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!

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Why I Have Reasons to be Happy in my Day to Day Life

Blessings are fully bloomed in my life, so how do I keep missing that?

Today I have been thinking about what is good in my life. I spent the last few weeks harboring a rather sadistic and pessimistic attitude. That was really making things gloomy around my house. Everything has been a nuisance lately as a result of my attitude.

I feel like God is helping me wake up from this silliness. I do not even quite know what I have been thinking. Yet suddenly, I realize how many wonderfully exciting and beautiful people and things I am engulfed by in my life! And all of the reasons and sources are found in none other than God.

The first wonderful thing on my mind lately is that I celebrated my birthday yesterday. I have been able to live long enough to stuff another year under my belt. I am thankful that my life has been as long as it is thus far. I am thankful for all of the wacky, exciting, and even painful twists and turns that have led me to where I am today. Although I get discouraged or blinded by minor frustrations and difficulties sometimes, much of what I have right now is what I used to plead and yearn for in years past. I wanted someone to love me. I wanted something to believe in or to find God. I wanted to escape the feelings of oppression and entrapment. I wanted to belong somewhere. I wanted to feel at home. I feel so much better now. I feel that God did hear my prayers and cries. I feel free from much of what troubled me before.

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I am loved. My sweet husband, Angel, is appropriately named. As cheesy as this may sound, I feel like he is an angel to me. He is always taking care of me. He tells me he loves me every single day, and I know that he genuinely means it. We have not worn out our lovingkindness. I know that he would do anything for me. I know that I would do anything for him.

Being with him makes me more happy than almost anything else. I always enjoy talking to him. We are always laughing together. He makes my heart happy.

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I am also loved by my tiny daughter. She does not know many words, but she still manages to express how much she loves us without all of the grandiloquence. Whether it is kisses, hugs, laughter, or resting her head on you, she makes you feel very special. We are lucky to have her. We are blessed that she made it through the traumatic first few days or her life. She is so healthy, bubbly, and happy now, and this is beautiful. As I care for her day to day, she drains and uplifts me all at once. I cannot describe how exhausting chasing her can be. Yet I also cannot describe how much light, learning, and love she pours into my day. I do not even deserve this little wonder.

The greatest days of my life are certainly right before me. I am always downscaling and downplaying the significance and excitement of right now. I often act as if a day is simple, boring, mundane, or even mediocre. I am often extracting gratitude. I instantaneously strip days of potential and rejoicing. I have the people I love the most in my life. I am constantly under the eyes and ears of God, who I trust loves me very much. I have nothing to fear. The days are here for the taking! I can spread good things. I can give love. I can shed light. I have opportunities to do good, and this is what I am certain I long for. I long to serve, help, mend, and bless. I feel that God intended for me to do this. I want to do that. I want to bless others. I wish I did not sometimes forget this. Sometimes I become selfish and self-centered, and I do not want anything to do with anyone. I am certain this causes a fit of discontentment and depression. Yet I live for these moments when I wake up!!! Forget the lies and excuses, now is the time to love others and embrace the good in life! Now is the time to express gratitude to God by letting my daily life be an expression of what he has taught me.. and what his grace stirs up in my heart.

Oh my,

The little of activities of the day are special even when I forget that they are. Washing dishes is a reminder that I have food to eat and plates to eat them on. Changing a dirty diaper is a reminder that I have a healthy, growing little girl in my arms. Cleaning the toilet is a reminder that I have running water and sanitary living conditions. Aching all over and yawning more than I thought a person could is a reminder that God is growing a beautiful little life within me, a person that we both love so much already. Picking up long forgotten dishes and littered work socks is a reminder that I have a husband that I love more than anything right before me. Washing clothes is a reminder that we have clothes on our back, and the means to keep ourselves warm and clean. Diffusing a mortifying toddler tantrum is a reminder that I have a beautiful, learning, growing, and all the while, vulnerable little girl that I am here to teach, discipline, and nourish into a healthy, positive woman. Taking little Bam Bam out to fertilize the earth is a reminder that I have a furry friend who loves me very much constantly at my side. He is newly discovered source of joy and companionship to little one.

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Whether I go to the grocery store or the mountains, I want to enjoy all of the beauty around me. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it is drop dead gorgeous here. I want to make the most of the time that I have here by exploring and enjoying the beautiful scenes only minutes, miles, and hours away. I have never seen sights like those that I see here before. I am so lucky to see all of this, and especially to share it with my love. The excursions I have went on recently have been very special. We visited Mount Rainier National Park again. We made another fun stop in Seattle. We visited the bridge of glass. Our most recent boat ride was on a perfectly cloudless day. We have seen more waterfalls and rivers. We may even explore Oregon coast again soon. I have made lasting memories. I have taken photos that will never be forgotten. I will have stories to tell my children and grandchildren one day.

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There is a lot of unknown in my life right now, and this feels a bit overwhelming at times. We are supposed to move to Germany. We have a little one on the way. We do not know if we will move in less than three months or if it will be later. We do not know if our plan may be recreated altogether. We do not know if our destination may change. We do not know what the next steps are in our life quite yet. We have to wait and continue to follow a snail process that is far overdue to get more information. Yet I will stay confident that God loves me, and that God will guide us through this as we seek Him through prayer. God knows right where I am. God knows just how I feel. God knows exactly where I am going. I can be thankful for the blessings God has saturated my life with.. right now. Today. Right here. I have more than I need, because I even have things that I want.

I hope this post finds you all well. I hope you can count your own blessings today. Even the frustrating or hard things might simultaneously be a reason to be happy. Keep smiling friends. You are loved, special, capable, and valuable.

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.