Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hot Pursuit


As I was going through a difficult period of my life, one particular day my husband told me, through a mutual friend of ours, that one of our old pastors was inquiring about me.  My friend wanted to know what should be her response so my hub asked me what I wanted her to say. 

Well I already felt I was the talk of the town.  I thought for sure they had heard some juicy gossip and I just didn’t want them to know any additional information at this time. So he said he’d pass that on.

Time had passed and I was curious whatever happened with that?  What was said to the pastor and how did they respond?  So after much thought, I sent my friend a text and asked her about it.  

My friend told the particular pastor straight up to contact us.  Who doesn't love a personal call from the pastor?  Almost feels like the president calling.  

I had a couple questions of course and my friend began to tell me about their whole conversation.  She said she came right out and asked, “Did you contact them after you inquired the first time?”  But the response was perplexing to me.  

This pastor said, “The Holy Spirit told me not to touch it.”   

I was flabbergasted.  More like, “I’m sorry what did you say?  I’m not really quite sure what is meant by that.  Can you clarify?”  

Now one can only draw their own conclusions by what was exactly meant by that statement, but it doesn’t even sound right to me.  

I’ve been thinking about it on and off since she told me and I wondered to myself, “But dear pastor, if He told you to not touch it, why are you touching it through my friend?”  

I’ve even asked God several times, “IF you told them this, ‘Not to touch this,’ why would You say that?”  I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t worth the effort.  

But I feel like God whispered to my heart, “Look at my character.  Look at what the word says about me.  Is that statement consistent with what you know about me?”  I responded, “No Lord, it isn’t.”

After I waking up one morning with this on my mind, the first thing that popped in my head was, “God came to seek and save that which is lost.”  I began to consider “God is in active pursuit of us."   The story Jesus told about the lost sheep came to me.  He LEFT THE 99 to go after the one that wandered away.  He PURSUED what was lost.  

So on my quest to discover what God is really like in difficult situations began.  This is what I found:

The story of the Good Samaritan is a prime example of God's character.  

Now the man going to Jericho was robbed, stripped naked, beaten and left for half dead.  It just so happened this was the same road the religious leaders traveled down.  They saw him lying there, in need of help yet when they saw him they chose to walk to the other side. 

This story reminds me of the time that I went on a mission’s trip to Kingston, Jamaica.  One of the things we were told was that IF we happened to see someone get attacked and they were lying in the road hurt, we could NOT help them.  We were told that because of the corruption of the law enforcement, we’d be in danger ourselves and may end up dead.  How awful to not even be able to turn to authorities that’s suppose to help you! 

The very people that were suppose to help the man, lying in the road, half dead, didn’t.  They were the authorities of the day.  It took a nobody, an outcast himself, to SHOW UP and take care of him.  This is a story of God showing up through the Good Samaritan. 

I should have been able to count on this pastor.  But when I think of the excuse they gave, to not reach out to my family or myself, this pastor reminds me of the priest or Levite in this story.  They chose to walk to the other side.  

I remembered an old message that Pastor Bob Roberts, of New Life Christian Fellowship, spoke on.  It was out of Luke 7:11-17.  The story is about a mother who’s son had died and his body was being carried in funeral procession. 

What I remember most about his message, well a couple things really, one being that, Pastor Bob spoke of how Jesus touched the coffin and in doing so broke the “rules” of what Rabbi’s should and shouldn’t do.  Touching was forbidden because of the law and customs.  It made a person unclean and unwholesome.  I love the picture this depicts.  Jesus being a rule breaker.  Man’s rules that is.   Pastor Bob also pointed out that Jesus came uninvited.  He didn’t receive an invitation to the funeral BUT He heard the cries and He came.  

Another story is that of Zaccheus.  He was a TAX COLLECTOR, hated by all and a known ‘sinner.’  He was a Jew, working for the Roman government, jacking up the taxes and skimming some off for himself.  So he was REALLY hated!

Because Jesus called Zaccheus to come to him, Zaccheus renounced his ways, gave to the poor, and made restitution for his wrong business practices.  And the most beautiful thing that Jesus said directly to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”   Isn’t that the best news for us ALL?!!! 

Moses was a man who was known by the masses as a MURDERER.  He ran away because his crime became known and he was wanted for murder. 
For 40 years he lived in hiding but God came TO him, on the side of a mountain, to bring Him near.  He called out to Moses and Moses said, “Here I am!” 
God didn’t shame Him.  He didn’t tell Moses to confess his sins.  He let Moses know that He was right there with Him and He had a plan and a purpose for him.  

God was on a search and rescue for His runaways, those that are lost, then and He still continues to be.
He rescues the runaway then in turn He commissions the runaway rescues others, all for the purpose of bringing them near. 

And look at the man born blind from birth.  I bet he was a hot mess sitting there day in and day out, begging his whole entire life.  

The disciples assumed sin had been in his life or his parents lives to cause him to be this way.  If they assumed it, the probability is high that others made assumptions about him as well. 

But the beggar’s life was changed that day.  The day Jesus crossed his path.  The day that He reached down on the ground, spit and made mud, slapped in on the man’s eyes, told Him to go wash and He went home seeing!


So after all the above, this is what I know:

This has been a difficult one for me to write.  

At first I was gung ho about it, having a sort of righteous indignation about it but as I’ve sat on it for several days it’s more so saddened me.  As a Christian you hear from the pulpit time and again, “It doesn’t matter how far you fall, what you’ve done, etc.…Jesus is here for you with His loving arms open for you and we’re here for you too.”  

I found that’s simply not the case…at least with some people.

But Jesus.  He’s not the same.  He’s shown a different way.  

The feeling I had, like I wasn't worth the pursuit, the word shows me otherwise.

His word shows me that He doesn’t stay away from hard things.  As a matter of fact, His word shows time and again where He runs to them. 

HE’S A PURSUER OF THE LOST!
The lost son.
The lost sheep.
The lost coin.
The lost me.

And He doesn’t walk to the other side when things get hard in MY life.  

He comes near when I have run away.  He comes near when I’m broken, blind, sick, dishonest, or if what I've done seems publicly controversial.  

Oh Jesus.  You touch the untouchable, redeem the unredeemable, forgive the unpardonable, and love the unloveable.

I must keep remembering this. 

If you find yourself in a difficult situation and feel cast aside, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  I wanna be like the Good Samaritan.  I’m here to listen.  There are other Good Samaritans that I know.  They didn’t leave me and I know they wouldn’t leave you.  We all fall.  We all mess up.  But God loves the mess up's.  Don’t stay isolated.  We’re here.  God’s here.  We’re reaching out.  All you have to do is reach back.  



Much Love and Peace,
Julie









Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nuggets of Awesomeness

As I've trudged the road of recovery, it's been a difficult one.  


BUT in the difficulty I have found drops of mercy along the way.  Now all this love comes from people that I KNOW and don't know.  Most of these people that I don't know are famous.  All their works are in writing!   

I consider myself apart of their tribe.  

They don't know this piece of information, but that's okay.  I'm the silent partner in the group.  Cheering from over here.  WAhooing from GB, MI.  

I'm taking all their nuggets of encouragement and applying those nuggets as salve on my brokenness.  But it's NUGGETS OF AWESOMENESS!  Like chicken nuggets, on a good day.

One of the nuggets I heard a couple days ago, I simply can't stop thinking about it.  It's from Glennon Doyle Melton, creator of Momastery.  

I'm in the process of reading her book, 'Carry on Warrior, the power of embracing your messy, beautiful life.'  


I mean the messy part is definitely me!  She and I are practically twins!  Except the fact I'm 5'7" and she's...well not.

Anyways, I've been trying to listen to encouraging things everyday from my famous peeps, which I just happened to come across one of Glennon's youtube videos called 'From My Cold Dead Hands.'  

I've actually listened to them all, but that's just the addictive personality in me ;)  All or nothing baby!  

What she said about Grace in this video was SO PROFOUND to me, SO freeing, SO beautiful that I quoted her in the bio section of my Twitter page.  Yeah, uh-huh, that good.  

Glennon said, in response to a shaming Christian, who reviewed her book, "I get so confused by that (the shaming statement) because the whole freaking thing, ALL of Christianity is based on the fact that we're forgiven...FORGIVEN FOR EVERYTHING!"

Which is sorta, kinda what I was saying in my last post, A Public Service Announcement.   

And for individuals that wanna shame and wanna say, "You can't have all grace..."  Um HELLO!  According to Jesus, that's the stuff that He gives away freely, at His cost!   He gives, we accept.  Thank you Jesus!

And thank you G!  You totally nail it!  It's still blowing me away.


If you wanna be blown away by GRACE, she's one of Jesus' spoke persons.  I'm positive you'll love her as much as I do! 



Love and Peace,
Julie








Monday, January 18, 2016

A Public Service Announcement

ATTENTION:  This is a Public Service Announcement - well - more of a friendly reminder.  

A reminder that...

We all HAVE F-ed up moments in life.  

WE ALL DO.  EVERY single one of us.  

We're NOT perfect.  

When we come to that realization, we can either decide one of two things. 

Allow Shame to hold us hostage or...

Grace to set us free. 

Today, I wanna choose Grace.  Grace is my friend and He comes to remind me that He covers me.  

He knows I F-ed up but He doesn't want me to stay in that F-ed moment.  

But Shame...Shame wants me, not only to stay there, but to wallow in it.  To EMBRACE it.  

SHAME is like the evil Darth Sidious, otherwise know as the Emperor Palpatine, from Star Wars.  

Remember that scene in Star Wars VI, Return of the Jedi, when the Emperor or Darth Sidious, (Whatever you wanna call him. Ugh - He had so many names), was talking to Luke Skywalker and he told him, 

"I can feel your anger...take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey toward the dark side will be complete!" 




Listen! Shame is so nasty and ugly, it's nuggly!

I mean look at him!  He is one ugly dude!




When I chose Shame, it's like I'm playing a game of hot potato.  But it's hot potato with a twist.  


It feels icky, sticky, and moldy.  All you wanna do is get rid of it and you do that by  - passing it to someone else.   

You're telling yourself, "I feel so bad for what I've done that I've got to pass it and pass it fast."  

But you don't pass it at all, you keep holding onto it.  In fact you're squeezing it.  You think you've let it go but the hot potato is still in your hands and it's burning you...




...all the while you're looking directly at the person or persons you're wanting to blame!

See, you are giving into the anger.  Leaning into it.  Like Darth Sidious wants you to do. 

It's pure wickedness folks.  Do NOT yield to it.  Do NOT give into the dark side.  That's where Shame comes from, the Dark Side.


However, Grace on the other hand is beautiful.  

Beautiful like a little baby






Or a magnificent sunset 




It's the pinnacle of Christianity.

"For it is by Grace you have been saved."  

It's a gift from God. 





Grace is the Forgiveness for the mistakes 

AND blunders 
and screw-ups 
AND the kind of poor judgement that clouds our brains so badly that no good judgement can get through.
Even the F-ed up moments.

It covers it ALL! 

Forgiveness covers EVERYTHING!  

Not everything Buuuuuuut...

But truly EVERYTHING

And Grace is finally the moment when you REALIZE it.  It's the "Shew" moment.  

The moment where you are ABLE to say, "You mean I don't have to carry that shame anymore?" 

And it's Jesus saying in return, "Nope.  No you don't.  Instead give it to me.  And in return, I'll give you rest.  Rest from carrying all that junk.  Rest from placing blame.  Rest from plotting revenge.  Rest from playing the never-ending Hot Potato game."

Imagine Jesus saying that to you right now.  

What FREEDOM!   

Grace sets us free.  

Shame binds us.  

Chose Grace today.  

Grace from God.  Grace from yourself to yourself.  And finally, grace to others.  




Love and Peace,
Julie



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beyond




Beyond our hurts and fears
is a supernatural space. 
When we allow love to cover our deepest, 
darkest disgrace. 
With compassion in our eyes, 
covering our brother's shame, 
him, who's fallen in the race.
It's only then, we'll see The Divine, 
as we reach out our hand, 

that we'll see Him face to face.



Peace and Love, 

Julie


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Love 'til it Hurts

I opened up my bible this morning, like any good spiritual Christian would do.  Not having a reading plan but just open it up and begin reading where my eyes landed.

So here's what I read, "Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

My heart lept.  As if a defibrillator just shocked my heart.  But it felt kinda good.  It was a good hurt, as my late Aunt Donna used to say.  (She was a massage therapist and would massage so deeply that it would kinda hurt).

But maybe that's the point.  Massage the word in so deeply that it kinda hurts.

AND what would happen if we truly got this?

But THE only way is for us to feel it.  But it can't be barely felt.  Or a brush by ya so fast that I didn't even know I was touched.  It must make an impact on us.

So...

What if we would
Be imitators of God.
As dearly loved children.
Not as throw aways.  Not orphans.  But dearly loved.
And live a life of love.
Just as...
Christ loved us...Oh do you feel that love?
He gave Himself up.  Willingly.  No one had to force Him.
For us.  For us orphans.
So that we could become dearly loved children.
As a fragrant offering.  Fragrant.  Pleasing.
Yet sacrificially.  It had to mean that something was being given up.
Like it had to hurt.
And it did.

So therefore we must do the same.
Constantly laying our lives down for each other.
As a fragrant offering.
Not a stinky, I don't wanna do this offering.
But a beautiful smelling rose kind of offering.
The kind that makes you wanna smell it over and over again.


Constantly laying.
Constantly bowing.
Constantly submitting.
Constantly dying.

Constantly.

Lord help us to feel Your word so deeply that we get this truth.


Peace and Love,
Julie


Monday, January 11, 2016

R.I.P. David Bowie

I was so intrigued by him growing up. He was strange looking to my young, American eyes.  I had never seen anyone like him.  And yet his audacious style was more like art. 

Living art. 

Now that I'm older, having watched him throughout the years over social media, only seeing glimpses of who he was.  But I think that's just it, we see people in small glimpses, not fully.  

But him. The art that he projected was beautiful.  It was wild.  Not predicable.  Much like a kaleidoscope.


We were privileged to see the different facets of it over the years.  His art showcased creativity at its finest.  He himself was the canvas.  It pushed the boundaries and challenged our ideas of was acceptable and what wasn't. 

But that's the beauty of a true artist.  They create what They love, what inspires them, and in turn it inspires us to take risks to do what we love.  

Not for anyone else but for the artist themselves.  

Early in his career he made a promise and with certainty, I'm pretty confident he stayed true to that promise.


Thank you that it was never boring.


R.I.P David Bowie


Peace,
Julie 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rob Bell and Rabbit Trails

I listened to a podcast a couple days ago.  It was a New Years Prayer but the overall message was based on Ephesians 3:20.  "Now Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..."

But before I begin, I must rabbit trail a little bit.

I was introduced to his podcast during a very difficult time in 2015 and his bits of encouragement impacted me greatly.  When I felt my world was falling apart, I was able to listen to particular messages over and over again, as it brought hope to my despairing self.  When it seemed as if the Christian community had all but given up on me, feeling like they had thrown me to the curb, I could count on him and his weekly messages.  I am grateful to my friend Sue for introducing him, as well as to his beautiful words that were like drops of mercy to me.

I giggle somewhat because of the bad rep he's gotten over the years.  And I'm shocked at how many Christians speak of him negatively.  Over time, I've shared the special trinkets I've picked up along the way from his messages, with family and friends.  One family member said, "Isn't he the one that doesn't believe in hell?"  Well now I've already said enough for you to have guessed who the mystery "him" is.  'Hell' is the key word.  Yes, yes it's the one and only Rob Bell who used to be the pastor of the mega church in Grand Rapids, MI.

So, one night last week I was sharing a portion of one of his podcasts with a friend of mine.  I was retelling the message to her, which it was about Naaman the Prophet in 2 Kings 5.  She interrupted me saying, "Now is this the Rob Bell that's not a Christian or is this a different Rob Bell?"  She proceeded to tell me that a snippet of an interview with him was played at her church and they're actually telling the congregation that he's no longer a Christian.  I'm like what?!!  Seriously.  Okay, well now I feel like I have to defend him but not in a mean confrontational sort of way, that's not my style, but a gentle explanation of who I believe he is.  And I don't really even know him personally to share the intimate details of his heart (I'm not God) but since I've read every one of his books and listened to almost all of his podcasts, I think I can give somewhat of an accurate view of the kind of person I think he is.

Which this isn't what I originally intended for this blog but since I've rabbit trailed this much I might as well wrap it all the way around till I get to the intended subject.

2nd rabbit trail.

I fell flat on my face as a Christian last year.  I'm still feeling the effects of the decisions I made in 2015.  I not only made some poor choices but other individuals made choices regarding myself, to share my failings in a very demeaning way.  My name was drug through the mud, so to speak, as it was told over and over and over and over again.  Now we all know when one person tells it, then another, then another, it no longer becomes truth.  Possibly elements of truth but people never stick to exactly how it was originally spoken to them so it becomes this huge monstrosity of a story.

What once was told to one person, even if intended for good, becomes lies, cause that's just what man does.  We distort the truth because we can never remember exactly how it was told to us.

It's like the telephone game you played when you were a kid.  That game brought lots of laughs but in real life it's not funny.  But that's the name of the game with gossip.  The enemy uses well meaning Christian folk to spread the word about someone else and it's intent is to destroy.  That's his MO, to steal, kill and destroy.  And what better way than to use Christians to do his bidding by opening their mouths to talk about another person.

I imagine the telephone game was played on Rob Bell as well.  When one person said he didn't believe in hell, well say what?!!! Gasp!  How could he?!!!  But since I've read all of his books I know that he didn't in fact say that.  What he presented is that people don't have to go to a place called hell to experience a 'kind' of hell in the here and now.  And as I'm typing this someone will most likely twist my words as well.

Third rabbit trail.

But all you have to do is open your eyes and you can see people living, in what they would consider hell to them.  Look at the atrocities around the world.  During WWII the Holocaust was a kind of hell.  I've read countless books on personal stories of what these people experienced.  Torture, starvation, weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Babies thrown into raging infernos.  Sounds like hell to me.  People stripped of their basic human rights, filed into cattle cars, peeing and pooping on themselves in front of each other.  Again, hell.

If you want here's a more modern day hell.  1994 the Rwandan genocide occurred.  According to the United Human Rights Council, more than 800,000 men, women and children perished during the genocide.  The goal, the annihilation of an entire tribe.  The result, approximately 75% were murdered.  That my friends is hell right there.

Let's bring it closer to the current times.  Across the globe, ISIS began the systematic killings of Christians in their region.  A 12 year boy had his fingertips cut off and beat severely, in front of a crowd, including his father.  ISIS promised they would stop IF they renounced the name of Christ and embraced Islam again.  I cannot imagine the hell these people endured at that moment.

I can't say that I'm a historian by any means or even a consistent follower of current news but if Hell is a place where you experience torture, weeping and gnashing of teeth, unspeakable pain then I believe those accounts that I've stated above are equal to experiencing hell right now upon the earth.

Those three groups had one thing in common, the annihilation of a certain group of people.  They are playing God themselves.  Who are they that they get to decide who lives and who doesn't?  Who's important and who isn't?  Remember Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Those groups are doing that exact thing.  They are puppets for the devil himself.  And where the devil is, hell is there also.

Boy have I really rabbit trailed or what?

Do I believe He's a Christian?  Yes I do.  Do I think it's important if he says that he is or believes exactly how mainstream Christianity believes in order to prove that?  Absolutely not.  I do think that those bent on spreading lies about him is a complete character assassination and it's wrong.  Whether those people believe what they are sharing is true or not Jesus tells us to Love our enemies.  But here's the thing, he's not our enemy!!!  He's a fellow believer!  Jesus said the world will know us by our love for one another.  How is that love to say negative things about him even if you don't agree with his view?  He shares his interpretation of scripture and because it may not be how mainstream Christian's interpret it, then damn him (lots of sarcasm).

The podcast I listened to last week, the New Years Prayer,  Rob shares this beautiful story of how his friend wanted to be baptized, that he wanted to live differently.  So right there in the Pacific Ocean, they just happened to be surfing, they found a cove close by and Rob asked him why he wanted to be baptized, what it meant to him.  And in the traditional way, Rob baptizes him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection.

My purpose for sharing this with you?  Remember how the devil in the wilderness and how he kept twisting the truth to try and get Jesus to worship him?  The twisting of truth is still going on today and it's very much alive in the Christian community.  Religious leaders don't like other Christians to draw attention from the norm.  They didn't like Jesus doing it, the disciples, they definitely didn't like Paul doing it.  The truth was the same, they were just using a different way to say it.  And they certainly don't like Rob Bell saying it differently.  Man oh man, cause he's gonna pay by his reputation being annihilated.  Gotta twist his words to make it look like he's not a Christian.

Well we know that Jesus words were twisted, so they crucified Him for it.  Ah, epiphany...that's what they are doing to Rob as well, obviously not on a cross but by way of spreading fear about him.

And who cares if he said there wasn't a hell anyways?  He didn't but for fun, let's say he did.  Does it mean I have to agree with him?  No.  Listen people are gonna see things differently.  We all have a different set of eyes.  I'm not gonna agree with every single thing that is told to me.  And neither should you!!  Hopefully it causes you to search the scriptures yourself to find out His truth.  And when you discover it then do it!

I went to a Catholic school.  I remember being in religion class and them talking about purgatory.  I didn't agree with the concept because I'm not Catholic.  However, people are valuable, period.  And it's better to love the person and be okay with seeing things differently than to disagree to the point that you destroy their name just so you can be right.

But the bottom line, THE most important truth in the bible is this:  Love God with your whole being.  And Love people.  When you do these two things, all, I mean ALL of the Law and the Prophets are based on these two commands.  Bam!  There you have it folks.  What he saying is right after all.  He's just repeating it in his own words.

Much like the telephone conversation that's spread about him and myself.  People use their own words to share what's been to told to them.  Part of the problem though, is that by using your own words, the possibility of changing the authenticity of the story is at hand.  We must be very careful in doing so.  Proverbs 18:21 says, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue."  Will we use that power to bring life or to bring death?

However, everything, every word and deed, should be measured in love 'cause if it's not then it means nothing.

If you don't know how to say it in love, here's the measurements for it in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, "Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."

I believe Ghandi was correct when he said, "Simply implying you are a Christian isn't enough.  By our way of life, people should be able to say: "This is a follower of Christ."  Actions speak louder than words folks.

Let's start loving each other like Jesus commanded in John 13:35 nlt, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

So what's Rob promoting after all?  What's so bad about it?  Agh!  A radical way of living!  Love God, love people and love wins.

Enough said.




Peace Out,

Julie





Friday, January 8, 2016

Finding Rest

I'm sitting here recouping from a migraine.  The kind of migraine that fogs up your brain, makes your eyesight a little fuzzy, and last but not least, brings you unrelenting pain.

Not fun at all.  As a matter of fact, it started coming on last night, causing a domino effect, to which I then canceled my breakfast plans with a friend.

So here I am, sitting in my chair, no lights on, but my curtains open, fighting the thought of closing them because even the natural light hurts my eyes. I'm trying my best to rest but I'm so distracted by hunger pains-so I eat, spilling cinnamon sugar all over my yoga pants AND the rocking chair I'm trying to rest in.  

All the while, roaming Pinterest, scrolling Facebook, saving inspirational quotes, reading up on the many different blogs I signed up to follow, so therefore I'm obligated to follow them.

Not really doing a whole lot of resting now am I?  Maybe from physical exertion but there's a lot of brain activity going on and since I have a migraine, it's obvious that's where I need the rest!  

Then a song comes to mind called 'Come to me.'  It's based off Matthew 11:28-30.  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  

Usually that's how the Holy Spirit gets my attention, through songs.  

I'm horrible at staying consistent with praying and reading the Word but if He can get my attention through a song then it sparks the desire to seek out the message behind it.  Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call upon me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."  How great is that?!!! 

Oh He's clever.  Not deceptively clever but like a carrot that's dangled in front of the horse to get it to move kind of clever.  He knows just what language that moves our hearts.  For me, it's in a song.  Since I'm not very good at the 'calling' out part, maybe, just maybe, He even helps in that department.  Romans 8:26-27 says, "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."  

Some people may think God doesn't do things like that but I say God can do anything He wants.  He even is able to catch my attention through a song.  I'm reminded of Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord Your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."  

SO yeah, I think God can speak to me through singing.  In fact He Himself does the singing!  Amazing.  What love!  I've overwhelmed by His love even as I type this.  He IS with me.  I feel as if I'm not worthy of saving, BUT He tells me that I am!  And that He delights in me.  ME!  The one who fell flat on my face and blew up my life.  But even in blowing things up, He still hasn't given up on me.  He's my loving Father who embraces me...He quiets me with His love...ugh...How can He though?  But He does.  This is what He wanted to remind me of today.  This is the rest He wanted to give me.  

So in all my surfing of the web, "trying" to rest, I wasn't able to find it there.  Oh there's some good things to read on Facebook or Pinterest, or even inspiring blogs.  But I can't find the rest Jesus is talking about in those places.  I can't find it anywhere but in Him...His Word.  He wants to tell me great an unsearchable things I didn't know.  He wants to whisper them to me.  He even wants to sing them to me.

Ya know life isn't so different than when Jesus walked this earth.  People had burdens then just as they do now and they found themselves weary because of them.  Whether those burdens were self induced or placed upon them by another, it doesn't matter.  'Cause when we come...Oh let me tell you...When we come... 

However, we must come not just to anyone or anything, but to Him.  Jesus.  He says, "Come Julie, come."  And He will give You rest.  You as in the one that comes.  He offers it.  I just need to take it.  What do I have to lose?  The benefits outweigh the cost of not taking it.

Here are the added benefits:

His yoke.  Not someone else's.  But His yoke.  And He says I get to learn from Him.  With the reassurance of His gentleness, it's unlike any that I've ever encountered.  With the bonus that He's humble in heart.  And in my coming and taking from Him...that's when I'll find rest for my soul.

But He brings up the yoke thing again.  He says it's easy and light.  Come on now?  You mean to tell me this isn't the kind that burdens me down or oppresses me but it's light as a feather, floating on a cloud kind of yoke? (At least that's what I'm imagining).  Hmmm only ever heard of burdensome yokes.  Yokes that lock on your neck and it says 'till death do us part,' the kind that imprison you.  Now that's what I'm used to.  But this.  This sounds different.  How could I not believe Him?  I wanna believe Him.  Should I try?  I think I'm gonna go for it.  

So how 'bout it?  Are you weary and burdened by life's mess?  Or is your body simply telling you you're doing too much?  The invitation is for "All you who are weary and burdened."  I think every single one of us fits into that category.  All you have to do is come...then it's up for the taking.  

And then, then may you find rest.  The deep down at the bottom of your being kind of soul, the kind that may have been dashed to pieces but He knows exactly where all those pieces are and where they belong and how to put them back together.  So just come. 


But be forewarned...You might just hear a song to lure you. ;) 




Love and Peace to you,
Julie