i don’t love jesus

the other night a friend posted a question on his facebook status: “how do you know that you love jesus?” i replied with an answer along the veins of, “i love jesus because he loves me.” which is a perfectly reasonable answer but i wasn’t completely satisfied with it. i felt there was more that needed to be said but i couldn’t articulate it. the question continued to bug me until i came across the words of mother theresa. someone once asked her how she had the capacity to love so many people, she said she loved people because ‘they are Jesus, everyone of them is Jesus’. this shouldn’t come as a shock to us, Jesus himself said this in the bible, “what you do for the least of these, you do for me” (matt 25:40). but suddenly i got it. if that is the acid test for knowing that you love jesus, if that is the benchmark – then im going to be honest and say that i don’t love jesus. not that jesus. i love my fuzzy church jesus with all the nice worship songs. but i don’t love the joe bloggs jesus. the one i meet in my everyday world. not the way i should do. i am not as compassionate as i should be and i am so judgemental its unbelievable. but i think there is a little hope. for the first time this attitude bothers me and i want to change. so i repented, i asked for forgiveness for my apathy and i prayed that i would see jesus in everyone i meet. and that i would love him.
for the first time i have realised that for people to ever see jesus in me i have to first see jesus in them.

then i’ll know that i love jesus.

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soon

I will be with the One I love
with unveiled face I’ll see Him
There my soul will be satisfied
Soon and very soon

This is the chorus of a song we sung at church yesterday.

Heaven isn’t really something we talk about a lot is it? I always thought it was for old people like the Gaithers! I was too busy here and now getting on with God’s business. This is a good attitude to have but now I realise that I was missing a vital ingredient in my life.

Heaven is an important concept to catch no matter how long you have been saved. New Christians need to realise that since we were born again we are made of different stuff and more experienced Christians need to gain a little perspective on life and what is going on around them. Whatever pain you’re going through right now, the moment you reach heaven and see the face of Jesus, you will never remember it. Equally, whatever success you are celebrating at the moment it will pale into insignificance in the light of his glory.

We can all become frustrated at times because of the circumstances around us. But circumstances are not the only reason for frustration. I believe that while we are on this earth we will live with a divine frustration. Frustration that is born of God because we have him living on the inside of us, yet we are living in a mortal body in a corrupt world. Sometimes these elements just don’t mix.

We need to realise that we don’t belong here and we just don’t fit in.
As they say, “Home is where the heart is.” But where is our home, our true home? We must remember that we are on a journey. 1 Peter 1:17 says: “Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.” God has given us specific tasks to accomplish on that journey but ultimately our destination is heaven. We are not living for the celebration of man but for the approval of God.

Rom 8v22 says that the longing is within us. The God-part of us longs for heaven and we will never be truly satisfied here on earth. We criticise the world for trying to fill a void in their lives that was meant for God alone. This is true, but Christians are guilty of doing the same thing, only we fill it with different things, e.g. ministry, family etc. We feel guilty because we are not fully satisfied; we think there is something wrong with us and our relationship with God. But he intended it to be like that all along. Look at 2 Cor 5v2-4: “we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move–and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!”

Let us never forget that we can and will leave all this behind. All the bad stuff, all the good stuff. We can walk away from it. We have to walk on regardless. Let us take comfort in that.

We can never become too attached to this place. Even good stuff can distract us.

There is a song by U2 which says this far more beautifully than I can:

Walk On

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring…
And love is not the easy thing…
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on…
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home… hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home… I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the heart is

and I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress-up
All that you scheme…

I take such comfort in those words. I know that someday I get to walk out of here, leave everything behind and see my Redeemer and know Him just as I am known.

What a day that will be…

Thank you and Help

Hey guys.

I just want to thank you for the tremendous amount of support I’ve
received since I told everyone about my book-writing project. Whether
you posted a comment on here or my facebook page or said to me in
person, you have no idea how much that encouragement has meant. Since
I took the decision to do this I’ve felt a like I’ve thrown myself
over the edge of a cliff, hoping I don’t fall, splatt, on the ground
below me. When people encourage me, it’s like a net is cast that
breaks my fall and I bounce back up. Of course, my ultimate
encouragement is in Him but all the same, knowing I have an army of
friends seeing me through this is incredible.

So thank you.

But I need your help.

The section of the booking I’m currently working on is about
friendship. So I’m asking you, my friends, for your input.

What are your experiences of friendship?
Do you think you are a good friend? If not, why not?
What issues hinder you from making solid friendships?
What has helped you in making good friends?
Do you think the church is a good environment for growing friendships?

Can you see what I’m getting at? Leave a comment on here on the blog
or send me a private message on my facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/lisajanemcauley. Or if you see me out and
about just start talking to me about it. Who knows, you might get a
mention in the book!

Come on friends, lets have a conversation…

make it count

Recently I’ve started praying at the start of every day, “Lord, help me make today count.”

I guess it was born out of a frustration that there were a lot of evenings when I lay my head on the pillow and didn’t really see any real purpose to my day. I didn’t feel that I had done anything of real significance, where I could say, “That was the reason I got up this morning.” I don’t believe God wants us to live like that. Eph 2:10 says: “We are His workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus for good works which He has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” I want to walk in those works. If He has gone to the bother of preparing them then I should be doing my best to walk in them.

Making it count doesn’t have to be a pressured thing. It’s just an awareness that there is purpose in everything that demands our everything. Ideally we should make every single moment of our days count but life is life and we are human so that’s not gonna happen. Not to me anyway.

I’m starting small. So even if it’s something like a five minute conversation where I can encourage my friend. I made it count. If it’s being focused at work and doing everything on my to-do list. I made it count. Even if it’s getting my house in order – dealing with mail, housework, blah blah blah. I made it count. If its reading my bible and knowing that I connected with God. I made it count. If its taking the time when I’m hungry and want my dinner and writing this blog for you to read. I made it count.

Are you with me? Will you make it count?

who are you wearing?

The red carpet season culminates with the Oscars. As the stars parade down the red carpet the fashion police will be on hand to ask the all-important question, “Who are you wearing?” It’s all about labels. And I’m pretty sure none of them will say Primark!

I want to ask you the very same question: “Who are you wearing?”

We are surrounded by labels. We are labelled by our background, family, job, church. Most importantly we label ourselves. We put on labels because that’s what makes us secure. We think that is our identity. We say ‘this is me and this is what I do’ so therefore anything that goes beyond that boundary we discount. That can make for a comfortable life but it doesn’t facilitate living a God-called life of faith. Because you can be sure that God will call you to move what is beyond comfortable in order to achieve his plan. He called Abraham out from his family and Abraham went ‘not knowing where he was going.’ He had to shrug off the family label and allow God to define him from here on in.

Can you tear off your label and let God label you, because he will, you know; except his label doesn’t limit – it liberates: “You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete…From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ” (Col 3:9-11 MSG).

Labels tell us three things. The producer of the item. The price of the item. The purpose of the item.

You were hand-crafted by God before the foundation of the earth.
You were bought with the precious blood of Christ.
You are here to bring his Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

On the red carpet of life, hold your head high, confident that you are wearing the label God made for you.

so…i’m writing a book.

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word

And then that word grew louder and louder
‘Til it was a battle cry

(The Call: Regina Spektor)

It started quietly, oh so quietly.  So quietly that it couldn’t be God.  I mean, He sends armies of angels, sets bushes on fire, writes on walls.  He doesn’t whisper….

But then there is that verse that speaks of a ‘still small voice.’  Oooops.  I forgot about that.  Maybe this is God.

I’m not 100% sure but I decided not to let it go and now this thing won’t let go of me.  Honestly it keeps me awake at night, I get so excited.  I’ve never felt this way before.

I also have to mention that I’ve never been this scared before.  By committing to this I could end up looking really stupid if it doesn’t work out, but God has a habit of doing that to people (Abraham, Moses, Gideon. See The Bible for more info).

But I have a ‘battle cry’ and I can’t shut up.  “What is that battle cry?” I hear you ask.  I’m shouting out to single women who feel like they’re on the shelf to fill their shelves with worship, friendship and purpose.  Why? Because God shouted that to me.  To stop huffing and moaning and use this special season in my life for His purpose.  So this book is my purpose.  My dream is to bring a little encouragement to women who battle with loneliness and the feeling that life is passing them by as they watch the rest of the world split off into groups of two.

It’s early days and I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.  But I do have the One who called me to do it in the first place.

And hopefully after reading this, I’ll have you too.  Please pray for me as I do this.  This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done… and I’ve barely started.