pausing with Jesus

i find myself reading blog posts, skimming past the parts about Jesus without even thinking about it.

Why?

why.am.i.overlooking.what.actually.matters?

Jesus.  Jesus who actually matters.

Jesus.  Jesus who changed and changes everything.

Jesus.  Jesus who is everything.

Friday at youth, our theme was Pause. Play. Repeat. Amidst the reflection of the past lessons we’ve covered during the year, Ramona went over Matthew 5:4-8, pinpointing people whom she saw the verses majorly representing.  That was a push I needed, direct application of scripture.

4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.

And these things, certain people are evident in all of them.  And these things are things that we should strive to have evident in all of us.

I was shocked, though, because I was the first example.  The Message translation puts it this way, and I feel connection in this:

4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

Ramona phrased it as that I “mourn” with people–work through struggles and tough stuff with them.  I see the second translation, though, linking my past with my future once again.  Having identity in nothing was previously “dear” to me.  It’s true.  Being stronger alone was who I was.  God took that from me, forever.  And I was embraced fully by His LOVE.

Moments of blessing appear so often.  I am blessed that people allow me to intertwine into their stories, engage in their stories.  I am blessed every single time I engage in worship with one of the girls I do inclusion with.  I am blessed every time my other girlie looks at me and holds onto my arm and says “I love you” because that is exactly what’s on her heart at the time.

I do a lot of playing and repeating.  I need to do more pausing.

Pausing like this.

Pausing with Jesus.


rejoice for He is risen!

I had a really cool Easter. 

I started the day with my 3rd ever Easter church service of my life, and it was awesome.  It just felt really energizing and focusing and fantastic. 

I then got to hang with one of my girlies from youth where we mostly played with my camera and she hugged me a lot :).  Love the girls I’ve had an opportunity to get to know through my church’s youth program.  Also, one of the other youth leaders found candy canes on his dresser and brought them to church.  Because, really, what says EASTER more than candy canes?

This was followed by spending some chaotic time in the three year old room, where everything simmered down when they got in for stories and worship.  I had a little buddy who was so adorable through the time we spent in the teaching portion.  He’s three but has just started talking, so he repeats EVERYTHING you say, and decided I was his friend for today.  Three year old cuddles between praise songs are the bestest.

At home while waiting to go to family dinner I did some varieties of running around because the city turned off our water so they could fix something at our neighbours’ place.  Once that calmed down [aka we had showered and acquired a port-a-potty from my grandparents—gotta love being lake people] I read some of the Easter story in the Bible which just felt super awesome. 

"display the bright splendor of your Son, so the Son in turn may show Your bright splendor"

John 17:1

Intermingle this with a lot of praise music, and even the chaos can be really refreshing.  I think that’s kind of a reminder of where I should be ALL THE TIME.  In the chaos, REJOICE.  PRAISE.  SEEK.  And I have to get better at that.

healed.

photo (46) Tomorrow is MORE than just a day off.

and can You see me through the hole in Your hand?

“and I can be reason for you to believe in”, spoken with the heart of a King

and did it hurt when they threw the stones?  did You feel the ache right through Your bones?  was it worth it when You crossed the line?  would You do it again in time?

questions, a new honour

i’m letting You drive – here i am right where i belong

–drive, ed kowalczyk

I think I’ve mentioned before I’m not a big fan of proselytism/freaky evangelism.  Evidently guilt tripping people toward Jesus works on some level.  If it didn’t, people like Franklin Graham would be out a job.  You cant tell me that the dude doesn’t profit somehow off of converting people to Christianity (read: books, music festivals).

I really don’t believe Jesus would dig guilt tripping.  Stuff like “you’re going to hell.” or “you’re sinning” if you don’t believe in Him. Evidently if people don’t believe in Jesus as God they don’t CARE about the guilt-tripping anyway because they probably don’t believe in hell anyways (I don’t know if I even believe in hell, but that’s another post).

I don’t believe trying to convert people, trying to “lead” people to Christianity works.  I think it’s all on God.  That doesn’t mean we can’t pray for people—“we choose the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (Proverbs 16:9).  That means letting Him stay in front.

We can share our stories—I’m big on personal stories.  We can share what we believe His message is and how we think He’s worked in our lives if someone is open to listening.  The listening, though, only comes after God begins stirring in someone’s heart, I think.  He has never stopped leading, so why try to beat Him where He’s going?

Screaming scripture and public prayer likely isn’t gonna make anyone want what you’re doing.  Drop your motives before you start a relationship—that’s not what a relationship is about.

God puts us where we are for a reason.  We are right where He wants us, we are right where we belong.

The only way into a relationship with anybody is to love them where they’re at.

Always love.

what if i believe You now, could it ever change this heart?

I can’t get over what Jesus did.  And at the same time I can’t get over the time that I wasted, the time that I just didn’t care.  He forgives me, He’s forgiven me for five and a half years (five and a half years TODAY, I just realized), and I need to get over the wasted days.

I can’t get over that He bridged the gap.

Can’t get over all He’s done for me.

Can’t say “thank You” enough times for it to pacify me, even though I know thanking Him once and giving Him my life was enough for Him.

I can’t get over it.

but i wouldn’t believe Him, He did all that He could, i still would not believe Him.

i left His arms empty and tied, outstretched for me until He died.

and here i am alive, and i don’t have the right.  and He gave me the right, costing Him His life, new mercies in the morning.

i believe, what if i believe You now?  could it ever change this heart?  forgive me, relieve me, please come back to life . . .

circle, flyleaf

Jesus’ love changed this heart.  Jesus’ love continues to change this heart.

And I can’t get over it.

stand

Where do you stand with Jesus?

all these things that i have done / the hours i have spent / looking for something to run to / to cover my head / the rain came down in sheets of razors / cutting my face and blocking my way / it was impossible to see the angel that was staring at me

if you could stand tall with me / what are we fighting for? / we have to believe / it was setting us up for more / so much more than we could know / was waiting just down the road / if you could stand tall with me

someone said You were the one / who comes to every man / when his back’s against the wall / and his money’s all been spent / and it’s time to fan the flame, never to walk this way again / will i be the one to rise above? Lord am i strong enough?

it doesn’t matter what we say, it only matters what we do / move past this flesh and blood / see what’s inside of you / i need to know

if you could stand tall, we could be so much, much more.

stand, ed kowalczyk