Permission

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”‬‬

Ephesians 4:2

The hard season of injustice seems like it may never end, doesn’t it? I’m giving myself permission to talk about it because I care about black people. I care about all people. And since Jesus cared about us enough to come down here and take the penalty We deserved so We could be free, And since I believe he did that for every single living human being, and since I believe the Word of God is absolutely true, I would be remiss to not speak.

Can we the church agree to give all people of all colors and beliefs permission to be the image bearers that God created them to be without making them justify who they are to us? Can we stop being like Job’s “friends” and stop telling others how they should feel and how if they were just better people bad things wouldn’t happen to them? Can we stand with our black and brown Jesus loving, Jesus following brothers and sisters and let them know we are with them? Can we be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in the world who haven’t met him yet?

I really hope we can change. I certainly know that Jesus would want us to change.

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Possible

Do you believe in the possible? When someone discourages you and says you can’t, do you believe her or do you rally and think, I’ll show you?

Before Jesus, I fell into the first camp more often than not, simply because I didn’t allow myself to do much dreaming. Mine was the voice that would say, you can’t do that because it’s irresponsible, because you have kids, because what would everyone think? Sadly, I learned discouragement from my mom, probably because she learned it from hers and so on.

Then I met Jesus. He turned the world right side up. I began to dream dreams. At 43, I dreamed of becoming a missionary. The old voice of discouragement said I was too old, it’s too costly, what about your family? But suddenly, a new voice chimed in declaring, Abraham was much older than you when the Lord told him to leave his country to go somewhere new, a place he didn’t even know! So began my journey to believing all things are possible for God and if he’s with me, nothing and no one can stop me.

So now I’ve been practicing believing the possible for fifteen years. And friends, it does take practice. I now understand that we have an enemy who wants to destroy us. When I hear that little voice saying, you can’t, I know who it is because almost always immediately after he says, you can’t, I hear another voice saying, oh but you can! He is the Holy Spirit! He is the voice of my Heavenly Father saying, with him, anything is possible!

“So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!””

Mark‬ ‭9:20-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy FiveMinuteFriday!

Fresh

The calendar says it’s a fresh new year, but it sure doesn’t feel like anything fresh. To quote a surgeon I worked with this week after I said, “happy new year”. “Happy New Year!? Don’t you know it’s December 41st!?” Her words made me chuckle. “But,” I responded, “we can’t lose hope.”

Friends, I would submit to you that we can’t wait for the turning of the year to look for freshness. We aren’t made for the future. We are made for right now. As followers of Jesus, every single minute is fresh. To believe things like, next year will be better, or next month, or next week, can only lead to hopelessness. How can this thinking help you live through your right now trial?

Up until 7 years ago, I was living like a good citizen of the USA, planning all the things I would do to show God I really love him. But all the planning did was lead me to anxiety and burnout. When I truly realized the grace of God, that I am a citizen in his Kingdom, I began to practice living in this moment, learning to see it for what it is, fresh, new, life giving. In accepting ordinary, everyday, moment to moment life, I have found freedom and hope.

With this fresh perspective of the upside down Kingdom of God, I am able to make plans loosely because :

‘We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.’

Proverbs 16:9

Sharing this fresh idea with the FiveMinuteFriday community. 🙂