Tag Archives: Jesus

Jesus nirvana

i’m sure that with this long hiatus, many of my readers have flown the coop. not that i had that many readers to begin with…

but here i am again, nonetheless. who knows for how long i’ll be here again…or how long my next blog hiatus will be.

i’ve had a rocky few months.

but i have discovered so much more about grace. 

i don’t say that to mean that my rocky few months have been spent cussing like a sailor and drinking like a fish, and therefore i needed the grace of God. i need grace ALL the freakin’ time. because whether i’m doing “big stuff” or “little stuff” (how in the heck did we come up with a sin ranking system?) without Jesus, i’m a miserable little shit before God. period.

i remember my professor in college telling me that the way to be saved is not praying a prayer to ask Jesus in to your heart. it’s the understanding of God’s grace through Jesus in our lives and our total need and dependence on it, and only it. not in what we do, but everything about what He has already done.

the past few months God has revealed himself to me in ways that are mindblowing and inexplicable (or unexplainable?). living in a total God moment and feeling the grace that can only come from him at a time when i needed it the most. and there were no doubts, no questions, no nothing. except for pure, childlike wonder and innocence that God had lifted me up and given me the strength to get through a really tough day.

i used to be the kind of person who thought i needed to read my Bible and pray every day and read Spiritual books and shop in the Christian bookstores so that i could make God happy.

and i’m in no way down-playing those things. they are great. and important (maybe not the Christian bookstores so much…)

but if i try to “get it right” for God, it will never, ever be enough.

i guess i don’t know what else to say. everything is coming out sounding cliched. but how do you explain Jesus nirvana? once you experience it, you know.

and this is not just some mountaintop experience. this is real. this is God. all the time. whether i’m having the worst day or the best day. it doesn’t change. God loves me. just the way i am. where i am. what i am.

so whatever a worthless pile of doo doo you are, it doesn’t matter. Jesus thinks you’re pretty awesome. let him forgive you, and then forgive yourself.

 

and that’s all i have.

 

off to a Lost marathon, matcha green tea, and perhaps some chocolate.

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aaahh.

finally a chance to breathe. aaah. i’ve got a cup of hot green tea, so life is good. at the moment, anyway. it’s been a busy week..work, work, work. last night i went out with the girls. this morning i had a meeting at work, came home and caught up on housework, had lunch, and now i’m relaxing before i have to go back to work at 5 tonight. then it’s off to football, wings, and beer with friends.

so for now i’ll savor the quiet stillness. read, drink tea, reflect, thank GOD for His blessings for which i so often take for granted.

so next week is thanksgiving. it sure doesn’t feel like it, or at least, i don’t feel like it. i’m not sure what is wrong with me. i guess i’m just getting older. but i truly am thankful for so very much. most of all for grace. i realize that’s such a cheesy churchy thing to say, but it’s true. i’ve been in the miry pit. i’ve been without hope. and now i know.

 Jesus is freaking awesome.

i’m also thankful for a whole bunch of little stupid things, like acorns, snow, tea, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string. ok, now i’m just stealing lines, but you get the idea.

what are you thankful for? feel free to be “stupid”.

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i chased joy

i chased joy today. i ran as fast as my little legs would go. the world is a cold wind on some days, and the asphalt has potholes. today was such a day. but i kept running. i saw it ahead. i wouldn’t stop, couldn’t stop.

i ran and ran, and with a big smile on my face, one final lunge, i grabbed onto joy and pulled it to my heart. i looked at it in my hands, all sparkly and new.

i laughed and threw it up in the air and danced as it swirled, glittering around me, falling on me, making me all sparkly and new, too.

 

thank you for your joy, Jesus. there is nothing like it.

 

 

oh, and i paid $2.25/gallon for gas. yea!

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in war and grace

35 freaking degrees right now! i love it!!! with my fleece gloves and Denali jacket i was toasty warm on the way to work. i only wish i could be hiking this morning as the woods are sure to be lovely. oh well.

today i am struggling to learn the art of contentment. there is always something i want. last week it was new clothes, yesterday it was a new car, and today it is a new camera. i have perfectly good camera already. in fact, it is quite fancy with more features than i know how to use, but still, i find myself wanting a newer and sleeker model. the thing is, i know as soon as i’ve had that camera for a couple months, an even better one will come out for which i will yearn. arrgghhh!

last night, a culmination of mildly annoying things resulted in me letting out a string of profanities. i’m not going to tell you what it was that happened because it definitely did not merit me cussing like a sailor. though i can laugh about it now, it is actually quite sobering (and rather embarrassing). where is my mind, where is my heart, if my first response to a negative situation is to say every four letter word that exists? i spent a long time talking with God and listening to him through his Word. yeesh…i am such a mess.

okay, now that you know what a stinking jerk i am, i must say that i have never felt more loved in all my life. lately i find myself smiling and tearing up at odd moments, thinking about my Hero. i’m like a love-sick teenager all over again. i know this all sounds really cheesy and churchy, but it’s true. i spent most of my life thinking i was okay with God, just sinning little sins, but nothing to worry about. but only recently have i really come to understand what Grace is and what a wreck i actually am. Jesus has stepped off the flannel board and into my life.

so, that’s my life today. what a shitty little worm i am and what a Savior i have.

praise you, Jesus.

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my beef with christian bookstores

i do not like christian bookstores. they are overpriced and filled with glitzy trinkets like stained glass suncatchers with Bible verses, gilt-framed paintings of sheep, or letters that spell out “Faith” or “Family” or “Love”. and don’t get me started on those christian romance novels (although, i admit that i do enjoy making fun of the titles- Taming Rafe )

i never go in them on my own accord (last spring a friend dragged me in one, but i swear that’s the last time). i think they are bubbles that separate christians from the rest of the world. and i don’t think Jesus would have ever gone into a christian bookstore. in my opinion all a christian bookstore should sell are sturdy walking shoes, first aid kits, tissues, and Bibles. that’s all. the Gospel of Jesus is beautiful, but it is very raw and real, and often very painful. it cannot be conveyed in windchimes that say “Make a Joyful Noise” or in embroidered Bible covers. following Jesus is tough. but it is every bit worth it.

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when i leave i wanna go out like Elijah…

11 years ago last Friday (Sept. 19), one of the most incredible Christian singers of all time (according to me, anyway) was taken into the very presence of God, in his “chariot of fire”. Rich Mullins is one of the few “Christian” artists that I listen to – and I cry every time I listen to his music.  a few of my favorites are “Elijah”, “Calling Out Your Name”, and “Here in America”, but, really, all of his stuff is great. it’s very real, God-focused, and filled with nature imagery. his life was not about material success, but rather, he was probably as close as one can get to being like Jesus. this quote, which he gave shortly before he died, pretty much sums that up:

“Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.”

need a tissue? i did.

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talking with God

i am so jealous of Jesus’ disciples. what i wouldn’t give to hang out with Jesus, to have some coffee or a tall Guinness with him, to laugh with him. i’m not a big fan of praying with my eyes closed and all that stuff. it feels too fake and ritualistic for me. no, in fact, when i “pray”, i actually talk out loud. which is usually why i go to a quiet, people-free place to pray. it feels more real to me, like Jesus is actually with me in person.

 

when i was in high school and still living at home, i had this special place where i would always go to talk with God. there was a window in the upstairs hallway of my family’s old farmhouse that i would retreat to in the evenings. i opened the window and whispered out into the soft dark air. sometimes i would climb out on the roof beneath the window and just sit there, asking God to speak to me. the weird thing was that he did, in a way, or at least i thought so. a breeze would trickle through my hair, a screech owl would hoot, the moon would drift out from behind the clouds. maybe God wasn’t intentionally answering my prayer. but somehow he was speaking to me, through the chirping crickets, the spring peepers in the creek across the road, the falling stars that i would occasionally see. and somehow, even if i was bothered at first that God wasn’t speaking to me audibly like he did in the Bible, i would still go to bed knowing that God had spoken to me and i knew it by the quiet peace that had settled around my soul during my “talk” with him.

 

but there are someday that i just want to see him tangibly, to hug him, see his eyes light up when he smiles. i would love to have seen Jesus at a wedding. i’ll bet he was the life of the party.

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