“Not Ready for That”

“I am not ready for that.”

I have heard these words about following God/Jesus.

I respect that.  I appreciate honesty.  God knows we could use more honest people in this world.

However, I want to point out some things about “being ready for that”.

1.  Jesus loves you right where you are.–You do not need to be “ready for him”.  He is not your prom date and he is not taking you out for dinner.  Jesus loves you right here, right now, in the moment.

2. You are loved anyway.–Jesus loves you anyway.  Whether you have known him personally your entire life OR you just met him OR you never have really known him; he loves you anyway.  He loves you when you are in church.  He loves you when you wander far from him and have not spoke to him in quite some time.  He even loves you when you use him name in vain (although he does not like it!).

3.  Accept him.–Life is short.  We never know when we will take our last breath.   I am not speaking of Turn Or Burn Theology here.  I am speaking of reality.  Why wait?  Why wait for the right moment to begin with Jesus?  Folks, there is no right moment to wait for because Jesus is already walking right beside you.

It is easy to wait to begin a relationship with Jesus. ” Hey, let me indulge in this (name a struggle of yours) a few more times.  Then I will be ready, Lord.”  We just want to “have fun”.  The core issue is a lot of the things that hold us down from being free are the things that distract us from reality.    We then trudge though life–aimlessly–and gain no authentic satisfaction.   Jesus will give you a peace that is OUT OF THIS WORLD because his Kingdom is bigger than our daily worries.  When we are living in Jesus and in Kingdom living–it will transform how we spend time, energy, money, work, worries, etc.

Are you ready, friends?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

You are reading this post on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day…..so either way…..MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

My prayer is that you did not get caught up in the busyness of Christmas; therefore, you are enjoying the beauty of Christmas.

Take away all of the gifts, cookies, fancy Christmas dinners, parties, and church functions.  Yes, even the church functions can be distracting.  Take away all of these things.  What are you left with?  Jesus.

Jesus was the point of all of these posts.  Yes, my blog is entitled Java and Jesus.  But the last few weeks, we have intentionally focused on Jesus and all that HE IS and ALL THAT HE CAN BE IN YOUR LIFE.  Yes, we focus on the birth of Christ at Christmas but there is more to it than that.

We must let Jesus live…..in US.  ALL YEAR ROUND.

It is easy to get all spiritual and holy during Christmas.  People get all emotional over Christmas lights and “the perfect gift”.  The air seems to be different too.  Some people are actually nicer this time of year more than any other time of the year.  It is temporary.

This Jesus thing is a daily thing.  Being with Jesus is not limited to the sermons we hear at church or where your church is in regards to the liturgical church calendar.  Jesus does not care if you are a church member or have not been to church in 25 years.

He is waiting.

And he will continue to wait.

Celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas AND also celebrate that Jesus has never given up on you.  Ever.

Reflections on Advent-Out of this World “Peace”

Greetings friends.

We are in the third week of Advent.  This week’s theme is Peace.  I am a little behind in my writings but it is still the third week until tomorrow (Sunday).

Peace is something all of us desire but few of us find in today’s culture.  Our culture says, “more is better”.  The more gifts you give at Christmas; the more giving of a person you are.  The more apps on your iPhone, you are much cooler than your peers.  The more hours you work at work, then you must be really productive.  And my favorite one, the more you are at church during Advent/Christmas; the holier you are!! (Note: Can you sense my tone of sarcasm in the above paragraph?)

It is disruptive today to say “no”.

I am not implying that we be Grinches at Christmas.  I am not against gifts.  Or going to church.  Or iPhones.  We have an iPod and iPad in this home.  What I am against is the busyness that has become Christmas.  Just because someone may attend every special church event during this season does not mean they are benefitting from it.  Attendance does not always equate to spiritual fruit.  And doing all kinds of “Christmas things” does not equate to being close to Jesus.  However, if you are a Christian, your Christmas should look different than someone who does not know Jesus.  You should have peace and not chaos.

Peace.  Ah, where do we find it this time of year?

In Jesus.

Yet another Sunday School answer.  Yet…so….true.

If we are desiring out of this world peace, we must look to the Prince of Peace.  Peace this is of this world is temporary peace.  Temporary peace is when your children take an extra long afternoon nap.  Temporary peace is sometimes bought at the local spa or coffee shoppe.  “AHHH….this is the life”.

Out of this world peace (from Jesus)– focuses on the big picture.  Out of this world peace says “I will not lose my sanity this holiday season because I know the real reason for the Season”.  Out of this world peace says “I do not need to keep up with the Joneses to feel like I am somebody important”.  Jesus gives peace and life.

Find peace this season in not what you will do…but in how you will be…..finding peace……in the Prince of Peace.

Reflections on Advent-Love and Tragedy

We have entered into the second week of Advent.

Christmas is two weeks away.  People are mapping out their game plans for Christmas Day.

This week.  We focus on the love of Jesus.  Christmas season tends to have us focus on nice, clean, handsome baby Jesus.  Think about the Christmas musicals you have attended.  Was Jesus dirty, crying, or worse yet…ugly?  No.  Never.  That baby Jesus on that stage was SPOTLESS!

Ponder this: Jesus was both human and divine.  As a baby, we was born in a stinky stable.  He probably needed his diapers changed like everyone else.  He was divine in that he would conquer sin,  defeat Satan, and entrust His Kingdom to US

Jesus got dirty.  In his love, he gets dirty.

During this week of Advent—with a focus on love, we must invite Jesus into our sins.  We must invite Jesus into the places within us that need us the most.

Yesterday, our country experienced a horrible tragedy.  Many innocent children were gunned down by a madman while simply going about their day at an elementary school.

I know people have a lot of questions about God in this tragedy.  Allow me to provide you with some insight…..

WHERE WAS GOD?  Friends, God was right there.  God never leaves us despite the times we chose to ignore Him.  God was there in that moment.  Heroes (teaches and staff) shielded the children from danger.  Casualties would have been higher if these heroes did not step up.  God was there.

WELL, THIS IS ABOUT GUNS!! IF WE TAKE AWAY GUNS–PEOPLE WILL BE BETTER BEHAVED!—–This was not about guns.  This about the daily battle of good and evil.  Holy and unholy.  This shooter who took innocent lives—he CHOSE to do evil.  It is called free will.  We have the ability to choose to do good or harm everyday.  Some people choose to use words.  Other people use weapons.  Some people use their authority to bring pain and sorrow.

HOW WILL WE MOVE FORWARD?  In love and in relationship with Jesus.  Sounds like a Sunday school answer, yes.  But where else will we find hope and love?  The media?  They have a job to do.  Our possessions and jobs?  These only bring temporary joy.  Other people?  They will give us peace but people will let us down.  They are human!  This is where Jesus comes in.  He wants to walk with us daily.  But we must first choose to love him AND allow him to love us.

Allow Jesus to love you today.  Right now.

Reflections on Advent-Hope

Advent began this past Sunday.  For those of you not familiar with Advent–Advent is a celebration of the four weeks (especially Sundays) leading up to Christmas Day.  Each week has a different theme.  Advent is celebrated because we celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas) and we also anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus.

Hope is the first candle lit this year for Advent.

Hope.  What a perfect topic to address.

We just witnessed a Presidential Election in November.  People had hope in their respective candidates.  People had hope that…..either man could make changes.  Save issues with the economy, welfare, etc.  People had hope.

Hope deflated.

Our hope in humans will be deflated.  People will let us down.  People will move away or change jobs and no longer work in the same office as us.  People will die or they will forget your name when you run into them at the grocery store or mall.

Where do we place our hope these days?


Jesus is the Truth, the Life, Wonderful Counselor.

One thing that is very beautiful and disruptive during this Christmas season—-is to do some things different.  I know people have traditions and while that is fine and dandy–we must ask why these traditions exist.  Invite Jesus into these activities.  Should I do this and why am I doing this?  Some people do things just because it is expected of them.

Be different.

Look for hope.

However– looking for hope will make you vulnerable.

Being vulnerable is perfect because this is when we are most open to being changed by Jesus.  We are exposed.  Our weaknesses are known.  We will reach out and need assistance from Jesus and fellow people on the journey.

Advent season—should be a time of renewal.

Where are you placing your hope these days?