Jesus Christ and the superstar.....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

     I don't claim to be a Biblical scholar.  I do not claim to be an authority on doctrine or theology but I do know that in my 18 years of being a Christian and reading the Bible I am yet to find someone who was a "superstar" because of their association with Jesus.  Yes, some of them had notoriety, but it always turns to rejection by the world. Yet, in today's "Christian" world we strive to be accepted by the world and to have notoriety and well.. to be superstars.  I have been guilty of this too...but why?  Why do I crave the acceptance of the world?  Why do I long for the world to hold me in high esteem?  Now, before you start your comment back to me about how we are to "love the world" and how I am being "judgmental" read the rest of my post and then decide if you feel that way.
      I lived in the world.  I rolled around in the filth, loneliness, anger, hatred, abuse and bitterness of the world.  I would go to church as a teenager with my Grandpa and curse out the youth pastor and tell everyone at the youth meeting that they were morons for following Jesus.  I took pride in being against Jesus.  I believed that God existed I just made the choice to not be on His side.  I know the desperation of wanting to be loved but being so caught up in sin that it blinds you to the truth.  I am grateful that in my rock bottom homeless days on the streets of Detroit that God spared my life.  I still do not know how, other than God spared it.  I remember quite clearly the decision made to give my life to Jesus.  I think about it often.  I remember the rejection I got from some of the people I used to hang out with.  I remember the feeling of not having a "friend" in the world.  I was changed. I worked very closely with the homeless community after giving my heart to Jesus.  I would give them food and a drink and then tell anyone who would listen what Jesus had done for me.  There were times when people would listen.  I even prayed with a few to accept Jesus as their savior.  But there were many who would laugh at me or threaten me and I would be rejected.  Only Jesus could actually be given "superstar" status, if you will, in the Bible.  I mean, He came to earth, born of a virgin, was the son of God and preformed miracles.  People would flock to wherever He was.  They would walk for days to hear him speak.  Yet, in the end..He was rejected by those very same people.  Truth is... when we give our hearts and lives to Jesus we WILL be rejected by the world.  That's the way it is supposed to be.  Actually, we are too, to reject the world...not reject the PEOPLE..but the world.  Jesus spoke quite plainly when asked what someone needed to do to follow Him.. He said:

Mark 8:34-35

New International Version (NIV)

The Way of the Cross

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."

     So I ask you again... why are we seeking notoriety.  If we are denying ourselves as Jesus said we need to do, then why are we so self centered in our pursuit of a "ministry" a "career" a ...fill in the blank?  It is scary when I take inventory of my life when this is the measuring stick I am to use.  

     Don't be confused.. I LOVE the people who are in the world.  I love them so much that I don't want to just be their friends and have them like me I want them to know that Jesus LOVES them and that He died for them.  It is cruel to "in the name of love" not share the truth of Jesus with people.  It is cruel to say "I am not going to judge"  No one said you were called to judge.  No one gave you that responsibility.. you are COPPING OUT.  Don't judge... share Jesus in Love.  

     Personally, I am daily asking God to scrub out of me anything that keeps me from this calling on my life.  Dying to self is a hard (understatement of the century) process, but I can't be filled with Jesus if there is any "self" left.  I want to be filled by Him.  I want to share more of Him with others.  I want "my" life to be fully His.  I long to have people say of me when I am gone.. She loved Jesus. 

<3 Heather

Security and all things comfy.....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

There is something about me that is inherently comfort seeking.  It starts as early as I wake up and start the death march to my coffee machine.  I seek comfort.  There is something so "wrong" about that.  More and more lately I have been aware of my selfishness and my complacency.  It is time for a change..a drastic change in my life.
I was reading in Matthew where Jesus told the first disciples to follow Him...

Matthew 4:18-22

New International Version (NIV)

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

These guys didn't even ask questions.  I would have been like "umm Jesus do you not SEE that i am fishing here..give me a second."  It seems irrational to just stop everything you are doing.. in their case.. stop their job, their livelihood, their way of life and just follow Him.  But I get it.. I have made that decision (not as easily as these guys.. truth be told it took some more convincing)  and I left all I was and was doing and followed Jesus.  Then... I just settled into a "christian" job and a "christian" way of life.  I became comfortable.  I was alright with weekly services that I would plan music for.  I was cool with everyday church as usual.  Every now and then I would get passionate about change but if it got shot down I did not fight for it.. I just accepted it and kept floating on the lazy river of my comfortable, cozy, christian life.  But God has been waking me up in a drastic way.  I don't want to be comfortable I don't want to settle for a float on a lazy river.

I also read in John 15(the message)

 1-3 "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
 4"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

 5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

 9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.

It is clear to me that just "choosing" to follow Jesus is not enough.. you have to "live" in Jesus.  HE is the vine we are the branches...yeah, I know the kid song.  Being intertwined with Jesus, grafted in.. there is going to be pruning.  That..does NOT sound comfortable.  But it says that in order to produce fruit we have to be.   Any living vine has to be trimmed of the things that will choke out the fruit.  In my life I am seeing complacency and comfort seeking as things that are choking me...keeping me from being more fruitful.  No more.  I am done with it.

I encourage each of us to search our lives.  What are the things that are in need of being trimmed off?  Are there things in our lives that we are clinging too like a security blanket?  If so why?  What do we need to lay down?  Jesus was HARD CORE.  I don't remember reading that He ever made life easy for any of His followers.  The choices they were asked to make were not easy.  They gave up everything to follow Him and then they stayed with Him.  I don't know about you, but the choices I put the "christianeese" stamp of "is God calling me to this?" are pretty ridiculously small compared to the Disciples.  Not to make light of our life choices, just some compare and contrast.  In other countries we have people who have to make a choice that affects their life.  We have people who literally risk their lives to follow Jesus.  I want my life to be a radical one that is so much so that when people look at it they get uncomfortable.. they become aware of things that God wants to get a hold of in their life.  I want to be a life that shows Jesus' love so radically that it encourages others to do.

God, my prayer is to be with You.  I want to abide in You.  I want my life to be so overflowing with fruit that my branches are heavy.  It scares me to even ask and pray this..but I want more of You in my life.


New song Lyrics....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Heather Williams 6/15/2012

The end is the Beginning
What you lose you will gain
There’s a hope in the destruction
Of what lies beneath the pain

Oh the pain of reconstruction
The thought of letting go
Has me turning in my stomach
And acheing in my bones

But I can’t
Hold on
And move at all

I’m letting go
I’m laying down
This rusted treasure

His glory in me
Not just filling my needs
But giving everything
To the one who knows me
One who gave it all
So I’m letting go

The wanting the desires
The burning of those fires
Bing me close to a place I don’t want to be
Oh quench this thirst inside
To be everything to my pride
Oh I’m sick of being who I want to be

Let go
Let go
I want to lose control
Let go
Let go
Of me