Sunday, September 20, 2015

Seeing the Beauty of Jesus

Yesterday I did something I have never done before. I went into the guest bathroom to wash out a paint brush and looked into the mirror. Normally when I look in the mirror I see flaws. The critique begins and ends in an "ugh". This time was different.

I stood there looking at myself. A small smile developed and I started to talk to myself. "I am beautiful," I told my reflection. I noticed the pretty waves in my hair and the fact that the color looks like Fall. I continued to look at my reflection and notice positive things about my appearance. Then my mirror conversation changed.

"I am beautiful on the inside because of Jesus in me." My smile grew as I told myself how even though I struggle with being selfish, proud, etc. I am beautiful because of the amazing fact that Jesus lives inside of me.

Like most of us, I focus on my negatives both inside and out. My mirror conversation was focused on the positives, most importantly the fact that Jesus lives in me. It's not that I ignored the negatives, they are still there, but they weren't important. The important thing is that I am beautiful because of Jesus in me.

I told myself that I hope that others see Him in me. I'm sure they see the negatives because we are used to seeing the negatives in ourselves and others. That lead me to think about how I see others. Do I look for their negatives first? I would have to say most of the time I do. When I look at people I want to look deeper and look to see if I see the beauty of Christ in them. I know I won't always find Him. That means that I need to pray that person comes to a place where they ask Him into their heart and let Him make them beautiful.

And for those who I see His beauty in? For them I will try harder to focus on their beauty, even when the negative is easier to see. I also will pray that He will shine out through Him even more.

I challenge you to have a mirror conversation and focus on the beauty that having Jesus in you brings out. Also to pray to see the His beauty in others and pray for those who don't have the beauty of Him them yet.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Satan Hates, but I Don't Have to Choose to Listen

Just one night after a beautiful time with Jesus, satan was on the attack. Last night, I had a very realistic nightmare. I woke up feeling emotional and it carried into my day. I cried on the way to work, and then took my class down to sit in the gym while I was supposed to be peppy for the PTA pep rally. Now, I love to have fun with my kids and even being silly with small groups, but being in a pep rally is not me. So my emotional state didn't help my already uncomfortable feelings about the pep rally.

By the second rally, yup second, I was feeling a bit more peppy, then after it was over one of mine came up to me crying. It seems he and some boys sitting behind him were messing with each other and it escalated. I ended up taking them all to the office, because they were very mean to each other and saying some very inappropriate things. Then I go back to my room, where my class was watching a weather video to be informed by another teacher of one my other student's behavior during the assembly. I had to deal with him too, but thankful his behavior was easy to deal with.

It was barely 9:30 and my emotions were raging. Thankfully I do have some of the best students in the world. They knew I was feeling off and they preceded to be totally on task, involved, and pleasant. We finally were doing some completely normal; I never was so happy to teach math in my life. The more into the normalcy of our day the more settled my emotions became.

I should have known that after my time with Jesus, satan would go on the attack. That's how he works. He tries to derail me and get my focus off of what God is doing and who He is. Thankfully God has been growing me and I am able to see the hand of the enemy sooner than before. Usually I can command him to leave me allow more quickly. Unfortunately, the nightmare was so realistic it was hard to ignore. It literally upset to the point of feeling physical pain. Now, I could let him get my off of God and let the negative feelings fester, yet as I said God has been growing me spiritually. Because of this it is easier to tune out the loud, hurtful voices of him and tune in the quiet, loving Voice of God.

I am happy to say that I know it was a dream and have enjoyed the rest of my day basking in the love of God. I choose not to let satan have anymore power of me today.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Others May Have, But Jesus Does Not Condemn Me

Last night I was laying on my bed and reflecting on who Jesus has been to me. It wasn't long before I was starting to tear up. Then a particular Bible story was brought to mind, and He showed me how an instance in my life was similar. Maybe I should say more similar in his response than in the actual instance.

The story was of the woman thrown down at the feet of Jesus for condemnation and ultimately death. She was caught in the adultery bed, and deserved, under the Law, to be stoned for it. He did not condemn her though and told her to, "Go and sin no more." Like I said, my instance was not the same, but His response was. Something happened at a gathering I was at, and I walked out. Now I'm not saying I made the right decision in that situation, but later I was "dragged" in front of this group and condemned by some. Not all. I want to stress that, it was not by all, but some.

I can't begin to say how it felt! But I can tell you what Jesus told me last night. He said that He never condemned me! Others may have, but He never did. Yes, I didn't handle it well, but I didn't deserve the verbal stones of condemnation. Under Law and Rules those stones would be required to make others feel that they have done their part of upholding the rigidness of the Law. He simply said to me, "Go and don't do it anymore." And, "I will always be with you!"

I felt the amazing love of Christ wash over me as I truly saw Him in the situation. He was quiet while the voices accused, but after they had their say, He stood up and let me know He did not accuse and He did forgive. I know I am not doing last night's experience of revelation and love justice, but I knew I needed to share.

God has shown me so much about who He is through a time in my life that honestly was more hurtful and yet healing than any other time in my life. Those who really know me know that is saying a lot. Much of that time is still between me and Him. Some of it is between a very select few and myself. There have been times I wanted to share what I learned, but God has said, "now is not the time." I'm not sure when or even if the right time will come, but I can say the time since has been amazing. I have experienced the joy of some deep wound-healing; a peace that I can't describe; and a deeper discernment. Because of that discernment, my eyes now see more clearly the pain of others that have and are experiencing poor, and even unjust treatment. I also have seen more clearly the Truth and the lies that wish to distort the Truth. Most importantly, I have come to see the Real Jesus. The One who loves me, but doesn't just look passed my selfishness, my lack of focus on Him, and my thoughtlessness. He loves me, will always be with me, and expects me to take what He has taught me to help others. That is the true reason I learn from our hurts, mistakes, and failures. It isn't just about me, but about allowing Him shine through the my hurts and healings.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Peter, John, and even Judas Wouldn't Follow Jesus!

Do you ever wonder what the disciples would think of the Jesus we have created? I do. Honestly, I doubt they would have been drawn to any Jesus we have created. Even if they were drawn to our Rhesuses I don't think they would have remained followers. What do I mean?

Well there's Hippie Jesus. Fun Jesus. Rules and Regulations Jesus. Tolerant Jesus. Love Jesus. Stern Jesus. Everything Goes Jesus. As Long As It Makes You Happy Jesus. Boring Jesus. Adult Jesus. Kid Jesus. Jesus You Take Off The Shelf When You Need Something. And the one that makes me absolutely cringe is Curse Word Jesus. That's just to name a few. We, and I mean we, have created our own versions of Jesus. He changes based on denominations, political views, educational theories, ages, and group mentalities among so many ideas and beliefs. I personally have thought of Jesus based on my own perceptions and thoughts. I am sure I'm not the only one to do this. This isn't a finger-pointing post. I'm not talking about everyone else. I know I'm just as guilty as anyone else.

The disciples did have their own ideas of Jesus was going to accomplish. They hoped He'd overthrow the Romans for one thing. They found out that wasn't the kind of kingdom He was talking about, but they stayed with Him. Why? Not because He wasn't any of the Jesuses listed above. So who was He really? Well, I'm not going to tell you, but I will tell you how to find out.

Read about Him. Matthew and John knew Him personally and wrote about Him, and Mark and Luke wrote about Him from personal accounts of Him. Don't just read about Him. Talk to Him. Ask Him to show you who He really is. Listen to Him. Sit with Him and just be quiet with Him. Ask Him to show you what kind of Jesus you have created, and ask Him to replace that Jesus with the Real One. That's what I feel convicted to do. To spend time getting to know the Real Jesus. My heart feels a thrill at spend time with Him and getting to know Him for who He really is.

Will you join me on the journey of getting to know the real Him? I'd love to hear about your experience if you are willing to share. Just comment on the post if you want to share.