Reclining

Luke 7:36

“he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.”

I always used to laugh and wonder what it would have looked like to see Jesus reclining: feet up, arms behind his head, truly relaxed.

Obviously we don’t know if that’s what the passage means, but we do know it suggests Jesus was relaxed and that’s something that strikes me as odd.

He’s in a Pharisee’s home, absolutely knowing they disapprove of him, knowing in a few minutes a “sinful woman” will anoint him and he would be judged for allowing her to do so, and yet he’s unphased.

What does that tell me?

No matter where Jesus was, His nature was constant, unchanging, and He was never insecure simply because He was n front of those who did not approve of Him.

I could learn to do that better. If I were having dinner with people who I felt judged me or disliked me or were maybe just indifferent to me, I honestly would act on guard and I certainly would have felt embarrassed if someone came and “washed my feet”. But Jesus isn’t and who is the one we are following?

The Pharisees care about appearances and not the heart, but Jesus is the opposite. What about you?

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Just as He said

As I read Luke on Good Friday to remind myself of Christ’s sacrifice, only a few sentences in and the Lord spoke to me about my current situation.

Luke 22:13 – They left and found things just as Jesus had told them.

The Lord has clearly orchestrated a new adventure in my life. He has provided a job for me, but in Denver, Colorado.

In many ways I am scared and in mourning. You see, I am leaving what has been my home for the past 17 years. Our house is being sold, I’ll be living out of a suitcase, leaving Arizona not really knowing my future. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, anxious, and actually depressed.

Of course, I am excited and grateful, but sometimes the logistics of the move and future are like a huge wave about to crash onto me.

Except for one day where I fell a part, I have had utter peace and it’s because of this wonderful concept in Luke 22:13.

If you know that the Lord has give you that job, house, relationship, if He’s told you to leave, you will be taken care of. According to the passage, you will find things just as Jesus told you.

That means you will not need to worry over logistics. He’s called you there, so you will be taken care of.

I have peace because I am in the hands of my Father who loves me and knows me better than anyone. I couldn’t be in better hands, so why would I worry?

No Trying

Luke 6:19

“and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him.”

Isn’t that amazing? Here the disciples and Jesus are surrounded by people, crowds, throngs of people.  If it were you or I, I am sure we would feel claustrophobic, that’s how crowded I imagine it was. And there are sick people, lame people, I’d imagine it was chaotic.

What is it they are all doing? They are desperately trying to touch Jesus to be healed.

This shocks me to my core because in this passage we have people trying to touch Jesus for His power, but cannot reach him. He we are, able to communicate with our Lord, able to have the most intimate relationship with him and yet we take it for granted.

We are not in a line waiting to meet him, we are not out of reach of God’s power.

All we have to do is reach out and touch Him.

Nothing is stopping us.

Jesus Calls Levi

Luke 5:27-32

It’s remarkable when you have read a passage your entire life and yet you never fully understood it. I do think as followers of Christ, that continues to be true all your life. God continues to reveal meaning in all of His word until the day we die.

To me, this passage is extreme conviction for all of us. Christians tend to get a bad rep for judging others and criticizing people’s life styles and choices. Unfortunately, a lot of believers do this (many are loving and forgiving), but sin is just as much a part of them as it is non believers, one of its forms is judgement and prejudice.

Let me remind you of something my Christian friends. By all means Levi appeared to be a major sinner of that day. The pharisees certainly considered him too lowly to sit with Jesus, a rabbi and our God.

BUT, Jesus already asked Levi to follow Him and Levi “got up, left everything, and followed him.”

That’s it! Nothing else matters. Stop condemning. Do you see Jesus doing that? Stop trying to change someone’s personality. Jesus only spoke to them in love. And if they follow Him, as Levi did, they have as much of a right to eat at the table with Jesus as you do.

Job 12:14-15

This will probably be a short and simple post, but I felt this specific passage is very significant.

“What he tears down cannot be rebuilt.”

This verse reminds me that things in our life that have failed, things we have lost, and people who have left our life need to be accepted and let go. Now, this doesn’t apply to every loss.

O’ll give two examples to illustrate what I intended. If you are in an unhealthy relationship with someone, whether a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend, and you can’t see that, God may take it into His own hands to end that relationship and instead of trying desperately to get it back and mourn over the loss, consider the possibility that it was the Lord’s will and it’s set in stone.

I was personally thinking about being fired from my first conservation job. Even in the moment of being fired, I knew God was delivering from a job that brought me little joy. So, instead of becoming more insecure over it and analyzing what happened, where I went wrong over and over again, I accepted it, because when it’s His will, nothing stops it.

The other line that personally stuck me was, “If he holds back the waters, there is drought.” Sometimes, I feel like I am in a figurative drought. I find myself asking the Lord for answers and hearing none, seeking His will and receiving no direction. Even in raising support, though I am incredibly blessed with generous people, there are at least moments of drought when you seem to be at a stopping point.

Anyways, it is comforting to me, that any type of drought is from the Lord and in His control. He’s only holding back the waters because He knows it’s the best for us.

I guess that’s why I love 14-15. Because if I know God is always in control and  I can do nothing to change that, I am able to rest in His power and embrace even when things are not easy.

God at the Phoenix Zoo

We look at paintings, drawings, animation, films, clothes, pottery, and sometimes say in amazement how incredibly detailed the artistry is. We just can’t believe the creator took that much time and effort to put in the detailed pattern, image, even the detailed story. Yet, here we have a God who put so much detail into all His creations. He picked out all the colors on a peacock, he chose every freckle on a person, and He knows your story. THAT is amazing! We should praise Him more for that. Anyways, I went to the Phoenix Zoo yesterday and just thanked God for different things as I walked around. Pictures included 🙂

Thank you for the brilliant patterns on the skin of a snake.

Thank you for the funny confused look in the eye of a lizard. (A bearded dragon in this case).

Thank you for the way males, sometimes become an incredibly beautiful color in certain seasons.

Thank you for how lizards do push ups to show off, and how they dart back and forth so quickly it’s like magic.

Thank you for how truly friendly and cute a salamander looks.

Thank you for the high pitched cute bark the prairie dogs make.

Thank you for making the so-called “ugly” creatures so vital to our survival and world.

Thank you for the elusiveness of the wolf. That we , as humans, can not force them to be seen, but when they choose to be seen we’re in awe.(They’re so elusive, I have never gotten a picture of them from the zoo :o)

Thank you for making giraffes the watch guards of the Savannah and because of how gracefully tall they are, we can easily spot them.

Thank you for making the furry, long-eared fennec fox nocturnal so we can remember we need to rest during the day as well as at night.

Thank you for the gentle, yet powerful call of the quail and even the annoying rattling call of other birds!

Thank you for the intricately colored rainbowed face of a male mandrill.

Thank you for the look of scrappiness the baboons possess.

THANK YOU FOR THE GENTLE, WISDOM LIKE LOOK OF THE RHINOCEROS.

Thank you for the regal appearance of the big horn sheep.

Thank you for the image of complete laziness the king of Africa has.

Oh Lord, thank you for how vibrantly yellow the blossoms of a tree are.

Thank you that I can share my love for your flowers with the energetic bees.

Thank you for the lanky awkward beauty of the maned wolf.

Thank you that gum comes off of shoes….. :/

Thank you for the ability to sit on a bench under cool shade while listening to the different sounds of your creation.

Thank you that all adolescent creatures (humans included) go through an awkward unsure stage, like the grey flamingo youngings….. But You know they will grow into pink beautiful graceful one-legged birds, as will all creatures in Your eyes.

Thank you that animals are ignorant of the comments we make towards them. Yet, thank you for giving all of your creatures some kind of voice.

Thank you for the elegant barn owls perched always in the same spot.

Thank you, even, for the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, that they even have their own unique personalities.

Thank you for the graceful yet slinky way an alligator swims through the water.

Thank you that the slow, harmless, veggie eating tortoise is the creature that our lives them all!

Thank you for those questioning eyes of the emu.

Thank you for that goofy grin on the small Chinese Alligator’s face.

Thank you for how incredibly small a komodo dragon starts out and then becomes fiercely large.

Thank you for those puffy cheeks and emotional eyes of the orangutan.

Thank you for the baby orangutan’s hair sticking up on it’s head.

Praise God for all His creations!

Job 12:7-10

7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.