The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Today’s Gifts

This morning, God woke me up and told me He wanted me to go to worship. He said He had a gift for me. As usual, I wondered if this was just me and my crazy brain, or if this was really Him, so I asked Him for a sign that it was really Him. Then, I opened my Bible app (just as I do every morning) to check the daily Bible verse. This morning, it was Psalm 47:1.

“Clap your hands, all you nations;

shout to God with cries of joy.”

Psalm 47:1

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That was my sign! So, after I got my daughter off to school, away I went! There’s a church near me called Crossroads, Oakley and they do an early morning worship on Tuesdays. As I entered the church, God asked me to find a new way to worship. Not the out loud, over excited way that I normally do. So, I remained seated the whole time, singing out loud very little, and just basked in the worship of those around me. It was a very calming, peaceful feeling. And in keeping quiet, I heard the beat of the drum so much clearer! It was electrifying and I wanted to jump out of my seat and dance, but I stayed obedient. I felt like I could feel it deep in my soul!

As I sat there, my eyes closed, all these faces of strangers flooded my mind and I heard God say, “I love these people, but not all of them know Me. I want them to know Me!” It felt like I was falling asleep and instantly dreaming, but I was wide awake. I’ve definitely been tired in church before, and almost fell asleep, but never to the point that I’d had a dream. In this dream, or vision, there was an older woman with white hair and shades of gray. She wore a brightly colored button up, collared shirt. I saw pinks, oranges and yellows on her shirt. She had a stern look on her face as she turned to look at me. Then, I saw children playing at a park and a woman sitting on a bench, watching them. I asked God what this was about and what it meant, but got no reply. I figured He’d let me know if I needed to.

I left the church and asked God what was next? What are we going to do together today? Again, I got nothing, so I started to go home. When I was about 10 minutes from my house, I remembered that I needed to go fill out a police report because my car had been “broken into” a week before. I’d had major inner conflicts about reporting it and had been praying about what to do. My car was in my driveway at the time, unlocked. There hadn’t been much of anything of value in it. I’d forgotten to take my purse in the night before because I was so tired. But that night, I had also filled up my gas tank and put my credit card in my pocket instead of back in my wallet, like I usually do. (Total God-moment there!) So the thief had dumped my purse next to my husband’s car, out on the street. Everything was there! The one thing they did take was an extra wallet that was in my car console. I’d had my extra debit card in it that went to an account that only had about $20 in it. So, really, they didn’t get much.

When I discovered what had happened, I was a bit annoyed that someone went through my car, but thankful that nothing major was stolen. I stopped and prayed for the thief and the life they must be leading to have them living this way, stealing from others. I prayed that they find true happiness and freedom from whatever had them there. Then, I asked God if I should report them. It was such a small, minor thing and no one was hurt. Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, and to forgive. Plus, there were others on my street who had been robbed as well. They would likely report theirs, too, so why did I need to report mine? I asked God for a sign on what He thought I should do. I was content to let it lie. Then, a few days ago, someone contacted me through Facebook and said they had my wallet. They only identifier was my debit card which was still in there. My driver’s licence was still in my purse when we’d found it, so I still had that. I believed that this was my sign that God wanted me to report it. When I prayed about it, He reminded me of a mission trip I’d just gone on in March.

We’d gone to a small jailhouse in Southern Kentucky. The warden there had said that we should not pity the people there. They had done bad things which landed them there. But the fact that they were there was a good thing because it meant that they could get the help that they needed and were not going to seek out on their own. So, by being there, he was able to help them get off drugs and straighten out their lives. It was a blessing that they were there. So, in finding my wallet, I had a clue as to who might have taken it, which would help detectives find this person, not only for the purpose of stopping them and the crimes in my community, but also to help this person who committed the crime with whatever they were going through.

This morning, after church, I stopped into the district office, still praying I was doing the right thing and asking God to guide my steps, guide my words, and help my memory with anything the officers might need in this case. I walked in, spoke to a man at a desk behind thick glass and filled out some paperwork. While handing it back in, I spoke to a detective who’s name was Mike. He asked me more questions about what had happened. I answered him and I also told him about my inner dilemma and the battle I was having with God. He then stepped out from behind the glass that divided us and told me he was a man of God, too. He was an assistant pastor at his church! THANK YOU, GOD! He spoke to me from a Biblical standpoint as to why this was so important that I report even the smallest incidents! It’s not about getting someone in trouble. It’s about helping them find the help that THEY needed! Or enabling those around that criminal find the help they were praying for. He said he saw things that we never get the chance to see, nor would we want to! Because of little tips and reports like the one I was making, they were able to rescue children of drug addicts, find lost loved ones who were buried in the backyards of people who had done things like this, and so much more. This might be a minor thing to me, but it could be the tip to a case that cracked the whole thing wide open and saved someone’s life!

I asked him if he thought it was a good idea or a bad idea to keep your car unlocked in front of your house. In my thinking, if I have nothing of value in there, why lock it? If a criminal breaks my window and I have nothing in there, then I have to pay for a new window for nothing! He said he couldn’t tell me what to do, but that he agreed with me. He also said that some of these thieves keep track of their findings and tell their friends, just like when you find a good deal at a local store and you tell your friends. So, if there was something of value in your car, and they stole it, they’ll wait a few weeks for you to get comfortable and feel safe again, and then come steal again, or maybe one of their buddies will. Even for something as small as change in your console!

Mr. Mike walked me to the door, opening both doors like a gentleman, and we said our goodbyes. I am grateful for Godly men and women like him on the force, as well as all the other upstanding good people that work there, keeping us safe and guiding us on the right path. I am so thankful he was there today to help me through this process!

I finally drove home, thinking about everything that had already happened. As I turned onto my street, I saw the woman with the white hair and the brightly colored button up shirt! She was stopped at the light at the end of my road and as I turned onto my road, passing her, she turned and looked straight at me with a stern look on her face, just as in my image! I’m still not sure what this means, but I prayed for her anyway. Maybe God will bring us together one day and I’ll hear her story. Who knows. Maybe God just wanted someone to smile at her today, and that’s enough for me! God, use me any way You want to! I’m all Yours!

So, while this day is still young, there have already been so many blessings God has given me! I am so crazy in love with Him and how He weaves these blessings into my days, when I ask Him to! I wish more people could experience God the way that I do. I wish more people could see Him the way I do and feel His love so clearly. It’s such a wonderful feeling!

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I Love the Skin You’re In!

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A friend of mine raises chickens at her house out in the country. She has a beautiful home with lots of room for kids to run and play, and for chickens to lay eggs. I had recently started a diet and was trying to eat healthier foods, so I asked if I could buy some of her home grown eggs. She brought them to church and I took them home. That afternoon, I opened my carton of eggs to see what they looked like when they came from a “farm”. I was used to the beautiful, pure-looking, solid white, same shape, same size eggs that I get from the grocery store. These were definitely NOT those eggs! These were all different shapes and sizes, not to mention the colors! They all had a different shade of brown. Some were very light tan, while others were very dark brown. As I gazed upon them, God spoke to me. He pointed out their differences and how, from just looking at the shells, I would say they were not the same. But if I were to crack them open, they would all have the same contents on the inside. Sure, some might also have a little more yolk, but they would still pretty much all taste the same. You might look at one egg and think that the color or the shape would make it taste different, but if you were to brake them open and cook them, not knowing which egg it came from, you would never be able to tell me which egg came from which shell.

I suppose that, this being February, the month we celebrate Black History, this topic might have been on my mind a bit already, but I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me more this year about this than He had previously. I have never thought of myself as prejudice, and still do not. I love all people, regardless of race, background, or any other defining characteristic. It really bothers me that this is even an issue, but I know that it is still felt deeply by people that I care a lot about. And their pain has caused me to look around a bit more this year. I have realized that I live in a “privileged” world, where things might be directed more towards my comfort, and this makes me sad. What I’m referring to are ads and TV programs, and probably more, if I really stopped to consider it. At first, I thought this wasn’t true, but then, I started to notice that some of the black children in my Sunday School class colored their papers with people in them the peach tones that we refer to as white. They didn’t add the brown skin tones that I thought that they should. I asked one little girl why she had colored them white. She said “because they WERE white!” I looked at them, and I could see why she would say that. I thought they would still have looked just as nice with a little color to their skin, but what made me sad was that she didn’t even hesitate in making them white. The following Sunday, she did the same thing. Did this mean that she was programmed to always think that, when looking at a blank black and white picture, the people were always white?! How sad!

As little girls, we are given dolls that reflect who we are, so that we can relate to them better. Shouldn’t that be the way we color pictures, too? Not that a child of one race couldn’t color a picture of people of a different race. There is nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, I find that beautiful and healthy! But when that child only colors people a specific race, other than the one they are, what message does that say she is getting? This particular girl is absolutely beautiful! It’s not just about her skin color, it’s about her beautiful, cheerful eyes that light up wherever she goes! It’s about that breath-taking smile that makes my heart happy when I see her. It’s about that beautiful, happy-go-lucky personality that I see in her every single time I am with her! I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from and to know, she was made perfectly, by loving hands that were excited about her existence, that she is cared for by a King that loved her enough to die just for HER! And it didn’t matter to Him what her skin color was! I never want the word “prejudice” to enter her naive ears or to stain her pure heart, or any other child’s for that matter! I want her to look at a white child or an Asian child or any other child and see their color differences, but for it not to matter any more than having different colored hair or eyes. It’s just a part of who that child is, but doesn’t change their value or their worth!

As I was driving home today, I was thinking about this blog, and trying to figure out how to write it, and to convey the love that I have for all of God’s people. I didn’t want to come off wrong or offend anyone. This was just what was on my heart. Then, a thought occurred to me. I thought about how white people have a white Jesus, while black people have a black Jesus. I remembered a sermon my pastor had given me that really changed how I viewed Jesus. The topic was the truths about who Jesus really was. He said, after studying the Bible, he’d come to the conclusion that Jesus was probably not attractive at all! In fact, He was probably very homely looking. This was because the Bible is always quick to refer to someone as attractive, if they were. But that description was never given for Jesus. Well, there went any and every picture I’d ever seen of Jesus!

He went on to say that Jesus DEFINITELY was NOT white! This didn’t really surprise me much, since it wouldn’t make much sense that He’d be white, anyway. But my pastor also said that He likely wasn’t black either. He was probably middle eastern, or a similar race.

As I was reflecting on this sermon today, I asked Jesus, “What color were You? Am I allowed to know that? Is that something I can even ask you?! If we were made in Your image, who’s image was made first? A black man or a white man, or someone else?” His reply to me was, “Why does it matter?! Call me a patchwork quilt, because all men were made in My image. No color is wrong or right. I reflect all colors, just like a patchwork quilt.”

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This was a beautiful thought to me. How perfect an answer! Why does it really matter?! It doesn’t! Jesus died for ALL of us, and He didn’t care the color of our skin! He knew that, just like my eggs, our shells mean nothing. It’s what’s on the inside that matters! It’s how we treat each other that matters. It’s how we LOVE each other that matters! Jesus didn’t say, “Love the people who look like you or act like you.” No, He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 

So, no matter who or where you are, what you look like, how tall you are, what shape you are in, what color hair, eyes or skin you have, I love you! And so does our Maker!!! He made YOU perfectly, with loving hands that were excited about YOUR existence! YOU are cared for by a King that loved you enough to die just for YOU! How exciting is that?! Oh, how I love our Abba, who first loved us! I truly am a blessed child of God, and so are you!