HELP, I need somebody!

So how does loving people, instead of gossiping or judging help YOU? It allows “God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (Phil 4:7),” to work its magic inside of you! When you allow it, “His peace will guard your heart[s] and mind[s] as you live in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7).” When you learn to see people how God sees them, you won’t feel stressed and upset when they do something that’s not right. You won’t feel judgmental and critical toward them. You’ll love them through it and be there for them.

Have you ever had an encounter with someone when you messed up, that wasn’t good? How did it make you feel? I once had a boss yell at me in front of a group of people for doing something wrong. Do you know that nothing about that situation instilled in me a desire to do better?

People who truly need help and need to mature need our love and support. People who aren’t making the best decisions usually know inside that they’re not? They don’t need someone, beating them down for it or smacking them upside the head. They need a “prodigal son” encounter (Luke 15:20-22, 24).

They need to know that you’re there and you’re going to love them through it. That’s God’s grace and mercy, which IS good news. If God had a 2×4 on the other end of this ordeal that wouldn’t be good news. He doesn’t, because He’s kind!

The Bible says we were made in His image. If God is kind, we have that kindness inside of us. Let’s be kind to people! Let’s let our light shine and give an awesome representation of Christ. Be that person who says, “Hey! We love you. We’re not going to judge you or smile and then talk bad about you behind your back! We’ve been through what you’ve been through, we understand and we love you.” The End.

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Remember Where You Came From

You know, one good thing about remembering where you came from, is to remind yourself of the grace that people extended to you when you were in that place. I am surrounded by some seriously Godly and wise people who have spoken ridiculously amazing gold nuggets into my life!

It’s easy when you gain wisdom here and there to fall into a place of where you’re looking at people, wondering why they’re not making better decisions. It’s like when you’re a parent watching your kids do something, thinking, “Yep, that’s not going to work,” and yet they do it anyway. How much more could God, in all of his wisdom, continually look at us like a bunch of morons, but He doesn’t!

He loves us and He wants us to see each other in the same light that He does! He runs to those who are lost. He doesn’t say, “Jesus, did you see how they’re acting? That’s ridiculous! Why did we make them again?” No, He draws them close to Himself. We have to be the same. We have to stop the judgement. Luke 6:41 says, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?” Just stop!! We need to love people.

We need to love people. Another biggie that we need to guard against, is gossiping under the premise of prayer. We need to stop that too!!

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NKJV) says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Proverbs 16:28 (MSG) reminds us the consequences of gossiping, “Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.”

Proverbs 20:19 (MSG) also says “Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths.”

So how do we avoid all of this mess? By seeing people the way God does. When you can see people the way God sees them, it will cause you to love them with a love that can’t be explained and doesn’t make sense.

1 Cor 13: 3-8 (MSG) says “If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” Love Never Dies.

Now, THAT is love! Next blog we will talk about how this benefits YOU!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Mean Girls

Sometimes without meaning to, we adopt the attitude of the Pharisees, like in Luke 15:2 (NKJV), “And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” ”

THE HORROR!!

We judge people based on their actions, because they should NOT be doing that. We are shocked when imperfect people act imperfectly! How does God see them?

I remember when I was in the 5th grade there was this girl who was a bully. I still remember her entire name. It was…haha, just kidding! She was so mean and hateful to me and I really just couldn’t stand her. She was also scary. I remember she got suspended and her mom called and yelled at the principal and they rescinded her suspension. It was crazy! I remember complaining about her to my Mom and I honestly can’t remember what my Mom said, but I do remember that she began explaining why she might have acted the way she did. I remember feeling so frustrated with my Mother…how could she stick up for her? I mean, that girl was crazy! You know, in that moment I didn’t realize the invaluable lesson that my Mother was instilling in me: the ability to look through a filter of how God sees people, instead of taking them at face value and judging them by their actions.

Having that “God filter” feels impossible unless you have a true understanding of how much God loves you.  Seeing people God’s way is so important! It puts us in a place where we stop judging people for where they are, so we can bring the awesome gift of salvation to them and help them to mature and grow!

Of anyone that I’ve ever met, my mother is the greatest example of being able to see the good in someone. Do you know that it’s not a testament to who she is, but to who Jesus is inside of her? It used to drive me absolutely crazy!  I’d go to her to vent about something or someone (like my 5th grade nemesis) bothering me and she would respond with some explanation about how maybe they were just tired or didn’t realize how they came across.

Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” My Mother is GREAT about letting her light shine. Sometimes, we act like the “mean girls” of the Christian world by looking down on people because of where they are in their lives. It’s kind of hard to let your light shine if your ugly attitude snuffs it out!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Do You See What He Sees?

So, how DOES God see people?!

Luke 15:3-7 (NKJV) says, “So He spoke this parable to them, saying: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.’”

Jesus dropped everything to find that one little lost sheep. He didn’t reprimand the sheep for being lost, He celebrated!

Luke 15:20-22, 24 says, “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”

He was so excited. He didn’t start listing everything he’d done wrong.  He rejoiced with him and saw him through the filter of where he had been and where he was now. THIS is how God sees people. No matter what state someone is in or what they’re going through, they are so very precious to Him!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

 

Different Filters for Different Seasons

We go through different seasons of our lives and our view of people sometimes filters through the current season that we’re in.

My husband was in the army and after he deployed his first time, I was in such a tough season that it was really hard not to filter everything through my current circumstances at that time. I remember a lady telling me that her husband was going out of town and she was just telling me how hard it was going to be on her.

The empathetic part of me TOTALLY shut down. I was so annoyed, because I was comparing her situation to mine and it just fell short. Her husband was stateside and wasn’t getting shot at. Honestly, I couldn’t even see what there was for her to complain about! I wasn’t seeing her situation through the eyes of someone who cared about her and loved her. I was seeing it through the filter of my circumstance.

We tend to do this so often. We all start off as baby Christians. None of us have learned EVERYTHING there is to learn! I have a one year old and I have to tell him at least 10 times, NOT to open a cabinet door, and that’s just the first minute! I’m pretty sure his first words were “no-no”! I’m not surprised by how he acts because he’s a baby. That is how he’s supposed to act.

Have you ever asked someone whose kids are grown-ups now, how their kids were as babies? Usually they remember some things, but they don’t quite remember details like someone who currently has a baby.

When we begin to mature as Christians, we can sometimes forget what is was like before we met Jesus or when we first started our relationship with Him. It’s really easy to fall into a critical place, where we’re seeing people through the filter of where we’re at in life and not where they are.

It’s good to always want people to mature and grow, but judgement and criticism aren’t going to bring that person to a higher place, love and kindness will. In our next blog, we will take a closer look at how God sees people.

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

Sweetie

My Aunt told me that when I was a little girl, I used to get mad and call people “dummies.” I know…quite the charmer! They tried to get me to be nicer and call people “sweeties,” instead. She said one day, I got really mad at someone and yelled, “SWEETIE” in a really ugly tone! I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere (wink, wink)!

Being a “Sweetie” is kind of important.  One of the most important jobs that we will ever have on this earth is telling people the Good News about Jesus! How do we do that? By being kind!

The Bible says in Romans 2:4 (AMP 2nd half of the verse), “Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]?”

John 3:17 (NKJV) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

If we’re truly going to impact the world, then we have to see people the way God sees people! He loved them so much that He gave them His most precious gift. That’s Love!

~Danielle Paden~
My Not So Perfect, Perfect Life Blog
http://danigirl1982.blogspot.com

God Keeps His Promises

Genesis 3:14–15 (NLT) says,  Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild.  You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.  And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.  He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.'”

This scripture is talking about how Jesus will strike the head of Satan and it will bruise Jesus’ heel, which was prophesied 4000 years before the birth of Christ.  God keeps His Promises.

During this Christmas season, remember to find the promises in the Bible for whatever you are believing for, stand on and believe it because God always keeps His promises.  It will come to pass.

Merry Christmas,

-Pastor

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like This: (Part 2)

What is it that makes us think that God is hard? And have you noticed how this thought makes us hard inside?

Religion, more than anything else, causes us to have a wrong understanding of who God really is. Religion takes the thing that God intended to free us and puts us into bondage with it. For example, when God established the Sabbath He didn’t establish it to put us into bondage. It was for our benefit – it gave us time to rest, to think about God, etc. God thought it would be good to have a day off! Jesus said, I made the Sabbath for you, not you for the Sabbath.

In the Parable of the Talents, the first man said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, so I was afraid and I buried it.”

A wrong understanding of who God is will lead us to fear.

2 Tim. 1.7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power and of a sound mind.”

Along with fears come insecurities.

A wrong understanding of who God is will create a fear complex in your life, which often leads to an obsession with safety and security. We tend to build walls around ourselves so that no one can cause us harm. We may think, “I’m lonely in here, but at least I’m safe.”

If we want to live in prosperity and have successful lives, we have to understand who God is…NOT A HARD MAN!

-Pastor