So I was reading the Bible one day….and I had a law school moment (I don’t admit it much, but I LOVE IT when that happens). It happened in Mark 9:14-27. There, a story is told of a man, his possessed son…and Jesus. The man brought his son to Jesus, describes the problem, and says “if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (v. 22) Jesus, being….Jesus, responds and says “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) There’s a shift between those two verses that I want to show you today, so come on! Let’s go...
I have a series of scars on my arms (I went through a particularly terrible summer where it seemed like I drew mosquitos to me every time I inhaled..or exhaled). This weekend, those scars were used to teach me a lesson that I want to share with you...
I am the (self-proclaimed) queen of confirmation. I have probably asked God to confirm everything He’s ever said to me. It’s lowkey a wonder that he’s still dealing with me (lol). (*cue…you* “why Valencia?) Well, have you ever heard the phrase ‘if God said it, I believe it, & that settles it’? That if has caused me great concern throughout my life. Because….what if He didn’t? What if my grand imagination just sounds like something I wish God would allow to happen? I don't want to walk around putting faith in the great stories I create in my head; those could fail any day of the week. I want to put my faith in what God actually said. Thankfully, He’s gone to great lengths to show me that He is speaking & that Im not making up a fabulous story. One of those ‘lengths’ is Hebrews 10:23….
I am not a morning person. I'm actually the exact opposite (I went to bed at 1:30 Tuesday morning). For a week or so, I felt led to tune in to a 4 a.m. Tuesday prayer session that happens in Chicago. I questioned my ability to do it (once again, I'm not voluntarily active before 9 or 10 am...on a good day), but I got up ...at 4 am...and listened to/participated in the prayer session. It...laid…me...OUT. Like literally, I was on my floor, crying out of control...at four...in...the...morning, trying to avoid waking up those that live around me. The night before, I essentially told God to make me waking up worth it (bold request)…He fulfilled His end of the bargain, & then some. The prayer session was only an hour long, and at 5 a.m, I was too deep in the spirit to go back to sleep. So, I was praying after they ended the live feed. That taught me something that I want to pass to you
Honesty moment: so, when I started writing this, I was convinced that I was going to base it on Isaiah 59:19. Then, I realized that scripture doesn’t mean what I thought it meant (lesson/purpose of this intro: this is why we study the word for ourselves, saints). Yet, I found another scripture that essentially speaks to the same point (thanks God, because I was starting to think I was insane/incompetent). Today’s ram in the bush: Psalm 3:3.
Last week, a friend & I were talking about our shared dysfunction (keep us in prayer, k?). I don’t like to be a burden or a bother, you know? So if (after a period of time), I feel like a burden/bother, or that you don’t really want to talk to me, I stop talking (it’s really terrible lol). Since that conversation, one verse has repeatedly swirled around my mind: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). Therefore, I’m here to serve as a reminder of what you may already know: He still cares. (this may be quick, so…let’s go)
When I started this blog, I wanted to break down the ‘code’ that I noticed in church (because church in & of itself is a culture with it’s own language). That’s why I named it Church Decoded. I wanted to take the sermons that we hear on Sunday, and make them…applicable (because it’s easy to shout, and harder to see it through). That’s the inspiration behind these posts: to take the sermon you hear on Sunday, and make it a little more practical. Well, today, we get back to our roots.
Mark 4:35 tells a story that most church people are familiar with, but it's been a minute since I gave a Valencia Version translation, so....walk with me. Jesus has been doing...Jesus things: giving people the absolute business about what God and His kingdom are really like. Once He's done, He turns to the disciples & says "let's take a trip." They hop in a few boats....and all is well...until hell breaks loose (because that's the usual protocol when you do what Jesus tells you to do). They're in the middle of a body of water, and winds get high, water is everywhere (including in the boat), and Jesus.....is asleep.
I am currently reading a book…that is getting on my nerves. The nerve wrecking book is Rooted by Banning Liebscher. Rooted is nerve wrecking because it, like any good book, presents a challenge in how I viewed God. More specifically, a challenge in the foundation of my relationship with God. I hate to suffer alone, you know? So let me bring you in on my….growth journey…by asking you a question: do you know God?
“At what point did you earn the right to quit?” This…this is the question that summarizes my life lately. In my own little defense, I haven’t completely quit (don’t panic, I didn’t denounce God or anything like that)…I just fell into “the sunken place” of laziness. Life got a little scressful (no not stressful, I passed that a while ago), my schedule changed, hours have this way of turning into days, & days keep becoming months. Eventually, I looked up one day, and couldn’t find my discipline. I couldn’t access that ‘ok…do it anyway…the hustle doesn’t stop because _____’ mentality. Baby girl was TIRED, ok! I used tired as an excuse to fall off…of everything. You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since a new post was uploaded. I stopped working out (used my hair as an excuse & everything lol). You may be thinking that I’m talking without purpose, I promise Im not (lol). I’m telling you this because…
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Church Decoded has been viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!