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Hey Judas! You need a Heart Check.

Elijah’s List posted this recently.

WOW! Heart check!!!

Seriously though, take a minute and ponder that.

I’ll wait….

When I pondered…I thought of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. When Screwtape tells Wormwood to focus the patient’s attention on petty things while he was at church. So the patient wouldn’t focus on the Word and how it applies to himself.

Judas did focus on the petty. The negative. And he remained a sceptic despite seeing miracles right before his eyes. He didn’t read about the miracle of the fish and bread feeding 5,000. He actually ate the bread and fish! He didn’t read about blind eyes being opened, he watched it happen.

Truthfully I feel bad for Judas. He didn’t enjoy His life. He clearly didn’t like himself. Seriously. Judas was with Jesus Himself for 3 years, and never actually absorbed anything about who Jesus was. Jesus was, is, and will always be love personified.

Who spends 3 solid years with Jesus, and comes out worse than where he started?

Truthfully…a lot of people.

What? Why? Who? Sacrilege!!

I know. Because I was one.

I confessed Jesus as my Savior at 16. And promptly tried to be perfect (as in without flaw) and do all the right things. I focused on behavior and looking the part.

Nothing reached my heart.

I couldn’t be perfect. And it frustrated me. My life didn’t change. No miracles happened in my life. And I was disappointed.

I ended up flipping around and going absolutely in the opposite direction. I became more critical. More judgmental. I loved less.

And it took a good 7 years before I gave it another shot. At 16, I shoved the Word at people…but at 25 I started applying the Word inward. I began to deal with my heart issues. My broken places began to heal. It was a process that still continues. It’s a day to day walk.

I can tell you that it’s much easier to point fingers and throw rules at people than it is to love them. It’s easier to criticize, scoff & judge.

But…if you take that pointing the finger and judging everyone path. You won’t heal. You won’t grow.

I think that’s what happened to Judas. I think he allowed his natural skeptic to dismiss miracles. He chose not to receive the love and teaching from Jesus. He chose not to heal and grow.

We have a choice too. Perspective and attitude are everything. Being open isn’t alway easy. Neither is change. Not for me. Not for you. Not for the disciples either.

Let’s be real…the 12 disciples are like us. They screwed up. They didn’t always understand. They acted without thinking. They lost their tempers.

But the difference between Judas and the other 11 is that the 11 grew and changed. They applied what Jesus taught them and walked it out.

Were the perfect? Um…definitely not. And neither are we. Neither are your leaders. We are all human. Doing our best. We are all given a choice.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT

Judas got to choose too. Unfortunately we all know how that worked out. (Spoiler alert…it can’t get much uglier).

Judas was bitter. I don’t want to be bitter, but some days I see myself heading in that direction.

Judas was a cynic. I don’t want to be an eye rolling cynic, but sometimes I am.

Judus had a greedy, selfish & negative outlook. Sometimes I do too.

I don’t want to be a complainer or a gossiper either. But some days I am.

So this is a heart check for me. To go back to Jesus on the rough days. The days I’m more Judas-like than Jesus-like and ask Him to show me what is going on in my heart and head so I can deal with the root of it and have a better attitude and perspective.

Especially with all the chaos in my life right now…I need more Jesus time. More worship. More Word. And less judgmental attitude. Less pessimism.

Point to ponder while you wander…..

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His Love is Changeless

“My God is changeless in His love for me, and He will come and help me.” Psalm 59:10

He is passionate in His love for you! Every single day! He empowers you & partners with you to do what you could never do solo. #youarenotalone

Continual Nourishment

I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9 TPT

Jesus wants to nourish our hearts, continually. Not just once. Not occasionally. Not just when He feels like it. But continually!

But the kicker here is we have a choice whether or not to receive His love and let us nourish us or not.

How do we receive nourishment from His love?

1. To get the love nourishment we need to grow, we need to read and study about His love in the Word.

So what does Jesus’s love looks like? Check out the gospel of John.

What does love mean? I Corinthians 13 for the Biblical definition of love & I John is good too.

2. Then we need to believe He loves us. Not just know it as trivia or a random fact. But to believe it so much, meditate on it and marinate in it so regularly, that it changes how we see ourselves.

Let it give you confidence in who the Father created you to be, and help you grow into the very best version of you.

Point to ponder while you wander… Today ponder what nourish means in the context of John 15:9 TPT

nour·ish (verb) to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition

Finger Pointing Is Useless

For better or worse, a child has the childhood they have as a result of their parents choices. Period. I did. You did. Your kids do.

If the child’s parents break the law, it hurts their kids more than anyone else. Trust me, I’ve seen it first hand. It’s heartbreaking. No one wants to see a child be hurt or suffer. No one.

We cannot change a child’s parents or make their decisions for them. BUT…

What we can do about it is to be there for the kids around us. First and foremost, pray for them and their parents. Then invest in them, if you’re able. Encourage and support them. Hug them (when and if that is appropriate). Pay for them to go to a camp. Bring them with you to fun activity that you take your kids on. Tutor. Mentor. Foster. Adopt. Donate your time and/or money to organizations who help kids. Or if God’s put it on your heart, start an organization.

Ranting fixes nothing. Hating and finger pointing changes zip. This post and your post and all the other posts add up to zero.

Changing things and helping people will cost you something. Time. Money. Effort.

Are you willing to put your resources where your mouth is or are you just going to finger point and continue to rant?

My point in posting this is to say 2 things: 1. Kids need the village. Be the village. And 2. Stop blaming the government for everything. Step up and take some responsibility yourself. Some of you do…and I have mad respect for you and how you walk out your life. But I’ve seen some BS rants by people I know just like to complain. And I’m over it. That is the spirit behind this post.

Point to ponder while you wander…Love is a verb. You want to change the world? Then get off your phone. Get out of your chair. DO something. End of my rant.

Plots, Plans & Purposes! Oh My!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

The word “thoughts” here means meditates, purposes & plots. God is meditating on & plotting peace for your journey of becoming your best you! Your purpose.

In truth everyone’s purpose is the same. What?

It’s true!

Your purpose is to be healed and restored and partner with Jesus in the passion of your heart. Your dream!

From that place of restoration you will automatically pursue your dream in a healthy and productive way, because it’s who you are!!!

Like the Father, who loves because He is LOVE.❤

Many people think God only has one plan for their life. And they are terrified that they have or will screw it up. I know…because I was one of those many. #fearisaliar

The uniqueness of our purpose is not the purpose itself…as previously stated.

It’s not the dream or passion. Many people may have a similar dream or passion.

Foe example…I am a writer and a photographer…so are multiple other people that I know. More that I haven’t met yet.

Many are significantly more talented, and I am okay with that. I cannot do all the writing and all the picture taking for the whole world. I wouldn’t want to.

I want to do specific writing and photography projects that move me. Because my journey and relationship with Jesus are different than other writers and photographers, what I produce will impact and inspire one set of people. While writing by another bride of Christ will umpact and inspire a whole other set. I love that!

They are fellow writers. They are fellow photographers. My artsy brothers and sisters. Not my competition. I may learn from and be inspired by them, or vice versa. But I will not compare myself or my journey with anyone else. It is a waste of time.

Like me…your journey to purpose depends on your choices. God will plot a new course for you everytime your choices take you away from His original course for your life.

He knows you are human. He is gracious. He is patient. He is kind. He is our Father, leading and teaching us.

The commonality ends there.

You are uniquely handcrafted by the potter. You have a heart’s desire. A passion. A drive to do something specific in this world.

You can choose to pursue this passion on your own, and in your brokenness. You may even be successful or monetarily rich. But fulfillment will never come if you attempt your purpose, your journey, alone. The hole in you will never fill.

The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.” Proverbs 14:14 NKJV

But…when we partner with Jesus in the passion of our lives it changes the world.

Point to ponder while you wander…

A hope deferred makes the heart sick but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NLT

Praying for…

But if you will listen, I say to you, love your enemies and do something wonderful for them in return for their hatred. When someone curses you, bless that person in return. When you are mistreated and harassed by others, accept it as your mission to pray for them.” Luke 6:27-28

Jesus isn’t saying this because he agrees with what that person has done to you. It’s not about the other person, it’s about you and your reactions. It’s okay to feel your feelings…hurt, betrayal, anger…but deal with them. Don’t let them seep into your heart.

If you’re not careful with your heart, you’ll become negative and unforgiving. Then bitter and resentful, and even revengeful. Don’t poison yourself. Take your feelings and turn them into prayer.

Point to ponder while you wander….Praying for your enemies and those who’ve hurt you directs your negative feelings into a positive. It changes you for the better, and invites God into the situation. Wisdom, peace, hope, and love enter when God does.

Love is a Verb: Touch

I could go on about how touch people love massages, getting their hair washed/brushed, sitting next to you, manicures, hugs, hand holding…and the like. BUT that is not what is on my heart today.

Today there’s a woman on my heart, for whom one touch changed EVERYTHING.

This woman had a bleeding disorder.

And in the culture in which she lived…this disorder prevented her from leaving her home. EVER.

Complete isolation.

This disorder also prevented anyone from touching her because she was considered unclean.

Zero touch at all…for 12 years!

12 years equals 3 presidential terms!

12 years equals elementary, jr high, and high school!

To me a quality time and touch person. That would be torture or the very least 12 years of love starvation!

During this 12 long years, she spent everything she had on doctors. They took her money, and left her in worse health than when she started.

So she suffered…in complete isolation for 12 years, and was now without any options.

Just so we are clear here…this poor woman was “unclean” so no one could visit unless they were family who lived with her. But no family is mentioned.

No phone or internet to chat with folks online. No tv. She may have had some books…but considering her poverty…probably not. So she’s most likely bored on top of sick, poor, and lonely.

Then one day….through her window… she began to hear stories of a man from Galilee. A man that was going around laying hands on the sick, and they were being healed.

Lame people were walking.

Blind people were receiving sight, and the deaf were hearing.

And hope crept in…

“…maybe…” She thought.

“I mean…I can’t ask Him to touch me..because I am unclean. But if I can just touch the hem of His garment…”

Faith rose in her.

Despite her weakness, she got up. She got dressed. She left her house. She pressed into the crowd until she could get no closer to Him.

Determined…she dropped to her knees…and crawled through the crowd.

I should also mention that touching a man that is not your husband, father, or son could lead to you getting stoned. And I don’t mean high, buzzed, or whatever kids call it these days…I mean rocks thrown at you until you die.

And still…she pushed on through the crowd until she touched the hem of His garment.

Suddenly…after 12 years…she was healed. No more bleeding. Amazing right?!

Well yes, but she was still considered unclean for 7 more days. And she touched a man who was clearly not a relative.

So she needed to sneak out of there SUPER FAST! But to her dismay she hears, “Who touched Me?”

Shit.

Well…she’s in Roman occupied Israel so she probably said something in Aramaic, Hebrew, or Latin…but come on! If this were you, and after what you have suffered in the past 12 years and you were almost out of there…you’d at least think…

“Damn. So close.”

But back to the brave woman…

She musters her courage and approaches Him…trembling. Then falls on her knees…

“It was me.”

Now I picture a whole crowd of townsfolk, who know who she is, falling over themselves to get away from her. I hear women gossiping, and men yelling their disappoval.

But not my Jesus. He is moved with compassion as she tells Him her story.

He responds by calling her “Daughter.”

It is the only place in the entirety of Scripture Jesus calls anyone daughter.

Personally I picture Jesus taking her by the hands, helping her to stand. Lifting her chin to look in her eyes, before saying…

Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48 NKJV

Point to ponder while you wander… Touch is a powerful thing. Like words, touch, can lift spirits, encourage, comfort, and even heal. We can all use more of this kind of touch in our lives.

But remember…Love respects people’s personal space and doesn’t touch people without their consent.

When in doubt…give a high five. 🖐❤

Ps…

Luke 8:43-48

Mark 5:25-34

Matthew 9:20-22