Too Be “Cooky” or “Cookie Cutter” …Following Jesus

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“I write straight with crooked lines, and each and every person is an individual. Different. Unique from all others. And therefore, there is no canned assignment. I don’t make cookie-cutter Christians—not at all! Each one of you are SO unique, and the missions I give are to fulfill their deepest needs and desires.

-Jesus (Rapture Update-still small voice youtube channel)

I lead a bible study group on Fridays and in a conversation my co -leader he plainly said “Nana lets be honest your walk with the Lord is a little cooky…your not a Cookie cutter christian” All I could do was laugh hysterically. Of course I am not a cookie cutter christian we were never intended to be and so when you find one believer on fire for the Lord completely sold out to live for him you get the terms “cooky”, “weird”, “too extreme” or the most popular “Jesus freak” which I welcome now with humility lol.

This has indeed been a difficult….. well to be honest walking with Jesus has been difficult but so rewarding. Just as he says “narrow and difficult is the way that leads to lift.. He calls us to pick up our cross and follow him. Which means to stray away from conformity and uniformity of even the “christian culture” which at times can be very difficult and painful.

I have found that in this generation so many times we have made “man” the standard of what a christian walk is suppose to be like rather than Jesus being the standard. May strive to be “the next” Smith Wigglesworth, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer just to name a few rather than just being “YOU” so uniquely made and fashioned by God for a glorious purpose.  We have even coined the term “church culture” which comes with the impression that there is a certain ideology or look that others have to conform too and if they don’t. They just don’t quite fit in and many fear stepping out from the norm out of fear of ridicule, rejection and the scoffing that comes along with following a road less traveled…by Christians.  Now lets take a look at many leaders the Lord used that definitely would be considered “cooky” in our day lol

  • John the Baptist
    -This man lived in the dessert (which means he was isolated)
    -Ate only bugs (locust) and honey
    – Day and night he cried out before “religious people” which would be the church in our day to REPENT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
    This is the same man the Lord called a prophet and said there would be no one greater than him! Wow!  Now he definitely didn’t conform to the religious people of his day

 

  • #1 is Jesus the Son of God
    – He was the messiah and savior of the whole world. The God of all creation but counted himself not equal with God and laid down his divinity which meant
    -He was born in  manager  around stinking animals not in a place with midwifes waiting on him
    -His appearance was so plain that he was overlooked all the time not having the latest fashion of his time, or having status
    – He had no place to lay his head having no home to call his home. When he easily could have established himself well. Materialistically, He forsook all those things to store his riches in heaven
    -He was rejected and killed by he religious people because he didn’t fit “the cookie cutter messiah”…they missed God

So even in these two examples above could be as Christians sometimes “we miss God”. When we limit him, put him in a box, limit what he can do and how he can do it to only what others have done before. Or better yet expect the Holy Spirit to move and direct in the same way all the time. Oh, how we have it wrong and how we can miss God and miss what he is doing in certain souls.  Were not meant to know or understand Gods ways with each person even though we try to figure it out. He indeed writes straight with crooked lines.  As Christians we were NEVER called to be cookie cutter but because of culture and the desire to be relevant  many have just followed….man which has quenched the Holy Spirit. However, he is always looking for those souls who will say yes to him. Yes to Jesus, yes to the cross,  yes to the crushing, yes to be detached from self, yes to being a laid down lover. Who surrenders fully to the Hand of God and in blind obedience abandons themselves to Gods providence, whatever that may look like so that he would get the glory. Looking ONLY to Jesus not their christian peers as to what is right and normal in the eyes of God. So will you break free from the culture, from the relevancy, from the conformity and say yes to being “COOKY” for Jesus..  Deny yourself, Pick up your Cross and Follow Him!

-From Jesus with Love

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Choosing Jesus Or Choosing Nana: The Fight Of Self-Denial

tug_of_war_with_god_by_kevron2001-d9rra27

(Pic credits Kevin Carden website http://www.christianphotoshops.com)

I have found to walk with Christ takes two decisions, first confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that he is Lord which seals your salvation then…..( the part which majority of us believers struggle with) to DENY YOUR FLESH completely in total surrender that He may live. Which I have come to realize is day by day, decision by decision to choose Jesus rather than to choose Nana. I don’t pass the test every time but the longer I am walking with Christ the more apparent that call seems, the quicker I find myself willing to sacrifice my desires for his…Now I didn’t say easier lol Don’t be mistaken it is hard but dying is never easy.

I had given my life to the Lord at a young age but I hadn’t given him my life. So when the Lord called me to surrender my life 3 years ago I hesitatingly did.  Not realizing it would be the greatest, most amazing and difficult decision I had and will ever make. However, I began to get rhemas from the Lord asking for “total surrender” and I would wonder hmmm Lord I have completely surrendered, (or so I thought) I don’t get it.  You have my heart and my life is yours now. Not realizing he wanted complete control of my time, my body, my money, my plans etc….you name it He wants it all. So many times as believers we declare God you can have it all, whatever you want, my life is yours but do we really mean that and are we willing to live a sacrificial, crucified, hedged in life , denying ourselves every worldly pleasure and living only for the perfect will of God?? I would say many Christians don’t , especially in our generation and in our western Christianity.  I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me these words:

“In this generation we call obedience legalism and holiness religious”

So true! I remember being so frustrated at times because I slowly started noticing as I walked with Jesus there were many things other Christians could do but I couldn’t. For the life of me I couldn’t understand it. I thought the christian life was suppose to be fun with Jesus! lol No, the Lord was like is “your called to be holy and pure for me”. So I have found myself many times making plans, having personal desires and them being completely adverted because Jesus has plans for me as his bride to do instead. So i have been learning to submitted to my bridegroom.

One instance was two days ago, where I found myself weary at my moms house with all my nieces and nephews over. The day felt like I was taking care of a day care lol. I was unable to get any work done really and wanted to get away. Just then a friend from my Kenya team reminded me of  get together they were hosting at their home. Watching the Avengers movie and eating snacks. So having a strong desire to go, I first wanted to make sure it was okay with the Lord first so I asked him for a rhema I got “Sickness” . Now when I get scriptures about that either I am asking for healing or the Lord is saying my mind is sick, I have come in agreement with wrong thinking…hmmm. So having a slight nudge he didn’t want me to go and would rather have me spend time with him. I thought I am not sick (like I didn’t know) and went anyway lol. As soon as I got in front of their house a song came on the radio guess what the Lyrics where ” There is a sickness in the world where people are looking to fill the void but can only be filled with Jesus” All  I could do was laugh, I was like nooooo. Jesus I am already here (the Lord can use anything to talk to us by the way). Then the second song came on lyrics ” Lord help me to listen to what you tell me to do”. I reasoned with the Lord saying, moms house is crowded where can i go to spend time. Then the idea came to mind to go to my sisters place, she was out of town for  trip so would have the place to ourselves. So with my face in my palm, I looked up looking at the inviting house, movie, fellowship and snacks or leave and head to my sisters. I had a decision to make….To Choose Jesus or Choose Nana. Nana, wanted to have escape, have fun and relax with friends and Jesus wanted to escape with me, have fun and have me relax in his heart…… (with a sigh ) lol I said yes, Lord. I chose Jesus (that is all by his grace)

I made my way to my sisters apartment and there I had 3 hours of the most awesome and intimate time with alone in her walking closet. I left feel at peace, no longer burdened, loved and feeling full of purpose. Jesus has called me and if not all of us to a life of TOTAL SURRENDER . We must understand it takes our permission for the Lord to complete His work in us. He is a gentleman, he wont force his will on you but will you yield to his? Jesus has asked me to live a life denying myself of  the news, of movies, of TV, of Entertainment. of certain food, of sweets, idle time wasted hanging out,  many worldly pleasures, worldly comforts and live on the bare necessities which come from him alone just to name a few.  It feels like a tug of war every time but, God is so gracious and patient with me lol. He has me hedged finely and I am learning to appreciate that rather than complain. I get asked many times lately about intimacy with Jesus and I always tell them one of the many components to walking with Jesus so intimately is to deny yourself, not all at once. The Lord works with us all in stages and by layers, its one day at a time waking up to say I choose you Jesus today above my desires, my plans and my comforts so will you  make a decision and choose Jesus every time? Ask him for the grace to make you willing to be made willing!

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

-From Jesus With Love

 

 

The Season Of Crickets & The Value of The “One”

One audience

Yes that’s a cricket next to him on that seat lol. Oh how accurate is this image. Indeed this is a lesson the Lord has definitely taught me this year and last year. To obey him when no one even show up, to be diligent and faithful despite the crickets. Testing my heart for my motives, and not being moved by the numbers…..well because in fact many a times there were no numbers lol. It became so bad that a good friend of mine changed her ring tone to a “crickets chirp” to poke fun of the interesting season Jesus had  me in lol. Its definitely funny now and how I am so grateful for the lesson he taught me in that but, it was painful them. Many times feeling rejected, not valued, even not worthy and of course how the enemy of my soul would whisper suggestions of giving up, doubt, insecurities and even fears to stop me from pursuing what God told me to do. How easy is it for us to trust, followers, likes, people opinions or filled seats with our worth….Jesus didn’t so neither should we.

John 2:24
But Jesus did not trust them because He knew all men.  He did not need anyone to tell Him about man. He knew what was in man.

 

You see earlier last year the Lord told me to began a fellowship at my apartment and I invited quite a few people but got only about two responses. So as the time got closer I decided to cancel it to my surprise many text stating they were planning and immediately the Holy spirit  said “when two or three are gathered in my name I am in the midst”. I felt so convicted I had canceled because the majority wasn’t coming but discounted the two that where and forgetting they were just enough for Jesus that’s all he needs! (hand slap to the forehead), I asked the Lord to forgive me and told him if no one showed up would still do it because if all else fails him and all the heavenly host will be there. So attempted again the following week. This time all I got was “crickets”  no one showed up. To be honest I was devastated it was such a vulnerable season in my life and I was feeling so insecure. I remember continuing with the fellowship just me and Jesus,  my heart was heavy in worship the Lord spoke again and said ” I want to know if you will be faithful are you doing this for me or for them?” I broke down crying telling the Lord its all about him and continued with the fellowship weekly
Lesson Learned Faithfulness

Luke 16:10
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Then the Lord spoke to me again telling me to do a youtube channel to teach all that he is teaching me . I fought with this idea first thinking “who me” but what do I have to teach, I mean who am I Jesus…..of course that’s the best position to be in because in our weakness his strengths pour through us! So I began the youtube channel this year thinking , who is really going to watch this. I would post on fb tag family and friends in hopes they would share or support all I got was “crickets”. Of course there were times where I would get only a few views and I found myself fighting the feeling of discouragement but told myself this is Gods channel not mine so I have to be obedient and continued. As subscribers started to come I found myself continuing to focus on the numbers and comparing myself with other channels. Which can be so dangerous because you lose sight of Jesus and began to look at others. So about 4 months ago my youtube account became disabled I immediately thought it was he enemy attacking the channel but during prayer the Lord said it was him because of my pride. I was like ouch! Wow, so humbly asked for forgiveness and the channel is still disabled however the interesting thing is its grown to over 100 subscribers in these few months and now have over 650 with no new videos. The Lord reminded me that’s its all his work on not mine, “Its not about you Nana” can I say humbling.
Lessoned Learned Humility & Obedience

Then the Lord spoke to me again to began a praying meeting at my job. I was so excited me and some friends go together blessed the room and began to advertise by sending out emails and word of mouth. Initially one or two would come then some weeks when no one would show up “crickets”. There were weeks where I didn’t want to go or I would show up late thinking no one is going to come anyway. Once again I fighting the feeling of discouragement and the Lord reminded me to be faithful and of course He and the heavenly host were there lol. So I would go in the room and pray by myself soon it started it growing and a consistent number of ppl would come and upon leaving the job its still going! Wow,  again I was reminded its Not about me lol and of course the-
Lessoned Learned Is Perseverance

Then finally the Lord spoke to me to began writing these blogs. Honestly I used to hate writing so looking back on these blogs and seeing Gods fingerprints all on this amazes me. However, I remember me and my friend started blogging at the same time. We both knew God spoke to us about it but no one was reading these blogs lol. I would have one viewer maybe 1 follower in 3 months. We would laugh and look at each other and say “crickets” lol but the Lord kept reminded us just write be obedient to write a blog a week. She said her son told her “write they will come” I love that because that’s what faith is. Hoping for what you don’t see putting our faith in Gods word spoken to us and not to give up. So we have continued to write and I am amazed at what God has done!
Lessoned Learned Is Diligence

Most recently the Lord spoke to me to began a bible study over the phone after losing my job. Of course began to have the same rebuttals, wait, whaaa, Lord me, Jesus is this you or just my mind lol but he confirmed. For about a week had to fight off insecurities again because this is opening myself to people I don’t know and plus who would call in LOL There I go again limiting God. So I began the hourly conference line and behold would have 7 to9 callers each day from different part of the country calling in desiring to know God. I was flabbergasted , there was a day when I was 15 minutes into the call and no one called in. I was tempted to just hang up but the Holy Spirit reminded me again of all the times Gods faithfulness even when no one showed up lol. So I told myself you made a commitment with God to do for an hour so will leave it on for an hour, can I tell you that day was the day of the most callers and even a new caller! lol There are times where only one caller has called and the Lord has reminded me that he can care less of the numbers its jus to touch one. So me, that person and Jesus with all the heavenly host have bible study! lol
Lessoned Learned is Trust & Gods Strength

 

Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?

 

Now he has spoken to my heart to turn the personal fellowship and extend it by leading a coed a small group for the  young adults ministry in our church and the Nana of old would be so insecure, frightened, doubtful and concerned with people not showing up. However, because of these past lessons I now know:

  • To be obedient
  • Trust God more
  • Its not about me, its all by his strength
  • To do everything  I do unto the Lord
  • To continue to be faithful
  • Its not about the numbers, one person is so invaluable
  • Its not about what people say about it
  • It is indeed Gods work that he does through me

 

How many times do we allow followers, likes, peoples opinions to be the measure of the worth, validation our work or even Gods call upon our lives? Trust God and be obedient to  all that  he ask you to do because its all about that ONE person, one blog post, one video, one bible study meeting, one prayer meeting that God will use to touch many!

-From Jesus with Love