domingo, 20 de abril de 2014

Groundhog Jesus

"Well, I sure hope Jesus doesn't ruin the weather on Sunday. You know what Easter is, right? It's when Jesus gets out of his hole and sees his shadow or doesn't see his shadow... " ~ Jeff Wilcox.

What the heck is wrong with Mr. Jeff?  That is supper offensive, isn't it? Well... it depends. I call offensive those jokes I used to tell back in college about not anybody wanting Jesus in his soccer team since he was not a good header (ask me if you didn't get this). Or this other one that said that resurrected Jesus was unable to decently hold a ball gum in the palm of his hands. I was making fun of the Savior of the world. Back then, though, He wasn't my Savior. To me,  Jesus was nobody.

Kiss to the camera

That tells me that Jesus can take a joke. He doesn't get offended easily. After all love doesn't anger easily, and doesn't keep record of wrongs. Not my words. The Bible's. If it were up to me, I would make anybody who was wronged me pay dearly. Thank God it is not up to me. That guy Jesus forgave my offenses, helped me overcome my unbelief, and gave me a new beginning. 


OK... enough with the sarcasm. Well, no. Actually not. Come on, people, it is three in the morning!! I have never felt like getting up in the middle of the night, and start writing a post. The only time I have felt this way is when I was writing my book, that by the way, Mr. Jeff proof read. I guess he is a good man after all.


Admiring nature

So yes, I GUESS MR. JEFF IS A GOOD MAN AFTER ALL. He is not a good man, you know. He is a godly man. I have never met a man who is more committed to share the gospel with random people than Jeff is. Jeff and Trilva are very good friends to our family. We met back in Ohio a LONG TIME AGO. Since then, we have talked to each other for two hours every single Friday. I can count with my fingers the Fridays we haven't had a Spanish lesson in seven years. SEVEN YEARS! Of course I took a break when I had babies, but that's pretty much it. 

I thought I was gonna get rid of him when we moved to Houston, but then I introduced him to Skype. Now he threatens with calling all the way to India. One day, we had a lesson over the phone. Good thing I had thousands of roll over minutes... Anyway, he is a very good friend. He is actually an ordained minister, so if you need to get married, I can hook you up with him for free. He volunteers with hospice patients, attends church every Sunday, holds church group at his home every Thursday, sponsors children through Compassion International in Kenya (or somewhere along those latitudes... I think it is actually Mexico). That old man is basically a saint.


Making cake pops

No, seriously, why does a "good" man such as Jeff would make a joke about Jesus? He should know better. Those kind of jokes could drive people away, or make them think you don't even have respect for your own faith. If you don't respect your allegedly Savior, why would anybody else?   

I have never asked him directly. I don't think I have to. I think Mr. Jeff would do almost anything to engage anyone into a having a spiritual conversation. That's his thing. He loves talking about Jesus with people. He even holds a seminar at his church called, "How to start a spiritual conversation without being weird". I took it once, and I loved it. I've learned from him many things about sharing my faith in non-weird ways. Most people feel uncomfortable when you come up with God-questions. That's the reality. Jeff's gift relies on sharing his faith by making people feel at ease when talking about God. We should be comfotable talking about Him. Why wouldn't we? God is not here to get us!

And a paaartridge in a pear tree...
Bono and Superman

Jeff would joke about silly stuff like that to gain many. You know, like Paul in the Bible...

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 
1 Cor. 9:20-22

Even if they don't believe, at least they hear what he has to say. They listen JUST because Jeff made them feel comfortable. That doesn't mean Jeff compromises his believes, washes them down, or gives them the cool aid. But he is not pushy, and overall he is a nice guy :)

So... I should have titled this post, 10 REASONS WHY JEFF IS GOING TO HEAVEN... 

Sunrise service. Easter 2014.

Anyways, I was just wondering while in bed what the heck I am wearing tomorrow for the sunrise Easter service at my church. Why would that matter? I won't quote, but the gospels say the linen where Jesus was wrapped with was lying there when he got out of his cave. They also said that when people saw Jesus, He was wearing a white-as-snow robe. So naked or not, I don't think Jesus cares what I wear. But I want to look pretty. I want to wear nice clothes to celebrate this day.  

Then my thoughts randomly changed to asking Google if there was an actual time recorded for the resurrection. The Bible says at dawn, after the Sabbath. But you know when you google stuff you find all kinds of stuff. And so I came across some websites that were arguing that Jesus didn't rise on Sunday morning, and that it was a stupid tradition we had in the church. I mean the Church, being all followers of Jesus. Those who believe He was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and that He rose from the dead. I am NOT talking about those who go to church on Easter but they don't have a genuine faith. And don't take this the wrong way. Let me elaborate.

Admiring living bugs

Being a Christian, a true follower of Jesus, is not about going to church. God won't give you a sticker because you paid Him a visit on Easter or Christmas. Being a Christian is not about believing the right things, or just believing that Jesus was the Son of God. The Bible actually says even the devil believes that. A follower of Jesus is he who has made a choice. A well-thought choice of trusting in Jesus. You have chosen to follow Him, you follow the leader.

You have come to the realization that you are a sinner and need a Savior. You ask Jesus to be yours. And your faith becomes real when you live your life according to it. That is not to say that you will no longer sin. Of course you will. But by Jesus being your Savior, God will still hold you accountable for your sins, but you don't have to pay the quote for them. You know what I mean? Jesus already did by suffering in your place.

And then I also read Jesus died on  Wednesday, not Thursday. They said it had to be Wednesday for Jesus to be dead for 72 hours if we wanted Him to rise on Sunday morning. REALLY, PEOPLE?

Then you have the Holy Week, and my dad asking me why the Catholic Church cannot make up a date to celebrate Easter on the same days every year, much like Christmas. I DON'T KNOW, DAD, YOU ARE CATHOLIC. ASK THE POPE. But I am a good daughter, right? So here I was doing research and explained to him that we follow a solar calendar, and Jews follow a lunar calendar. Easter is totally associated with the Jewish Passover Celebration, so it cannot be celebrated on the same days every year. All this I remembered while in bed.

Ready for the pancakes

My brain went berserk, and I also remembered a Thanksgiving dinner at Emerson's advisor home when we were still in Ohio. What do you know? He was Jewish. AWESOME. While grabbing some turkey, his wife and I were talking about Christmas, and she let out a question, "You do know that your Christmas celebration is wrong, right? Because scholars seem to indicate that Jesus was born on June, not on December..." And me, being me, didn't take offense, because I don't think she meant harm.

My point is this...

This Easter as you go to church -or not go to church- do not act like me who wonders about stupid tiny details in the middle of the night. All those questions have an answer, but don't lose your sleep over them. Seriously people, who the heck cares if Jesus was born on June??!! NOT ME. I understand people study the Bible, and that's actually their job. I get they need to make sense of stuff. I also believe everybody needs unity. So if it has been decided -by whoever- that Christmas is December 25th, so be it.  I doubt Jesus is like, "Oh, no, Daddy! They missed my birthday again!"

As followers of Jesus, let's have unity in the important stuff. Listen to me. Listen to this.

Touching beetles

If Jesus did not rise up from the dead, we who follow his steps are totally screwed. If Jesus hadn't risen, there would be no hope for anybody. Biblical Christianity would become a total fiasco. I am not defending or trying to prove my faith right. I have made perfectly clear in other posts that Biblical Christianity is unique because our God reached out to us. We don't have to hope we did enough good things to go to heaven because our God loves us, and He came to save us. Our Savior is still alive.

So excuse me if at five in the morning I don't care when Jesus died or when He came back to life. All I care about right now is that He did die, and He did overcome death. He is alive. How do I know He is alive? Because I was dead. I was empty. I was alone. I was addicted. I was really lost. But now I am alive because He lives in me.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed :))

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