Tag Archives: Religion

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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Getting Interrupted

22 Sep

God has been interrupting me a lot lately, & I love it.

Let me explain.
The wonderful Shannon that is over Rock Creek’s Women’s Ministry selected “Interrupted: When Jesus WRECKS your comfortable Christianity” by Jen Hatmaker as our Fall study. While we are still in the middle of this study, Jen talks a lot about people who are far too busy “doing church” instead of “being church”. It’s been quite a profound study so far, and I’m so thankful for being a part of something so wonderful. Jen talks a lot about moving when God asks you to move, even if it’s out of what normally happens or what is done.

This morning a mother of 4 came in our office, who had no money, and was simply trying to get to her child’s school where she was desperately needed. Our office doesn’t typically handle situations in this manner, but if we can help we try too. However this morning, all the people who can make those decisions or help were out. She simply asked for 10 bucks. She was desperate and she needed it. I began telling her that everyone who could help wasn’t in the office yet, and that I hated we couldn’t help her (silly, me). Literally I was thinking like the Staff person I was,  but then I remembered something:

I stopped by Tropical smoothie earlier to get my classic Island Green Smoothie. When the guy gave me my total, I remember looking at the 10 dollar bill in my wallet, and something said, “don’t use the 10″. Although It didn’t make sense at the time, I decided to just save my cash and use my card.

Flash forward to me standing here talking to this woman and telling her my job could not help her, and she looked so defeated. However in a split second I remembered something: that I COULD. (Stephanie could). I told her to hold on. I went to my desk  and pulled out that 10 dollar bill folded nicely inside my purse. I remember looking at it, smiling, and laughing at myself. It always amazes me how strategic God is, and how he works. She asked for 10, and I had 10. I handed it to her, and she said” I promise I will try and pay you back”. I looked at her and said, “don’t even worry about it.” She was in shock, I said, “You are fine. Go take care of what you need too.” She just kept saying, really? Are you sure? “Yes I’m sure”, I said. Go ahead. My coworker said,  Are you sure Stephanie? I said, yep I’m sure. God intended that 10 for her, so she should have it.

I walked back to my desk and smiled. I thanked God. I’m grateful I was paying attention. I thanked God for the Bible Study I’m in, for Jen Hatmaker, for the women of rock creek and the blessing they’ve been in my life. For a woman sharing her story last week at Bible Study about doing “for the least of these”. I thank God for showing me in the last years who he really is and what he’s really all about. He’s about US”being the church”.

If you are my friend on any Social Media,  you may notice I’ve been posting a lot of nontraditional (some may call it unorthodox thoughts on Christianity and Religion, and it’s because God has been Interrupting me a lot lately.

When I moved to AR, I felt alone. I felt like I had no one. Then one night, God met me in the middle of my living room floor. All these years I had been going to church, following the “how to be good” rules, doing good for others when I wasn’t consumed with church activities, but always within my own comfortable boundaries, However God met me in the one place I least expected. From then, he started pulling me in directions where I was working in service areas. I attended several different churches, but I still felt him pulling me and leading me to see things on a different level.

I’m  at a point in my life where I just want to be used. I want to be the person God has called me to be, and I want to serve even more of my fellow brothers and sisters the way he sees fit. We each have a part to play, and something to give. I’m not comfortable with just going to church on Sundays, singing in the choir, going to conference, or revival. It’s not for me anymore (I don’t think it ever has been. ) I’m thankful for my home church and my family who instilled in me the desire to follow the cross and introduced me to Christianity, but we are called to do and be so much more! God met me in an unexpected place, and he’s calling us to the unexpected and unnoticed places to do his supernatural will. Although this morning’s interruption was a simple 10 bucks (nothing great about that), it reminded me that we are called to be different. We are called to the “Yes”es in life that Bob Goff so graciously discusses in his book. We are called to help and not turn our heads when others say NO.  I’m sure if you look and listen real close, you will feel God telling you to take a closer look at the people and the places around you, and try to interrupt you the same.

As Brandon Hatmaker stated God told him, “What you have is not yours. You have a lot to learn. The first is this: You can trust me when I call.

My question is, Are we REALLY Listening?

Love you. Hope this blesses you as it so blessed me today.

I leave you with a video from Jen Hatmaker:

Until Next Time, Much Love

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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