Don’t Mess with Mama!

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While visiting over Easter, my family began to commiserate over funny stories. All of them garnered a laugh, but the one about Mama and the Jehovah’s Witnesses took the cake. In fact, it’s so funny that I decided to share it here with you. Besides, encouragement isn’t always a lofty saying or even a Scripture reference; sometimes, it’s just a good laugh.


 

When I was a teenager, our family lived in a big neighborhood. It was really nice, but it often attracted solicitors, from the Schwan’s truck to Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW). Now, Mom wasn’t opposed to a Schwan’s frozen pizza every now and then, but she was not about to convert to JW—which should have been obvious given that the following Scripture was painted above our door post:

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b NAS).

The guys from the local JW must have had us on their list, though, because they kept coming by the house on Saturday mornings. Each time, Mom pointed to the Scripture above the door as she declined their offer, nicely but firmly.

One Saturday morning, she answered the door, and the same two men from the JW started in again with their spiel. But this time, they began to move closer and closer to her. Mom knew these guys were persistent, but they had never been aggressive.

Suddenly, one of them pointed to the ground behind him and said, “Um, Ma’am, there’s a snake trying to get in your house!” Sure enough, a black snake had curled up next to a pot in the portico, trying to avoid the hot summer sun. Only now it was pinning the JWs against Mom and the front door—and it was obvious the guys would rather barge through the door than walk around that snake!

Now totally frustrated with the JWs and the snake, Mom walked right through the two men, bent down, picked up the snake, walked across the driveway, and threw the snake into the yard, all the while explaining, “I just can’t keep these snakes from coming up to the door!”

When Mom turned back around, she realized that the JWs’ van was parked in our driveway—and that it was full of men, all with their mouths wide open!

The two guys at the door made an excuse and left in a hurry. We always wondered what they said to their friends in the van about the crazy woman who threw snakes at them. I guess they crossed us off their list as holy rollers or something, though, because they never came back to our house.

As for the snakes…it wouldn’t be the last time Mom would have to move an ornery one from our house. But I guess those tales are for another time.

In searching for meaning in this silly story, I can think of two important lessons we should all know and follow:

1. No means no; and
2. Don’t mess with Mama.


Mother’s Day is 5/13/18. If you have funny stories involving your Mom (and who doesn’t?), consider writing them down and sharing them with family over a Mother’s Day lunch. Everyone will get a good laugh, and you’ll help ensure those funny stories aren’t lost to time.

Faith, Finances, & Freedom – Spring Publications!

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I’m so pleased to share the following two publications with you—each of which include one of my articles!

 

Girlz 4 Christ

This beautiful faith-based magazine is read by girls around the world! Here’s an excerpt of my article, “Faith in Finances,” which appears in the Spring edition:

I couldn’t wait to start my first job! At just eight years old, I started pulling my little red wagon around the block collecting old bottles to recycle. I only made a few cents per pound, but I learned the importance of hard work and the value of money.
Years later, I found myself in a successful career in the business world. By the world’s standards, I was climbing the corporate ladder! Unfortunately, I was also becoming increasingly stressed, which was taking a toll on my health.

Yet when God called me away from that job so I could focus on my writing ministry, I freaked out! My identity had become so wrapped up in what I made, that I couldn’t see what God was calling me to be. It took a while, but God was able to break through my worries and redirect my heart toward Him.

My prayer for you is that you start out on a better foundation than I did. Whether you’re still pulling a red wagon, working a part-time job, or lining up summer internships, it’s never too early to put your paychecks into perspective.

Here are my top four lessons to help you live out your faith in your finances:

1. Love God, Not Money
Paul said, “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10 NAS).

If you think this only applies to wealthy people, think again. Those who have the least amount of money are often the most fixated on it.

Fortunately, Paul told us how to avoid the love of money: “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11 NAS).

Don’t love money. Love God instead, and pursue His attributes in your life.

Finish reading this article in the Girlz 4 Christ Magazine by subscribing here for FREE.

 

Faith and Freedom

Do you remember my article “A Godly Response to the Sins of Our Fathers,” which was published on One Christian Voice last year? I’m excited to share with you that Living Parables of Central Florida selected it for inclusion in their latest anthology, Faith and Freedom. This book includes beautiful, thought-provoking articles, poems, and other musings from authors across the US, as well as Ireland and Africa.

You can now purchase Faith and Freedom on Amazon. Proceeds go to Living Parables of Central Florida.

 

I’m so thankful to share this godly resources with you! I pray they bless and inspire you to draw closer to the Lord.

A Savior We Can Relate To

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This month, I’ve been sharing some in-depth Bible studies with you to help you prepare your heart for Easter and the rest of the year. Now that it’s Easter weekend, I’d like to share one of my favorite passages regarding Jesus—from Isaiah 53.

 

The Person

Yes, the book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament, but God gave the prophet Isaiah an amazing glimpse into the person of Jesus. According to the prophecy, Jesus (referred to as the “arm of the LORD”) would:

  • Lack handsomeness and splendor so that we would not be attracted to Him for His appearance
  • Be a man of sorrows
  • Be acquainted with grief
  • Be despised and forsaken of men.

Have you ever felt plain or invisible? Have you suffered sorrows and grief that set you on a different path? Have you been hurt by others? I know I have!

That’s why I love Isaiah 53 so much—because it tells me that Jesus understands what I’ve been through. We can relate to Him on a personal level.

 

The Plan

As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus would:

  • Carry our sorrows and griefs
  • Be pierced and crushed for our sins
  • Be scourged so that we could be healed
  • Be oppressed and afflicted but not defend Himself
  • Be assigned with the wicked but be taken care of by a rich man in death
  • Be innocent of violence and deceit
  • Be poured out to death
  • Be a guilt offering for the guilty (us)
  • Justify us through His sacrifice.*

Jesus’ death wasn’t an accident—it was the reason He was born! It was His plan all along.

 

The Method

What really gets me is how Jesus accomplished His plan. As a writer, I can imagine dozens of ways Jesus could have done things differently. He could have limited His time on earth by miraculously growing up in a matter of days. He could have chosen a different era to be born, one with modern conveniences like flushing toilettes, hot showers, and automobiles. He could have ruled the world, acting as an earthly king with thousands of servants. He could have sequestered Himself to avoid the unwashed public. And He could have kept our sins in a box, careful not to get too close.

But that’s not how Jesus operated! He lived in a difficult time, full of turmoil and lacking all modern conveniences. He walked everywhere, slept on fishing boats, fasted in the desert, and had no real home to lay His head. (See Mark 4:8, Matthew 4, and Matthew 8:20.) He lived among a people who wanted something from Him but did not understand Him, yet He was moved by their illnesses, their hunger, and their plight. (See Matthew 14 and 20.)

Jesus wasn’t afraid to get dirty. He didn’t put on gloves before touching the untouchables. He didn’t avoid the smell of humanity by breathing heaven’s air from a special air bubble. Nor did He sanitize our sins before taking them upon Himself.

He let our burdens burden Him.

He let our pain hurt Him.

He let our sins wound Him.

He let our death claim Him.

When He was buried, our sins and sorrows were buried with Him. When He rose from the grave, He made a way for us to be reconciled with the Father.

 

The Celebration

If you’re struggling to relate with God, or you’re wondering what this whole Easter-thing is all about, I encourage you to reacquaint yourself with Jesus through the eyes of Isaiah.

See Him not only as the Righteous One but as the man of sorrows, the one oppressed and afflicted, the one who understands your pain and your sins better than anyone else ever could. This is the man—this is the God—who didn’t mind getting dirty for your salvation.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5 NAS).

Happy Easter!

 

[Click to Tweet: Jesus didn’t mind getting dirty for my salvation.]

 

*Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John for an account of Jesus’ time on earth, including His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Featured Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash.