Shaking off Labels

For someone – Shaking off Labels

Matthew 13:54-57: (Life of Jesus) “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.’”

Who does he think he is?! This is what people from his own hometown thought of Jesus. Who does little Jesus, the carpenter’s son, think he is? Where did these miraculous powers come from? Where did this wisdom originate? Who does he think he is to teach us and say these things?

Surely a carpenter’s boy isn’t teaching us.

They took offense to him as if he did not know what he was doing or who he really was. As if his identity, role, and destiny was what made sense to them. The carpenter’s boy from a few houses down, and nothing more spectacular than that!

To live by their labels 🏷 is what they expected of Him.

They thought what he was doing defied who they thought he was.

But God! God said Jesus is his son and that is exactly who Jesus is. God created Jesus by his own power and sent him to Earth for his own purposes. He led him by his own presence.

And they can’t change that, even if they can’t recognize it. Moreover, if they can’t recognize it, they just can’t benefit from it. Jesus lost honor, but they lost an opportunity.

So similarly, in our own lives, regardless of what people around us may say, despite what labels people may expect us to live by, be confident of your identity in Christ. Throwing off the chains of old labels and purposes. Walk tall. God is the one who appoints and anoints. Your identity is crafted by the Creator. The talk and thoughts of people around you about where you came from don’t change where you’re going or what you’re destined for. Or especially, the powerful God who lives down on the inside of you.

If Lord Jesus himself dealt with it, you can expect you might as well.

The son of God is the son of God, period.

As a result of salvation, you are a child of God as well, period. Your works and words that God calls and guides you to spread are of kingdom impact. Some people can’t recognize where the so called miraculous powers and wisdom comes from because they don’t recognize God.

So like Jesus experienced, we may sometimes expect the same kind of scoffing and questioning in our own lives. That whole who do you think you are kind of reaction is exactly what to expect when you’re a brand new creature in Christ – when you are acting brand new with your mouth and deeds! When you’re walking in his purpose and will, your way of life and being may look a little different than it did ever before! (Maybe you’re not woodworking anymore.)

But don’t stop doing what you’re doing just because it defies what the old crowd was expecting!

Sometimes God’s directions, instructions, goals, and purposes are different than what may make sense to other people at a first glance. Sometimes he uses the lame to speak and lead, a mercenary to carry the message of Life, a mere sheep herder to lead a kingdom! And people don’t get it. But what about you? Expect the unlikely. Anticipate the impossible. God is God!

People who don’t know the Lord don’t know who you are, they see only at a surface value – and call and paint you as what makes sense to them. Like “just” the carpenter’s boy from a few houses down. More like just the Son of God. Dummies.

Avoid people of a “just” mentality anyways. Who compare the present to the past like it’s an ultimatum. People who remind you of what you were, what you did, and where you come from. And people who don’t recognize where miraculous powers come from. God is power. And if people don’t get God, they don’t get you! (Especially if you’re walking in the works & obedience of the lord)

But don’t stop loving. Just keeping walking and keep doing. Shock the world by the change that the living God inside of you ignites!

How to Seek Happiness and Get Excited Again: Overcoming a Bad Attitude/Slump

I have gone through seasons where I just felt like everything was work. I felt like everything was a pestering, festering nuisance. I hated cooking, even though cooking is generally one of my talents. I hated cleaning up after everyone, regardless of my neat freak state of mind. I hated taking care of myself, even though I am known to be psychotically obsessed with following a regular personal care routine and getting dressed every single day.

I have experienced these moments of UGH. I can really get caught up in a bad attitude. A day’s worth of bad attitude can taint a week. I swear I create a domino effect with negative thinking.

Well here is the heart of what is on my mind: turning your cheek away from the UGH virus!

I want people like me to look away from the haughty Mr. UGH. We don’t need him. He wants to suck us in. He wants you to get stuck on a downward slope. I say no thanks on our behalf.

I have been contemplating what I actually do to pull myself out of the grips of UGH. I am not an inspirational how to live your life positively guru, so don’t expect me to say eating zucchini bread and mediating is the cure. But here it is, my plain old observations about my plain old self….

1. One thing I notice that is happening when I suddenly jolt back to life is that I begin praying extremely hard and even journaling to God. Some of you may not believe in God like I do, but seeking regular communication with Him changes my life continuously. Being honest and open with Him about everything lifts my spirits. If I sink into a distraction or slump into myself, I notice my moods and attitudes start trying to boss me around. If you love Jesus, my advice is to talk to him about that when you’re feeling like everything is UGH. Something has got to give, and the problem is probably not your problems, but it is you! Turn the right way. If you believe, notice when you’re not telling him everything… notice when he’s not your priority. We must constantly seek him, and we must love him with all of our heart and mind!

2. Another thing that I do is literally force myself to get my personal space under control. I clean EVERYTHING. I ache and sigh through mopping, vacuuming, sanitizing, washing, dusting, wiping, scrubbing, and organizing. I clean my house up, people. I actually do it all. I don’t do one job and call that fine enough for now. I get the entire penny shining. This includes laundry. When I feel like I’ve finally done it all, I feel a mental slot fling open within. I am not sure why it happens, but it really does. A sense of accomplishment in one area gets hope and excitement flowing. You may read it everywhere but it is simply so true. Clutter messes with your head. It’s hard if you live with messy people, and I understand that. However, complaining will not change the situation. If you are very particular about living conditions like I am, sometimes you just have to set thoughts aside and bombard through it, even if you’ve just done it a measly two to three days ago.

3. Especially personal option number three: Give yourself time to enjoy a thing. A thing, as in… whatever in the world you might feel like. Writing, journaling, reading, knitting, baking, walking, photographing, etc. Do the thing that you really like to do, that you’re pretending does not exist in your UGH slump. You might feel like it is this same old-same old type of deal, but you really might just need to be true to yourself and do it. I always feel differently when I finally do the thing that is natural to me or that I internally love. I often discard it in a slump. Waking up my old senses rattles my whole mental expanse! When’s the last time you actually finished a book (if you love reading)? When’s the last time you actually went on a walk and played all of your favorite old songs on high? Do something for yourself. I recommend adding ice cream to the picture.

4. Do something kind for someone else. There is nothing that is as uplifting and exciting as blessing someone else. Write a letter or card full of sweet thoughts and genuine expressions… mail/hand over a sweet little something… surprise someone with their favorite coffee or lunch… tell someone how incredibly valuable they are to you… buy a stranger’s dinner or groceries… offer to help someone with a task like reaching a shelf or putting a cart away out and about in the world. Bringing a big smile and a sense of being loved/special to someone is indeed the most important and beautiful thing you can do! Doing one teensy tiny thing to bless someone else out of sheer love and kindness blesses you too – immediately. It is one of the most absolutely rewarding experiences on this planet. Loving someone will make new life flow through those old clogged UGH pipes!! Moreover, the more love and kindness you share, the more YOUR heart swells and UGH recedes. More is better in this case! If you have the means to surprise two people… three people…. darn, an outstanding group of six people… why not!!!

5. Brainstorm! Here’s an ambiguous one: come up with something new. A new idea. A new motto. A new hobby. A new destination/place to visit. A new recipe. A new book. A new restaurant. A new type of journal entry. A new body care routine. A new workout. A random excursion. A new addition to your daily routine. Seek a new acquaintance. Just go crazy, be wild, be spontaneous! Do something totally different for yourself. Wake up at six in the morning on a Saturday to treat yourself to an exquisite dine in breakfast rather than a Saturday dinner/lunch out. Start a new book in the day and stay up past your usual bed time to finish the whole book before you fall asleep. Eat an obnoxious amount of watermelon on a park bench in your favorite park on a beautiful day. Get all dressed up and go out and take photos in all of your favorite places and poses, for absolutely no reason. Sit down and write all of the reasons that you have to be happy/thankful (be detailed) – you’re alive, loved, employed, etc… explore what is good in your life… and it doesn’t have to be in MLA format!! Whatever you do, let it be new and exciting for you. One thing as simple as this could really make a big difference in your life. This might be a wave of new inspiration/motivation that you need, a splash of refreshment, or an entire transformation… who knows? But do not be lazy and do not shrug it off. Push yourself!

That is about it for now. These are things that work for me. If you are going through a slump… I wish you well. I hope my own ideas and thoughts help you. You deserve to be happy. Do not let yourself be grumpy/depressed/overspent/just feeling ugh for long!! Enjoy your life. How much time we have here is unknown, and ultimately, all of it is short anyways. Live live live! God bless all

Love,

Eva

DO WE FORGET THE COMPASSION OF GOD?

Do we forget the compassion of God?

There is annoyance burning in my bones. It has come to my attention how quick our Christian community is to focus and emphasize on what God can do for them next. I do agree that God can move mountains for us. I do believe that God loves our thankful, faithful prayers filled with concerns, requests, and eager communication regarding our lives. God can do more than we know, and rest assured that this confidence flows through my being.

Yet in this moment, I am unnerved. I feel worried for the community of believers. I feel that the most commonly shared concept is that God can do more for ME! God can make MY dreams come true! God has generous plans for ME! God will give more and more to ME! Again, allow me to say I believe that God can do many things for us and that his plans are incredibly good.

However, what bothers me now is how hastily people are to think of God satisfying their own wants and needs. Many people love reading materials and teaching services that gravitate around the concept of God doing, giving, and granting more for an individual. God is completely powerful enough to do it, but should the front line of our heart be the desire for our own gratification?

Do we forget God’s compassion on our own people? Do we forget God’s love, consideration, and sacrifice for our own people? Do we forgot that God loved us enough to do anything for us, including die in torture and mockery? God did not sit around eating choice foods and sleeping in a comfortable bed at night. Do we forgot how much God has done for us even in our own lives? God has given more and more and more! Does it not unnerve you that your greedy heart screams for more and more, and yet you do not give first?

What is God’s grace to humankind? God has granted us love and mercy regardless of our undeservingness, and does the reverential awe and fear of this make our heart quicken? Jesus was long suffering. Jesus was patient. Jesus was generous. Jesus was focused. Jesus was intentional. God in all of his parts and ways is love. Jesus embodied love and truth on Earth, and we witness this tenfold in His life, light, and gift of His comforting, teaching Spirit who has remained wearing His attitude and intention. Above all, we witness His love in His great Justice, which was spilled in His commands to love each other. As it is written in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus asked us to love each other as He has loved us. We must not forget that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. All that Jesus said he said with the help of the Father. Jesus spilled the Father’s words and heart on earth with His supernatural intercession within.

Do we act and speak from love? Do we seek to wash others with tsunamis of love?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is not self-seeking. Self-seeking is defined as having concerns or interests of one’s own welfare or wellbeing before those of others by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Do you truly love others? Do you place the needs, interests, and concerns of others above your own? Do you seek to serve by love?

Because if you do not, keep in mind what the first four verses of 1 Corinthians 13 says “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothingIf I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

God’s grace should compel us to live to love. God’s sacrifice is a beautiful gift. God loves us so much, that we should be falling flat on our faces in heavy tears over His great love. We should love the Lord with every fiber of our being, and love him so much that our heart explodes with hopes and joys to see His name being exalted. Out of love, and out of light of his sacrifice… we should make ourselves a worthy sacrifice on this planet. We should be quick to sacrifice our time, money, mind, hands, and heart to worship him and glorify Him…. because of how much we love our GOD! If not this, then Jesus’ command should compel us to live to love. God’s very powerful Holy Spirit is living within us. This should compel us to do a lot more than we are. We should be shaking up the entire world for the Lord. We should be turning this place upside down. Making sacrifices, giving out of love, serving by love, speaking out of love, and sharing the Truth by love should be the first, primary, and constant desire of our heart. We should do whatever it takes to shed more love in a day. We should pour love and light over those who believe, and over those who we can lead to believe. Fear to do any of this is from the deceiver. Fear of man, fear of losing money, fear of being mocked, fear of being rejected, fear of getting hurt…. is not from the Lord. The Lord strengthens, empowers, and protects. I ask the family of believers to question who they fear right now. Have you fashioned your own God? What or who do you serve? You serve what or who you fear. Our only fear belongs to the Lord. We must not be scared of Him, but be aware that he is not our cool, hippie God. God is sacred, divine, splendorous, incredible, and glorious. He is everything. We should tremble before Him in our reverential fear and awe because well, simply put, HE IS GOD! GOD IS GOD OF ALL CREATION AND BEING! He is not the master of human gratification and satisfaction. He is not hippie Jesus. He is not the One who is doing everything we want. Humble yourselves before the great, powerful, all seeing, and awing God, lest you find pride, arrogance, and foolishness dyeing and polluting your heart. Let us all have strong fear for the Lord only.

Let us feel compelled to do all that we can to advance the kingdom of God! Let us be warriors of light! We are called to have faith, and we are called to action!

As James 2:14-26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

We must spread love! We must spread kindness! We must spread resources, money, clothes, and everything we have! We must not store up treasures on this earth that rot, break, burn, and turn back into dust! We must be relational. We must spread the Truth! We must share the Word! We must set our eyes on the Lord, and set our heart on advancing his kingdom! As soon as you stop asking what God can do for YOU next, you make yourself ready and capable to work for your brothers and sisters thirsty for hope, love, help, and the Light.

Let God’s Spirit within lead you into servanthood on a daily basis. What does this mean for you?

This might mean that you need to take the time to turn the weekend into spreading the gospel in your community. This might mean that you need to donate all of the clothes that you have been hoarding since a decade ago. This might mean that you need to turn your social media accounts into a platform for the Lord, rather than man’s approval for you. This might mean that your soon arriving tax return needs to become a big piece of funding for you to distribute Bibles, clothes, food, money, everything you can think of for those who may be in need in any way big or small. This might mean that you need to take the time to clean the trash out of the elderly neighbor’s yard for him, and when he asks why you did it say for the love that God instills in your heart. This might mean that you need to be willing to buy someone’s little cart of groceries in front of you, and insist that it is the Lord that is blessing them. This might mean that you need to be willing to strike up conversations about the Lord with your barista, barber, accountant, dentist, physician, gardner, coworker, daughter-in-law, employee, waiter, and whoever else crosses your path.

Be STRONG! Be BOLD! Be EXCITED!

Spread the goodness of God! Spread the Truth! Be excited to be a light! Be excited to SPREAD LOVE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!

Thank God for his greatness. Thank God for his grace!

I pray that all of you will move, act, speak, and do all that you can for the glory of GOD! DO ALL THAT YOU CAN FROM THIS MOMENT ON FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! SPREAD LOVE, LIGHT, HOPE, TRUTH, AND JOY!

GOD BE WITH YOU! GOD INSPIRE YOU! GOD USE YOU! GOD GLORIFY HIMSELF IN YOU! PRAISE, HONOR, GLORY, AND POWER BE TO THE ONE GOD FOREVER AND EVER.

HOLY IS HE!

 

Painting title/right is You Are Not Alone By Laur Iduc.

Gathering His Roses

He is picking his ruby rose.

He is tearing off its thorns and trimming its stem.

He is gathering a heavenly bouquet.

He is sniffing its sweet scent.

He is placing it on his own table.

He is admiring it with his own delighting eye.

His home is glorified with the bouquet He chose, picked, groomed, and arranged by hand.

His joy and pleasure is magnified by the beauty He arranged and adorned His own home with.

Yet in His peculiar home,

Roses never die.

Life flows so freely in His vase,

Because His water is that of which one drop,

Is eternally enough.

To Worship Greater than Our Ancestors of Old

How much more should we praise God than our ancestors! How much MORE!

We know so much more of his power, beauty, talent, skill, creativity, and splendorous design!

We have traveled and connected with so many parts of the world. We have photographed them. We have explored them. We have climbed the highest mountains. We have dove to deepest parts of the sea. We have swept through jungles. We have slid on icy expanses.

We have walked on the moon. We investigate the depths of the celestial bodies with precise telescopes and cameras. We exchange beauty of his creations and wonders of all of our planet with hasty ease. We reach these nooks and crannies without much difficulty.

We marvel in the greatness of God’s hands! We explore his great work! We share freely photos, descriptions, stories, and maps with the move of our fingers!

How much more should we bow to praise God.

God has revealed his mysteries to us. He has revealed his plan. He has done a new thing. He has sent his son Jesus Christ to save the world. It has been done! We experience his Holy Spirit, who reaches in us to teach us, freely in this life.

We know the story of the Lord’s movement and plan for humans from the beginning to the end, because we are lucky enough to read the sacred text from the beginning to the end. The only thing we wait for now is for the Lord to return and finish all of this.

We have answers. We have the Truth. We have hope. We have Life. We have a path. We have the Way.

How much more blessed are we than any ever before! How much do the Lord’s undeserved blessings rain down on us! We are blessed! We have so much to celebrate! We have so much to rejoice about! We have the entire world, peoples, and nearby celestial bodies to witness freely with new technology and communications! We have the transportation technology to get us everywhere we could hope to explore! We have the complete living Word of the Lord to renew our mind in every single moment that we would like! We have the Spirit to teach us within!

We have the ability to share the Lords greatness in too many ways to name.

The greatest crime is that the devil makes people feel depressed or lost in things that do not matter, and they do not see the Lord, the Way, and the consequences.

 

Painting – Alone With God Together. I do not own.