Category Archives: Jesus

Why I love Jesus…

I am not one to push my beliefs on others.  I find all religions interesting and enjoy learning the differences, but I am and will always be a Christian, a Jesus lover, a child of God.

People have asked, “Why do you believe?  Why do you love Jesus?”

The answer should be simple, “Because he loves me.”

But that doesn’t really explain things, does it?

There are many reasons the world turns away from religion, from believing in God.  Unfortunately, many of those reasons have to do with us Christians, the very people who are suppose to be bringing others to Christ.

I’ve seen or heard all of these…

“Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites.”
“Christians are too judgemental.”
“I’m not good enough to fit in there (referring to church).”

“They (Christians) won’t accept me.”
“They (Christians) won’t approve of my choices.”

I do attend church and I do love my church, however, I agree that many of these things do happen and it’s unfortunate.  I also admit that I have probably done some of the very things that turn people away.  I know I have judged others when I shouldn’t have.  I have been hypocritical.  I have been that Christian.

I have also been on the other end of that.  I have felt unaccepted.  I have felt condemned.  I have been judged.  I have feared I would be criticized for my opinions and beliefs.  I have experienced that in the church.

While I love my church and my church family, they are not the reason I love Jesus.

I love Jesus because…

At 11 years old, I needed courage.  I stared out of my window, beyond the stars and prayed for God to give me courage to be able to tell about the abuse I was going through.  The next day, I had that courage.  I have to believe God answered my prayer.

Most of my life, I felt unworthy.  I still fight that feeling most days.  In fact, I am unworthy, but God’s word says I am redeemed.  The Bible says Jesus paid for my sin.  For that, I am grateful and if Jesus didn’t die for my sins, then I have no reason for hope.  I have to believe there is a reason for hope.

As a teenager, I tried to commit suicide.  Part of me wanted to die and yet I am here.  Part of me wanted to live.  In reality, I didn’t really want to die, I wanted to be free from the pain I felt.  I am free.  I have been blessed with peace I never imagined I could feel, for no explainable reason.  I have to believe a greater power gave me that peace. 

In my twenties, faced with many life changes including marriage, job changes, a new house, a new baby, I was overwhelmed with emotions.  Floods of memories haunted me and I sunk into a horrible depression.  I believed my husband and son would be better off without me.  I was damaged goods.  I was too broken to fix.  At 35, I sit here thankful that God did not give up on me like I had given up on me.  Through the darkness, he shined his light.  People came into my life and shared a little glimpse of Jesus.  They loved me when I couldn’t love myself.  They had hope when I had none.  They prayed for me even when I wanted nothing to do with prayer.  I have to believe there is a reason I am alive and I AM ALIVE!

I love Jesus because…

Through him, I have found courage.

In him, I have been redeemed.  

With him, I have hope and peace.

By his grace, I have eternal life.

He loves me enough to give me courage, redemption, hope, peace and eternal life. 

Yes, the answer is simple.  

I love him because He loves me. 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The Bible…

I’ve been watching The Bible miniseries on The History Channel.  Last night was week three of a five week series which is scheduled for a finale on Easter Sunday.  For what it’s worth, this is my review :)

I have really enjoyed seeing many of the stories come to life through this movie.  I would encourage anyone who has a desire to know more to watch it but at the same time, I would recommend you follow along in your Bible.  Being that it’s a 10-hour series, there’s no way everything can be fit in but in my opinion, some pretty big details have been left out or changed.

Truth holds that a book is almost always better than the movie and in this case, there’s no doubt THE book is best!

1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Test everything.  Hold on to the good.”

There are great things about this movie.  The fact that for the past three Sundays, it has had more viewers than anything and that it has had the most followers than any other show on The History Channel are both amazing things.  This film is reaching people.  It’s encouraging people to open their Bibles and read the Word of God.  It’s changing lives.  There’s no doubt that it has great potential to impact lives and steer them into a relationship with Christ.

The birth of Jesus was one of the most loved scenes from episode 3.  Many reviews from last night rave about how emotional that scene was and what peace was felt knowing our Messiah was here, to save us all.  There’s no doubt there is power in that scene.  Power to stir our emotions, to give us hope and strengthen our faith.

However, we must also be careful.  Considering the impact this film can have on people, Christians as well as non-believers and those of other religions, we have to be careful to be as accurate as possible.  Every wrong word and every inaccurate detail is being picked apart and criticized.  It creates doubt.  It justifies negative opinions.  God’s word has the power to change, but we do not have the right to change His Word.  It is God-breathed and while most will see past the discrepancies and hang on to the beauty of the story, we still have to be cautious in how we handle truth.  Because it is truth, we shouldn’t steer from it.  There is no need to.  The power is in the Word as it is.  We are not greater than God.  This is where my disappointment comes in.  Again, I encourage you to watch it but have your Bible handy, dig into God’s word for yourself, find the truth written in the pages of your Bible and grow in your relationship with Christ.

I won’t hash out all the discrepancies but some things that really stood out to me are:

Many of the emotional and spiritual connections these people had are lost in the midst of chaos and fighting.  If you’ve read anything from the actual Bible, you know it’s not all sunshine and roses, but through the fighting and death are very intimate stories of hope, overcoming despair, faith and redemption.  In the film, these aspects seem to be on the back burner.

A lot of viewer reviews I’ve read are against the harsh violence.  Many people are afraid to let their children watch it.  I agree, the violence is very extreme in most scenes.  While there was in deed a lot of violence during those times and these places were filled with war and murder, those violent scenes tend to over shadow the intimate relationships with God.  Also, the film lacks explanations on much of the violence and fighting so viewers are left with the impression that God is mean and angry with very little positive light shed on Him.  So far there really hasn’t been any build up of His redemption, unconditional love, forgiveness, etc.  For new Christians or non-believers, this could be an unfortunate turn-off.

Perhaps instead of focusing on the violence, this could have been a great time to teach why there was suffering, why these people faced such difficult times.  These people were warned time after time to change their ways.  They were given numerous chances to turn from evil.  It’s like parent who disciplines their child.  Without discipline, they don’t learn.  We don’t want to have to punish or discipline our children but we do it because we want to teach them right and wrong.  God did not want these people to suffer but in order for them to learn, he had to intervene.  I won’t pretend to know all the answers but as a person who was once lost, it all makes so much sense now.  God never wants us to suffer but we have to learn and sometimes in order to learn lessons, we have to go through trials.


David (1 Samuel 16 – 1 Kings 2)
Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

David wrote many prayers and songs.  He poured his heart out to God.  He cried out to Him, in desperation, despair and in times of joy.  His story lacks the servants heart, the heart he had for the Lord.  Most of what we see of David is Saul’s hate towards him, his betrayal towards Uriah and his affair with Bathsheba.  We see nothing about David’s relationship with his son, Absalom, who had murdered his other son, Amnon, over the rape of his daughter, Tamar.  Absalom fled and later returned only to be shunned by David.  Absalom later attempts to overthrow and assassinate him.  There is so much more to David’s story than what we see depicted in this film.  His family earns the title of dysfunctional in so many ways but through it all, David had a heart for the Lord.  Even through all his mistakes and shortcomings, the Lord loved David.  I highly encourage you to read more about David and study his relationship with the Lord.  We have much to learn from him, his mistakes, his inadequacies and his faith in God.

Samson and Delilah (Judges 16:17-18)
So he told her everything.  “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb.  If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.”  So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands.  After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.  And his strength left him.

The film spends a good deal of time with Samson.  We learn about his first wife as well as his relationship with Delilah.  In the film, Delilah performs the act of cutting Samson’s hair.  While this may seem insignificant, in my opinion it bears a lot of significance.  For one, there’s a change in God’s word.  The Bible tells us that Delilah sent word and had the Philistines come and do the act of “shaving” Samson’s hair.  In my opinion, this shows Delilah’s power over not only Samson, but also the Philistines that they once again were willing to do as she has said.  The film also uses cutting instead of shaving and the cutting that takes place is near the shoulders, not anything like shaving.  Imagine a man who has lived all of his life with hair and in this situation, knows the significance and power in his hair.  Now, imagine the drama and devastation of losing it all – being shaved, bald.  It seems to carry a greater impact which is perhaps what makes it such a powerful story.  There was really no need for the producers to steer away from Scripture in this scene.

The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

In the film, they show the scene of Jesus walking down to John, being baptized and then as quick as the scene began, it’s over.  There was no view of Heaven, no spirit, no dove and no voice from God.  In my opinion, the spirit filled scene and love from God is a huge deal.  In the Bible, this is one of the most amazing images we have of the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It’s in this moment that we hear God acknowledge His son.  To leave out this part not only takes away from the moment, but it takes God out of that scene.  Please read this story and draw your own image in your mind.  Think of how beautiful that scene could have been and while it may still impact some, think of how great the impact could have been had they chosen to follow God’s word in this scene.

Again, I wouldn’t say don’t watch it.  If it changes one life or encourages one person to dig deeper then it’s all worth it.  My hope is that it doesn’t turn people away from the Bible but instead brings them closer, into a deeper relationship with God.  No movie or person has the power to change any of us but God’s word has the power to change us all, if we let it!

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The Great Commission…

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Matthew 28:16-20  Jesus Gives the Great Commission (also in Mark 16:15-18)

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.”
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We read this to our 2nd grade Sunday school class this week as we discussed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

I’ve never thought much about mission work, in fact, I’ve been in the mind set that we should be helping folks here before worrying about those in other countries.  While my hearts desire is to help those nearby, I am so thankful and grateful to those who are called to tell the world about God.

A couple I grew up with recently left for a year in Peru.  They packed up their family of six, including four young children and left behind all they knew and loved, for the sake of others – so that others may come to know God as we do.  What a blessing they and many others are that they were willing to walk away from everything they knew to be safe, secure and comfortable, in order to share the gospel with strangers in another country.  (Follow their journey here)

As I read about the Great Commission, I am reminded that we are to make disciples of every nation, teaching them and obeying God.

I am reminded of how blessed my own family is to have grown up in an area where most everyone knows of and believes in God.  We are free to pray.  We don’t fear standing up for what we believe.

I am reminded that even Jesus himself faced criticism and ridicule.  His followers were shunned.  People called him names.  He was beaten.  He was tortured.  He was murdered.  All for you and me!  I am reminded that He gave his own life so that we can be forgiven.  He paved the way for us to live in freedom, without pain and suffering, in a place more glorious and beautiful than our minds could ever imagine.

I am reminded that there are people in this world who have never even heard the name Jesus.  How could it be that in 2012, with all the modern technology we have, all the resources available – how can it be possible that there are people in this world who do not know the Lord?

I am reminded of the lyrics in a song I have heard many times…

Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night
Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise

Until the whole world hears, Lord, we are calling out
Lifting up your name for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness, we’re crying out
And as the day draws near
We’ll sing until the whole world hears

Until the Whole World Hears by Casting Crowns
(See the official video here)

Having grown up in the Bible belt, it’s hard for me to even comprehend that so many people have never heard of God, much less been able to pray and witness for themselves the glory of God, His love, His forgiveness, His grace. 

While I may feel called to serve locally and others like the Heath family and many more feel called to serve in foreign missions, please join me in prayer for ALL those who are singing so the whole world hears! 

Father, I come to you, my heart heavy knowing there are people close by and far away who do not yet know you.  I pray that our voices, our hearts, our songs, will reach the many who need to hear about you.  I pray they feel your presence in their lives, that they come to know you as their savior, the one and only true God, who can set them free from whatever burdens they may be carrying.  I pray that you wrap your arms around everyone singing your praises and keep them safe so they may continue to share your word with others.  In your name we pray, Amen.

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Keep on reading…

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So this was a verse I heard over and over this morning at church.  It was the verse we focused on in the 2nd grade Sunday School room as we talked about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was one of the verses preached by a missionary who visited our church today.  As he read John 3:16 and talked about what a beautiful verse it is, he also mentioned how we tend to stop there but when we read further, we learn more.

So, reading on, John 17-18 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only son.”

As usual, I had to scroll down the page of my NIV Life Application Study Bible and read the notes.  I love trying to learn what I can from the verses but most of the time, it takes me reading the notes to really understand what the verses are saying.  With that said, I *adore* my Bible and couldn’t live without it.  I definitely recommend it to anyone searching for a new Bible :)

The notes go on to say in verse 18 that when Jesus talks about unbelievers, he means those who reject or ignore him completely, not those who have momentary doubts.

I am thankful for that little addition.  Many times, I have worried that my doubts are unforgivable or unacceptable.  Based on the above statements, I am reassured that my doubts just show I am human.  I know as I learn more and grow in my faith, my doubts will lessen.  That statement also makes me sad for those who reject Jesus.  I know there were times in my life when I turned away from God, when I sought bad things, whether it was in spite or to punish myself, either way, I see now how much it damaged my life and how much I have grown putting my faith and trust in God.

Diving further into these verses, in John 3:19-21, Jesus says, “This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, sot that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

You hear John 3:16 all the time.  It’s one of the first verses I remember memorizing.  It’s printed on shirts.  It’s displayed on automobiles.  It’s in commercials.  It’s probably one of the most well known verse of the Bible.  I admit, before today, I had never read past John 3:16.  I never knew I needed to, but today, it was exactly what I needed to read! 

John 3:19-21 spoke to me in several ways.  In my Bible notes, it says, “Many people don’t want their lives exposed to God’s light because they are afraid of what will be revealed.  They don’t want to be changed.  Don’t be surprised when these same people are threatened by your desire to obey God and do what is right, because they are afraid that the light in you may expose some of the darkness in their lives.  Rather than giving in to discouragement, keep praying that they will come to see how much better it is to live in light than in darkness.”  Further on in my notes, it says this about verse 25, “Some people look for points of disagreement so they can sow seeds of discord, discontent, and doubt.”

Having come out of the darkness and into the light, I strongly believe that it is so much better to be open about all those ugly secrets than to carry them around.  I have been in positions where I made decisions that were right but was condemned and criticized for my decisions.  That left me with doubt – did I really do the right thing or were these people right to criticize me?  Reading John has eased that doubt.  I know right from wrong and when others have issues with me making the right choices, it’s simply that – their issue, not mine.  

I was consumed by the darkness and I have hidden for many years, the dark, ugly secrets of my past.  I believed that was all that was possible in my life…that I would forever be burdened by shame and guilt, I would always live with fear and worry, I would stay consumed with memories and nightmares of a tragic life.  I don’t know the exact moment all of that changed, but at some point, I gave up – I turned it all over to God and he freed me from my chains.  I give him all the glory because without him, I wouldn’t be here.  The only way I can comprehend my existence today is to believe that God does have a purpose for me.  When I read the notes above about the darkness, I am reminded of all the years I spent in the dark and how that is a place I wouldn’t wish on anyone – a place I pray I never have to visit again and yet it’s a place I don’t want to forget.  I want to remember where I came from so that somehow, someway, God can use my pain to help others who are where I was.  Forgetting or denying where I’ve been would give me nothing to show how God has worked in my life, but being open about those years, admitting my guilt, my faults, my shortcomings, my choices, my suffering – all of that and showing where I am now – that is proof of God’s grace, His redemption, His love!

I am thankful today that this missionary pointed out for us to read further – past the pretty verses we tend to memorize and get the whole story.  It was a gentle reminder to me to keep going, to really soak in His words and apply them to my life.  He speaks right to the things we need to hear – but we have to be open to hearing what He has to say.  I am amazed daily at the way He answers the questions in my life!

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Who Are You?

Many times throughout life, we question our identity, our purpose.  For years, I was a victim.  That’s all I could identify with – victim mentality and I let that role invade every tiny inch of my life.  I didn’t sleep without being a victim.  I didn’t walk through the mall without being a victim.  That’s all I saw for myself.  I felt invisible, no one could really see me.  At the same time, I felt see through – like people could just glance at me and see the dirty, shameful victim that I was.  It doesn’t seem to make sense, but it was my reality.

Many times, I wished someone could have seen the real me, torn away all those insecurities and said, “Jenny, that’s just not true.  You are somebody!”.  Maybe someone did but my ears failed to hear.

My prayer is that someone, maybe feeling those same feelings or thinking those same thoughts will read this and know they are not alone!

A child is defined as “a young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority.” (ref. Google dictionary)

My interpretation of that through my growth in faith and my walk with the Lord is we are all young – not at full development and capability to understand many earthly things.  We are incapable of true knowledge of all the things of this world.  God, the father, has full knowledge.

Daughter is defined as “a girl or woman in relation to her parents.”  (ref. Google dictionary)

I am a daughter.  I was born to earthly parents.  I was raised by my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather.  I am also God’s daughter.  He is my heavenly father.  I have never met or seen my biological father so understanding God for me is not that hard.  I know that physically, there is a man out there with my DNA who helped to create me but I have never physically seen him.  I also know that there is a creator, greater than I could ever imagine, the creator of my DNA and I have never physically seen him.  They both are my fathers – only one has been here for me my entire life – my heavenly father.  I have never physically felt the presence of my earthly father but thankfully, I have felt the presence of my heavenly father.  He is with me daily.

Like daughter, “a son is a boy or man in relation to his parents.” (ref. Google dictionary)

I gave birth to two sons (and a daughter).  They share the DNA of my husband and I but we are teaching them to recognize their heavenly father.  He can be there for them in times when we cannot.  He can teach them things that we cannot.  He can guide them when we fall short.  He can pick them up when they fail.  They can make mistakes in this world, but He can wipe their slates clean.  We may hold grudges or judge, but He will view them as holy, like He viewed His own son, the son He gave up for mine.

When you question who you are, remember you are His and there is no greater person to be.  He created you.  You will never be perfect on this earth, but in His eyes, you are pure perfection.  Sure, you will stumble, but He will catch you.  You will fall, but He will pick you up.  You will forget how to walk, but He will carry you!  You are so much more important to this world than the world could ever possibly show you.  Put your eyes on God and let Him be your guide!

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

~ Author Unknown ~

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com