Thursday, November 10, 2005

Once again, we have been blessed with a remarkable teacher this week. I just want to pass along a bit of the wealth of knowledge that I have taken in over the past few days.

In following God’s will, we need to remember the WOW principle:
What do I need to do?
Our attitude as we go through.
What do I have to leave off?

We are made up of a body, soul and spirit. The soul is composed of the mind, will and emotions. The body and sprit are constantly in a tug-of-war battle for the soul. Consider the analogy of a white dog (spirit) vs. a black dog (body). Whichever dog is fed, will win the battle for your soul.

Read Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite didn’t stop to help because they put their reputations before the man in need. The priest would have been “unclean” for 21 days, meaning he would not be able to work or receive income. God doesn’t respect our reputations – he desires that we act righteously in all situations, no matter what the cost. The mistakes or the priest and Levite teach us that we should never put our position, profit or a program before people. The Good Samaritan let the man ride on his animal while he walked, paid for him to stay at the inn (plus any other expenses incurred) and was made late for wherever he was going (probably an important meeting). In return for laying down his rights to help the wounded and robbed man, the Samaritan got tired, poor and inconvenienced, BUT he was the hero of the story.

You are probably familiar with Matthew 7:13-14 that says “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it.” I heard a very cool way of describing this verse. Pretend you enter the subway station in NYC and go through the little gate to get down to the subway. It’s rush hour so there are a lot of people trying to get down into the subway system (this narrows the path) and you realize you don’t know which one to get on so you stop, turn around and try to go back to the gate to ask security. The path going toward the subway is wide – there are many people going that way and they are all wondering why you are trying to go the other way (some probably think you are crazy). They may stop you to ask what you are doing and tell you that you should just go to the subway because it is easier. You may just get caught up in the crowd (talking to a friend or even your spouse) and taken down to the subway. When you commit your life to Christ, people – friends, family, co-workers – will block the path because they know your old reputation. You have to stop to explain and justify yourself to everyone. The path to heaven becomes smaller and smaller as more people that are going the other way block your path. It’s not enough to just stop and turn around (repentance), but you actually have to start walking (sometimes fighting your way) toward heaven. A great reason to stay plugged into a church is because it is a lot easier to go against the current with a big group of people. I just want to encourage you to continue going against the flow!

After the fall of man, God put curses on Adam. Genesis 3:18 says “Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.” Thorns and thistles came along with sin. I don’t think that it is just a coincidence that Jesus had a crown of thorns on His head (Matt 27:29), bearing the sins of all mankind, when He was crucified on the cross. This proves that God knew what was going on and had a divine plan in place all along.

Well, if you made it this far, I hope you learned a little something. For now, I am feeling a bit tired, poor and inconvenienced (praise the Lord) so it is time to end this post.


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At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I identify with "when you commit your life to Christ, people - friends, family, co-workers - will block the path because they know your old reputation. You have to stop to explain and justify yourself to everyone". I have with great relief stopped explaining and justifying myself and simply try to follow Jesus as best I can. I am definitely not moving at your pace & never will, but at least I feel I'm going in the right direction. I read all your blogs and benefit greatly from your insights. God bless.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Leila Marie Nelson said...

Dearest Jenna,
How wonderful to read of all that you have been doing, learning, teaching and experiencing. Howell and I keep you in our hearts and thoughts every day. Bentley sends you big, wet paw...
I so love all that you have written and it makes me see, even more clearly that I already do, how so many our fellow human beings need to be reaquainted with the joys that come from giving to and understanding their fellow man.
I think of something that happened recently to my brother. He is a learning disabled adult, bright and kind, always so desperate for others to accept him and understand him. Last week, he told a woman who was very kind to him about something he had painstakingly made in his flower shop, that he appreciated what she said about his work, and that he loved her. She promptly left the store and later returned to make my mother aware of his inappropriate behavior. Always the educator, always my brother's guardian angel, my mom explained, holding back anger and tears, what she had done to my brother by making him feel he had done something evil by saying the word love to someone. Much more was said, and even after hearing the boundless words from my mom, this woman was unchanged. We need more humanity, more understanding and empathy. So many people live their lives so removed from others different from themselves and I so admire you traveling and immersing yourself in exactly that- new people, new cultures and new ways of living and perceiving the world. It is a sad day indeed when kindness and openness suddenly becomes so rare that it scares people. My parents have spent their lives fighting for my brother, and I think now, as they enter an older phase in their lives, it becomes even more difficult to believe they might not be able to change things for their son. I hope that more and more people open themselves up to the world as you have Jenna. It truly will make a difference, for you, and all those around you.
Keep safe and happy.

At 6:45 AM, Blogger E.J. said...

Hello Jenna!!!!
I signed up for one of these blog things. It was kind of fun, well at least more fun than working:) Check me out
I made a post and everything! Not like a wooden post. That would be hard for me. I do not have a lot of tools and I would probably get arrested for cutting down some elses tree.
So what is all of this talk about Australia? I mean you mention it in allot of your blogs. Are you out of town or something? If not, I think you have a cookie sheet of mine. You can just drop it by anytime. You know where I live.
Chat at you later...

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