Category Archives: Jesus

Underachiever Award Goes to: Brenda Czarniak 47th Year in a Row

2018

I am not one to set new year resolutions because I only find myself on the floor the eve of a new year making the same old promises to myself and God, knowing in the back of my head it is all just talk.  Empty, worthless drivel.  Goals I will not set incude:

  • I will not exercise more in the new year.
  • I will not take more walks then the year before.
  • I will not be any more organized than what I am at this very moment.
  • I will still wait for the last minute to do things.
  • I will not push myself to write.
  • I will not make all the right choices when it comes to healthy eating.
  • I will not stop coloring my hair and embracing the gray.
  • I refuse to set goals and ambitions for the new year only because I am afraid of failure and the mentally of “I can’t do anything right” haunts me year after year.  It is my wound and I have been protecting it all this time.  I cannot fail if I don’s set goals.  My wound cannot get any worse if I choose not to set things in motion for the new year.

There.  Now that I have established everything I am NOT  going to do in 2018 I feel so much relief.  No expectations to fulfill.  No standards to keep up with.  No commitments.  No chance of failure or not doing something right.  If I write, I write.  If I exercise, I exercise.  If I choose cake over carrots may the cake be chocolate.  If I get my desk organized then I will celebrate probably with ice cream.  No pressure. No problem.

EXCEPT

Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

As deep cries out to deep, God calls us to higher and higher levels in Him.  He wants us to have everything He has destined for us to achieve.  He wants us to be healthy but it does not need to control our every thought.  I am sure He would like us to be organized simply to help keep us focused on His next step for us.  He wants us to be happy in our own skin and if something needs to change, He will lead us in that direction. At times I feel like such a mess almost as if I was an unraveled ball of yarn that someone took apart and then just left in a pile on the floor.  In and of myself I cannot put myself back into shape, I will need to trust the Creator to do this.  With that being said, if I spend 2018 just seeking Him, He will guide me in the right direction.

By me setting up goals and standards for the new year I am almost saying, “Don’t worry God, I got this! See You in 2019 and I will be ready to move forward with what you have for me.”

So what am I going to do in 2018?  Just be.  Just be in an attitude of gratitude.  Just be thankful for where I am at the moment.  Just be in an atmosphere of continual praise and worship.  Just be silent in His presence so I can hear the next step.  Just be content with what I have knowing God has some much more for me.  I am just going the be me and see what God does in and through me.  Romans 8:18 seems to be the verse for the year for our family.

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My prayer this year for all of you reading this is for you to see making a new years resolution in a whole new light.  Let God into your goals.  Let God into any resolutions you feel you may need to make.  Just let God be in your life.  Just be in His presence.  Just be who He created you be.  You will discover in a very short time that His desires for your life are nothing like the standards of the world we so easily measure ourselves against.

Happy New Year! 

May 2018 show up in all it’s intended glory and show you who God really is.  May you be able to Just Be and pursue that which God desires for you to follow after.  May you find peace and joy in resting rather than working harder.  May you be blessed and highly favored as you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the world.  Most of all, I pray that you can Just Be.

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Is He Worthy of It All?

WORSHIP

They say it came upon a midnight clear on a silent night, a holy night.  It happened in the little town of Bethlehem and brought great joy to the world.  The first noel from angels we have heard on high sang as the shepherds asked those around them, “Do your hear what I hear?”. 

“Hark!  The herald angels sing, ” they said to the people everywhere.  For away in a manger lay sweet little Jesus boy causing many people to wonder what child is this and asking Mary, “Did you know?” Many traveled for miles, saying along the way, “O come let us a adore Him and proclaiming, “God rest ye gentlemen, for the King of the world has come!”  As three wise men followed the beautiful star of Bethlehem we are willing in our hearts to go tell it on the mountain for peace has come to earth.

Year after year we sing the traditional Christmas Carols mostly from memory not meaning.  Many of us learned these songs when we were very little along with Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town.  So this year I am pausing to reflect if these songs really have any meaning for me.  I love to worship.  I love to sing songs to the One who created us for this very thing.  Nothing brings me into the courts of His Presence like worship.  So today I ponder what all the fuss is about Christmas Carols.

In a way I feel like we should sing them all year round as a witnessing tool, after all they proclaim the birth of Jesus and what He came to do.  And personally do we even really know for certain December 25th is actually Jesus’ birthday?  But, let’s put all of that aside and truly focus on what Christmas really is.  Webster’s dictionary defines Christmas like this:

Christ·mas
noun
  1. 1.
    the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church.

In the description of Christmas it says celebration which means to me a happy, joyous time, yet so many spend the holidays depressed and unable to enter into the celebrations.  Many are wounded and are pushing Jesus away rather than bringing themselves into His presence and allowing Him to heal them.  Jesus came to save us from sin and in that moment on the cross he bore every sickness and disease.  To me this is cause for continual celebration, more than just a season of songs.

It matters not to God which song we choose to sing when we come into His presence it is all about the heart and a song which comes from a  place a gratitude and thankfulness.  It’s not about the tune or the lyrics, it’s about the attitude and motive. If we are just worshiping out of obligation or it’s just what we do on Sunday mornings our hearts may not be in it.  Worship is a continual succession of praise to God.  A moment to moment intimacy with God Himself.

So this Christmas season as we pour out our worship to God let’s remember His amazing grace and sing praises to His name.  Let us sing here I am Lord, come abide with me.  Sing to Him how great thou art and great is Your faithfulness.  Let Him know it is well with your soul and crown Him with many crowns.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus and sing holy, holy, holy.  Surrender  it all and sing hosanna!  Just tell Him that He is worthy of it all.

Dear Lord, it is with a humble heart we come to You asking You to show us what true worship is.  We thank you and praise you for creating us to worship and we long for a deeper intimacy with you.  Show us how to enter your courts with thanksgiving.  Teach us how to praise You.  We open our hearts to a deeper intimacy with You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Will You Meet Me in the Stable?

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Can you imagine for just one moment what it would have been like to gaze into the eyes of Jesus as a newborn infant?  What would it have felt like to hold him?  What if you were the one who could soothe is crying for just a moment?  Suppose you had traveled days to be in his very presence?  What would be your anticipation level as you ponder the thoughts of holding the New Born King in your arms?

When Jesus was born all heaven and earth rejoiced at the birth.  Many came from miles and miles away just to get one peek at this wonder.  Can you imagine if you were in that stable gazing upon the infant child who was going to save the world and Mary picked you out of the crowd and asked you to hold him?  The sheer excitement of the moment…

UNTIL THIS HAPPENS:

What if I accidentally drop him?

What if he screams the moment I take him?

Am I even worthy of this?

Am I good enough to hold this precious child?

Suddenly like a flood you are filled with a bazillion insecurities and instead of responding to Mary with great joy and excitement you wonder why she even picked you to hold him in the first place.  Because of the circumstances of your life you feel so inadequate in the moment.  So defeated by your own malicious thoughts that you begin to believe that the King of the world would want nothing to do with you.

So many of us have this defeated mentality when it comes to Jesus.  We often shy away from opportunities of intimacy with God because we feel unworthy, unloved, unwanted, undesired and unable to connect.  God created us for worship.  He created us for an intimate relationship.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect?  The very being who will accept us for who were are is the very one we run from because of our insecurities and wounds.

Well friends, Jesus came to take all of that away.  He came to wipe every tear.  He arrived in a quiet intimate setting as an invitation to those who felt unworthy.  His very presence in that lowly stable invited even the humblest person to seek Him.  He was not born in a palace where rules and regulations would have kept many from even seeing Him.  No, He was born in a place where there was an open invitation from the heavens.

Will you meet me in the stable this year?  Will you come witness the most intimate birth in the history of the world?  Will you allow yourself to feel worthy, loved, accepted and wanted just long enough for the Newborn King to smile at you and let you feel safe?

Dear Lord,  Will You help each of us to visualize ourselves at the foot of the manger.  Help us to see the love and acceptance in that tiny humble stable setting.  We thank you for loving us all right where we are with no reservations.  We invite you into our insecurities and wounds so we may have a true intimate relationship with You.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen