Faith y’all. Faith.
Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.
My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.
Hate to break it to us…the change of the year isn’t some magic spell.
I’ve said I was ready for the new year, throw 2020 away. It’s been team too much.
What I’ve come to realize and understand about this year is so simply profound.
Some of us lost some stuff to grow. Some of us won some stuff to grow.
Regardless, the mere fact that we have made it through 2020 en route to 2021 is a miraculous blessing in and of itself.
Of all the things I’ve learned, the one I think matters most is this: miracles aren’t always big, huge, events.
The scale moving in the right direction was a miracle.
Keeping my mouth closed when I wouldn’t have before is a miracle.
Letting people go was a miracle.
Apologizing and welcoming people back was a miracle.
Forgiving was a miracle.
Moving forward in immense pain under stress was a miracle.
So, no, no magic in less than 12 hours. But another opportunity for another miracle.
I told someone about that last post. They went in on me. I didn’t say much back. I had thoughts but didn’t share them.
First, I said we as Christians in the post. I probably should have said some of us. The we I was talking about is the we I know personally.
I was told that Christmas is the only time some people all gather collectively. I was told that’s when people forgive and heal and mend.
I was told that coming together honors God because he’s about family. I was told that it is a time of love-or something like that.
I was told that there are people who focus solely on Jesus or their higher power around the world.
I think I was told that it shouldn’t be all Jesus and praying and calling his name all day.
I said Happy Winter Solstice. I was told that the solstice is steeped in witchcraft. I said that makes the addition of Christmas at that time of year WORSE!!!!!
I was told more but don’t remember.
Again, I was a slight punk and didn’t respond much. I was told that I had a point after all of the other stuff.
My reply now? Why are we waiting until the whole year has passed to make time for our family? If God is all about family, should we not make more time?
Why are we waiting until the whole year has passed to mend and heal and forgive? Should we not be loving on each other more?
The big one. Why can we not take a day, a fast of sorts, not at Christmas cuz ya know, to sit in the miracle that is the birth of Jesus?
He did, and does, SOOOOOOOOO much for us. The sacrifice of a day meditating, living solemnly, with what he did ever before our minds seems like a small thing in the grand scheme of things.
But hey. That’s just me. Different strokes for different folks.
I am a rebel of sorts. Just because it’s been done a certain way forever doesn’t mean it has to be that way forever.
There are things I examine and question. If it doesn’t make sense, I’m not down for it.
I’m not here for perpetuating stuff cuz it “worked” for someone else. I could care less if I’m the odd one out.
I’ve tried fitting in. It still didn’t go well. So. I have decided to just do me while others do them.
So, I already discussed why Christmas is canceled. But I have more thoughts about it today.
When we, as Christians, celebrate Christmas, some of us make sure we read the story of his birth before opening gifts. My family does. We’ll be on zoom in like 40 mins. I’m cool with reading the scripture cuz scripture.
Some of us go to church first thing in the morning. There are a myriad of things done to honor or celebrate Jesus first.
And then come other people’s gifts under a decorated tree and in a hung stocking on the day we commemorate his birthday.
Then we eat, sleep, watch basketball, play with toys, do things with gifts, call and text all around country and world, and whatever else.
It’s as though the celebration of his birth is one thing on a list of things to do. When, in actuality, whenever one chooses to celebrate him should be an event.
It should be a solemn occasion, set aside only for him. Where he is first. Where he is the only focus and focal point.
We should take the time and space to be in reverential awe that God created a miracle just for us to save us.
That’s the problem today though. God is just something to do. He’s, at times, an afterthought. Insead of first. Instead of placed on the throne as the King and Lord of our lives.
Could it be that the reason we don’t believe, we don’t see him move, is because we don’t keep him high and lifted? Because we don’t keep him on the throne? We don’t look up at the glory and majesty that is Him? Because we have made him small and common?
I don’t wanna do the easy thing and what’s always been done. I don’t want to minimize and trivialize the birth of my Savior because some man named Constantine attempted to co-opt something that was never for or about Jesus.
But hey, if you choose to celebrate, enjoy! Just remember who this is supposed to be about.
I’m listening to somebody sing an awesome song. I’ve conversed with them and they dont seem to trust the God they are singing about.
Jesus commissioned the disciples to do what he was doing. They watched him,earned from him, and then he said go to the people do what you’ve seen me do. (Mark 9:1-6)
A couple of them came back unable to cast a demon out. Jesus did it. The disciples asked why they couldn’t. Jesus said it was because of their unbelief. (Matthew 17:14-20)
It’s a puzzling, interesting thing that we go to church and hear sermons, hear songs, read the Bible, do all of this God-centric or God-adjacent stuff yet…
We don’t see the promises of God manifested. We look at the problem and not the problem solver.
We look at the wind and the waves and sink instead of focusing on the Savior in the middle of a miracle. (Matthew 14:25-30)
We create this hero who we don’t allow to become our friend. We create this Santa Claus but don’t fellowship with him. We create this genie but don’t allow him to lead and guide us.
We ask, but not according to his will. (1 John 5:14) So, we end up with issues. We don’t do what the Bible says do in, the way it says to do it in order to receive because we aren’t fully believing it. Why? Because our concept of who he is and how we should relate to him is skewed.
We aren’t taught or ignore the character and mind of who God truly is. If we don’t know how can we believe? Our relationship is a two way street
But, if we are conditioned to always ask, have our hand out, expect him to just do whatever we ask, we are disappointed. That affects our belief.
What a world this would be if we allowed the Word and the giver of that word to come alive in our lives. What a world this would be if we invited him in and gave him control. What a world it would be if we simply, truly believed.