Food for Thought…

Food for Thought…Jesus didn’t ask the woman at the well to leave because talking to her would give the appearance of evil. He spoke to her…He counseled her…He loved her with the truth….and look how many people she ran to tell about Him. Good thing Jesus didn’t care about ”the appearance” it gave. He only cared about finding a lost sheep. Guess that’s why it made the Pharisees so angry.

March Winds of Change…

March winds of change are blowing!!

On this 14th day I feel that God is preparing me for some awesome changes in my life!

Change is always an adjustment but is not always bad. I feel quite certain that He has GOOD changes planned for my life that will allow me to better serve Him. My natural instinct is to reject change but with prayer it has turned to an exciting curiosity.

Unfortunately He is also giving me a lesson in patience which is not one of my strong suits…lol. Therefore, in my time of learning patience I am trying to prepare my fields for the seeds that He will be planting.

It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:31-32 NKJV

Unique Gifts…Thought for the day.

God blesses each of us with gifts. Things that I might be really good at, another may not be. And some may excel in things that I fail at. Such is life and that’s ok until someone decides that just because another is not blessed with the same gift as them that they are somehow inferior. My thought is that God blesses everyone with different gifts for a reason. A heart is an important organ but is useless without veins and blood. A brain would have no point without nerves to carry out its commands. We are the body of Christ and He has given each of us unique and important jobs. None more important than others but none exactly alike either. It’s when we learn to appreciate others for their unique gifts that we learn to love as Christ loves.

Twisted & Tangled…thought for the day…

Seems like every day is laundry day at the Van De Wiele house. So as I’m taking clothes out of the washer, I realize that, because of a loose string, a big wad of clothes is all tangled up in a big twisted mess. So what should’ve taken me a couple of minutes seemed to take forever. I could have just yanked them apart but that probably would’ve resulted in at least one ruined piece of clothing. I could’ve ignored it and threw the whole mess in the dryer but probably would have not only ruined clothes but it would have taken much longer to dry. So instead I carefully untangled the whole mess & located the troublemaking string. At this point I could have just cut it off or pulled it out but that would have only been a temporary fix at best. If I had pulled it, it may have completely unraveled the shirt. If I had cut it, it would have eventually worked its’ way out & caused more laundry dilemmas in the future. Instead, I tied it so it would not unravel further, and then cut off the excess. Un-forgiveness is much like a raveling string. Before you know it, that itty bitty string has managed to work its’ way in and around other areas of your life…where it shouldn’t be…and, if you allow it, it will work its’ way into other people’s lives. Left unattended, it will tangle & bind you, your family, your relationships, and most importantly, your relationship with God. You can ignore it, but you will end up with a ruined piece of your life that you will never be able to mend. You can cut off the person and refuse to forgive them, but you risk destroying yourself & others close to you in the process. And then you still have un-forgiveness inside of you just waiting to unravel & tangle up again. Or you can tie a knot in it by forgiving, snip off the hurt & anger, and move on. Either way, you are the only one that can deal with the mess. The question is, how much damage are you going to allow before you deal with it correctly?

Beautifully Broken…Thought For The Day…

I’ve posted before about how the “church” isn’t a building. It isn’t walls, pews, & carpet. It is the body of Christ.

So what do we picture when we picture the body of Christ?

Do we picture the perfect man that was all God and all man who walked this earth and was perfect….without blemish or sin? Do we picture a perfect building, filled with perfect people, who show up every Sunday with the perfect clothes and sit with their perfect children and sing with their perfect voices?

I know I don’t. It was once said that by allowing an obvious sinner into “the church” that it gave the “appearance of evil”. Well I’m not sure what “church” that particular person was referring to, but the last time I checked, the ONLY person that wasn’t a sinner was Jesus Christ. Pretty sure if we stopped allowing sinners to be a part of the church then there would no longer be one.

No….that’s not the body of Christ that I envision. The body that I think of is the one that was bloody, beaten, broken, and hung on a cross because of my sins. The body that I see is the one that is no longer perfect. It’s damaged. It’s messy. It has scars. That’s what I see when I think of the body of Christ. And I believe that’s what God sees when He looks at the church. A body of broken people. A group of people that have obvious imperfections but are striving to heal and serve Him. A beautifully broken body of Christ.

The beaten body of Christ doesn’t give the appearance of perfection. It gives the appearance of sacrifice. And it wasn’t sacrificed for perfect people because they don’t exist. Never have, never will.

So rather than spending your life searching for a “church” that doesn’t have “the appearance of evil” and doesn’t allow obvious sinners in, then just be aware that the illusion of perfection is more dangerous than the honesty of brokenness because the broken body seeks healing while the illusion of perfection makes itself it’s own God.

Those Who Sow Discord…Thought for the Day

In John 8, the Bible tells us of the woman caught in the very act of adultery. The religious leaders had brought her to Jesus, told Him of her sins, and stood in anxious expectation of His next move. Now….there is no doubt that she had sinned as she had been very conveniently caught in the a (we’ll come back to that). So Jesus would have been within His rights to dole out a punishment….to make a public spectacle of her…as if the religious leaders hadn’t already done that…and He in fact was the only one that had that right. Let’s think about what might have happened had He done that. Do you think it would have brought her closer to God or pushed her farther away? I believe she would have never found or even looked for forgiveness if that had happened. Now….that does NOT mean that Jesus was saying that she should continue living a life of sin. In fact, scripture tells us that He told her to go and sin no more. So my question is.…..if you have faced a situation where you know someone is living a sinful life….and you are praying about it…counseling them about it….you have sought advice from other people of faith (of course while keeping anonymity)…..and have slowly begun putting God’s plan for this person into place in the hope of drawing them closer to God and farther from their sun. BUT another person who deems themself as an authority on all things of God, demands that the situation be handled their way regardless of the hurt and humiliation that it will cause and most likely drive this poor broken soul so far from God that they may never find their way back. They haven’t prayed about it…..they have most of what they consider ”the facts” wrong…and they don’t even know the person’s name…all because they believe that it gives the appearance of evil. Which is right? In John 8…the religious leaders were correct in their accusations…..but the fact is…it is not our reponsibility to condemn. It’s our responsibility to serve as Jesus would. With the love and compassion that He has…otherwise we are merely clanging cymbals. (Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1) And I for one am thankful that He is not in the habit of doling out our punishment the moment we sin because I’m pretty sure the end would come quickly for all of us. On another note….scripture doesn’t tell us how the religious leaders caught the woman in the act. We don’t know if there was planning or scheming involved but if there was, the Bible is very clear about what God thinks of those who try to sow discord. (These six things the Lord hates,Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look,A lying tongue,Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans,Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies,And one who sows discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19). So…if you are looking for a church to worship where everyone there is already perfect….or at least gives the “appearance” of perfect…then you’re in the wrong church because Jesus was the only perfect man to ever walk on the earth. I’ve heard it said that a church isn’t a museum for the saints but rather a hospital for the sinners. And I’d rather be where the Healer is.