I’ve been wondering is this: “What’s the difference between Mother Teresa and me?”  If you’re a guy, ask yourself this: “What’s the difference between me and Paul or Peter?”

Seriously…. We worship the same God.  We claim to follow the same Christ.  So really, what’s the difference?  What is it about their faith that gave them the urgency to literally SELL EVERYTHING, DROP EVERYTHING, and to even DIE TO THEMSELVES all so that they could follow Jesus Christ.

A week ago, I came to the conclusion of… “Well, they truly loved Christ enough to abandon themselves.”  In a way, this is still true, but it is true because of something much more basic that is the foundation for their love for Christ….

They actually understood the Gospel.

You may be saying to yourself, “Hey now!  Are you saying that I don’t understand the Gospel?”  Basically, yes, I am because even before this weekend, I realize now that I didn’t actually understand it either.  Here’s my proof….

Are you willing to stop shopping at the mall?  What about college football on Saturdays?  Compared to what Jesus requires of His disciples, giving up these things should be as easy as shooing an annoying fly away from our face.  What about this… are you willing to hate your family?   Your friends?  Your dreams for the future?

The basic requirements that Jesus has for His disciples are told in Luke 14 starting with verse 25.  To a large crowd of people that wanted to follow Him, Jesus says to them.  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brother and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.  And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  Jesus also says in verse 33, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up EVERYTHING he has cannot be my disciple.”

While I don’t claim to know any of the right answers, this is what I do know about my own self.  For the past years of my life, I have lived with a false understanding of Jesus’ call for his disciples.  Never before have I TRULY understood the Gospel.

This is what I also know: Mother Teresa, Paul, Peter as well as other “models of true disciples of Christ,” they truly understood the Gospel and from this knowledge, their lives were radically changed.

I’m now at a place in my life where I’m trying to learn what the Gospel actually means and the implications that it will have on my life…