Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Tuesday’s Trench Lessons 4 Life

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Hello again friends! Thanks for returning for this hopefully thought-provoking topic. As I write this, I want to let you know that I am going to be speaking in generalities. It may not apply to you, but I think we can see how this may apply to many in the world we live in. Please grab your shovels and your water bottles as we climb down into the trench today.

There is a term used when a child is undernourished, and does not grow and develop properly: “Failure to Thrive.” In general, babies who fail to thrive don’t receive or cannot take in, keep, or use the calories that would help them grow and gain enough weight. One of many causes that doctors have discovered cause this is lack of touch. Babies need touch to survive. It helps them grow, develop, adapt, trust, and feel secure and comforted. It decreases the probability of illnesses and promotes good health emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Touch helps babies bond to Mom, Dad, and other family members. What amazing powers touch has!

As we grow, often times the amount of touch we receive dwindles. We become big kids and think we don’t need comforted when we get injured. We don’t want our friends to see Mom or Dad giving us a hug either! How embarrassing! Then we hit the teenage years, with our attitudes, and looks to kill. Some days, the only time our parents want to touch us is to wring our brat necks! Many parents still show love, and still give us touch, but compared to our infant days, there is pretty much no comparison. After all, we don’t fit comfortably in their laps anymore. 🙂

Now we are into our adulthood. We might not see our family too often anymore. Mom might only be able to give us hugs once a year because she lives so far away. We may have had a falling out with our Dad, and no longer receive any type of touch from him at all. As an adult, we may have a significant other that we receive loving touch from. We possibly have good friends that we also receive touch from, the hugs when we greet, or when we are having a bad day, their arms around our shoulders while sitting together watching movies or sharing a laugh.  Then there are times in our lives we may not have a significant other, or might be low in the friend department. What does our physical touch look like then?

There is the handshake when meeting someone new, the occasional brush of hands when paying for something, the accidental bump on a crowded street. In some cases, the touch in our life may have turned from positive to negative, i.e., an abusive relationship or a mate that ignores our needs, sexual harassment at school or in the workplace.  With all the negativity in the world, we have been set on edge. What secret motive does that person have, or what horrible thoughts are going through their mind as they are attempting to touch us?

Think of the last time a stranger touched you. How did you feel? Now think of the last time that you touched a stranger. What caused you to do so? How was it received?  I thought that I mostly enjoyed touch. I like to be hugged. I like to shake hands. Sometimes I like an arm around my shoulder. I have become more aware of myself these past few months, and I realize that I am not as comfortable with touch as I thought. I don’t feel comfortable with people walking directly behind me. I dislike when someone has their hand on my shoulder for an extended period of time. I feel unnerved when a hug continues after I have tried to pull away.

For the most part, a stranger’s touch just seems, well, strange! But what would this world be like if the touch of a stranger felt welcomed? Imagine if embraces and gentle slaps to the back or shoulder felt natural. Better yet, what would it be like to not question why someone touched you?  The peace that we would feel from everyone’s healing touch would be overwhelming!

Jesus physically touched everyone He came in contact with. He healed with touch. He touched the untouchable and the unlovable. In Mark 8:22-25, we read of the blind man that was healed by Jesus’ touch. Touch is so vital in this story. Lack of sight increased the blind man’s sense of touch. Jesus lead him out of town with touch, healed him with touch, and comforted him with, you guessed it, touch. So this week, let us strive to be like Christ, and share positive and comforting touch.

Until next week, I love you.

Lea~Lea

Jenn’s Journey from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Good morning, friends, here’s hoping you had a nice weekend and were able to stay cool in this heat! Summer is really here, isn’t it? This weekend we celebrated dads and all they do for us. I am blessed with a great dad and I am thankful for him. I know not everyone can say that, for often our earthly fathers let us down. Thank goodness we can turn to our Heavenly Father anytime!!!

A few months back I made a decision to leave a dental office I had worked in for many years. I’d seen a lot changes and some of those were not a good fit for me. This was not an easy decision as I loved my patients, many of whom had become friends. I knew I had a job waiting for me in a few months, but I had to look very carefully at my finances before taking this step.

I was a bit nervous, because even though I’d carefully considered most things in this decision, there is always the unexpected. Through prayer and talking with a few of my wise and trusted friends, I knew God was leading me to go this way.  He has blessed me in the past and I felt He’d continue doing so. He has given me the opportunity to be an almost-always stay-at-home mom, which was a dream of mine. I’ve been able to spend more quiet time with Him as well, and that is definitely something that money cannot buy!

My new job begins in August so I decided that I would just enjoy the summer with my daughter. Once school begins again, I’d get serious about finding more hours. In the meantime, I was called to do some temp hours for a friend, a confirmation that God was watching out for me. I have to admit that sometimes I started to feel worried…my mind filled with questions: How will I find work that allows me to still be present for V? Will I have to look further from home again? What if I can’t find more hours?

Then…the other day, I was driving home from the store and I got a call. It was the office where I am to start working in August…long story short, the office manager was calling to offer me more hours! Would you believe that they are dream hours? Hours that allow me to drop my daughter off at school as well as be available to pick her up shortly after school gets out? I got chills! I knew, once again, that God has worked out an answer to prayer, and I am amazed. Why am I amazed? He’s done this for me before. How quickly I forget all the good He does.

There’s a verse that I was reminded of; it’s found in Philippians 4:19: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

What do you need? Is there something that you need God to do for you?  Because my “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

Until next week, be blessed,

JennJenn

Beyond Sundays-Luke 10:27 January’s WOW

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 10:27: “So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”

Thanks for joining me for the continuation of our first WOW for 2015. There are so many poignant and powerful examples in His Love Letters to us that teach us to take our faith Beyond Sundays, and considering the work He is purposing to do in me that He may work through me, I can’t say I’m surprised that He had us start with this particular lesson found in Luke 10 for our Weapons of Warfare and Words of Wisdom. Grab your coffee, friend, and join me for the life application portion of Beyond Sundays.

If you are one of those who believe that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian and faith-filled, while this statement is somewhat true, let me give you this analogy to think about: Saying we don’t have to go to church to be a Christian and feed our faith is like saying you don’t have to date to get married! And then again, there are those who go to church, or are religious about going to church, like the priest and the Levite in Luke 10, and are simply hearers of the Word but not doers. And there’s no need to finger-point. I know my prayer for myself is that I would be a doer of what I hear that it might be accounted as another lesson learned in and from His Word filled with perspective and promises! [James 1:22]

Many have reasons for not going to church, but allow me to lovingly say this: It would behoove each of us to always remember that there is no such thing as a perfect church; if there were I know I couldn’t go!

Now let me share another true story that actually happened before Christmas but begins to bring the life application portion to our first WOW of 2015.

Just a couple weeks before Christmas, we invited a few friends to go with us to a Living Nativity hosted by the church where George and I met. It had rained the night before, and though things had dried up, it was very cold for us Californians! With our plans intact we bundled up and headed out first for dinner at one of our favorite places not too far from the church and then to the Living Nativity. There were three of us girls in the back and George and Vic up in the front.

We were almost to the restaurant when George pulled into a gas station. “I need some juice.” He got out and proceeded to put gas in the truck while the rest of continued to chat.

I’m not sure how long it was before I finally noticed that Vic was staring out the window, suddenly quiet, and George hadn’t gotten back in the truck after the gas pump clicked off. I looked up in the direction Vic was staring to see him talking with complete strangers who looked as homeless as homelessness looks.

Now, George can spot a homeless person a mile away, and it doesn’t matter who he’s with, or how many others he’s with; he has a heart for the homeless and I honestly admire and respect that about him.

It was several minutes before he finally came back inside the truck. “Those guys were freezing,” he exclaimed to all of us. I looked up and out to what looked like a huddle; it was three men obviously very, very cold. I stared at them for a minute, my heart wondering what it must be like to not have a place to call home, a warm bed to sleep in, food available almost at the snap of a finger … In the same way they were helpless and homeless I felt inadequate and helpless, at a loss. It’s not like you can fix them or their situation but there’s always something to do in the form of help, and sometimes it’s just to pray.

George backed up and out of the gas station and I stayed lost in my thoughts and wonderment. As he drove onto the freeway, I overheard him tell Vic that he had given them some money to go and get some food.love_neighbor

“You gave them money?” I heard myself blurt out in more of a statement of disbelief than a question.

“Yeah, I told them to go into Denny’s and get them some dinner.”

I have to be honest with you and share that I wasn’t in agreement with that. I didn’t voice it because I would never want to do anything to dampen my husband’s passion, or cause him to feel less than by telling him how to respond to his heart’s callings. I just don’t like to enable unhealthy choices and I would have done it differently … then.

But that was then, and now, just a few weeks later and after really digesting this portion of scripture we are covering, as well as the message I heard while sitting in a church in Texas, I have to wonder, have I set a certain criteria limiting who I reach out to and how? How can I say I love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my mind if I even begin to cast judgment about how they got to where they are?

Remember, right after the lawyer recites “the law” from his memory – not from his heart – he cross-examines Jesus with his question of who is the neighbor and Jesus used some very specific examples in His story/teaching: The neighbor is a Gentile, a despised people among the Jews. He used a Jewish Priest, and a Levite, another Jewish person, but of an even higher and more respected reputation than a priest as he was a member of the Sanhedrin to drive home His point.

See, the Gentile was considered a stranger, someone the two religious guys hadn’t known but obviously someone whose path each of them were coming to, crossing, or whatever you want to call it. Let me stop right there for just a tiny detour and give you the Greek translation for neighbor: The Greek word looks like this: “plesion,” pronounced play-see’-on. Here’s what the Strong’s Concordance says: “the (one) near, hence, one’s neighbor.” It also says: “This word has a wider range of meaning than that of the English word ‘neighbor’.”

The explanation continues by explaining that there were no farmhouses scattered over the agricultural areas of the populations and therefore people gathered in villages; hence life was touched at every point by a wide circle of neighborhood! In other words, a neighbor was considered anyone you came near! I don’t know about you, but that sure splashes some perspective on the subject of who is my neighbor and for sure narrows the scope of ambiguity!

Each of these religious guys rejected the call to reach out to the least of these, to love their neighbor as themselves, to be doers of the Word, rather than just commanders of the Law!

In fact, Jesus made it very clear that both of these religious men looked down upon this victim in the way they shunned him, even daring to look at him at what was probably one of the lowest, most difficult times in his life, and walk away as if they didn’t see him … dying!

Let me ask you, Coffee Hour Friend, who do we walk right by because of certain criteria we’ve maintained for helping others? And who do we walk up to and because of our own opinions, walk away from in their time of need? Oh that we would go beyond the law and Beyond Sundays and be on the lookout for our neighbor today!

Join me tomorrow when I share how George truly pulled on the strings of my heart, entwining our two completely different passions while reaching out to unknown neighbors.

On the lookout,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

Jenn’s Journey-from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, December 29th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Hello my friends. Welcome back to Jenn’s Journey. I hope and pray that each one of you are going into this new week with happy memories from Christmas and looking forward to what the New Year has in store. Join me with a cup of coffee for some of my reflections on Christmas!

This year I have been working very hard on personal growth. I’ve been taking a look at what makes me tick and what causes me to react to things and situations. I have been thinking a lot about Christmas and what it means to me. For quite a few years, it brought me sadness. I rarely felt like decorating and the hype of it all exhausted me. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts which tempted me to feel sorry for myself because I can’t quite ‘keep up’ with others.

I remember being sad as a kid when it was all over..to the point of tears, not to mention the numerous holidays that were spoiled by once living with someone whose selfishness over gifts eclipsed all else. All these thoughts tumbled through my head starting at about Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my sweet daughter and how she helps me see things through different eyes. The day after Thanksgiving, she convinced me to get out our Christmas decorations and put them up. We had a blast doing it and it reminded me of the fun of that from my childhood. I even have some of the ornaments I had from ‘the olden days’ as my girl calls it. Seeing all the colors, lights and excitement through a child’s eyes is fantastic.

In my daughter’s kindergarten class, her teacher put up a picture of Jesus in the manger and it says “Every child needs a stable background.” The words hit me for some reason, differently than perhaps another time. You see this year I have also been working on my walk with Jesus and making Him my first and primary focus. I’ve seen His love and His grace in a new way this year…as I struggle with my own shortcomings, pain from the past, unmet expectations….in some cases unrealistic expectations and the anxiety that comes from living in this fallen world. It’s not just children that need a stable background; perhaps we grownups need it even more!stable

On Christmas morning, I woke up while it was still dark. I lay there watching the light come into my house as the sun rose…it was a still, quiet, a beautiful moment. As it happened, it reminded me of the Light that Jesus brought when He was born on that night thousands of years ago. Light that shines in spite of the darkness, light He longs to shine into our past, our present and our future. Light that cannot be contained once we let it in.

For me, that is exactly what Christmas should be about…the beauty of what His birth means. As it says in the Bible “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world” John 16:33

Whatever our past, present or future brings into our lives, the fact remains…He has overcome it! Perhaps we won’t see that full picture until He comes again to get us, but in the meantime, let’s embrace the fact that His love brought Him here. Let that be the celebration that lasts all year long!!

Until next week,

Be Blessed.

JennJenn

Power Fridays-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartI just love Fridays, don’t you? For most of us, it’s the end of our work week, and around the corner is some sleeping-in time, maybe a fun activity or two with friends and family, and of course, time to breathe while doing all the duties of a wife and/or mom. For those of you who have been joining us on Fridays, we will be returning to Power Fridays for a while and putting Jeff’s Java Hour on hold until he’s feeling more settled and less overwhelmed!  Grab your coffee and come on in so I can share from my heart to yours from a book called Not A Fan, and how the author, Kyle Idleman, has pierced my heart and inspired this power thought.

So my husband was actually given this book by one of the owners of the company he works for, who obviously doesn’t really know my honey very well, because the only thing he reads with any consistency is the Bible! 🙂 And that’s not a dig on either of them, by the way; I’m just sharing that my husband doesn’t usually read “books,” including mine!

Anyway, it was sitting in his truck for a couple of weeks and one day on our way to somewhere, I began to flip through the pages. What I read caught my attention, immediately! It was as though the book was just waiting to be opened so it could literally reach out, grab a hold of both of my ears, and then come back for my heart, too, and … all I can say is oh, em, gee, it has done all of that and more so I have to share!

So for a while, I will share thought-provoking lessons from this book, paraphrasing it so as not to plagiarize but also share how his words spoke to me. I just love how God does that; gifts people to write/teach and though we as authors may feel as though we are merely a needle in a haystack – this guy’s a huge needle and I’m oh, such a tiny one! 🙂 — and it is up to Him to pluck us out and pierce the hearts of others. I pray what I share pierces your heart in such a way to cause you to think about your relationship with the One who loves you like no one else can!

This book is really piercing my heart and making me think about things that I don’t know that I’ve thought too much about, and also challenged me in areas where I thought I was okay with. For now I’ll leave you with this first thought that captured my ears, heart and mind which is based on the miracle of Jesus feeding hundreds with just a few loaves of bread and fish [Matthew 14:13-21]: What is it you show up to church functions for? Is it the free food? Do you just go for social reasons? Are you part of the crowd returning to the next event for more of the same, just like a fan, or are you a follower?

So many churches, and ministries, are so “seeker-friendly,” caught up in making Jesus look as attractive as possible so others would come to have eternal life, with the best of intentions in mind, but in the process, we are creating fans and not so many followers.

Share your thoughts. What do you think the difference between the two is?

Yearning to follow after Him,

kim L

Evinda

In Search of Joy-Destination? Joyful! from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and back to our Destination? Joyful! ™ series! I’m delighted you could join us. Grab whatever you’re having and let’s return to our theological hopscotch in search of joy and all of its contexts!

My husband and I have recently started to read a Psalm a day together, and on the 27th day of the month – it happened to be our ten-year wedding anniversary – we were reading and I came upon this next joy stop, and I do mean stop. See, the phrase puzzled me so I thought what a great place to go next in our search for joy. It’s found in Psalm 27:6, but in order to understand its full context I think we should read the verse above it, which is such a soothing word for the soul, especially in the midst of an incredibly tough day: “For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me. He shall set me high upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)

Don’t you just find sweet comfort in those words … in time of trouble, He shall hide me! Love it!

But let’s take a quick look at all these diamonds! We’ve just got to explore this for a minute to appreciate this next context of joy. See, David was a man after God’s heart, and he didn’t just seek God in times of trouble; he sought Him every day and the Psalms are replete with his cries to Abba. When I dug just a bit, I learned that sometimes David used tabernacle and pavilion interchangeably to also denote being in his/our Heavenly Father’s presence. I mean, look at the first words of Psalm 20: 5: “For in time of trouble”… Oh those words can soothe even the weariest of souls.

See, there is truly only one escape from our troubles that brings rest, peace and joy, and that is when we hide in His presence. Why is that so hard to do? I know when I finally do it, I think to myself, why didn’t I just do this sooner? See, our flesh will have us scurrying and worrying over our troubles, but our Father wants us to find rest in His presence. In His presence is how we escape our flesh! And we won’t be able to do it 24/7 until we get there!

Lately, I’ve been realizing some powerful truths in the form of analogies, and this particular verse in Psalm 27:6 (we’ll get to the actual verse tomorrow!) rings the bell of truth in each one of them. I hope the ringing resonates within your heart and reverberates down to your toes that you may experience that joy that surpasses all understanding and that they answer the “why” for a lot of scenarios in your life and the lives of those around you:

Without pain, how would we know the joy of true relief?

Without tragedies & trials, how would we know the joy of triumphs?

Without hatred from others, how would we experience the joy of His love for us?

Without war and chaos, how would we know the joy of peace?

Without freedom of choice, how would we know the joy of wisdom?

Without sorrow, how would we know the joy of happiness?

Without His Holy Spirit, how would we get thru any of this?

Without sickness, how would we recognize the joy of health?

Without challenges, how would we recognize the joy of victory?

Without despair, how would we recognize the hope?

Only God in His amazing sovereignty can work it all for good for you and me!

Rejoicing in the ingredients of joy,

kim L

Evinda

Monday’s Manna from Castro’s Corner of Chicklit Power

Monday, September 15th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Monday Manna!

It’s official! Another week is already here and I feel like I missed out on the weekend entirely! My wife and I are eagerly awaiting for her sister, my sister in-law, to give birth to a healthy beautiful baby boy. They are anticipating that she will go into labor this week, but if she doesn’t then they will induce next Sunday so please keep Amanda and her awesome husband Charles in your prayers!

Last week I stumbled upon an Atheist web page that had an abundance of different videos and speakers that were attempting to “debunk” the Christian faith. I know that I didn’t stumble onto this page by coincidence. As I began listening to these different speakers I felt like I had just entered into a spiritual battlefield as these young people so passionately attempted to disprove the existence of God and His son Jesus Christ. One particular individual actually believed in the existence of Jesus Christ, but she did not believe that Jesus was the Son of man. In fact she believed (like most atheists do) that Jesus was just another “teacher” of his time.

She went on to discuss that she had grown up in the Church and she began asking questions as to whom Jesus really was. She felt that no one could give her the answer that she was looking for so she began to look elsewhere (The world) for the answers that she was so desperately seeking. As she continued on I tuned out and I began to think to myself- “Why is this young woman so passionate in attempting to disprove God’s existence and Jesus Christ.” Then it finally hit me.

The Spirit has the ability to convict anyone. Although the Spirit resides in our hearts, He has the ability to work in/ on the hearts of those who may seem the farthest away from Him. Think of Saul (Paul) as he made his way down the old dirt road of Damascus He was on his way to arrest and kill Christians within the city of Damascus, but God had different plans for Paul and Jesus showed up on the scene. Pray for our Atheist friends, as they are on a mission to disprove the existence of God and the Son of man, He is the only one that can truly save them. As conviction gets heavier and heavier, so do the arguments that defend their own belief systems.

We are accountable to God. Atheists know that their lifestyles are conducive to their own ideologies, so the healthy fear that God has internalized within our hearts grants us the ability to remember who He is: Our Sovereign King. I believe that Atheists have a different type of fear within their hearts. This fear originates from not knowing a loving God that has the ability to meet us where we are and who becomes our every need.

We need to have the answers for these young people who are asking questions about who Jesus really is and why He died for the sins of the world. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 point to a greater understanding. Let’s join in coalition prayer as we ask God to move in the hearts of these Atheist organizations. A Christian revival within this movement could show the world that if he can change to heart of Paul, of you, and of me, He can work on/ within the heart of anyone. Have a great week and I encourage you to read these two chapters in scripture; I do every time my faith feels mustard-seed like and He reinforces my own understanding.

In His Love,

Castro'sCornerPic

Garrett Castro

Monday’s Manna from Castro’s Corner @ Chicklit Power

Monday, May 19th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Monday Manna,

I hope you all had a great weekend. This week’s writing is based on a sermon from Dr. Rod Collins that really touched my heart and I’m sure that most of you can relate this sermon to past or present events that have taken or are taking place in your life. I encourage you to grab your Bible as we uncover the abundance of God’s blessings.

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). This scripture has direct application to each and every one of us who are believers in Christ Jesus. Our obedience and faithfulness to God is rewarded through an abundance of blessings. We’re all extremely blessed and God loves to continue to bless.

As we make our way through the book of 2 Chronicles and Isaiah we will find that King Hezekiah’s life was blessed and the nation of Israel made an epic comeback through sanctification and consecration to the Lord.

King Hezekiah, who began ruling over Israel at the ripe age of 25, made a covenant with the Lord that he would reinstate temple worship throughout the land of Israel. Before this took place he gathered together the Levites and commanded them to sanctify themselves before they could begin reinstating temple worship. King Hezekiah’s reasoning for temple worship reinstatement was simple: the nation of Israel had fallen away from Yahweh through various forms of pagan worship rituals, thus subjecting the nation of Israel to attack. “Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem; He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, to jeering as you see with your eyes. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us” (2 Chronicles 29: 8, 10).

Soon after the sanctification of the temple was completed, the nation of Israel provided burnt and thanksgiving offerings in such an abundance, that the King summoned more Levites to help with the assistance in preparation. What an amazing sight this would have been; to see the towering heaps of oxen, sheep, honey, grain, wine, and oil that were the first fruits of the children of Israel. The temple doors were open, the worship team had been assembled, and the sweet aroma of animal fat was offered to the Lord! What a comeback! Israel’s consecration to Yahweh would bring them victory against the brutal Assyrian army that would soon threaten the nation.

Soon after (701 BC) the much-feared Assyrian army took siege over the city of Jerusalem. Sennacherib, the Assyrian King, sent a letter to King Hezekiah slandering the name of the Lord and King Hezekiah went to the temple and prayed. The Lord protected Israel through providing an angel to kill 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. One angel! God had delivered his people once again from the hand of their enemy; their faithfulness was rewarded through constant blessings and protection.

Our faithfulness to God will be rewarded, in this life or the next. 1 Corinthians 2:9 should always remind us that the God of angel armies is on our side. God will continue to bless the ones He loves and I pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to each and every one of us on a daily basis. God bless you!

In His Love,

Castro'sCornerPic

Garrett Castro

Come Laugh with Me from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Thank you for joining me this Thursday for some more insight into Jesus’ sense of humor, and His desire to instill it into each of us, allowing it to chisel away at the hard parts of our hearts that His love letters and lessons would plant on good and healthy soil and root, producing fruit that is evidenced by others in joy and laughter! Grab your coffee and let’s go to our conclusion of Laugh with Me!

In the prior blogs, I’ve tried to show that Jesus embraced humor just as much as he embodied forgiveness, compassion and hope.  Almost every parable was a call ringing with humor for accountability, while informing with a pure heart His intention for change and conversion. Never, ever did Jesus expose immorality of any kind in all the sins He confronted with an intent to embarrass or condemn but to illuminate and transform. He always did it in gentleness, and more often than not, He did soften the lesson with laughter. See, He knew their/our sin was covered by the sacrifice He was sent to be for all sin. I can’t help but wonder if sometimes He didn’t laugh not necessarily at them/us, but with a sort of “When will they get it” attitude.

When we take ourselves too seriously, and/or all that happens in our life, or about our life, we commit perhaps one of the saddest but most common sins: self-reliance rather than God-reliance. When we take the time to sit with Him and read about His ministry recorded in the Gospels, and soak up those lessons laced with humor and laughter, perhaps we will be more likely to let go of the grip of seriousness which breeds independence! When I think of myself without God, doing anything without Him, I can now laugh because it’s ludicrous to think about!

So why is it that the humor of Jesus is so pervasively ignored? Are you afraid to laugh in the presence of your/our Creator? Do you think He only smiles when you are behaving your best or giving your all? Oh, to not shy away from visions of our Lord smiling and joking and engaging us in laughter.

Laughter is so good for the soul. It allows us to confront the hard things of life with grace and composure. Without humor, life would be unbearable. God Himself allows humor as a means to deal with the burdens of life so as to not stay stuck! Laughter really can move us forward!

Please don’t think I am trying to make Jesus out to be a comedian and compare Him to other comedians. My heart’s desire is to encourage us to see and hear the humor found in the spiritual truths and messages of our Savior with some new eyes and ears, to discover a new aspect of His divine brilliance and to meet Him with renewed joy and laughter in our hearts. May we continue to take our purpose in this life seriously while embracing the gift of laughter!

Smiling from the inside out . . .

2014 Headshot

Evinda

 

 

P.S. Next week we will have our May WOW! Join me tomorrow for Power Friday!

Come Laugh with Me @ Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Thanks so much for joining me for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power! It’s great to be with you and sharing some humor with you while sipping from our coffee. Go ahead and grab yours and come on in for what I hope will produce a softened heart and another facet of our amazing Heavenly Father’s Son’s sense of humor, one of His most powerful tools used to soften the heart so He’s able to mold it!

Let’s do a little theological hopscotch on over to Luke, and as you’re making your way over to Chapter 6, let me just give you this little insight: The Gospels are loaded with personality and various interpretations. That one fact alone indicates a sense of humor by our Heavenly Father for He foreknew each of us, what type of learners we would be and how to best approach us with the opportunity to accept or reject the teachings of His Son! They each have something different to add to the events and teachings involving Christ, and this makes these lessons all the more valuable and alive! So as we leave Mark, whose writings are action-packed and highly evangelically motivated, and move on to Luke’s writings, let’s take with us this understanding: I saw something I wrote in my Bible that I want to share with you about the Gospels. The Gospels were written proclamations of redemptive history from theological perspectives!

Now let’s hop back on over to Luke, aka, Dr. Luke, who focuses on the birth of the Christ Child. Before we jump in, though, let’s talk a minute about Luke, because understanding who he was, what he did for a living adds a facet of humor to the reality of the Gospel message. He was a doctor, a scientist, and as a Greek, he was known as a man of detail – thank God, considering he was a doctor, and if he were my doctor, I’d want him to be all about the details, every last one of ‘em!

By the way, did you get that part about being a Greek? He was/is the only Gentile of all the Gospels! The other three were Jews!

What is truly affirming is the way he begins his writings: With the facts, just the facts. In other words, he’s not all warm and fuzzy! He traveled with Paul quite a bit and did a lot of what the news would deem interviewing. He had access to other historical accounts and he was an eyewitness to the birth and growth of the early church. His Gospel, as well as the Book of Acts, is considered reliable, historical documents – huge, huge in the “case for Christ!”

See, Luke picked up on what may seem like a small detail but is actually quite important in the journey with Jesus: laughter! In the midst of the Beatitudes, Jesus Himself promised that those who weep shall laugh. (Luke 6:21) How comforting is that?

But you have to ask yourself, how can Jesus give something He’s never experienced? I am convinced that Jesus laughed, a lot, and He recognized the need for humor and the truth that it is every bit as necessary for us as the suffering and joy. Laughter, therefore, is truly a heavenly gift!

We’ve only skimmed the surface of His humorous teachings, His hilarious one-liners woven into subtle but serious lessons of life. Join me tomorrow for the conclusion of Laugh with Me!

Joyfully,

2014 Headshot

Evinda