Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Gospel is for me EVERY DAY.

 Ok, so I'm doing this Beth Moore study on James and it is real intense, and if you've done Beth Moore, you may be giggling a little at that statement- haha. She is a scripture warrior, I mean this lady savors and devours it at the same time (again, if you've done her study, you know what I'm saying). As a result of being in this study, I've been doing a lot of processing...lots of different things in my life I am trying to sort through and make sense of (this blog isn't about that though). I went to write about it today and then I saw where I started a blog with nothing but a title..."the Gospel is for me EVERY DAY"...and well, it turns out that is very true. So, out of prompting, this blog is going to be a little different than my others...So if you are looking for some mush, it's not here today. (the mush will probably will be back, cuz as you've been reading- God is softening me alot! <--HA, understatement.) No need to worry though, I don't bite lol.

This is gonna get intense so bare with me, and if you do, I really believe there will be a pay off at the end.

"Matthew 16:24-26: Then Yeshua told his talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after (to go behind) me , let him say 'No' to (deny) himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me. 25 For whoever wants (desires) to save his own life will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life for my sake will find [life]. 26 What good will it do someone if he gains the whole world (universe, worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; adornment) but forfeits (significant detriment/ loss carrying a penalty) his life (soul)? Or, what can a person give in exchange for (to put a buying price on) his life (soul)?

So I chose the Complete Jewish Bible translation for a reason; I wanted to look deeper into some of the words and really dig down deep, to the nitty-gritty, meaning in these verses. There are quite a few things I needed for myself to be pointed out, to really grasp this passage...and maybe you will receive a blessing from it as well!

Shall we dive into the highlighted texts, I say so!

Starting in the Hebrew...

YESHUA-- Yeshua in Hebrew is the verbal derivative from "to rescue", "to deliver". The name Yehoshua has the form of a compound of "Yeho-" and "shua": Yeho- יְהוֹ is another form of יָהו  Yahu, a theophoric element standing for the name of God יהוח  (the Tetragrammaton YHWH, sometimes transcribed into English as Yahweh or Jehovah), and שׁוּעַ shua‘ is a noun meaning "a cry for help", "a saving cry", that is to say, a shout given when in need of rescue. Together, the name would then literally mean, "God is a saving-cry," that is to say, shout to God when in need of help (Strong's concordance)

TALAMIDIM-- "It means to teach someone to be a student and to be taught. Talmid is the singular and Talmidim the plural form. There is much more to a talmid than being a student. A student wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even out of respect for the teacher. A talmid wants to like the teacher, wanting to become what the teacher is. That meant that students were passionately devoted to their rabbi and noted everything he did or said. This meant the rabbi/talmid relationship was a very intense and personal system of education. As the rabbi lived and taught his understanding of the Scripture his students (Talmidim) listened and watched and imitated so as to become like him. Eventually they would become teachers passing on a lifestyle to their Talmidim" (word and truth ministries)

Now, moving into Greek...

Execution Stake-- (Strong's concordance) I will save you the headache on this in Greek, the word "stauros," literally means the debate is some people believe the translation leads to say it was a pole Jesus was crucified on, others a cross ("staturon"--see how similar these two words are)...BUT in the verse, the reference is also to a stake designed to Jesus was nailed to the cross (pole, whatever), but then he was also impaled with a spear in his side. According to my research, (which could be off, so please don't just take it- do the research for yourself) Jesus is saying take up EVERY instrument used in death, ALL of it...and follow me into death. Pick up you lethal injection, pick up your shotgun, pick up your life sentence, pick up your bad heart, whatever it is, pick it up because we headed to the grave. 

Desire- Thélō (a primitive verb, NAS dictionary) – to desire (wish, will), wanting what is best (optimal) because someone is ready and willing to act. Thélō ("to desire, wish") is commonly used of the Lord extending His "best-offer" to the believer – wanting (desiring) to birth His persuasion (faith) in them which also empowers, manifests His presence (etc)... This is more than just a want, desire, craving (in YoungLife, this is part of need talk)-- it is the deepest longing in your soul! I often convince myself that "I want" this or that, that "I want" Jesus to be Lord, but this kind of want Jesus says is not by word of mouth, it is by action. It is the LONGING in my heart that screams through my soul, into every part of my earthly doesn't just leak out of my mouth-- it seeps out of my BEING! It is my DESIRE TO BE EMPOWERED. (Strong's concordance)

Deny-- arneomai, already means "deny," so (aparnéomai) suggests "strongly reject" (especially the source). That is, utterly refusing to recognize the original source involved. Hence (aparnéomai) can imply "ignore, disown, or repudiate." (Strong's concordance). This isn't a blind refusal, this isn't like trying to hide something with words or actions (e.g. denying I told a lie, or cheated) this is almost as literal as forgetting. You know those moments in time that something incredibly horrible has happened (death, loss, cancer, total betrayal etc.) and it takes all you have to fight past the numbness and accept it, because you just can't seem to grasp its true? Your entire being rejects it, denies it, because the alternative is too much to bare? Yeah, it's that intense and Jesus commands us to treat our own selves this way because MY flesh is so incredibly hurtful to me, I am my own cancer, my own death, disease, loss, and grief...I am completely and utterly betraying my spirit and to think of myself otherwise is FOOLISH and Will be the end of me. (ouch. Breathe in, breathe out. Now repeat)

Destroy-- apóllymi (from apó, "away from," which intensifies ollymi, "to destroy") – properly, fully destroy, cutting off entirely (note the force of the prefix, apó)apóllymi ("violently/completely perish") implies permanent (absolute) destruction, i.e. to cancel out (remove); "to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction"; cause to be lost (utterly perish) by experiencing a miserable end (Strong's concordance). The result of selfishly not seeking life...

Ok, y'all this next one is SOOOOOO good....your gonna love it! This is the pay off...

Life-- psyxḗ  (from psyxō, "to breathe, blow" which is the root of the English words "psyche," "psychology") – soul (psyche); a person's distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. (psyxē) corresponds exactly to the OT phágō ("soul"). The soul is the direct aftermath of God breathing (blowing) His gift of life into a person, making them an ensouled being (Strong's concordance). AHHHHH!!!!!! That's SOOOOOOOOOOOOO SO AWESOME! This text is literally saying forget everything about you, DIE, and I will BREATHE into you a Soul, an ETERNAL Soul, free from damnation. This life is used in the SAME CONTEXT as when God formed Adam out of dust and BREATHED Life into him!!!! Don't you get it??? That moment in time was the beginning of ALL human LIFE and Jesus is saying that HE will do the EXACT same thing in ME if I just is the death of a soul-less being and then resurrection of the SOUL! When scripture says "the same power that rose Christ from the dead- I send to you", God means that RIGHT HERE! HOW MUCH MORE COULD WE ASK FOR?!?!?!?!?!

I know this has been long and thought provoking and possibly giving you a headache. But are you seeing the reward?? I mean this is some JUICY SIRLOIN right here...This is so much more than a new life! It is the promise of a new SOUL, eternal companionship, and freedom from being lost! It is a heartfelt cry from the Messiah, the Son of the Almighty, THE GOD OF RESCUE begging ME (of all creation, me) to just humble myself and come drink from the fount and never thirst again!!!! Truth this good is to be sung from the mountain tops! There IS nothing more satisfying than this.

From what I've studied on these 3 verses for HOURS...seriously hours...In the best words I have, which still can't compare to His, this is what Christ is trying to convey to me, to us...

"Saying you want to be like me isn't enough. Don't be deceived, a life with me is nothing to take lightly and is not a lightly walked life either. It is one that consists of you dying to yourself; do you understand the gravity of that? See, You say you want to be just like me, you say you want me...but you aren't willing to let go for me and it is a result of the selfish "wants" you are still eaten alive with. Hear me, this want in you is nothing if it only consists of your words, and your heart is evil. My father has CREATED you with a longing, a need, a desire for more; if I am not the one thing in this life that provokes that desire in you...then you will never truly live and you will suffer the implications or ruin and destruction--YOU WILL PERISH. What you fail to realize is that the Life you Long for is a life that only comes when carried out with me, by me. ONLY I can fill you with my spirit; ONLY I can put the Adam to you to rest forever; ONLY I, for MY sake, can embody you with a SOUL, an eternal pure SOUL...unlike your foul, disastrous one. It is the power of the Almighty in me that makes these things come to past; and IF you decided that it is what you want, that means you will live a life that is against everything you thought you knew, wanted, and had. It is a life of being continually dead, and continual flow of new life- not yours but is only grace that saves you, its only because I died in your place that you have the privileged to live and to be apart of my body of believers. It is my loving call that gives you this gift of creation, just as I gave it to your ancestors. Just as I give you this new spirit, it is I that empowers this spirit to live as I command. Not you, you are not capable of such things.
     I say this with all the emotion I possess, because there is nothing in the heavens or the earth that will delight me more than to dwell with you FOREVER! I love you and because I love you with a deep, all consuming Love, I ask you be all mine! See, you aren't doing any of this alone; in me, you die-- you pick up your cross and go to the grave, not to be consumed by it but to DEFY it. In me, you live-- you are made into something night and day opposite of who you are now, and I know you don't see or understand it but you will, in time. But because I LOVE YOU SO, I am going to make you in part here what you will be whole when I call you home. Because I love you, I won't dare leave you here to wait for transformation, not for a day- not for a moment! I will never leave you to wonder, no, when I left- I left you hope! You're to valuable for wondering and I made you a promise from creations' beginning to never leave you. Finally, In me you are called into action, see, I will prompt you everyday to pick up your cross...and you will do great things, not by your will but by mine! Remember, your actions are filth and unacceptable- that's why I have given you this new life, to free you from them. But because I chose you to carry out MY Will, in obedience and action, your faith is in that process of perfection-- and I made you another promise to complete it! Never forget my promises, and this promise being the greatest-- if you lay down your life for my sake, I will breathe into you the fresh air of a NEW SOUL, for all eternity to spend with me! Take the time, evaluate these things I have said to you. Are they good? Is there anything else in this entire world that stands up to them? Is there anything in the world that is worth forsaking me and living your own life? Is eternity worth the risk? If so, it comes with the same price I paid...YOUR LIFE! No exceptions."


~This, my friends, is why The sweet, unparalleled GOSPEL of the GLORIOUS Jesus Christ is for me EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT of EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life until I get to go home! 
There is NO God like Jehovah!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nothin' like a baby to transform a heart...

The anticipation is over.....AVERY IS HERE!!!!

and he is the most precious thing I have ever seen.

He has the greatest cry, and the softest skin, with long lashes, a head full of hair, skinny toes, and the hairiest little body!!!

It has been awhile since I've held a newborn, since my nephew, Micah was born....3 years ago, and he was a few days old before I met him, and fell in love with him! His aunt B loves him soooooo much....
 (my other nephew, Bryce, on the left-- its only half of him. But it has been 12 years since I held him as a baby!)

But you have to admit, there is nothing like holding a baby that has just been born...he is changing literally every minute, his color changes, skin peels--and he smells so sweet. Babies just bring people together! We can't help it, they are just so enticing! Everyone loves newborns....

So I'm holding baby Luna and just soaking in the newness and freshness of his life, we've all been waiting so long for him to arrive, and all these thoughts flood into me...

I get really overwhelmed, in a good way.

I start think about his life and his parents and how great my friends will be as parents. How Jake will teach him to rap about coffee and Lord of the Rings, and he will teach him to play ball and shoot Nerf guns, they will wear matching flannel, and Jake will teach Avery to treat women with respect, and Most IMPORTANT, he will teach Avery about the deep, unfailing, transcending love of Christ. And Courtney, she will cook and clean for him, she will sing silly songs, pick out cute outfits for him, giggle with him, teach him to tie his shoes, and she will teach him how to LOVE with his WHOLE HEART, just like she does and Most IMPORTANTLY, his Savior. As I looked at that perfectly, sweet face I thought 2 things...

1) This precious little boy, who God has set apart for himself, God hand crafted him. He destined Jake and Courtney to be the parents to love and raise him, and he has allowed me and so many other friends to walk along side them and do life together and to love Avery together. And I thought about the life he will live and how God has mapped that too. God knows the intimate moments in Avery's life, He knows the pain Avery will feel after his many heart breaks, He will watch as Avery does really stupid things only boys do, and He will hear the cries of joy and suffering Avery will scream. He will comfort Avery, He will discipline Avery, He has already forgiven every defiant, hurtful, sinful, depraved thing Avery will do or think. He has already gone to hell and back and laid the foundation for Avery to meet him! He has loved Avery for all eternity.

 Psalm 139: 13-14 You made all the delicate, inner parts of [Avery's] body and knit [him] together in [Courtney]’s womb. Thank you for making [Avery] so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well [we all] know it. You watched [Avery] as [he] was being formed in utter seclusion, as [he] was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw [Avery] before [he] was born. Every day of [his] life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

2) My next thought is it is hard to imagine someone that small and that precious and that loveable and that innocent, really isn't that innocent at all. I know that every human is born sinful, it is the condition of our souls; we are barren and desolate people. But when he (or she) is that small and helpless, to think he is just as depraved of all goodness as I am doesn't feel right. But he is. And when I was born or when you were born, our parents looked at us the same way we look at babies too, the way I looked at Bryce or Micah or Avery....they thought nothing could be more perfect. They dreamed and hoped that we would be good, loving, successful beings, and that we too were the most precious beings to come to the earth....

Well mom and dad, I am not a good, loving, successful person. Sorry to disappoint. I'm not, in fact I am one better. I am the embodiment of Goodness and Love, and I have a savior that says, Come to me, and I will give you the desires of your heart....obey me, and the whole earth is yours to inherit....follow me, and I will give you life to the fullest. I know lots of "successful" people, who when they are called from this world, won't have a single crown or praise to offer back to the Lord--because they choose to be the rich young ruler and walk away, grieved. And if I earn nothing on this earth, if I live in debt the rest of my life, if I never leave middle Tennessee again...I have still conquered the world, because I have experienced love that doesn't make sense, and I have received peace beyond understanding, I am in the process of something physics cannot explain, TRANSFORMATION! ...and the Whole EARTH is still mine to inherit! I will take that any day over being a good, loving, successful person...

So Avery, this is your Aunt B's desire for you; you will come to know your Savior. That you will walk the narrow, bumpy, painful path of Righteousness! That you will learn to fight for Joy in every season of life, especially the hard ones. That you will honor your mother and father like God commanded you to (cuz kid, you have a great pair). That you will hide God's holy, living Word down deep, so you won't be swayed, ever! That you teach US one day how to walk in speech, conduct, love, faith, and in purity. I pray, Avery, that yours is the Kingdom to inherit and you will live your life to the fullest; counting each day a blessing, because each day is one more day closer to home. And for the rest of your life, you never cease to praise the Lord, because He is so worthy of it! I pray you ALWAYS know how high, how wide, how deep, and how long the Father's love is for you! Please don't be just a good, loving, successful person...DEFY NATURE! Be the man of Christ God knit together in your beautiful mother's by the words she lives by...

You can have all this world, But give me Jesus!

       Thank you little man, for already being a vessel God uses to soften my heart. You are dearly, dearly loved--and I cannot wait to see the places God takes you! One day you may even do D-Focus, like mommy and daddy! Just wait a few years and you will know EXACTLY what I'm talkin' about.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Would you like green eggs and ham?

Have you ever had one of those days or weeks where you feel like your stuck? Stuck in your own head, stuck in a story book, or even stuck in someone elses' body? You know those days where it's like you've been beamed up, dropped in the twilight zone, then left to fight your way back to reality. You know what I'm talkin' about. For me, when I feel like I am trapped in a bad Johnny Depp movie, It usually is because somehow, somewhere my mind becomes so entangled in itself I can't function OR I can't seem to contain my's like I got a huge fish on the hook and I just can't reel 'em in. I was telling my friend Racheal today how I have so much going on in my mind and I wanted to blog but I couldn't make sense of my thoughts--she told me to push through and write even if I didn't feel like writing. So, Rach, this is me pushing through, fighting my way back to reality.

So lately, for me I feel like I'm caught in déjà vu, and not that it is ever a good feeling (just ask Denzel, he knows haha), but it's really not good for me. I have continued to fight this raging battle for my thoughts...let me explain better. Way too often I get into the places where God is teaching me a lot or breaking me and because it always seems to be really overwhelming and I don't quite know how to process it, my mind becomes jumbled or I space cadet right out this world. (aka The Twilight Zone haha) But what happens isn't really as important as why... (and if you read my blogs a lot, I'm sorry because this is something I tend to process through a lot---just differently)

Why. Why I get stuck in my head is I fight for control of my thoughts...I fight for defiance...I fight for the sake of fighting.

My relationship with the Almighty is one that is a little comical, it is this process of Jesus knocking at the door, waiting for me to answer because He is HUNGRY and wants dinner and I am peeking out the window trying to hide and decide whether to open or not....then I open the door, change my mind and slam it....and then a few hours/days/weeks/months later, I open it and run to HIM and give the BIGGEST hug and pull Him in cause I missed Him soooooo much! And the reason I missed Him in the first place is because I AM so stubborn!

I like to think Dr. Seuss understood this when he wrote this...
(notes to the life commentary)

"I am Sam --- I am God

I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am

Do you like  
--AKA all the good I, being God, have in store for you, some I've already told YOU!
green eggs and ham              

I do not like them, --BUT I don't like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham. ---They aren't MY good.

Would you like them 

Here or there?   --Really, so where do you want to receive my good?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,
Sam-I-am     -- nope cuz it doesn't matter, they aren't my good.

Would you like them
in a house?
Would you like them
with a mouse?

I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you eat them
in a box?
Would you eat them
with a fox?

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
in a car?
Eat them! Eat them!  --will you just try it, that's ALL I ask.
Here they are.  --they are right here, just waiting for you to take

I would not , --i won't
could not, --i cant
in a car

You may like them. 
You will see.
        --If you give them a shot you will see, all I've ever done for you is good
You may like them                         
in a tree?
d not in a tree.
I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be. --LEAVE ME ALONE! God,
I told you, your good isn't mine

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox
I do not like them in a house
I do mot like them with a mouse
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am. --I'm getting frustrated with you.

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Could you, would you   --you can, you will...
on a train?                 

Not on a train! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
I would not, could not, in a box.
I could not, would not, with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.   --I refuse!
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.  

In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not,
in the dark.

Would you, could you,
in the rain?

I would not, could not, in the rain.
Not in the dark. Not on a train,
Not in a car, Not in a tree.
I do not like them, Sam, you see.
Not in a house. Not in a box.
Not with a mouse. Not with a fox.
I will not eat them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere! --ok seriously, got it now?

You do not like
green eggs and ham? --are you SURE you don't like them

I do not
like them,
Sam-I-am. --yep! positive!

Could you, would you,   --I'm not giving up on you.
with a goat?               

I would not,
could not.
with a goat!

Would you, could you, 
on a boat?      --I'm going to keep presenting you with my 
good....Everywhere you go!

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE! --well, i still say NOPE

I do not like
green eggs
and ham!  --they STILL aren't my good.

I do not like them,

You do not like them.
SO you say.    --I know you say you don't want me to be
in control or accept my good, BUT.. 
Try them! Try them!    --If you submit to ME and my good...
And you may.    -- You may (by may, i mean will) come to 
see that it is what you need           
Try them and you may I say. --trust me!

Sam! --GOD!!!!
If you will let me be, --ok, I am tired of this tango,
I will try them. -- I will try it your way
You will see...

I like green eggs and ham!  --this is so much better, than 
my good!!!
I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat!
And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good so good you see! --YOU ARE SO GOOD, GOD!

So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!     --OKAY I am all in!

I do so like   -- I wanna do it your way!
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you, --PRAISE YOU! 
Sam-I-am"  --GOD!!!!!!

How Ironic (not really) that Dr. Seuss was a believer in real life! Haha, he feels my pain.  But then, so does God…

Romans 12: 1 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."

2 Chronicles 30:7&8 "Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever.

I hate how well He knows me...

And i have no defense against it, I can't deny He is right and that my heart is rebellious. But, he wont leave me there I know that for certain. Once i have decided to give up and just eat the GREEN EGGS and HAM...I get to taste and see just HOW sweet his MERCIES are....

2 Chronicles 7: 14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin"

Isaiah 55: 8&9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Psalm 34: 8-9 "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing."


 Revelation 3: 19-21 "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, Just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne."

 Lamentations 3
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”


I think the best way to sum it up is to simply say...

 "I do so like  
green eggs and Ham
Thank you!
Thank you,