Monday, April 28, 2008

We Are All The Same!

I just got back from New Mexico for the weekend and on the way back I was listening to a book on tape, called, “He Loves Me”, by Wayne Jacobsen. It was definitely an eye opener. Most of what I was hearing I was aware of but wow, what an awesome reminder and revelation. One thing that I just can’t get my mind off is how every single person no matter who they are or what they have done; they get the opportunity to be loved and accepted by Father with the grace that is given freely by the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for every single person that has breath. If you really think about it, it is so easy to label people by their mistakes or sins that they have committed. For instance, if you know of someone who does prostitution, or had an abortion, well you just label him or her off by their sin they have committed. I am starting to think how unfair and far away from God’s character that is to do to anybody! I have started catching myself doing this to a certain ‘group’ of people. To me, I think that God sees every sin the same! Prostitution, adultery, abortion, stealing, lying, cheating, killing, you name it they are all the same. So how can I say, I am not as bad as that person who had an abortion, when I am a sinner just as they are even if I didn’t have an abortion, I have sinned in other ways. I want to start bashing the sin instead of the person. People are just people it doesn’t matter, but one of the most destructive things in this entire world isn’t people but the existance of sin itself. If I am walking down a busy street and see lots of people walking, I don’t know who they are or what they have done, so therefore I can’t label or judge them for who they are and what they have done, but see everyone in the same light, and realize that Father loves every single person regardless their sin! Yeah, do I wish they all knew who Father was and how much He truly loves each and everyone of them? Heck YES! But, then I think about what Father has said, before his second coming every single person will have the chance to know who Father is and how much He loves them. Then we all will know who will accept and return the affection of Father. But somehow I think if I knew some of the sins that people have committed I might think of them differently and try to ‘save’ them and convert them. I am thinking that that isn’t my job to do so in the first place, but, treat everyone the same like Father does to all of us! It’s harder said than done, but if I think of people in the same light as Father does and start to change the way I judge or hold any view toward them, I am constantly reminded that Fathers love is the same today and forever and is never changing. I want to start treating people with love and Father’s affection no matter who they are or what they have done!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Expecting the Unexpected

Expectations can be somewhat destructive when it comes to relationships! Its like someone who puts their own personal theories on another and ‘expects’ them to follow through on what is ‘expected’ of them from that person. Expectations can vary from small little demeaning things, to things that are huge and could be life changing! But yet, if relationships didn’t have any expectations, any boundaries, wouldn’t that be more like the recipe for disaster? I guess it just depends on the certain kind of ‘relationship’. For instance, a marriage has expectations, and everybody knows it’s not okay to go and sleep with another, or play around like you’re NOT married! However, I am starting to think that maybe friendships don't work that way and are hindered when they are put to the ‘expectations test’, the thing that can commonly destroy and relinquish pain and bitterness upon the other party who is causing this to occur. At times I have come to realize that I too have expected things from girlfriends that were too high to match or meet up to. I now realize with the expectation I put on someone else to measure is unbelievably wrong and simply not what I see Father doing to me in my relationship with him. I see this drawn out to the point that some will give ultimatums if they don’t fallow through on what is expected. How amazingly awful that is and manipulative. Can’t we see how destructive this pattern is when we expect others to ‘do’ something? Wow, but now I have started to set those expectations where they belong; not in my life. If I don’t want others to ‘expect’ things from me, I don’t need to start setting expectations for others.

I used to carry the weight of religion. Now I am learning how to let the weight fall, spreading my wings to fly away from the bounds that limit and keep me from experiencing true freedom. GRACE!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Simply Jesus

In the past couple of days I have been thinking about how simple it is to live for Father if that is all that there is to live for. However, I get caught up in thoughts of the differences in theology, religious rituals and set of laws and it just makes life so confusing, so blurry that sometimes I can’t even see Father anymore. I think it is really awesome that I have the ability to discern truth verses idealistic views of the human mind. It is just too easy to allow all of those theologies and religious (STUFF) to mess with your mind and leave one feeling lost in what is truth and what isn’t. But I am not sure if that is really important, who is right and who isn’t but the thing that really sticks out to me is Jesus. That is the most important particle in my human existence. I have thought recently that if I just continually go back to my relationship with Jesus nothing else exist in that, but Him, me, and the love we have for each other. I can make my relationship with Father a lot more complicated and hard, but, why do that when being in this relationship with Him can be limitless in the fact that I can do all things Christ who strengthens me. Wow! Can this relationship with him come without all that other stuff: Labels, rituals, traditional laws, institutional living, and a lot more (STUFF) to do and fill my mind with?

If we were to put several Jesus believing pastors, teachers, speakers in the same room together to engage in conversation, how well would that go over? For example, we could have Joel Olsteen, Wayne Jacobsen, John Elderage, Phillip Yancy, Max Lucado, and Joyce Meyer share in dialogue about all the things they don’t agree with could lead to some really heated conversation about all kinds of things, but, what is the one thing they all have in common? Simply Jesus, nothing more, nothing less. Some would say it can’t be that simple, and I would have to say, if the main focus was on all the disagreements and you just took all of it away, and all there was to talk about was Jesus in our lives, then why can’t it be that simple?

How about just simply Jesus? I may be off my rocker, but if you honestly push all that other stuff aside, what do you have left? The fog lifts and my sight becomes clear and all I see in front of me is Jesus, who says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I don’t know if I am the only one, but all that other (STUFF) makes me so weary and tired that I can hardly see straight. I think that thinking about the differences of theologies and religion isn’t bad, and Father uses those thoughts to surely strengthen your mind and heart in Christ Jesus if that is where one’s heart is, but, if I am not careful, it can take me for granted and get me lost in it all. I want to have Jesus in the forefront of my mind consistently in every thought that I process and through it all, once every thought is filtered and thought out, Jesus will be the only one left, just him, and nothing else.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Dream But Reality!

Just got back from Hawaii, the BIG ISLAND!

It was amazing to explore and see all the different terrains in the landscape! Here are some pictures that we took... It was so cool! I even got to try snorkeling and I watched a pod of dolphins playing close to shore... I wasn't able to get really close up pictures of them because my camera isn't waterproof but I did get some shots though! At one point there were people going out to where the dolphins were and swimming with them! It was truly a sight to see! We stayed with some folks who we just met. Their names are Stephanie and Bill Brooks; wonderful people to say the least! I had an amazing time getting to know them. It was a trip of a lifetime and every morning waking up there was so surreal!

Enjoy the pictures from our mini and breathtaking journey!


Monday, April 7, 2008

A God Who Understands…

Every human has a pain, a hurt in their lives in one form or another. It fluctuates with different circumstances and people. However, it seems clear to me that no matter what religion, what belief system one is under, most seem to cry out to God. The only reason that I can gather from this, is because, people seem to grasp that ‘God’ can understand pain, and knows what it is like to feel pain, and even if people don’t believe in God, they seem to cry out to him in times where they have felt the worst pain ever.

Even if we see something on TV or in a movie where someone is dealing with grief and pain, we somehow can relate to their pain. That pain in someone else whether it is real or not, touches us all humans regardless where they stand in life, we somehow seem to hold all the same feelings. Yet what I question is, how can every diverse person on earth feel the same things and sometimes even think the same way with their pain! Is it maybe because we are all connected as humans?

It is so interesting to me how pain can keep root in people for their whole lives. Pain sometimes produces in early childhood through adulthood and older. And in that pain we let it just sit within us, never shining any light on what is killing us inside or what we are hiding behind. I think that is a huge part of why some are so fake and so afraid of showing their real selves is because their pain will be found and exposed. It hurts to show it, but through detoxifying the pain, we become free from the bondage of being alone and feeling left with only our pain to comfort us in some weird way.

I have dealt with pain in my life, and through sharing my pain with people it has brought me to where I am with people today. I am not afraid of exposing my pain and being aware that others have dealt and felt the same as I and I know that there are thousands upon thousands of people on this planet who has dealt with the same type of things I have, and with knowing that why hide behind my pain and not take the risk of living organically and real?

I know that Father understands my deepest pains and I know in my heart, that all who feel pain know that there is a higher power (God) who can help them even if they don’t even believe… I can’t even start to comprehend the meaning behind this action, but it is something that seems certainly more complex than the human mind can ever understand.

But God understands, so maybe that is all that really matters.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Which Way Is Up?

In recent thoughts that I have had, unfortunately they have been all about me, what I have done, what I am doing, and where I am going, and yet in the midst of self-thought, I must have misplaced some internal and most respective aspect of all thoughts. Father. I was praying today and asking Father why I get lost inside myself and lose sight of him so often and so easily? I felt like he told me this…

In thought you might feel like I have gone somewhere, but, I was there all along. The good news is I never went anywhere, but you did, and I am here when you get back to wherever you left to. Your thoughts will return back to Me, just keep looking up…

It makes me laugh to actually post this, but isn’t Father so funny and always right? He is always with us no matter how lost we are…

I Love IT!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Word

What would you say if someone asked you what the WORD is? Is it referring to the Holy Bible? The scriptures? Or would this be referring to God himself?

I have come to understand that the Word is not a book; it’s not the bible, but the Word of God is the person-God himself. It’s the presence of Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and the book isn’t the way, the truth and the life, but only bares witness to who is - Christ. It is all about Him.

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now my question is this, why is there a misunderstanding of this in our Christian fellowships today?! I think that this holds a lot of misunderstanding when reading the bible period! I really don’t know where it says in the bible that the bible is the Word! I can only find that the Word is God!

People find it easier to read a book and do what it says, then to listen to a living God and do what He says...

Just some thoughts and pondering questions!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cynically Spoken!

I have started to think that perhaps the way I say things may sound a bit cynical and abrupt. I am not that kind of a person, but I guess my true colors start to show when I am given the freedom and liberty from Father to say what is on my heart and what I am realizing. I am not ever wanting to come across judgmental on my blog or any where else, I am just starting to see things that I have never seen before in my journey with Father and where I stand with religion and the whole nine yards. Father has really brought me a long way though, I would have probably never been as open and outspoken like this if it wasn’t for Him and what He has done in my life! I give Him all the glory…

Please forgive me if I offended or said some ill spoken words. That was not my intention. Just learning how to 'unlearn' this stuff that is so driven deep inside! With God’s grace, we are digging it out together!

Love and Freedom, Nicole!