Mark 9:5-6 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
Ah Peter. How I associate with you. I’ve often said I have no brain to mouth filter. Mostly I just say what’s in my head. It comes tumbling out of my mouth almost before I’ve realized I’m speaking. Frequently this gets me into trouble, or at least causes me to be the point of laughter. Which I don’t really mind – but wish I could figure out how to dam up my words, even for a split second so I can think things through. Continue reading
Mark 8:11-12 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.”
Wait. Jesus sighed? Like I do when I’m frustrated? When I’m sick of being asked the same thing over and over? He felt that way too? As I read this passage today, I was struck with the humanity of Jesus in the simple act of sighing. I looked up the Greek word for “sighed deeply” here and guess what. It’s the only place in the entire Bible the word (anastenazō – to draw sighs up from the bottom of the breast, to sigh deeply) is used. The only place! Apparently I express frustration through sighing a whole lot more than people in the Bible. If stories are ever written about my life, the phrase “She sighed deeply and said…” will be used constantly. Continue reading
I’m so very blessed. My family knows exactly what I like. And this Christmas I got a ton of new Bakerlady toys. Including (drumroll please) a 3/4 cup measuring cup! Woo-hoo!! I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes in my new cookbooks! There are a couple cookie recipes that look really interesting. And some dinners that I know my hubby is going to love. Also in my haul, a food mill, double boiler, two sets of mixing bowls, wooden spoons, got stocked up on sugar, new baking sheets and more measuring cups than I know what to do with. I also got new aprons, potholders and kitchen towels. I’m totally set. Continue reading
Hebrews 12:3 (NASB) For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Just a quick reminder this evening. Who am I to think I don’t deserve the treatment I sometimes receive? I get so caught up in my own “worthiness” that I forget how Jesus was treated. I mean, He was perfect. Flawless. God. And He was scorned, abused, mistreated and shamed by those around him. He bore it all. For me. For you. He didn’t deserve one iota of it. He should have been worshiped. Should have been hanging in Heaven being ministered to by angels – and instead He came to earth to be beaten on, lied about and ultimately killed. He endured it all so that I would have hope. Wow. Continue reading
Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Nutshell. There it is. My constant struggle. Why do I do what I do not want to do? I’ll admit, it kind of feels good to know that I’m not the only one. That people have been working thru this same issue for the past 2000 years. Supposedly “good” people. Spiritual people. People God used mightily, have struggled with the back and forth tug of war between the good they desire to do and the evil they keep doing – in spite of all their good intentions. Continue reading
Acts 15:10-11 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
Ever notice the instructions on your shampoo bottle? Yeah, me neither really. We’re so familiar with how to wash our hair, we never need to look at the directions. I just checked three different brands of shampoo (I’m a couponer…I have a stockpile) – all of them say some version of the following: Apply to wet hair and work into a lather. Rinse. Repeat if necessary. This was a particularly funny set of directions I found:
I think God is in the “repeat if necessary” portion of directing my life. He keeps slamming home the point that it is thru Jesus that I’m anything at all. That there’s nothing so great and wonderful about me to set me apart from anyone else. That all I’ve got is His grace and love. And that is more than enough.
Today’s reading included this passage from Acts where Peter is once again defending those who’ve come to a belief in Jesus who are not Jews. The churchy people of the day were insisting that new Christians follow the old laws of Moses – including (yipes!) circumcision. I think it’s pretty obvious why the men folk weren’t too excited about signing up for THAT. Peter gets up and makes a little speech where he basically says “Back up churchy people! God knows what’s in their hearts. He has already chosen them. They’re all cool with the big dude – and they don’t have to go under the knife or prove themselves by following a bunch of rules. I mean really guys, WE haven’t been able to obey all these rules either…that’s why we needed Jesus. You do realize all of US needed Him too, right?” Yeah. Welcome to the New Tonya Translation of the Bible. Totally paraphrased. Read the chapter yourself in a “real” version if you think I took too many liberties here.
The point I’m taking away from all this is the same one (rinse and repeat if necessary) God has been showing me for a couple of weeks now. It’s not about rules. It’s about the heart. It’s not about me being better or worse than anyone else. It is about all of us needing the same savior. Nothing we have done or will do can make us any more or less loved by God. I don’t have to prove anything. I don’t have to tow the line or make sure all my t’s are crossed and my i’s are dotted. It is simply accepting that I’m dirty, just like everyone else. There is no amount of life scrubbing I can do to make myself worthy of what God offers me freely. He stands with the shampoo bottle in hand, ready to lather my mess again until I finally get the point. Just like I cannot keep my hair perfectly clean, free from oil, dirt, dead skin etc – I cannot live a clean enough life to not need Jesus. Thankfully, God has a big bottle of shampoo, as long as I continue to recognize my need for Him (aka, realize my hair still isn’t clean), He’s there to give me another rinse and repeat.