Tag Archives: Jesus

What if I craved Jesus more than sugar?

 

I wonder what my life would look like if I craved Jesus as much as I crave sugar – or even more.

How much more would my desire be for Him?

How much more effort would I make to know Him?

How much more of each day would be focused on Him?

I’d crave Him after every dinner, when the meal doesn’t feel complete without something sweet.

I’d crave Him late at night, when midnight munchies hit.

I’d crave Him at 3 pm, when nothing sounds better than a chocolate chip cookie.

I’d crave Him when I wake, when Fruity Pebbles or a Poptart sound good for breakfast.

I’d crave Him when I watch a movie, when candy and slushie are close at hand.

I’d crave Him when I haven’t eaten in four hours, and it feels like forty.

I’d crave Him after an afternoon of swimming, when a Little Debbie hits the spot.

I’d crave Him on cold winter nights, when a hot cocoa sounds heavenly.

I’d crave Him when I gather with friends, when munching on junk food is always fun.

I’d crave Him when I play a game, when snacking seems like the natural thing to do.

I’d crave Him at the grocery store, when the shelves are stocked with seasonal treats.

I’d crave Him after a long day, when my energy is zapped and I need a rush.

I’d crave Him when I’m having an afternoon slump and want a pick-me-up.

I’d crave Him when I’m lonely and want some companionship.

I’d crave Him when I’m sad and need comfort.

I’d crave Him when I’m hungry,

or tired,

or frustrated,

or happy.

I’d crave Him when nothing else satisfies.

Because…truly…nothing else does.

 


 

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

 

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

 

The Sacrifice

 

He came into this world,

no glory, crown, or fame,

just a simple little manger,

Jesus was his name.

 

No palace marked his birth,

no riches or a throne,

just a humble servant child,

Son of God, flesh and bone.

 

As He grew He learned

His purpose.

His Father’s business was

His own.

To Him the sacrifice he’d make

one day,

was always known.

 

He expected no praise,

power He did not seek.

He was simply there to save,

to help the lost and meek.

 

He served with love until the day

when persecution had arrived.

His enemies rose up

against Him,

but He knew He would survive.

 

And as they nailed Him to

the cross,

He gazed upon each face,

and asked His Father

to forgive them,

a show of His eternal grace.

 

They mocked Him, beat Him,

put Him in the tomb,

placed the stone in front,

and sealed the room.

 

But three days passed,

and victory He claimed,

when the stone was rolled away,

“He has risen” was proclaimed.

 

The same child of the manger,

the humble servant one.

His resurrection a hope for all.

All pain and suffering done.

 

So as one thinks of baby Jesus,

remember what He’s done,

His birth so long ago,

the death of God’s own son.

 

And as one gazes at the cross,

remember the tears He cried,

as He hung there,

He saw your face,

“This blood’s for you”

– and died.

cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Random Thoughts by Kerry Nenn

 

 

Did Jesus tell jokes?

Have you seen Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ? If so, the scenes that stand out in your mind are probably those of Jesus beaten, tortured, and crucified. Eleven years after the movie release, I still vividly remember the 39 lashes (although not all of it, because I eventually had to close my eyes.)

With footage like this in the film, you may be surprised to discover which scene was actually most memorable for me. Here it is:

The last few seconds of that clip. That’s what really got to me. Jesus. Lord of all creation. Savior. Creator. Lamb of God. The Great I Am. Being playful with his mom. Laughing. A bit of a jokester as he splashes Mary.

This nearly blew my mind. It was a whole new image of Jesus I had never considered or imagined.

I do realize the “invention of the table” scene is not taken from the Bible, but from Gibson’s creative license. It still made me pause and ponder.

Jesus sitting on the mountainside, teaching his disciples. Jesus calming the storm. Jesus turning over the money changers’ tables. Jesus in the temple, listening and asking questions. Jesus healing the blind man. Jesus weeping. All of these I had easily envisioned for years. But, Jesus laughing? Smiling in amusement? Joking? This was a side of Jesus I had never even thought might exist. It never really crossed my mind to wonder if Jesus, sinless perfection, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, would ever have a lighthearted moment.

While out fishing, would he enjoy a good laugh with Peter? As a child, would he spin the dreidel with the other kids? While walking with his disciples, would he ever make them smile with a joke, or was it all parables and prophecy? This was a whole new side of my Savior I didn’t know. Does it really exist?

I’m not sure. I do know we are created in His image, and we humans like to laugh, to smile, to joke around, to enjoy moments of amusement both big and small. Is this modeled after our creator? Does God have a sense of humor, as they say?

I do know picturing Jesus’ laughing sets me free in ways the images of his death do not. I’m not simply set free from sin, I’m free to enjoy life. Free to laugh too. Free to have moments of absolute silliness and it’s absolutely ok.

This is a freedom I need to enjoy more, and I don’t believe I’m the only Christian out there for whom this is true.

I recently realized I am a lot more serious than I used to be. Some of the freedom and carefree enjoyment of each moment has slipped away. Not that I never crack a joke or laugh. I can be goofy around you if I am comfortable with you. I seem to be silliest with my sister. That’s probably because making my little sister laugh has been one of life’s greatest pleasures for me since my 40th month of life.

At other times, though, it seems to have gotten harder to experience this freedom. So, I ask myself – Why so serious? I think I can understand why, and I suspect similar events and thoughts are stealing the laughter away from other serious Christians as well.

I suspect events of the past few years have added the seriousness to my disposition that I don’t much care for. My father passed away, adding sorrow and a renewed sense of our limited time. My close friends have experienced some serious life struggles, causing me to realize a need for greater intentionality and deeper conversations and relationships in my friendships. My husband and I became group leaders at our church, adding a weight of responsibility for the discipleship of others.

Added to these events is the knowledge that people around me all day long are not following Jesus. They don’t know Him. If I accept the whole kit and caboodle of Christian beliefs, that means these people are on the road to hell. Fellow commuters in the cars next to mine. Coworkers at nearby computers. Shoppers in line with me at Walmart. Members of my family tree. Lost.

Add to that the fact that my time is limited. Before I know it, another 36 years will have passed and I will be pushing eternity. And that’s if I make it to the normal life expectancy. We all know, (at some level, even though we don’t like to dwell on it) that our time could be up any second. I’m not guaranteed tomorrow. This truth was driven home by a serious car crash in ’09 that involved me, my husband, and our SUV rolling over on the highway several times. It could easily have been fatal. Time is short. Maybe shorter than we think.

Heavy stuff. It weighs me down. There’s so much at stake. I feel so much pressure that there’s so little time and every conversation and every moment needs to be meaningful. I must be intentional with my time and efforts. At any moment, is there something else more important that I should be doing? A different conversation I should be having? I can feel that weight draining away the joy, the playfulness, the humor, and the lighthearted enjoyment of life in each moment.

I don’t think it’s healthy to be that serious. But, with all that I’ve mentioned going on in the world around me, it’s easy to do. It fills me with questions.

How can we be conscious of the world’s need for God, our limited time, feel the weight of it all, and still laugh? Is it ok to take things lightly? How can we not be serious?

Does Jesus model this? Can I still see Jesus laughing? Is that really his demeanor? Is it ok if it’s mine?

Am I too serious? Are many of us too serious as Christians? Do we take ourselves too seriously? Life too seriously? Make Jesus too serious?

What do you think?

What’s the healthy balance?

I apparently haven’t figured that out yet.

But I’m pretty sure I need to lighten up. 

 

 

Holly or Holy?

I originally posted this Christmas 2011, but thought I needed a reminder, so I am sharing it again.
Thanks for visiting me at NennPen. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!
-Kerry

 

This season, will I…

be surrounded by presents
or be surrounded by His presence?

have childlike wonder at the magic of Christmas
or wonder at the child – the meaning of Christmas?

watch a Christmas movie
or watch Christmas move me?

see snow fall
or His kingdom reign?

take my wishes to Father Christmas
or my prayers to the Heavenly Father?

sit by the crackling fire
or have a Holy Fire within me?

shop ’til I drop
or drop everything for Him?

enjoy a sleigh ride
or remember Jesus slain?

sing Christmas carols at people
or actually be caring for people?

have a piece of pie, good desserts
or know peace on earth, good will to men?

sit in awe of the Christmas tree
or stand in awe of Calvary’s tree?

wish all a Merry Christmas
or think of Mary’s Christmas?

hang beautiful lights,
or see the light of the world?

manage my time
or spend time at the manger?

attach a bow
or bow my knee?

Such an amazing gift,
this season, this reason.

This Christmas, Lord,
may I be wrapped up in you.

Quenched

water glass2

I must have been munching on some chips earlier that day, or perhaps one of my all-time favs, the french fry. Whatever the reason, I was suddenly overcome by thirst. One second I was contentedly walking through my house, the next I was quickly headed for the sink to satiate this powerful need that had unexpectedly engulfed me.

My first thought: “I’m so thirsty!” was immediately followed by a second:

“I thirst.”

These two words from John 19:28 echoed through my mind, resounded in my heart, and stopped me in my tracks.

Jesus said this. Jesus felt this. Jesus was thirsty.

“I thirst.”

The creator of the universe. A perfect Holy one. He who commands all things and has everything under his feet. He who is capable of anything. That he would endure such a human discomfort, such a yearning for satisfaction, such a base need, pierced me like never before. Such a simple need, but so torturous if not met. This one seemingly small part of his anguish hit me with such force that I was compelled to drop to my knees right then and there and simply thank the Lord for his love for me. It was knowing that it was by choice that he thirsted, that he endured this human need, for me, that drove me to my knees and kept me there a while. Jesus thirsted. For me. His suffering was to pay for my sins, to pave the way for me to know God, to make it possible for me to be fulfilled by Him. It was through His thirst that I can draw to Him and from Him. His sacrifice makes possible my relationship with my creator and savior. He bridged the gap that was otherwise uncrossable. He became my satisfier, the one way, truth, and life that can quench the longing in my soul. In that moment, a truth filled my spirit:

Jesus thirsted for me, so that I could thirst for Him.

Thank you, Lord, for creating in me a thirst that only you can satisfy, a thirst that you satisfy with yourself. 

 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38