Insecurities & Disqualifications

I think it is so interesting how God uses things and people that are insecurities or lack of qualifications.

My pastor taught us about Colossians and Paul during Bible class. He gave us some of Paul’s history.

The way Paul opened some of his letters seemingly points to his insecurity about how he came to be an Apostle. And it seems like it is more because of the other Apostles’ reactions and not anything he felt on his own.

Let’s be real though. Can you blame them for feeling some type of way? I give them initial feelings. But, if they kept it up, that’s not okay. Who knows though.

Cuz don’t we stay in our feelings sometimes long after whoever did it has moved on?

Paul was seemingly the most unqualified due to his persecution of the Christians. But God turned it. He is, after all, the author of Romans 8:28.

Ima run a list of the people I can think of who messed up or had things they thought stood in their way or who people counted out or who never should have been as impactful as they were.

Noah: it had never rained yet he said it would. They laughed. Then they drowned. Buddy got drunk and it wasn’t nothing good.

Abraham: worshiped pagan gods but followed God. Lied about Sarah being his wife and sister (just said sister) twice. Had a baby that wasn’t the promised child.

Jacob/Israel: tricked his brother out of his birthright then let the women and children in his life come in contact with the brother who had wanted to murder him before him (I mean if Esau was ready to fight they would have been killed first and Jacob could have run).

10 of Israel’s sons: sold Israel’s favorite son Joseph into slavery and lied to him about Joseph’s death.

Moses: murdered an Egyptian after being a Hebrew living with the king who enslaved the Hebrews. Had a speech impediment.

Samson: in relationship with a woman who wasn’t his wife who He told about where his strength was so he ended up weak, bald, and blind.

Rahab: a harlot (sex worker).

Esther: a young Jewish girl who was a part of the group one of the non-Jewish king’s right hand man wanted to destroy.

David: an overlooked boy sent to the field who his family couldn’t bother to call in at first when the prophet came to anoint the new king. Slept with a woman and had her husband killed because he got her pregnant when he should have been at war and her husband wouldn’t sleep with her to cover up the pregnancy because they were at war.

Samuel: his mother couldn’t even get pregnant for the longest so his existence was an answered prayer against long odds.

Isaac & Joseph: I couldn’t think of anything for them at first but I guess the same goes for them and their conceptions. And Joseph wasn’t disqualified but his brothers did what they did which surely should have resulted in the inability of his dreams to come true.

Ruth: widowed by a foreigner in her home land who then travels to the foreign land of her deceased husband with his widowed mother.

Jeremiah: young and inexperienced.

Nehemiah: in captivity but wanting to restore the city of God.

Mary: a teenage virgin engaged to be married when she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and impregnated with Jesus.

John the Baptist: his parents were unable to conceive and he ended up being out in the wilderness talking about some man coming after him

Jesus: a lil carpenter’s son who wasn’t formally trained in the Synagogue saying and doing things that were not the custom or in line with what they saw their Scriptures at the time to say.

Peter: lied and denied his relationship with Christ

Me: a fast talking reader who is rebellious to some in my interpretation of the Bible

Every one of these people, including me, was chosen by God and helped make an impact for His kingdom.

DO NOT despise your journey.

DO NOT despise your past.

A testimony is a story about the tests you were able to eventually pass. It is a testament to the power of Jesus and what He was able to mold as the Potter with the clay of your life.

Oooooooh this is about to be so good to me.

After all. All we are is dirt.

To make pottery, clay is used. Clay is comprised of a substance similar to dirt. Water is added to turn it into clay.

Jesus is the living water that turns our dirt into clay. He puts us on a wheel and shapes us. We make mistakes and He has to add more water or reform the piece.

Just like humans who make pottery. It isn’t discarded. It is reused until it has taken the proper form.

Then we get put in the fire. Set. Then we get painted and decorated. I believe put in the fire again. Set.

Get up from where you are.

David was told that the first baby would die. He went and fasted and prayed hoping God would turn it around.

God didn’t. When he found out the baby was dead, he got up, cleaned up, and went and ate. He accepted the consequences of his actions. He didn’t wallow in his failure. He knew the God he served.

My pastor also talked about this. He ended up marrying Bathsheeba and having another child. Solomon. Who would become king and build the temple-what we all go to when we go to church.

He can use it all. No thing or time wasted. No mistake is too big that you can’t come back from it.

That is part of the point of His death on the cross. To extend grace and mercy and provide everything we need to live a life pleasing to Him. To overcome sin and be a reflection of Him.

Give it to Him and let Him change your story for His glory.

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

(I wrote a follow up. What Do You See.)

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Is It REALLY God

People be out here just living how they wanna live and throwin up prayers.

The Bible says that God rains on the just as well as the unjust.

So, He does pass out blessings or take care of people who are not in relationship with Him.

When I say relationship, I mean like we relate to other people.

We communicate with these people. We talk they talk.

We get to know what they like and don’t like.

We talk to people who know them to get to know them better.

We spend time with them.

We do stuff they like and they do stuff we like.

We spend so much time with them we start to talk and act alike. Shoot, we even begin to look like them.

We know what we can and can’t ask them to do.

We want the things they want and they want the things we want.

We establish boundaries and standards.

So it is with God. He says be holy for I am holy.

Unlike relationships with humans, we have a cheat code.

The Bible tells us who He is.

The Bible shows us who He is and how we should live to be in relationship with Him.

Some of what exists in our lives that we like and is pleasing to us has nothing to do with God.

Just because we prayed and it worked how we wanted it to doesn’t mean He played a part.

On the flip side, sometimes we take His credit.

Let’s take stock of where we are and what’s going on and use the Bible as a guide to measure.

If we aren’t lining up let’s get it together.

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

Jeremiah 3-4 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 3

Your Sex-and-Religion Obsessions

God’s Message came to me as follows:

“If a man’s wife
    walks out on him
And marries another man,
    can he take her back as if nothing had happened?
Wouldn’t that raise a huge stink
    in the land?
And isn’t that what you’ve done—
    ‘whored’ your way with god after god?
And now you want to come back as if nothing had happened.”
    God’s Decree.

Wellst.

2-5 “Look around at the hills.
    Where have you not had sex?
You’ve camped out like hunters stalking deer.
    You’ve solicited many lover-gods,
Like a streetwalking whore
    chasing after other gods.
And so the rain has stopped.
    No more rain from the skies!
But it doesn’t even faze you. Brazen as whores,
    you carry on as if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Then you have the nerve to call out, ‘My father!
    You took care of me when I was a child. Why not now?
Are you going to keep up your anger nonstop?’
    That’s your line. Meanwhile you keep sinning nonstop.”

Eek.

Admit Your God-Defiance

6-10 God spoke to me during the reign of King Josiah: “You have noticed, haven’t you, how fickle Israel has visited every hill and grove of trees as a whore at large? I assumed that after she had gotten it out of her system, she’d come back, but she didn’t. Her flighty sister, Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that because of fickle Israel’s loose morals I threw her out, gave her her walking papers. But that didn’t faze flighty sister Judah. She went out, big as you please, and took up a whore’s life also. She took up cheap sex-and-religion as a sideline diversion, an indulgent recreation, and used anything and anyone, flouting sanity and sanctity alike, stinking up the country. And not once in all this did flighty sister Judah even give me a nod, although she made a show of it from time to time.” God’s Decree.

Man. As you can see I have few words. It speaks for itself.

11-12 Then God told me, “Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say:

12-15 “‘Turn back, fickle Israel.
    I’m not just hanging back to punish you.
I’m committed in love to you.
    My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop.
Just admit your guilt.
    Admit your God-defiance.
Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners,
    pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves
While turning a deaf ear to me.’”
    God’s Decree.
“Come back, wandering children!”
    God’s Decree.
“I, yes I, am your true husband.
    I’ll pick you out one by one—
This one from the city, these two from the country—
    and bring you to Zion.
I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way,
    who rule you with intelligence and wisdom.

But God is angry, judgmental, and unloving. 🙄 I think that’s just the people who wanna do what they wanna do….

16 “And this is what will happen: You will increase and prosper in the land. The time will come”—God’s Decree!—“when no one will say any longer, ‘Oh, for the good old days! Remember the Ark of the Covenant?’ It won’t even occur to anyone to say it—‘the good old days.’ The so-called good old days of the Ark are gone for good.

Hope.

17 “Jerusalem will be the new Ark—‘God’s Throne.’ All the godless nations, no longer stuck in the ruts of their evil ways, will gather there to honor God.

18 “At that time, the House of Judah will join up with the House of Israel. Holding hands, they’ll leave the north country and come to the land I willed to your ancestors.

19-20 “I planned what I’d say if you returned to me:
    ‘Good! I’ll bring you back into the family.
I’ll give you choice land,
    land that the godless nations would die for.’
And I imagined that you would say, ‘Dear father!’
    and would never again go off and leave me.
But no luck. Like a false-hearted woman walking out on her husband,
    you, the whole family of Israel, have proven false to me.”
        God’s Decree.

I’m almost, or maybe I am, sad for God. The grace and mercy and the throwing it in His face. I’m guilty of it too…

21-22 The sound of voices comes drifting out of the hills,
    the unhappy sound of Israel’s crying,
Israel lamenting the wasted years,
    never once giving her God a thought.
“Come back, wandering children!
    I can heal your wanderlust!”

22-25 “We’re here! We’ve come back to you.
    You’re our own true God!
All that popular religion was a cheap lie,
    duped crowds buying up the latest in gods.
We’re back! Back to our true God,
    the salvation of Israel.
The Fraud picked us clean, swindled us
    of what our ancestors bequeathed us,
Gypped us out of our inheritance—
    God-blessed flocks and God-given children.
We made our bed and now lie in it,
    all tangled up in the dirty sheets of dishonor.
All because we sinned against our God,
    we and our fathers and mothers.
From the time we took our first steps, said our first words,
    we’ve been rebels, disobeying the voice of our God.”

But they left again. And this is why ppl say Jesus was necessary. The law could do little on its own to keep the people in relationship with God. But the new covenant. New Testament. What came by way of, through, and after Jesus that exists today…whole nother ball of wax….

Jeremiah 4

1-2 “If you want to come back, O Israel,
    you must really come back to me.
You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia
    and not wander away from me anymore.
Then you can say words like, ‘As God lives . . . ’
    and have them mean something true and just and right.
And the godless nations will get caught up in the blessing
    and find something in Israel to write home about.”

Tuh. Actions aligning with words…. Getting rid of everything that separates them from God.

3-4 Here’s another Message from God
    to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow your unplowed fields,
    but then don’t plant weeds in the soil!
Yes, circumcise your lives for God’s sake.
    Plow your unplowed hearts,
    all you people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Prevent fire—the fire of my anger—
    for once it starts it can’t be put out.
Your wicked ways
    are fuel for the fire.

Huh. Don’t plant weeds. Prepare it but don’t fill it with what kills the good that would grow. I’m not touching the rest. Ouch.

God’s Sledgehammer Anger

5-8 “Sound the alarm in Judah,
    broadcast the news in Jerusalem.
Say, ‘Blow the ram’s horn trumpet through the land!’
    Shout out—a bullhorn bellow!—
‘Close ranks!
    Run for your lives to the shelters!’
Send up a flare warning Zion:
    ‘Not a minute to lose! Don’t sit on your hands!’
Disaster’s descending from the north. I set it off!
    When it lands, it will shake the foundations.
Invaders have pounced like a lion from its cover,
    ready to rip nations to shreds,
Leaving your land in wrack and ruin,
    your cities in rubble, abandoned.
Dress in funereal black.
    Weep and wail,
For God’s sledgehammer anger
    has slammed into us head-on.

🤷🏾‍♀️

“When this happens”
    —God’s Decree—
“King and princes will lose heart;
    priests will be baffled and prophets stand dumbfounded.”

10 Then I said, “Alas, Master God!
    You’ve fed lies to this people, this Jerusalem.
You assured them, ‘All is well, don’t worry,’
    at the very moment when the sword was at their throats.”

Whoa. Talk about speaking to God honestly…

11-12 At that time, this people, yes, this very Jerusalem,
    will be told in plain words:
“The northern hordes are sweeping in
    from the desert steppes—
A wind that’s up to no good, a gale-force wind.
    I ordered this wind.
I’m pronouncing
    my hurricane judgment on my people.”

Your Evil Life Is Piercing Your Heart

13-14 Look at them! Like banks of storm clouds,
    racing, tumbling, their chariots a tornado,
Their horses faster than eagles!
    Woe to us! We’re done for!
Jerusalem! Scrub the evil from your lives
    so you’ll be fit for salvation.
How much longer will you harbor
    devious and malignant designs within you?

15-17 What’s this? A messenger from Dan?
    Bad news from Ephraim’s hills!
Make the report public.
    Broadcast the news to Jerusalem:
“Invaders from far off are
    raising war cries against Judah’s towns.
They’re all over her, like a dog on a bone.
    And why? Because she rebelled against me.”
        God’s Decree.

Sheesh. The last two parts in the quote.

18 “It’s the way you’ve lived
    that’s brought all this on you.
The bitter taste is from your evil life.
    That’s what’s piercing your heart.”

Consequences.

19-21 I’m doubled up with cramps in my belly—
    a poker burns in my gut.
My insides are tearing me up,
    never a moment’s peace.
The ram’s horn trumpet blast rings in my ears,
    the signal for all-out war.
Disaster hard on the heels of disaster,
    the whole country in ruins!
In one stroke my home is destroyed,
    the walls flattened in the blink of an eye.
How long do I have to look at the warning flares,
    listen to the siren of danger?

👀👀👀

Experts at Evil

22 “What fools my people are!
    They have no idea who I am.
A company of half-wits,
    dopes and donkeys all!
Experts at evil
    but klutzes at good.”

23-26 I looked at the earth—
    it was back to pre-Genesis chaos and emptiness.
I looked at the skies,
    and not a star to be seen.
I looked at the mountains—
    they were trembling like aspen leaves,
And all the hills
    rocking back and forth in the wind.
I looked—what’s this! Not a man or woman in sight,
    and not a bird to be seen in the skies.
I looked—this can’t be! Every garden and orchard shriveled up.
    All the towns were ghost towns.
And all this because of God,
    because of the blazing anger of God.

Wow.

27-28 Yes, this is God’s Word on the matter:

“The whole country will be laid waste—
    still it won’t be the end of the world.
The earth will mourn
    and the skies lament
Because I’ve given my word and won’t take it back.
    I’ve decided and won’t change my mind.”

You’re Not Going to Seduce Anyone

29 Someone shouts, “Horsemen and archers!”
    and everybody runs for cover.
They hide in ditches,
    they climb into caves.
The cities are emptied,
    not a person left anywhere.

30-31 And you, what do you think you’re up to?
    Dressing up in party clothes,
Decking yourselves out in jewelry,
    putting on lipstick and rouge and mascara!
Your primping goes for nothing.
    You’re not going to seduce anyone. They’re out to kill you!
And what’s that I hear? The cry of a woman in labor,
    the screams of a mother giving birth to her firstborn.
It’s the cry of Daughter Zion, gasping for breath,
    reaching out for help:
“Help, oh help me! I’m dying!
    The killers are on me!”

Yo. This last part…….

Camp Song: Say The Name of Jesus

Soooooo I used to go to church camp every summer. I spent seven years at one and one year at another one.

God gave me the precious gift of the Holy Ghost my first year. He started revealing His plan for me my third year.

So much of my relationship and view of God and church and whatnot can be traced to those eight hot, glorious weeks.

These are the lyrics to a song I haven’t remembered to sing in years. I may post some of the others I learned. Most were camp specific. A couple are songs that I discovered on CDs. Ion know if this one exists and I’m not searching lol.

Say the name of Jesus

Say the name of Jesus

Say the name

So precious

There’s no other name I know

That can calm your fears

And dry your tears

And wipe away your pain

When you don’t know what else to pray

And you can’t find the words to say

Say the name

Do We Really Believe?

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.

Be Careful What You Ask For Cuz You Just Might Get It

The title of this has been sitting in my drafts since 12-19-20. I honestly forgot that it was there until I went to my drafts to finish two other posts.

I have slept a lot since then. I have no earthly idea the context of the thought.

It applies to sooooooooo many things in my life.

The one thing that it applies to the most is slightly apropos. Wisdom. Apropos because that’s basically all Proverbs is and “we “are going through it “together”.

When I was younger, some person in some church something told us to ask for wisdom. I’m a pew baby a.k.a. I’ve been in church since I was conceived. Lol.

I have always, as far as I can remember, loved all things church and God. I took in and soaked up so much of what was said. Both to my detriment and benefit.

So, I asked God for wisdom. What I didn’t know and was not told was kinda vital. Hopefully, the person didn’t hide the ball on purpose. Hopefully, my telling you what I wasn’t doesn’t dissuade you from asking for it anyway.

Experience. That’s what was was left out. In order to obtain wisdom, I had to experience some stuff. Boy. At some point since, I think I said that I wouldn’t have asked had I known. The experiences have been difficult and painful. I wouldn’t change a thing though.

While it was hard to get the wisdom, it grew my relationship with Jesus. He was always there. Just like the footprints poem. Nothing in this world is better or matters more than a relationship with Jesus.

I got what I asked for. But it cost, costs me something. I know where I’m going though. The price was worth it. The price is worth it.

Paul said it best: for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18 KJV).

I Quit Church

How odd for a Christian to not go to church. I honestly never thought I would be anything less than a faithful church attendee.

But the reality is this: after 26 years of mostly faithful attendance, the past 5ish years has been spotty and mostly nonexistent.

To many that’s baffling. Especially some of the people I’m closest too. I was hardcore active and present every time the doors opened. For a multitude of reasons, I even chose to go to church instead of seeing my cousin when she came in town. 🙈

I’m not a perfect Christian or person. I’m human. But you learn a few things, see a few things, by being a halfway decent Christian according to mainstream standards for 26ish years.

There are a couple of the many churches I have attended that are my favorite. It’s hard for others to measure up. Not to mention my distillation of the Bible I read and believe has led me to a complex conclusion with strong held convictions.

For comparison’s sake-when it comes to church I’m kinda a snob. Like Starbucks diehards. Or many iPhone owners.

When you’ve experienced the best why settle? Especially when it is something as important as a relationship with Jesus and salvation.

I won’t get into all of my beliefs and the inherent contradictions. I am well aware that all of this many not be kosher when considering what scripture has to say.

But I read my Bible. I could do better at that. I talk to Jesus. I could do better at that too.

We are all striving and can all do better. Where I am right now is good enough for me. That sounds slightly horrible as I tap it out.

I just don’t want to go to church for the sake of going to church. That’s religion. I’d rather have a relationship any day.

People don’t trust their kids with just anybody. Why should I do that with my church attendance?

Maybe I’ll find somewhere. Maybe I’ll find something. Maybe I should be more proactive. But maybe, just maybe, I’m fine just where I am right now.

7-30 AM Musings

Sometimes knowing the Bible is a benefit and a detriment. Sometimes having a relationship and knowing Jesus intimately is a benefit and a detriment. Because I know him and his word I believe and expect certain things. But because I know him and his word I know that what I believe and expect won’t always happen how, when, or where I want if at all. I rejoice in the promises but the hard parts give me pause. Part of it is my flesh and spirit warring. Part if it is his desire to prune and correct. Part of it is his desire to draw me closer, at my request and desire I might add. It’s difficult to know his word and know that you have to be still and wait when you have asked and expect to receive. So I have to just try to pick one scripture. And I think the best one, one of my favorites, is Romans 8:28. AND WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE