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Could God Really Love Me?

man in green shirt and black pants sitting on top of rock cliff under white clouds
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Merry Christmas! God bless!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus the Savior of the World!

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I am a wanderer and stubborn, the Lord knows this, but I can tell you that God can work with anyone, yes ANYONE that will give Him a chance. Anyone that can look at their life and say you know what I need some help, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will you lead me?

For a long time I wasn’t in touch with my emotions; I just kept trudging along thinking “I’m strong, I can handle my life all I need to do is move on from {insert person, place or thing here}”. “I’ve got everything together”. I actually convinced myself that the things that bothered me would just disappear if I chose not to think about them. Ultimately running from the problems didn’t work out though because the emotions were still there under the surface and it eventually came to a point where I knew something needed to change.

I enrolled in a Christian class looking for God’s healing and in it God chose to help me deal with reality and start pursuing Him most of all.

I was lucky enough to study under two Christian pastors who helped point me in the right direction towards my new “born again” self instead of my old ways of relating to the world.

Hence I started this blog. To help those and others like me continue on the path to becoming more like Jesus and our “true self” in a less than ideal world.

Trusting the Lord is much like trusting a person. To begin with, He respects our decision whether to invite His love in. Once we have a relationship with Him, He wants us to be open and honest before Him. And finally, trusting Him takes practice and constant choice.

Accepting or receiving love is hard for some people but the Lord is willing and able to make you a strong believer at whatever point you’re at.

A question that kept nagging me was: Was God really interested in me?

Have you ever asked this question to yourself or God?

I studied Scripture diligently and my boyfriend uttered the kind and gentle words I needed to hear that God indeed loves me.

And guess what: The Good News is that He loves you too!

Yes, if you are unsure and don’t have people God has brought into your life yet to convince you of your worth I tell you and encourage you now that you belong to God who loves you. You are His beloved creation!

I know this because God created us with His breath (Gen 2:7). He gave us His breath of life and created us in His Image (Gen 1:27). He wasn’t content to leave us but kept bringing His people out of trials — out of slavery in Egypt and out of death through the death and resurrection of His Son  Jesus.

Jesus’ death on the cross was also God’s climactic action in canceling out any guilt or shame that may keep us from approaching a relationship with Him so we can be fully forgiven from any negative guilt that can ail us.

He also still wants to be with us in the end which is why believing in Jesus gives us access to heaven (John 14:6).

God has given us the greatest gift of all which is Himself incarnate in Jesus the Son of God. And we can feel the love of God in our own lives should we stop to feel and even ask God to feel His presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I praise the Lord for being able to open my heart up again to love again after heartbreak and let my ears and heart re-adjust to accept the love that surrounds me.

I hope you are surrounded by those you love this holiday season. Both those that are here on earth now and those that have passed. And may you revel in the greatest gift of all: Jesus who will come again in all His glory and bring us to heaven to meet our God.

May your wanderings lead you to surrender to God.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

Christian · Faith

You do not have to be perfect

“Perfect is the enemy of good” Voltaire

In a culture where people are championed for looking or being perfect (in physical fitness, outer appearance or by outperforming others in roles such as a student, mom, wife, friend or business professional) we have to fight the urge to fit in just because it’s easy.

For a long time I’ve struggled with the fear of making a mistake/saying or doing the wrong thing/displeasing people but especially God – believing the enemy’s lie that I have to be perfect.

In other words, I was afraid to stand out by being myself.

This perfection led me to procrastinate, not try, and bow out of challenges. It also led to a lot of shame and hiding from making decisions in my life.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bible story that reminds me that God looks after all people even those who are in low social positions is God’s relationship with Hagar.

God spoke to Hagar in the Bible when she felt lonely and desperate in the forest. Hagar was a pregnant slave woman carrying Abraham’s illegitimate son. She was running away due to unfair treatment by her master’s jealous wife Sarai. When she had nowhere else to turn, alone and pregnant in the forest God showed up to meet her. “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.””Genesis‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NIV

This encounter with God through an angel was truly life transforming for Hagar. She names the place after meeting God. He tells her gently where to go, about the birth of her son, future children and acknowledges her situation. The bitterness in Sarai’s heart towards Hagar was due to her failure to have faith that God could produce an heir in her in her old age but God is faithful to His promises so He knew Sarai’s joy would come when God gave her a child.

We can take courage that God sees us too and that in His eyes we can gain confidence and accept Jesus’ love and compassion enough for ourselves to step out in faith.

Another scripture that stands out to me is  “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

We are flawed yet wildly loved by Jesus.

In the spirit of new adventures: I say cheers to the blog starters and blog posters, the timid and creative, the entrepreneur and the artist and cheers to the ones who have the courage to be themselves: stumbling and bumbling forth into new waters for the glory of Jesus Christ.

How will you step out in faith?

Kruger, Barbara. Belief+Doubt. 2012, Hirshhorn Museum, Lower Level.
Christian · Faith

Suicide, Depression and the Hope of Jesus

Godly hope in the midst of celebrity suicide

I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I noticed that Linkin Park was trending. Next I saw an article about a tribute to Chester Bennington –a tribute? This isn’t good… come to find out the singer of the rock band Linkin Park had taken his own life – suicide.

I cried. I could scarcely believe someone who I had connected to so well during my lifetime through his music had just taken his own life. It’s shocking and terribly sad.

I received the Meteora CD for my 14th birthday. I listened to it in my CD player over and over again. It was easily my favorite album.

Even when I went camping I still brought Linkin Park with me – letting the older generation have a listen because I wanted them to experience it too.

At times, as an adolescent, it felt like Chester was going through some of the same things I was experiencing — pain, disappointment, skepticism, bitterness and anger.

From the foreword introduction with the sound of breaking glass that segways perfectly into the first loud rock song to Chester’s singing and growling and Mike Shinoda’s rap rhymes the whole album is so raw and palpable. I found this kind of emotional honesty breathtakingly refreshing. Chester was able to express his emotions  in a way I wish I could at the time. I admired him speaking so openly about the not-so-niceties of the human condition. Chester references in one of his songs looking for “somewhere I belong”; maybe you too are looking for somewhere you belong.

If so, keep reading!

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I want to let you know about a place with an open invitation where we belong. This place is not a location you would find on a map but it’s a faith journey instead into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

What do I mean by this?

I’m inviting you into (if you don’t already have) a real relationship with Jesus, the living and loving Son of God.

His testimony is given to us in the Bible.

Jesus -who is God’s son and part of the divine trinity- was born of a virgin woman on Earth and lived a holy life preaching of His Father in heaven and how God wants us to live: loving God , Jesus and one another.

Jesus then went to die on the cross as a blood sacrifice for all people in order to reconcile our broken relationship with God (our relationship was tainted by our destructive desires aka sin that keep us away from God). But Christ did not only experience death, He rose from the grave to show us His power over death after his crucifiction. 

Only by Jesus’ death and resurrection as holy and blameless God coming to earth in the form of a man dying innocently on the cross for our repeated offenses can we receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness for sin. There are profoundly serious consequences spiritually and eternally for the ways in which we act. Jesus chose to pay that penalty for us and offer us escape from sin and death in exchange for an eternal relationship with Him.

….Maybe you’ve cheated your way in business, lied in a relationship or struggle with an addiction…

Jesus can forgive and heal us but we must choose to call and believe in Him. God says that we must adhere to Jesus and stay connected and rooted in Him to be productive in any area of our lives.

““I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

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