Short People Allowed

“A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus… He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him” (Luke 19:2-4, NIV). 

“The issue isn’t whether God reaches out to us– it’s whether we choose to respond to him. He will not violate our will– the choice is ours.” – Rebecca Manley Pippert

 

This post is not about short people. But I’m glad I have your attention 🙂

 

JesusZacchaeus

Being a short person myself, I understand how Zacchaeus must have felt, not being able to see the man he wanted to see; I understand his need do anything necessary to accomplish his goal. My man climbed a tree!! It be like that sometimes.

Again, this is not about Zac, or the plight of short people; this is about Jesus and his willingness to accept and dine with  a “sinner”.  We must understand that during this time, Jewish people hated Jewish tax collectors because it was as if they were supporting the enemy– the tax collectors were uncle Tom characters, if you will. Zacchaeus had it rough because he was the chief tax collector, meaning he was really really really hated by the Jewish people, he was marginalized even though he was wealthy; he was the enemy. Yet, our darling Jesus singled him out, no doubt with a smile on His face! Jesus accepted the marginalized, we know this; Zacchaeus was no different. Jesus went to this “sinner’s” house, dined with him, and pronounced salvation into his house! Imagine Jesus walking alongside Zacchaeus! Jesus didn’t allow the mutter and murmur of others to stop Him from accepting another person into His kingdom!

We should follow this example. Let us dare to allow the people who are not meant to be allowed into our circles be in our circles! Let us dare to accept people for who they are, love on them, and watch how natural their response to start living life in accordance to God’s will will be– notice how just the presence of Jesus prompted Zacchaeus to turn from his corrupt ways.

My friends, we are not called to be converters; we have been commissioned to be like Jesus, to go into the world, seek out the lost, preach the Gospel, and love people the way Jesus loves us! The rest will follow naturally. What Jesus did was unacceptable to those who couldn’t see the need for others to experience the love and grace of God as well! I pray we will never get to the point where we start choosing who should or shouldn’t come to Jesus; everyone, EVERY SINGLE PERSON is welcome, even short people like myself who need an extra boost just to see Him!

But remember, being welcomed by Jesus and into His kingdom does not mean remaining the same! He wants us to come as we are, but He doesn’t want us to stay as we were!

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New Beginnings

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NLT).

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:19, KJV).

I love reading certain verses in different versions because each version offers a different meaning, but same message– if that makes sense. Anyway…

Today is a day of newness, not just for me, but for one of my dear friends.

Let me show you a glimpse of my life so far. You see, since I moved back to Amherst, MA (in hopes of being in Collegiate Ministry with The Navigators), I have been looking for a job! Mind you, I have been applying since, pretty much, November 2015. Even after having no job, I moved to my apartment. The entire journey is a story (testimony) for another day. Anyway, I kept applying, at first to places that I was qualified for; then I was advised to apply anywhere, so I started applying to places I was way over-qualified for. The process, I think, was a breaking of my pride and so-called identity. Long-story-short, I got hired as a cashier  last week at a local grocery store ; it’s a part-time position. It is certainly not an ideal situation, but I thank God  because I can pay rent, tithe, give gifts, etc. I even have the opportunity to work another part time job, which I hope will add to my experience and boost my resume (for grad school)!

All that information is to say that I started work today! Day 1 of training! After having been unemployed since May 2015, having something to call a job is pretty nice. Like I said, it’s not ideal, but I want to be worshipful and reveal God to everyone I come in contact with! I want to be a good steward of the time and resource God has given me. It is certainly a new beginning for this baby 🙂 I am actually excited for what God is going to do in (through) me!!

The other new thing God did today was that He granted my friend another year! Today is my friend’s birthday! Her testimony is AWESOME. This time last year, I know what she was going through, but God has been so gracious and kind to her! I am just SUPER-DUPER excited for this new year for her!!!! I know it’ll be great– why? Because she serves a GREAT GOD!

Anyway, that’s it for today. It’s a new day, a new age, a new stage; and it’s all because of God, and for His glory! My prayer is that we (my friend, you, and I) all take and live in this  (daily) newness, knowing that our Father in Heaven is in control, that when He does (starts) something new, the end result is indeed AWESOME!!

Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!

God Does the Impossible

” ‘All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish’ ” (Ezekiel 17:24, NIV).

I admit that I’m not really a fan of the Old Testament– but I will say that my journey through it has been very good. I have never read Ezekiel but this morning I opened to a random part in the Bible and landed on Ezekiel 17 and the last verse really stood out to me. In all honesty, I don’t even remember what the chapter was really about, but I have been thinking about verse 24 all day.

Before going to sleep at 3 am, I watched the trailer for a movie coming up next March. In it, this little girl was really sick but then something happened to her and she was healed; the mother asked how that was possible. I’m guessing the movie is about faith. Faith in God can do the impossible– but it’s not really the faith; it’s God working in the background and our faith receiving it.

So, I’ve been asking myself why. Why does God do the impossible? Why does God change the “natural” order of things?  The answer I keep coming back to is: Because He can! He is God and He can do whatever He wants. This pastor said in a sermon, that God can do eleven months’ work in a day and overwhelm you! He is God. He can even change the way things are supposed to be, according to the world and our own understanding. That verse really hit me because God Himself said that He will bring down the tall tree and raise the low one. I took that and I applied it to my own life. God can make me the president of a company one day; He can make me the manager of an organization one day; He can give me all my heart’s desires, especially for this year, today if He wants to. On the other hand, He can also allow me to experience what Job experienced.

But why would God do these things? I mean, He doesn’t have to prove Himself to us. I believe He does it out of love. You know, God’s love and faithfulness is everlasting! He cannot help Himself but love us! So, if God takes you from having $2 in your account to having $2,000,000 in a matter of 24 hours, it’s because He loves you! And if He decides to reverse that and make you go from having $2,000,000 to having $2 in a matter of 24 hours, it is also out of love!

So, why does God do the impossible? Because He can and because He wants to show His love, power, strength, faithfulness, majesty, etc. to me and you. One thing I have always loved about God, even before I gave my life to Him, is the fact that He doesn’t lord the fact that He is God over us. However, He is always reaching out to each of us, one way or the other. May we recognize His reaching out and accept Him!

Amen!

My Foundation, The Rock

“He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48, NIV).

I don’t know if you know the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”. The chorus says: On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. I don’t know about you but I want to have a solid foundation, one that won’t fail me when everything else is crumbling. And in my experience, Jesus is the only one.

I had an encounter today that really struck me. I am in a phase in my life where I am transitioning from being a child to being an adult, not just developmentally but also in my day to day living. I graduated in May and now I have to face the real world, i.e bills, stdent loans, responsibilities, etc. Frankly, I don’t like it, but such is life… What are you going to do?!? Anyway, I am not going the traditional route of coming out of college and getting a job, or coming out of undergrad and going straight to grad school. I am convicted that God has called me to something else, at least for now. And I am pursuing that! But… There is always a but, isn’t there?

I have faced some opposition and I am still facing them! It is very discouraging when you are excited about what God has called you to do and the ones you expect to support you are the ones against your decisions, they are the ones second-guessing what you’re doing, they  are the ones asking if there isn’t another way to serve God– to be honest, I was sad; but God had to open my heart and eyes and let me see that they are coming from a place of love and concern. When I was asked these questions, I was hurt, very hurt to be honest. I was so hurt that I started to think that perhaps I heard the wrong thing from God! I started questioning God, asking Him if He really wanted me to do what He purposefully called me to do– don’t get it wrong, friends, God is never confused– but I was pretty sure that God didn’t know what He was doing… How naive and human of me, right?

After some time I was reminded that I am on this earth to do the will of my Father in Heaven. With apprehension I decided to follow in God’s footsteps, allowing Him to lead me and guide me. The journey hasn’t been all that pleasant, but it has been peaceful. I hope that makes sense. Today I was reminded and encouraged that God is my foundation. My foundation is not on man or woman or family or friends; it is not on the nods and approval of the people around me, neither is it on their disapproval. But my foundation is on God, the one who formed me in my mother’s womb, who called me, molded me, who is pruning me. If He approves of me, that’s great; if He disapproves of what I am doing, I can go back to Him where I can at find grace and mercy, something man doesn’t necessarily give. I was reminded that at the end of the day, I answer to Him, the author and finisher of my faith.

So, what am I going to do from here on out? I will continue to trust God. I know that challenges will come; perhaps even the old tunes of disapproval will play again. But Jesus is my rock, He is my foundation, I put my trust and hope in Him. I trust that He will help me and guide me in the new direction He is taking me. Perhaps I’ll even get discouraged along the way, but I will put my trust in my Father knowing that, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’ ” (2nd Timothy 2:19, NIV). And if God’s very own foundation is firm, then I am pretty secure trusting in Him!

I am excited for this journey, though! God is going to move and it is a great privilege to be on The Rock’s team, my rock that will never fail!

He is…

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites. ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:14, NIV).

When I think about God and all He is, my human mind freaks out to the point where my flesh starts to lie to me and say that there is no God. But I know that He is alive and He is very active, not just in the world but also in my life.

Before becoming born again I had always been fascinated with God! Now that I am growing in my relationship with Him, I am overwhelmed that He can be and IS everything to me; not just what I want, what I need as well.

Where am I getting this from? Well, His Word is my number one source. In the Bible I find facts about God, His character, His heart towards me, and so much more! The Bible tells me that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). The Bible tells me “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2nd Timothy 3:16, NIV), so I can trust it.

So what does the Bible tell me about my God?
• He is Creator (Genesis 1).
• He is Father (Matthew 6:9).
• He is Shepherd (Psalm 23).
• He is Redeemer (Isaiah 47:4).
• He is Strength (Psalm 73:26).
• He is Shelter (Psalm 91:2).
• He is Rock (Psalm 18:2).
• He is Strong tower (Psalm 61:3).
• He is Comforter (Isaiah 40:1).
• He is Present help (Psalm 46:1).
• He is Savior (Luke 1:47).
• He is Friend (John 15:15).
• He is Healer (Psalm 107:20).
• He is Deliverer (Exodus 13, 14).
• He is First Love (Revelation 2:4).

These are just a few things about God; there is so much more– no wonder that song says He is INDESCRIBABLE!!. The list can go on for days. The Scriptures are just a few of the many that point me to who God is– and ultimately who He wants to be to me.

The second source is my life and my continuous relationship with my Maker. I rededicated my life to God on October 13, 2013, a week before I turned 21. I got baptized December 4th of the same year. The journey hasn’t been easy but God has proved Himself over and over again. I have learned that God is my best friend, my burden bearer, the One who holds my tears, my defender, my husband, the Calmer of my heart, my trust, my helper, my master, my leader, my physician, my might, the strength of my heart, my teacher, my corrector, my truth, my life, my forgiver, my provider, my one true love, the architect of my life, the one to whom I surrender, the Holy Spirit, the all sufficient one, Grace, Truth, Beauty; in short, I am learning, every single day, that He is everything I need.

In all honesty, sometimes I forget who God is and has been to me. But I thank Him because day after day He shows me His steadfast love (Lamentations 3:22-24).

I am still a work in progress, but I have God, who is perfect and perfection. Indeed, He is…

Song: “Everything”, by Tye Tribbett                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWVn6MCExjA

Mercy, Mercy

“Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:3-5).

I love God! And that is just putting it lightly. God is literally everything to me. Sometimes I think I’m crazy because sometimes I think my mortal mind can’t handle the fact that a magnanimous God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth LOVES me! Like, what?!

God has so many qualities. The one that I’ve been most recently exposed to is His mercy. I have had a very hard time understanding God’s mercy because it doesn’t make sense. The way the world works is that if you do something wrong, you have to face the consequences. But the way God works is that He sent Jesus to die for the consequences of my wrongdoings and Jesus’ death, His finished work on the cross, is still availing me today. That’s my understanding of God’s mercy towards me.

With this mercy comes certain privileges like confessing my sins and knowing the blood of Jesus has covered it, that I don’t have to pay for it. You see, sin is deadly.

Continue reading “Mercy, Mercy”