Who doesn’t Jesus love?

Jesus loves the mentally ill.
Jesus loves the mentally healthy.
Jesus loves those in a one-man, one-woman married relationship.
Jesus loves those who are not.
Jesus loves the scrupulously honest.
Jesus loves those who tell black, white and various-shades-of-grey lies.
Jesus loves the doctor who ends the life of an unborn person.
Jesus loves that unborn person.
Jesus loves that unborn person’s mother.
Jesus loves the person who believes they were predestined to be saved.
Jesus loves the person who believes they were not.
Jesus loves Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Protestants and all religious people.
Jesus loves the person that believes there is no God.
Jesus loves the person who rejects Him.
Jesus loves the person who commits the unforgivable sin.

Jesus loves ALL people just the way they are.
And ALL need Him.
Even me. Even you.
And ALL can choose to receive Him as Savior, Lord and Friend.
If they are willing to turn away from their evil attitudes and actions WITH JESUS’ HELP.
And trust Jesus to forgive their evil attitudes and actions.
And trust Jesus to give them His Resurrection Life.

Sometimes the Pastor is wrong…

Have you ever heard a Pastor say that if you only had enough faith you wouldn’t have depression? Or if you didn’t have unconfessed sin in your life God would heal you?

In the following account of a man who was suffering, Jesus doesn’t blame the man for having sin. He doesn’t even require the man have faith to be healed. Read it and see if you can tell whose faith Jesus rewarded.

Mark 2:3–5 (NASB95)

3 And they *came, bringing to [Jesus] a paralytic, carried by four men.

4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

5 And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus saw their faith; not his (the paralytic’s) faith. The man had some LOVING FRIENDS who asked Jesus to heal their friend and Jesus did.

Mark 2:9–12 (NASB95)

9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?

10 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic,

11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”

12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Jesus doesn’t criticize, he heals. He doesn’t judge, he forgives. He doesn’t demand, he supplies.

Jesus gave me mental illness, and I have asked him to heal me. He has chosen not to. Except through medications. And I am grateful for those medications. I believe he is using me just as he wants to, warts, mental illness and all. But I would invite you to ask him to heal you. And if you have loving friends ask them to pray on your behalf.

In my case, His best is continued mental illness with the purpose of using it to win the mentally ill to Him. And I am eternally grateful he is allowing me to do this. I am having more fun sharing Jesus’ love than I would doing anything else. And Jesus, restoring me to sanity, using meds and His Holy Spirit in me, is enough of a miracle to give people hope He will love them too.

I’d like to know how to learn the easy way for a change

I’ve been asking God to direct me instead of trying to change myself in my own strength. I acted like a jerk this week and apologized to my team members today. I’ve always thought that learning the easy way would be the best. You know what I mean. Learn from the lessons found in the Bible. Learn from others’ failure so I don’t repeat their mistakes.

Instead my syllabus seems to be: Crash, Burn, Apologize.

I am asking God for wisdom. He loves to give wisdom. (See The Book of James in the Bible). I’m also asking that I realize the wisdom is His and not from me lest I get proud again. I think living in wisdom is the same as living in reality – God’s true reality – not my distorted, twisted, self-serving “reality of lies.”

There is nothing to puff me up if I am living in real reality (God’s reality). And the consequences of error are seen upfront and I side-step the error, thus sparing the Crash, Burn and Apologize drama.

How do I get to God’s reality?

Humble myself.

God, I can’t do it myself. Please be my everything.

I will let Jesus fight for me!

I ate breakfast with a friend at his church’s Men’s Breakfast this morning. The teaching was of how God changed Jacob and God made the story brand new for me. The pastor said, God gave Jacob weakness (dislocated his hip) so that Jacob would stop depending on himself. God renamed him Israel, because Israel means “God fights.” Now as Israel depended on God, God could fight for him.

I have been getting depressed lately because I have been fighting in my own strength and I have been losing. This reminds me of one of the previous posts “Let go and let God.”

As I listened to the Pastor this morning I realized I need to humble myself and submit. Oh Lord, help me surrender to You and let You fight for me!

Water for kids #5

This evening I walked 0.15 miles while going up 50 feet and then back down 50 feet over another 0.15 miles, 5 times. Or, 1.5 miles while going up 250 feet and down 250 feet.

My breathing was not as labored after this as it was after just going up 50 feet over one 0.2 miles on my first day.

Then I got ice out of the freezer, turned on the tap and I had instant ice cold water for my thirst. The infrastructure of the U.S. is an amazing blessing of God. You can be a blessing to kids who carry 40 lb. jerrycans of dirty, diseased water most of their day. You can help build the infrastructure they need and they will praise God and thank you for what you did.

Thank you for reading, thank you for praying, thank you for giving. I appreciate all of you doing all you do. If you wish to give to World Vision and get kids and their families what they need go to:

https://teamworldvision.org/participant/James-McNaughton/

Can I really let go and let God?

Aaron taught a great lesson at Celebrate Recovery last Monday. The concept he taught me was: I am to stop striving to change my faults and let Jesus do it. Or, (Something I dismissed many years ago as being too easy to be true): Let go, and let God.

I first heard it from an older female member of our Bible study group in the late 1980’s. I dismissed her as being too old to know anything (She was about my age now). Of course I was a sexist, and an elderist, and I didn’t know enough to know I didn’t know enough.

So a whole new freedom is opening up. I can stop the unwinnable war of trying to change myself in my own strength.

Jesus, lead me!

Water for Kids #4

My original run/walk/crawl strategy is evolving as I gain more experience. It is now a walk/crawl strategy and may possibly de-volve to just a crawl strategy concession. I have given up attempting to run until there is less of me going in the opposite direction as the rest of me (I think that’s what I meant). I have thrown the “schedule” out and am resting a day between walking. I walked 6 miles in about 2 hours with four 50 foot climbs over four 0.2 mile hills. I also walked for about one hour, covering 3 miles with seven 50 foot climbs along the way. I haven’t lost any weight but I am much stronger than when I started.

But these accomplishments are nothing compared to what young kids do carrying jerrycans of water for nearly all day every day (the water weighing in, I would guess, at about 40 lbs. The kids carrying about 50% their body weight (I can’t even lift 50% of my body weight!)).

You can free a child from carrying dirty, diseased water for miles each day, and put her/him in a classroom instead, beginning the permanent freeing of the whole village, when they can now lift themselves from generational poverty.

No gift is too small, no gift is too large, they are all just right!

https://teamworldvision.org/participant/James-McNaughton/