Jesus saved a bunch of animals, too

I’ve had a recurring thought over the past few years and it makes me love the story of Jesus even more. One, because everything I learn about him or experience with him usually makes my heart skip a beat. He really was a hero. Two, I love animals.

So most people reading this will know at the heart of Christianity is Jesus’ death saving mankind from our sins. He died, now we live (spiritually, eternally, etc). The thought that keeps coming back to me is this: when Jesus died, the need for an animal sacrifice was Jesus_Lamb3aeliminated because his death became the payment due. Animal sacrifices were no longer needed. Of course, not everyone back then believed Jesus’ message, so I’m sure sacrifices continued, but for a whole lot of animals then and from then on, they get to live. Sheep were like, “Baaaaaaaa!!” Rams were like, “Woooooonkkk!!!!” Doves were like, “Someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dyyyiiinn’!”

But seriously, in a more literal way than Jesus’ death bringing life to humans, in fact, in a very literal way, his death meant life for so many of God’s creatures. Right there on the spot. That day.

I think that’s pretty cool! I also came across this blog post that gets into the details of Jewish sacrificial history, and it’s an interesting read. Take a look when you get a chance!

-Out of the Wilderness

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God is able

A phrase that’s been on the front of my mind lately is one you’ll hear in sermons, in songs, or written on posters or in sympathy cards. It comes from Ephesians 3:20.

God is able.

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If you’re like me, though, every once in a while you might ask yourself, “What is He able to do, exactly?” I think the Sunday School answer is everything. But that doesn’t necessarily help me when I’m stuck in traffic and frustrated, or when I make a mistake at work, or when I say something that’s not exactly encouraging to someone. Or for you, maybe you’re losing patience with your kids, or lost out on a big work project, or didn’t do so hot on a recent test. Or maybe you just accomplished something significant, or did get that big work project. There’s still a need for God even in those situations, right? It could almost be anything at all that points us to a need for something more.

What has made the phrase relevant in my life recently is acknowledging that I sometimes get caught in this cycle:

Feeling discouraged <turns into> thinking something will or won’t happen <turns into>  doubt <turns into> unhealthy behavior <turns into> guilt.

So I’ll admit, then, sometimes I wonder about it. “Is God able?” I’ll ask. Is He actually able to help me with what I’m doing today? Using the cycle above, is He able to keep me from diving into discouragement, etc?

Then recently it dawned on me: Yes, He is. Because His ability to “do” isn’t constrained by and doesn’t rely on my belief that He can. He can. He can. That’s it. He can. It’s like wondering if a beagle howls. Or a dolphin jumps. Or if grass is green. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Whether I believe it or not, the grass is still green. A dolphin will still jump. A beagle will still howl.

And God is able.

So I’m thankful today that even in my wavering ups and downs where for one minute I’m singing How Great Thou Art and the next I’m quoting one of my favorite lines from Rescue Dawn – “God, why don’t You help us when we need You most?” – God is still there, and He is still able.

-Out of the Wilderness

The Reawakening: Part 12

The subtitle to this post is “Worth more than many sparrows,” because that’s exactly how God feels about each of us. Even in our most scary moments, maybe especially in our most scary moments, we can exhale knowing that He knows what we need and He will do it. He will. If he takes care of the birds, he’ll take care of me and you, because we’re much more valuable than birds!
bird2You may be reading this with a skeptical or unbelieving heart. Maybe you’re a Christian and maybe you’re not. That’s OK. God’s concern includes everyone; you, me, them, us, her, him, even…that one. You know the one. That guy or girl who’s so unlikeable or annoying.
annoyI’ve learned along the way that sometimes I’m that one.

But anyway, that’s another post for another time. Or just ask my siblings, they’ll tell you how annoying I can be! I like knowing that this one little human in Nashville is important to someone so big. A good comparison is a nationally-recognized, respected, winning coach looking over to his player sitting on the end of the bench, and giving him a nod that says, “Hey, I’m glad you’re on the team. We wouldn’t be the same without you and come Hell or high water, I will look out for you as a member of my team.” Feels good, right?

Well, moving right along, and tying this all together with my Reawakening series, I’m calling today Day 1 since my generous severance package from CMT ended yesterday. I should be nervous. I should panic a little. I should be losing sleep because I don’t have a full-time job. But I’m not. I won’t. And I haven’t. Because the more I read in the Bible, and as each day passes, I learn and see that I’m worth more than many sparrows. And I like that. So why would I worry? Why would I be nervous? This morning I came across the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.

“Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”

Having health insurance is important, taking care of myself and my dogs is important, finding work I can thrive doing is important. But it seems that what’s also important is trusting God to take care of me. I think I can do that today, on Day 1. Seems simple enough, and a great reason to sing like a bird.

-Out of the Wilderness

Kanye West running for president?

Evidently during the 2015 VMAs Kanye West announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.

And all of a sudden I’ve never been more convinced to vote for Hillary in 2016. Get it? If Hillary becomes president in 2016, you know she’ll run for reelection and Kanye will be out of luck. Unless he runs as a republican? With Trump as his running mate? And Taylor Swift as his Secretary of State?

Any scenario I come up with in my head makes me want Jesus to come back in 2019.

-Out of the Wilderness

Jesus in the womb, thought #7

Just like the rest of us humans, Jesus spent 9 months or so in his mother’s tummy. Here are a few thoughts He may have had while He was waiting to be born. Disclaimer: This is all made up, it’s not even hearsay.

“Are you sure now is the right time? I mean, I won’t even have an iPad to play with!”

Jesus in the womb, thought #6

Just like the rest of us humans, Jesus spent 9 months or so in his mother’s tummy. Here are a few thoughts He may have had while He was waiting to be born. Disclaimer: This is all made up, it’s not even hearsay.

“About 2,000 years from now there’s gonna be a band called Fetty Wap? Shoot. I knew the English language was gonna need more than 26 letters!”