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The Lazarus Story.

6 Jun

Ghost. I know.

It’s like in my mind, I have this perfect idea of writing all my thoughts down at least once a week and then time flies, and I don’t.

I know. No excuse.

How do people in the blog world keep up?

Any who, I’ve been leading a Bible Study by Jennie Allen (she’s pretty awesome), called “Proven” with a wonderful group of ladies. This study has blessed my soul in so many ways and this week , we discuss Lazarus. It is one of the classic stories repeated over and over again in the Bible, and I mean, can you blame anyone? It’s good stuff!

Man dies. Everyone is sad Man dies. Jesus is sad, man dies. He comes, he raises him from the dead. The end. Right?

Wrong!

I’ve heard the story a million times and I’m sure you have too. But today, there were so many snippets, so much goodness that spoke to my spirit, I wanted to share it with you and go beyond the “typical story” you’ve heard on a daily basis.

  1. When bad things happen, it’s not always about you.
    You pull yourself apart. Wondering what you did wrong, what you could have done differently, and how the circumstances could have been different, but what about thinking, “God what are you going to do with this?” John 11:4  states”The sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of god, that the son of God may be glorified through it”.  Ill tell you one thing, I much rather wonder what God is going to do with a situation then harp on the fact that it’s happening.
  2. Focus on the Light.
    We’ve all been there. Grief. Suffering. It’s not fun. But we must remember to hold on to the light, the good things, our father. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world (John 11:9) God sees, he hears, and he’s there.
  3. Believe in who he is and what he can do.
    God is powerful and to think, he loves us! He even asked Martha if she believed in John 11:26 because the key my friend is in believing. When you allow God to show up to a situation, believe that it is handled because you know who he is, and what he can do. Wont he do it?!? I assure you (in his way and time) Yes, he will!

    Disclaimer: Don’t mistake this as me saying he will give you a million dollars or cure your sickness or illness. Don’t miss this part. I’m saying, I believe God to do everything he said he will do, even if that means not exactly what we are specifically asking for. This lady in church once was talking about two people being healed, one on earth and one in heaven.  I remember sitting in the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference thinking, I’ve never looked at it like that. God’s will is always upheld and done, even if not the way we would like or prefer. Got it? 

  4. Believe in who he is and NOT what you see.
    It’s hard, and this goodness is something I know I’ve struggled with myself. It’s so easy to think about the circumstances, what other people say, and the difficult task at hand, but I assure you God is ALWAYS in control. Not only that, what you see in front of you isn’t what God sees. I love that John 11 constantly reminds us that Lazaraus had been dead and in the tomb for four days. But sometimes when we see Death, God sees life! He hears our doubts, our concerns, but just as Jesus did, He knows who his father is and he holds onto that.

    PAUSE
    This is where some of you need to take a deep breath and just give it to God. Whatever it is. He can’t fix it, if you won’t give it to him. Let him fix it.

  5. Allow People In!
    Sometimes we try and do everything ourselves and carry the weight alone. But God created his people to be there for each other and to comfort one another. Even Mary and Martha were comforted by the Jews on the loss of their brother.
  6. He feels our pain.
    We use to make jokes when I was younger about memorizing bible verses and John 11:35 being the easiest one to remember, but as immature as we were, we failed to look at the power in that message. Jesus wept. He felt pain. His heart went out to the loss of Lazarus and he was there in the tomb weeping with them. Make no mistake, that God feels. He cares and his heart goes out to his people when they are grieving or suffering. He isn’t absent. He’s right there. Beside us. With us. Holding our hands, wiping our tears away, and silently grieving with us.
  7. God is in the miracle happening business. Last but not least, this also means that even if a situation wasn’t handled the way you would like for it to be done, or in the time, God makes no mistakes and just as he revived Lazarus, he can revive you or your situation too. This is the main point we always get from the Lazarus story, but it’s too good not to share it again! Whatever it is, ask him! I love that Jesus simply said, “Come Forth! (John 11: 43)

 

So much goodness in that story. A father that love us and who always wants what is best for us. He can do it, like he did it for Lazarus.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

 

 

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Easter Remembrance 

15 Apr

It’s that time of year again when all the little girls are  getting ready to be dolled up in brand new dresses and little boys will be running around scuffing up those brand new church shoes. Ladies have picked out their perfect outfit, some with the final touch of a perfect hat, as the men prepare to get suited up  a in their Sundays best. So many of us fixated with our eyes on our appearance, and I can’t take my eyes off the cross.

I always get super emotional around Easter and I just can’t help it. The idea; the thought; the emotion behind someone dying for me, is more than my heart can even handle at times. 

I find myself going through the gospel from time to time  in disbelief, because we all know how flaky human beings can be at times, and even when Jesus asked God to “take this cup from me” he didn’t allow temptation or fear to overwhelm him. He carried out what was set before him and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. 

Today, as we remember the power of the cross and the depth of his love, let us not forget what it means:

1. Jesus died for us because God loves us so much. (John 3:16) Sin was keeping us from the world, and Jesus’ death became the bridge back to our father and that bridge is ALWAYS open, which means nothing we can say or do will keep us from him. 

2. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect ( he is) so don’t put expectations on yourself that God doesn’t even have for you! (I will get into this point more a few lines down) 

3.  God loves everyone ( go back to point one). We aren’t here to justify what is right or wrong, we are here to love and point people to the word, let them see for themselves how much God loves them and discover truth. Don’t let a “view” or “mindset” distort who God is for others. He’s pretty awesome, and here for errybody (yes, I meant it like that).

4. God wants what is best for you. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. Everything works for the good of the Lord ( Romans 8:28) Not some things, sometimes, on occasion, EVERYTHING. So just hold on, he’ll pull you through.

5. God isn’t keeping score. He isn’t condemning  u for what you have done. ((Romans 8:1) There arent bonus love points for being a pastor and news flash, there are no GOOD christians.  There is no such thing. So stop beating yourself up and telling yourself you need to be a “better” Christian. Love him, follow him, and keep his commandments. (And guess what, if you don’t, he still loves you). 

Be encouraged, friends. Stop being so hard on yourself! Oh how he loves us and I’m so glad he does and on this Easter, I just want to remind you what that love means.  It means he loves us when we do good, when we do bad and when we are in the darkest places, his light is still shining, if you look for it. You are never too far from God, and on this Easter, I hope you feel the love our Good, Good, father has for us.

Until Next time, much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

P.S.- I’m so in love with this shirt Lift Her Up Clothing

Your church could do More.

6 Feb

Don’t get offended, it’s the truth.

I know some of y’all are already shaking your head at this post and before you begin rattling off the list of amazing things that your church does for the community, let me explain.

I’ve volunteered with nonprofits for most of my life and have even worked in the nonprofit sector for 10 years (this year!)  Although my experience may be short to some, I can tell you I’ve learned quite a bit in the few years that I have been here and I can tell you or almost guarantee you, your church could be doing more. Let me explain.

You could provide SPACE- Yes, my friends, sometimes simply having a location or space outside of an organization’s very own offices allows them to expand their reach, and serve more people at one time. While some organizations have space to do the types of services and events they do, many of them don’t.

You could provide PEOPLE- In my experience, a lot of organizations could do more if they had the hands to do it! A lot of times when serving the community, you get bombarded with people and I always think, if we just had DOUBLE the amount of people, it would make a difference.

You could provide SERVICES- Yep. That’s right. I know that many of you provide services already, but if you could reach out to people besides the ones living in your neighborhood to expand those services, imagine what could happen!

You could provide TRANSPORATION- This issue is a big one. I have heard from numerous parents and caregivers, that many times they would like to take advantage of opportunities and do more, but they just don’t have a way to get there or the funds to get a ride.

You could provide FOOD- Of course, that is literal for some organizations that feed the homeless, etc. but have you ever offered to provide food for an organization’s event, or for families,. etc? Do you know how many events, meetings, and programs go on, but we have families that are hungry? I’m just saying.

Most importantly, You could provide something OUTSIDE OF THE WALLS that you dwell in. (No pun intended, well kinda) I have knocked on several church doors and have dealt with quite a few church folks in my life, and I will tell you that a lot of them had something in common: They wanted to do good as long as it was in their comfort zone. It’s time churches stopped pushing this “Church” Agenda and became more people centered. Who cares how many members you have or if you have the biggest and baddest choir in the land! What are you doing to reach ALL people? How are you helping our brothers and sisters?  We’ve got some scary times going on right now, and it’s time that churches
focus on what’s most important: Loving God and People. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks, extravagant banquets, or tv ads. You don’t even have to recreate the wheel! There are already amazing organizations out here doing some great things that just need help! Simply, help people where they are and if I have learned anything from growing up in the church to giving my life to nonprofit, that is it.

So you can roll your eyes at this post if you want to and maybe even get a little attitude in your spirit, but at the end of the day, I’d rather you think about what else you could be doing to advance the mission of Jesus.

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27  (ESV)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

The Roof is On Fire!

23 Oct

The past few days have been hectic at my job because we are finally getting some work done on this old house we call our office.
Today, I looked up to see the beautiful roof the men worked so hard on. It’s beautiful. A pretty light gray color, and it lays so perfectly.
Then I looked at our old building. Our office building is pretty tattered, and we could use a new building altogether. It was then,
God spoke to me. He said, “You can’t put a new roof on an old building“.

It was such a profound message, I had to stop and appreciate it!

It reminded me of all the passages in the Bible that talk about the importance of a Strong foundation.
I  also reminded me  of Matthew 9:16, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment,
for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse”.

It was such a special message, I went and shared it with a co worker. She reminded me that sometimes, you have to get your roof fixed. My belief, is that by starting over, building a new, SOLID ROCK foundation, it will make us new all over! I believe that is what God wants for us. He wants to make us new, rebuild our foundation, and change us all over. God can fix ANYTHING! He can restore us, renew us, and ultimately set our roof on FIRE! God loves us, and he wants so much for us!

Let us pray that God will fix us from the inside out! That he can strengthen our hearts, our foundation, our lives and make us new! Afterall, if anyone can, he can!

Until Next Time, Much Love, mrsspj
P.S.- This post will be featured on Sprinkle Of Jesus soon!
www.sprinkleofjesus.com

Expect More

5 Aug

Hello Friends!

I have to tell you about a very interesting conversation I had recently.

A lovely young lady asked me what it was like being young and married. I politely explained to her that it has its ups and downs like most things in life, but it’s what you make it.She proceeded to tell me that SEVERAL people had advised her to get even closer to her man, she should move in with him, and even, well, let me put it in her words,”test drive the car before you buy it”.I assured her while her friends may have had her best interest at heart, I could not recommend the same.

Let me take you down a stroll on memory lane.

I remember in 2008 when I truly knew that J was the one for me.
He was everything I never wanted but all that I needed wrapped up into one amazing man.

US in 2006

In my opinion, we fell for each other early on even though we were both hesitant. It was in 2009 when he proposed (such a cute story Ill have to tell you about later)
Anyhow, I was encouraged by my peers to move in with him as well when we became serious.

“What if it doesn’t work out?”, some said.

“You don’t even know what it’s like really being with him yet”, others chimed in since we had been doing this long distance thing forever.

My future hubby to be even mentioned it a few times, and the thought of it all was driving me insane.

“They are right”, I thought.

I even started thinking he may change his mind about marrying me since we did do this long distance thing forever.
After pondering it over and over again and praying about it, I just couldn’t do it.

It went against everything I believed in and the thought of me moving there before we were married, well it made me sick , even gave me headaches.

I broke the news to my “now” husband. He hesitantly was like, “well, ok”.

Now here we are, after 4 years of dating long distance, and almost 4 years of marriage, with the cutest lil man ever.

Some people are probably thinking okay Mrs.SPJ, what’s your point?

My point is, I stood by what I believed in and more than anything, I feel like my expectations, led me to more.

Just as the young woman I was having the conversation with.

I told her, to follow her heart.

In my mind, you don’t need to test drive a “man” or move in with him to see if it will work.
You put your faith in God that he will make a way and that in itself will make it work.

When you expect more, you get more.

I truly believe that is with anything.

Someone once asked me, what if my he (my husband) would have said, well then I can’t do this relationship? My response?

Well then I wouldn’t have been the one for him.

I believe God has someone for each and everyone of us, and that they should love us and accept us for who we are. They should celebrate our differences, and though we may not agree on everything, respect us. We shouldn’t have to change the beliefs that are deeply rooted in us to appease a relationship. I think that’s what is wrong with so many relationships today. We twist, turn, and change so much to accommodate others, but do we do the same for ourselves?

It’s time to expect more, and get the same in return.

Until Next Time, Much Love, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

Music Moves Me

21 Aug

Music makes me want to move.
It makes me want to throw my hands in the air!
(And yes, wave them around like I just don’t care, lol)

Hence, my addiction to ZUMBA!

However, there are times when music just moves me to tears…                                 I wanted to share with you some of my favorite songs lately..

Thanks to a few Facebook friends, I’ve tracked down another song I love!

These songs move me, and just remind me how great God is…

What songs move you?

Please comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time, Mrs SPJ…

 

 

So Strategic

19 Apr

I swear,  this has been my word this year in reference to the most high.
I mean just think about it.

1. The world is saddened at the loss of “The Voice”, Whitney Houston, in February 2012.  Millions of viewers  tuned in to watch, but I believe some of them got more than they bargained for. They didn’t just have a home going for Whitney,  everyone who watched (including myself), went to church. God was ever-present and I believe touching people all over the place. I cried, I laughed, and I truly remember the words of Tyler Perry. You can hear his words below:

2. Let’s look at Jeremy Lin.
He has been the New York Knick’s main attraction lately.He received no athletic scholarships from high school, he was undrafted in college, and was assigned to the NBA Development League 3 times. He was known as a player who played sparingly and then out of nowhere he becomes a star player since he led the losing Knicks to a seven-game winning streak and scored at least 20 points in six games straight. Then he starts sharing his faith with the world and crediting God for his success.

3. Then there’s Tim Tebow.  While his mom was pregnant with him, she suffered a life-threatening infection and experienced a severe placental abruption. The doctors expected her to have a stillbirth and recommended abortion, but she decided against it, and Tim was born.  He grew up homeschooled and rooted in faith. He has been noted as one of the greatest college football quarterbacks of all time, a 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, a national champion , and a current Denver Broncos first round draft pick. During college Tebow would always wear biblical verses in his eye paint. During a championship game in 2009, he wore John 3:16 on his face under his eye. When that occurred, that verse was searched in Google for the next 24 hours 90 million times. Every time he would put a verse under his eye, the same occurred.  He even started a trend that people have called “Tebowing” (I call it praying), and it’s been defined as when you start praying even when everyone else around you is doing something different. Although I thought it strange at first, I said whatever it takes to get folks to pray and closer to God, works for me.

4. God is also strategic in placing people at the right time. Many of you who read my blog, I’m sure remember the “tire incident” where a man just came out of nowhere and fixed my tire 🙂 If that isn’t strategy I don’t know what is!

5. Then there’s today. I got in  to work this morning, and I thought hmm what should my status be today? In my spirit, I sensed “Leave him”. I thought, okay those words are definitely not for me, so what does that mean? Then the thought or feeling came to me again. I thought, okay I don’t understand this, I don’t know why I’m getting the urge to post this , but okay I’m going to do it.

Leave him. Sometimes things come in your spirit, and you don’t know why they do, but I had the strong urge to tell someone to leave him. You know it’s not right, so now you’ve just gotta let it go. There, I shared it.

A few minutes passed and I thought, well maybe its just something I should have said, then I received a pop-up message from a girl I know, and this was our conversation:

CCM: Wow! I needed that status right now. I was just praying about it and your status just popped up!

MRSSPJ: It just came in my spirit. God works like that

CCM: That was incredible and a fast answer to a prayer:)

MRSSPJ: I was sitting here and it was like a thought, a whisper, “Leave him” and I’m like okay that’s not for me. It came right as I was updating my status and I was like what should i put this morning… and I thought, okay I know this isn’t for me, and it came again, so I shared it…Thought it was a bit different, but decided to share it anyways. Well I hope whatever it is, it all works out. God knows you are too beautiful and sweet to have to deal with someone’s mess.

CCM:Well thank you for that! Sometimes I need to actually see the ”sign” right in front of me.

MRSSPJ: I understand. Sometimes we all need that 🙂

So my status was for a reason. It touched someone. Someone needed to hear that. I even had someone send me a “thanks for this” message as well.  It just goes to show you, that not only is God strategic, but that he uses people to ultimately share his love, get his message out, and save people from this crazy world. He will use you as a vessel to touch others and to spread his love.  He may be trying to tell you or show you something, but are you hearing him? Are you listening to him? It’s something to think about. So be open to being used by him, and pay close attention to what he’s doing. He has been moving and shaking things for years, we just have to open our eyes and take notice of it.

Be blessed!

Until Next Time, Much Love, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

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