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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pretty Boy Jesus

The Image of Jesus

We need to stop depicting Jesus as a “pretty boy.”

The Word says HE was plain.  He was ordinary so why do we chose to depict HIM as this buff pretty little boy?  Can we really truly understand the nature and image of Jesus while He walked the earth?

For a while that image was OK but I recently had an experience with Christ Jesus that changed my perception and my thoughts about how we depict Jesus.  A true image of Jesus would consist of all the characteristic of all the races.  He would look ordinary.  It bothers me to see a crucified Jesus prettily laid out on a cross because the image HE gave us was not a pretty and cute Jesus that died for me.  HE said he was beaten beyond recognition.  That means HE was bloody and in a lot of pain with raw flesh showing from beatings he had taken.  They put a crown of thorns on Jesus’s head that means that there was blood running down his face as the thorns stuck HIM in his head.  Jesus was stripped naked that means HE bore our shame and guilt.  Then they drove stakes through HIS hands and feet. Can we imagine the agony that HE was feeling? They tried to give him vinegar which was bitterness and in the midst of all that pain and agony HE said Father forgive them they know not what they have done.

The image of a pretty boy Jesus does not compare.  Does it bring comfort or does it keep us in our mess with an unwillingness to change?  The image of a bloody Jesus will change and transform your walk with God because the true image of a Crucified Jesus will set you free and change your heart and mind.  Christ Jesus died a horrified death for your sins and my sins that is something a pretty boy would not do because with a "pretty boy"... it’s all about HIM and HIM alone.  

Jesus loves us so much why is it so hard for us to show each other love?  
When we have a true depiction of the crucified Jesus then we can love him and see HIM in the right light.

*full post copied from a friend 
and fellow bloggers site
*Her website is Unveiling The Woman Within



We really do need to consider Christ 
     We see crucified and why certain depictions of him make us comfortable and others make us squirm. The Bible says he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  

Do we really understand what that means?  

He was wounded - dissolved, profaned , broken, polluted, stained, slayed

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Potter and the Clay

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”


As the lady handed it to them, the teacup suddenly spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Leave me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said; ‘Not yet!’”

“Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; ‘Not yet.’
“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then – Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet’.”
“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please; Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’.”
“Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prosperity is NOT Evil

I'm going to give you just a little excerpt of a blog article I just recently read on a "christian" blog. 

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:16-21

Does this sound like God advocates acquiring personal wealth? Does this sound like God approves of “church leaders” possessing Rolls Royces, private jets and custom-made clothing? Does the one who said, “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20) sound like He desires Pastors to live in multi-million dollar mansions while many in their congregations can hardly scrape together money to pay their bills? Do you not see the inequality in all of this?

     I understand where the author is coming from but it's not the message of prosperity that is out of line.  The message of prosperity is NOT against God's word or his will.  

     He says in Deut. 8:18 "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

     He says in Prov. 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his sons' sons, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."

     Money/Prosperity is not the issue. "The LOVE of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain."  (1 Timothy 6:10)

     Prosperity teaching is not the issue, the issue is in the hearts of each person who places something else above God.  HE wants us to take care of and minister to the poor, the widows and such.  If we're in the same boat as they are, if we're just as poor as they are, exactly how are we supposed to help them out?  How are we to do for them if we don't have more than "just enough" to get by?   How are we supposed to "DO" the work of the ministry if we are as poor as everyone around us that he called us to minister to?  The work of the ministry is NOT cheap and it must be supported in someway.  

     By the way, just in case you don't know, I'm a layman in the church, a volunteer, anything I may do I don't get paid for.  There are 7 of us in my family and we live in less than 1000sq ft.  I drive a vehicle that could go out at any minute, we have no medical insurance, and we can barely pay the bills.  It's so bad sometimes that we fall as much as 2 months behind on our bills.  I don't have really nice clothes and never have.  It's been in the upper 90's alot and we don't have AC.  If anyone ever had reason to be jealous of what others have I think I'd be pretty close to the top of the list.  But instead

Friday, July 8, 2011

Throw Away People

God has torn my heart wide open for throw away people.

     You know the people I'm talking about.  They're the ones that we decide aren't worth our time.  They're not worth our effort to deal with.  They are the beneath us.  They're difficult and problematic.  They have hurts and hang-ups just like us but we don't give them the same leeway we give ourselves.  We've become tired of "dealing" with them or people like them.  We're much happier when we don't have to be bothered with them.  Our praise rings out louder.  Our worship seems to flow easier.  Our ministry work is so much more enjoyable when they are not present.  But God says ... "your praise rings dull in my ears, your worship is not in truth and you are walking away from the very ones I placed in front of you for you to minister to. The one they see in you... is not me."

     God didn't give us the ability and right to choose who is worthy and who is not.  God didn't give us the right to give value to some and take value away from others.

Romans 3:10 says - "There is none righteous, no not one..."
Isaiah 53:6 says - "All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the LORD made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved."
In the Church, in the ministry, no matter how many people you have, no matter whether you pastor a church or run a small bible study, no matter whether you are over children's ministry or you're the janitor, no matter whether you're a greeter or a layman in the pew... God says it's time you remember where you came from.   
"I saw value in you when you were in the  midst of your mess, wallowing and satisfied in your nakedness and I forgave you.  I died for you.  Before you could ever see your need for me... I loved you.  My forgiveness,  my mercy and my grace are gifts I've given you, not for you to horde or give out only as you see fit.  I am no respecter of persons... I hear every cry, I see every tear... and I receive ALL who come to me.  
     Ananias was used by God to bring the fullness of healing and totally repentance to Saul of Tarsus, a murderer of God's people.  Ananias obeyed God though he as yet couldn't see Saul through God's eyes.
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