Posted by: Kimberly | Thu Apr 18, 2019

Faith of a Child

Most children love to sing. Children are also natural worshippers. They worship animals, bugs, toys, those they love, and themselves, especially their own image in a mirror! Plus they are dramatic in their adoration. But have you thought that really, they’re admiring the image of God,  when they look in the mirror? Perhaps we lose sight of his image as we age and become jaded, or allow sin in our lives. God created us in His image! It’s no wonder Jesus instructed us to have faith as a child. He said we should accept the kingdom of God like a child. (Luke 17:18) We must simply believe and accept God without hesitation and be full of trust, in honesty, not hiding anything.

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John 4:23-24 “But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Why are children used as an example? Because children, who have not been abused or hurt, are very trusting in nature. They take things on face value. They haven’t been jilted by a boyfriend or girlfriend. They haven’t had a marriage crumble. They haven’t faced financial struggles. They haven’t raised children or had miscarriages or had their own children die. They haven’t seen the cruel side of life yet and they have an amazing capacity to love! They won’t lie, because they don’t know how. Their negative behaviors are only learned from adults. The word purity is the best way I can describe an innocent child. They’re in tune with the Spirit! Children take ownership of things and events. They have zeal.

Children sing in the same way they live life. As a child, I had a few songs I considered ‘my songs.’ So when the choir leader stood up and asked for everyone to turn in the hymnal to any of these songs, I didn’t understand why the whole church was singing ‘my words!’ I ‘owned’ these songs, didn’t they know?! 🙂 I would get vocal too. My poor mother trying to shush me as others sang ‘This is my story…’ and me saying to people nearby, “It’s not YOUR story! It’s MY story!” Mom and I had a long talk after church about how everyone has a story to tell. Imagine that! Or the song ‘Trust & Obey…’ I was a bit sassy as a preschooler, I thought the author wrote that song for me as a lesson! “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus…” The instructional portion of the song to me, had formulated from previous reprimands when I was a toddler. I used to plant my feet, at the top of the outside stairs, refusing to go into church. My very anemic mother had to get an usher to pick me up and carry me inside, sometimes to great protest. But the singing was my favorite part of church, and I quickly forgot my reason for not wanting to go in.

My five-year-old granddaughter sings with zeal! She loves to go into the ‘adult church’ because of the music! She sings loud enough, that you can pick her out of the crowd. Children sing with abandon, children trust God with abandon. That is why, their faith is so convincing and sound.

As a child, I loved and adored the missionaries who came to our church to tell about their experiences. I wanted to be a missionary when I grew up, because it sounded like a great adventure! At the ripe age of three, I was sobbing as I ran into the room where my mother was ironing. My mother asked why. In my childlike enunciation, I told her, “I can’t be a mi-un-ary!!” My mother again asked why? I stated, “Because I’m not even a Chis-tun!” Thankfully I had a wise mother who simply asked if I wanted to ask Jesus to come into my heart and had already explained the process of accepting Jesus, prior to that day. She said, “Then you need to ask him and confess your sins.” With childlike faith, I dutifully prayed for him to come into my heart and then I was elated. I danced all around, because my burden was lifted! I could be a missionary!

Matthew 18:3-5 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

My prayer: Make my heart pure as a child Jesus. Help me keep the zeal and fervor for you and allow me to share it as boldly as a child would, without hesitation and not caring who may reject me, because we (you & I) are in this together forever!

Posted by: Kimberly | Mon Apr 15, 2019

Hey Jesus!

With Palm Sunday this week, let’s talk about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Remember, this happened just before Passover. Jesus had dinner with Mary and Martha. Lazarus was able to eat with them, because Jesus had raised him from the dead. As dinner was being prepared, Mary poured a fragrance from the Alabaster jar and anointed Jesus feet, wiping them with her hair. Judas took objection to this lavish gift and act of worship. Judas Iscariot, was the one who would soon betray Jesus and was the disciples’ treasurer and embezzler. We see where his heart was. The very next day was when Jesus was to enter Jerusalem. Many people had heard of the story of Lazarus and about the miracles Jesus performed. With this news, they were anxious to see them both. The priests, who were jealous of the attention being taken from them, were plotting to kill Jesus and Lazarus. We see where their hearts lie too. Both the priests and Judas were looking at monetary losses. 

My daughter was teaching her children the story of Palm Sunday and asked her three and a half year old son what the people said when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding the donkey. He said, “Hey, Jesus!” While funny and cute, and not the answer she was looking for; I think he nailed it more than all the attendees at Palm Sunday then and today. When we truly know “Jesus” and what his name means and stands for, then it is sufficient. ‘At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow!’ (Philippians 2:10) Pray in the name of Jesus, ask anything and it will come to pass… (John 14:13-14 & 16:23-24) Call on the name of Jesus and you will be healed. (Mark 16:17-18) By the name of Jesus, we enter into salvation. (Acts 4:12) 

When my 3.5 year-old grandson said, ‘ Hey Jesus,’ he said a mouthful! Isn’t it just like a child to remind us what’s important? He encapsulated everything Jesus stood for by saying his name. The Hebrew meaning of the name Jesus comes from Yeshua, the first part meaning “God.” YWVH used over 6,800 times in the Hebrew Bible and translated, Lord. The second part of the name Yeshua means deliverer, to save, or rescue. Putting this together, Jesus means God delivers, saves, and rescues, through the Messiah, who bears God’s name. 

So what did they say to Jesus riding into Jerusalem? “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna was an appeal for deliverance, the rest is the meaning of his name. On Palm Sunday, some of those who were there shouting, were doing so because they caught the fervor of others. It’s okay to catch fervor, but it doesn’t take hold to take on another person’s fervor as it does to have your own, through a personal encounter. When you have a personal encounter with Jesus, you may be the one saying, “Hey Jesus!” and meaning it with as much zeal as “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

Jesus asked his disciples who they said he was. I ask myself who do I say Jesus is? Yes, I revere him, I do not take lightly his worthiness of revere, awe, wonder, or praise, but I also know that he is approachable. He is my ‘Hey Jesus!’ whenever I need him and he is My deliverer today and everyday. He doesn’t expect palm branches or alabaster jars, but I’ll gladly lay them down and pour them out for him. It’s more an attitude of what’s behind the words, than what the words are. Who do I say Jesus is? He is my all. 
Matthew 16:13-20  Let him be your ‘Hey Jesus,’ your all, and your salvation today. 

Posted by: Kimberly | Wed Mar 27, 2019

Is Projecting Constructive or Destructive?

What is projection? Projection is when we take a behavior and transfer it over to another situation. There are several applications to projection. For instance, if we have a low self image because of our weight, height, or intellect, etc., we might find someone we deem inferior to us and then put them down in an effort to make ourselves feel better. While this may sound like a negative way to boost self image, people do it every day. Gossip is a form of putting others down. How does bullying start? Because one person feels inferior to another for some reason. Perhaps they were made fun of by their peers, siblings, or sadly, their parents. Instead of being the victim, they later victimize others.

Another form of projection is to think that others should take up the same causes that you have. If you’re all for sheep eating green grass, then everyone else should be, right? If you believe that the version of Bible you read or your church is the right one, then everyone else should also, right? That’s a projection of arrogance and superiority. That line of thinking says that you are the only one who thinks correctly and promotes you as perfect. Others perceive you to be haughty and overbearing and you don’t understand why they don’t see things your way. Sound familiar? I’ve been there before. On some issues, I still am, but I try to be open-minded, while still staying grounded in the Word, led by the Holy Spirit. That is the crux of life as a Christian. It is who Jesus Christ left us, the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. But are we truly listening? Are we being guided? Did we hear the Holy Spirit tell us to argue with others? Let’s see, the Holy Spirit’s character is to comfort, to bring forth truth, to establish peace. No, I don’t think the Holy Spirit ever told me to argue with a friend or family member.

Then one of the ways projection hurts Christianity the most is by those who project their own mindset, their own thoughts, or the actions of others towards them on God and on Christians in general. Because, somewhere, someone professing to be a Christian hurt them and they decided ‘how could Christianity be real? How could God be real? How could God love me if I have these thoughts? How can I trust another ‘Christian?’ How can I trust another church?’ Well, here’s my answer, 1. God did NOT cause any bad things to happen to you! He didn’t give you or anyone else bad thoughts! God is LOVE! He Loved you so much, and everyone else in this world, that he gave up his own son to die and brought him back to life. You may say, ‘Well he knew he was going to bring him back.’ Oh? Why? Because he’s God? So then you Do Believe in God? Because everything within us cries out for our creator and if we nearly die, we cry out to him. Don’t let a near death experience test you to find out. Get off the fence and follow his Son, who was a perfect example of a human being and perfect love. 2. Mankind will fail. There’s not a single person out there who’s not going to disappoint you at some point. There are few, very few Christians who lead a life sold out completely to follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. Everyone has a weakness they won’t relinquish control over. 3. As far as thinking others think like you, there are some people who are not out to hurt you and who have very pure motives. If you’re tuned into the Holy Spirit, you’ll know which ones are pure and who to avoid.

There’s another area of projection I’ve seen Christians do in their walk, that thwarts their spiritual growth. Some Christians may think another believer has more spiritual knowledge than they do, so they belittle the one they deem beyond them. Or perhaps they’re afraid to move forward with God, to take the next step, so they criticize everything another believer says or believes, putting down their church or doctrine.

Jesus wasn’t looking for a set of rules, he came to free us from the law! He wasn’t here to participate in sacraments, traditions or even a church, nor a building, he was looking for true worshippers, whose lives were lived by example, those who would follow him. He wanted those who were led by the Holy Spirit, doing the Father’s will. His “church” was/is not bound by walls, or certain days. If we project anything as Christians, May it be the love of Jesus Christ, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control, grace, compassion, patience, peace, comfort, and joy.

John 4:23-24 But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Hebrews 8:1-2 Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.

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