Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Is it okay to ask God "Why?"

Is it okay to ask God "Why?"

Sometimes our prayers don't get answered the way we wantIt's okay to ask God "Why?"

And it's also okay to cry. 

But know that often, God has a huge "YES" hiding behind a little "no."

So don't give up yet, because "hope that is seen is not hope (Romans 8)", and . . .

God is a Master at Plans B through Z. 

Have you had some answers to prayers that were not what you wanted?  
How did God work it out for your good? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jesus and Pet Peeves

Did Jesus have pet peeves? 

What about: 

  • The religious leaders' hypocrisy;
  • The disciples' lack of faith;
  • The priests' abuse of the temple

Scripture teaches that complaining is sin.  But based on Jesus' life, there are times when it's appropriate to say:

  • "This is wrong" 
  • "You need to stop" or 
  • "How long must I put up with this?"

I have my share of pet peeves. More than Jesus. Arrogant types, lazy people and liars leave me grinding my teeth. Poor manners, noise masquerading as music and filthy language tempt me to shake people, or at least put them in time out for a year or two.

It comforts me to know that Jesus understands. He has answers for all my pet peeves. He may tell me to confront someone, pray for them, or simply forget it, if it's not worth my time and emotions. He is wiser than I am, so I try to listen to him. When I do, my pet peeves are not nearly so peevish. 

Do you have any Jesus-type pet peeves? How do you manage them? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

5 Things You May Wish You Didn't Know

Do you love happy little tidbits about other bloggers, or do you prefer to know they have messy lives, just like you?

Today I decided to share 5 things about myself with you--not gooey, pink and purple cupcake things. Rather, things that may shock, anger, or repulse you about me. But in the end, I'll know who my kindred spirits are if you say, that's okay--I love you anyway! Here goes...

1. I am so crazy about my four cats,  I talk baby talk to them, let them jump on the kitchen counters, and sleep in our bed with us.

2. I have no patience for demanding, rude, ornery people. I want to sock them, send them to three weeks of time out, or take away their binkies.

3. I hate housework. I keep up with laundry, dishes, and clean sheets on the bed, but I hire someone to come in and clean.

4. I get my feelings hurt way too easily.

5. I keep my desk at work tidy, but my office at home is a zoo.

Do you like to hear only good things about others, or does finding out others' faults endear them to you? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Be Careful What You Pray For!

“Yes—he wants to meet my parents!” My heart spun in circles. A secret crush, Ethan, had asked to accompany me home from college Easter weekend. Kevin Levellie, another friend of Ethan’s, pastored a small church in Fresno, where my folks lived. After Sunday evening worship, Ethan and I popped over to Kevin’s house, visiting into the night. Driving back to school the next morning, Ethan suggested we pray for Kevin. Seems he thought a wife would cure Kevin’s loneliness.
Eager to Impress
Eager to impress Ethan I nearly sang, “All right! I’ll go first.”
“Dear Lord, please lead a woman into Kevin’s life who will stand beside him, offering hope in the darkness and laughter in the bright times, who will help him pastor your sheep with tenderness, bringing out the best in him and themIn Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Shortly after my show-offy prayer, Ethan lost interest in me. Although confused and hurt, I accepted his explanation that he felt inferior because I had wheels and he didn’t.
The Diamond Bikini
That spring, Kevin and I started writing. This old-fashioned custom requires use of a pen and paper to tell someone what’s been going on in your life, and ask them about theirs. After finishing the letter, you fold the paper, place it in an envelope, attach a stamp, and mail it. Archaic, I know, but effective.
When I returned home for the summer, our friendship soared. By August, my ring finger danced in the Fresno sun, clad in a diamond bikini.
God Smiles
Do God’s methods of answering prayer baffle you? Although I consider myself creative, I did not have me in mind when I asked God to send Kevin a wife. In fact, I had insisted since childhood that a preacher was my last choice as a spouse because I wanted to be rich.
Yet thinking back over the last thirty-seven years (I was five when this story took place), who am I to look the Great I Am in the face and say, “You bungled it the day you called me, Lord. I’m too silly, loud, impulsive, and messy to make a decent pastor’s wife.”
He would only smile and say, “You asked for a wife for Kevin, didn’t you?”
The above is an excerpt from my book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top: 72 Stories Sprinkled with Laughter to Help You Discover The Sweetness of God's Heart for You. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

What's Good about Good Friday?

What's Good about Good Friday?

You see them throughout the world. We make them of gold and jewels and drape them around our necks. We carve them of exotic wood and adorn church buildings with them. We fashion them of different sizes and shapes of stained glass, pieced together to form exquisite works of art that fly our souls heavenward.

            But the cross was not designed to sparkle on throats or beautify a place of worship. Invented before the 4th century B.C. by the Persians, its purpose was as an instrument of slow, torturous execution. By the time of Jesus, the Romans had begun using this way of hanging their worst criminals. Making it a public spectacle served as added humiliation. Anyone could walk by a murderer or thief as they hung on the rough-hewn boards and spit on them or cast abuse up at them.

          Thus hung Jesus, naked before the world, nailed between two real criminals while the world gaped, supposing Him a fool. After all, He’d raised three people from the dead, multiplied food for thousands, and healed multitudes. Why was He submitting to this mockery and abuse, like a stupid lamb? They railed at Him, “You saved others; but you can’t even save yourself!” Why did He not use His power to subdue the Roman guards and come down from that cross, if He truly was the Son of God?        

            The answer to this question, my friend, is why we call the Friday before Easter “Good Friday.” The goodness in His heart compelled Him to hang in our place, so you and I could have a relationship with the God of the Universe.

            Don’t believe for a second that if Jesus had wanted to, He could not have freed Himself and jumped down. He told the crowd, “Don’t you know that I could at this very moment call ten legions of angels to come and rescue me?” Yet He remained to the end, although it meant God turning His face from Him. Not because He was a fool. No. Because He loved us too much to let us die in our sins and spend forever in Hell.

No one kept Jesus on the cross but Jesus.

            Next time you put your favorite crucifix around your neck or gaze upon the loveliness of a stained glass cross, remember how it came to mean a sweet symbol of love and beauty, rather than an instrument of death. Remember that Jesus went there of His own free will, to give you a future and a hope.

            And, if you’ve made Him the Lord of your life, you’ll hear Him say one day very soon, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into my joy” as He welcomes you to Heaven. Cross my heart.

Have you made Jesus the Lord of your life? If not, please email me at Jeanette@jeanettelevellie.com. I'd like to share the Gospel with you, so you can share Heaven with me.