Soooo….hi (lol). It’s been a while, right? There’s a reason for that. I’ve joined the sorority of my dreams, I graduated from law school, prepared for and taken the Texas bar exam, all within a few months. I’m slowly but surely becoming a whole adult. My former goals are my realities. My life is…expanding, and of course with that expansion, I’ve learned quiiiite a bit. This…we need to sit & discuss...
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 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….
Let’s go back….over 2017 years. Jesus is fresh out (of the tomb), and nobody knows a thing. Mary (His mom) & Mary Magdalene get to the tomb, having a chit chat about how this has easily been the worst weekend ever (it’s up there with the day that Lazarus died) and wondering who is going to roll the stone away for them to pay their respects. Ohhhh but they had no idea that the stone wouldn’t be a problem at all, and that they had probably walked right past the living Man they were coming to mourn.
Well, the first week of 2017 is over (sidebar: no, I'm not moving the new posts to Friday). For some, it's been inspirational (new year, new things!!!! Oh glory!!); for others, it's been rooooouuugghhhh (new year....new things...like heartache, and pain). Regardless of where you are on that scale, I've been thinking about you, & I want to share something with you that God shared with me: He came so that you (yep, YOU) would live abundantly.
So, Christmas is over. Everybody has their presents. We (myself included) are all at home playing with our new Apple, Samsung, etc. products. The hype is falling, and just before practicality sets in.....it's time for New Year's Eve (and THE day). So we have something else to be hype about. Soon, we'll be hearing a lot of 'new year, new me', but I believe that now, God is is saying 'new year, new things', and that's great, but......let's just get to it.
Before I leave my house for the day, I pray. I grab the bottle of oil that I have sitting on my counter, rub my hands together, & start talking to Jesus about various aspects of my life. I use oil for a variety of reasons: 1) I’m churchy; you know it’s real when you pull out the oil 2) (more importantly) it’s a reminder that as I go through this day, I should always have what I call ‘greasy hands’. What are greasy hands? Glad you asked you ridiculously intelligent human being! Let’s chat about it for a bit…
Romans 8 has a very….triumphant tone. It’s easily one of the most popular chapters of the Bible. Quite a few faves are found here. Some of my faves aren’t really “traditional” faves though (I’m a little different lol). For example….
…and I don’t want to hear anything that resembles “the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things not seen.” (lol) Then again, let’s say that Hebrews 11:1 was your initial or automatic response when you read today’s title. What does that mean? Like really? If you had to break it down to the lowest terms, what does that actually mean? I’m asking because I think that sometimes, we turn scriptures into cliches, pass cliches throughout generations (without explanation)….and wonder why we’re quoting God’s word…without reaching our potential in God’s power. So today, I want us all to have a clearer picture of what faith truly is and what it can do.
In the final segment of our journey to Lazarus’ tomb, we run back to the house with Martha (all hyped up from the sermon), and find Mary….sitting in a chair (not hyped up on anything). Mad. She’s big mad too. Think about it. You tell Jesus you have a problem, knowing that if He just….shows up…your problem will be resolved. You call your friend, and He….doesn’t show up. As a result, your problem shifts from bad to the absolute worst, and NOW He shows up. Four days. FOUR DAYS, and now this man….what Martha? huh?! Jesus is looking for us? He’s got something to say?! Oh snaps! Let’s go!
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?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was 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!