Working While Wounded

Imagine a soldier who was shot, impaled with an arrow, sliced with a spear.

They are likely losing blood.

They are likely staggering.

They are likely starting to become confused and disoriented.

They are relying on their training and their instinct.

Adrenaline has likely kicked in.

They are fighting to the death.

The Bible talks about weapons of warfare (go look the Scripture up. I’m on my computer for once so no emojis this time. :)).

The Bible talks about putting on the whole armor of God.

The breastplate of righteousness.

The helmet of salvation.

The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

The shield of faith.

Loins girt (waist wrapped perhaps) about with truth.

Feet shod (chiiii. covered I suppose. A translation other than King James will probably define these. I’m going with what I know.) with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.

The Bible also talks about weapons forming but not prospering.

However, Jesus said offenses will come.

What. Do. You. Do when you are living right, working, serving, and the people you are called to, the people you are working with, the people leading you, life, wounds you?

I’ll tell you what I’ve done.

Sometimes I’ve tucked tail and bounced.

Sometimes I’ve continued to work.

You already know which choice was better.

You know the ultimate example of working while wounded?

My precious Savior Jesus.

Before He even got to the cross, He started working.

He was in the Garden of Gethsemane with some of his disciples.

Judas. A man He CHOSE. A man who knew Him. A man who walked with Him. A man who saw who He was. Sold him out. Literally. Took money to tell the authorities where He could be found.

My gangsta friend and one of my FAVES, Peter, took out his sword and cut the ear off of one of the men who came to arrest Jesus.

Pause. Notice I said Peter. Not Simon. This man had already been tasked with building the Kingdom of God. He was already warned that Jesus was going to the cross. Maybe he was feeling some type of way because Jesus told him that he was going to deny Him. I don’t know what was going on in my fave’s head.

Nevertheless, he has now created a situation for Jesus to work in while wounded. Jesus reattaches the man’s ear and then goes on to begin the journey to my salvation. Whew. That.

Eventually, Peter has followed to see what is going on and denies Jesus. The cock crows. JESUS TURNS AND LOOKS AT PETER?!

Mans can’t catch a break. First Judas and then Peter. Bruh. My fave. I couldn’t imagine the sorrow.

So now, Jesus has made His way onto the cross. He is in the middle of two other people. They start having a conversation. He forgives one of them. As He is hanging to lay down His life. Cuz He didn’t die.

His moms and the disciples come. He tells John that Mary is now his mother. He tells Mary that John is now her son.

The man is already working by staying on the cross when He has the power to come down. He does ONE other thing I want to highlight while suffering to save me. AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

He prays for the people. He says father forgive them for they know not what they do.

My God.

The ultimate worker working while wounded.

He knew His job. He knew His role. He fought to the death.

He fought death.

My good Lord.

He died so that I wouldn’t have to die.

Sure, I have to die to my flesh.

But an eternal death?

That will NEVER be my testimony because my Jesus worked while wounded.

What I endure is light affliction (so most of what I have said including this is Bible. Happy hunting.).

I’m gone pick up my weapons and fight.

I’m gonna follow the One who showed me how.

I’m gonna endure hardness as a good soldier.

I am going to fight the good fight of faith.

When people fight, they have taken up arms for a cause they believe in.

I believe in the cause of Christ.

I will fight me and whoever to ensure that Jesus reaches the masses.

He deserves it.

They deserve to know Him.

Why?

When my pillow was drenched in tears, He fought for me.

When I wanted Him to snuff out this life He died for, He fought for me.

When I acted as though I was alone and had nobody to turn to, He fought for me.

When I turned to sin as though He wasn’t there with me, He fought for me.

When I was disobedient despite our relationship, He fought for me.

When I wanted to run away from who He called and purposed me to be, He fought for me.

When I got amnesia about all that we endured, He fought for me.

I owe Him EVERYTHING.

All of me.

To stand and fight every battle.

Despite every dart and wound that comes my way.

He fought for me so I could fight for Him.

He fought for me so I could fight for others attached to me.

I endured all of what I did because He was teaching my hands to war.

War in the words He gives me to say.

War by lifting my hands in praise and worship no matter how I feel.

War in the prayers I pray.

Lissen. I feel like I could stay here all day.

But I can’t.

Cuz attention spans are a thing.

GET UP AND FIGHT.

Let Him teach you how to war.

Don’t stay where you are.

Don’t just be wounded and die.

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

Olive Juice

One day, I was taught that if you say olive juice it looks like you are saying I love you if people read your lips.

I just saw an immature adult post on social media that they say this to avoid I love you.

It’s funny how something super important in the Bible, a place of impact on Christianity, has been reduced to a cheap way to say I love you.

Oil. That’s what Olive Juice is. Not what is in the jar with olives. But what is made when the olives are pressed.

When they endure a process that seems designed to destroy them. A process that crushes them and…chiii I don’t know exactly. But them thangs can’t possibly resemble what they started out as after the process to get the oil. My goodness. I added this section when I came back to proofread. Sheeeeeesh. When we….aht. I’m gonna drop down.

The super expensive stuff people buy and use for all kinds of reasons.

The substance used to signify and symbolize the anointing, the choice of God.

In the Old Testament, priests poured oil over their heads and were described as letting it run down their beards.

There were certain things they could not do without the oil. Without a tangible, physical symbol that they were chosen by God to be an intermediary with the people. Someone who the people came to who then went to God on behalf of the people.

When God rejected the choice of the people’s king (Saul) and chose another (David) the priest and prophet Samuel went to David’s father’s house and sought to anoint the king. He attempted to anoint every son. They didn’t even bring David in until Samuel asked if there was another.

Once the oil hit David, it was a wrap. David was anointed two other times.

There was a woman who lost her husband and her sons were under the threat of slavery due to her husband’s debt. He was affiliated with the prophet Elisha. She sent word that her husband was dead. He asked how he could help and what she had in her house.

She told him all she had was a little jar of oil. He told her to gather pots from her neighbors and pour oil into them. He told her to get A LOT of them. She poured and poured until she ran out of pots. Elisha told her to sell the oil to settle the debts.

Christ means anointed one.

Before his death, He was minding His business doing what He did and fellowshipping with people. A woman who was blessed by His ministry named Mary came around the group. She had an alabaster box filled with expensive oil. The people knew it’s value and were aghast at her decision to seemingly waste it on Jesus.

Whew. But Mary knew His value. I can’t. Sheesh. Jesus let them know that what she did was proper because she anointed Him for His burial.

Later on, Jesus goes to pray. To Mount Olive. Or Mount Olivet. Or the Mount of Olives. Whichever.

He knows it is almost time to die. He prays so hard He sweats blood.

I was listening to a message and he called it the Mount of I Love You or the Garden of I Love You. That thing blessed me!

Wooooooooow. This just hit me. We get a preview of the cross in a place of love and choice. He said if it were possible to let this cup pass. Nevertheless, not my Will but Your will. Talking to the Father but talking to Himself. The sacrificial Lamb who was born to die, was anointed, dropped some of the sacrifice in a place of olives that makes oil that represents anointing and choice.

This revelation on today! My good God.

He said Himself, for God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son.

Gave. He made a choice.

He chose us.

That is a blessing and a privilege that deserves reciprocity. It deserves something in return.

It deserves our very lives and the sacrifice required.

He chose us then.

He chose us when He fulfilled the choice by saving us.

He chose us when He chose us for purpose.

He chooses us when we endure what He endured so that we can carry out our purpose.

He chooses us every day we wake up.

He chooses us even when we don’t choose Him.

Okay. The drop down. When we are anointed and chosen, life has a way of crushing us and causing us to not look like what we did when we started.

How do I know?

David was sent back to the pasture. He ended up on the run for his life because Saul was out to kill him to keep him from being God’s choice. But what God has chosen?! Tuh. Try it if you want to.

How do I know?

Because within months of receiving the Holy Ghost at age nine, my life has been tumultuous. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. At my hands and the hands of others.

Sheesh. It’s like God told the enemy the same thing He told Job. And I’m sure what you may feel like. Have you considered my servant?

To be anointed you gotta go through the process similar to the Anointed One. I can’t keep typing. This seems so long already. a;giovcklm.,v defsvijxcpregfvop’ cjkn feadsvmczx.,opjregvfogreczbjiknvzcx kopdklsvczx ;jvnvd. That is me speechless but having so much to say. Lol. This was so good to ME!

Choose Him today.

Don’t wast the oil.

Olive Juice is so precious, so expensive.

*Yoooooo. I’m sorry. I’m back. I had to edit after rewatching the message and some confusion over a name in the Bible.

In the message I mentioned up top he also pronounced olive as oh live. The Savior who was to die was in a garden of oh live. Tuh.

I’m supposed to be partaking in a Bible discussion about the women of the Bible. The genius behind it was excited because the name of the woman was unfamiliar.

It was the parable about the virgins Jesus told in Matthew. I was confused because no woman’s name was mentioned yet she had a name down.

Chiiiii. I searched Elaion and guess what? IT’S OLIVE OIL?! Fuel for the lamps. Undone I am. Ok. Addition over.*

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

Two Things Can Be True

I’ve been saying two things can be true at one time a lot lately.

The reference for that is the woman in 1 or 2 Kings (like I like to say-go search so you can read it for yourself and know that I’m not making it up) welcomed the prophet Elisha into her home.

She was minding all of her business and being hospitable to the man of God.

She didn’t have a child nor did she ask him to pray that her womb would be open. But mans was like you gone have a baby.

And she did.

So this boy is growing and living and thriving.

Then bam. He dies.

Sis was like naaaaaaaah.

Go get me an animal. I’m finna ride out. I’m finna go find this man.

People are worried. She starts out by saying all will be well.

Ma’am. What? *insert Nick Young’s confused face with question marks meme*

Yo baby is dead and you talmbout all will be well?

What I didn’t say is that before she left, she put the boy in the room they had prepared for Elisha for when he was there.

As she got closer to him, she changed her words. Instead of saying all would be well she said all is well.

Whew. The closer she got to the one with the solution the more faith she had to believe.

Sis found him and was like “playa, playa from the Himalayas. This child I didn’t ask you for is dead.”

Elisha was the armor bearer aka assistant for Elijah. He kept this practice up and has a dude named Gehazi.

Gehazi is the reason for alla this. He’s the one who told Elisha sis didn’t have a baby when E was trying to repay their kindness.

G was mad rude and tried to send her away. E was like “nah son. Let her be.”

So E sent G ahead to the house with his staff (wooden cane thing) to try to revive the kid.

Pause. There is so much in that sentence. Jesus died on a piece of wood and revived us for all eternity. Staffs are used by shepherds. David used one and I believe wrote Psalm 23. Jesus is described as a shepherd. So many things in the Old Testament point to Jesus. Also, the disciples attempted to cast out a devil/heal a kid and failed (ion try hard with some of this so y’all will go study for yourself!).

G put the staff on the boy’s face and nothing happened.

E was already on his way behind G with moms.

E goes into his room with the boy and closes the door. Then he prayed.

Next, he does a sophisticated version of CPR. He put all of his body parts, including his mouth, on the boy’s. The boy warmed up.

E left the room and walked the house. He went back and did his lil CPR thing again. The child sneezed seven times then opened his eyes.

Omg. This baby came back to life like Jesus and Lazarus. I’m undone. And let’s not even get lost in the seven of it all.

The woman lost a son she didn’t even ask for. Surely she was vexed and grieved. But he was already a miracle. And she knew how to gain direct access to the Miracle Worker through his servant.

I’d like to think she built an altar. Much like I wrote about Abraham. She knew enough about God, in what was surely distressing, to know He would work it out.

This season is familiar yet…tuh. Two things are definitely true. But something I said on the phone led me to this refrain once again. It reminded me of this woman.

As long as my ACTIONS match my faith and not my feelings.

I’m allowed to feel a way. I said in that convo that even Jesus felt a way. He came to die and still wanted, in His flesh, to avoid the cross.

But He knew He had to do it. So, while something else was also true, He did it.

I know why. So, while my feelings are true, this is the way I have to take. He’s never failed before and He won’t start now. I’m gonna go to my altar.

Go be great. Someone’s counting on it.

Bloody 3-30-13

This is a post from 2013. One of, if not the, first posts.  Somehow I deleted it and now it looks new.

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I am in awe.  It is kind of hard to think about the sacrifice that we are commemorating this week.  I mean, come on, who would die so others could live?  Others that would betray, curse, disown, disrespect, revile?  Yeah, sure, we say we would die for people we love who love us back.  But how many of us would actually die for someone we loved who hated us or hated what we stood for?

I could never imagine being born to die.  Not only born to die, but living a life having to work with the thing I know is going to be used to take me out of here.  I will never forget the *Resurrection Sunday* sermon I heard years ago in high school.  Jesus was raised by a man who taught him about carpentry.  Imagine knowing you were going to give your life up on a tree and having to listen to, look at the manipulation of trees for a huge portion of your life.

Imagine loving people, wanted to help people, showing people, teaching people, ministering to people, giving all of who you are to people who don’t even recognize who you are.  Who don’t even appreciate who you are.  Imagine knowing that it is a necessity that you must die but at the same time the concept of the pain and shame causes you to sweat blood.  Imagine having to be separate from who you are, divine, sinless, and your Father, for something you didn’t do and people who may never accept or know you.  Imagine the worst thing, worst feeling in the world, something you hate, would hate and having to take that on and confront it all because you love a thankless people.

Imagine spending your life in the same house for decades, everybody knows you and knows your family.  You went on vacation with these people, you went to church with these people.  Some of these people were your best friends.  You spent almost every moment, good and bad, with them, giving to them far more than they could ever give you.  They want what you’re giving, miracles, signs, and wonders.  They appreciate you.  They worship you.  They allow you a parade.  They think you are the best thing ever on Sunday.

Then comes the week.  One of your friends sells you for 30 pieces of money and gives you away with a kiss on your cheek.  Others fall victim to the mind games of weak men, who desire worldly power and fear what men who have no belief in the God you are, and want you to die, yet it was a totally different story Sunday.  One of your best friends, the one who so perfectly conceptualized who you are, the one who knows you on a level that few do, promises to go with you to death, even cuts a man’s ear off, and is too ashamed to follow through with his promise.

Then comes The Day.  You have to watch the woman who birthed you, cared for you, loved you, watch you die, not for anything you’ve done, but for what everybody else has and will do.  People who were eager to eat the food, drink the wine, benefit from the miracles, join in in making fun of you, encourage those encouraging you to “show yourself” and abort the mission.  You suffer for hours, bleeding, baking in the hot sun, a human sacrifice to atone for all the sins of mankind. Finally, you surrender to what is coming next and give up your life.

Now you have to go to enemy territory.  Someone who you created, who worshipped you then turned on you, who desires to take everything from you for no real reason at all.  You have to live in torment to provide a way of escape for all who believe in you, and accept the gift of you.  Surreal to be subject to the complete antithesis of you and what you are.

Now, you have taken victory over the death and the grave and it is time to go home.  Not the place you knew as a man for 33 1/2 years, but from the beginning of time.  But imagine those same friends, grieving and crying.  One still doesn’t believe, though all of what you said would happen has happened, they have seen all of what you have done.  Before you can even go back to your father, a safe place full of love and peace, you have to rescue the best friend who has abandoned all you worked for together.  You have to show yourself to the doubter.  You have to give them instructions they don’t understand, a promise to wait for something they have never seen or felt.

What a life, what a week, what a gift, what a sacrifice, what a savior.  What LOVE.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you for your life.  Thank you for giving me life, and a hope, and a future.