Thursday, March 29, 2012


Disciple... Following Jesus and being like him.   I feel very inspired by Andy Stanley's current series at the Northpoint Community churches called "Christians."  I want to talk about it with a review and my thoughts on his BRILLIANT message.  It reminds me of the true meaning of the word disciple and how Jesus changed the world.  The series discusses how Christian was not a name we gave ourselves but one that other people gave us.  The word Christians is only used a couple times in the Bible.  So if the name is barely mentioned in the Bible what did Jesus' followers call themselves?  Disciple is the word consistently mentioned throughout the Bible instead of Christians.

In the Bible Jesus commands his disciples to LOVE one another.  This is what Jesus calls us to do... Love one another.  John 13:35 "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another!" Andy pointed out that any time people put more emphasis on anything else other than love, we are going in the wrong direction and backwards.  People fight wars in the name of religion, churches take and use authority to leverage power but this was not what Jesus was truly about! 

Love, it is all about love. Acting like Jesus. The whole "What Would Jesus Do" idea was right on target.

A lot of people don't like Christians because they feel like we are judgmental.  From my perspective I would say for certain Christians this is the case.  I previously thought that we shouldn't judge anyone.  When in fact the only people Christians need to worry about is other Christians.  No one who is not a Christian ever said they would commit to the things Christians signed up for themselves.  In 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 it references that Christians need to be judging each other and hold another accountable for our actions.

Some people have to figure things out on their own.  We have to know what life is like without Jesus to know what grace we can have THROUGH Jesus.  With grace we are all forgiven.  It is through humbling ourselves that we receive grace.  It is when you realize you desperately need forgiveness that you can pray honestly to God that you need his grace.  Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you come back to the church and realize you need Jesus in your life as your Lord and Savor.
If we do this we will make disciples when people feel loved and accepted for who they are and not condemned.  Matthew 28:19-20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.

So the lesson here is love one another and don't criticize other people, unless you are calling attention to a Christian who is sinning. Love one another and don't judge outsiders.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Persistence in Life

Persistence to Pursue a goal is everything I have ever done.  In school, in work and in love.

In school, I have always worked hard and have never let circumstances deter me from doing the best I could. I wasn't the best in my classes.  I did well because I didn't give up.  I achieved my good grades by being consistent in studying, learning and asking for help when I needed it.  Any one can tell you if you apply yourself you can get great results.  The key is to carry on and not give up.  You may not be the top of your class, but you don't need to be.  Set your own standard and improve upon that.  If you can, you go for the highest result you feel you master.  I compared myself to myself.  I fought to be better than my last grade.  I took the endeavor to beat my personal goals.

In work I am dedicated.  I take my love of life, people and the Lord and I bring it to the work place.  We can live the life that is pleasing to the Lord in our job.  Through that I hope to be able to show others, by example, the Holy Spirit in me.  Then  when someone is interested or going through a trial I can be there for them.  The first step is to build relationships.  People are more apt to listening to what we have to say when they trust us, because then they know we are genuine. They know our heart is in the right place.  They would be more likely to come with us to church.  Then  from there the Lord is already working through us, but we have to be Bold.  We have to see the right time.

In love, I am always on a pursuit.  When I was single I went through many different stages.  When I was young, I was learning what it was but it was something I didn't fully understand. My parents loved me completely, but I didn't recognize that when I was little.  When I was older I experimented with dating people that were accidents.  I say they were accidents because almost every single one began because I needed a date to some kind of event.  I didn't realize that until I started dating people on purpose... my husband is the first person I did this with ;)  I had some extremely wise advise from my dad who said, "Jennifer, you need to stop reading about dating and relationships and find someone you like and make it happen."  I was to a point in my life where luckily I was tuned into my relationship with Jesus Christ and never have felt closer.  I was able to pray about it honestly.  I remember specifically a thought coming into my heart and it said, "Kyle would be perfect for you." I thought back to that voice and replied, "You are right."  I never talk to myself, never.  So this was divine intervention.

As a woman married to the love of my life, I am still persistent.  Every day I love my husband completely.  Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy or boast, love completely, love through good times and bad.  With Christ in the center of our relationship it is much easier to do.  Since I am married to Kyle and he is a Christian leader in our relationship it also helps keep our love in the right place.  Love is persistent, just as we have the right to pursue happiness.  We have to live our life and as my Grandmother says, "Do your very best in everything you do, and you will never have any regrets."