Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This Blog's for You

Dear Nancy, this blog is written especially for you. I've walked a mile in your mid-heeled pumps, and want to remind you that no matter how crazy things get, God loves you, and is standing by to help.
Nancy, please don't give up.

By David Castillo Dominici @ freedigitalphotos.net

You're working as hard as you can to take care of your family. You handle the cooking, housework, yard work, kids' transportation, pet care, and volunteer activities-church, school, and sports.

You love your husband with your whole heart, but you'd appreciate more romance and fewer dirty clothes on the floor...six inches from the hamper.
Courtesy of anankkml @freedigitalphotos.net

You love Jesus.

You're concerned about the battles your kids face every day walking into their classrooms. Along with drugs and bullying, you're troubled about their constant exposure to a world view that says everything's permissible--except true Christianity.
courtesy Gualberto107 @freedigitalphoto.net
You and your family are bombarded with the lie that christians who take a stand for biblical values are ignorant and narrow-minded.
photostock @ freedigitalphotos.net
You want to give your kids an alternative to the Harry Potter and Twilight novels the rest of their friends, even the christian ones, are devouring. You want to turn on the TV without listening to a string of words being bleeped out...and hearing those that should have been.
Courtesy of hin255 @freedigitalphotos.net

In the midst of your super-heroic, super-busy life, you need time for prayer, love, laughter, hope, and a nap.
Most important, you need to be reminded how precious you are to God. How much He treasures you. And it's not for what you do. He loves you for you.
Serge Bertasius Photography @ freedigitalphotos

So Nancy, be encouraged as you take your stand against a world that doesn't understand God's Word; that ridicules your determination to live by it, and raise your children by it.

You may feel overwhelmed at times. You might not do everything right. But keep standing strong. Keep pressing on.

Courtesy of graur razvan ionut @ freedigitalphotos.net

Here's God's message for you:

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."    Deut 31:8 NLT

I truly want to hear from all the "Nancys" out there.

What are you believing God for today? What are your hopes and dreams and aspirations? What have you endured? Where do you struggle? How can I help?  
Please leave a message in the comments below. If you don't want to share it in the comments, email me directly (jeaniej@cox.net).
You matter to God, and you matter to me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shut the (Bleep) up About Jesus!

"Jeanie, why do you keep talking about that Jesus guy all the time? It's bugging the &%$@# out of me."
wooden blocks spelling "Jesus"

Yeah, it did me too.

Just hearing his name annoyed me. I'd mentally scream, "Stop it already! Shut the (bleep) up!"

It never failed. Whether it was moving to a new neighborhood or starting a new job, somebody would be there talking about Jesus.

wooden blocks spelling "Jesus"
block photos courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

Grrr! Stupid Christians. Stop it already. Shut up!

And they'd stop talking about Jesus.
But they kept acting like him.

They kept showing me love, and extending friendship. No strings attached. Just love.

I'd point out all the good deeds I was doing to tip the heavenly scales in my favor. "I'm a good person. I do more good things than bad."

They'd open a bible and show me what God said about it. Verses like

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Is 64:6

I didn't like God's answers. They didn't line up with my thinking, so I refused to listen.

But his people kept showing me love anyway. They'd bring me cookies and invite me to picnics.

courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS @ freeigitalphotos.net

A church picnic? No way. I expected an ambush by those Jesus people. I pictured them springing out of the woods, armed with bibles. I steered clear.

It bugged me to watch those Christians. They were more than happy. They were joyful. And they didn't pretend to be perfect. Their methods of working through their problems sat at the opposite spectrum from mine. They were always forgiving people instead of taking my advice, which ranged from intricate schemes of revenge to old-fashioned butt-kicking.

But they just kept loving me. And all their love finally got through.

Courtesy of graur razvan ionut @ freedigitalphotos.net
Plus, I figured God couldn't made a bigger mess of my life than I already had.

So I prayed,

"Jesus, I'm sorry for the all the wrong things I've done, the messes I've made. Please forgive me. I want to be yours."

And at that moment, I became His.

God welcomed me into his amazing love. It was a supercharged version of the love his people had been showing me all along.

I received a new life. A fresh start.

Has it been easy?

Not always.

Has it been easier than when I lived without God?

Totally. Absolutely. Infinitely.

photo courtesy of Naypong @ freedigitalphotos.net

Even when I slip up, God gathers me up, brushes me off, loves on me, and sets me on my feet. His crazy amazing love never changes.

If you've taken the time to read this far, I suspect you're ready for some of that love yourself. Here's how.

Jesus is the gateway to his father, God.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

To start a relationship with him, speak this life-changing prayer:

Lord, I'm sorry for doing things my way instead of yours. Please forgive me,
and be my savior.

If you prayed that with a sincere heart, you've just become his child. Buckle in for an explosion of crazy amazing love.

And if you prayed it, please let me know. I'll celebrate with you.

It's a life-altering decision. To get a clearer understanding, check out this link to the PeaceWithGodwebsite and take 3 minutes to watch this awesome video.

Shut the (bleep) up about Jesus? No way. There are too many folks who need to know about His love for them.