The Message (MSG)
15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
♥The Message♥The Message♥The Message♥The Message♥The Message♥
The View: I think that’s the name of a television show, though I’m uncertain. One thing I don’t like to listen to is a bunch of gagging-cackling-chirpping-chipping at people, talking about other people. It’s why I can’t listen to that whole panel of sports people talk, or the news people sit their and go on and on, and on. Even that Nancy Grace, she needs to rethink what Grace means. The real Grace, I mean. Any who… While channel surfing I’ve wandered onto them, The View, and they just seem so willing to pick on people who they say pick on people. Can two wrongs ever be right? No, two wrongs are, well, wrong.
Now if you’d like a different view, an upside to the downside sort of view, come on in with me today where we’re going to get a view from a very different sort of point of view, Paul’s view from the inside out.
Are you lord of your streets, calling or the shots. Sometimes firing and hitting a few people in the process? Or, is the Lord, Lord over your life and mine? Are we taking Him to the streets?
Let me start off by bearing my little soul. I’ve been beginning to get a bit down, not out, but down. Everyone keeps asking us what we are doing for the holidays, how big of a turkey, what presents have you purchased? What do you want for CHRISTmas. Every year for the last few years that is so hard to go through. I’m not knocking all of you who have, I’m just asking all of you who “have” be somewhat sensitive to the “have nots”. It’s easier to have not if you don’t remind us. It’s not hard being in the have nots, unless the haves continue to mount in your face all the money they are spending. So please don’t do that. And I don’t speak from just my “view”. Lots of us say the same thing. For instance instead of handing someone a turkey, have them over for a meal. Some of the people getting the turkeys don’t have their electricity on, or they don’t have the appliance (oven) to roast them. Think from a viewpoint of where they are sitting and ask. Ask them. Not all people down and out these days are looking for a handout. They are however looking for the human race to view them as if they are still allowed to live within it’s borders. Believe it or not people who are losing their homes, losing their jobs, and losing their self-esteem were sitting once right where you are. So be careful how lofty your view is from up on top of your perch.
So here is my advice for all of us this Thanksgiving, CHRISTmas and New Years. We’re down, we’re not out. So don’t you be either. I’m not sure what y’all are facing, but facing that we aren’t out of the game of life is a good thing. GOD’s seen fit to continue to keep the poor among the world for a reason, and just maybe it was the reason he came as a sweet little baby born not in a beautiful and decorated home filled with presents nice, but into the arms of a simple young woman and man under the star gazed sky of His Father GOD.
Lest you think I’ve been a bit harsh, I’m about to hit myself with my best shot. So before you quit reading and say, that Jeannie is such a lecturer, know this… I’m hard on myself. Why? Because growing up is so much better than being immature in my faith, as a human, and well, I want to grow up, because I don’t want to be a toys are me sort of human. Stuff is stuff, but people, this is the world which GOD has all His Pinterest! If you don’t know what that is yet, ask me.
So dust yourself off and let GOD pick you up again. After all He handpicked you to be where you are because He entrusts you to be able to do all this whole lot of what the world considers to be nothing, in your eyes, you are His and that makes you SOMETHING SPECIAL. Being something special in GOD’s eyes is so much better than having a whole lot of special stuff. It’s the stuff that we are made of. Stuffed to the gills with GOD-incidental living, with GOD-incidental blessings, filled to the rim with the rumblings and ramblings of GOD’s glorious goodness in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.
Maybe we should start taking these vows in friendship to the street and outside the walls of the church, or even inside. We keep hearing it preached in the church, but the same names and prayer requests keep showing up there as well. It’s funny how when years ago my husband lost his job in the beginning of all this craziness people looked at him as if it was his fault, that’s what people did back then. Now, find someone who once had a job where they were somebody, and they lose their job, and the church prays. The people come to their aid. Why is that? Isn’t this the opposite of what we are to do?
The Steps Leading to Your ♥Heart♥
I’m speaking to myself as well. On Sunday there was a homeless man on the front steps of our church. Before you think I’m going to condemn someone, know this, I’m looking at myself for not taking it a step further; pun intended.
You see this man, this smiling, cigarette toting man was sitting homeless on the steps of the church before service. His clothes ragged, he reeked of cigarettes, but he was smiling and saying good morning. My husband and I smiled, said, good morning, and I even engaged in some conversation. Whilst others took a long way to go into the church, I’m sure so that this man in the corner of the steps wouldn’t be bothered by them, I’m sure! Now I’m disappointed in myself because what I should have done, even in my state of having no money to give him, I should have offered him a seat next to us in the pew. I should have taken my comfortable shoes off and brought him into the service to hear all about a service, talking about service. How would that be had I taken things a step further.
Yes, the man might have said no, but that was his to choose. Yes the man might have just wanted money. Yes the man might have wanted to just have money to purchase something I wouldn’t approve of. Heck what do I know. You might go home and take medication to make you feel well. Some of you drink to calm yourselves and you sit in a pew on Sunday and talk about having His peace. When do we stop judging and we start viewing ourselves as people in need of a Savior, so that the people in need of a Savior can see that we are just as much in need, and that is why we do what we do for Him.
You see I don’t care that you still have it all. Or it looks like you have it all. I have so very much. I have a husband, son and daughter who I love, and they love me. I have Jesus and we’ve all accepted Jesus in my household. How very, very blessed I am. It might not add up to much from the view of the world, or that worldly women’s television show, but in my world it’s hallelujah praise the Lord, me and my household. That sweet peeps in a purchase you will never ever be able to pay for, or get in any earthly store. It’s free, which in a world where we believe we never ever get something for nothing, we don’t believe this. Yet a bunch of people are consistently trying to get something for nothing, but they don’t want this GIFT. The best GIFT EVER! It’s free for our taking, but it wasn’t free for GOD–He sent His Son. Some of you know what that is like. You have sons and daughters who have sacrificed their comfort for our freedom. So why I ask, is it so hard for you to understand that GOD sent His Son because He loved us? Is it because you think you have to give up so much? Trust me, all that I’ve lost has been turned into my gain. It just works like that with GOD. I’m not saying you’d ever want my life of loss, but Jesus fits perfect into each of the plans that GOD has for you and I. Each step we take will be in a different way, each step however should lead less into temptation and more into stepping forward offering up the same goodness on our plate, of the grace that set us free.
I don’t even know who reads this blog. I don’t know if anyone ever does. Maybe nobody reads it. Maybe it’s criticized, laughed at, or maybe nobody ever enters in. It is my heart though. I’m just sharing myself. That’s not easy either. I find it so much easier to pen then to talk. When I talk I ramble because most of you make me nervous. Maybe you find that fun too, I have no clue. Some of you though, my close friends, you allow me to be me, and when I’m with you, it’s like a friendly glove. A glove I slip into and I feel at home.
Do you want that comfort with a BFF? Let Jesus be it. There isn’t a human on earth, not daughter, not son, not husband, not man, nor woman nor even beast, who can give you this relationship. This Everlasting peaceful relationship. If you’ve already got it, act as if you live in the community of grace and love, not the community of a body of people all packed into a perfect pew on Sunday in your absolute stepped up best. This is advice for me as well. For this past Sunday I failed GOD but most of all I failed someone. Someone whom though I have nothing tangible to give, I could have showed him kindness, acceptance and that he is still wanted in society. It doesn’t matter to me where he’s been, or that I gag from the smell of cigarette smoke (former smokers, we are worst, yes?=) I can let all that go, because Jesus took all of me all the way to Calvary.
So, the moral of this story, besides my own inadequacy’s, is that we sure do need a lot of CHRISTmas, and we need the view from the Babe in the manger, to be the road of Jesus on Calvary, who went from that road, to the cross, to the grave, to the sky, for you and I? That’s the only view. It’s the only gift that is One Savior fits all sizes, shapes, races, creeds and colors. It’s One Savior Fit for Mankind.
♥Admit♥Believe♥Confess♥Receive♥Grow♥Go♥Show and Tell♥
16-18 One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to us by yelling out, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
19-22 When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.
22-24 The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.
25-26 Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
27-28 Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”
29-31 The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”
32-34 They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.
35-36At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”
37 But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”
38-40 When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.
Until all have heard, seen and know of His love,