Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today my 2 year old son had a friend over to play. Whenever his friend picked up a toy, my son, with his arms already full of toys, would chase him around saying, "mine. mine. mine." I kept saying to my son, "Let's share. You have so many toys and all your friend wants to do is play with just one. Please share."

As this scene played out over and over, I couldn't help but think that the same is true in my life. How many times do I have so very many "toys" and yet I say "mine. mine. mine." whenever someone else may want or need them. Sharing as a life-style is something Jesus addresses time and time again. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us to not store up treasures and as soon as we think to disagree with him because we really think we must store up for the future, he immediately tells us not to worry because he loves us too much to not take care of our every need.

If I ask my children to share their prized possessions (right now their toys), shouldn't I be willing to do the same? Shouldn't I be willing to share what is in my pantry, at least one of the coats that hang in my closet, some of those books that are collecting dust? How about sharing my home, sharing my time and energy, sharing the money that I've so carefully stored up over the years? 

"Don't keep storing your stuff in the hopes that you may use it or need it someday. If you need something, I'll take care of you because I love you and see each of your needs."
(Jesus seems to say this in Matthew 6:19-34

Sunday, September 14, 2008


"Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'"
- Jesus of Nazareth

So, Jesus is sitting at a dinner with a new friend, Matthew, who collects taxes for a living. Matthew's friends are kind of a shady bunch and tax collectors have a horrible reputation. As they were eating, some super religious people asked Jesus' followers "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" Jesus overheard the conversation and chimes in this response: "Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:9-13)

If Jesus tells people to go and learn what this means, it is probably important for me to do the same. "Sacrifice" to the super religious people meant doing all the right things at the temple and looking perfect before God and man. Jesus says that God wants lives that are full of mercy not doing out of obligation or show.

I am continually reminded that even if I am doing something "good" or even something God loves, it is nothing if my motive is: to feel good about myself, for others to see how "generous" I am, to do what is expected of me, or to do line by line what Jesus says. If serving at a soup kitchen, organizing food drives or giving money to orphans is just another bullet point on my "to-do" list, I'm still not loving God. My actions mean nothing if I am not in Christ and Christ is not in me. Jesus continually tells us that life isn't about doing but being. And that by being (in Him) our doing is just what He loves. hmmm . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008


My little guy has started talking in a very loud voice. He knows it gets him attention and he doesn't seem to mind - especially when he has to compete for attention with his little sister. I continually have to tell him that I hear him, that I see him and that I care what he has to say - therefore, he doesn't have to talk so loud for me to care/hear/see.

As I read in Matthew 6 (vs. 1-18), it seems like Jesus is saying the same things to us. He talks about giving to the needy, praying and fasting.  Jesus says : "When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets . . . When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men . . . When you fast, do not look somber, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting."

Jesus seems to say, "don't show off to get attention from others". He seems to say, "I see you when you are quite - when others don't know how you give to those in need, when you go to your room and pray to me, when no one knows that you are fasting." He seems to say, "I like your quite, inside voice."

Friday, September 5, 2008


Yes, it's messy. Yes, it's stinky. Yes, there are accidents. Yes, it takes patience. Yes, things finally progress. And Yes, you move on to the next phase of growing up . . . 

Yup, I'm potty training my 2 year old son. And I can't help to think about the correlation between it and my relationship with God. Why does God put up with my messiness, my stinky-ness, my accidents and mistakes? Out of His great love, He shows me how to live. 

One time I was preparing to teach and I asked God what I needed to share and He said "life now." That my life in the present matters. That Jesus came to bring His Kingdom and that Eternity starts now. There isn't a life now and something unrelated in eternity future. My eternal life in Christ began when I declared Him as Lord of my life (Romans 10:9). Jesus' life mattered. To follow Him, we must know Him. To be like Him, we must know Him. He longs to show us how to live. And of course, it looks different than the norm . . . 
Jesus said "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist (fight back at/against) an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5:38-42
God - will you teach me to live this, to be this. May you be known as I live in you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


When you have nothing left - when you've sustained a great loss - 
when you are aware of how small you really are - 
when you are desperate for God - 
when you freely give mercy - when your motives are pure - 
when you show that peace is possible - 
when you are misunderstood because you love God -
You are blessed.

I want to be about the things that Jesus is about. But I can't unless Christ is in me. I can't give what I don't have, so I need more of Jesus.  So many people I know are unfulfilled. They pursue their career, relationships, success, money, etc. From what I can see (and I'm including myself) we often think that "doing" will give us meaning, will fulfill us, will satisfy us. As I live my life and teach my children, I have to continually remind myself that it's all about "being" not "doing". Any and all of my "doing" has to flow from me "being" in Christ (and I fully believe that being in Christ results in a lot of doing like Christ).

It is only then that we get everything - life now - life everlasting (we will continue to discuss this in days to come).

God says that "My grace is enough - my power shows through when you are weak" 2 Corinthians 12:9. God seems to says that: people see me when you don't try and do it all yourself, when you don't try to control everything, when you don't try and figure it all out, when you don't try to have all the answers. 


In Matthew 4, Jesus calls his disciples to come along with him and then begins to heal people. Crowds start to gather and follow him around - wanting to see something out of the ordinary, trying to figure out who he is or maybe hoping that he can help them or their loved ones.

As these crowds get bigger and bigger, we move to chapter 5 where Jesus goes to a mountainside and talks to his disciples. This discussion is often called "The Sermon on the Mount," however, was it really a sermon for the masses or was Jesus having a conversation with his friends, the disciples? Perhaps he is preparing them - a foreshadow of sorts - for how His Kingdom really works (those who have nothing get everything) . . . 

The kingdom of heaven is for those who are poor in spirit
Comfort will be given to those who mourn
Inheritance of the earth is for the meek
Being filled up/satisfied is for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Mercy is given to those who are merciful
Seeing God is for those who are pure in heart
The sons and daughters of God are those who bring about peace
The kingdom of heaven is for those who are persecuted because they are righteous

*Note: Obviously, I'm not a Bible scholar, but I sure love Jesus. My prayer is that Jesus will give us eyes to see His words in the way He intended.
This is my journey on being a mom who wants to be all about loving God and loving others. What better way to start than to have a year of immersing myself in Jesus. Of course, my "year" starts with the school year (Sept.) and I plan to weather it all focusing on and obsessing about my lover, Jesus.