Tag Archives: jesus

Take Me Back

Ohmygoodness, I L O V E D late 60s/early 70s soul music like the Stylistics and the Four Tops; give me some Marvin or Stevie or even Smokey; but wow-o-wow for the Supremes, the Chi-Lites or Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, mm-mm-mmm.  A Motown Label on an old vinyl in a thrift store still sets me heart to beating fast.

It wasn’t just love songs and radio pop soul music that I loved, though, for since as far back as I can remember, I have loved-loved-LOVED music that brought the Presence of God into the room.

Andrae Crouch.

Oh, yes, Andrae Crouch.  L O V E him.  Wrote about him before HERE.  And HERE. And as far back as HERE.  Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted him for Heaven Fest this year, but breakdown in communication or something?  And he parted ways with the guy we were working through.  Sad!  *sniff, sniff

But he was just the power-and-Presence-of-the-Holy-Spirit music to me in my early teens and on.  Got to see him in person and LIVED on Andrae Crouch: Live at Carnegie Hall and later Live in London.  Had 8-tracks, cassettes and record albums.  My dad loved him, too, so there was always a lot of Andrae in the 70s for us!  This 5 or 6 minute sampler on Amazon.com – ahhhhh.  Just click on number 1 and let-er-play.  And-why can I not play the piano like that?

Ephesus Girl.

I also love the book of Ephesians.  Just always thought: now Paul knew how to communicate with these people.  It mixes the right amount of richly-romantic and mystical Bride-of-Christ imagery with just the right amount of practical here-is-how-it-is-done language.  He speaks of mystery and marriage and a spotless bride and husbands loving their wives like Christ loved the church all that.  Go get ’em, Paul!

Jesus

Sometimes the mystery and magic, though, gets muddied, lost.  Sometimes we have “seen enough to know we have seen too much” and we are dirtied and poisoned and broken and bleeding, just sitting in the yuck-of-life getting hard-hearted because tenderness leaves us too vulnerable.  An innocence stolen, a trust broken, a love damaged.

And then we remember – there is a place where those things were taken into account before I knew I would even have needed them to be.  There is a place. It is where resurrection happened, where Jesus rolled away the stone and darkness and death that had held our hearts.  Jesus had hung on a cross, yes, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.  His blood had  flowed freely to cover the wrongs done to me, the wrongs I have inflicted on others.  He bought my freedom.  He took the keys of death, hell and the grave.  He rose again and it was a done deal.

Jesus set us free and somehow the enemy managed to dupe us and has stolen our freedom and our hearts.  We sigh and say ‘Life….’

Makes me think of Gal. 3.1…O you foolish Galatians…

Or as The Message puts it~

You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.

How did we get here?

The Ephesians weren’t much better.

Despite the love letter God had given them through Pul the Apostle,  in John’s Revelation, God rebuked them,  He saw their works, knew they hated evil – He could see all that.  But He pointed out that they had fallen so very far, left their ‘first love.’  He didn’t leave them hopeless, though. He reminded them to return to that love, to remember the height from which they had fallen and go back and do the first things again. New life, new love, restoration!  Fresh.  Clean.  Whole and holy.

Sometimes you just need your spiritual innocence restored, don’t you?

As we have walked through Holy Week, I have not been  a bit interested in observing religious dates on given days of the week for the sake of remembrance alone, but I have cried out for a return, a restoration of my heart to flesh.  Transformation.  I am open to God renewing and restoring to me the JOY of my salvation {Search me, O God and know my heart} and I am praying for the resurrection power, that same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead, to give life to my heart. 

Take Me Back

 

Enter Andrae on Easter week.  A song from my way-back-in-the-day past.  Just remembered it.  Started singing it.  “Take me back – to the place where I first received You, where I first believed…” I have been singing this as a prayer all week.

Romans 8.11 Amplified   “And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.”

So, Happy Easter. May Easter (the high holy day of every Jesus follower) 2011 be for you a very holy and set apart day.   And may you be made  new and alive because what Jesus did was enough, more than enough.  And may your heart be softened and trusting again.  Return to your first love. Sing with me and Andrae, if you want. And Danni Belle Hall, “Take me back…”  yeah-let’s go remember the height from which we have fallen.  Back – not to a cross on a hill, but to the open grave of a risen Savior, where we first believed…

Shopping Carts

My current soapbox:

I would like to submit this suggestion to people everywhere:  walk the 12 feet to place your shopping cart in the cart-corral when you are finished with it, pul-eeeeeze.  Seriously?  The corrals are everywhere.  It isn’t hard.

Cart Corrals-Here is what they look like:

Be polite.  Be moral.  Be thoughtful.  And especially if you have that plastic stick-on fish-thing on the back of your vehicle?  Be an example since you are advertising that you are, indeed, a Jesus-representative.

Because…

If Jesus and the 12 Disciples came out of WalMart with 3-days worth of groceries and living supplies, sure.  Peter would be too zoned in on his stuff to think about placing the cart in the right place and Judas would probably just give it a shove and let it hit your car.  But Jesus?…

WWJD?

The question really isn’t “What would Jesus do,” as much as it is,

What is He doing – through you?  Today?  Right now, right where you are?

Because He isn’t living our lives for us.  We are.  And the way we live is His expression in the earth.   In the store.  At the restaurant.  In the parking lot and on the interstate.  It’s His expression where we work and in our homes.  So what is Jesus up to right where we stand?

Glorious Morning

“Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy…”

From William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 33

Update on Life.

It is a Monday, a glorious, beautiful Monday morning.  Heaven Fest is 5 days away.  Robbin and Jake’s wedding on Saturday was a delightful and joyful event, going off without a hitch.  There will surely be facebook pics posted soon, somewhere?…

My friend Pearl’s dad died Friday.  He had been ill for some time, but it is still never easy.  I only met him once or twice, but I know him through the big, loving family he raised, through his daughter, who is a woman to be praised.  He is whole now, and with the Lord, he has gained life.

The Great Outdoors.

Last week’s late afternoon or nighttime thunder showers have saturated our yard to a new level of green, it being August in the arid-Rocky-Mountain-region, and all.  Dave mowed and trimmed yesterday and I have spent the morning enjoying the bird-song, the gentle breeze and my time with the Lover of my soul, pulling a weed or two, harvesting a few tomatoes (leftover quesadilla with thick, juicy slices of red goodness for breakfast) and an armful of beets (to be roasted for dinner…I will try to enjoy them).  The upside-down tomato, now in its’ place for about 5 1/2 weeks is boasting 5 little spheres of future deliciousness.

Dwight Schrute on The Office: “First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go “Wow, I need this beet right now.” Those are the money beets.”

I’m reading a provocative and poetic book.

From Eternity to Here – Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God by Frank Viola.  I started before family reunion and am just entering part two (about halfway through).  It is so good.  I have so little time, but I am enjoying it thoroughly everytime I open it.  Fresh revelation.  Resonating reminders.  Goooooooood stuff.  Join me?

O Happy Day!

Tim Hughes sings it this way:

“O what a glorious day

What a glorious way

That You have saved me!”

Turn it up, sing along.  Dance a little. 

It IS a glorious morning!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Praise Him all day long!

Service

I’ve heard the real me is who I am “in the dark,” who and what I become when I think no one sees.

This morning the opening line of a poem came to me*,one that impacted my thinking way back in the day, probably almost 30 years ago now.  You gotta love Google.  I typed in what I remembered and there it was.  It’s about serving.  It’s about the exuberance of our faith being translated into true love, Jesus-love.  It’s about letting the enthusiastic God-talk line up with the daily walk. It is about serving like Jesus did.  It is who I wanna be when I grow up, even when, especially when, no one else sees…

You know, Lord, how I serve You

With great emotional fervor

In the limelight.

You know how eagerly I speak for You

At women’s groups.

You know how I effervesce when I

Promote a fellowship group.

You know my genuine enthusiasm

With my Bible study group.

 

But how would I react, I wonder

If You pointed to a basin of water

And asked me to wash the calloused feet

Of a bent and wrinkled old woman

Day after day

Month after month

In a room where nobody saw

And nobody knew.

-unknown

It’s time to live the life…Jeanie

*The remembrance of this piece may have been triggered by Confluence’s block party this past Saturday in the City.  Some very busy HF leadership team gave their entire day to doing pedicures for people who could never afford it. They truly washed feet all day long.

Happy Easter ~ Joyous Easter!

Matthew 28: There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said.

 

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation.

The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.

Romans 8 The Message

Easy like Sunday Morning

You children of the 70s will recognize the title of this blog referencing the song, “Easy” by the Commodores.  Frankly, church girl that I was, I couldn’t relate to the metaphor of Sunday being easy back then because Sundays were the hardest day of the week (Sunday morning church, people for Sunday dinner, choir practice at 4, Sunday night church, etc), but it was intriguing.

Sometimes I still cannot grasp the truth of what Jesus said about life following Him – that to follow Him would be to find rest for our souls (our minds, our wills, our emotions – our very personalities!)  He even said that His yoke (which was a wooden beam used to tie two oxen together as they trudged forward in their very hard labor) would be easy.  Easy.  Seriously?  When?  Where?

What is the essence of what Jesus really said?  Well, here it is 3 ways (Mt. 11.28-30):

Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  NIV

Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to Me.  Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of graceI won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” THE MESSAGE

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-ladened and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls].  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.  THE AMPLIFIED

Following Jesus is following REST!

Following Jesus and His plan for my days is NOT: ill-fitting (having a job to do but being stripped of the resources or authority to do it), heavy, harsh, hard, sharp (pain-causing), or pressing (can’t seem to stay ahead – losing your breath, feeling pushed), wearisome, burdensome, hard work (work is good, a blessing, but there is a work that is just nothing but hard and life-sapping), loud and abrasive.

Following Jesus and His plan for my days IS:  go to Him, run, maybe.  Because He is gentle and I will find rest for my whole being because He is going to give me rest!  In Him?  Real rest, recovery, living the abundant life freely, lightly.  Ease.  Relief.  Refreshment.  He’ll re-create me.  And blessed quiet for my mind, my will, my emotions.  Quiet for my emotions!  I am sensing/feeling freer and lighter already!

And His call on my life?  The work (good works) He prepared for me before time began (Eph. 2.10)?  Easy.  Light.  Comfortable, gracious, and pleasant.  Not to mention wholesome (whole, not fragmented, and holy).

I’ll trade this for all the churchy titles and religious service I have done all my life any day.  Where do I sign up?…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  I am going to Him.  I am going to follow Him and watch how He does this thing.  I want to do life the way Jesus did…this is vital to life…”Why in the world would anybody put chains on me…”

Christmas Award

 

Audrey has bequeathed upon me the Christmas Spirit Award.  I am suppose to tell 5 things I love about Christmas and bestow the award upon 5 other people for them to do the same.

Five Things I Love About Christmas:

1.  The Christ of Christmas.  I am a Jesus follower, lover and worshiper.  Everything, and I mean everything is because of Him, about Him, to honor Him.  The reason I live is to worship You, Lord…

2.  Dave’s joy.  Dave IS Mr. Christmas.  Dave loves everything about it.  He comes alive in the shortest days and longest nights of the year and makes my life merry and bright.

3.  The five kids God gave me so I would understand the sheer JOY of giving them what they need to live (and get why He loves it so, too) and watching them, as they marry and have children, experience the same!

4.  The five grandkids, of course.  I did not know I could or would become one of those grandmas, but I guess I am.  And I LOVE doing Christmasy things with these amazing, wonderful, sweet, funny, charming, talented, and loving children.  They are beyond words for me, really.  They renew my Christmas spirit regularly!

5.  The symbols, the lights, the music and sounds, the smells, the meanings, the good wishes, the cookies, the friends, the laughter, the gifts I get to give, the Gift God gave to me, I love it all!  All this and more…

Five People Who Also Get the Christmas Spirit Award

Because it is Christmas, I am keeping this a secret and not giving my 5-selected-blogger-friends the award – so that they may get their shopping and baking and all else Christmas done. :)  Really, I am not just trying to keep the award for myself!…

May YOUR days be merry and bright…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  All this focus on Chrismas…am I forgetting other stuff???  Oh well, who cares? :)

Healing Rain is Falling Down

Times are hard right now for a lot of people.  A newer friend of mine just lost her job and is now homeless, living in her car.  Another friend’s brother-in-law is having to work across the state, away from his wife and young children to keep food in their mouths.  An amazing pastor’s wife has breast cancer and is facing major surgery in a few days.  One beautiful family struggles through prolonged accusation and custody hearings, sapping life-strength one agonizing day at a time.  A brother is fighting his way back to his family from addictions that have ripped his soul, and crushed his family’s hearts.  Everywhere I look, the result of the fall is wreaking havoc.

Yet, in these same circumstances and many more I am watching, grace is flowing like water.  The faithful are rejecting the fear and looking to Jesus, and oh, what a beautiful sight as their faces reflect the glory of the One who is holding them steady – walking right beside them through these things.

Think about this, my friends, and don’t lose heart.  This is what Jesus did so He could complete HIS work in YOU:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12.2-3

He is your Author, your story-writer and He endured it all so He could make sure it ends with a glorious flourish.  He is in all the way to the finish with you!

Dave and Tara blew me away singing the last part of a Michael W. Smith song at church on Sunday.  I did a quick search for it this morning and the video actually captures, right toward the end, what I have been “seeing” in the Spirit in the lives of the people I mentioned here – a looking to Jesus, a receiving of His healing and blessing.  Check out the video and stay with it, and then sing it, declare it:

Healing rain, I’m not afraid to be washed in heaven’s rain. 

Healing rain is falling down.  I’m not afraid!  I’m not afraid!

Healing rain is falling down. 

I’m not afraid!  I’m not afraid!

Don’t lose heart.  Don’t be afraid.  He is not finished yet…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  He. Is. My. Author.  My story is His.