Quick Read

Was Jesus an Introvert?

We are amazed when we hear of Jesus as a servant. When he washed people’s feet or when the woman washed his feet with her tears and hair. WoW. What an act of service. This act is even done in churches and weddings today. But keep in mind, Jesus’ feet were dirty. Yes the were dirty because of the footwear at the time wasn’t really full coverage and people were always walking in the dirt. His feet were dirty because he was always walking somewhere, walking towards people.

Jesus was not in some maxed-out conference arena. He was not standing and smiling at some merch table. Not to say conferences are wrong or bad. I LOVE going to a conference! Most of the time it involves travel near or far, cute freebies, powerful messages, great music. It is always a good time spent with friends and family. But, here it comes… my primary motivation isn’t really to get closer to the Father. My primary motivation is to be entertained. I’ll let that sit a moment.

I have my most treasured intimate moments with God in the privacy of my home, car, etc. The times he’s spoken deepest was when I least expected it or when I was alone in my room communing with him, just us two.

I think that’s how he prefers it. There are many stories in the Bible when Jesus made the effort to speak to people one on one. He went well out of his way to meet the woman at the well in Samaria. While walking in a crowd he made effort to stop and speak to the woman that touched the hem of his robe. While addressing the woman caught in adultery, He gave the iconic, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” line and drove away the crowd. He got rid of the crowd to give us one of the most powerful moments (in my opinion) in the Bible.

Jesus spent a lot time telling people to not tell other people he healed them. He spent a lot time passing through towns not ever staying for too long in one place. He didn’t rally for a crowd to come together, they just showed in droves on their own. He preached against the pretentious and those that did things only to impress others. Jesus was highly selective when he chose his disciples. He often went off on his own to pray alone.

Jesus wasn’t a keynote speaker listed on an agenda of who’s who of the elite. Jesus didn’t sell out venues but fed tens of thousands on at least two documented occasions. He fed his disciples in the upper room. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Mark 14:22

He gave us Himself on the Cross as payment and sustenance to move forward.

We need to be careful where we are placing our affections and treasures.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Is your treasure in sold out conferences, Christian bands, eloquent Bible teachers? Do you worship worship music and worship leaders? Do you go to the Christian bookstore more than you open your Bible? Do you seek answers in a traveling prophet but drag your feet with what the wise counsel in your local church told you to do?

I could ask a lot more questions but I’m sure you get the point.

What if Christianity was outlawed tomorrow? Would there be enough evidence to convict you of crimes against the State? Or would it be an easy transition for you to jump into the secular fandom?

If you could no longer have Christian books, music, paraphernalia. There were no Christian concerts, conferences, festivals. No Christian t-shirts, keychains, church bumper stickers. There were no Christian gatherings and no underground operations that you knew of, what would your relationship with Jesus really look like?

What if you didn’t have a Bible anymore? Would you even know what it had said?

Don’t lose sight of what is important. Jesus stands alone like no other. He never needed the crowd or flare.

Do you?

(Painting: The Rescue -by Nathan Greene)

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Quick Read, The Cross, video

Sola Gratia: will you testify?

 

 

Tonight I shared this message at my work place during a monthly celebration of the guests in our recovery program. Last month, after the celebration I typed up this message and had the idea to play this music video in the background to illustrate my main points. I know that God has messages in me, I just have to step up and out to share them. The following is my message I shared.

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****I thought I had a unique way of thinking about God and Jesus for some time, then Justus came out with this video and it brought it to a whole other level.

I have a vision of the court room. I’m/we’re the defendant sitting on the right side. The county attorney is on the left. The judge is in front of us on his bench.

Many of you know this scene and what it feels like. Your life is in someone else’s hands. You’re not sure what the outcome will be. Hoping you got a “good” judge. Hoping your attorney has done the best for you. A lot is on the line.

Maybe it was a very public high profile case. Maybe it was your first time facing a judge. Your family might have your back or they deserted you already. No one can bail you out and your friends are nowhere to be found. You’re having to stand on your own and face the consequences.

Many people know of God the Father as a Judge. He will judge us all on Judgement Day. But most leave it as that. God is a judge. God judges me. It doesn’t matter what I do, we’re all doomed. So what’s the point?

In my career, I’ve been an unofficial and official advocate. I’ve gone to court with people to offer support and encouragement. That’s what an advocate does. The Holy Spirit is our advocate. The bible calls him our Advocate in John 14:26. The Holy Spirit is on your right side holding you up when you’re not strong enough.

But on your left, you have the greatest attorney ever, Jesus.

In fact, if you see it the way I’ve come to see it – its that God tipped the scales of justice in favor of us by sending us Jesus. We’ve sinned against God so we can’t go to Heaven but He gave us Jesus so that we can go to Heaven to be with Him.

Can you imagine going to court tomorrow, and your attorney is the judge’s son? Wouldn’t you feel pretty good? I know that God the Father has the same heart for you that Jesus his son does. God the Judge has the same heart for you that Jesus the attorney does.

Jesus approaches the Judge in the court of heaven, as Satan the Accuser (that’s in the bible too) approaches the Judge and accuses you of all the things you’ve done. He tells God you’re a liar, an adultery, fornicator, thief, idolater, murderer etc. He hates you. Jesus stands before the
Father,
I know this man. I know this woman. This is my Friend
my brother
This is my sister
She loves me. He loves me. I can vouch for him. I know her heart. She’s clean. He’s repented. I’ve cleansed them.

Knowing that your attorney is the judge’ son, do you see how the Accuser has nothing on you? At best all he can do is accuse. If you give your life to Christ, and follow Christ and let the Holy Spirit dwell on the inside of you— you will be washed CLEAN. The Accuser will have no case against you. He will not have any evidence. God the Father didn’t have to send someone to take our charge, to take our punishment. But HE LOVED US SO MUCH HE STILL WANTED US EVEN AFTER ALL WE”VE DONE TO GRIEVE HIM. DESPITE THE SORROW HE FEELS TIME AFTER TIME BECAUSE WE BECOME HIS FOES. HE STILL WANTS US. HE DOESN’T WANT TO LISTEN TO THE ACCUSER. SO WHY DO WE LISTEN TO HIM? When Christ let out, “It is finished.” That’s what he meant. The accuser is finished. Shame is finished. Self Harm is finished. Self hate is finished. He took all of that. He took our sins to the Cross but also the pain, the infliction, the wounds of the heart and mind.

All of this stuff already happened. These are facts and truth. All we have to do is RECEIVE this Truth. Do you now why Jesus came? Most will say to save us, that’s part of it. But in his own words to Pilate, the regional leader of the Roman empire, just before Jesus was sentenced to a crucifixion, Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king. Jesus tells him, “ …in FACT, the reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37

Jesus-before-Pilate

He came to testify ( def: give evidence as a witness in a court of law, serve as proof of something existing, something being the case) to the truth.
Will you stand with Jesus and testify to the Truth? Will you stop listening to the lies of the Accuser?

–Prayer:

Jesus, I want to receive you as Truth, please show me how. I want to reject the Accuser’s lies, please show me how. Your will not mine. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Quick Read, Uncategorized

All the Songs I Like are Sad and What Does that Mean?

Last night I confessed to a friend that all my favorite love songs are sad. It was a very lighthearted conversation and of course I sprinkle everything I say with self-deprecating humor. But it is true. We were talking about possible wedding songs for our future weddings. If you look at my Pinterest wedding board you’d see I have every little detail already planned out except for the wedding song. I love music and listen to music almost 24 hours per day. You’d think I would have the perfect wedding song picked out but I don’t.

I explained to my friend that all the love songs that were about relationships before never worked out.

To try to label a song perfect for a wedding I have yet to have seems impossible.

All I have to pull from is past pain. Past heartbreaks that shattered me in the moment. I have years that stand out because of songs like, “I Need You Now,” by Lady Antebellum. For years I would have to turn the radio station because listening to it would take me too far back. It’s a great song for the precise emotion that arises in a lot of us. But its sad.

How about “Stay” by Rihanna? Longing for someone to stay knowing they won’t. Sam Smith has “Stay with Me,” similar themes, same sadness.

If you’re looking for an upbeat sad song try, “Sweet Nothing,” by Calvin Harris ft. Florence from Florence and the Machine. The beat is so heavy you might forget that you’re sad. Not really.

Another good one, “Come Over,” by Kenny Chesney. Dysfunctional and sad. A lot like “I Need You Now.”

Feeling regretful? “All Back” by Chris Brown is my recommendation.

Mariah Carey has always been foundational in my love of heartbreak songs: Heart Breaker- fun but sad. H.A.T.E.U., Love Takes Time, Breakdown, Bringing on the Heartbreak (original Def Leppard), there’s a lot more but I’ll stop.

Maybe something more edgy? “The Bleeding” by Five Finger Death Punch will do it.

I even like sad songs in Spanish, “El Perdedor,” by Aventura.

All the songs I really love are Sad.

What does that say about me?

I guess it says I have a tendency to choose sadness over the other options. Options such as Joy and Hope.

It also says that I haven’t had a relationship last or survive the heartbreak. My relationship resume doesn’t look good. There’s lots of gaps, many short term stints and the descriptions sound sketchy.

One Day… someone will come along and perhaps, just perhaps they will stay and the love will be real.

And I won’t want to love sad songs anymore.

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Gender Issues, Men, Quick Read, sex, Women

Images of Imtimacy

***The following is an article I just found!***

Images of Intimacy by Josh Glasser

March 22, 2018

https://regenerationministries.org/images-of-intimacy/

 

adam-and-eve

“If you struggle with lust, consider this for a moment: Can you explain why you are drawn to the form of a woman or the form of a man?

Beyond the specifics of what part of the body titillates you sexually, have you ever considered why it titillates you? Why does your body stir at the sight of another’s body? Is it a learned response because your body knows the pleasure that awaits if you engage in sexual activity? Maybe, but it did not begin that way.

At the core, the bodily stirring, the feeling of being drawn, the romantic and sexual desire, all these happen because sex is relational.

In other words, the core reason you’re drawn is because you’re longing for intimacy.

In pornography and other forms of sexual fantasy, intimacy isn’t really there, of course, but something in the images suggests it is. Nakedness suggests it.

By God’s design, nakedness is a sign, an icon, an expression, an image of intimacy. It has always been so. God has made the human body wonderful and glorious—“fearfully and wonderfully made”—beautiful to behold.

We might also think of this in this way: The naked body reveals the person without covering, without veil, without obstruction. If intimacy is knowing and being known fully, then of course nakedness would serve as a sign of more complete knowing than clothing would. Clothing veils, even disguises the physical person. Nakedness reveals.

And nakedness as a sign of intimacy goes further still. Consider the sexual parts of the body. What makes them “sexual”? Isn’t it that they are designed to connect intimately with another human being?

In nakedness, a man and woman’s genitalia is exposed—the specific parts of the body by which we experience deeply intimate physical knowing and being known. The man and woman’s bodies are designed for intimate connection—two becoming “one flesh” with each other.

So doesn’t it make sense that the naked images of man or woman draws us because of our God-given need and our good longing for intimacy—to know and be known fully and without fear?

Lust, pornography, and other expressions of sexual sin hijack the icon of intimacy and use it instead as a false intimacy—the form without the substance. For a few moments, the brain and body may have a sense of nakedness without shame, a sense of being known and knowing. The human body on its own cannot tell the difference between the real and the false. But the soul can.

This is why lust never satisfies.

Jesus came to restore the union between body and soul. We were rent apart in the fall, but Jesus can make us whole again. Jesus can help us see again.

We are drawn to nakedness because we are created for intimacy.

Nakedness is a sign, an image, an icon of intimacy because it reveals that our bodies are created by God for intimacy, for knowing and being known, to love and to be loved. In this way, human nakedness is most profoundly an image, a sign, an icon created to reveal God Himself.

Do you struggle with lust? Recognize your longing for intimacy. Seek out healthy, non-sexual intimate relationships. Ask Jesus to show you who He sees when all you see is a what. And keep asking Jesus to raise your body from the death of false intimacy and to make you whole again—body and soul—an image bearer of God.

Question for you: What stands out to you in this post? How might this change your approach to dealing with lust? Leave a comment here.

For you,
Josh

P.S. Listen and subscribe to our new podcast! Search for “Regeneration Ministries Podcast” on iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!”

 

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Quick Read

Introverting as an INTJ female

The following is list of the inner details of my life. Only my closest people know some of these but I’ve been feeling bold lately so I’m sharing even more. Enjoy or not.

-drink coffee

-envision the next time I’ll get to drink coffee

-get excited for future events

-Pinteresting my heart out

-pre-plan future hobbies

-watch X-Files

-never asking a store employee for help finding anything

-get cozy …alone

-question use of social media because the CIA

-feel conflicted about SnapChat because the CIA- but love the filters because they give me long eyelashes

-vow to never send in my DNA for purposes of determining ancestry because the CIA and FEMA camps

-examine emotions under a microscope

-try to figure out how to be vulnerable

-make lists

-listening to what people say and what they dont say

-spurts of productivity

-longer spurts of analyzing everything

-creating conversation scripts that people don’t follow

-send email and immediately go to sent box- reread email I sent 10 times

-deliberate if I said everything in the correct way in the email

– spend an hour trying to find the right genre of music for my mood

-never have Kleenex in my office for when people cry

-vow to buy Kleenex

-go to store- never buy Kleenex

-type multiple sentence reply- erase it all-send one word reply

-think in terms of memes, movies, songs, Youtube videos, conspiracy “theories,” Key & Peele skits, Portlandia skits

-imagine as if I would have to explain the modern world to George Washington

-daydream of adventures

-never be spontaneous

-scared the Holy Spirit will make me do something I wasn’t expecting

-screenshot cute outfits that I will never buy

-have an arsenal of memes ready to go

-daydream of Bae -Tom Hardy

-have an arsenal of Tom Hardy pics ready for me to insert my face

-organize the clothes in my closet in color order

-have delightful conversation with someone- later determine that I said too much- now they know too much

-not read texts or Facebook messages right way—go into app to read the first line

-write down what to say before making an important phone call

-put off making phone call for 6 hours

-hope call goes to voicemail

-suspect someone following me if they make too many same turns

-cards in wallet are face down so other people can’t see my information

-love escape room games and picture find games

-love documentaries

-listen to music almost 15 hours per day

-buy books

-read 3 books at time

– tv viewing varies from X-Files to Hart of Dixie

-music varies from Billie Holiday to Bizzle to Romeo Santos to Lauren Daigle to Miranda Lambert to Five Finger Death Punch

– want to go on a date – don’t want to talk to a stranger

-want to stay home everyday because people

-have a calling on my life to reach the broken and hurting -have to pep talk myself out of bed

– love public speaking

-hate small talk

-get energized from deep heavy conversations

-zone out when i’m too peopled

-strategize how i would escape being kidanapped

-live everyday out of my comfort zone

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Quick Read, The Cross

Its Not About You

Your calling is not for you. Your testimony is not for you. Your deliverance is not for you. All these are for the King.

Theres someone that needs you to do what God called you to do. Theres someone waiting for you to show up where God told you to go. Theres someone that needs to hear your story.  Someone needs to know freedom is possible.

After awhile you should’ve realized this whole thing is not about you. This is God’s story. How He created the heavens and Earth. Its the story of how He loved us and wanted us to purposefully choose Him, how He never stopped coming for us. Its His story inside and out. He is the producer, director,  script writer, set design, musical score, sound guy and leading man. We are just the extras in the background, but He knows us by name, individually, intimately and uniquely.

Accepting this truth is the greatest self- actualization. The achievement of one’s own potential through God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

When you take yourself out of the equation theres freedom to live as God intended. It takes the pressure off. If we fail, God is Good. If we succeed, God is Good. It was never about us anyway. We’ve gotten it all wrong reading Genesis first. We interpret God creating the heavens and Earth before us as Him creating it for us. This is not the case. Defining moments happened before us, before Genesis 2:7. This is God’s story and we should feel honored we get to be a part of it.

Isaiah 14:12-17 details satan forced out of Heaven. Luke 10:18 Jesus says He remembers seeing satan falling out of Heaven like lightening in the sky. This event predates our arrival in Eden.

There were acts taking place before and more to come after us. We are just players in Act II.  The backdrop of Genesis is to display God’s power, creativity, authority and love.

So if this story is not about us, what about Jeremiah 29:11? It is often quoted on anything from decor to coffee mugs,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Isnt God saying we will be prosperous? That we will have great things happen to us? Isnt it saying God doesn’t want us to hurt or be uncomfortable? Typically this is the verse that makes us feel good about our future. No matter where we find ourselves in life, this truth stands the test of time to give us assurance that God is for us not against us. However, we mistakenly interpret this verse to mean God will cosign on our plans or that our plans and God’s plans are a match. Even further, that we will recognize and agree with His plans. Some can take this to mean that if I feel harmed or feel that I am not prosperous  (by human definition or an American definition) then it must not be of God. If I’m suffering (even by my own hand, facing the consequences of my sins, facing the after-math of my own poor decision making, or by the sins of others, the poor decision making of others) then this must not be God’s plan.

Because this is God’s story He is gracious enough to give us all almost 100 years to get in line. The average lifespan for humans is 79. Of course many people live longer and we celebrate those that reach over 100 years old. So what do we have to show for those 80 years?

The most miserable people I know are those that are solely focused on themselves. They cannot fully empathize with others, are rarely interested in others (unless they are comparing themselves with another person), they rarely inconvenience themselves for others, they are extremely deflated in the presence of others, they dont function efficiently amongst others. When we are so self-focused we will become anxious, depressed and hopeless. We are imperfect subjects, if you refuse to admit that and take it to the Cross- you will be miserable. Because what hope can you have knowing how imperfect you are? That it is a huge bummer. You are actually heirs to the Messiah, the only divine human that transcended the human limitations of death. If you really knew deep inside the cells of your body that you were Loved beyond human understanding by a cosmic intergalactic Source wouldn’t you be emboldened to give this life your best shot? Knowing whether you win or lose, You still Win! We win because its not about us! We win because God is Good!

God gives us victory.                                     He opens doors.                                             He provides.                                                    He protects.                                                    He gives.                                                         He loves supernaturally.

When things don’t go your way, they’re most likely going God’s way. Submit to it and keep it push’n. Get out of God’s way and there is where you’ll find peace.

 

Related Reading:

https://relevantmagazine.com/life5/god-doesnt-want-live-comfort-zone/

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1574103102653871&id=191900549668

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Quick Read, Transformation

Still Me

           (circa ’08?’09? I  was Snookie before Snookie was Snookie…)

You’re right, I’m not who I used to be. I believe in different things now. The things we used to believe together. I no longer do the things I used to do. The things that made you feel comfortable. The things we did together.

I don’t drink.

I don’t go to bars or clubs.

I don’t sleep with guys.

I don’t flirt or seduce.

I don’t use foul language.

I rarely listen to secular music.

I’m not a feminist anymore.

I believe in traditional marriage.

I don’t try to be seen.

I don’t try to intimidate.

I don’t put my ego first.

I’m a patriot but I pledge allegiance to Jesus.

I don’t believe the color of my skin entitles me or makes me a victim.

I’m Pro-Life.

And I was never a democrat anyway.

There’s plenty more I can’t articulate at this moment.
I cashed in all my chips and ended up with zero. These things bankrupted my spirit. As I moved closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit I could no longer hold on to those things. They no longer served any purpose because they are not based on anything long withstanding. 

I admit, perhaps I never made it clear in years past of what I did stand for. Though in my defense, I never claimed to be For some of those things; my only fault-remaining silent in my disagreement. 

I gave up those things willingly and freely. I’ve never felt and thought more clearly. I’m doing great. 

I am still Me. Unapologetic and Resolute.

When you probably roll your eyes at the sight of my name and the things I stand for now, know that I’m fine with whatever reaction you have. The disagreements that permeate in your bones, you’re allowed to have.  But know this –

It was you that shut me out. 

So I continue on, always available for non-spontaneous coffee dates, froyo meet-ups and other such treats.

With Love,

Still Me 

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